Sunday, 11 November 2012


     As the financial Mafia continue their plunder of the public purse in countries across Europe, and austerity bites ever deeper into the daily life of the ordinary people, there are calls for strike action. Professionals, private and public sector workers, disabled, pensioners and unemployed are all calling for action against this policy of enforced deprivation. However, there are sections of society that we don't associate with direct/strike action against the state, the military and the police. Though these groups are somehow seen by most as outside that sort of action and that they are the bulwarks of the state, history tells us a different story. Britain around the 1900's was a very rebellious country and in 1919 20,000 British soldiers went on strike and occupied Southampton Docks. 

     Following the massacre of World War I, a reminder of the strength of ordinary soldiers came from Southampton, in the middle of January 1919, when 20,000 soldiers went on strike and took over the docks. Robertson, Commander in Chief of the Home Forces, sent General Trenchard to restore military authority. Trenchard had witnessed several mutinies in the French Army and was quite prepared to employ the most ruthless measures. Nevertheless he underestimated the men as he approached the dockgate and attempted to address a reluctant audience. A chorus of boos and catcalls accompanied his remarks. The meeting came to an undignified end when a group of men took hold of him and gave him a going over before ejecting him. Said Trenchard:
"It was most unpleasant.. . It was the only time in my life I'd been really hustled. They said they did not want to listen to me. They told me to get out and stay out."
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        Then we have the police strike of 1919 which took place in Liverpool.
Again from that wealth of information Libcom.
   Shortly after the Lusitania riots came the Liverpool Police strike.* Perhaps the bobbies had just cause for bitterness, for theirs were the only wages that hadn’t skyrocketed with the war. I thought they were getting ample pay at the time but, like everyone else – excluding the manufacturer, who was the first to raise the cry of traitor to a striker – they wanted much more. It required a piece of legislation to raise the salaries of the bobbies and, as none was forthcoming, they became very restless and finally, in direct opposition to the advice of their superiors who pointed out the severity with which such an unpatriotic act would be dealt, they struck.
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      Conditions have changed since then, but we are heading into uncharted waters as far as corporate capitalism is concerned. Greece is in turmoil as the fabric of society breaks down. There are mass protests in Spain, Portugal and Italy and anger is rising in other countries across Europe. There has been struggles and unrest a plenty since 1919 but will/can the situation turn the people into a revolutionary force that once and for all destroys this stinking system of greed, repression and exploitation?
Another quote from Libcom:
      How near was Britain to a full scale revolution during these weeks? This must remain a matter for speculation. The Army was in disarray: soldiers and sailors councils and demobilisation clubs were being formed. Delegates from various camps were beginning to combine their efforts and resources. The number of strikes in Liverpool and Glasgow were increasing. There were riots in Glasgow and troops sent to occupy the streets were beginning to fraternise with the strikers and demonstrators. There were riots in Belfast and a national railway strike was imminent. From August 1918 until mid-1919 even the police force was affected by militant strike action.

ann arky's home.

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