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May 9, 2011

Our Local has decided to only post content on the national Solidarity Federation website to avoid unnecessary duplication. You can find our Local’s section on the website here. All SolFed members are entitled to a user account that allows them to post directly onto the site, a reflection of our federal and direct democratic structure.

We will be keeping the WordPress site live for archive purposes.

Liverpool People’s Assembly Against the Cuts

May 8, 2011

On Saturday June 4th, Liverpool Trades Council have called for a People’s Assembly Against the Cuts. This all-day event is being organised as a forum for discussion and planning, with the possible aim of setting up an all-Liverpool anti-cuts campaign.

Liverpool Solidarity Federation believes that it is important working class people and communities organise themselves against attacks by the ruling class. That is why we welcome the idea of an all-Liverpool anti-cuts campaign, uniting communities, workplaces, the employed and unemployed, students and pensioners to challenge the most savage attacks our class has ever faced.

But we do not believe that this should be stage-managed from above. We believe such a campaign should be open, democratic and based on direct action. We argue for a movement built from below, where working class people take control of our own struggles as a precursor to taking control of our own lives, our own communities and our own workplaces.

It is vital that the current attacks are met with resistance. It is just as vital that this resistance is based upon mass participation and mass action. We urge those who agree with us to attend the meeting, where we will be taking part in the debate as well as circulating our proposal for the shape such a campaign should take.

See the Solidarity Federation event page here. The Trades Council also advertise the event here.

Letter to the Echo: Reject all politicians!

April 25, 2011

Last week, the following letter from Liverpool Solidarity Federation was published in the Liverpool Echo. We wrote the letter to try and counter the idea that the anti-working-class agenda of the ruling elite can be defeated through the ballot box simply by voting against the Tories and their Lib Dem coalition allies. As anarcho-syndicalists we reject party politics and all collaboration with legislative bodies. Exploitation, wage slavery and social injustice will never be voted out of existence. They can only be defeated, once and for all, through militant solidarity, direct action and working-class self-organisation.

JOE Anderson [the leader of Liverpool city council] says he has no choice but to enforce spending cuts due to reductions in the government grant. David Cameron says he has no choice but to enforce spending cuts due to the budget deficit left by the last government.

All over the world, governments of both the left and right are inflicting austerity measures on the working-class and making us pay for a crisis we didn’t create.

With local elections approaching, it’s increasingly clear that the only worthwhile thing to do on polling day is to reject all politicians by actively abstaining and building popular resistance outside the ballot box.

Ethel MacDonald, Liverpool Solidarity Federation

Picket Atos Origin – Monday 9th May

April 19, 2011

Disability activists, claimant groups and anti-cuts campaigners have called a week of action against poverty pimps Atos Origin beginning on Monday 9th May with a picnic and party at their head office in London, at 2pm.

As part of this week of action, Liverpool Solidarity Federation are calling for all those who stand in support of disabled people to join us in a picket of their offices in Liverpool the same day.

Assemble in The Plaza, Old Hall Street, at 11.30am on Monday 9th May. Bring flags, banners, and placards.

Atos origin is being paid £300 million by the government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’. The assessments are supposedly aimed at finding out if people receiving sickness benefits are fit to work. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible and save the government money.

This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer. Over two years, the company wrongly refused benefits to almost 30,000 people. Those people had to fight for a year to have the decision overturned.

Liverpool Solidarity Federation are disgusted that in a time when people are losing their jobs and being forced to live on benefits, poverty pimps like ATOS Origin are cashing in on the misery of others. Join us in our picket to stand in solidarity with the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disabilty Rights and Disabled People Against Cuts and show them that these injustices will not stand!

You can RSVP to this event on Facebook here.

WHAT ALTERNATIVE?

April 19, 2011

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the so-called Alternative Vote. People-particularly middle class liberals- seem to take great pride about their stand on it. Ed Milliband assured us that it is “a vote for hope over fear”-he must be using Obama’s speechwriter again. But really, should we honestly care?

We live in an extremely revolutionary period, one where the students have completely changed the game, showing the banality of party politics and kick starting a new movement in the process. And what’s the raging debate on the political scene at the moment? In the middle of insurrection in Greece, in the Arab World, in Spain, what’s the liberal response? Asking whether or not we should tinker with the voting system so we can carry on electing these parasites.  AV is a frivolous distraction and a sickening one at that. To see Vince Cable- who is responsible for locking many young people out of higher education- breaking bread with Ed Milliband- who spoke at the Anti-Cuts Rally last month- simply shows the emptiness of parliamentary democracy. Not one of these men has any principles and all have shown they are quite happy to play ball with the so-called opposition if it means a few more votes.

What’s the Alternative? Take your pick! Every area has an anti-cuts group so get involved. Start a newsletter; start a blog; occupy a shop; open a social centre, but what ever you don’t vote in this little game our leaders are playing. There’s no alternative for direct action.

This article is reprinted from a member of Liverpool Solidarity Federations blog which can be found here http://freedominthe21st.blogspot.com/

National day of protest against benefit cuts

April 14, 2011

Today, as part of a national day of protest against benefit cuts, Liverpool Solidarity Federation picketed the offices of ATOS origin in the city centre. We were supported in our action by members of UK Uncut Liverpool.

We were there to raise awareness of the role being played by ATOS in the government’s war against disabled people.

The company is being paid £300 million by the government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’. The assessments are supposedly aimed at finding out if people receiving sickness benefits are fit to work. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible and save the government money.

This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer. Over two years, the company wrongly refused benefits to almost 30,000 people. Those people had to fight for a year to have the decision overturned.

The response from the public was overwhelmingly a positive one. We had more than a few people approaching us who were either directly affected by ATOS’s actions or who knew people that had suffered at their hands, and they wished us well in our picket.

Liverpool Solidarity Federation are disgusted that in a time when people are losing their jobs and being forced to live on benefits, poverty pimps like ATOS Origin are cashing in on the misery of others. We stand in solidarity with the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence of Disabilty Rights and Disabled People Against Cuts.

You can download a PDF version of the leaflet we distributed at the picket here.

See some more photos from the picket here.

Atos Origin is being paid £300 million by the government to carry out ‘work
capability assessments’. The assessments are supposedly aimed at finding out if
people receiving sickness benefits are fit to work. The real purpose is to strip
benefits from as many people as possible and save the government money.
This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe
medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are
ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer.
Over two years, the company wrongly refused benefits to almost 30,000 people.
Those people had to fight for a year to have the decision overturned.
Meanwhile, Atos boss Keith Wilman (pictured above) was paid £626,000 last year.
Liverpool Solidarity Federation are disgusted that in a time when people
are losing their jobs and being forced to live on benefits, poverty pimps
like Atos Origin are cashing in on the misery of others.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign in Defence
of Disabilty Rights and Disabled People Against Cuts.

Occupying the BBC with UK Uncut

April 2, 2011

Today, members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation joined members of Liverpool Uncut who had organised an occupation of BBC Radio Merseyside.

The occupation took place at 2.30pm, when over a dozen people entered the building and announced that they were staging a sit-in. The protesters announced that they were protesting against “the appalling coverage” of UK Uncut actions in London on March 26th and would show “how civilised the UK Uncut occupations are by having a lovely tea party.”

Whilst the occupiers sat down to eat cakes and drink tea and coffee, a contingent of 8 police officers arrived. They could do little more than stand around, awkwardly. When asking who was in charge, replies of “we all are” and “we operate on consensus” were met with blank looks.

A member of Liverpool SolFed said, “on March 26th, UK Uncut felt the blunt end of state repression. Together with the roaming blockade formed by the Radical Workers’ Bloc, they caused significant economic damage. Attacking the economy and making the country ungovernable, is the only way to defeat austerity. That 138 of the 141 arrested were UK Uncut activists only underlines that.

“We don’t think that you can ‘win the argument’ with the state or bankers, as they do. But we recognise the value of their tactics in inflicting exactly the kind of economic damage that we advocate.”

Members of Liverpool SolFed were amongst those who signed a letter to UK Uncut which stated that “the whole idea of dividing ‘good’ and ‘bad’ protest serves only to legitimise police violence and repression” and “those of us fighting the cuts are all in this together.”

This is not the first time that Liverpool SolFed have engaged in practical solidarity at Radio Merseyside. Previously, members had joined the NUJ picket lines in support of the staff pensions dispute.

A video of the event, and an interview with a UK Uncut activist at the occupation, can be seen here.

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