Solidarity Federation (aka SolFed, SF) is an anarcho-syndicalist initiative formed in March 1994. We are a federation of groups across the United Kingdom promoting direct action and solidarity among the working class. Everyone involved is helping to build a non-hierarchical, anti-authoritarian solidarity movement.
What is anarcho-syndicalism?
Anarcho-syndicalism is anarchism applied to the workers’ movement. Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on non-hierarchical free associations. Syndicalism is the workers’ movement. Deriving from the French word for Trade Unionism (Syndicalisme), it seeks to unite workers on an economic basis to fight for our interests.
Are you a union?
We consider ourselves a union initiative as we are workers collaborating with each other trying to improve our working conditions. We are not – and right now don’t want to be – an official Trade Union. Having a union recognised is a very long and bureaucratic process with very few pros. For us, the important thing is not whether we are a recognised union or not, but how decisions are made to promote equal relationships between workers and develop practices that empower people. At the moment being recognised or not doesn’t change anything for us because law is made to protect bosses and business – not workers.
What is direct action?
Direct action is the tool we use in all of our work. We do not make appeals to political or economic representatives to act on our behalf, but organise to get the things we want for ourselves. Fundamental to direct action is the fact that we can only rely on ourselves to achieve our goals. While we reserve the right to take opportunities to fight for improvements to our quality of life now, the solidarity movement must always remain independent from those we are demanding these things from. Solidarity Federation will accept neither leadership, charity, nor guidance from government or business – instead, we must couple our principle of solidarity with the practice of self-reliance.
What is solidarity?
As individuals we are relatively powerless in the face of bosses, bureaucrats and the state, but when we act collectively the tables are turned. Our aim to promote solidarity in our workplaces and outside them, encouraging workers to organise independently of government, bosses and bureaucrats to fight for our own interests as a class. We face similar problems and the best way to deal with them is fighting them back together.
What is all this for?
By organising this way, we learn to act for ourselves, exercising our power without being led by union officials or political vanguards, calling into question the way society is organised and prefiguring the world we want to create – a world without bosses or rulers. This is libertarian communism.