The Swedish Anarchosyndicalist Youth Federation
A short introduction to the SUF
The SUF was founded in 1993, following a period of economic crisis and severe blows to the old social democratic welfare model. The SUF has some of it's roots in a new young militant autonomous movement that began to grow in Scandinavia in the early nineties. Inspiration also came from an older Swedish syndicalist tendency represented by the SAC. From just three groups in 1993 it grew rapidly and soon it was a national federation today made up of around 25 local groups all across the country, with several committees active within the federation. We publish a magazine called Direkt Aktion and a monthly internal paper called Storm.
Our main focus today is the situation and needs of young people in Sweden. Thus we act within a wide spectrum, from issues of housing, the struggle for the commons, to young people's rights on the job. We are not (as some people assume) a labour union for young people, thus some claim that we can therefore not be anarchosyndicalists in the technical sense. However; our idea of anarchosyndicalism expands beyond the mere daily labour union activity. In a global community where capitalist relations have expanded into all parts of society, we need a broader movement and a broader definition of class struggle. Capitalist logic is constantly present all around us, capitalism embraces the whole of society - not only between 9 to 5 in our workplaces, and therefore resistance must also expand outside of the workplaces and into all parts of society. This means that we belive it to be possible - and nessesary - to confront capitalism not only in the workplaces, but that this also must be done in schools, universities, local communities etc. This can be done in many ways and we respect and value a diversity of tactics.
Our goal is the class- and stateless society, where power is no longer in the hands of an elite and where the means of production is in the democratic control of the society. We belive in self-management and autonomy. We call this vision libertarian socialism. We are anarchosyndicalists, meaning that we promote federalism as the model of organizing and direct action as the mean of struggle. We consider the most important struggle to be the direct confrontation, the economic struggle, between the classes. This can be in the form of the traditional general strike as it has been promoted by anarchosyndicalists in history, but also in many other forms, such as organised autoreduction. We reject party politics as a mean of social transformation and we reject authoritarian models of state-socialism such as the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Instead we consider the question of how we try to implement ideas to be as vital (if not more) as the actual ideas we are trying to implement. We try to have an un-dogmatic approach to socialism. This also means that we in no way are nostalgic about the social democratic welfare state model. It is apparent, now more then ever, than it is impossible to try to build socialism "in one country". Economic globalisation has proved this. The struggle must be as global as capital itself. We reject the idea of national states and borders.
Contact the SUF:
SUF International committee
SUF federal coordination group (Samordningsgruppen)
Statement of Principles
We are living in a class society where people constantly are being divided into two groups; the working class and the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie live off - and try to control, our labor. Therefore we and the bourgeoisie are in opposition to each other and wage a constant struggle over the control of labour and the profits.
The class struggle is constantly fought in work places, schools, communities, and everywhere in society. It is always present in different forms, sometimes organized and sometimes spontaneous. SUF's role is to support, participate in and develop the struggles that are already being fought.
The working class
The working class is not a homogeneous group. The bourgeoisie tries to use our differences to pit us against each other. Racism, sexism and homophobia are all examples of structural oppression that we need to emphasize and combat. These types of oppression exists independently from capitalism and according to their own dynamics, but are strengthened by the capitalist system. The struggle against these types of structural oppression is part of the class struggle that cannot be excluded or set aside. Capitalism is international and therefore resistance must also be international. The working class has no nation.
Strategy and method
We work outside of party politics and parliament through direct action. Direct action means action without representation, that we ourselves intervene directly in the economic reality, without political parties or lobby groups. We see government as a legacy from the era of the bourgeoisie, which interests and organization is in opposition to our struggle. Therefore we are enemies of the state. Instead SUF is organized according to the principles of federalism, which means that decisions are made locally by those concerned. We are revolutionaries and therefore we must not allow ourselves to be contained by the frames of the system; laws cannot limit our methods of struggle.
Anarchosyndicalism is a long tradition of how people in class society organize to gain freedom, justice and dignity. SUF's role is to be a link between the history of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism and our concrete experiences as youths in class society. SUF is not a union, we pass on the tradition of anarcho-syndicalist struggle and defend our members and the working class in the whole society we which to change.
Our goal is social revolution, the devolvement of class society and the state, and therefore also the devolvement of its social hierarchies. In a future classless society decisions are made by those concerned and the means of production are at societies disposal.