August Newsletter

NYC GMB News

New York City General Membership Branch (NYC GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the August edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email with comments or questions.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.

UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Thursday, August 30 at 5:30 p.m.: Join the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) for Prison Strike Solidarity Work Time at Bluestockings Bookstore (172 Allen St New York, New York), where you can make anti-repression calls, collect data on the spread of the strike, write letters to organizers inside and learn about ways we can continue to support our locked-up friends during and long after the strike ends. RSVP here.

If you cannot make IWOC's solidarity work event, please support the fellow workers who are participating in the 2018 National Prisoner Strike by donating here.

Tuesday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m.: Attend an orientation for new members of the NYC GMB. The orientation will take place prior to our monthly branch meeting and acquaint you with the history of the IWW, current NYC GMB campaigns, rules for how the monthly meeting proceeds, and more. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

Tuesday, September 11 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

Saturday, October 6 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Join the Industrial Workers of the World's New York City General Membership Branch for a night of music by all-IWW acts to raise money for three current IWW campaigns organizing workers at restaurants, bakeries, and prisons in and around the five boroughs. RSVP here.

PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

Thursday Mornings at 6 a.m. and Tuesday Afternoons at 3 p.m.: Join union workers on the northwest corner of 34 Street and 10 Avenue to protest greedy developers at the Hudson Yards.

Every Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Last the month, the branch co-hosted a panel with Strike Corps and DSA's Service Industry Organizing Group. The panel focused on organizing in the service industry and featured workers from House of Kava in Brooklyn, Gimme Coffee in Upstate New York, and a Wobbly from Burgerville in Portland. If you could not make it, you can find the video here.

The IWW is holding its national convention in Kansas City, Missouri, this September. The motions being discussed at the convention have been voted on using Loomio, and our branch delegates are ready to represent us in Kansas City. After the convention, Fellow Workers will vote on motions and national officers. The voting is done online, and you must sign up for Red Card in order to vote.

The IWW General Headquarters (GHQ) has created a survey to gain feedback about the union from fellow workers across the country. You can find the survey here.

ORGANIZING RESOURCES

The IWW one-pager is now available in Spanish! You can find it here. We hope to have the tri-fold, International Women's Day insert, and Janus v. AFSCME insert translated soon as well.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ & LISTEN TO

"Gonzo Socialism," Jacobin

"Unionizing the Service Industry: Democratic and Worker-Led", Barista Magazine

"Capitalism Efficient? We Can Do So Much Better," The Gaurdian

"It’s Not Technology That’s Disrupting Our Jobs," New York Times

 

 

July Newsletter

NYC GMB News

New York City General Membership Branch (NYC GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the July edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email with comments or questions.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.

UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Thursday, July 19 at 5 p.m.: Join the NYC GMB contingent at the Coalition of Immokalee Worker's #BoycottWendys March. Email [email protected] to coordinate our meetup during the march.

Monday, July 30 at 7 p.m.: The NYC GMB is cosponsoring a panel being held by Strike Corps and DSA's Service Industry Organizing Group at Verso Books (20 Jay St., Brooklyn). The panel will focus on organizing in the service industry and feature workers from House of Kava in Brooklyn, Gimme Coffee in Upstate New York, and a Wobbly from Burgerville in Portland.

Saturday and Sunday, August 4 & 5:  The New Haven General Membership Branch is holding an organizer training 101. The NYC GMB has voted to subsidize some of the travel costs for branch members who would like to attend. Please reach out to [email protected] if you are interested.

Sunday, August 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, along with the Stop the Raids Coalition, is hosting their monthly Family Gathering Against the Raids. Come to the Bronx Social Center (970 Prospect Ave., Bronx) for letter-writing and hat-passing for desperately needed commissary money. E-mail [email protected] to RSVP.

Tuesday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m.: Attend an orientation for new members of the NYC GMB. The orientation will take place prior to our monthly branch meeting and acquaint you with the history of the IWW, current NYC GMB campaigns, rules for how the monthly meeting proceeds, and more. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

Tuesday, August 14 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

Tuesday, July 17 at 12 p.m.: On the four-year anniversary of Eric Garner's murder, join Garner's family and community at Occupy Bay Street in Tompkinsville Park (45 Victory Blvd., Staten Island). RSVP here.

Mondays at 8 p.m., Wednesdays at 7 p.m., and Fridays at 7 p.m.: Workers at the House of Kava need our help! The workers have organized and, after facing several firings, are running pickets in front of the shop (238 Central Ave., Brooklyn). Contribute to their strike fund here.

Thursday Mornings at 6 a.m. and Tuesday Afternoons at 3 p.m.: Join union workers on the northwest corner of 34 Street and 10 Avenue to protest greedy developers at the Hudson Yards.

Every Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The branch has voted to use Loomio as our online voting system. The by-laws have been approved, and the platform is almost ready for rollout. Please check out introduction to Loomio videos here and here.

Stardust Family United has been one of the most successful organizing campaigns taken on by the IWW in years. The have had great success, but need our help: SFU racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees while fighting their organizing campaign. The NYC GMB has made a generous donation, but we now need individual members to donate and spread the word about SFU's crowd-fundraiser.

The IWW is holding its national convention in Kansas City, Missouri, this September. The motions being discussed at the convention have been sent out to the list, and you should also receive them by mail in the coming weeks. We voted on FW Jay and FW Liss to be our delegates and represent the NYC GMB at the convention. After the convention, Fellow Workers will vote on motions and national officers. The voting is done online, and you must sign up for Red Card in order to vote.

ORGANIZING RESOURCES

The NYC GMB now has an Instagram account!

The branch has launched a member orientation program. If you are new to the branch, considering becoming a member, or want to figure how to get more involved, please arrive 30 minutes before the next general membership meeting and get oriented. To learn more, please email [email protected].

Online dues collection has launched! You can still pay in person, but if you cannot make the NYC GMB monthly meetings, head over to our website to pay your dues.

The IWW one-pager and branch trifold are officially complete—and they looks great! You can find the one-pager here and the trifold here. Make copies at home, surreptitiously at work, or at a unionized print shop, and distribute to help explain what the IWW is and what we do.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ & LISTEN TO

"Huge Increase in Large Work Stoppages Seen in 2018," Medium (by the NYC GMB's own Eric Dirnbach!)

"The Invisible Class: Workers in America," CounterPunch

"For 60 Years, This Powerful Conservative Group Has Worked to Crush Labor," The Nation

The IWW's Feminist History

"The IWW has been accused of putting the women in the front. The truth is, the IWW does not keep them in the back, and they go to the front." – Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Wobbly, 1915

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a democratic, rank-and-file labor organization dedicated to building workers' power on the job. Founded in 1905 in Chicago, the IWW was one of the first unions to take seriously the struggle for women's liberation, enshrining in its constitution that "No worker shall be excluded from the IWW because of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, creed, disability, sexual orientation, or any other non-economic criterion . . . ." Helen Keller, Margaret Sanger, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, Lucy Parsons, Dorothy Day, and other celebrated feminists have all been members of the IWW, or "Wobblies."

Join Us in Fighting for Immigrant Workers' Rights

In addition to supporting women's liberation, the IWW has always fought for immigrant workers. In 2017, the IWW's New York City General Membership Branch (NYC GMB) supported workers at Tom Cat Bakery in Queens, who were targets of the first known I-9 audit under the Trump administration.

Tom Cat workers still need support! Contact us if you can volunteer to do consumer education or research!

I-9 audits are conducted by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to pressure employers to fire undocumented workers, further criminalizing immigrants, jeopardizing the well-being of families, and fueling poverty. I-9 audits have been used to terrorize thousands of workers, including those at Cloverhill Bakery in Chicago, Boathouse Canton in Baltimore, and 7-Elevens across the country. ICE Deputy Director Tom Horman recently stated that he aims to increase such operations by 400 percent.

Organize to Defend Women, Immigrants & the Rest of the Working Class

Learn more by visiting us at our website (wobblycity.org), on Facebook (/nyciww), or on Twitter (@iwwnyc). You can also reach us by email at: [email protected]

Resolution on Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Whereas, the Industrial Workers of World have a longstanding tradition of organizing with immigrant workers; and

Whereas, the Industrial Workers of the World New York City General Membership Branch has an active campaign in support of workers impacted by a workplace audit executed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and

Whereas, the actions of ICE target the most vulnerable of the working class, splitting up families and incarcerating workers for trying to make a better life for themselves; and

Whereas, ICE drives down the wages and working conditions of immigrant workers, attempts to pit immigrant and non-immigrant workers against each other, and is an obstacle to the progress of all working people; and

Whereas, in New York City, ICE retaliated against protestors occupying the ICE Processing Center at 201 Varick Street by refusing to hold bond hearings for detainees or allow access to pro bono legal representation on June 26 and June 27, 2018; and

Whereas, an injury to one is an injury to all; be it,

Resolved, that the Industrial Workers of the World New York City General Membership Branch endorses the ICE facility occupations in New York City; and

Resolved, that the Industrial Workers of the World New York City General Membership Branch demands the abolition of ICE and a return to open borders; and

Resolved, that the Industrial Workers of the World New York City General Membership Branch opposes all cooperation between ICE and the New York City Police Department; and

Resolved, that the Industrial Workers of the World New York City General Membership Branch will give material assistance to anti-ICE protests, civil disobedience, and other actions as we are able.

On Janus v. AFSCME

Despite what gloating capitalists and defeatists progressives may say, the Supreme Court's decision in Janus v. AFSCME is not the end of unions in the US.

Unions were not created by the stroke of a judge's pen nor will they be undone by it. Unions were forged in the flames of class war, against the interests of politicians and their lackeys, by working people who understood that we can only count on each other. Whenever and wherever workers act together to improve their working conditions, unions will prevail. No law can change this.

Capitalists seek to turn back the clock to 1934, to before the National Labor Relations Act gave unions legal protections? So be it. We welcome 1934. 1934 saw the ILA unionize all West Coast ports, Teamsters break into "open shop" Minneapolis, and textile workers from New England to the South launch what was the largest strike in US history. The NLRA was a compromise imposed by the government to prevent all out class war. If we are done compromising, then let us return to fighting.

But we don't need to look so far back for inspiration. In 2018, teachers in West Virginia proved that workers need only act together to succeed. WV teachers already lacked the protections that Janus will strip from other unions. That did not stop them from winning their demands and inspiring workers across the country.

The Industrial Workers of the World was founded in 1905. For over 100 years, we have known that there can be no compromise between workers and bosses. Join us for the fight.

The Silver Lining Behind "Right to Work" Legislation

While the IWW recognizes that recent "right to work" legislation is a blatant attempt to bankrupt unions, we also see an opportunity for unions to respond by becoming militant and more democratic, as well as teaching members that a union can function quite well without the mandatory deduction of dues from paychecks. Indeed, unions were strongest long before the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, which codified labor law, and proved that victories are not dependent on the dues check-off.

In the IWW, the dues check-off is unconstitutional and workers are encouraged to pay dues either directly to a delegate, online, or through the mail. When workers understand that there is value in their union, they will want to pay dues. And when workers have complete democracy in their union, they'll know that their vote controls exactly how their dues are spent. Worried about "freeloaders?" Let the workers handle this alleged problem—not the bosses or the state.

Union membership has continued to decline since the 1950s. How low does the percentage have to plummet before workers realize that unions need a new strategy to win? Only when workers know that they are the union, that they control how it operates and how the dues are collected and spent, will unions return to the fighting machines they once were.

Don't let the state convince you that it can end union membership simply by ending the dues check-off—history has shown otherwise!

June Newsletter

NYC GMB News

General Membership Branch (GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the June edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email to learn how to get more involved in its production.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.

UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Sunday, July 1 from 5 to 8 p.m.: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, along with the Stop the Raids Coalition, is hosting their monthly Family Gathering Against the Raids. Come to the Bronx Social Center (970 Prospect Ave., Bronx) for letter-writing and hat-passing for desperately needed commissary money. E-mail [email protected] to RSVP

Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8: Join fellow workers on a Wobbly camping trip! The location details are still being worked out, but please RSVP here by June 24th.

Before the next meeting, the branch will hold an orientation session for new members. The date and time has not been selected yet, but reach out to [email protected] if you are interested in attending.

Tuesday, July 10 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

Saturday and Sunday, August 4 & 5:  The New Haven General Membership Branch is holding an organizer training 101. The branch has voted to subsidize some of the travel costs for NYC branch members who would like to attend. Please reach out to [email protected] if you are interested.

PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

Workers at the House of Kava in Brooklyn need our help! The workers have organized, and after facing several firings, are running pickets in front of the shop at 238 Central Ave in Brooklyn everyday from 7 to 9 p.m. Contribute to the workers' strike fund here.

Thursday mornings at 6 a.m. and Tuesday afternoons at 3 p.m. Join union workers on the northwest corner of 34 Street and 10 Avenue to protest greedy developers at the Hudson Yards.

Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The branch has experienced several email issues - sorry for any inconvenience! If you emailed the branch in the past few months, and did not get a response, we may not have received your message. Please reach out again, as the issue has been resolved. Also, our internal listserv experienced technical issues last month - if you were removed and not added back to the list, please email [email protected]

The branch has voted to use Loomio as our online voting system. While Fellow Workers are busy getting together by-laws for the new system, please check out introduction to Loomio videos here and here.

Stardust Family United has been one of the most successful organizing campaigns taken on by the IWW in years. The have had great success, but need our help: They have racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees while fighting their organizing campaign. The branch has made a generous donation, but we now need individual members to donate and spread the word about SFU's crowd-fundraiser.

IWOC has two crowd-funding campaigns: one for a Fellow Worker inside who has incurred legal fees while fighting abuses by correction officers and two Fellow Workers who were recently released. Please donate here and here.

IWOC is picking up Jailhouse Lawyers Speak's call for a nation-wide prison strike from August 21 to September 9, and they need help planning solidarity actions, corresponding with inside contacts, and getting the word out to the media. Organizing meetings are currently every second Friday at 7 p.m., usually by phone, and the next one will be on Friday, May 19. If you'd like to join, please e-mail [email protected].

ORGANIZING RESOURCES

GMB Tech has launched a Signal group for the branch. (An off-topic group has  been created as well.) Reply to this email to be added to the group. Download Signal here.

In order to better organize our industrial union building efforts, the branch voted to organize a series of teams: member orientation, mobilizing, tech, communications, legal, research, and fundraising. Their descriptions can be found here. Please reply to this email to learn how to join each team!

Online dues collection has launched! You can still pay in person, but if you cannot make our monthly meetings, head over to the website and sign up.

The IWW one-pager and branch trifold are officially complete—and they looks great! You can find the one-pager here and the trifold here. Make copies at home, surreptitiously at work, or at a unionized print shop, and distribute to help explain what the IWW is and what we do.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ & LISTEN TO

"At the New School, Labor Struggles Unite Students and Workers" Pacific Standard

"The Unequal Geography of the Gig Economy" The Atlantic

"Remembering the Postville Raid" Workday Minnesota

 

 

 

May Newsletter

NYC GMB News

General Membership Branch (GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the May edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email to learn how to get more involved in its production.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.

UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Sunday, May 20 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Join Brandworkers in celebrating the conclusion of their annual May Day fundraising campaign at their office (43-32 22 St., Ste. 202, Queens). RSVP here.

Friday, May 25 from 7 to 10 p.m.: Join NYC GDC for a screening of the #NoDAPL documentary Black Snake Killaz followed by a discussion with Sane Energy Project at Nothing New (4916 Arthur Kill Rd., Staten Island). RSVP here.

Tuesday, May 29: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) is participating in an action at Starbucks highlighting the company's use of prison labor. Email [email protected] to get involved.

Sunday, June 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.: The IWOC, along with the Stop the Raids Coalition, is hosting their monthly Family Gathering Against the Raids. Come to the Bronx Social Center (970 Prospect Ave., Bronx) for letter-writing and hat-passing for desperately needed commissary money. RSVP here.

Tuesday, June 12 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

This Mother's Day, help bail out a mom.

Workers at the New School could use your help! There are two labor struggles currently taking place at the New School: cafeteria workers who are members of UNITE-HERE and teaching assistants represented by UAW. Stop by 63 5 Ave. to pitch in or join the picket line.

Thursday mornings at 6 a.m. and Tuesday afternoons at 3 p.m. Join union workers on the northwest corner of 34 Street and 10 Avenue to protest greedy developers at the Hudson Yards.

Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The branch has voted to use Loomio as our online voting system. While Fellow Workers are busy getting together by-laws for the new system, please check out introduction to Loomio videos here and here.

Branch meetings will continue to take place on the second Tuesday of each month. Our Doodle poll garnered 15 votes to keep these meeting on Tuesday nights.

Stardust Family United has been one of the most successful organizing campaigns taken on by the IWW in years. The have had great success, but need our help: They have racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees while fighting their organizing campaign. The branch has made a generous donation, but we now need individual members to donate and spread the word about SFU's crowd-fundraiser.

IWOC has two crowd-funding campaigns: one for a Fellow Worker inside who has incurred legal fees while fighting abuses by correction officers and two Fellow Workers who were recently released. Please donate here and here.

IWOC is picking up Jailhouse Lawyers Speak's call for a nation-wide prison strike from August 21 to September 9, and they need help planning solidarity actions, corresponding with inside contacts, and getting the word out to the media. Organizing meetings are currently every second Friday at 7 p.m., usually by phone, and the next one will be on Friday, May 19. If you'd like to join, please e-mail [email protected].

Organizers of January's Operation PUSH have designated June 19 a day of outside prisoner support actions, and IWOC would like to plan something sound. Email [email protected] if you have ideas or want to get involved.

ORGANIZING RESOURCES

GMB Tech has launched a Signal group for the branch. (An off-topic group has  been created as well.) Reply to this email to be added to the group. Download Signal here.

In order to better organize our industrial union building efforts, the branch voted to organize a series of teams: member orientation, mobilizing, tech, communications, legal, research, and fundraising. Their descriptions can be found here. Please reply to this email to learn how to join each team!

Online dues collection has launched! You can still pay in person, but if you cannot make our monthly meetings, head over to the website and sign up.

The IWW one-pager and branch trifold are officially complete—and they looks great! You can find the one-pager here and the trifold here. Make copies at home, surreptitiously at work, or at a unionized print shop, and distribute to help explain what the IWW is and what we do.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ & LISTEN TO

"Book Review: Wobblies of the World: A History of Globetrotting Troublemakers," Labor Notes  (written by Eric Dirnbach of the NYC GMB!)

"How the Corporate Response to America's First Fast Food Union Totally Backfired," Digg

"Salinas Farm Workers March to Oppose Immigration Raids" People's World

Call for a Juneteenth 2018 Mobilization Against Prison Slavery

Call for a #Juneteenth2018 Mobilization Against Prison Slavery

from SPARC

This year we, supporters of #OperationPUSH, are calling on all opponents of mass incarceration and modern-day slavery internationally to honor the Juneteenth holiday (Tuesday, June 19, 2018) with community organizing and direct action.

This call to action is inspired by prisoners in Texas and Florida, two of the largest and most repressive prison systems in the U.S., who remain active in freedom struggle against all odds.

Background

Juneteenth is an abolitionist holiday originating in Texas, where many Confederate slave-holders fled to during the U.S. Civil War.

But that war was not merely a domestic civil conflict. It was a flare-up of the global movement to end slavery. It is a movement that continues to challenge the slave relations of today which occur under several names (examples include debt bondage, sex trafficking, prison labor) and generally impact the most historically exploited and most vulnerable among us.

Forced captivity and involuntary labor have been among the most abhorrent practices in human society since the earliest of written records.

The celebration of freedom from these conditions has formed the foundation of many cultures and identities.

Juneteenth in particular marked the official end of chattel slavery in the U.S. But the backlash against this victory saw the initial formation of many state prison systems in the country, especially in the South, born to manage a new era of slavery known as convict-leasing. That system was also technically done away with, but its remnants are visible all over the country.

Prison slave labor today can be seen in wildlands firefighters, disaster clean-up from hurricanes and oil spills, massive contracts with cities, counties and universities, and the running of the prisons themselves.

While prisons no longer provide the same scale of labor that chattel slavery and convict-leasing did, they maintain the slave relation of captivity for another primary purpose: the warehousing of populations that pose a threat to a profit-obsessed society. This includes the unemployed or those in underground economies, the mentally ill, and those most likely to challenge the status quo.

The Juneteenth holiday originated in 1865, but the struggle for official recognition is still occurring today. As of May 2016, 45 of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or a day of observance.

Juneteenth originally marked the freedom of African Americans from captivity. Today’s prison system has made slavery a multi-racial affair, where indigenous and immigrant people of all backgrounds are held in bondage along side the descendants of European settlers, joined by the common bond of poverty.

The aim of this call to action is to support the ongoing effort to recognize Juneteenth and to add to that legacy by calling for an end to modern-day slave conditions in the prison system.

Goals

1. End slave labor
2. Stop profiteering off prisoners
3. Reduce the prison population
4. Demand environmental justice in the prison industrial complex

Strategy

Plan outreach activities in the weeks leading up to, and actions in the days surrounding, Juneteeneth. Aim to put pressure on the prison system and build community support for ending mass incarceration.

Specific Suggestions

1. Host large public film showings of Ava Duvernay’s documentary 13th (available on Netflix) at spaces where people are likely to have not seen it yet and facilitate discussion afterward.

2. Coordinate letter writing/mass mailing parties to prisoners in your state where you aim to reach out to at least 500 new prisoners by gathering addresses off online rosters, communicating to prisoners that there will be public events around Juneteenth and encourage them to inform family and friends. (If these letters are censored, appeal the censorship and seek First Amendment attorneys to assist.)

3. Plan actions that include highly visible street theater and civil disobedience that will attract media attention and disrupt business as usual. (If these include any risk of arrest, please prepare with trainings and bail funds.)

Context

In January this year we saw an international outpouring of support for the Florida prisoners who called for the #OperationPUSH prisoner strike. This came largely from networks developed around the 2016 Attica anniversary and the 2017 Black August organizing, as well as earlier coordinated prisoner-related efforts in Alabama, Texas, California, Georgia and elsewhere.

While we have developed strong relationships across the walls all around the country over these past two years, we have also learned some hard lessons about repression against prisoners from inside/outside organizing.

In response to efforts at increasing communication by mail and visits, we’ve seen retaliation via censorship and visitation cuts. We’ve also seen many solid organizers thrown into solitary confinement or shipped off to other prisons repeatedly, as well as random prisoners punished just for being sent activist mailings. And we’ve watched organizations be labeled as Security Threat Groups in order to scare new prisoners away from associating with the movement.

Still we have persevered, escalated and evolved our strategies. We have repeatedly heard that mainstream media coverage is a major inspiration to people inside, that it reaches more than our mail ever could. (It is also more difficult to censor.)

For this reason, suggestion number three, disruption and civil disobedience is a priority for activities surrounding Juneteenth.

Strategy

We know the media operates on a mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads.” Although this often refers to literal bloodshed, it thankfully does not require it. Any conflict that makes it on to a police scanner has always been the media’s priority. While coverage doesn’t require mass arrests, zero arrests can often result in a demonstration that does not make it into the headlines.

Media also often ignores in-depth stories too far from its primary urban audiences.

Take for example the Operation PUSH solidarity action where around 50 people occupied the FDOC lobby for five hours, effectively shutting down the building’s normal operations. It wasn’t until police aggression, a broken window and an arrest that TV cameras showed up to tell the story.

Meanwhile, prisoners launched regular uprisings with brutal retaliation. Coverage of this is rare due to the rural, remote location of most prisons.

Taking note of recent movements like Black Lives Matter, Idle No More and the pipeline resistance at Standing Rock, along with historic examples in the civil rights, women’s suffrage and anti-nuclear movements, we’ve see that remote areas and under-reported issues can be brought front-and-center using civil disobedience and strategic disturbances.

Talking points on the goals

End slave labor

This means the prisoners around the world who do industrial work for little-to-no pay in kitchens, laundries, on road crews, in fields or in factories must get a fair wage for their labor, or the prisons must pay outside workers to do this work. One way or another, the true cost of prison operation must be known and the broken system of mass incarceration must no longer be subsidized through slavery. The U.S. acts appalled by other countries like China exploiting its prisoners for free labor, but tolerates the practice at home.

Stop profiteering off prisoners

All across the country, federal, state and municipal agencies contract with profit-driven companies for goods and services (on top of the prisons and detention centers where operations are handed over to private companies in attempt to cut costs). In most every instance of these contracts for healthcare, commissary, phones and money transfers, prisoners are price-gouged because they are captive customers.

Reduce prison populations

State and federal officials can use re-sentencing, parole and clemency to drastically bring down the number of people held in cages. We know this can be done, as many other countries have shown by example that the U.S. practice of absurdly long prison sentencing contributes nothing remotely resembling rehabilitation.

Demand environmental justice

There is a nationwide effort to expose prisons as industrial operation with chronic conditions that are not conducive to health and safety. The Environmental Justice (EJ) movement has spent the past three decades developing an analysis that applies the need for environmental protections to all areas of our society, including places like prisons, and begun writing those protections into laws, such as Executive Order 12898, developing EJ through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In this analysis, the maintaining of warehouses for caged humans must be viewed as incompatible with environmental justice.

A list of organizations in support of #OperationPUSH and #Juneteenth2018 can be found here.

Please contact [email protected] to add your organization to this call to action.

April Newsletter

NYC GMB News

General Membership Branch (GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the May edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email to learn how to get more involved in its production.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.

UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Saturday, April 27 at 5 p.m.: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) is hosting a "Welcome Home" event for two inside IWOC organizers at The Bronx Social Center (970 Prospect Ave., Bronx). The event will serve as both a fundraiser and an IWOC newsletter launch party. Register here. IWOC is seeking donated raffle prizes and volunteers for this event. Email [email protected] if you can help. The next planning meeting will be Sunday, April 15.

Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Join the NYC GDC for a self-defense workshop led by Pop Gym during the Mayday Festival of Resistance at Maria Hernandez Park (Knickerbocker Ave. and Starr St., Brooklyn). Register here.

Sunday, May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), along with the Stop the Raids Coalition, is hosting their monthly Family Gathering Against the Raids. Come to The Bronx Social Center for letter-writing and hat-passing for desperately needed commissary money. Register here.

Tuesday, May 1 is May Day! Join your Fellow Workers on strike, and join the IWW contingent at festivities around the city. Our plans are not solid yet, but a May Day committee has been formed to plan our participation. Watch the list for more details.

Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.

Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Join Central NJ GDC for a street-medic training in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Email [email protected] for more details.

Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m.: The People's Human Rights Observatory is holding a talk on cross-border solidarity and the militarization of the border at the War Resisters League (168 Canal St #600, Manhattan).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Our allies at Brandworkers are launching their annual May Day Fundraising Campaign! A group of GMB members have founded a team to help Brandworkers reach their goal of $50,000. Support the team and help build worker power within New York's food manufacturing industry by donating here.

Stardust Family United has been one of the most successful organizing campaigns taken on by the IWW in years. The have had great success, but they need our help: they have racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees while fighting their organizing campaign. The branch has made a generous donation, but we now need individual members to donate and spread the word about the SFU crowd-fundraiser.

The Central New Jersey IWW Branch is holding an OT 101 in New Brunswick, and the NYC GMB has voted to help subsidize the travel costs of FWs who plan to attend. It is at the George Street Co-op (89 Morris St., New Brunswick), Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Email [email protected] for more details. Please get in touch with one of the branch officers if you are interested in the reimbursement.

IWOC is running a crowd-funding campaign for a Fellow Worker inside who has incurred legal fees while fighting abuses by correction officers. Please donate here.

ORGANIZING RESOURCES

In order to better organize our industrial union building efforts, the branch voted to organize a series of teams: member orientation, mobilizing, tech, communications, legal, research, and fundraising. Their descriptions can be found here. Please reach out to one of the branch officers to sign up!

Online dues collection has launched! You can still pay in person, but if you cannot make our monthly meetings, head over to the website and sign up.

The IWW one-pager and branch trifold are officially complete—and they looks great! You can find the one-pager here and the trifold here. Make copies at home, surreptitiously at work, or at a unionized print shop, and distribute to help explain what the IWW is and what we do.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ & LISTEN TO

"The Burgerville Workers Union is Poised to be the First Officially Recognized Fast Food Union," Eater, Portland

"The Pinkertons Still Never Sleep," New Republic

" 'The Gig Economy' is the New Term for Serfdom," Common Dreams

"The Federal Attack on Sex Workers’ Rights is a Threat to Everyone’s Free Speech," In These Times

"This Anarchist Browser Plug-in Wants You to Fight Fascism on the Internet," Motherboard

March Newsletter

NYC GMB News

General Membership Branch (GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the March edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email to learn how to get more involved in its production.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.

UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Monday, March 19 from 7:30 to 10 p.m.: Join the NYC GDC in viewing the next installment of Trouble, an anarchist documentary series, at Starr Bar (214 Starr Street, Brooklyn). RSVP for free here.

Friday, March 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 24 from 12 to 5 p.m.: Learn how to respond to widespread natural and man-made disasters with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in this two-day training at The Base (1286 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn). Register for free here.

Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the NYC IWW GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

Saturday, April 21: IWOC is hosting a "Welcome Home" event for two inside organizers at The Bronx Social Center (970 Prospect Avenue, The Bronx). The event will serve as both a fundraiser and an IWOC newsletter launch party. Please watch this list for more details, including start time.

PROTESTS, PICKETS, & MORE AROUND THE CITY

Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Central New Jersey IWW Branch is holding an OT 101 in New Brunswick, and the branch has voted to help subsidize the travel costs of FWs who plan to attend. It is at the George St Co-op (89 Morris Street, New Brunswick), Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. Register for free here. Please get in touch with one of the branch officers if you are interested in reimbursement.

IWOC is running a crowd-funding campaign for a Fellow Worker on the inside who has incurred legal fees while fighting abuses by correction officers. Please donate here.

FW Kevin has completed his album that documents his time salting with the IWW. Copies are available on cassette for purchase, and all proceeds go to the workers affected by the I-9 audit at Tom Cat Bakery. Order online.

Mike Pesa, a longtime member of the IWW who currently belongs to the Baltimore GMB and previously belonged to the New York City GMB, needs our support. FW Mike’s wife, Heidi, a former kindergarten teacher, suffered a brain injury, and insurance will not cover the costs of her recovery. Read more about it here, and please donate here.

ORGANIZING RESOURCES

Online dues collection has launched! You can still pay in person, but if you cannot make our monthly meetings, head over to the website and sign up!

The IWW one-pager and branch trifold are officially complete—and they looks great! You can find the one-pager here and the trifold here. Make copies at home, surreptitiously at work, or at a unionized print shop, and distribute to help explain what the IWW is and what we do. Thank you to the Fellow Workers who put so much work into this!

WHAT WOBBLIES READ & LISTEN TO

"The Trump Administration's War on Workers," History News Network

"How Unions Help Immigrants Resist Deportations," The American Prospect

"Black Women Built That: Labor and Workers' Rights," The Latest

"West Virginia's Strike is no 'Wildcat,' " New Politics

"Inauguration Day Trials Continue to Threaten Activists Across the Country," Pacific Standard

NYC GDC Statement in Support of Tariq Khan

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

To the University of Illinois Office of Student Conflict Resolution ([email protected]), Assistant Dean of Students Rony Die ([email protected]), and Associate Dean of Students Justin Brown ([email protected]):

As an organization committed to defending members of the working class as they struggle for a more just world, we denounce, in the strongest possible terms, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution’s mind-boggling capitulation to the bigots waging a campaign of targeted harassment against Tariq Khan.

It is unconscionable that Khan is being disciplined by your office when his department and even the Champaign County Court have been able to see through the ruse of the right-wing outrage machine targeting him. Turning Point USA, the organization which Khan’s accuser belongs to, has a well-documented history of going after students, professors, and other faculty for their political beliefs, encouraging TPUSA members to mob their targets’ employers and schools with calls for dismissal and expulsion, while also harassing their targets personally through threatening calls, emails, and even stalking. After the amount of suffering that TPUSA has inflicted on Khan and his family, it is ludicrous for your office to top it off by threatening his education and livelihood.

Should your office be truly interested in supporting a safe and secure university environment, it should look into the well-documented history of TPUSA’s abuses and immediately suspend any disciplinary action against Khan, issue him and his family a formal apology, and commit to better protecting your community in the future.

In Solidarity with Tariq Khan,

The New York City General Defense Committee

February Newsletter

General Membership Branch (GMB) meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. Email [email protected] for location details.

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the February edition of our e-newsletter! Feedback and collaboration are always encouraged. Simply reply to this email to learn how to get more involved in its production.

In addition to the events listed below, you can always check the Google Calendar of the NYC General Defense Committee (GDC) for more happenings. If you would like to submit radical events in and around New York City to the calendar, email details to nycgdc@protonmail.com.


UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every day at various times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email FW Frank if you would like to sign up for a shift.

Saturday, February 17 from 4 to 7 p.m.: Securing communications and information within your organizing efforts has never been more important. Join the NYC GDC for an information security training. Register for free here.

Saturday, February 17 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Enjoy FW Dorian Wallace's performance in the Precarious Sounds / Sounding Sanctuary conference at Silver Center Block (28 Waverly Place, Manhattan). Register for free here.

Sunday, February 18 from 12 to 6 p.m.: Join the NYC GDC for a second day of training — this time focusing on picketing and marshaling. Register for free here.

Saturday, February 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Join an IWW contingent in flyering at the People's Day of Action rally in Foley Square. Please email FW Ryan if you would like to participate.

Sunday, March 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), along with the Stop the Raids Coalition, is hosting their monthly Family Gathering Against the Raids. Come to the Bronx Social Center for letter-writing and hat-passing for desperately needed commissary money. Email [email protected] for more details.

Thursday, March 8 from 4 to 6 p.m.: Join an IWW contingent in flyering at the International Women's Strike rally in Washington Square Park. Please email FW Liss if you would like to participate.

Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the NYC IWW GMB. Watch this list for location details or email [email protected].

Monday, March 19 from 7:30 to 10 p.m.: Join the NYC GDC in viewing the next installment of Trouble, an anarchist documentary series, at Starr Bar (214 Starr Street, Brooklyn).

Friday, March 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 24 from 12 to 5 p.m.: Learn how to respond to widespread natural and man-made disasters with Mutual Aid Disaster Relief in this two-day training at The Base (1286 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn). Register for free here.


PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

March 11 to 15: Fast alongside members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in the Freedom Fast in NYC. Sign up here.

Thursday, March 15 at 5 p.m.: Join the CIW for the Time's Up Wendy's March. Get more info here.

Every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Join striking Spectrum workers at these locations around the city.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Mike Pesa, a longtime member of the IWW who currently belongs to the Baltimore GMB and previously belonged to the New York City GMB, needs our support. FW Mike’s wife, Heidi, a former kindergarten teacher, suffered a brain injury, and insurance will not cover the costs of her recovery. Read more about it here, and please donate here.


ORGANIZING RESOURCES

The branch has voted to collect dues online! You can pay dues in person or on our revamped website, which will be launching soon!

The IWW one-pager is officially complete — and it looks great! You can find the document here. Make copies at home, surreptitiously at work or at a unionized print shop, and distribute to help explain what the IWW is and what we do.


IWW Backyard BBQ and Direct Action Discussion – Saturday, AUG 27, 3 – 7pm

Join us at 113 Wilson Avenue in Brooklyn from 3  – 7PM, as we host a worker from the Burgerville Workers Union and workers from local campaigns in a discussion about their strategies and challenges in waging active direct action union campaigns, free of the NLRB. Enjoy the afternoon in a beautiful backyard where cheap beer and IWW merch will be for sale to fundraise for these important campaigns. Bring whatever you wish to throw on the grill!

IWOC Bike Ride fundraiser – Saturday, August 27 at 9:30 AM – 5 PM

Please bring yourself, a bike, snacks, plenty of water, and maybe a friend or two, for this 26 mile ride. We will start in the Bronx, and make our way north mostly via trails (paved and unpaved). Once we arrive in Ossining, we will explore a small exhibit in the town about Sing Sing and its use of prison labor, and then go to the outside of the prison itself for a short speakout. Then, we will eat together and some will ride the 26 miles back, while another group will take the metro north back to the city. Tickets for the metro north are $10 to $15, so plan accordingly. If the weather is particularly adverse on Saturday, we will ride Sunday. Please email:[email protected] for any questions or updates.

Also please bring $5-$15 dollars as a donation to IWOC towards helping build for the strike. NO ONE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS.

Please Call at: (917) 715-7866 If you’re running late!!! Thanks!