New UK initiative - Founding conference

Dear friends,

Over recent weeks Croydon Solidarity [1], AngryWorkers and other comrades have started a debate about how to intensify our collaboration and make it open for others. [2] This debate was compounded by the Covid-19 crisis around us and encouraged us to pronounce more clearly our need for a new form of working class organisation. This article is written in the spirit of this organisation. It is not a pompous programatic proclamation, but a work schedule, a discussion paper for the next strategic steps.

Our efforts have to be based on a broadly shared understanding of how capitalism works and how to overcome it. We will discuss these general questions, but our organisation will primarily distinguish and thereby open itself to others by concrete work, mutual committment and research. The general spirit is not to grow the organisation for the sake of it. Instead we want to help to grow the ability of the working class to self-organise internationally and to demonstrate the potential for communism in the actual movements of the class and the crisis of capital. For the moment our common platform is summarised here:

The focus of our activities will be the setting up of local solidarity networks in strategically important working class areas, activities in and around bigger workplaces, and the circulation of a regular local working class publication. We want to discuss openly and self-critically the experiences of setting up such minimal structures and support each other. We invite existing local initiatives to join in and potentially expand their activities. We are aware that not everyone is able to participate on this level for various reasons, but encourage those comrades to help the effort, e.g. through their research work or by help running the organisational infrastructure. We see the last six years of AngryWorkers activities in west London not as a template, but as something that has to be critically reviewed, also according to specific local conditions:

We need more than just a federal structure of local collectives. We need a common discussion and decisions that can shape local practice. The second focus is therefore to meet regularly to discuss the local experiences against the background of both the UK and international developments of class struggle. We feel responsible to help international comrades understand the situation in the UK and to establish contacts to local workers if needed.

We are in the process of preparing for a constituting and planning conference for the end of 2020. In order to make all this more concrete we write down some preliminary ideas for a 1-year plan, based on the assumption that 20 to 30 people and 4 to 5 local collectives take part, who are willing and able to meet quarterly.

* Initially we will have to focus on establishing a basic infrastructure, e.g. an online platform, to discuss our local experiences and to create a productive feedback loop: local experiences will inform our general discussions and out of our discussions we can provide valuable information for the local working class.

* This is where the concept of ‘getting rooted’ comes in. Rather than trying to squeeze the class into some organisational shape, we want to have our ears to the ground in working class industries and neighbourhoods in all their complexity – and base our organisational proposals on these concrete conditions. This also means making and then strengthening connections with militant workers, so that our research can be diffused and debated in key sectors.

* As part of the wider collaboration we should discuss bi-monthly ‘editorial articles’ that we can circulate in our local publications. Currently the most pressing subject would be an assessment of the global Covid-19 regime and the responses of the working class so far.

* Another basic step would be the develop of a self-schooling program for new comrades and working class militants: a series of texts and discussions which help to generalise the theoretical and practical knowledge amongst us and encourage critical thinking.

* Based on this organisational fundament we have to develop knowledge and infrastructures that have use value for the working class. At the upcoming constituting meeting we should decide on certain questions that seem the most pressing to answer in order to understand the current developments within our class. This could be the impact of automation as we experience it on the shop-floor or migration or the crisis of working class families. Another strategic research question would be the current division of labour between ‘science and technical staff’ and ‘manual workers’ in the essential industries. We can then develop a research and interview schedule in order to structure a collective work process. Results of the research should be fed back into local publications and the wider debate.

* Most importantly we have to create in-depth reports about strikes and struggles in the UK. Unfortunately most of the current left and union formations don’t see the importance of such in-depth reports or see a critical reflection of strong and weak points of struggles as a threat to their organisational reputation. The working class can only learn out of failures. For these reports we need a sharp view, which comes out of collective debates – and the will to visit strikes and to engage in longer open conversations with those involved. We have to find ways to feed this information back into the local class and make an extra effort to bring it to workers who have a strategic interest, e.g. because they go through a similar situation or work in the same sector. We appreciate the efforts that comrades of groups have undertaken in that regard, but feel that their efforts so far have lacked working class roots for the feedback.

* Over the course of a year, through local work and these struggle visits, we should be able to invite interested working class militants to an independent ‘struggle conference’. Currently we don’t see an independent forum for workers’ to discuss their experiences. The National Shop Steward Network is dominated by the official trade union apparatus and party politics. The World Transformed is geared towards the Labour Party and not a space for reflection. Initially these meetings won’t have a mass character, but a conference of 100 people in 2021 seems a realistic goal.

* On the upcoming constituting meeting we should also agree on steps to take part and contribute to the international debate. The most basic task is to write bi-annual reports about the general development of the crisis and class struggle in the UK. Here we see the internationalist summer-camp structure with comrades from, amongst others, Grupao in Brazil, Bad Kids and Asap Revolution in France, Wildcat in Germany, TPTG and Assembly of Workers and Unemployed in Greece, as our primary reference point. Depending on the general developments we should also systematise our participation in the internationalist website, on struggles against the Covid-19 regime.

These are just the bare bones of organisation. We hope that a mutual focus and commitment towards the wider working class will mean that relations within the organisation will be supportive and constructive, without having to spend too much time on discussing ‘how we discuss’ or organise ‘how we organise ourselves’. The focus is outwards and patience is required. We know that class struggle is not gradual and we want to bear that in mind in our day-to-day organising. We want to prepare ourselves for the leaps of struggle that will inevitably come. These leaps will be contradictory, like the Yellow Vests in France or the recent protests and strikes in Bolivia. We want to prepare ourselves not in order to ‘capture the flag’ of these movements, but in order to detect and support the emancipatory tendencies within them theoretically and practically.

If you are interested in taking part in the preparatory process of the constituting meeting, please drop us an email.

To reiterate, this meeting will not be an exciting happening (although it might be exciting, too), it will perhaps not feel like a hip and historical moment, but a moment of commitment to work together.

In solidarity
Comrades from Croydon Solidarity, AngryWorkers and others



Posted By

May 28 2020 14:19



Attached files


Jun 10 2020 13:01

New entry on our UK initiative blog:

We plan a planning / discussing / work conference in Novermber, for comrades who see the need for the political autonomy of the class and want to get their hands dirty...

Jun 12 2020 07:57

New entry on US uprising:

We plan a discussion / work conference in November, for comrades who see the need for the political autonomy of the class and want to get their hands dirty...

R Totale
Jun 12 2020 09:26

Very good piece that.

Jun 13 2020 06:29

New entry - Amazon drivers' leaflet distributed by comrades in Croydon:

We plan a discussion / work conference in November, for comrades who see the need for the political autonomy of the class and want to get their hands dirty...

Jun 13 2020 07:51

And further thoughts on the uprising in the US:

We plan a discussion / work conference in November, for comrades who see the need for the political autonomy of the class and want to get their hands dirty...

Jun 15 2020 21:16

Zoom discussion meeting with comrades from New York, Delhi, Edinburgh, London: student/workers struggles today...

Jun 19 2020 12:23

New entry on Teesside Solidarity, part of a series of short reflections on local groups

Jun 20 2020 10:07
Jun 21 2020 10:26

Blog post summary with recording of our meeting on 'university struggle as class struggle':

Jun 22 2020 08:51
Jun 26 2020 17:38

Extensive report on current situation in the UK - not only for comrades abroad:

Jun 28 2020 16:59

New entry on Parkdale Organize, comrades from Toronto - part of our series on local groups:

Jul 2 2020 16:01
R Totale
Jul 5 2020 10:22

And on a related note, I see there's now an East London group:

Jul 6 2020 10:08
Jul 7 2020 08:53

We started an interview series with workers about the power relations during and after the Covid lockdown:

Here is the first interview with a London Underground worker:

Please circulate...

Jul 11 2020 07:08

LETS GET ROOTED comrades from Croydon wrote down their experience from supporting Pizza Hut workers during the lock down...

Jul 12 2020 07:21

Report on day three of the Tower Hamlets Council workers strike...

Jul 15 2020 16:06

Second interview - how did power relations between bosses and workers change during lockdown? With a NHS midwive...

'Let's get rooted' is no spectator sport - get politically organised!

Jul 20 2020 10:00

Ciao comrades,

Two new entries on the 'Let's get rooted'-blog.

Another interview in our lockdown series. The aim of the interviews is to understand the shift in the power relation between the bosses and our class during the pandemic. We a think that manual and often low paid 'essential' workers will have gathered confidence during the lockdown. This is counter-acted by the bosses' attempt to use the crisis and increasing unemployment against us and to put pressure on wages and conditions from above. In order to organise, we have to listen and understand. This time we interviewed primary school students about their experiences during lockdown and key workers' school.

Comrades of ‘Let’s get rooted’ have been active in the strike of public sector workers in Tower Hamlets. In Croydon down the road the council also announced cuts – comrades from Croydon Solidarity distributed leaflets and spoke to local workers. We have to point out that few of the workers we spoke to even knew that their colleagues in Tower Hamkets were on strike. Another piece of evidence that we can’t rely on the formal communication channels of the trade unions. Below a short report.

'Let's get rooted' is not a journalistic effort. We want to build working class political autonomy from below. Stop wavering, get involved.

Jul 25 2020 06:29

Comrades wrote an update on the Tower Hamlets council workers' strike:

Jul 26 2020 06:28

New analysis of mutual aid, social reproduction and crisis in South London:

Jul 28 2020 06:49

New interview with NHS worker about the changes in the balance of power during lockdown...

Jul 31 2020 06:31

New review of 'Tracksuits, traumas, and class traitors' up on our blog:

Aug 2 2020 16:43

A short interview with comrades of (ex) Hobo collective in Bologna:

Aug 2 2020 16:45
Aug 5 2020 15:35

Are we part of the left? Some thoughts after a discussion of Sai Englert's text on organisation. Collective response to Englert's article still to come...

Aug 6 2020 16:33

Short article on recent protests of migrants / workers from Afghanistan against state repression in Iran

Aug 7 2020 14:52

New interview in the lockdown series: bike courier in Denmark...

Aug 8 2020 09:12