(AA) ++ Anarchy on the Waterfront

esperanto (lingvoj@lds.co.uk)
Fri, 18 Oct 1996 13:14:37 +0200



Dozens of Anarchists affiliated to
mainstream anarchist groups
across Britain took part in the dockers'
and Reclaim the Streets actions in
Liverpool on the weekend of 28th and
29th September. Hundreds, possibly
more, of unaffiliated anarchists with
small 'a' took part in some of the more
militant actions over the weekend.

On the march, on the Saturday,
there was only one Labour Party
banner. The contrast between
Liverpool that weekend and
Blackpool and the Labour Party
Conference of the following week
could not have been greater. As one
Labour Party member remarked
afterwards: "These young people are
not interested in the Labour Party,
they are more interested in the
anarchists and that lot."

After the trouble and arrests on the
Monday, a docker told us that Bill
Morris of the Transport & General
Workers Union had threatened to
withdraw his union's support for the
dockers if they didn't stop associating
with the anarchists. The dockers
replied, I understand, that the union
hasn't been giving much support as
it is.

After the arrests on the Monday
during the mass picket, The Daily
Telegraph reported that: "Police
blamed anarchists for the majority of
the trouble". But as one correspondent
said on television news: "The Reclaim
the Streets demonstrators were
welcomed, and indeed invited, by the

Since the weekend of action dockers
have told us that everyone has been
uplifted by the action. At Rochdale
Labour Club two dockers told a support
group meeting that they had nothing
but praise for the anarchists' action.
The result was a massive cost of
=A3150,000 to the police, who failed to
stop the Reclaim the Streets activists
getting on top of the roof of the Mersey
Docks & Harbour Co. headquarters
and on the cranes, or the mainstream
anarchists from breaking through the fences.

Other actions included a tug-boat strike in
the Port of Liverpool in solidarity with the
dockers' action.


ln Sweden there was a 24-hour strike at three
ports involving a refusal to touch all ACL
containers. ACL is an American company
which uses the Mersey port and has suffered
as a result.

In Denmark there was a one-day strike at one
port and in Odense a three-hour stoppage. At
the Australian ports there was a go-slow on
ANL containers. Two containers were filled
instead of twelve.

In Spain the Co-ordinadora unions plan a
one-hour strike on 28th October, which will
be backed by the anarcho-syndicalist CGT.
The LAB, the Basque nationalist trade union,
took action on 30th September at Bilbao. In
the ports of Barcelona, Vigo and Valencia the
CGT (anarcho-syndicalist) refused to move
anything on 30th September.


In the North West of England support activity
for the dockers is accelerating. On Thursday
10th October Bury Unemployed Workers
Association is holding a public meeting. The
following Thursday, 17th October, the
Manchester Dockers Support Group is
holding a public meeting at the Town Hall
While on Friday 18th October Rochdale's
Liverpool Dockers Support Group is having
an evening of solidarity with the Liverpool
Dockers at the Hungarian Club.

No wonder the Mersey Docks share price is
near to rock bottom - down to 355p after being
at 456p earlier in the year, the share value
being almost 500p in September 1995 when
the lock-out started.