Tips for Radicals

Aiming to be a "blog of the gaps" to cover things that other radical blogs often miss — what we want, our journey there, and issues along the way.

To help you searching the blog, I use the following tags to categorise posts:

  • theory - ways of structuring the world
  • strategy - plans to achieve the theories
  • tools - specific ways to (help) achieve the strategy
  • tips - advice that could help you in your life and action
  • examples and analysis of existing campaigns

For more info, see the about this blog page.

Please send in your own blog posts, links, comments, or article ideas either as a submission or an ask - always welcome.
"if you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy."
– a. toffler

"What can we do today, so that tomorrow we can do what we are unable to do today?"
– Paulo Freire


I also run a more scatter-shot blog full of incoherent rants and tumblr arguments. Sorry about that.

Recent Tweets @tipsforradicals
Posts tagged "workers"
VICTORY!!!! ARAMARK, the catering company at the University of London, has announced that it will offer improved holidays and sick pay to employees at the University, to bring them in line with the terms and conditions recently offered to cleaners, porters, and security. This means that within the next couple months, there will no longer be any outsourced workers at the University of London on statutory sick pay or holidays!! HASTA LA VICTORIA!

3Cosas Campaign at the University of London: Sick Pay, Holidays, Pensions

Direct action gets the goods, again! Love it when a campaign wins… check out their Facebook page to see recent actions they’ve taken (largely strikes with a well-funded strike fund).

Egypt: The self-management of Port Said and the workers’ struggles

An unprecedented situation is taking place in the city of Port Said - complete self-management, a rejection of everything that authority represents. It is a situation that the main actors in the Egyptian struggle at this time - the workers - are trying to reproduce in other cities too.

Port Said is now completely in the hands of the people. At the entrance to the city, in place of the old police roadblocks, there is a checkpoint manned by locals, mostly striking workers calling themselves the “popular police”. The same is true for the traffic - no more traffic cops but young men, students and workers who are self-managing the city’s traffic.

Morsi’s government has agreed to recall the police because of the irrefutable video evidence which shows policemen shooting and killing demonstrators in cold blood, but also because it is convinced that a city could never be able to self-manage itself alone and that Port Said would sooner or later ask the government to intervene in order to quell the riots that would probably break out. Instead the reality is much different and demonstrates that a city without the “forces of law and order” is safer and more liveable.

Read more

amodernmanifesto:

The word capitalism is now quite commonly used to describe the social system in which we now live. It is also often assumed that it has existed, if not forever, then for most of human history. In fact, capitalism is a relatively new social system.

[For a brief historical account of how capitalism came into existence a couple of hundred years ago, see Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto]

But what exactly does ‘capitalism’ mean?

(via thepeoplesrecord)

…woah.

There are loads of news articles covering it (e.g. AFP), but I haven’t seen much from radical sources even though it’s the second day already.

mortauxvaches said:

do union leaders negotiate with management because of their privilege or because the function of trade unions within class society is to manage workers’ discontent and politicize and pacify their rage?

in response to a post last night about union leaders

I think there’s two ways of looking at it. I agree that trade unions do (nowadays after anti-union laws) in practice just manage workers’ discontent

but I don’t think that’s why people want to lead them. I think people want to lead them because they’re genuinely [a] so sure of themselves [b] a bit contemptuous of other workers (and their capacity to self-lead), so they decide they would be a better representative for their union (than, say, recallable delegates from directly democratic workplace meetings). that’s what I was getting at with the “privilege” comment

basically, I’m distinguishing between the effect an institution has in our world (what you’re saying), and the reasons it is reproduced in our world (what I’m saying)

thoughts, anyone?

It was at this point that ‘solidarity’ became more than just a word. It was a realisation that we all shared the same interests and could only really fight for them together. It went from being an abstract concept into a real shared experience. In a reversal of the usual roles, We arranged a meeting with the manager. A friend in another department later messaged me asking ‘why were you all marching your manager through the office?’, so it was something that didn’t go unnoticed. We aired our grievances and specifically told him that we needed a pay rise. We had arranged it beforehand that we would all take turns in telling him what our low pay was doing to us and the difficulties we were encountering because of it. This was so that there were no ‘ringleaders’ or people to put on the spot. We had all called this meeting. We all wanted more money. Deal with it.

Winning Together - Collective Identity and Workplace Action

Great case study from SolFed about going from an apathetic tech industry office, to an organised and militant collective force.

If effort and sacrifice is what is rewarded, then if your team comes up with some new equipment or new processes which make the work easier, then you would have to do keep them secret, in order not to have your pay reduced. And of course this would be highly detrimental to society as a whole - as a rational economy would be based on trying to minimise the amount of work and effort which would have to be done.

A worker’s critique of parecon, from libcom.org

An interesting overview of how participatory economics (parecon) may struggle to move into the real world if workers retain the same attitude to work as they do now in capitalism.

Former GM workers sew their mouths shut and start hunger strike

Seven members of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-Workers of General Motors Colmotores (ASOTRECOL) have sewn their mouths shut and started an indefinite hunger strike until General Motors meet their demands.

Between 2008 and 2011, General Motors in Colombia fired many workers who sustained injuries during the course of their work.

Work related injuries were widespread throughout the factory. Workers developed repetitive strain injuries, affecting hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders – as well as spinal injuries due to heavy lifting, and hands being ripped off in machinery.

To end the hunger strike - ASOTRECOL demands that General Motors agree to:

  1. Recognise their injuries as occupational.
  2. Assume the costs of the corresponding medical treatment.
  3. Pay pensions or disability to those who are so severely injured that they can no longer work or can only work part-time.
  4. Compensate workers for the economic damage that they have suffered, including lost wages and lost homes.

The hunger strike is now in its second week, and General Motors continue to ignore the worker’s demands.

Read more

godlesscommiequeer:

When someone tells you that they got rich through hard work, ask them, ‘whose?’

godlesscommiequeer:

When someone tells you that they got rich through hard work, ask them, ‘whose?’

(via ceborgia)

An article how Americans can learn liberation from Brazil’s struggles.

The main points are: widespread unionisation across all sectors (even banking); existence of a decent political party that cares about justice; global solidarity to support workers’ struggles in other countries, to keep living standards high for all.

Their way led to a diversion of revenue to welfare and a sense of morals in at least parts of the financial sector. I know tactics can’t be universalised, but still, quite a good insight.