manchester may day: photo and video report

Mark Harrison was at Manchester’s May Day demonstration this year.

This year’s May Day demonstration was more enjoyable than usual, with a relatively large turn out of around 200 people and pleasant weather for a majority of the day. A ‘carnival bloc’ had been arranged by local autonomists and included a sound system playing traditional workers anthems such as Bella ciao as well as more modern tunes. A large samba band and a couple of demonstrators on stilts kept our spirits high as we marched from the site of the large unemployed workers’ demonstration of 1931 that was ambushed by police, towards the modern Urbis development. Continue reading “manchester may day: photo and video report”

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civil disobedience in manchester against education cuts

Mark Harrison writes his personal recollections of today’s great events in Manchester as part of the national day of action against tuition fees.

Student Protest, scaling new heights.

Fortunately today I slept in and missed my 11am lecture and decided to go to what I expected to be a piddly little demo.

What a pleasant surprise awaited me! By 12:30 approximately 3000 people had gathered at the designated meeting point at the University of Manchester, these were not the usual faces. The vast majority of those present were college and school students playing truant, many had travelled from Cheshire, ‘the left’ was completely swamped, The SWP had made an obvious effort to mobilise all their members, there were a few members of the Revolutionary Communist Group, a guy from the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty and a comrade of the Anarchist Federation distributing Anarchist Student. The militancy on display was inspiring. Despite being promised on social networking websites that we would be marching to the town hall, the consensus loving, ultra democratic officers of the University’s Student Union had apparently decided that we would instead be diverted to the Castlefield arena on the edge of the city, out of harms way. I think ‘health and safety’ was the reason given – political correctness gone mad! Continue reading “civil disobedience in manchester against education cuts”

manchester class struggle forum 19th july: anarcho-syndicalism

The next Manchester Class Struggle Forum will host a discussion on Anarcho-Syndicalism.


What is anarcho-syndicalism? How do anarcho-syndicalist unions differ from existing workers’ organisations? Do anarcho-syndicalist strategies have any value in 21st Century Britain, or are they 80 years out of date and several countries out of place? Or are anarcho-syndicalist strategies the tool we need to fight back in a period of savage cuts and declining living standards? Continue reading “manchester class struggle forum 19th july: anarcho-syndicalism”

manchester class struggle forum, 29th april

The third Manchester Class Struggle Forum will host a discussion on national liberation and internationalism, with a lead off from the World Revolution group.

From the IRA, MPLA and the Viet Minh, to Hezbollah, Hamas and the Tamil Tigers. All these anti-working class groups received support from a number of leftist in the 20th and 21st Centuries. This is not a new phenomenon, at the outbreak of the First World War all members of the ‘Second International’ apart from The Bolsheviks lined up in support of their respective national bourgeoisie.

Is it right for communists to support national liberation struggles, however critically? Did not Marx and Engels support national liberation? Was it ever correct historically to support national liberation? Continue reading “manchester class struggle forum, 29th april”

manchester class struggle forum, wednesday 24th

The first Manchester Class Struggle Forum will host a discussion on the Labour Party and the upcoming General Election.

We will discuss the 2010 general election and the position that communists should take towards bourgeois elections. Continue reading “manchester class struggle forum, wednesday 24th”

post strike: solidarity strong amongst manchester students

by Mark Harrison

Manchester students are running a solidarity campaign to support the city’s postal workers. The campaign involves members of The Commune, Anarchist Federation, Communist Students, the SWP, AWL and individual leftist students.

PostalPicket

Members of the ‘Manchester Students Support the Postal Strike’ group stood alongside workers on pickets this week and shall be returning for the next round of strikes. For many this has been their first time on a picket line and it has been a good opportunity to learn from the Royal Mail workers about the bullying practices of their management. Despite the right wing press demonising the CWU a ComRes survey for the BBC found that 50% of people sympathise most with the postal workers and only 25 per cent with the management. This was demonstrated by those passing by on their way to work, and even Tony Lloyd, the Labour MP for Manchester Central, came down to show his support (ironically he has been a supporter of plans for postal service privatisation). Continue reading “post strike: solidarity strong amongst manchester students”

manchester public meeting: populism and class struggle in latin america

The Commune’s first Manchester forum, Saturday 26th September

The last decade has seen a wave of class struggle shaking neo-liberalism in Latin America, with trade unions, social movements and indigenous people across the continent stirred to action.

26thseptlatam

Many also think that leaders like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia are ‘building socialism’, and the radical right and US imperialism have mobilised to try and crush them. July saw the most outrageous action yet as the Honduran military overthrew the centre-left president Manuel Zelaya.

Where is the class struggle in Latin America headed? What does the Obama administration mean for US relations with the continent? Are systems like Venezuela and Cuba a model for communists to follow? Come and join the debate at The Commune’s forum. Continue reading “manchester public meeting: populism and class struggle in latin america”