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Updated: 30 min 13 sec ago

IWW Statement Against Trump's Muslim Ban

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 16:51

The IWW is a union for all workers. We oppose all forms of discrimination. Therefore, we stand firmly against Trump's recent travel ban targeting Muslims. This step towards official discrimination is an attack on all of us.

The IWW stands for organizing and building power for the most vulnerable workers, including all low-wage workers and immigrants. We are heartened to see the massive resistance that sprang up immediately after the order, with people showing their outrage at airports across the country. We are particularly excited by the New York City taxi workers who stopped service at JFK airport, and the airline workers who refused to comply with the ban. There is a palpable feeling that all decent people understand that we need to stand together on this until every non-citizen is allowed entry into the country without fear of reprisal or repercussion.

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Montana Wobblies, Antifa Out-Organize Nazis

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 12:20

Re-posted from Its Going Down

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Shooter of unarmed anti-racist walks free; authorities silent

Wed, 01/25/2017 - 21:27

From the Twin Cities GDC

Victim still in Harborview Hospital; Shooter is well-known right wing gun activist.

SEATTLE, WA, January 25, 2017 — Social media activists claim to have identified the person who shot an anti-racist organizer on the University of Washington’s Seattle (UW-Seattle) campus on Friday, January 20, 2017, as a well-known right-wing gun activist attending white nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos’ event with his wife, also a gun activist. Although the shooter shot a person in a protest situation, University of Washington Police have refused to make an arrest, and released the shooter and the person who accompanied them to turn themselves into the police early Saturday morning. King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg has not indicated any plan to pursue prosecution. Local politicians have remained ominously quiet.

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Categories: IWW

Fellow Worker and GDC Member Shot at anti-fascist protest in Seattle

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 00:31

Click here to go to the official IWW General Defense Committee fundraiser for this fellow worker. 

From twincitiesgdc.org

(UPDATE 1/23/2017: A revised press release correcting minor errors is linked at the bottom of this page.)

On the evening of Friday, January 20th, a comrade of ours was shot in the stomach in the most public place on the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle – a place called “Red Square” for the color of its bricks rather than its politics.

This Fellow Worker (what members of the IWW call ourselves) and Defender (for GDC members) is a longtime anti-fascist and dedicated activist, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the General Defense Committee of the IWW. He’s currently in critical condition at Harborview Hospital in Seattle. They have a Level One Trauma center, so it’s likely he is receiving the best quality care available, for which we are deeply grateful.

How do we respond? We are building an expanded anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-fascist presence in Seattle, and this person was spearheading that effort. Are others willing step up and replace his effort while he heals? Our response will help determine that.

There is a limited amount of time for us to make clear to the world what is clear to us: we are under armed attack. The fascist right knows where to find us – protests such as anti-Donald Trump events, or actions against police brutality. In the Twin Cities, the trial has just begun of Allen Scarsella, one of the white supremacists who came to the Fourth Precinct in Minneapolis in November, 2015 and opened fire, shooting multiple people.

We don’t have confirmation that the person who shot our comrade was a counter-protester angry at those protesting Milo’s hateful white nationalist misogyny. We do know that he turned himself into the police several hours later, claiming ‘self-defense.’ This, of course, is exactly what Scarsella did as well.

Our friend will have enormous hospital bills and undoubtedly some legal costs as well. There will be a significant loss of income. Let’s raise him so much that he won’t have to worry about that angle of things. Please give. All money will be controlled directly by them and their partner; none will go to any other cause, excepting any fees associated with the fundraising service used.

Click here to go to the official IWW General Defense Committee fundraiser for this fellow worker.

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Video: How to Organize a General Strike

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 15:27

By New York City IWW - January 14, 2017

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Portland, OR: Fast-Food Chain Burgerville Union Busting against IWW Organizer

Thu, 01/19/2017 - 14:56

Re-posted from It’s Going Down

As many of you know, on Friday January 6th, union leader Jordan was suspended and accused of violating company policy because his manager gave him a bagel with cream cheese and forgot to ring him up for it. It is clear from the communications Jordan has received from HR, and the fact that he has been left off the schedule for two weeks, that Burgerville is considering firing him. Jordan expects to hear word sometime this week. In response, we are calling for a picket to be held at the Convention Center Burgerville on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30pm before the Lakers-Blazers Game.

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Categories: IWW

IWW blockades Street in front of Whole Foods Demanding Reinstatement for Worker

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 17:16

By DC Direct Action News - It's Going Down, January 14, 2017

Julia Flores is a 15 year employee of the P St Whole Foods who was fired from her job for organizing workers and informing them about such laws as the minimum wage. On the 13th of January, the IWW escalated the campaign demanding her job back by blocking the streets in front of another Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom.

Whole Foods is trying to claim that Julia stole an item worth less than $10 after working there for 15 years. Nobody is believing this spurious claim, but this is how Whole Foods is attempting to stave off legal proceedings for violating labor laws. Firing workers for attempting to organize a union is illegal but a common practice, employers always make up some other reason for firing and dare workers to prove otherwise in court.

In addition to the legal proceedings, the IWW is holding Whole Foods accountable to the public with actions like the Jan 13 street blockade and picket that educate the public, drive away business, and create public relations problems with the surrounding neighborhood. There is a strong probability that Whole Foods will be hearing from other businesses in the area whose customers had trouble getting to them.

Activists from DC Stampede (an animal rights group) joined the IWW in this protest as a solidarity matter. Whole Foods has come to the attention of DC Stampede and Direct Action Everywhere (XDXE) in the past for ripping off their customers with meat alleged to be “cruelty-free” that was proven by a video to be from ordinary factory farms. Still earlier, the P st Whole Foods (the one that fired Juilia) played a role in the gentrification of Shaw. They were the first grocery store in that area to keep dumpsters locked up and use compactors. They absolutely refused to give a single scrap of discarded food to homeless service organizations in that time period (circa 2007). Finally. anarchists raided the P st Whole Foods during the October Rebellion (fall 2007 IMF protests), expropriated a large amount of food, and served it to the needy. In short, Whole Foods should be considered a repeat offender, a “frequent flier” for social justice campaigns.

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Categories: IWW

Bay Area IWW Resolution in Protest of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump

Sat, 01/07/2017 - 20:21

Passed by the Bay Area IWW General Membership Branch - January 5, 2016

WHEREAS, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has sparked fear and anger in our community, especially among those most marginalized, including immigrants, Muslims, people of color, women, the disabled, and LGBTQ populations.

WHEREAS, the President Elect has publicly supported and endorsed anti-union policies including federal Right to Work laws and is considering appointing to his cabinet people with a track record of promoting such policies

WHEREAS, newly appointed Supreme Court Justices will swing the court to be more consistently anti-union

WHEREAS, the privatization of Social Security and Medicare is likely to be pushed early in the Trump administration

WHEREAS, the diverse membership of the working class and of our unions includes populations that candidate Trump threatened with bigoted policies and hateful rhetoric

WHEREAS, that hateful rhetoric has already been seen in the form of an increase of hate crimes and violence against marginalized communities which overlap with our membership

WHEREAS, it is the obligation of organized labor to defend our members from attacks and promote an elevated and equal quality of life for all workers

WHEREAS, Resolution in Protest of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, spontaneous demonstrations have erupted across the country immediately following the election of Donald Trump. Many organizations of students, labor, women, and various communities are continuing to plan massive protests including on Martin Luther King, Jr Day and culminating in action on the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump, January 20, 2017

WHEREAS, the day on which we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr who fought against racism and bigotry and championed the issues of the working class is just four days before the inauguration of Donald Trump.

WHEREAS, the power of organized labor is not reliant upon the occupant of any government office up to and including the office of President of the United States

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the IWW Bay Area General Membership Branch endorses and encourages all members to participate in the nationwide call for protest and actions beginning with those honoring and continuing the struggle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on his day, Monday, January 16 and culminating in a national day of action and protest and a reassertion of the power of organized labor on Friday January, 20, the day of the Inauguration of President Donald Trump

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Categories: IWW

Building Working-Class Defense Organizations: An Interview with the Twin Cities GDC

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 14:06

By Erik Davis - First of May Anarchist Analysis, December 4, 2016

A PDF of this interview is here.

The General Defense Committee of the Industrial Workers World (IWW) has become an important pole of struggle for pro-working-class revolutionaries in the Twin Cities. While active on a number of different fronts it is the participation of the General Defense Committee (GDC) in the year-long struggle against police killings and brutality in the Twin Cities that has largely led to the significant growth of the organization. The GDC has grown to approximately 90 dues-paying members in Minnesota, and has several active working-groups. In the wake of Trump’s election victory, Wobblies(1) and others across the country have begun establishing their own GDC locals – strongly influenced by the Twin Cities’ model.

Interview:

First of May Anarchist Alliance spoke to Erik D. secretary of the Twin Cities GDC Local 14 about the history and work of the General Defense Committee there. Erik is a father, husband, education worker, and wobbly, who’s also been involved in the youth-focused intergenerational group, the Junior Wobblies.

Fellow Worker Erik – can you tell us about the origins and history of the General Defense Committee, its relationship to the IWW and how the militants who founded the current Local conceived of it?

As I understand it, the General Defense Committee (GDC) was first founded by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1917, in response to the repression of wobblies and anti-WWI draft protests. I haven’t learned enough about the historic GDC to really speak much about it. I joined the IWW in 2006, and we didn’t formally charter the current local as a GDC until 2011. In 2011, the committee was 13 wobblies. But we had actually started organizing ourselves prior to 2011, calling ourselves the Local Defense Committee.

Are there historical or modern examples or inspirations that influence the way GDC sees itself, its activity and organization?

One of the things I’ve appreciated about the Twin Cities GDC is the very practical intention to learn, with a specific focus on learning in order to act. From the very beginning we engaged in mutual education. Since one of our early orientations was to anti-fascist and anti-racist work, we did a fair bit of reading on the topic of fascism and anti-fascism (Sunday mornings with coffee).

I mention this period of mutual education because we have a lot of inspirations, but none of them have been role models, per se. We have looked to previous movements largely in order to inform our own work and to learn from our elders and the experience of previous generations, but not as Role Models To Be Emulated. That’s been important.

With that caveat, we have a lot of inspiration. I get new inspiration every time I read a book, it seems. Some of the inspiration is local: here, I’d specifically highlight Anti-Racist Action and Teamsters Local 544. Anti-Racist Action (ARA) came out of a Minneapolis-based group of anti-racist skinheads who decided they needed to find a way to kick racist skins and organized fascists out of the Twin Cities. Teamsters Local 544 was the local that organized the 1934 strike that made Minneapolis a union town, innovated new forms of the picket (specifically, the ‘flying picket’), and engaged for a short time in open physical confrontation on the streets.

Beyond the Twin Cities, I think our members have a lot of very different inspirations. One of mine has always been John Brown, but I grew up partly in Kansas. I guess the Black Panther Party would be the most common source of inspiration among early members; our advocacy of Community Self Defense certainly owes a lot to the Panthers, including their Survival Programs. The most recent addition to my ‘Hall of Inspiration’ is Rudy Shields, whom I learned about from Akinyele Omowale Umoja’s We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement.

One of the first projects of the Twin Cities GDC was organizing a “Picket Training”, which seems like a kind of simple project, but you all attached some importance to it. How come?

I think the history of the Picket Training is actually the beginning of the history of the local GDC, so forgive me for a longer answer. The IWW was always heavily involved in local May Day events, naturally. In both 2007 and 2008 we had dispiriting and potentially dangerous experiences in marches that were organized by other groups. These happened when we were ‘out-marshaled’ and ‘peace-policed.’ Folks might remember the 2006 “Day Without An Immigrant.” In 2007 immigrant protection and rights continued to be major issues, and the march was partly centered around pro-immigrant demands.

So it was worrying when wobblies who had been active in local anti-fascist actions saw someone they thought they knew from a fascist rally elsewhere in the state videotaping the crowd (we were never able to confirm the identity because of what happened next). Fascists videotaping an immigrants rights march is extremely concerning; they were likely videotaping either to research immigrants rights’ groups (including antifa groups), or to identify potentially undocumented people.

A few wobblies went to talk to the videotaper and get in the way of the camera. Shouting commenced, and the self-appointed organizers of the march successfully pushed the wobblies back into the crowd, allowing the videotaping to continue.

The May Day parade the next year found wobblies promoting militant chants shut down by the same sort of marshals.

At roughly the same time, the local IWW was doing a lot of organizing. While some of us had prior experience in organizing pickets and direct actions, the Starbucks Workers campaign, the Jimmy John’s campaign, the Sisters Camelot Canvas Union, and the Chicago-Lake Liquors campaigns all provided early experience and training in planning and executing pickets and direct actions, in a context where we were already committed to IWW ideas and practices. Some of these were particularly challenging, such as doing intelligence and the occasional flying picket of scab canvassers in the Sisters Camelot campaign. Since they never stayed put, it felt like a throwback to the 1934 strikes and the flying pickets. It was cold both Winters.

There was one particular occasion at the University of Minnesota AFSCME strike in 2007 where the IWW promoted, and executed, a hard picket line in the early morning hours at a delivery dock. This was going extremely well until a UMN delivery truck driver rammed the picket line. I was in the wrong place at the moment, and ended up on his hood. I found out later I’d crushed three neck vertebrae; it took two surgeries and a lot of physical therapy to get past it. It also gave me a serious motivation for doing pickets and direct actions better. Just a week after a truck hit me, a delivery truck hit another picketer at an IWW picket of D’Amico’s restaurant, thankfully without serious consequences.

Finally, 2008 was the end of an intense two-year process organized at disrupting the Republican National Convention. Most of us already had a critique of ‘summit hopping’ styles of disruption, few of which have been effective since before the FTAA in Miami 2003. But a number of wobblies were serious and on occasion influential participants in (at least the early period of) the two years of planning that ended up calling itself the “Welcoming Committee.” The Welcoming Committee meetings (which were held in the same community space as the early IWW at the time, the Jack Pine Community Center) hammered out some early agreements and principles, including, along with other interested groups, the well-known Saint Paul Principles. This process also gave local wobblies experience in critically thinking through on-the-street tactics and what it would take to actually win goals and actions on those streets, whether in labor pickets or direct actions(2).

All these motivations and experiences were in the forefront of our minds when we thought up the picket training. We knew we had to get better at this, and though we all had some experience, that’s not the same thing as having teachable knowledge. So we researched, wrote, debated, and practiced. We adopted a principle of teaching the tactics quickly rather than perfecting the training first, and encouraged people to think about themselves as the next trainers. In order to keep track of our curriculum and to make it portable, we created a trainer’s manual, a trainee manual, and a setup manual, which we update frequently.

We offer the trainings to non-wobblies, and while we avoid being an on-call security group, we are trusted locally as providing quality security and planning successful actions. With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and on-the-streets protest since Ferguson, I think the GDC has earned a bit of respect from other local organizations as a result.

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Fellow Worker Chris White

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:52

By Steve Early, former International Representative, Communications Workers of America and author of Save Our Unions and other books.

I first met Chris White, a Connecticut native and former hard rock miner from Leadville, Colorado 37 years ago. Chris was one of the key organizer’s of a cross-union reform organization in Alaska called Ruled Out of Order (ROOR).  Anyone who has ever been a union dissident knows why the group was called that!  At the time, I was working for the Professional Drivers Council (PROD), soon to be merged with Teamsters for a Democratic Union.  Chris was a Laborer, not a Teamster, but he arranged for me to visit his adopted state and meet with members of ROOR. They included Teamsters, Hotel and Restaurant Employees, and former Alaska pipeline workers from every construction trade.

Four decades ago, people moved to Alaska not just because of the pipeline boom. They ended up in places like Fairbanks, Anchorage, Livengood, or Clear, Alaska—where Teamster technicians maintained an ICBM tracking station—because they thought Idaho was getting too crowded. Needless to say, ROOR members were probably the most colorful, eccentric, and committed rank-and-file activists I have ever met. Their shared concerns about mishandling of Taft-Hartley pension and welfare funds, and the lack of democracy within their unions, made them formidable adversaries of entrenched local union officials. At the national level, LIUNA in the 1970s, like the Teamsters in that era, was a pretty mobbed up operation. It took great courage to challenge corruption in unions like that—and Chris White, a gentle soul in appearance, was utterly fearless.

Chris (as the picture here confirms) had a longtime commitment to the Industrial Workers of the World, and its proud traditions. In recent years, he could be found camping out in 40-degree below weather with Occupy Fairbanks folks or serving on the board of Alaska Peace Center in Fairbanks. He also fought many battles within the Democratic Party of Alaska to keep it focused, at least partially, on working class concerns. He was greatly encouraged by Bernie Sanders 2015-16 campaign in the Democratic presidential primaries. When Bernie placed second, Chris backed Jill Stein and the Green Party.

At the local memorial service for Chris on December 2, 2016, his life well led was recalled by those who knew him best and loved him the most. He will be long remembered by everyone he ever worked with or aided in the struggle for union democracy and a better world for workers.

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Categories: IWW

North Carolina backs down the KKK

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:38

By Dante Strobino - Workers World, December 7, 2016

Raleigh, N.C. – There was once a time when the Klu Klux Klan could march in the thousands with impunity in state capitols across the U.S. South. But today mass movements across the country have pushed them back, despite the electoral win of bigoted Donald Trump. Millions of people in the streets, marching against Trump and all he stands for, have emboldened the social movement.

Over 2,000 people rallied in downtown Raleigh at Moore Square Park on Dec. 3 to protest the KKK and Trump — to forge ahead with struggles for people’s power and against racism, wars and all forms of oppression.

The Loyal White Knights of the KKK, a small group in Pelham, N.C., had announced they would be holding a Dec. 3 “victory kavalcade” at an unannounced location somewhere in North Carolina.

To oppose them, there were coordinated big rallies in Raleigh, Charlotte and Greensboro. People also rallied in Salisbury and Mebane. People from countless other cities across the state came to the Raleigh and Charlotte rallies, truly expressing a statewide day of action.

Desmera Gatewood, emcee of the rally, stated the purpose of the rallies: “We refuse to back down against the endless police murders of Black people. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in Charlotte as they protest against the non-indictment of cop Brentley Vinson who killed Keith Lamont Scott. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant friends who now fear threats of deportation by Trump. Our movement for not one more deportation will keep fighting ahead!“

Gatewood continued, “We stand against hate crimes and racist violence against our friends who are labeled terrorists by the state and Trump by virtue of being Muslim. We are also workers fighting for $15 per hour and for collective bargaining rights for public workers! We oppose any new wars that Trump threatens to create. We move forward to advance our struggle for quality public schools and to defend all public services that Trump has threatened to shut down. We won’t let him shut anything down!”

The Triangle Unity May Day Coalition, representing a broad range of freedom fighters and organizations, including Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, Muslim, immigrant, women, workers and people with disabilities, called the rally to assert that #ThisIsOurNC — that the state belongs to the people, not to the forces of Wall Street or the wealthy, not to white supremacists and the police.

The day after the rally, the Triangle (Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh) area People’s Assembly drew hundreds of new people eager to get involved in the militant social movement.

The rally came a few days after the Charlotte District Attorney decided not to indict Brentley Vinson, the white cop who killed Keith Lamont Scott. It came only a day after a South Carolina jury was deadlocked and failed to convict Michael Slager, a white former North Charleston policeman who killed unarmed Walter Scott. A mistrial was declared Dec. 5.

As for the KKK, they did finally confirm late Friday night that they would be in Pelham. A group of about 150 folks, organized through the Triangle Industrial Workers of the World, traveled there to directly confront the KKK, but they had moved their event. Chasing them to Danville, Va., the IWW took the streets and marched carrying a banner, reading, “John Brown Lives, Smash White Supremacy.” The reference is to the white freedom fighter who organized an armed 19th-century uprising against slavery.

The KKK never publicly displayed themselves in Danville. They later appeared briefly in Roxboro, N.C., with a small caravan of about 20 cars that rode through the town, flying U.S. flags, Confederate flags and KKK flags, for about five minutes with support from the local police.

The unified movement had forced the KKK to scuttle and run. As Manzoor Cheema, of Muslims for Social Justice, said at the Raleigh rally, “The gathering at the anti-KKK rally should not be the only time when people come together to challenge racism and oppression. People need to become part of a long-term movement to challenge all forms of oppression. Triangle People’s Assembly is building such a grass-roots movement that centers power to the most marginalized.”

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Danville, VA: Triangle IWW Joins with Other Antifa Groups to Shut Down the KKK

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:38

Reposted from It's Going Down, December 4

DANVILLE, VA – On Saturday, December 3rd, the Triangle Area Industrial Workers of the World joined a broad coalition of over 100 protesters from different affinity groups responding to reports that the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan would be holding a “victory parade” in Pelham, North Carolina. The protesters ran the Klan out of both Pelham and Danville, Virginia, the other proposed location for their parade. We held the street and marched through both Pelham and Danville, while the Klan could only muster a car parade speeding through six blocks in Roxboro, NC (aided by NC state troopers, of course).

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NEPA IWW Calls for Nationwide Mass Direct Action January 20th

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:32

By staff - NEPA IWW, December 1, 2016

The Northeast Pennsylvania Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) stands in strong opposition to the reactionary and authoritarian forces that are on the rise in many parts of the world including the United States. These reactionaries will take control of the US government on January 20th with the inauguration of Donald Trump. These forces seek to divide the working class and turn worker against worker for the benefit of those that have the most wealth and power.  This is not new. We have seen this over and over again throughout history – from Franco’s Spain, Nazi Germany and the era of Thatcher and Reagan. Each of these regimes viciously attacked labor, immigrants and all others that opposed them.  We vow to fight this latest upsurge of reactionary forces together as a united working class seeking our liberation.  We refuse to see our fellow workers as enemies regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, immigration status or nationality. We believe in the slogan: an injury to one is an injury to all.

On January 20th 2017 Donald Trump and his reactionary cabal will take office.  We must resist this dangerous regime. We have seen their values. They rose to power on a platform of hate and division. They will continue this as they take hold of the U.S. government. If history is any guide, we know that once they are fully in power, they will attack organized labor and every perceived enemy very soon after. They know that we, the workers that run society, are one of the few obstacles to their agenda. We need to take this opportunity to show our unity and our strength.

We call for mass action across the nation and the world on January 20th to resist these dangerous forces. We will organize resistance in our workplaces, our communities and in the streets. We call on all people to do the same. Take action to resist this rising tide of reactionary authoritarianism. Organize a walkout at your school or workplace. Call in sick. Take to the streets. Together, we will place our bodies upon the gears of the machine of hate and force it to a stop. As the Trump regime consolidates power and fills all the seats of the state with yes-men and cronies, the power of popular resistance is the only power we have left.  The IWW has been doing this for more than110 years and we will continue to fight for the liberation of the working class. This is a struggle for the type of world we want to live in - a struggle for humanity against barbarism.

If we do not act now, it will be too late.  If we let them take the reins of the state without any resistance they will think that they have won - that they have a mandate. They do not. We are the majority. We hold the greater power of collective resistance and collective solidarity.  We are humanity. We will win!

In Scranton we will be gathering at 12:00 noon for a rally and march in Courthouse Square. Join us in this show of solidarity.

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Categories: IWW

Unionism and Anti-Fascism

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 12:13

Statement on Opposing All Oppression from the Twin Cities GDC Local 14

1. ANY SUCCESSFUL WORKER REVOLUTION WILL REQUIRE PARTICIPATION FROM DIVERSE MEMBERS OF THE WORKING CLASS, CURRENTLY DIVIDED BY MANY OPPRESSIONS.

We fight against capitalism. We do so because capitalism is organized theft based on hierarchy. We unionize because fighting this authoritarian theft can be done most successfully in the workplace, at the point of production. In unionizing we face many challenges, from creating strategies and tactics to accomplish our goals, as well as maintaining morale, fighting spirit, and solidarity with each other.

One of the most difficult challenges the working class faces is that of oppressive social divisions. We may be of a single class, but we are not the same as a result. In addition to experiencing the oppressions of our class, we have differing experiences of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism and Islamphobia, along with other types of oppressions. Some of us experience privilege on the basis of our race, sex, gender, or religion, while others among us experience oppression on precisely the same grounds.

The ruling classes know this, of course. It is one of their favorite strategies for destroying organized workers: divide and conquer. Many of these oppressions exist in starkest relief in America’s massive prison-industrial system, where wardens encourage and enforce racial segregation and violence among prisoners, precisely as a system of maintaining control. These forms of control through oppression are not limited to prisons, of course. We see and experience them in our daily lives, and in our workplaces as well.

To maintain solidarity with all workers requires that we maintain explicit solidarity with workers on the diverse grounds of their oppression. Our revolution cannot maintain a merely minimal, workerist, program which concentrates on the oppression of labor and leaves other problems solely to those workers who face them. Given the still relatively homogenous makeup of the Industrial Workers of the World, to do so sends a clear message to the working class experiencing such oppressions that the class struggle and their struggles against racism, gendered, or religious oppression are separate issues. If you were already struggling to keep the basics of your life together in the face of constant attacks on your person, would you be interested in taking on another massive but unconnected struggle in your workplace? By pointing out the ways in which struggles against all oppression support and further our collective freedom from class and other oppressions, we gain strength as a union.

Neither have we proceeded, historically, with a minimal program of workplace organization that leaves other oppressions unchallenged. The Industrial Workers of the World were founded in 1905 in part precisely to overcome the divisions of race, sex, religion, language, nationality, etc., among the working class. Militantly in favor of the organization of the entire working class, Wobblies quickly turned toward the power of young women in garment factories, racially-mixed work-gangs on the waterfronts, and nationally diverse immigrant groups. The IWW took on the Ku Klux Klan and other racist organizations that attempted to divide the class on the grounds of race. More recently, some IWW branches have begun to successfully undermine the divisions of oppressions based on gendered identities in ways that seem truly revolutionary.

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Anti-racist message from Clydeside IWW | St Andrew’s Day march 2016

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 12:04

By Edinburgh Wobbly - IWW Scotland, November 25, 2016

Now more than ever we need organising that is:

  • anti-racist
  • anti-fascist
  • internationalist.

Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections, following the recent Brexit vote, creates a whole new political climate in the West.

Since the 1980s, working class people have suffered a massive attack with the loss of traditional industries, in favour of low-paid service jobs, and the destruction of the labour movement.  The neoliberal model that was created was based on growth through the financial sector and it led to the 2008 economic crisis.

When the UK government bailed out the banks it forced us to shoulder the cost through austerity, cutting vital services and targetting the most vulnerable.

The left responded to post-crisis austerity first through mass protest around the world, and then the rise of several populist movements seeking parliamentary power.  One by one, they have been defeated or have so far been unable to provide any real challenge.

And now things are about to get worse.

There are many uncertainties – what will Brexit mean? how will Trump govern?  What we can expect in the UK is that austerity will go on, even if the aim is no longer to cut the deficit, and real wages  will continue to decline.

Both Brexit and Trump’s presidency are a victory for the far right.  Immigration to the UK will be curbed and border controls will become even more cruel.  Racism against ethnic minorities will be reinforced by the tabloid media as the nationalist dream fails to appear.

Of course, we know that migrants don’t lower wages – bosses do.

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Categories: IWW

A message to the working class in the wake of the 2016 United States Presidential election from the General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 12:41

Official Statement - IWW General Executive Board, November 22, 2016

These are difficult times for the working class, times of struggle and hardship. The employing class controls more of the world’s wealth and power than ever before, and the divide between working people and our oppressors grows wider by the day.

It is important to remember that this is nothing new. The ruling class has been waging a war against the working class since the birth of capitalism. We, the workers of the world, continue to be exploited and abused, the value of our labor always falling into the boss’ pockets. While they rake in unprecedented profits, the employing class continues to damage our planet through the unsustainable and irresponsible extraction of natural resources. These vultures tell you that your disappointments, your failures, and your hardships are the fault of other working class people. People of different races, genders, nationalities, and religions. “Blame immigrants,” they say. “Blame blacks and Latinos,” they say. As we fight amongst ourselves, the ruling class celebrates in their gilded halls, making toasts to the disunity of the working class.

Many people in the working class sought out hope in the electoral system this year, confident that reason and compassion would hold the day. Many other people in the working class were motivated by bigotry. The electoral system is designed to disenfranchise all working people, to take their hopes and desires as mere suggestions rather than as concrete demands. Unions, which are supposed to fight for all working people, organized people to put their faith in fighting bigotry at the ballot box - and now they say they are “ready to work with” the representatives of bigotry and division.You are no doubt feeling disillusioned, fearful, and angry, and are ready to consider different ways of fighting back against our oppressors.

We, the Industrial Workers of the World, invite you to work with us in building a new kind of labor movement, one that refuses to play by the rules of the employing class. An approach where we no longer allow them to divide us along artificial lines of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion. From housewives to factory workers to prisoners to office workers, we are all the working class, and it is our labor that creates all wealth. We can challenge the ruling class if we unite with each other, but that unity must start with defending the most oppressed and vulnerable groups among us first, for “an injury to one is an injury to all.” It is clear that there is a strong current of bigotry within the US working class, and we pledge to confront that head on in our organizing. We believe we can win workers away from bigotry if we show that we have a plan to win a better world. We must work towards the creation of a new world in the shell of the old, and the only way to do that is through organizing in our workplaces and in our communities.

The Industrial Workers of the World have been organizing working people for over 110 years, and our future as a revolutionary union is bright. Our approach is one of direct action. Instead of relying on elected officials and other intermediaries, we take the fight directly to our oppressors. We have been trailblazers in the modern labor movement, organizing fast food workers in Oregon, package handlers in Minnesota, entertainers and restaurant workers in New York, and prison laborers throughout the country, to name just a few. Our members have been at the forefront of resistance to police violence and the Dakota access pipeline. We have been working tirelessly to build a genuine and truly representative working class organization that can provide strength to working people, and we need your help.

If you have questions about exactly who we are and what we do, let's talk. If you're ready to organize and resist, join us and we will welcome you as fellow workers and fellow members of the working class. It is time to organize, it is time to fight back. Let's make white supremacists, fascists, and other hate mongers fear our power. Our struggle will be long and it will be difficult, but we will win. Sign up for the One Big Union today, and let’s organize together in our workplaces and communities. Nothing is too good for the working class, and we want all the good things life has to offer.

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Categories: IWW

Industrial Worker - Fall 2016 #1779

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 19:52
In November We Remember!

In this issue:

  • Nationwide Prison Strike: Incarcerated workers strike across the  United States on September 9th
  • Workplace Organizing: Restaurant workers at Ellen’s Stardust Diner organize with the IWW in New York City
  • Which Side Are you on?: Why labor must stand united against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

 ....and more!

Download a Free PDF of this issue here.

read more

Categories: IWW

Industrial Worker - Fall 2016 #1779

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 19:52
In November We Remember!

In this issue:

  • Nationwide Prison Strike: Incarcerated workers strike across the  United States on September 9th
  • Workplace Organizing: Restaurant workers at Ellen’s Stardust Diner organize with the IWW in New York City
  • Which Side Are you on?: Why labor must stand united against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

 ....and more!

Download a Free PDF of this issue here.

read more

Categories: IWW

NYC GMB Discusses New Memoir of Sam Dolgoff, Lifelong Anarchist and Wobbly

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 19:44

By Eric D - New York City IWW, November 9, 2016

On a recent evening, members and friends of the New York City General Membership Branch gathered to hear a book discussion by Anatole Dolgoff. The talk was held at MayDay, a left movement space in Brooklyn. Dolgoff, a professor at the nearby Pratt Institute, was discussing his new book about his father Sam, Left of the Left, My Memories of Sam Dolgoff , recently published by AK Press. The talk was introduced by radical scholars Yesenia Barragan and Mark Bray.

Sam was born in 1902 in Belarus and came to New York City at an early age. With little formal education, Sam went to work as a painter, and quickly found himself immersed in local radical politics. A brief membership with the Socialist Party led him to realize that he was an anarchist. He soon joined the IWW in the 1920’s and was a member until his death in 1990. Along the way, he developed friendships with many notable radicals, and had particularly close relationships with Carlo Tresca, the Italian anarchist, and Ben Fletcher, the legendary waterfront organizer.

Sam was a Wobbly activist and organizer for decades, involved in many campaigns and projects, speaking on street corners, meeting with workers who were organizing, confronting fascists in the 1930’s, and doing the dangerous and unglamorous work of keeping radical ideas alive during the tough times of the McCarthy era. Self-educated in the movement along the way, Dolgoff made significant contributions to the anarchist literature over the years, including a book on Bakunin.

According to Anatole, Sam knew everyone in Left circles for decades. One memorable anecdote about his father told the story of when they went to see the movie Reds together. Sam couldn’t keep quiet during the film, as he maintained a running commentary on nearly every major character, who he had known personally.

The book is a fantastic tour through the life and times of a lifelong Wobbly and working class intellectual, as well as a touching personal memoir of growing up in a radical family. It’s a great contribution to left history and we encourage all Wobblies to read it.

read more

Categories: IWW

NYC GMB Discusses New Memoir of Sam Dolgoff, Lifelong Anarchist and Wobbly

Wed, 11/09/2016 - 19:44

By Eric D - New York City IWW, November 9, 2016

On a recent evening, members and friends of the New York City General Membership Branch gathered to hear a book discussion by Anatole Dolgoff. The talk was held at MayDay, a left movement space in Brooklyn. Dolgoff, a professor at the nearby Pratt Institute, was discussing his new book about his father Sam, Left of the Left, My Memories of Sam Dolgoff , recently published by AK Press. The talk was introduced by radical scholars Yesenia Barragan and Mark Bray.

Sam was born in 1902 in Belarus and came to New York City at an early age. With little formal education, Sam went to work as a painter, and quickly found himself immersed in local radical politics. A brief membership with the Socialist Party led him to realize that he was an anarchist. He soon joined the IWW in the 1920’s and was a member until his death in 1990. Along the way, he developed friendships with many notable radicals, and had particularly close relationships with Carlo Tresca, the Italian anarchist, and Ben Fletcher, the legendary waterfront organizer.

Sam was a Wobbly activist and organizer for decades, involved in many campaigns and projects, speaking on street corners, meeting with workers who were organizing, confronting fascists in the 1930’s, and doing the dangerous and unglamorous work of keeping radical ideas alive during the tough times of the McCarthy era. Self-educated in the movement along the way, Dolgoff made significant contributions to the anarchist literature over the years, including a book on Bakunin.

According to Anatole, Sam knew everyone in Left circles for decades. One memorable anecdote about his father told the story of when they went to see the movie Reds together. Sam couldn’t keep quiet during the film, as he maintained a running commentary on nearly every major character, who he had known personally.

The book is a fantastic tour through the life and times of a lifelong Wobbly and working class intellectual, as well as a touching personal memoir of growing up in a radical family. It’s a great contribution to left history and we encourage all Wobblies to read it.

read more

Categories: IWW