Working Class Unity Against Racism and Fascism March
The James Larkin tribute and commemoration march held in Liverpool on Saturday 21st July 2012 proved to be a trial of nerves and patience for all involved. Organised as a trade union solidarity and anti-fascist march, it was hampered from the start by people led to believe it was an IRA march.
The assembly point was Combermere Street off Park Road, where a plaque on the Globe pub commemorates the Liverpool born trade unionist and founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers' union, James Larkin. He believed workers have no country, and only have the red flag as their own class identity, being an all-round internationalist and revolutionary, militant trade unionist. He was crucially involved in the United States labour movement, Industrial Workers of the World, and the republican socialist-influenced movement in Ireland.
The march wended its way through Liverpool cops to the cathedral where a rally was held and support given to Spanish miners and others striking against government cuts and austerity measures.
At the end of the war of nerves march, Billy Hayes (general secretary of the Communication Workers Union), Alec McFadden (Merseyside TUC), Paul Jenkins (Unite Against Fascism spoke. As well as them, Adam Ford (one of the organisers) gave a good spiel too! Not forgetting our younger supporters (the Occupy Liverpool activists) and the cream on the cake the redoubtable socialist singers. The Irish Patriots band kept the momentum and morale of the marchers at high level - big up to them all.
So who the hell was James Larkin?
Along with James Connolly, he was instrumental in agitating for better working conditions for people amongst dock workers, poorly paid warehouse and manual labourers. During the Dublin lock out of 1914, they received world wide support from the international working class, before the 1916 Easter rising was put down ruthlessly, with Connolly executed. Connolly himself was a founding member of the ITGWU, fighting on the slogan neither king nor Kaiser but socialism.
Why then do we celebrate such people? To quote a philosopher "we seek not to laugh or cry but to understand", the masses were being dragooned into a pointless world war in France, with the generals slaughtering millions on behalf of capital. Connolly, Larkin and others thought fight yes, but for better conditions, an end to grinding poverty, slum houses and food scarcity. Not for the ruling class banner the Union Jack or 'butcher's apron'. What does King George or any royal have in common with people, living ten to a room, starving day to day, living hand to mouth existence? The surprising answer is nowt, but if you said this then or today it transpires you are labelled a traitor an enemy of the state - a dangerous radical or revolutionary.
Well we’ve got news for the knuckleheads of the EDL and other people caught up with them, we intend to fight, but not the way they think. We want better services for people in Liverpool, more jobs for the young, more Sure Start centres, more libraries, less rich tax dodging scum, less people fostering racism, hatred of gays, blacks or any minority, and less bankers and above all royal parasites to feed off our backs.
Watch this space. No pasaran.
Comment left by Steve Higginson on 5th August, 2012 at 16:25
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