2011 May.– Australian Anarcho-Syndicalism 30 years on

With the election of the O’Farrell Liberal Government in NSW in April of this year, an

acceleration of the employer offensive is expected. Particularly associated with it, is a

move to privatise public transport. Steps in this direction is the removal of guards on trains and

the introduction of the Public Transport T-Card. This "smart card" is also in line with moves to

establish a "Neo-Liberal Strong State". As it will greatly enhance the State’s surveillance

capacity.

The ASN (Anarcho-Syndicalist Network) publisher of the long running Rebel Worker

www.rebelworker.org , the longest running anarcho-syndicalist paper in Australian history , and

industrial papers in Transport "Sparks" www.sparksweb.org and in the NSW Fire Brigades

"Sparx", is playing an important role in resistance to this looming offensive. Most important is our

role in assisting the emergence of “Members’ Voice” during 2010 in the NSW Railways

linking militants in different grades and workplaces throughout the railways. Its pushing for

membership control of the Rail Train & Bus Union and direct action to fight the bosses’ attacks.

It’s the first such grass roots organisation to form in over 30 years in this sector. The fact that

militants have been able to form this organisation is very much connected to the defeat by

militants of moves to restructure the City Rail station network for privatisation, called "Customer Service Management" in 1999 just before the 2000 Olympics. The ASN played a critical role in assisting the militants agitation and success

at a key mass meeting associated with the campaign.

The ASN played a key role in the formation of “Kickstart” a bus workers organisation

which formed in 2002 linking militant bus workers at half a dozen bus depots in Sydney.

The first such organisation to appear in that sector in over 20 years.

In recent years, ASN members have also been active in campaigns over

tenants’ rights.

The ASN has published its various anarcho syndicalist publications from the Jura Bookshop at

440 Parramatta Rd. Petersham (prior to that 110 Crystal Street Petersham), in Sydney for the

last 20 years. Late last year we finally completed outright purchase of the building, in joint co-

operation with other non-industrial Anarchist groups sharing the building with us. Jura is now the

first fully jointly owned ASN/Anarchist resource centre ensuring the production of our

publications into the decades to come.