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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
  Cold Off The Presses
  Anarchist History
  Worldwide Movements
  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War

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ority. Let us consider the example of Coventry, a very compact town devoted entirely to engineering. Such a town does not depend on road transport proportionately as much as London does. Nor is Coventry a railway centre. So, in Coventry the strike was limited to the railmen, a small body of busmen and a few printers. The case of Coventry was repeated in hundreds of other towns given over to engineering, textiles and chemicals; the strikers were to be small bodies of trade-unionists separated from the mass of their fellow-workers.

Fortunately the workers thought differently. Again we shall take the case of Coventry as being typical of the whole country. The workers thought differently. Again we shall take the case of Coventry as being typical of the whole country. The workers of the Armstrong-Whitworth Aircraft Co. trudged gloomily from Coventry to the aerodrome on Whitley Common. Arriving there they found the hangars guarded by the military. The first arrivals refused to enter while the place was under military control and when their numbers increased a decision to join the strikers besieged the district offices of the A.E.U. and sent small parties to the auto factories to inform their fellow engineers. The aircraft workers successfully demanded a district aggregate meeting of A.E.U. members and the meeting decided to close the engineering shops of the city on the 6th of May. Much the same was happening in many parts of the country. The workers were making the strike general.


Nor were the workers content to spread the strike - they had to make it effective. Immediately they turned their attention to transport picketing. The stoppage of rail and road transport was almost complete the first day. In London only 40 of the 5,000 buses ran; in most towns no attempt was made to run tram or bus services throughout the strike. But quickly the student and middle-class blacklegs appeared on the roads, mainly to drive lorries.

The almost instinctive strategy of the masses

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