LAST MONTH we described how some members and supporters had been discussing how Solidarity Trade Union could move up a gear - especially in respect of our policy of workers building their own “political and economic counter-power."
We reported that two comrades had come up with specific ideas relating to building the “infrastructure of a mass media of news and entertainment.”
A Scottish comrade suggested a new national leaflet, You and the Bankers’ Swindle. This hard-hitting leaflet would “list the devastating consequences of the financial meltdown for people's livelihoods”.
Another comrade - from Ulster - suggested producing Solidarity, an agitprop-style ‘street’ publication.
Issue 1 of Solidarity is just a couple of weeks away from production. Therefore, we spoke to our comrade to find out more about it. He explained the need for such a publication:
“I’m neither a red nor a reactionary. I’m as opposed to capitalism as I am to communism. I read as many papers – from differing political perspectives – as possible. However, there’s not a trade union or workers’ paper out there that really interests me.
The mainstream media is just as bad. The papers are either union-bashers or support the establishment unions. Therefore, there’s a real need for a street publication that supports the interests of ordinary British workers.”
He said that Solidarity should just be a very simple publication – black and white double-sided A4. To compete with other more colourful publications, it would rely on eye-catching headlines combined with striking artwork or pictures.
The first few issues of Solidarity would be produced on an ad hoc basis. They would be largely ‘experimental’. And they would be solely web-based and viraled out.
The initial production schedule would be very modest – probably quarterly or bi-monthly. However, our Ulster comrade was adamant that Solidarity should eventually become a daily paper. “This will take a lots and lots of work, but I’m convinced that it’ll be worthwhile”.
Our comrade noted that because Solidarity would be a very simple publication, it would be very cheap to produce. It could handed out on the streets and leafleted with. It can also be distributed at the work place and so on.
“It will always be posted up on the union web-site first.
However, it has actually been designed so that members and supporters can get it printed up locally. One person could, say, get 50 photocopies made up. Others could club together and get a few thousand printed up.
Thus the key to the production and distribution of Solidarity lies in the support and initiative of union members and supporters.
The beauty of this is that it won’t eat into central union funds at all. There may be the odd occasion where the union’s National Executive decides to print Solidarity centrally – maybe to launch a national campaign – but on the whole, membership fees will be used solely to fight for the rights of union members.”
It’s anticipated that this method of producing Solidarity could act as a template for various national, regional and trade-based agitprop publications. For instance, the first issue of Ulster Worker has already been mooted. Other comrades are also interested in producing an Essex Worker.
As we noted earlier, the first issue of Solidarity will be out within a couple of weeks. All patriotic trade unionists should get ready to viral it out via various web-sites, blogs, forums, discussion groups twitter, Facebook and so on.
Help us to build a real alternative to the leftist and capitalist mass media!