Comment and information provided by Martin Ralph
11 April 2010
In 1982 the Liverpool Trades Council discussed many movements against Thatcher and imperialism and it condemned Thatcher’s war against Argentina. It was a militant body with a long record of supporting the national and international struggles of the working class and oppressed nations. They supported official and unofficial strikes , rent strikes, the struggle against unemployment and cheap youth labour schemes, condemned the Prevention of Terrorism Act (forerunner of today’s anti-terror legislation). In October 1982 it supported the occupation of the Croxteth Comprehensive School. It also supported the Polish Solidarnosc and condemned the Israel invasion in the Lebanon 1983.
In 1982 the executive committee had 21 members. The following information is taken from the minutes of the Liverpool Trades Council, currently held in Liverpool’s reference library.
The following resolution was passed on 8 April 1982
This trades Council condemns the war of the Thatcher government against Argentina – the sailing of the fleet to the Falklands and the sanctions on Argentina – is an imperialist adventure. It is an attempt to maintain a base that was seized from Argentina over 150 years ago.
The policies of this war government are neither concerned with military repression in Argentina nor with the interests of the Falklands population. The Trades Council condemns the jingoistic support of imperialism by the Labour leaders. A victory for Thatcher’s government abroad will mean increased aggression against workers at home. We therefore demand of the Trades Union Council (TUC) and the Labour leadership that they stand by the principle of socialist internationalism with a policy of “Down with the war. Mobilise the working-class to bring down the Tory government”.
An addendum was also carried declaring – we recognize the sovereignty of Argentina over the Falkland islands and call for the recall of the British fleet.
The minutes of the Liverpool trade Council stated that, after a lengthy discussion and after hearing many speakers the resolution and the addendum was carried.
AUEW No 3 branch 17th June 1982
That in view of the fact that the conflict with Argentina is not in the interests of the British working class and that the Tory government economic and social policy also amounts to a declaration of war on the British working class movement then that Liverpool trades council should call an immediate march and rally against this war.
We request that the trade Council support the call for opposing the war over the Falklands.
This resolution was amended as follows that in view of the fact that the conflict with Argentina is not in the interests of the British working class and that the Tory government economic and social policy also amounts to a declaration of war on the British working class movement. We call on the Liverpool trades Council to convene an immediate conference to discuss the war and its anti-working class nature and to repudiate the jingoism of the media.
The Liverpool Trades Council also agreed to organise demonstration against the war for Saturday 26th June 1982