Reading Group #27 – Unions

The London Anarchist Federation’s monthly reading group will have its twenty-seventh session on the 23rd of August at 19:00 at Decentre, just above Freedom Bookshop (84B Whitechapel High St, London, E1 7QX). The bookshop will likely be closed by that time so we will be using the back door to the freedom building, further into the alleyway than the bookshop entrance.

Given the recent increase in labour militancy in response to the rising cost of living, this reading group will be on how anarchists relate to unions and workplace struggles in general. There are two articles which we will be reading, with different perspectives on the issue:

From Union Renewal to a Self Managed Society, by Lucien Van Der Walt, is more optimistic about the possibility of unions as a vehicle for working class struggle against capitalism.

Red Flags Torn, by Ed Goddard, is more critical of formal unions, and advocates for anarchists acting outside the union structure to secure change.

This goes without saying, but we do not endorse all the actions and publications of their respective authors.

There are also two articles from the Anarchist Federation that are relevant to this topic, but will not be required reading for this session of the group. They are offered as additional reading to those interested in the positions the Anarchist Federation has taken on the topic previously:

The Union Makes us Strong? takes a look at the historical involvement in unions and workplace struggle by anarchists, and the lessons learnt from that history.

On The Front Line: Anarchists at Work is a description of the strategy that the Anarchist Federation broadly follows in workplace struggles.

Hopefully it will pique your interest. Attending every month is not a requirement – just come along when we’re discussing a topic or a text you like!


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