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The Solidarity Federation (SolFed) is a federation of class struggle anarchists active in Britain. The organisation advocates a strategy of anarcho-syndicalism as a method of abolishing capitalism and the state. In 1994, it adopted its current name, having until then been the Direct Action Movement, formed in 1979.

Direct Action Movement

The DAM was formed in 1979, when anarchist syndicalists in Britain (including the Syndicalist Workers Federation which by that time had been reduced to one branch in Manchester) decided to break from the then Anarchist Federation (which is to be differentiated from the current Anarchist Federation, which grew from the Anarchist Communist Federation founded in 1986) in order to pursue a more definitely syndicalist, worker-centred strategy.

The DAM was very involved in the Miners' Strike and in a series of industrial disputes later in the 1980s. Among these were the Ardbride dispute in Ardrossan, Scotland, in a company which supplied Laura Ashley, which the DAM got international support for. From 1988 in Scotland, then England and Wales, the DAM was active in opposing the Poll Tax.

In the early 1990s, DAM members set up the Despatch Industry Workers Union, which successfully organised workers for a number of inner-city courier firms.

They were also involved in Anti-Fascist Action (AFA). AFA was an initiative of the Marxist group Red Action and the DAM, and was committed to physically combatting various British fascist and far-right groups. It often had encounters with groups such as the British National Front and the British National Party. Anti-fascist activities in places such as Liverpool, Yorkshire, Bristol and Norwich were dominated by local anarchists. Also anarchists, in particular the DAM, were the first to question the motives and tactics of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine.

Solidarity Federation

In March 1994, DAM changed its name to the Solidarity Federation. SolFed publishes the quarterly magazine Direct Action and the industrial freesheet Catalyst. Several locals and networks also publish their own newsletters.

SolFed is the British section of the International Workers Association, the anarcho-syndicalist international. Alongside the Anarchist Federation and Class War, it is one of the more prominent explicitly anarchist organisations in the UK at the moment.

Solidarity Federation members who work in the same work sector have also formed Networks. Their purpose is to promote solidarity amongst workers. Networks also use Direct Action to fight for better pay and conditions. The two existing networks are the Education Workers’ Network and the Public Service Workers’ Network.

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