This month marks the centenary of the great 1912 East End Jewish tailors’ strike, which saw 13,000 immigrant sweatshop workers walk out on strike. Three weeks later, on 25 May 1912, the bosses capitulated – they’d won.
Following the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, it is important to remember not just the day itself, but where it came from. The most important thing about what happened on that day was how the other major East End community – the largely Irish dockers – came out in solidarity with the Jewish community in Whitechapel. The roots of this solidarity lie in the strikes of the Great Unrest period more than 20 years before.
The super-fast radicalisation of the student demonstrations caught everyone by surprise. Direct action is on the agenda again and it’s coming from a group people discounted as being “the children of Thatcher” and dismissed as being fundamentally consumerist and non-radical.
This year’s ADM had lots of highlights, but one of the main ones for me was the success of the fringe event I organised with the Irish anarchist organisations Organise! and my old Dublin comrades the Workers Solidarity Movement (WSM). Proving that anarchists are capable of organising, there was a pretty good turn-out at the event planned to mark the 50th anniversary of Rudolf Rocker‘s death.