How to do it yourself instead of relying on corrupt and arrogant wankers to screw it up for you… a first draft
To stop this corrupt system of wankers taking the piss, stealing our money and then taking away everything else we‘ve got, we’ve decided to come up with some DIY guides of things we can do to take back control of our lives. The reason we have to do it ourselves, of course, is because of the useless bastards on the left who pretend they’ll sort it for us, but usually just piss and moan (demonstrate and sell papers) and would probably screw us over as well given half a chance.
Who knows what’s best for you other than you?
Is your library, swimming baths, law centre or community centre going to be shut down? Thought about occupying it? No? Here’s a couple of reasons why you should…
Protest – nothing sends out a message like a prominent public building being taken over by a rowdy cru and then decorated with banners, filmed and phtographed by the press and used to hold public meetings. You can even occupy your local council chambers or admin buildings in protest.
Take over – If it’s being completely shut down and you can no longer protest, but you love the place, take it over. Maybe set up a co-op (more later) to run, and make sure it’s run in the community’s interest, not for profit (that is how we got in this shit in the first place). it can and will be difficult at first, but taking control of our resources for ourselves is a step towards controlling things ourselves.
Nonetheless we shouldn’t have to be running this stuff ourselves whilst others make cash of our backs – so this space should be used a space to pressure the council and the government to get our cash back. And to build a space where we teach ourselves how to get self reliant, support our community, make our own jobs, and get real democracy going on.
Check out the Library and council occupations in London
So you’re getting laid off, maybe your whole business is being shut down, but you’ve been grafting there for ages and they’re gonna leave in you in the lurch. Well occupations have been used to great affect in the past few years in the UK, US and Ireland to do the same as mentioned above.
Protesting – When the boss can’t sell on his business because you’re inside it puts you in a pretty strong bargaining position! Once inside it is a good idea to use the squatters laws (check section 6 – LINK) to buy you some time and then to reach out to other organisations for support.
In the cases of both Vestas and Visteon in the UK the workers were able to negotiate better deals for themselves and build a broad support in the community.
In Argentina they have gone one step further and have taken over their workplaces and continue to use them to produce. they found that when you took away managers massive salaries and their wasteful investments that not only did the places work all right, but in fact workers made more money and more resources were ploughed into the community. theer are over 300 factories now under workers control in Argentina.
Don’t expect the current Unions to do shit for you, they can’t and they wont. They’ll manage job losses, tell you it’s all OK and that everyone tried their best, but these things are unavoidable. Whatever pile of crap it is you’re having to swallow – pay freezes, longer hours, worse conditions, jobs getting lost – it’s always the same line.
But we need to get organised, so what to do? Well you can check out small but on it Unions that are out there, such as the IWW, and Solidarity Federation (links on the website), where you can have dual membership. You can still be in your big Union, but still building a local branch with these others that are prepared to go that step further (and they’re v. cheap to join – £1 a month) and build in different ways.
The great thing about these Unions is that not only are they up for, but they don’t care with you work in a shop or phone centre, whether you’re unemployed, temp or a pensioner whether you’re in the UK or Guatemala.
This means that if you want to shut down a business you can call upon the whole community, whoever they work for, to come and picket (this worked effectively against Starbucks in the US LINK). It means that if you’re unemployed or a pensioner and getting cheated out of your benefit you can get support. It means that temp workers don’t get left out in getting better working conditions and pay.
Again this is about doing it yourself, it doesn’t sound easy, and it ain’t, but it’s better that than either repeating the fuck ups of the past, or just lying down and taking the shit we’re being given now.
Don’t forget that there is an estimated £120billion of corporate tax avoidance each year (HMRC say it baby!) yet the price of everything is going up, wages are going down, we’re loosing our jobs, our community spaces and our NHS are gonna get shafted – you gotta know it’s organising time!