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(en) Sweden, International newsletter of the SUF, Jan 005

From SUF international committee <ik@suf.cc>
Date Thu, 27 Jan 2005 14:53:51 +0100 (CET)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

What is the SUF and what have we been up to? Those are some of the
questions that we hope this newletter can answer. Since we are a
federation of about 25 local autonomous groups, and many of them working
with different issues, this newsletter can't claim to present a overall
view of the SUF. This is merely a selection of initiatives and actions
taken by local groups.

Distribute this newsletter!
Please help us distribute this newsletter! If you are a big federation of
groups and this newsletter has been sent to your international- or
coordinationgroup, please make sure that all of your local groups will
recive it. Maybe you are just a small action group or collective? You
probably are in contact with other groups who might have an intrest in
this letter! We are constantly trying to make new contacts, and your help
is appriciated!

This newsletter was put together by the international committee of the
SUF. It is available in a printed version on request.

Contact us
To get into contact with the SUF the best way is through our international

SUF international committe

Or through our federal coordination group (Samordningsgruppen):

SUFs Samordningsgrupp, SOG
C/O Malmö LS
Box 17575
20010 Malmö, Sweden

Check out our website for a complete and updated list of local groups and


Newsletter content:

1. The Swedish Anarchosyndicalist Youth Federation
A short introduction to the SUF (for those of you who don’t already know us)

2. Free public transports!
An introduction to Planka.nu

3. No Pasaran!
SUF shuts down Stockholm’s central station.

4. The assembly line of education
About the role of the school system in capitalist society; from the
autonomous class struggle conference in Malmö

5. What's on the horizon?
SUF launches a nation wide campaign on the situation for young people on
the summer jobs.


1. ::: The Swedish Anarchosyndicalist* Youth Federation
A short introduction to the SUF (for those of you who don’t already know us)

The SUF was founded in 1993, following a period of economic crisis and
severe blows to the old social democratic welfare model. The answer to the
economic crisis in the mid-nineties by the social democratic establishment
and the old institutionalised left was neo-liberal reforms. The old
“Swedish model” sank quicker than the Titanic after just a little bit of
pressure from the global financial markets. It became apparent, to the
Swedish public as well to parts of the Swedish left, that isolationist
welfare would not stand the pressure, the system was bound to collapse.
This meant a crisis for the old social democratic model, a crisis which
generated a vaccum in which a new libertarian left began to emerge. The
autonomous left entered the scene about the same time as neo-liberalism.
The SUF has some of it’s roots in this new young militant autonomous
movement that began to grow in Scandinavia in the early nineties.
Inspiration also came from an older Swedish syndicalist tendency
represented by the SAC.
>From just three groups in 1993 it grew rapidly and soon it was a national

Our main focus today is the situation and needs of young people in Sweden.
Thus we act within a wide spectrum, from issues of housing, the struggle
for the commons, to young people’s rights on the job.
We are not (as some people assume) a labour union for young people, thus
some claim that we can therefore not be anarchosyndicalists in the
technical sense. However; our idea of anarchosyndicalism expands beyond
the mere daily labour union activity.
In a global community where capitalist relations have expanded into all
parts of society, we need a broader movement and a broader definition of
class struggle. Capitalist logic is constantly present all around us,
capitalism embraces the whole of society - not only between 9 to 5 in our
workplaces, and therefore resistance must also expand outside of the
workplaces and into all parts of society. This means that we belive it to
be possible - and nessesary - to confront capitalism not only in the
workplaces, but that this also must be done in schools, universities,
local communities etc. This can be done in many ways and we respect and
value a diversity of tactics.

Our goal is the class- and stateless society, where power is no longer in
the hands of an elite and where the means of production is in the
democratic control of the society. We belive in self-management and
autonomy. We call this vision libertarian socialism.
We are anarchosyndicalists, meaning that we promote federalism as the
model of organizing and direct
action as the mean of struggle. We consider the most important struggle to
be the direct confrontation, the economic struggle, between the classes.
This can be in the form of the traditional general strike as it has been
promoted by anarchosyndicalists in history, but also in many other forms,
such as organised autoreduction.
We reject party politics as a mean of social transformation and we reject
authoritarian models of state-socialism such as the dictatorship of the
Instead we consider the question of how we try to implement ideas to be as
vital (if not more) as the actual ideas we are trying to implement. We try
to have an un-dogmatic approach to socialism.
This also means that we in no way are nostalgic about the social
democratic welfare state model.
It is apparent, now more then ever, than it is impossible to try to build
socialism “in one country”. Economic globalisation has proved this. The
struggle must be as global as capital itself. We reject the idea of
national states and borders.

The SUF federation is today made up of around 25 local groups all across
the country, with several committees active within the federation. We
publish a magazine called Direkt Aktion and a monthly internal paper
called Storm.

Contact the SUF:

SUF International committee
SUF federal coordination group (Samordningsgruppen)

For addresses to local groups visit our website:

*In Swedish language “anarchosyndicalism” is synonymous with
“revolutionary syndicalism” or just “syndicalism”. The word syndicalism
originates from the French word “syndicat” meaning “labour union”.
In Latin countries the prefix “anarcho” is used to stress that it is not
just any form of labour union activity being referred to. In Sweden
however, the term itself was new, needing no prefix of any kind in order
to be defined. Swedish anarchosyndicalists are therefore referred to only
as “syndicalists”. In international relations however, we prefer to call
ourselves anarchosyndicalists to avoid any misunderstandings.


2. ::: Free public transports!
An introduction to Planka.nu*

The campaign Planka.nu has more than any other syndicalist practice during
the last years drawn attention to itself and generated debate. What has
organized free riding to do with syndicalism? That is what we will try to
sort out.
For those of you who have missed what this has been about, a short resumé:
Planka.nu was started by SUF in Stockholm and has recently gotten
subsidiaries in Gothenburg and Helsinki. The goal is free public
transportation, which certainly isn’t an unrealistic demand. The Stockholm
underground is already financed partially by taxes, but many politicians
would for ideological reasons want to raise the prices and lower the
taxes. The method used by Planka.nu has been widely debated. To encourage
free riding and running the P-kassa, a kind of solidarity fund that is
open for everyone who pays a fee of 100 SEK (about 10 euro) per month. The
fund then pays the fine of 800 SEK for those who get caught.

In Stockholm the P-kassa got started when the price of the monthly pass
was raised to 500 SEK in the autumn of 2001 and right now it has around
700 members. The subsidiary in Gothenburg hasn’t been around as long as
the one in Stockholm but has yet gotten well over a hundred Gothenburg
inhabitants to join by paying the monthly fee at the Syndicalist Forum
(anarchosyndicalist social centre and local union office of the SAC in
Gothenburg). It’s generally young people who join the fund, but the over
all response has been overwhelmingly positive. There are plenty of
middle-aged single mothers with lousy economy who have been joining and
that are thankful for the initiative.

We are not only demanding a fare free subway. We are making the subway
fare free by making it easier to free ride. This is called autoreduction.

In the autumn of 1974 hundreds of commuting workers in Turin noticed that
the bus tickets had drastically become more expensive. They wouldn’t take
it and instead printed their own tickets that were sold by the trade union
at the old price. Soon this first wave of autoreduction had stopped the
price increase in the whole region. This form of struggle spread and
workers started autoreducing their electric bills. Autorediction
committees collected the electric bills, putting the trade union stamp on
them, and then cutting the price to half before the fee was paid.
Housewives as well as trade union organized workers at the electric
companies were important participants in this explosive struggle that was
heavily condemned by the communist party. The grassroots was later run
over by the trade union management, which after an agreement with the
government started to fight the unruly autoreduction movement.

There are syndicalists that have questioned what tax financed public
transportation has to do with trade union struggle. The connection becomes
apparent however if you look at what consequences increased fares have on
the workplaces: when it becomes more expensive to live it becomes harder
to be unemployed or employed by the hour; we have to work more, generally
forced to have to accept lower paid jobs and perhaps also keep a low key
at work.
The struggle for free use values, commons, for things to be free of charge
– public transportation, healthcare, culture, leisure activities and the
likes – are linked to the struggle at the workplaces. The time we spend
travelling to and from the job should be considered as part of the working
day, even if it is unpaid. Public transport is a part of the “social
fabric” and reduced travel costs (as well as reduced costs of other kinds)
as well as higher wages are important parts of the class struggle. Just as
a strike in a workplace is a way of forcing a company to pay higher wages,
free riding should be seen as a fare strike to force politicians to lower
the prices. There is simply no other option if people refuse to pay. If we
however obediently continue to buy monthly passes even though they’re
already way to expensive, the prices will continue to increase.

The counter argument that free riders make it more expensive for other
travellers is common but incorrect. It simply doesn’t work that way in a
partially tax financed monopolized market – quite on the contrary a fare
strike is an efficient way to limit the price increase. Besides; public
transportation financed by fares is an insanely waste of resources –
tickets, ticket lines and controls cost at least a half billion SEK a
year, only in Stockholm. That is clearly money that could be used for
better purposes than making life miserable for poor people. Fare free
public transportation would mean a considerable redistribution reform: a
considerable number of people would benefit economically from a small tax
raise replacing the ticket system, while a small group of high income
earners would lose.

The goal for Planka.nu is to make the public transportation into a common,
something that is free for all to use. It isn’t just an economical issue,
but also a cultural one – we want to obstruct the privatization of what is
often referred to as “the public space” and we do not think that a society
of increased control is the way to go. The task of making the subway into
a common also feels particularly important when we hear about how the
police have been present at ticket raids in the Stockholm suburbs with the
purpose of finding and deporting “illegal” immigrants and violence by
security guards in the subway is increasing almost on a daily basis.

Contact Planka.nu at:

The word “planka” is swedish slang meaning something like “free riding” (a
verb). “Nu” means “now”. A fair translation of Planka.nu would therefor be
“Free ride Now! ”.


3. ::: No Pasaran!
SUF shuts down Stockholm’s central station.

Every year in december fascists from all over Scandinavia and northern
Europe converge in the Stockholm suburb of Salem for a parade. And every
year antifascists from all over Scandinavia tries to stop it. Usually
without any success. This has been going on since 2001 after a young
neonazi skinhead was killed in a brawl in Salem and then made into a
martyr by the swedish fascist movement. Every year they mobilise their
supporters for a “memorial parade” and to “fight anti-swedish oppression”
which the claim that they are being subjected to by a corrupt
“anti-swedish” government and an “invation of muslim aliens”. This event
has quickly become the single most important mobilisation for the swedish
far right extremist movement. In reality it is one of the few platforms
for propaganda and recruting that the swedish fascist movement has got,
making the parade extremely important for fascists all across Scandinavia.
As a consequence of coarse also important for the swedish antifascist
movement to combat. Up until now the results of the antifascist
mobilisations hasn’t been very successful in shutting down the parade. The
fascists march, growing in numbers every year, while antifascists usually
end up fighting with the police and getting arrested. The antifascists
have so far only been able to mobilise the most militant ranks of the
movement, leaving itself rather isolated, while strategies of the police
effectively has prevented any confrontations between fascists and
antifascists from happening in Salem. So every year they have marched
undisturbed. Up until now.

Last year around 2000 fascists marched in Salem. This year their numbers
were diminished to around 1200, meaning that their numbers have almost
been cut by half and perhaps more importantly; the trend of a fascist
parade that is growing every year has been halted and turned around. What
caused this? The reasons are several.
To some extent it has to do with internal conflicts within the swedish
fascist movement.
In the past years of the parade more than just fascist or neo-nazi groups
have been involved in the mobilisation and participating in the parade.
The biggest of them are Nationaldemokraterna (The National Democrats) who
to a large extent have been helping to finance the parade.
Nationaldemokraterna is not an outspoken fascist organisation, even though
they are clearly racist and part of the wider european far right extremist
movement. The are in contact with organisations like the french Front
Nacional, Brittish National Party, Belgium’s Vlaams Blok and the north
italian Lega Nord. Lately Nationaldemokraterna have been torn by both
internal conflicts (at this point the organisation have almost completely
collapsed on itself) and conflicts with the more radical parts of the
swedish far right movement, such as Nationalsocialistisk Front (National
Socialist Front, a militant neo-nazi organisation) and Info 14. These
conflicts has resulted in severe financial difficulties for the Salem
mobilisation as Nationaldemokraterna pulled out (or were expelled, the
stories differ) and has given the parade a more obvious fascist or
neo-nazi content.
But another important factor is a new strategy adopted by the antifascist
movement, a strategy where the SUF has played an important role.

This year the antifascists gave up Salem. The fascists and the police are
to many. The strategy to try to stop the parade with force has not been
working. Since both fascists and antifascists are depending on public
transportation to get there it makes it easy for the police to uphold a
complete of control over the entire area, who are entering or leaving
Salem and at what time. Confronting the fascist parade is impossible, and
confronting the police has been unsuccessful and counter productive. Since
the antifascist protests in Salem on several occations has ended up in
riots a lot of “ordinary” people have been intimidated and are not
participating. Since a very militant strategy has not been effective we
have been losing on all fronts. Declining public support and participation
on the one hand, and a failure to stop the parade with force on the other.
At the same time the fascist numbers have been growing. In the media the
fascists have been portraited as the organisers of a peaceful and
diciplined parade, while we have been portraited as troublemakers (even
though the fascist cause in general is in no way supported by swedish
mainstream media). The fascists have been able to set the agenda.
Something had to change.

The idea for this year was to leave Salem for the fascists to march. Since
the parade itself seemed impossible to stop, this years strategy focused
on sabotaging the fascists abilities to mobilise their supporters to Salem
on the one hand, and mobilise a broader antifascist movement in a peaceful
manifestation on the other. This strategy proved itself effective.

SUF together with different groups of AFA (Antifascist Action) proclaimed
a complete shut down of Stockholm’s central station. We would form a
mobile blockade, constantly in motion and all together with a massive
presence in all parts of the station. The idea was not to have to confront
the police, but instead for once try to use the massive police presence to
our advantage. The largest part of the blockade was made up of small and
mobile groups, impossible for the police to control or confront. Weather
the police liked it or not their presence would only contribute to the
chaos created by the blockade. We would be, as the press release stated
“like a water, constantly adopting to new environments, and impossible to
stop or control”.

We would not allow trains to depart from the central station with Salem as
it’s destination. This was only partially successful, but no fascists were
able to enter the trains from the central station. Large groups of
fascists are depending on trains from the central station in order to get
to Salem, in particular younger, unorganised fascist supporters who make
out a large part (if not even the largest part) of the parade. While many
of the organised fascists get to Salem in busses, most of there supporters
are left with no other option but public transportation. Fascists planned
to converged in the central station at 1500 hours. Our blockade became
effective at 1400 hours.
As this plan was made public a couple of days before the fascist parade it
caused obvious confusion among the fascists. At first they declared that
they still were going to converge on the central station, our action would
not affect their plan. The day after they claimed that they never meant to
converge on the central station and that it basically was up to each and
everyone how they choose to get to Salem. The day of the parade there were
no instructions at all for supporters who were planning on going to Salem.
Thus probably long before we even entered the central station a large part
of the victory had already been won. By causing obvious confusion in the
fascist ranks, by having them sending out information that was constantly
contradicting itself a lot of the younger unorganised supporters probably
stayed home in fear of what could happen if they would try to converge at
the central station. At the same time the frustration among the better
organised and more militant part of the fascist movement must have been
rising. They knew perfectly well that they could try to confront us at the
central station but that this at the same time would mean that they would
probably not be able to reach Salem for their parade. They would have to
choose between their parade and confronting us. Confronting us would
probably mean that no one would reach Salem, at least not in time for the
parade. Not confronting us however, would mean that large groups of
fascist supporters would be left behind, not making it to the parade. They
chose not to confront us. That way we were able to cut the fascist numbers
almost in half without confronting a single fascist or police.

After the blockade the SUF participated in a broad and peaceful
antifascist manifestation in Medborgarplatsen in central Stockholm
together with many other groups spanding from LO (large reformist union)
to norwegian anti-racist organisations. The focus of media’s attention was
clearly the big anti-racist gathering in Stockholm together with the
blockade of the central station, the fascist parade was usually only
refered to with one or two sentences.
This way we have managed to turn the tables on the fascists. We are now
the ones who are setting the agenda. This year’s mobilisation has been a
large success for the swedish antifascist movement in its attempt to
completely stop the fascists from marching in Salem.


4. ::: The assembly line of education
About the role of the school system in capitalist society; from the
autonomous class struggle conference in Malmö

Now is the time for the revolutionary left to start talking about
education and class struggle in the classroom. Struggle inside the
eductaional system should be one of our main platforms for class struggle.
This is our small contribution to the development of new strategies in
that direction.

Captalism and its schools
To understand antything about the school system and how it works you have
to look at the bigger picture. A lot of left-wingers tend to isolate
education from its naturally poltical perspective and hence fail to
understand the real function of schools in capitalist society. The
educational system has not been constructed and maintained by capital and
the state to enligthen people or make our lives better. It has three
important functions: to keep up class divisions, to produce loyal workers
and to produce loyal citizens. The system of grading individuals efforts
is central in making sure the right people end up in the right positions:
excellent marks for a minorty of bosses and capitalists, more or less
lousy marks for the majority making sure they end up with no confidence
and normal jobs and finally average marks for the pupils that might become
future beurocrats and do the bosses dirty work.

Maintaing discipline
The things we are forced to work with in school are of no great
significance as one main focus of education is to discipline us. It is the
WAY that we learn that really matters, not the content of our schoolbooks.

Throught grading efforts and attandance check-ups we are taught to show up
in time and work hard. They try to shape us to be the kind of worker that
the capitalist system requires. One obvious example of how this works is
that you can see the same bells in school yards telling kids when
break-time is over that were often used in factories. The whole process of
learning is constructed like an assembly line, everyone is to learn
certain bits and pieces of knowledge according a production plan and
become a disciplined worker.

But as work in society has started to change, as has the work in the class
Pupuils are expected to cooperate in groups and take their own intiatives
because these are qualities required by the bosses. The most obvious trend
lately is that work is delegated to small groups of pupils that are
supposed to push each other to the limit to get a good group-grade. These
are the same structures used in many factories and workplaces to speed up
the work pace. The point of this type of structure of learning is to make
us discpline our selves and feel responsible for what we produce.

Obviously the educational system also have have some ideological
functions. One of the more important ones being to make us think that an
other world is impossible and that we are worthless and stupid if we
cannot cope with pointless work they set us.

But most pupuls do not stand passive as they are being disciplined -
instead they resist. To improve their situation and to expand the amount
of controll they have of their lives, pupils use different methods for
struggle that may seem to be a-political och not part of a wider class
struggle. Teachers try their hardest to label this as laziness and

Cheating and cutting classes are two common forms of struggle that
confronts the essence of capitalist education as we refuse to work for our
bosses. Cheating eats away at the core function of the grading system. If
used in an even larger scale that it is today it might topple the wholse
system that builds on rewards only being exchanged for their controll of
our labour as we refuse them both our labour and being controlled when

As long as these struggles are carried out by single individuals they will
change nothing - but at a collecitve level they might make a difference
and undermine the capitalist education system as well as generate further
lack of respect for the establishment. The importence of solidarity and
unity also becomes clear when real life people need these virtues in real
life situations. This means that pupils involved in struggles learn a lot
about how to organise themselves and stick together in future workplaces.
Hence these struggles contain something very radical and challange the
logic of wage slavery where rewards (good grades) are linked to
performance (school work).

What is to be done?
The left occupies it self with spreading propaganda for our organisations,
fight for more resources and against problems like sexual harassment and
racism in the schools. These are not necesarrily bad things, but we need
new and radical perspectives. As revolutionaries we need to struggle not
only to make our time in school more endurable, but also to fight against
the function of schools inside capitalism and for new types of education.
Instead of an assembly line where loyal workers are produced we need to
fan the flames of resistance and create young and disobedient working
class troublemakers.

The important may not always be what we accomplish but HOW we accomplish
it. We claim that there is an important difference between achieving
results through collective direct actions or through representative pupils
councils who negotiate with management without mobilising students. The
pupils councils actions won't result in new collective experiences of
struggle and will often even become pacifiying as they teach us not to
deal with problems directly and by ourselves.The pupils councils tend to
become representatives of pupils instead of being a part och a fighting
collective, and we should keep clear of them.

The problem with class struggle in the schools is that people tend to
start the wrong way around. The traditional way of focusing on building an
organisation, for instance an independent students union, most often lead
to situation where the means become the end. Developing an organisation
based on our own experiences to aid the ongoing struggles between pupils
and management might instead be a more dyanmic way or organising.

If these struggles do not need formal organisations to expand there is no
need for us to waste time and energy in builing these structures. Formal
organisations also make up excellent targets for management attacks. Our
experience is that the individuals in the formal organisation often try to
clam down the pupils involved in struggle not to get in to trouble
themselves, as they know they will be help accountable by teachers. If a
goal is to make school work easier it might be more strategic to start an
email list to exchange homework answers instead of builing up a load of
formal red tape.

This does not mean that formal organisation always are pointless. They
have their strong sides and their weak sides. We must examine these and
ask ourselves what it is that we need to achieve our specific goals
instead of always following the same formula. If we are to win larger
battles we will probably need formal organisations.
To not be isolated in small groups of friends or in separate classroom and
to connect different bodies of pupils in different schools we need some
type of strucutre. But all forms organising, formal or informal, has to be
built from below and based on real experiences and struggles to be make

Written to be used as a platform for discussion by SUF-Malmö during the
class struggle conference "Vår Makt" in Malmö November 2004.
Translated january 2005 by the SUF International Committee, aided by

For more info on Vår Makt, see:


5. ::: What's on the horizon?
SUF launches a nation wide campaign on the situation for young people on
the summer jobs.

19 of 25 local groups of the SUF met in Uppsala during the last weekend of
january for our yearly congress. So what can be exepcted from the SUF in
the months to come?
The meeting agreed on doing a nationwide a ”summerjob”-campaign, focusing
on the situation for young people during the summers. Summer jobs are
usually young peoples first contact with work; kids are forced to take
shit jobs to support themselves during the summer. Many are paid extremly
low wages and are working under precarious conditions.
The large reformist unions are not paying these groups, young and
precarous workers, much attention, and most of them are not organized.
This particular part of the workforce are also considered possible to
exploit even harder, as they are young, precarious and not exepcted to be
causing troubble.
This campaign will be launched on the first of May, and our present
ambition is to try to connect a coordinated nationwide launching of the
campaign with the EuroMayday. The dates has also been set for two main
days of action in the month of may. The days of action will focus on the
situation for young precarious workers and will connect to our campaign.
These actions will be nationwide coordinated actions agains targets or
symbols of young peoples shit wages and general situation of
powerlessness. More specific information on the actions will be released
in time.
The meeting also expressed the ambition to support the european days of
actions in connection to the EuroMayday.
The SUF will also particiapte in the mobilisation against the G8-summit in
the UK this summer.

For more info on the summer-campaign and the days of action, check out:
www.sommarjobb.cc (will be upp shortly) or www.suf.cc

For more info on EuroMayday

For more info on the G8-mobilisation
::: International newsletter of the SUF ::: Jan 005
Swedish Anarchosyndicalist Youth Federation > ik@suf.cc > www.suf.cc

::: International committé of the SUF > ik@suf.cc > www.suf.cc

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