AWL history

AWL archives at LSE library

The archives of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty and our forerunners, deposited at the library of the London School of Economics, are now catalogued and available to researchers.… The archives include all the documents and publications of the AWL and our forerunners except the most recent stuff, which is on this website or (in the case of more recent minutes of AWL committees) in electronic archives available to AWL members.

Sean Matgamna reflects on 50 years in the socialist movement. Workers' Liberty 3/26

Click here to download pdf. How and why the AWL tendency started in 1966 Finding my way to Trotskyism, part 1: the "manacles" of nation and class Part 2: from "communism" to "orthodox Trotskyism" How the dockers won solidarity, and how they lost it The AWL: from "orthodox Trotskyism" to the "Third Camp" Debating theories of the USSR The dilemmas of "communism" Sean Matgamna: would my 18 year old self say to me now: "you are on ‘the far right of the far left’"? Working Class Life in Ennis in the Mid-Twentieth Century: Sean Matgamna Examines His Own "Roots and Branches" What is to be done?

Vale Rod Webb, 1943-2020

Without Rod Webb, there may not have been a consistent group of supporters of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty in Australia, advocating the ideas and principles of third-camp Trotskyism. It was because of Rod that I became a Trotskyist, and because of people he put me in touch with, even after he became less active himself, that I discovered the literature of the forerunners of the AWL, made contact with Martin Thomas, and helped to establish Socialist Fight, as a group of co-thinkers of the now AWL. This is part obituary, and part story of how Rod’s ideas and connections contributed to the...

Our online archive

A page on our website has links to archives of our publications right back to 1966-7. A recent addition is a file (with some gaps) of the Internal Bulletin of Workers’ Fight (a forerunner of Workers’ Liberty) from 1972-5. We appeal to older readers to help (from their own archives, or by asking round) with the missing bulletins, and with other items we can’t trace (like some issues of industrial bulletins produced in the 1970s, The Hook, Real Steel News, etc.) or have only damaged copies of (Socialist Organiser 326 and 327).

Archive, 1967 to date

Archives of the publications of Workers' Liberty and its forerunners back to 1966-7

Bob Sutcliffe 1939-2019

Bob Sutcliffe, a well-known Marxist economist for over fifty years, and at one time a comrade of ours in the Workers’ Socialist League of 1981-84, died on 23 December 2019, aged 80. I last talked with Bob about 10 years ago, when I was seeking interviews and discussions with Marxist economists about the 2007-8 crisis and its aftermath. Bob explained that his health was bad, and he couldn’t contribute, but he was, as ever, friendly, helping me with introductions to other economists. He was then, and had been for some years, working as a university teacher in the Basque country of Spain. When I...

The left and the election

On 29 October Labour for a Socialist Europe is meeting to discuss its plans, including plans to organise an internationalist-left profile within the Labour campaign in the general election likely to come soon. A basic leaflet is being printed, and an L4SE video has been produced. Other materials being discussed include: • short “position papers” or “explainers” on a range of issues, to be available on the website and printable in short runs or from pdfs for street stalls and hand-to-hand use: Green New Deal, public ownership, union rights, etc. • posters • stickers • tote bags Everything is...

Corbyn in the 1980s

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity. We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. But Corbyn has the record of an honorable, serious left-winger, who - unlike many others who had some association with Socialist Organiser in the 1980s - did not change his coat in the years of Blair's New Labour...

Documents from inside the WSL, 1981-4

Before the 1981 fusion ICL-WSL-discns-Nov-Dec-80 ICL-WSL-discns-Oct-Nov-80 Joint-NC-discn-Jan-81 June 1981 joint discussion bulletin Previous old-WSL conference bulletin Internal Bulletins 1981 to 1984 Draft constitution Adopted constitution Draft fusion platform Adopted fusion platform Late amendments to fusion platform Organisation document IB000g-final-org-document IB001-Jan82 /IB002-Jan82 IB003-Feb82 IB005-Apr82 IB006-May82-Carolan-Falklands IB007-Jun82-Tendency-on-Falklands IB008-Jul82 IB009-Jul82-Carolan-Falklands IB010-Jul82-Cunliffe-and-PO-Falklands IB011-Jul82-Ellis-Falklands IB012...

Corbyn is reactionary on Europe

Labour’s victory in the Peterborough by-election on 6 June was of course good news. It was also bad news. It seemed to vindicate the Labour leadership’s political cloak-work and shilly-shallying on the EU. In the 2016 referendum Labour fought Brexit. Now, behind the attempt to avoid alienating either the Remainers or the Brexiters, by fudging and mudging, the Labour leadership are committed Brexiters. They want Brexit, a soft Brexit, yes, but Brexit is Labour’s policy, no less than that of the May government — Brexit, and refusal to commit to a “people’s vote” that would include a Remain...

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