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To Wrench Or Not To Wrench: Another IWW EUC Member's Opinion

Above: IWW Member and ELF arsonist Marie Mason with her Sabo-tabby

By X343464 - November 22, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

As one of the founders of the IWW EUC, I think we should not condemn nor condone arson or insurrectionary ecology. In our provisions we state:

Establishing a constructive (not dogmatic or sectarian) anti-capitalist critique of mainstream environmentalism;
Establishing a constructive (not dogmatic or sectarian) class-struggle and ecological critique of business unionism;

We should also include "establishing a constructive (not dogmatic or sectarian) class struggle and tactical critique of radical environmentalism."

To me x344543's arguments in his article "Capital Blight: To Wrench or Not to Wrench" ( sometimes come off as politically dogmatic and sectarian, therefore if not challenged may lead to an alienation of the caucus, it's members, and many of it's potential members as well as a furthering of the tactical divisions amongst environmentalist groups.

x344543 contradicts himself saying:

"Plus, insurrections are never planned; they happen. Insurrectionists like to think that they are the force that drives them, but that is often not the case. For every insurrection that does happen, there are probably thousands that don’t. Plus, those that do happen are as much a result of organized revolutionaries doing the boring, mundane work of building movements, producing propaganda, building alliances, and the like."

Though, I do agree with x344543 that often American Insurrectionaries often lack the infrastructure to sustain a Revolt but I feel that the IWW EUC must be inclusive to working class radicals who fall under a diversity of ideologies including illegalism, insurrectionism, and individualism. Together we can constructively discuss and debate strategy and tactics as well as how they effect each other. Sectarianism and Separatism in my opinion are counter productive in the revolutionary struggle to save the planet.

I personally believe that there is a time and place for all strategies and tactics including high risk ones. I agree that we should seek out the most effective means defend the Earth but at times that takes spontaneous and or militant direct action. I don't think high-risk tactics or strategies are always effective or accessible but it goes both ways. Some people don't have the skill set, privilege, or positioning to organize workers but have the willingness and dedication to employ these militant tactics.

In my opinion an example of effective use of ecological arson utilized by workers and eco-revolutionaries has the burning of GMO crops and facilities. [1] [2]

I would also say Fellow IWW member Marie Mason's actions [3] were effective in sparking a larger uprising against GMO Research and farming. Though immediately those actions had short term results, the militant actions made national news and raised awareness of the ecocidal projects and helped re-expand the spectrum of tactics. Hence, now GMO fields and facilities are burning all over the world. I think a mass uprising is needed to challenge the destruction and sometimes militant direct actions can polarize the left. Regardless, some projects are so destructive to the environment that I feel "Propaganda of the deed", arson, and other forms of sabotage are justified.

Fellow IWW member Judi Bari describes her experience dismantling machinery and destroying property.

"Short of going on strike, the culmination of our action was the trash-in. They were famous for losing our paychecks on the night shift. The forklift drivers would drive around and tell everyone that they lost our checks again. We’d cause machines to wreck (which was pretty easy), the forklift drivers would drop pallets everywhere, and everyone keyed everything non-zip. One night we brought the place to a standstill. We trashed everything that came in." [4]

From History we can see a Diversity of tactics is important to challenge the state and capitalism from all sides. Without the threat of militancy, how effective can a non-violent movement be to challenge its oppressor. I think it is important to take time and space when called for as well. Such as if there is a action that has been organized as not-violent or non-destructive one should respect the work of the organizer and only act in self defense if necessary. Also it's important to be conscious if one takes an individualist action that it may effect a mass movement in a good way or bad way.

I tend to feel in a campaign, it is most effective when you start with creative but de-escalated tactics and escalate if or when those tactics are proven to be ineffective. This way escalation is seen as justified in the eyes of the masses because it is a last resort. Escalated conflict in my opinion should always be taken very seriously and not be glorified because the escalation puts ourselves or our comrades in danger.

In The Coming Insurrection the Invisible Committee states:

"a blockade is only as effective as the insurgents’ capacity to supply themselves and to communicate, as effective as the self-organization of the different communes. How will we feed ourselves once everything is paralyzed? Looting stores, as in Argentina, has its limits; as large as the temples of consumption are, they are not bottomless pantries. Acquiring the skills to provide, over time, for one’s own basic subsistence implies appropriating the necessary means of its production. [5]

x344543 and I agree tactics that endanger the working class are counter productive. I personally want to make it clear that I feel it is important to support a diversity of tactics. I also agree expropriation can often be a more effective tactic than sabotage but it necessitates a higher level of strategic intellect and organization.

We agree must gauge if their strategy will be effective or not, analyzing the full spectrum of reactions and or consequences.

Will the tactics used will endanger the health and safety of workers, bystanders, or any form of life?

Will the actions cause damage to the environment?

Is it more effective to blockade, expropriate, or destroy the target?

Do you have the infrastructure and organization to take the action and effectively resist repression?

Will the action polarize or radicalize the masses?

How can you navigate around repression?

Will the repression extend to the larger working class and poor?

Will your action have short term effects or long term?

To support FW Marie Mason go to





[4], Page 11- 13.


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