Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Occupy!

Workplace or institutional occupation is a tactic having an international comeback. It is ideally suited to situations where workers have little to lose and can force concessions in the most desperate circumstances. Occupation can be used by students as in the recent wave of University occupations pressuring Israeli links of UK Universities around the Gaza situation, but is also a time honoured method of working class struggle.


Poster for the Movimiento Nacional de Empresas Recuperadas (MNER), at a worker-recovered print shop, Chilavert Artes Gráficas in Buenos Aires, Argentina - from Wikipedia entry by Brian Zbriger.

Info here on recent or ongoing occupations in Ukraine, in Ireland (complete with the reappearance of the Starry Plough flag - the symbol used by James Connolly's Irish Citizen Army in the early 20th Century)and in Chicago, USA.

The plus points of occupation as opposed to other tactics are that it prevents lockouts, it actively prevents any economic activity that is not under the control of the workers, it captures plant and buildings and holds them as a bargaining chip, it is often warmer inside at this time of year (!) and last but not least it prefigures more generalised self management. Let us hope that these good examples begin to spread around the world. Things may be about to get quite exciting.

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