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Global: What is International Workers Day?

Labour Start - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Al Jazeera
Categories: Workplace Struggle

South Africa: Zuma booed off stage at COSATU May Day rally

Labour Start - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: BBC
Categories: Workplace Struggle

A "Zionist left" and a real left - two parallel lines that will never meet.

Anarkismo (en) - Sun, 04/30/2017 - 01:32
The "far-reaching compromise" of the Israeli Communist Party (and its front Hadash) who are pretending to be non-Zionists, and their like on the Zionist left is "two states for two peoples". It means: the existence of the State of Israel within the 1967 borders - the "Green Line", in which the Palestinian citizens are a minority.

Egypt: Relentless assault on rights of workers and trade unionists

Labour Start - Sat, 04/29/2017 - 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: AI
Categories: Workplace Struggle

Industrial Worker—Spring 2017 #1779 Vol. 114, No. 2

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Sat, 04/29/2017 - 00:25
Organize and Mobilize!

In this issue:

  • May Day mass action—'Strike from Below': Service workers in the U.S. South united in a general strike for the rights of workers, immigrants, Black Lives, Muslims, and all the other targets of the Trump Administration.
  • Look to the past to escape Trump's present: 1946 was the last year of the great general strikes. Trump plans to undo every workers' gain since the 19th century. We need to look back to the lessons from Oakland.
  • Coat-hanger direct action: The best action is direct action. Sometimes keeping things simple works best in a complicated society.
  • Momentum builds for May Day strikes: All around the U.S., workers are responding to assaults on rights—not from the bosses but from the government.

. . . and more!

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Categories: Workplace Struggle

Sign Onto Statement of Solidarity With J20 Defendants

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Sat, 04/29/2017 - 00:14

By anonymous - It's Going Down, April 26, 2017

The following statement was drafted by supporters of those arrested at Inauguration protests in DC on January 20th, with the intent of providing a public platform for organizations around North America to express their collective opposition to these charges. The list of signees will be posted and continually updated at defendJ20resistance.org and several other sites. To have your group or crew sign on, send an email to J20endorsements@protonmail.com.

Statement of Solidarity with #DisruptJ20 Defendants

On January 20, 2017, tens of thousands of people converged in Washington, D.C. for the #disruptJ20 protests to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump. A combination of blockades, marches, and festive demonstrations shattered the spectacle of a peaceful transition of power, and made it clear around the world that people do not recognize Trump’s authority. What could have been a day signaling resignation and defeat became a moment of defiance and resistance. As such, the protests on J20 set a tone and precedent for the events that unfolded shortly after, including the notably successful, mass direct actions at airports against Trump’s Muslim ban, as well as ongoing resistance to deportations. While Trump and his alt-right foot soldiers have encountered few meaningful obstacles from liberal politicians in the halls of power, grassroots resistance has continued to prove a substantial force.

Unfortunately, however, with resistance comes repression. In addition to shooting pepper spray and concussion grenades indiscriminately at protesters, including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, DC police cordoned off an entire block and mass arrested more than 230 people in an attempt to stop an anti-capitalist and anti-fascist march. While mass arrests are not unheard of, in this case arrestees are each being charged with felony riot, a charge that potentially carries ten years in prison.

With these heightened charges the state is trying to set a precedent for harsh crackdowns of disruptive protest in the future, so that Trump can proceed with his agenda unimpeded by anything but symbolic hand-wringing. This strategy corresponds with a broader wave of repression and reaction, from the arrests and grand jury investigations of Indigenous water protectors at #StandingRock to backlash against #BlackLivesMatter and black-led uprisings against police. The arrests at J20 also inform local strategies for repression, including anti-protest laws that have been proposed in 18 different state legislatures, which further criminalize commonly used tactics like highway takeovers and in some cases make it legal for drivers to knowingly hit protesters marching in roadways.

The charges against J20 defendants are an experiment. If the courts are able to successfully prosecute those arrested at J20, this will send a green light to the forces of repression seeking to contain, control, and eliminate social movements around the country. Just as all of our struggles are connected, we understand these arrests to represent a real threat to all efforts towards true freedom, dignity, and autonomy. We call for the immediate dropping of all charges, and express our sincere solidarity with and support for those arrested, and encourage others to do so as well.

Signed,

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Categories: Workplace Struggle

An Open Letter from Environmental & Climate Justice Organizations on May Day

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Sat, 04/29/2017 - 00:08

By Climate Workers and Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project - Originally posted on Climate Workers, April 28, 2017; crossposted from ecology.iww.org.

An Open Letter from Environmental & Climate Justice Organizations on May Day

Worker power, immigrant rights, and racial justice must be at the heart of environmental and climate movements

As environmental and climate justice organizations, we declare our support for protests planned for International Workers Day (“May Day”), May 1st, 2017 and for workers who choose to participate by honoring the general strike.

International Workers’ Day was first established to commemorate the deaths of workers fighting for the 8-hour work day in Chicago in 1886. It has long been a day to uplift the struggles, honor the sacrifices, and celebrate the triumphs of working people across the world. The day has taken special significance in the U.S. since May 1st, 2006 when 1.5 million immigrants and their allies took to the streets to protest racist immigration policies.

Today, workers face unprecedented attacks on wages, benefits, workplace safety, and the right to organize free from fear and retaliation. But we know that we are all stronger when workers in our communities have safe, fair, and dignified employment with which they can support their families without fear of deportation or violence.

The effects of our fossil fuel economy fall first and worst on working class communities, communities of color, immigrants, and indigenous peoples who have not only contributed the least to climate disruption, but have the least resources to shoulder the burden of a transition to a new, climate-friendly economy. It is these frontline communities who are also at the forefront of change and whose solutions and leadership we most need.

As organizations working to transition our economy away from profit-seeking resource extraction toward ecological resilience and economic democracy, we know that worker power has to be at the heart of that transition.

We urgently need the wisdom and skills of millions of workers to transform our food, water, waste, transit, and energy systems in order to live within the finite resources of this planet that we call home. But the Trump agenda only promises jobs building more prison cells, border walls, bombs, and oil pipelines. Workers deserve not only fair wages, but work that makes our ecosystems and communities more resilient, not destroys them.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. No significant social change in this country has come without tremendous risk and sacrifice by ordinary people – from workers who walk off the job to water protectors facing down water cannons and attack dogs.

As environmental and climate justice organizations, we support workers who choose to walk off their jobs on May 1st because we know that the fight to protect land, water, air and soil is inseparable from the fight to protect the life and dignity of workers, migrants, and communities of color.

To workers participating in protests on May 1st, we say: “Thank you. You deserve better. And we’ve got your back.”

To that end, we join with unions and worker-led organizations throughout the country in asking that there be NO RETALIATION against any worker – union or non union – who exercises their rights by taking time off from work on May 1. Further, should workers face retaliation, we pledge our strong support for efforts to defend those workers.

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Categories: Workplace Struggle

Brazil: Brazilians sick of corrupt politicians hit the streets to protest austerity measures

Labour Start - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Guardian
Categories: Workplace Struggle

Militant Tactics in Anti-Fascist Organizing--Interview Transcript

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 18:23

By Matthew N Lyons - Three Way Fight, April 26, 2017

This interview with longtime anti-fascist activist Kieran (who was one of the founders of Three Way Fight thirteen years ago) covers a wide range of topics: from the work of Anti-Racist Action in the 1980s and 90s to the IWW’s General Defense Committee today, from the politics of wearing masks to the dangers of relying on the state for protection, and from engaging organized labor to building community-based self-defense against the far right.

The interview was conducted for KPFA Radio’s Against the Grain by the program’s co-producer Sasha Lilley and was broadcast on February 14, 2017. The audio recording is available for download or online listening here. The following transcription, by Clarissa Rogers, appears with the permission of Against the Grain and the participants.

Kieran was one of the founders of Anti-Racist Action, a youth-based direct action movement that organized against Nazi skinheads, the Ku Klux Klan, and the white power music scene from the 1980s to the 2000s. He’s now chief steward in a local union of telecom workers and is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World’s General Defense Committee, which has taken on anti-fascist work in a number of cities. In late January, a member of the General Defense Committee of the IWW was shot at a Milo Yiannopoulos event in Seattle. Against the Grain, a program of radical ideas originating from KPFA Radio, spoke with him after demonstrators closed down Yiannapoulous’ event at UC Berkeley on February 1st.

ATG: Kieran, many liberals and leftists believe that the right of free speech is paramount. As you know, protestors using militant tactics shut down a Milo Yiannopoulos event at UC Berkeley, which is the home of the Free Speech Movement. Why don’t you think that the right of free speech should be extended to fascists and the far right?

Kieran: There are a couple points to this. I think there’s both a question of strategy and tactics. I think that all of this is with the understanding that what we’re opposing is not the free speech of fascists, or the speeches of fascists. What we’re doing is opposing the organizing of the fascists. So, for instance, in my workplace, I work with workers with a whole range of opinions on all different kinds of questions. And occasionally you’re going to run into people who are influenced by far right politics. In those circumstances it doesn’t make sense for me to start a fight, a physical fight with a coworker since they raised some perspective that comes from that background.

But that’s totally different than a situation where you have an organization or a personality who’s using the framework of a public speech or an event, a forum, in order to advance political goals. And so the way we look at it is the way we would look at any kind of organizing done by that group with those aims.

In the case at UC Berkeley, this outright celebrity and provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, very clearly is trying to advance a certain kind of politics and more and more is trying to shape it into a movement. Our understanding is that he was planning to out undocumented students at Berkeley for the sole purpose of putting them under attack by Trump’s immigration forces. And, so, in that circumstance, we can’t let that attack go unchallenged. And I think that when you look at it from that perspective, it makes sense to try and oppose it.

If we just wait until they’ve created the groundswell, or created the base of support for these aggressive actions to take place, it can be too late. And so the way we approach fascist organizing or right wing organizing is not really focused on the question of free speech but is focused on whether or not we’re going to let them organize to implement their program. And our perspective is that we’re not. We’re going to challenge it. We’re going to try to stop it. We’re going to try to stop them.

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Categories: Workplace Struggle

IWW Members Stand with Fired Ford Union Organizer in Spain—Solidarity is Strength! (en Inglés y Espanol)

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 17:51

By John O’Reilly - The Organizer, April 26, 2017

On Friday, March 24th, Twin Cities IWW members gathered outside the Roseville Ford dealership to stand in solidarity with a fired union organizer from our sister union in Spain. An organizer with the National Confederation of Labor (or CNT, for its name in Spanish) was fired in retaliation for organizing in Valencia, Spain. His court date for reinstatement was set for March 27th.

A dealership manager approached our members and told them they were annoyed that we were picketing their workplace. The manager insisted that the site was union friendly and then sent out the union representative from the service workers to talk with IWW picketers. IWW member BP reports that “after some good conversation with the steward, he said he was on our side and took a large quantity of flyers – much to the dismay of the manager!” Workers from the site soon gathered and mixed with IWW picketers, impressed by the dedication of our members to their coworker in Spain’s cause.

Ford’s restructuring plan, The Way Forward, lays out a strategy of closing down plants in the US and moving them overseas to countries where the wages are lower. That’s why, as IWW member ED points out, “the Twin Cities factory shut down, taking away 2000 well payed union jobs, while production is ramping up in Spain, where labor laws are changing to make firing workers easier.” But the strategy only works as long as wages remain low in those countries. “So, by busting unions in Spain, Ford can keep outsourcing jobs, which busts unions here in the US. An injury to one is very much an injury to all,” ED adds.

The working class in the United States and globally is under attack by the international capitalists and their buddies in government. By moving labor and attacking workers organizations, the bosses try to keep us divided and fighting with each other, instead of working across national boundaries. Outsourcing only works if unions around the world are kept divided and weak. As ED points out: “Global capitalism can only be answered with global labor solidarity!”

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Categories: Workplace Struggle

Beyond May Day Parades: Building a Counter-Movement in Malaysia and Worldwide

Anarkismo (en) - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 05:23
Let us learn from our past struggles, in the USA and in Malaysia. May Day should be an occasion to reflect not jubilate, to engage not agonize, to demand not relent, and to organise, not complain. We need systemic change that can guarantee equality, fraternity, self-management and socialisation of the commonwealth, guided by a bottom–up approach to decision making. We need a labour movement that is multicultural and international, feminist, active in urban and rural struggles, and that prizes reason over superstition, justice over hierarchy, self-management over state power, international solidarity over nationalism. We need to fight for a universal human community, not parochialism and separatism. The organisational power and strategic location of the Malaysian union movement provides an excellent point of departure for building this counter-movement. This is our appeal and message as we celebrate this May Day, on the eve of dark days in which the storm clouds gather over humanity – but in which the light of hope of a better future can break through, if we arm ourselves with the correct ideas and approaches. May Day began as an example of globalisation-from-below. Let us rally to it. Let us take back its original vision: liberty, equality, unity.

China: Factory Workers Producing Ivanka Trump Clothing Are Reportedly Overworked & Underpaid

Labour Start - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 20:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Refinery29
Categories: Workplace Struggle

Science day / March4Science in Dublin April 22nd - video of march

Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 07:03

About 1000 people marched through Dublin this afternoon as part of the international day of action in defence of science. The March For Science is an international initiative to stand up for science and evidence in the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery.

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Science day / March4Science in Dublin April 22nd - video of march

Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) - Wed, 04/26/2017 - 07:03

About 1000 people marched through Dublin this afternoon as part of the international day of action in defence of science. The March For Science is an international initiative to stand up for science and evidence in the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery.

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Industrial Worker—Winter 2017 #1778 Vol. 114, No. 1

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 21:58

Solidarity in Adversity

In this issue:  

  • Stardust Family United: End-of-the-year setbacks and successes buoy workers at Ellen's Stardust Diner
  • Solidarity in Adversity: For unions in the Trump era, workers and communities must work together
  • In November We Remembered: Wobblies commemorate the 1916 Everett Massacre, honoring the slain on the land and sea
  • Jewish Faces in the IWW: From lumberjacks to baristas, Jewish Wobblies have organized workers for over 100 years    

. . . and more!

Download a free PDF of this issue here.

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Categories: Workplace Struggle

The Turkish army is attacking Yezîdî Kurds and Rojava villages

Anarkismo (en) - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 07:09
Turkish warplanes bombed Şengal (Sinjar-Iraq/Kurdistan) and Dêrik (Karaçokê-Rojava/Kurdistan).
According to the latest information, 26 Turkish warplanes attacked Amûd and Geliyê Kersê of Şengal/Sinjar. The bombardment is still going on. It has been learned that prior to the aerial operation, communication networks had been completely cut in Dêrik and its surrounding areas.

Don't give the maternity hospital to the nuns - Holles Street Protest! We own our hospitals.

Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 05:59

Protests took place across Ireland Saturday 22nd April to protest the plan by Health Simon Harris to give the new maternity hospital, which will cost 300 million to build, to the same nuns who ran the Magdeline laundaries!  The Sisters of Charity ran the Drumcondra and Sean MacDermott Street laundaries where expectant and recent mothers were essentially imprisoned and required to provide free labour that the numns profited from.

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Don't give the maternity hospital to the nuns - Holles Street Protest! We own our hospitals.

Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland) - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 05:59

Protests took place across Ireland Saturday 22nd April to protest the plan by Health Simon Harris to give the new maternity hospital, which will cost 300 million to build, to the same nuns who ran the Magdeline laundaries!  The Sisters of Charity ran the Drumcondra and Sean MacDermott Street laundaries where expectant and recent mothers were essentially imprisoned and required to provide free labour that the numns profited from.

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End War: End Capitalism

Anarkismo (en) - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 18:58
War is integral to imperialism. We can't end war without ending imperialism and we can't end imperialism without ending capitalism, because imperialism is not merely a policy, but the set of international relationships in capitalism for over 100 years now. We don't have to send young men and women overseas to kill brown people and we don't have to allow a US base at Pine Gap to guide both nuclear missiles and drones. To change direction, though, means eliminating the capitalist system that brings us these horrors. The working class needs to unite internationally and make a revolution to abolish it. We need to replace capitalism with the only possible alternative – libertarian communism.

Who’s Rafael Braga Vieira?

Anarkismo (en) - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:24
Translation to English
Rafael Braga Vieira is a black and poor young man, who, until June of 2013, worked collecting material for recycling in downtown streets of Rio de Janeiro. He lived on the streets in order to save money on his way back home – he didn’t return home everyday in Vila Cruzeiro (North zone), where he lived with his parents, brothers and sisters. However, on June 20, Rafael Braga’s routine changed.

[http://anarkismo.net/article/30202]
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