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labor

Journeys of an Expropriated Coat

by Frotchie

My coat was born in the Lebow Clothing Factory in 1985, shortly before the owner closed it down, firing several hundred seamstresses and quietly knocking away one of the last bastions of manufacturing that stood in the way of Baltimore's inevitable transformation into a post-industrial wasteland. The factory was closed, locked, and boarded up, and no one bothered to remove anything from inside. Endless rows of sewing machines sat rusting, great hay-bale sized rolls of textile lay collecting dust, and this coat, along with twelve thousand of its brethren, hung neatly wrapped in plastic, unseen and forgotten. Like the women who made it, it became redundant, unwanted, a discarded relic of a dying era...

Northeastern Anarchist #12, Winter 2007

Montpelier Downtown Workers’ Union
Zanon: Class Consciousness Through Self-Management
Resistance in Pyeongtaek
Anarchist Study of Iroquois
Solidarity with Six Nations
Workers, Management, and Worker-management
and more...

Common Struggle Workplace Position Paper

Adopted at the eleventh federation congress,
November 5-6, 2005, Sherbrooke, Quebec

The struggle toward libertarian communism must be brought about by the whole of the working class, the workplace and labor unions are an essential point of agitation and struggle. Anarchist-communists must organize within the ranks of labor unions, active in this struggle as both advocates of social revolution and as fellow workers in a collective battle against exploitation.

Class struggle is by no means confined to workplace. Class conflict occurs everyday in neighborhood-based battles for decent housing, the fight for welfare, the battles for access to quality education, the struggle against prisons and police brutality, in the arena of popular culture, and especially against racism, sexism, and other oppressions that stratify and divide the working class. However, as anarchist-communists, we have a particular strategic interest in workplace struggles due to the ability to directly challenge the material interests of the capitalist class

Independent rank-and-file tendencies within existing unions, coupled with workplace resistance groups, solidarity networks, and, eventually, workplace assemblies and coordinating councils, provide a glimpse at the kind of self-managed workers movement needed to not only effectively challenge the employers, but also develop the unity and revolutionary class consciousness needed to overthrow the capitalist social order.

Operation Sold Out II: The Failed General Strike in British Columbia in 2004

Agitating for a general strike, Mayday 2004.


The most significant period of labor unrest in British Columbia since 1983 took place in late April and early May of 2004, as a result of the failed province-wide “General Strike” movement. During this period, dissatisfaction with government policies and ensuing legislation escalated into wildcat strikes, walkouts, and significant mass public support for the actions of labor unions, community groups, and students in opposition to the government.

Very little has been written on the attempted general strike from the perspective of those in British Columbia, and even less from those who were actually involved in the actions that took place around May Day of 2004. The lack of critical theory and analysis of what happened is unacceptable in light of the current situation, and the challenges faced not just by working people throughout the province, but also across the country. Without a thorough understanding of how the general strike movement operated, and how it failed, the labor movement in British Columbia will be sentenced to continual failure and decline.

Grève Générale!: The 1972 Rebellion in Quebec

by George "Mick" Sweetman


"Not since the days of the Industrial Workers of the World, since the days of Joe Hill and the battle for the eight-hour day, has a North American union movement been so dedicated to the tradition of revolutionary syndicalism."
- Marcel Pepin (jailed President of the Confederation of National
Trade Unions, 1972)



Thirty-two years ago one of the largest working class rebellions in North American history exploded in Quebec. 300,000 workers participated in North America's largest general strike to that date, radio stations were seized, factories were occupied, and entire towns were brought under workers' control. What made the rebellion possible was not only an explosive mix of economic exploitation, national oppression, and government repression, but was also a strong, young, and radicalized rank and file of the Quebec trade union movement.

Update On Vancouver Squeegee Workers

Update on police repression of squeegee workers in Vancouver B.C.This is what Vancouver looks like
Had good holidays? Lots of money in the air... But thinking about giving and receiving gifts, we sometime forget what's happening to others.

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