Lutte Ouvriere and its British franchise…

The article “Leafletting on the Manchester Ship Canal” starts with the words “The turn to the class by IS is currently using the methods of factory leafletting ‘pioneered’ by L.O.”pinguelly

L.O. of course refers to the French group Lutte Ouvriere and we have here half a dozen examples of LO workplace bulletins from 1976 /7.

Whilst most of its international co-thinkers in the Internationalist Communist Union tended at first to be francophone groupings in Africa and the Caribbean, since at least the early 1970s there has been an English speaking group, The Spark, in the USA.

Moreover, since at least the late 1960s LO has published a journal in English in order to facilitate contacts and dialogue with other tendencies.

We have several copies of the Class Struggle monthly magazine- billed as “new series” so presumably there was an earlier one.

The first issue we have no 9 is from 1967 and is entirely English language. However, a decade later the magazine was appearing in an unusual bi-lingual format– English, on alternate pages, if read in one direction, and French if turned over and read from back to front!

No51 January 1978 is a wholly English language edition but by No53 the magazine had reverted to the bi-lingual format- this time English and Spanish!

It continued in that format until at least October 1979 which is where our holdings end.

In the later 1980s, a new series of Class Struggle adopted a tri-lingual format, this time having articles in three languages printed in parallel on the same page.

CLASS STRUGGLE MAGAZINE

Did this strategy pay off? Well, for a decade or more there has indeed been a British grouping affiliated to the ICU. Workers Fight publishes it own journal Class Struggle together with a pamphlet series Internationalist Communist Forum, a monthly paper Workers Fight and a series of long-running workplace bulletins for such places as King’s Cross station, Fords Dagenham and the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office…

Its website has copies of all back issues of Workers Fight as downloadable PDFs (which saves us a job!) and extensive collections of other texts.

All our Lutte Ouvriere and Workers Fight related files can be found here:

WORKERS FIGHT ICU ARCHIVE

Also of interest may be a small number of workplace bulletins from the Combat Communiste group which split from L.O. in the mid-1970s…

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Lutte Ouvriere and its British franchise…”

  1. The American affiliate emerged in 1968 from a faction fight in the Spartacist League, which had some kind of relationship with Voix Ouvriere (as it was then called). They’d both been in talks with Healy’s IC and were presumably comrades in trauma. One of the SL cadre spent a year in France and was impressed with VO’s methods of recruitment and its clandestine approach to organizing. Considering SL could barely bring out one issue of its journal a year, there was a certain amount of interest from disenchanted members and a number left. There’s an internal document from the fight available here:
    http://www.regroupment.org/main/page_ellensturner.html

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