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Anti-Racist and Proud – Oppose Gays Against Sharia in Bristol

Bristol IWW - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 04:30

The following is a message from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants Bristol Branch to members and supporters of Bristol IWW:

English Defence League splinter group “Gays Against Sharia”, who marched in Bristol last year, have announced their intention to return to our city on 3rd March. Claiming to speak for LGBT people, they are led by racists who seek to sow division and hatred between marginalised groups to promote a fascist vision for Britain.

As LGBTQ+ people, we abhor the abuse of our identities to promote hatred of fellow persecuted groups. This is blatant pink-washing of outright racism and we intend to stand up and say NOT IN OUR NAME. We hope to build a broad and vibrant opposition to make it loud and clear that racists are not welcome to spread their disgusting hatred in our city.

The conviction of Darren Osbourne for murder and attempted murder, highlights the danger posed by Islamophobic rhetoric under the guise of “anti-terrorism”. He admitted to the court that he was inspired by former EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) and Britain First to attack Muslims and those he had been convinced were a threat, the ‘terrorists’ Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Kahn. His actions left one man dead and several others with life-long injuries.

We recognise the dangers that the normalisation of this type of speech poses to all of us and in particular to minority communities. To that end, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants are inviting queer, black and minority ethnic people, supporters and activist groups to come together to organise against hatred and racism in a demonstration of the power of our solidarity.

 

 

In the last week we, along with other groups. have been meeting to discuss ways we can support LGSM in resisting the fascists on the 3rd of March and beyond our city. The first step is to call upon our members and supporters to join us on the street for a counter-demonstration on the day. Details will be released via this event nearer the time.

Fascists not welcome in Bristol. Today, tomorrow, always.

¡No pasarán!

Categories: IWW

IWW stands in solidarity with UCU strike action!

Bristol IWW - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 14:29

Starting on Thursday the 22nd February members of the University and College Union (UCU) will begin an escalating 14-day strike during February and March against 61 universities across the UK in protest at the decision by UUK, the employers’ federation, to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension.

They are fighting this decision as these changes would result in the typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off following the changes – a change forced through by UUK’s Chairperson after talks failed due to USS refusing to back down from their extreme position. University staff have already capitulated to two previous cuts to their pensions in recent years, each time being promised that no further cuts would be necessary. Now it seems clear that these most recent plans could have always been secretly on the cards as part of a long-term strategy by university bosses and their greedy mates in USS.

In a strike ballot backed by an overwhelming 88% of voting members, the walkouts will form part of a program of increasing activity over a four week period across universities from every part of the UK. From Southampton to St Andrews, from Glasgow to Goldsmiths, members of the UCU will strike to let universities know ‘the full scale of disruption they will be hit with if they refuse to sort this mess out’ (Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary).

Why the IWW is supporting this action:

Education is one of the key parts of the IWW’s philosophy, as is the idea that ‘An Injury to One is an Injury to All’. The proposed pension changes must be viewed in the wider context of the general and relentless erosion of workers hard-won benefits and rights and its wholesale subjection to the whims of ‘market forces’. As such, we recognise that this isn’t just UCU’s battle: because an injury to them today, will be our injury tomorrow, and it is only by standing in solidarity with workers across all industries that we can fight to defend what we have won by grit and determination.

Many members of the IWW across the UK are also members of UCU, and against a backdrop of the increasing marketisation of the universities sector, with increasing workloads and worsening conditions, the IWW considers that success here would not only ensure that members pensions are protected, but will also pave the way to build a greater position of strength in which better conditions for all university staff and students can be won.

The IWW stands in solidarity with the UCU and encourages all members, whether members of UCU or not, to support your fellow workers by standing shoulder to shoulder with them in their fight.

How can I help?

  • Visit the UCU website here to find your nearest institution and head to the picket lines during strike days to show them your support!
  • Share updates from their social media pages to make sure that awareness of the strike, its causes and what universities need to do to resolve this spreads far and wide!
  • Contact Universities UK to demand they listen to the UCU and stop this attack on their members’ futures! Email info@universitiesuk.ac.uk or Tweet to @UniversitiesUK

What pickets are taking place in Bristol?

  • Thursday 22nd February – there will picket lines around the University from 8am, followed by a rally outside Senate House at 10.30, with a subsequent march down to the Wills Memorial Building.
  • Monday 26th February – picket lines in the morning as above; rally in the afternoon starting 1.30pm outside the Wills Memorial Building. UCU are hoping for a strong presence for this rally in particular as Senate is meeting inside the building at this time.
Categories: IWW

IWW Strategiekonferenz Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren

IWW Austria - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 02:28

Am 19. & 20. Mai 2018 veranstalten wir in Hamburg unsere erste interne Strategiekonferenz um den weiteren Kurs der Organisation zu bestimmen.

Aus dem Aufruf:

Weltweiter Auftrieb rechter Strömungen. Weltweite Migrationsströme. Weltweiter feministischer Aufbruch. Rückgang der Mitgliedszahlen von Gewerkschaften im globalen Norden. Welche Rolle spielt die IWW im deutschsprachigen Raum darin? Können wir eine spielen? Wollen wir? Und welche Vision brauchen wir um dorthin zu kommen? Wie müssen wir die Organsation aufbauen? Fragen über Fragen… Notwendige Antworten finden wir auf der ersten Strategiekonferenz der IWW im deutschsprachigen Raum.

 
Alle weiteren Infos gibt es auf der Konferenz-Website: konferenz.wobblies.org

Der Beitrag IWW Strategiekonferenz Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren erschien zuerst auf Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) im deutschsprachigen Raum.

Categories: IWW

IWW Strategiekonferenz Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren

IWW Germany - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 02:28

Am 19. & 20. Mai 2018 veranstalten wir in Hamburg unsere erste interne Strategiekonferenz um den weiteren Kurs der Organisation zu bestimmen.

Aus dem Aufruf:

Weltweiter Auftrieb rechter Strömungen. Weltweite Migrationsströme. Weltweiter feministischer Aufbruch. Rückgang der Mitgliedszahlen von Gewerkschaften im globalen Norden. Welche Rolle spielt die IWW im deutschsprachigen Raum darin? Können wir eine spielen? Wollen wir? Und welche Vision brauchen wir um dorthin zu kommen? Wie müssen wir die Organsation aufbauen? Fragen über Fragen… Notwendige Antworten finden wir auf der ersten Strategiekonferenz der IWW im deutschsprachigen Raum.

 
Alle weiteren Infos gibt es auf der Konferenz-Website: konferenz.wobblies.org

Der Beitrag IWW Strategiekonferenz Vorbereitungen laufen auf Hochtouren erschien zuerst auf Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) im deutschsprachigen Raum.

Categories: IWW

#DefendJ20 Letter to U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C. from the D.C. Industrial Workers of the World and Mid Atlantic General Defense Committee

D.C. Industrial Workers of the World - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:46

On Friday December 1, 2017 the Washington, D.C. General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee (GDC) Local 21 issued a letter to the United States Attorney of the District of Columbia demanding the prosecution drop the charges against all arrested in connection with the inauguration protests on January 20, 2017.

Download PDF [ here ]

Dear U.S. Attorney Liu:

On January 20, 2017, thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to protest and document the presidential inauguration. Shortly after the protest began, hundreds of participants and bystanders were illegally kettled, bombarded with pepper spray, stun grenades, and some were beaten with batons. As a result of the kettle, over 200 people were detained in a sweeping mass arrest.

Among the people arrested were over two dozen members of our union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and its affiliated legal defense and community organizing body, the IWW General Defense Committee (GDC). The IWW and GDC supports our members’ right to express their politics through protest. This is a union-wide tradition that dates back to the battles over free speech and human rights in the early 20th century led by the labor movement.

We are deeply concerned about the severe repression against all those facing charges for exercising their First Amendment right on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The charges the prosecution are pursuing are indicative of a disturbing pattern of repression against political dissent in this country and around the world. The Washington, D.C. General Membership Branch of the IWW and Mid-Atlantic GDC Local 21 demand you drop the charges against all those arrested in connection with this case.

  • For more information, resources, and ways to plug in to the defense campaign, visit DefendJ20Resistance
  • For daily updates on the ongoing proceedings, be sure to follow Unicorn Riot  on Twitter @UR_Ninja
  • Also check out It’s Going Down for weekly #DropJ20 podcasts

Categories: IWW

Rights for Migrant Workers

Bristol IWW - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:21

" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> General Information on your Rights at Work – booklet produced by IWW UK for migrant workers. Please feel free to download, share and distribute. Message us for print quality .pdf. English, Spanish, French and Polish versions included.

" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> Información general sobre sus derechos en el trabajo – Folleto producido por IWW Reino Unido para trabajadores migrantes. Por favor, siéntase libre de descargar, compartir y distribuir. Mensaje para calidad de impresión .pdf. Incluye versiones en inglés, español, francés y polaco.

" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> Ogólne informacje o twoich prawach w pracy – Broszura wyprodukowana przez IWW UK dla pracowników migrujących. Pobierz, udostępnij i rozpowszechniaj. Wiadomość dla jakości druku .pdf. Dostępne wersje w języku angielskim, hiszpańskim, francuskim i polskim.

" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> Informations générales sur vos droits au travail – Livret produit par IWW UK pour les travailleurs migrants. N’hésitez pas à télécharger, partager et distribuer. Message pour la qualité d’impression .pdf. Versions anglaise, espagnole, française et polonaise incluses.

Categories: IWW

At Work #3: Guilt

The Power Line - Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:22

I make guilt.

Some people make coffee, fix cars, package frozen food but I make guilt.

My desk is a sprawling industrial boom-town. Piles of unmarked books rise to crowd its skyline. The latest assessments jostle in for space. Year 9 mock exams, coursework for moderation all fight for the premium real estate. They are draped over the keyboard, obscuring the computer monitor, precariously bridging a gap between ‘Black Peoples of the Americas’ and stationary, the more successful will impetuously adorn multi-coloured post-it notes commanding immediacy and attention – DEADLINE NEXT FRIDAY.

My email inbox cycles and scrolls with endless requests for more data, more attention, more effort and more time. It stutters and flows like a bustling metropolitan cross-way. Sometimes pausing but never stopping. Have you had a chance to review your intervention data yet? Why haven’t you returned James’ SEN passport, it’s over the deadline? Rachael isn’t in today, could you make sure that the cover is set and the supervisor is supported?

Red pens, blue pens, black pens and purple pens for student feedback. How long has it been since you marked that year 7 set of books? If you take two boxes home maybe you can work all through Sunday and get caught up. I’ll smash them over half-term I just need to make sure that this new set of lessons is finished.

CRISIS. Email subject title – “Work Scrutiny”. (Don’t Panic). Can I have all your year 9 books by the end of the day? Shit. Shit. SHIT. I’ve been working my way through year 8 this past week. I’ll just have to take it on the chin in my next review meeting.
End of the day. Need a break. I’ve got to leave the classroom just for five minutes. Three more favours are requested on the corridor. Did you get that email I sent you? Yes, of course, I’ll help you out with that. No, I’m here until late anyway. I find another desk. It looks a lot like mine. How did you get on with your latest observation? I’m so far behind with my marking as well. I’ll have to catch up over the weekend. It feels a little too familiar. It’s a busman’s holiday.

I must be a crap teacher. Anyone else would be able to stay on top of this workload. I just need an action plan, a new list, some more planning. I’ll put an extra three hours in after work on Monday and work through lunch the remainder of the week. That should get it back under control. It’s just a matter of time and effort isn’t it? That’s what we tell the students anyway and you should always model good behaviour.

Some people teach. I make guilt.


Categories: Class Struggle, IWW

Are We Militant Unionists?

The Power Line - Mon, 02/22/2016 - 04:01

Saturday 30th January saw 2-300 of the UK’s most vicious fascists and racists descend on Dover armed with knives, knuckle dusters, bricks and nun-chucks. Billed as a ‘Unity Demonstration,’ the coalition consisted of the most violent and depraved groupings in the country, from old-timers Combat 18 to barely potty-trained National Action. Accounts of the day’s events can be read here and here.

What should be highlighted is that many see Saturday 30th as the most violent far-right mobilisation since the 1990s. The fascists came armed with lethal weapons which they pulled out during skirmishes, ready to maim, if not kill, antifascists.

How have things reached this stage? A decent analysis by the Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) can be read here. They write, ‘every successful demo for [the far-right] makes it more likely that their next demo will be bigger and more violent.’ This was written after the last Dover demo by the same Nazis, where the increase in violence from previous mobilisations was also notable. Bricks and padlocks were hurled from behind police lines, injuring several antifascists. In January bricks came with knives.

The authors point out that this rise in confidence and violence by the far right can be tracked to complacency shown by the left towards the EDL, an earlier and much tamer right-wing street movement. ‘Because we didn’t stop the EDL quickly enough, we now have openly nazi groups like National Action and Saturday’s mob operating on our streets in numbers for the first time since the early 90s.’ Antifascists more than held their own on Saturday 30th, by many accounts inflicting significantly more casualties than they took, while also suffering less arrests. However, the AFN’s predictions of increased numbers and violence were clearly borne out on the day.

Beyond the worrying development in street confrontations, the wider economic and political context is still more alarming in its potential for fascist recruitment. Deepening poverty and continued attacks on organised labour echo the historical conditions of fascist peaks in the 1920s-30s and the 1980s. Attacks on ethnic minorities, the far left and related cultural events  are also historically the precursor to a far-right force confident enough to attack organised labour. By this point, fascism will represent an embryonic mass movement which will be far more difficult to defeat than it is in its current limited, extremist form.

More than ever, the call to nip the fascist threat in the bud needs to be taken seriously by the labour movement. The IWW should lead the way in responding.

For many years in the UK the mainstream unions have thrown their lot in with UAF, if at all, in anti-racist activity. This activity has consisted of largely pointless and self-congratulatory rallies miles away from fascist lines. However, the past 5 years has seen a reconfiguration of British antifascism with the argument for militant opposition gathering credibility beyond a small hardcore, while the UAF has massively shrunken in size and influence. This reconfiguration is ongoing with links between some TUC unions and UAF reportedly wavering, while the AFN continues to fill the void left behind by UAF’s demise.

In this situation, the IWW should lead by example and affiliate to the AFN. This move would be a welcome boost to the radical left’s willingness to combat fascism and would realise the full meaning of our slogan ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.’ Affiliation would be firmly in line with the union’s history of antifascist action against the KKK and the participation of IWW members in the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. Most importantly, it would be a shrewd recognition of our immediate stake in the antifascist fight.

Practical consequences of affiliation should include regular funding of antifascist activity, active mobilisation in opposition to the far right and aggressive propaganda drives that win the argument amongst wider swathes of the working class that racism is used to divide and weaken our class by our capitalist enemies. The appeal of the far right to the working class is intimately tied to the failure of an organised left offering a proud and practical alternative to liberal capitalism. As a class antagonistic union, we are well placed to speak to those same concerns that turn working people towards fascism if starved of a left wing outlet. It is our responsibility to address to this.

Importantly, the IWW’s involvement should also firmly be on the front line. Not only must the far-right threat be dealt with ruthlessly and offensively, but the argument needs to become louder that at some point (soon), a revolutionary union must begin work in increasing the street confidence and ability of the working class.

With the continuing criminalisation of union activity – e.g. the trade union bill – specifically in response to IWW -style tactics, we have to act early to prepare ourselves for rough pickets and difficult campaigns which do not look that far away. Working class, militant antifascism is therefore a hell of a transferable skill to invest in.

The political moment presents a challenge to the maturity of the still embryonic revolutionary union movement in the UK; A real, violent danger sits on the far right, stoked by the worsening refugee crisis in Europe and powered by increasing economic despair. Unless it is opposed, it will continue to grow in size until it is confident enough to come after the labour movement.

We must cultivate our own self-belief as a militant, working class movement by taking the initiative and removing the fascist threat while it is still in its infancy. As a loud and practical step in this direction, the IWW should affiliate to the AFN.


Categories: Class Struggle, IWW

Wobchat #1 – Cymru IWW

The Power Line - Sun, 01/31/2016 - 09:02

This is a new New Syndicalist interview series aiming to bring snapshots of local IWW activity to union members around the UK and possibly further afield. In this first part, we talked to the Wales General Membership Branch.

Hey! Where in the wobbly world are you?

Wales / Cardiff

Tell us a bit about what your branch has been up to in the last couple of years.

We were only chartered at the end of 2013 so we’re just over 2 years old. In that time we have gone from 20 members to 80 members although our activity is still mostly confined to Cardiff. We are looking to spread to other towns if possible however. In Cardiff our reps have had a string of casework successes. We have started organising workers. We participate fully in the wider union and now have 4 national officers in the branch.

What was your most kick-ass achievement during that time?

We organised 8 virtually simultaneous pickets against Workfare in 7 different Welsh towns last summer! (Another town held their picket the following day so 8 different Welsh locations across most parts of Wales saw IWW activity that weekend.)

What challenges have you had to overcome?

Too much work shared by too few people. People promising to take responsibility for jobs and/or tasks but then not doing what they’d said. People having good ideas but making no effort to put them into practice. Welsh geography and poor transport links make an all-Wales branch difficult to realise – in effect we are a Cardiff branch. We have struggled to deal with a couple of personal spats between members which have led to resignations from the union.

What are your three most impressive innovations as a branch?

We have a fully bilingual policy and everything we produce for public consumption is in Welsh and English. We have an impressive recent idea that has yet to be realised of having a “hobo delegate” who will be “jumping trains” (with a ticket however) and visiting geographically isolated members around Wales with whom we have little or no contact. Three innovations is a bit much I think!

Which industries are you actively organising in?

Substance misuse workers, unemployed workers and, in the UK, incarcerated workers organising has its origins in Cardiff!

What is your training programme like?

We have not had training yet in Wales though we plan to change that very soon. A few of us (about 6 maybe?) have done some training in Bristol. Not enough training!

What is your rep team/capacity like?

We have a handful of active reps. One major problem is that reps who have full time jobs find it difficult to get time off. We struggle but get by at present. We need more trained reps, especially people who can be available for casework.

What could you be doing better?

We need to involve more people in the branch and we are trying to do that. If we knew what we could be doing better we would be trying to do it! We are a newish branch with a small core of active members and are already quite stretched without new blood coming in and sharing the load.


Categories: Class Struggle, IWW