Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Direct Action, 1919

by J. R. Campbell

image from Red Clydeside collection

This pamphlet, published in 1919, advocates workers' adoption of syndicalist tactics in their industrial struggles and is a rallying cry to workers to support the tactic of direct action in the workplace.

Although supported by a few prominent Clyde Workers' Committee (CWC) leaders and advocated by political parties like the British Socialist Party, syndicalism never gained widespread support amongst the skilled workers on Clydeside. Most skilled workers were too concerned with preserving and maintaining their own workplace privliges than presenting a united workers front against employers.

The principal author, William Gallacher, was chairman of the CWC at the time this pamphlet was published. Both Gallacher and co-author J. R. Campbell would later become influential members of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Source: Bissett Collection, Glasgow University Special Collections