What we do

Help the AWL to raise £20,000

Last year Barclays paid just £113 million tax on its profits (globally £5 billion, of which around half was made in the UK). Barclays, an enormous multinational bank, paid about 5% tax, much less than the workers who clean its corporate offices or staff the desks in its high-street branches.

An update on our fund drive.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Help the AWL to raise £20,000

Solidarity recently hired top fundraising firm Grasper, Spiv & Cringe Ltd. to take our fund drive to the next level.

They’ve been working round the clock to target top bankers, city tradesmen, media magnates, property developers, landed aristocrats and high-ranking members of the clerical orders of all major world religions.

Our thinking was simple; these people have lots of money, we need money, let’s ask them.

An update on our fund drive.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Help the AWL to raise £20,000

The AWL is growing. We now publish Solidarity weekly, setting up new branches and expanding all areas of our activity. If we are going to continue this, we also need to expand our sources of funds.

That’s why we’ve launched an appeal to raise £20,000 by the end of August. A donation from you, or a regular standing order, will help.

We need money to:

1. Continue publishing Solidarity as a weekly;

2. Establish a fund for publishing high quality books and pamphlets;

3. Improve our website;

An update on our fundraising drive.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Help the AWL to raise £20,000

The AWL is growing. We now publish Solidarity weekly, setting up new branches and expanding all areas of our activity. If we are going to continue this, we also need to expand our sources of funds.

That’s why we’re launching an appeal to raise £20,000 by the end of August. A donation from you, or a regular standing order, will help.

We need money to:

1. Continue publishing Solidarity as a weekly;

2. Establish a fund for publishing high quality books and pamphlets;

3. Improve our website;

An update on our fundraising drive.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Help the AWL to raise £20,000

The AWL is growing. We now publish Solidarity weekly, setting up new branches and expanding all areas of our activity. If we are going to continue this, we also need to expand our sources of funds.

That’s why we’re launching an appeal to raise £20,000 by the end of August. A donation from you, or a regular standing order, will help.

We need money to:

1. Continue publishing Solidarity as a weekly;

2. Establish a fund for publishing high quality books and pamphlets;

3. Improve our website;

An update on our fundraising drive.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

The outlook for 2012

The public sector pensions battle is not dead. The lecturers’ union UCU has called a further strike for 1 March, and activists will be pressing hard for, at least, the civil service union PCS and the teachers’ union NUT to join in on that day.

The setback on pensions is a serious one. But it does not abolish the prospects for mobilisation.

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Planning the next steps in the pensions fight

Members of Workers’ Liberty who work in the public sector met on Saturday 14 January to discuss organising against a sell-out in the pensions campaign, and to develop our efforts to build rank-and-file power in workplaces and unions.

AWL members organise in “fractions” — our school workers’ fraction, for instance, brings together National Union of Teachers (NUT) activists with teaching assistants and other education workers.

The central obstacle in the pensions battle has been the lack of democratic control by rank and file union memebers over the dispute.

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Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Sheffield AWL dayschool. Revolutionary Socialism 101: A Beginners' Guide To Winning The Class War...

Date: 

17 May, 2009 - 13:00 to 18:00

Location: 

University of Sheffield Students' Union (Exact room TBA)

Description: 

Join your friendly neighborhood Trotskyists for a discussion of some of the basic ideas of revolutionary socialism; why the working class, why a revolution, and what is socialism? We'll be discussing these ideas in the context of activism that's taken place recently on campus.

No prior political experience is necessary - just a healthy contempt for the rich...

More: skillz_999@hotmail.com or 07961040618

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Help your weekly paper!

For Solidarity to continue as a weekly, we need more money.

This time last year Workers’ Liberty was looking forward to the New Year, to moving into new offices, upping our pace and making Solidarity a weekly. In the past year Solidarity has been much more of an activist and organising tool for our ideas because of that.

But for Solidarity to continue as a weekly, we need more money. If you think our ideas and the amplification Solidarity gives to those ideas in the working-class movement, are important then you should support us financially.

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Two views of the Occupy London camps

Luke Atterton has been taking part in the camp at Finsbury Square and has just joined the AWL.

On Monday night there was a discussion at the St Paul’s assembly — around 200 people — about where the movement is going politically.

We split into smaller groups to facilitate discussion, and most people in my group were sympathetic to socialism and class politics, not just general ideas but also demands like linking up with trade unions.

Two views of the Occupy London camps by AWL members.

Issues and Campaigns: 

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Workers' Liberty at Occupy London

Workers’ Liberty members have been participating in the Occupy London protest camps (some staying semi-permanently and others visiting) at St. Paul's and Finsbury Square.

The atmosphere at the camps is incredibly febrile — all sorts of politics and perspectives are buzzing around, with impromptu meetings and discussions springing up all the time, and the daily General Assemblies taking in everything from how to liaise with trade unions to setting up “healing spaces”.

Workers’ Liberty members have been participating in the Occupy London protest camps.

Issues and Campaigns: 

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Activities schedule form for AWL branches

AWL branch organisers can use this form for branch meetings to sign up AWL members for the week's activities.

Download the form and print it out.

In the first column, write details of the week's activities - paper sales, meetings, demonstrations, educationals, etc. - in order of date and time.

Write your own name in the second column opposite the activities you yourself will do.

Pass the form round the meeting. Ask people to write their names in the second column opposite the activities they will do.

Use this form in branch meetings to sign up AWL members for the week's activities.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Preparing for 30 June

In some areas, notably Nottingham, union activists are preparing for the probable strike against pension cuts on 30 June in one way.

They are organising a joint strike committee of the unions likely to take part — NUT (teachers), ATL (teachers), PCS (civil service), and UCU (lecturers). They are inviting representatives of other unions whose members face the public-sector pension cuts, and job cuts, like Unison, GMB, and Unite, and people from anti-cuts campaigns, to come along too.

The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty has called a joint meeting on Saturday 28 May of our “fractions” in the key sectors involved for 30 June: teachers, civil service workers, lecturers, local government workers, health workers.

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AWL expands on London Underground

At the start of this year, Workers’ Liberty member Janine Booth was elected to represent London transport workers on RMT’s Executive. Workers’ Liberty members on the Tube decided to set up our own separate AWL branch, become more organised, and prioritise recruiting new AWL members.

Three RMT members on London Underground have joined the AWL in recent months.

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Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

To the Barricade!

The student movement, with hundreds of thousands of school students walking out of classes to demonstrate against cuts, has thrown whole new layers of school and college student activists into activity.

'Barricade' is a socialist zine published by Workers’ Liberty for school and college students. It carries reports on the activity that local school student activist groups are organising, pieces about the movement against the cuts, and articles on big political ideas and international news.

Issues and Campaigns: 

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The point of selling socialist papers

I’m friends with an ex-member of another Trotskyist group. He is still a socialist, and active in left-wing politics as well as union activity, but no longer organised by a revolutionary tendency. One thing he’s often said to me is that he doesn’t see the point of public paper sales, except if they’re linked to activity for a campaign or anti-cuts committee.

With the economic crisis and the growing fight against the cuts, there are many more people thinking about socialism, and potentially interested in the AWL. Getting out on the streets, and doing it regularly and consistently, is one of the ways to let them know we exist!

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Training sessions

AIMS: will vary from exercise to exercise. But generally the broad aims are to:
a) reinforce abilities and develop them;
b) help overcome chronic weaknesses, e.g. fear of speaking;
c) teach new political ideas through exercises.
Essentially training is about building up people's confidence and equipping them to deal with everyday situations.

Contact work, public speaking, how to do educationals, arguing, choreographing meetings and interventions.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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AWL news: organising for the weekly

Author: 

Martin Thomas

In the run-up to Solidarity going weekly at the start of 2011, AWL groups across the country have two big jobs.

One is increasing and regularising public paper sales, on the streets or door-to-door. The other is making distribution of the paper speedier and more reliable.

Both North East London and South London AWL branches now have routines of four public sales a week.

North East London's public sale at Highbury Corner on Tuesdays now shifts up to 30 papers each week, and rarely fewer than 20.

We are increasing and regularising public paper sales, and making distribution of the paper speedier and more reliable

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

AWL news

As Solidarity prepares to go weekly, AWL members around the country have been stepping up the number of paper sales they organise. For a long time, selling a publication on the street was seen by a lot of people as a faintly cranky. But, as Dylan put it, the times they are a-getting quite different. People are eager to talk about politics in a way they haven’t been in the past and that’s reflected in the number of papers we’re selling.

Paper sales; Sheffield and Liverpool meetings

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Why our newspaper is going weekly

AWL
We are making our newspaper, Solidarity, a weekly. How we're going to do it, why, and how you should help us.

We answer some questions about our plans for making our newspaper, Solidarity, a weekly - not only how we're going to do it, but why, and why you should help us.

Why have you decided to go weekly?
We felt we needed to pick up the pace of our political activity. We need to respond promptly and seriously to all the attacks that governments around the world are making on the working class. We wanted to support, feed political ideas into, and build the fightback.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

AWL news

A carload of AWL members is going to France on the weekend 22-24 October, taking messages of solidarity with the strikes there from union branches such as Lambeth Unison, but also planning to bring back ideas, inspiration, and reports to the labour movement in Britain.

AWL conference on 16-17 October opened with a report from Ed Maltby, who had gone over to France the week before to find out about the developing movement.

AWL delegation to France; making street stalls look good; RMT election

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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AWL news

On 16-17 October AWL meets in London for our annual conference. We've prepared for this by a series of regional meetings and discussion bulletins.

A lot of discussion has centred round "perspectives", especially in relation to the Labour Party. Readers of Solidarity and of our website will know that there has been a running debate in AWL on this since last spring.

That debate has arrived at the point where the contentious points to be voted on concern only small-ish amendments to a perspectives document.

On 16-17 October AWL meets in London for our annual conference.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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AWL news

At the end of August 40 members and friends of South London AWL met for a barbecue at a community centre in New Cross.

The children played cricket and ran about while comrades drank wine and discussed the case for socialism. We also showed a film about the history of the socialist anthem, The Internationale.

At a recent South London public meeting half a dozen people whom we have met selling the paper on estates in Southwark came to hear Jean Lane speak about her experiences as a woman building worker — “Woman in a Man’s Job”.

News from AWL branches

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Jersey cuts: politics for the struggle

Author: 

Bea Mills

The enthusiastic demonstration and rally in defence of public services on 24 April was Jersey’s first since the 1920s. But critical questions face the movement behind the protest.

The march, called by the teaching union NASUWT, was against £50 million in cuts on the island. It came at a time when teachers, nurses and uniformed services are all at various stages of organising industrial action over an imposed pay freeze.

The enthusiastic demonstration and rally in defence of public services on 24 April was Jersey’s first since the 1920s. But critical questions face the movement behind the protest.

Publications: 

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Trade Unions: 

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Vestas: story of a battle

Sometimes struggles come along that help us learn, or relearn, many basic and valuable lessons about what it means to be a working-class activist engaged in the fight for socialism. The struggle that took place on the Isle of Wight in summer 2009 to prevent the closure of the Vestas wind turbine blades factory was such a struggle.

It taught us, against ruling-class myths about the non-existence of class or the passivity of working people, that workers can and will fight — even when they are unorganised and have no history of militancy.

Workers’ Liberty’s new pamphlet — “The Vestas jobs battle: How wind turbine workers became a power” — outlines the experiences of Vestas workers and campaign supporters as well as a Marxist analysis of the dispute and is an invaluable resource for any activist who wants to learn the lessons of Vestas so that similar struggles in the future end in victory.

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Bulletins from the Vestas Campaign

Author: 

Ed Maltby

Three young members of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty headed up the Workers' Climate Action campaign to mobilise workers at the Vestas plants against the closure of the factories.

Bulletins used by AWL/WCA activists on the Isle of Wight in June-July 2009

Trade Unions: 

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