Contents: Cost of Living | Food Co-ops | Bread Riot | Community Cupboards
The Cost of Living Crisis
Featured in Issue XIX – February 2022
In Britain, the working class is being attacked on all sides. From rapidly rising inflation rates and energy bills, to benefit cuts and the rise in the National Insurance tax. Locally, the Labour-run Wirral Council is implementing severe austerity measures, targeting libraries, leisure centres and park maintenance.
This problem is global, a crisis of capitalism. This is just one reason we don’t think a change in government is a viable solution. Instead, the way to turn the tide is through a mass movement of resistance. Clearly no such movement currently exists in Britain, but we saw oil workers’ strikes turn into a revolt in Kazakhstan in January, demonstrating how quickly things can change.
Such a movement could emerge around three tactics. Firstly, we could see a mass non-payment campaign, like the Poll Tax rebellion of the 90s or student rent strikes in more recent years.
Secondly, we could see a campaign of direct action against those responsible for these attacks on our class, using similar tactics to Extinction Rebellion, Palestine Action or Insulate Britain, but focused on businesses, and demanding a reduction in prices.
For example, the Stanlow Oil Refinery, run by Shell in Ellesmere Port, has been the site of several blockades due to rising fuel costs since the early 2000s.
Finally, and most probably, we could see a strike wave, in an attempt by workers to keep their wages in line with inflation. Large and successful strikes can have a domino effect.
In the absence of any of these campaigns, the rest of this issue is focused on direct action and mutual aid regarding food.
We certainly don’t think these things will reverse the trend of falling wages and rising prices, nevermind bring us much closer to transforming society, but it might help people survive, and rekindle a sense of solidarity in our neighbourhoods.