new pamphlet – storming heaven: the paris commune of 1871

The Paris Commune of 1871 was the first working-class revolution in history. With the French capital surrounded by the troops of the newly founded German Empire and the ruling-class government in Versailles presiding over military and economic chaos, the Parisian population overthrew the state apparatus and created a revolutionary government. The Paris Commune comprised diverse political forces, from radical plebian French nationalists aspiring to complete the 1789-93 revolution; to communists and anarchists: but its democratic way of organising and splitting of the army meant it represented what Karl Marx called in his first draft of The Civil War in France “a revolution against the state as such“.

pariscommune1

The Commune’s new pamphlet features a chapter from Marx explaining how the revolution came about and its significance; and the reproduction of the text of a pamphlet by libertarian socialist group Solidarity critiquing the traditional left’s claim that the Paris Commune proved the need for a vanguard party to seize state power on behalf of the masses. Continue reading “new pamphlet – storming heaven: the paris commune of 1871”

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cricket for iranian workers: hopi vs. lrc

Fundraising cricket match: Hands off the People of Iran vs. Labour Representation Committee. From noon on Saturday August 1st at Low Halls sports ground, South Access Road, London E17, followed at 8pm by social at Dalston Social Centre, 2 Belgrade Road, N16.

The plans are slowly taking shape for what should be an excellent day with cricket, a barbecue, a bar, and some promising entertainment in the evening provided by our fans and supporters (click here to download leaflet). Continue reading “cricket for iranian workers: hopi vs. lrc”

tonight’s london reading group on communist organisation

The last in our current series of London reading groups on ‘communism from below’ will take place on Monday 13th July from 7pm at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street station. It is on the subject of ‘communist organisation today’. We will be discussing the issues:

– Can communists with different ideas and perspectives co-exist in the same organisation? Is ‘forgetting our differences’ and ‘leaving past baggage at the door’ a precondition of left unity?
– Should we organise for specifically communist positions, or establish a broader ‘left’ presence filling some of the political space abandoned by Labour?
– Should we concentrate on propaganda and ideological struggle, or workplace and community activism… or can we integrate both?
– What useful role can communists play in solidarising with resistance to the recession? Continue reading “tonight’s london reading group on communist organisation”

stop the union busters – victory to the rmt

Don’t scab for the bosses
Don’t listen to their lies
Poor folks ain’t got a chance
Unless they organize
Which side are you on boys?
Which side are you on?
Pete Seeger

by Chris Kane

The National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have called a 48-hour strike forJune 9th to 11th on the London Underground and Transport for London after workers voted by a huge majority to take action over pay, jobs and justice.

Transport for London is cutting 1,000 jobs, tearing up previous agreements on no compulsory redundancies. TfL are trying to impose a five year pay deal starting with a derisory 1% and for 2009 and RPI+0.5% for the next four years. This amounts to nothing more than a pay cut year after year, they refuse even to consider the RMT’s one year pay claim. Across the London Underground management have been engaged in a campaign of bullying and harassment of staff, ignoring established procedures on discipline and attendance. All this amounts to a premeditated bosses offensive against the RMT, the largest union of rail workers. The conduct of management has been nothing other than a provocation, the Tories want a fight – they have even brought in a union busting firm of consultants from The Burke Group.

This dispute is the first round of a fight with a Tory Party intent on carrying out wide scale cuts in the public sector. Whilst some sections of our movement are currently obsessed by the events of the Westminster Village they need to wake up to the reality of what is at stake in this dispute – if the strongest section of the trade union movement, both politically and industrially, suffers a defeat it will be a set back for the entire movement. Continue reading “stop the union busters – victory to the rmt”

mobilisation and militancy in the anti-war movement: photos and report of 10th january palestine demo

1081For Gaza

Notice: Demonstrate against police brutality in solidarity with yesterday’s arrestees.  This evening (Sunday 11th) at 5pm outside Kensington Police Station, 72 Earl’s Court Road.  Directions: Come out of High Street Kensington tube and turn left. Left again at the next big cross roads.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army shelled a school designated as a refuge from the assault, killing 42 and injuring scores more.  Two days later, thirty more civilians were killed as a second refuge was shelled.  By Saturday, the number of dead from the past fortnight stood at over 800, with a little under a quarter children.  Later that day in West London, cold as it was, and with frost on the ground, around 70,000 people marched against the massacre in Gaza.

Clashes between police and protesters erupted on a scale not seen for a decade in this country.  This is a report by eye-witnesses associated with The Commune, who have also been at many of the demonstrations outside the Embassy over the past fortnight.  We also reflect on the significance of the days’ events. Continue reading “mobilisation and militancy in the anti-war movement: photos and report of 10th january palestine demo”

greek embassy demo 18th december

There will be a demonstration outside the Greek Embassy in London on Thursday 18th December showing solidarity with workers and students in Greece, after the murder of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos by the police and a series of strikes and protests against the government.

The solidarity protest will take place 4-6pm on the 18th. The Embassy is located at 1A Holland Park, London W11 3TP. The nearest Tube stop is Holland Park: see map below.