Statement Against Borough-Based Jail System Plan

October 8, 2019


The New York City General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World is unequivocally opposed to the city’s plan to spend $10.6 billion to build four new jails.

We furthermore dispute all claims that new jails must be built in order to close Rikers Island.

An abundance of research confirms that arrests and incarceration increase when police and judges know that there are empty beds in city jails. It is an inarguable fact that if these jails are built they will be filled.

There are myriad methods at hand to reduce jail populations, which will allow Rikers to close without the construction of new places of incarceration.

The city itself acknowledged this in its Borough-Based Jail System Draft Scope of Work: “Among other system dynamics, interventions aimed at reducing the number of low- and medium-risk people entering jail contributed to about 60 percent of the total reduction of people in jail to date.”

5,200 people daily, on average, are detained in New York City jails pretrial. These individuals do not need to be held at all, as shown by the efficacy of alternatives to cash bail and pretrial detention. Cessation of broken windows policing—a thoroughly debunked and racist approach to law enforcement—would significantly reduce jail populations. Policies that criminalize poverty through the policing of space should be ended: fare evasion, open container, and public urination violations. Residents are surveilled, practically from birth, and youth as young as grade schoolers are labeled “gang members” due to their familial, neighborhood and social media associations within New York City Housing Authority. An end to this spurious facade of justice would keep thousands of people out of jail each year.

Instead of funding the city’s pretense of concern for criminality, the proposed $10.6 billion dollars should be spent to meet the collective needs of communities most impacted by the racist history of criminalization and incarceration.

It is clear to us that the carceral system is invested more in the upheaval and overturning of space or real estate—and the reproduction and accumulation of capital—than it is in the containment of criminality or the proximity of family to those incarcerated. This is blatantly clear in the words of Queens Council Member Karen Koslowitz: “Closing Rikers Island and opening community-based facilities is not only beneficial for New York City’s corrections officers…but also beneficial for the Kew Gardens community; the new facility in Kew Gardens will bring significant economic development, and provide hundreds of new parking spaces for the community.”

In detailing its plan, the de Blasio administration wrote of the proposed jails that their “community space is intended to provide useful community amenities, such as community facility programming or street-level retail space.”

Jails should not be constructed with the goal to clear out residents in order to build the economy. We must divest from jails, take power away from real estate, and give to those who have been affected by the shameful history of incarceration the power to take collective ownership of their communities.

Close Rikers. Build no new jails. An injury to one is an injury to all! All power to all people!


January Newsletter

January 29, 2019


Fellow Workers,

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2019! 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 [email protected].


UPCOMING BRANCH EVENTS

Every Day at Various Times: We need Fellow Workers to participate in consumer education. Please email [email protected] if you would like to sign up for a shift. We have also started a Slack to coordinate our consumer education shifts. Please email [email protected] if you would like to be added.

Tuesday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m.: Attend an orientation for new members of the NYC General Membership Branch (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. For location details, email [email protected].

Tuesday, February 12 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. For location details, email [email protected].


PROTESTS, PICKETS & MORE AROUND THE CITY

Thursday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m.: Act in solidarity with garment workers from Los Angeles by pressuring Barbara Rentler, CEO of Ross clothing company, to pay out $800,000 in stolen wages. Register for the event on Facebook.

Saturday, March 16 at 11 a.m.: Join United Against Racism and Fascism NYC for their March Against Racism and Fascism. Register for the event on Facebook.


ORGANIZING RESOURCES

Don’t forget: The NYC GMB has put together a variety of resources that can aid you in your organizing, including the one-pager (Spanish version) and the trifold. If you need access to any of those documents, email [email protected]. If you would like to distribute them, but lack funds for printing, consider making a motion to that end at the next GMB meeting or over Loomio.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

We have a new branch secretary! FW Jay has stepped in to become the secretary of the NYC IWW GMB for 2019. A big congratulations, and thanks, to FW Jay!


WHAT WOBBLIES READ

“Movie Review: Norma Rae,” Organizing Work _(by FW Eric of the NYC GMB)

“General Strikes Explained,” _Teen Vogue


“How Rush City Inmates Organized a Successful Prison Strike,” Pacific Standard (by FW Arvind of the NYC GMB)


December Newsletter

December 27, 2018


Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the December 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 [email protected].


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. We have also started a Slack to coordinate our consumer education shifts - please email Frank if you would like to get added to our channel.

Tuesday, January 8 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. For location details, email [email protected].

Tuesday, January 8 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. For location details, email [email protected].

Saturday and Sunday, January 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m: The IWW NYC GMB is holding an organizer training. Capacity is currently full, but things may change as the date gets closer. Please email [email protected] to get more details and to find out if space becomes available.

Sunday, January 20 from 10 a.m to 8p.m.: The IWW NYC GMB is cosponsoring Yiddish Anarchism: New Scholarship on a Forgotten Tradition - a conference discussing the, mostly forgotten, history of Yiddish anarchism at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (15 West 16th St). RSVP here.

Saturday, January 26: IWOC is hosting a welcome home party for those who have been affected by raids. Please reach out to [email protected] if you can help out with outreach or logistics before the event (time and location TBD).


WHAT WOBBLIES READ AND LISTEN TO

Somali Workers in Minnesota Force Amazon to NegotiateNY Times

When ICE Comes to TownRolling Stone

You Don’t Hate Mondays, You Hate Not Being YourselfMedium

You Don’t Hate Mondays, You Hate Not Being YourselfMedium


November Newsletter

November 25, 2018


Fellow Workers, Welcome to the November 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 [email protected].

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. We have also started a Slack to coordinate our consumer education shifts - please email Frank if you would like to get added to our channel. Sunday, December 5: The Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), along with the Stop the Raids Coalition, is hosting their monthly Family Gathering Against the Raids. Come out for letter-writing and hat-passing for desperately needed commissary money (time and location TBD). E-mail [email protected] to RSVP. Tuesday, December 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. For location details, email [email protected]. Tuesday, December 11 at 7 p.m.: Attend the monthly meeting of the IWW NYC GMB. For location details, email [email protected]. Saturday, January 26: IWOC is hosting a welcome home party for those who have been affected by raids. Please reach out to [email protected] if you can help out with outreach or logistics before the event (time and location TBD).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Branch officer elections took place at the November monthly meeting, Congratulations to our new officers! FW Lou is the new Secretary, FW Z is the new Treasurer, FWs Ryan and JC are now Assistant Secretaries, and FW Liam is now Assistant Treasurer. The branch has voted to hold on Organizer Training 101 in early 2019. Details are forthcoming, but if you would like to help organize the training, please email [email protected]. Our new IWW NYC GMB stickers are ready! Pick some up at our monthly meetings, and post them around town. Check them out on our Instagram page.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ AND LISTEN TO

Interview with General Secretary-Treasurer Travis Erickson of the IWW,” podcast. Chirbit (interview by Liss of the NYC GMB) “Labor Struggles at The New School: Strike, Wildcat, Occupation,” Organizing Work (written by Arvind of the NYC GMB) “Lessons from a Graduate Student Employees’ Union,” Organizing Work (written by Eric of the NYC GMB) “Health and Safety in a Solidarity Union,Organizing Work (written by Martha of Stardust Family United) “Class Consciousness Comes to America,” American ProspectTrump’s NLRB Just Quietly Ruled to Make Union Pickets Illegal,” In These Times

October Newsletter

October 22, 2018


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


PLEASE NOTE: OUR NOVEMBER GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING HAS BEEN MOVED TO TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Fellow Workers,

Welcome to the October 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 here, 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 [email protected].

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. We have also started a Slack to coordinate our consumer education shifts - please email Frank if you would like to get added to our channel.

Saturday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m.: The IWW NYC GMB, in coalition with the NYU FARE Food Collective, will act in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and hold a boycott Wendy’s solidarity action. We will meet outside Wendy’s at 650 Broadway in Manhattan to educate the public about the Fair Food Program and Wendy’s refusal to join. RSVP and learn more here. If you would like to help with logistics or promotion please reach out to FWs Arvind or Jeremy.

Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28: The Buffalo General Membership Branch is holding an Organizer Training 101. Register here.

Tuesday, November 20 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, November 20 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

Saturday, October 27 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Join our allies, the Democratic Socialists of America, for Sing in Solidarity: Open Sing with DSA Chorus. RSVP here.

Tuesday, November 13 at 6 p.m.: Join labor, food, and community leaders at the 2018 Brandworkers Awards Dinner. Purchase tickets or volunteer here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Wobfest was a huge success! Thank you to all FWs who helped organize the event! We raised nearly $1000, and combined it with a donation from the NYC GMB to donate $500 each to Brandworkers, Stardust Family United, and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). Video coming soon.

Branch officer nominations took place at the October monthly meeting, but are still open until the November meeting where voting will take place. Please check the October meeting minutes to go over who has been nominated. If you would like to make a nomination or express interest in a position, please make it known over the listserv or Signal loop.

WHAT WOBBLIES READ

Marriott Hotel Employees on Strike in Eight US CitiesUSA Today

The Tolls of Activism: What Happened to the Striking Prisoners and Their Concerns?NPQ

No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane McAlevey