This following is a statement from the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee.
Prisoners from across the United States have just released this call to action for a nationally coordinated prisoner workstoppage against prison slavery to take place on September 9th, 2016.
This is a Call to Action Against Slavery in America
In one voice, rising from the cells of long term solitary confinement, echoed in the dormitories and cell blocks from Virginia to Oregon, we prisoners across the United States vow to finally end slavery in 2016.
On September 9th of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On September 9th of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.
In the 1970s the US prison system was crumbling. In Walpole, San Quentin, Soledad, Angola and many other prisons, people were standing up, fighting and taking ownership of their lives and bodies back from the plantation prisons. For the last six years we have remembered and renewed that struggle. In the interim, the prisoner population has ballooned and technologies of control and confinement have developed into the most sophisticated and repressive in world history. The prisons have become more dependent on slavery and torture to maintain their stability.
Prisoners are forced to work for little or no pay. That is slavery. The 13th amendment to the US constitution maintains a legal exception for continued slavery in US prisons. It states “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Overseers watch over our every move, and if we do not perform our appointed tasks to their liking, we are punished. They may have replaced the whip with pepper spray, but many of the other torments remain: isolation, restraint positions, stripping off our clothes and investigating our bodies as though we are animals.
Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.
This is a call for a nation-wide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on September 9th, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.
Non-violent protests, work stoppages, hunger strikes and other refusals to participate in prison routines and needs have increased in recent years. The 2010 Georgia prison strike, the massive rolling California hunger strikes, the Free Alabama Movement’s 2014 work stoppage, have gathered the most attention, but they are far from the only demonstrations of prisoner power. Large, sometimes effective hunger strikes have broken out at Ohio State Penitentiary, at Menard Correctional in Illinois, at Red Onion in Virginia as well as many other prisons. The burgeoning resistance movement is diverse and interconnected, including immigrant detention centers, women’s prisons and juvenile facilities. Last fall, women prisoners at Yuba County Jail in California joined a hunger strike initiated by women held in immigrant detention centers in California, Colorado and Texas.
Prisoners all across the country regularly engage in myriad demonstrations of power on the inside. They have most often done so with convict solidarity, building coalitions across race lines and gang lines to confront the common oppressor.
Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the American prison system cannot ignore or withstand. We hope to end prison slavery by making it impossible, by refusing to be slaves any longer.
To achieve this goal, we need support from people on the outside. A prison is an easy-lockdown environment, a place of control and confinement where repression is built into every stone wall and chain link, every gesture and routine. When we stand up to these authorities, they come down on us, and the only protection we have is solidarity from the outside. Mass incarceration, whether in private or state-run facilities is a scheme where slave catchers patrol our neighborhoods and monitor our lives. It requires mass criminalization. Our tribulations on the inside are a tool used to control our families and communities on the outside. Certain Americans live every day under not only the threat of extra-judicial execution—as protests surrounding the deaths of Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and so many others have drawn long overdue attention to—but also under the threat of capture, of being thrown into these plantations, shackled and forced to work.
Our protest against prison slavery is a protest against the school to prison pipeline, a protest against police terror, a protest against post-release controls. When we abolish slavery, they’ll lose much of their incentive to lock up our children, they’ll stop building traps to pull back those who they’ve released. When we remove the economic motive and grease of our forced labor from the US prison system, the entire structure of courts and police, of control and slave-catching must shift to accommodate us as humans, rather than slaves.
Prison impacts everyone, when we stand up and refuse on September 9th, 2016, we need to know our friends, families and allies on the outside will have our backs. This spring and summer will be seasons of organizing, of spreading the word, building the networks of solidarity and showing that we’re serious and what we’re capable of.
Step up, stand up, and join us.
Against prison slavery.
For liberation of all.
Find more information, updates and organizing materials and opportunities at the following websites:
By the elected delegates to the 2016 IWW Convention - Industrial Workers of the World, September 3, 2016
The international convention of the Industrial Workers of the World just unanimously voted in favor of an “Emergency Resolution” in solidarity with the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline!
In the introduction the Chair of the convention acknowledged that the convention is being held on Ohlone land. We also strongly encouraged workers to organize solidarity actions, travel to Standing Rock, and materially support the struggle.
The Industrial Workers of the World stands in solidarity with the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. We call on the labor movement and working class to take a stand against environmental racism and join the fight for a just transition as our collective future is at stake. We recognize that the capitalist system that oppresses the working class has always oppressed indigenous people of the World.
Therefore we feel that settlers and indigenous workers should unite to take direct action against colonial industrial capitalism and do everything in our power to restore justice to indigenous people and Mother Earth. An injury to one is an injury to all! #nodapl #sacredstonespiritcamp #redwarriorcamp #waterislife
September 4, 2016
Editor's Note: This appeal has been updated to address the attack on the demonstrators were attacked by private security led dogs.
If you've not read or seen the news about the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the vast and growing opposition to it (#NoDAPL) by now, you've not been paying attention.
According to One Account,
Beneath the cover of the endless presidential election season, which in Iowa started a year and a half ago, the Texas-based company Dakota Access LLC (a division of the corporation Energy Transfer Partners [ETP]) has moved methodically ahead with its plan to build this ugly, winding, and ecocidal tube of death. The $4 billion, 1134-mile project would carry 540,000 barrels of largely fracked crude oil from North Dakota’s “Bakken oil patch” daily on a diagonal course through South Dakota, a Sioux Indian burial ground,18 Iowa counties, and a Native American reservation to Patoka, Illinois. It will link with another pipeline that will transport the black gold to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
Right now, several thousand indigenous tribal members (supported by over 160 tribes), land owners, environmentalists, climate justice activists, and supporters of #BlackLivesMatter have gathered together into two camps in rural North Dakota to organize nonviolent resistance to this massive project which will parallel and match the length of the infamous (but rejected by Presidential order) Keystone XL pipeline. Several others have been protesting all along the pipeline's route over the past couple of weeks. These 1000s strong intrepid folks are supported nationally and internationally by 100,000s.
The leaders in this effort have done all they can working "within the system" to oppose this project to no avail:
Anti-pipeline activists have been playing by all the official local, state, and federal rules. They’ve gone through the established channels of law and procedure. They’ve worked the legal and regulatory machinery to the point of exhaustion. They’ve gone through all available avenues of reason and petition. They’ve written and delivered carefully worded petitions and given polite, fact-filled testimony to all the relevant public bodies. They’ve appealed to the IUB. They’ve appealed to the Army Corps of Engineers and to numerous other federal agencies and offices including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Advisory on Historic Preservation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. They’ve sued in court, defending farmers’ traditional American-as-apple-pie private property rights...And it’s all been for naught because the state is stuck in the deep pockets of Big Carbon. Last week a long-awaited district court ruling in Des Moines gave DA, ETP, Enbridge, and Marathon and their big financial backers what they wanted. DA is free to complete construction on fifteen parcels where the farm owners had challenged the state’s right to enforce eminent domain on behalf of the Bakken snake.
This project would represent a disaster for the world's climate. Already humanity is experiencing a climate emergency--as the increase in the Earth's average overall surface temperature has surpassed 1°C--brought on by fossil fuel capitalism. Every sensible scientific peer reviewed study dictates that in order to avoid the destruction of the ability of humanity (and much else living) to survive on our planet, the global increase must reach no higher than 2°C, at most (and most agree that an increase beyond 1.5°C would be bad enough). In order to do this, at least 80% of the known fossil fuel "reserves" must remain in the ground. This pipeline would make that prospect increasingly difficult, because it is designed to facilitate the continuing extraction of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota.
Worse than that, this pipeline represents the further colonization of indigenous lands, particularly that which lie adjacent to or solidly within the path of this project.
None of this is necessary. Studies show that all of the world's energy needs can be met by a combination of conservation, 100% renewable energy generation--which is entirely feasible using existing technology, and a reordering of the world's economic systems to facilitate production for need, not profit. The 100,000s of people who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline understand this.
In spite of this massive opposition however, one group, in particular, has remained disturbingly silent, and that's labor unions.
Compiled by x344543 - August 31, 2016
The following news items are culled from various other IWW (and other) internet news portals:IWW 2016 Organizing Summit:
- IWW members: Register Now for the 2016 Organizing Summit, October 8-9, Oakland, California - The 2016 Organizing Summit will bring together the organisers from the IWW’s organizing campaigns to share best practices, identify obstacles to higher effectiveness in the class war, and to mobilize the broader membership in North America behind a set of goals for building a bigger, better, and lasting revolutionary movement of the working class.
- IGDCAST: Raising Hell in the South - IWW Member Brianna Dobbs, It's Going Down, August 29, 2016
- Les employé.es du Frite Alors Rachel se syndiquent avec les IWW - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 27, 2016
- A Manhattan Diner’s New Management Has Servers Singing a Defiant Tune - By Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, August 26, 2016; [related]: Servers at Ellen's Stardust Diner Have Unionized Due to Claims of Poor Working Conditions - By Aimée Lutkin, Jezebel, August 30, 2016 | Singing Waiters Organize Against Alleged Unfair Treatment at Ellen's Stardust Diner - By staff, Broadway World, August 29, 2016
- Spreading the Strike: Solidarity Actions Across North America for September 9th - By staff, It's Going Down, August 16, 2016; [related]: Call for International Anarchist Action in Solidarity with US Prison Strike - By staff, Contra Info, August 26, 2016 | Incarcerated workers strike September 9 - By Viola Wilkins, IWW AU, August 19, 2016 | INSTITUTE INDEX: A strike at the heart of the prison-industrial complex - By Sue Sturgis, Facing South, August 17, 2016 | A Challenge: Spread the Strike to Every Jail, Juvie, and Prison! - By staff, It's Going Down, August 11, 2016 | Durham: IWW stands with Striking Prisoners! - By staff, It's Going Down, August 11, 2016 | Why we’re about the see the largest prison strike in history - By Jeremy Galloway, RawStory, August 11, 2016 | Atlanta: Noise Demo in Solidarity With Prison Rebels - By staff, It's Going Down, August 9, 2016
- Bristol IWW just Keeps on Winning! - By staff, Bristol IWW, August 1, 2016
- Babe Alert: Deep Roots Jessica - By bluebabe1976, Out of the Mouths of Babes, August 13, 2016
- Wobchat #2: Bristol IWW - By staff, New Syndicalist, July 27, 2016
- Retour sur la soirée d’introduction au SITT-IWW - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 31, 2016
- LE DÉNOMBREMENT - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 24, 2016
- IGDCAST: #MilwaukeeUprising - By staff, It's Going Down, August 15, 2016
- Sept mythes à propos de Postes Canada - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 15, 2016
- La lutte pour les centres d’éducation populaire - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 10, 2016
- Grève victorieuse chez les IWW, TTX Maryland vire son patron! - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 8, 2016
- Solidaire des arrêté-e-s de la Loi Travail - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, August 4, 2016
- We watched angry activists release thousands of bugs in a busy London restaurant - By Michael Segalov, Huck Magazine, July 30, 2016
- C’est un drôle de milieu de travail, que celui du communautaire - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, July 27, 2016
- Ce n’est pas facile d’être une femme organisatrice - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, July 25, 2016
- What does a union mean to you? #2 - By staff, New Syndicalist, August 17, 2016
- Workers' Opposition - Posted by Juan Conatz, Libcom.Org, August 6, 2016
- The Bisbee deportation of 1917 - Posted by Steven, Libcom.Org, August 1, 2016
- Solidarity forever: an oral history of the IWW: Stewart Bird, Dan Georgakas and Deborah Shaffer - Posted by Steven, Libcom.Org, July 30, 2016
- The Marine Worker - Posted by Juan Conatz, Libcom.Org, July 22, 2016
In this issue:
- BLACK LIVES MATTER: Protests erupt worldwide in response to racist police shootings
- WORKPLACE ORGANIZING: Workers at Portland fast food chain Burgerville unionize with the IWW
- SOCIAL WAR IN FRANCE: CNT-F reports on the wave of popular protests sweeping the country
Download a Free PDF of this issue.
Compiled by x344543 - July 20, 2016
The following news items are culled from various other IWW (and other) internet news portals:IWW 2016 Delegate Convention:
- IWW members, officers, and branch delegates - Register Now for the 2016 Delegate Convention, September 2-5, Oakland, California
- History Made Real: How I Became a Wobbly - By David Feldmann, The Organizer, June 3, 2016
- From Conspiracy Theorist to Co-Conspirator: How I Became a Wobbly - By Micah Robin, The Organizer, June 1, 2016
- From Green to Red: How I Became a Wobbly - By shugE Mississippi, The Organizer, June 1, 2016
- Hacking the Planet: How I Became a Wobbly - By Dade Murphy, The Organizer, May 19, 2016
- Misery Breeds: How I Became a Wobbly - By W.H. Glazer, The Organizer, May 3, 2016
- Je suis serveuse, en quoi le 15-5-7 ça me concerne? Et comment y arriver? - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, July 7, 2016
- Aperçu du camp de formation 2016 - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, July 4, 2016
- TRAVAIlLEUSES ET TRAVAILLEURS DU COMMUNAUTAIRE (Ré)AFFIRMONs NOUS! - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 29, 2016
- Se solidariser dans une industrie où la performance est la valeur de base - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 27, 2016
- I’m Forming a Burgerville Union Because I’m Barely Getting By - By Eli Fishel, Portland IWW, June 26, 2016
- Sweatshop Prisons: the Civil War Didn’t End Slavery After All - By Lauren Karaffa, CounterPunch, June 16, 2016
- Travailler Intelligemment - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 16, 2016
- Exploitation carcérale, riposte syndicale! - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 13, 2016
- Voyage to the 1970’s; our Encounter with a Macho Boss: VICTORY - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, June 12, 2016 | Viaje a los años 70; nuestro encuentro con el “Jefe Machirulo”: VICTORIA - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, June 12, 2016
- IWW opens hall in Providence - By Tom Hoffman, Common Ground, June 10, 2016
- Raid on IWW at Boulder Dam - By Raven Rakia, Yes!, June 7, 2016
- Proposition syndicale pour un communautaire solidaire - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 6, 2016
- Brève syndicale - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 3, 2016
- Making Black Lives Matter in the Mall of America - By Erik Forman, New Inquiry, June 3, 2016
- NEPA IWW Delivers A Message to Wendy's: We Want Fair Food - By Alex Lotorto, IWW Local 570, June 3, 2016
- Quel syndicalisme pour le secteur communautaire? - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, June 1, 2016
- Le SITT-IWW appuie l’arrêt de travail dans le milieu carcéral du 9 septembre 2016 - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, May 26, 2016
- IWW supports UCU HE action on pay, anti-casualisation and gender pay gap - By staff, IWW Scotland, May 25, 2016
- Travailleuses et travailleurs du communautaire, jetables après usage? - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, May 18, 2016
- Burgerville opposes union, but Bernie Sanders supports it - By staff, NW Labor Press, May 17, 2016
- Burgerville workers aim to take Fight for $15 to next level - By Shane Burley, Waging Nonviolence, May 10, 2016
- Sisters’ Camelot: NLRB Classifies Canvassers as Employees, Not Independent Contractors - By Harv. L. Rev, Harvard Law Review, May 10, 2016
- Brève syndicale - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, May 9, 2016
- Boycott Supporters Speak Out for Food & Farmworkers Justice this May Day - By staff, Boycott Sakuma Berries, May 6, 2016
- Burgers, fries, and a union? - By staff, NW Labor Press, May 3, 2016
- NEPA Wobblies Celebrate May Day in Scranton - By staff, IWW Local 570, May 1, 2016
- NOUS NE NOUS LAISSERONS PAS APPAUVRIR SANS BRONCHER - By SITT-IWW, Syndicat Industriel Des Travailleuses et Des Travailleurs, April 29, 2016
- Solidarity with migrant communities after Brexit - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, June 25, 2016 | Solidarność z migrantami po Brexit - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, July 10, 2016 | Solidarietà con migranti post-Brexit - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, July 6, 2016 | Solidaridad con migrantes tras Brexit - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, July 3, 2016
- A womyn’s place is in her union - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, June 9, 2016 | El lugar de una mujer es en su sindicato - By Bristol Comms Officer, Bristol IWW, June 29, 2016
- Masters of Mankind: American Power Under Challenge - By Noam Chomsky, CounterPunch, June 16, 2016
- Noam Chomsky on US Military Presence in Europe and the Case of Edward Snowden - By Zain Raza, Truthout, May 13, 2016
- Noam Chomsky on the true costs of the War on Terror - By Noam Chomsky, Alternet, May 10, 2016
- Digging into IWW history: South Africa – John Philips - By Juan Conatz, Libcom.Org, June 24, 2016
- Helen Keller: Socialist, Pacifist, Women’s & Workers’ Rights Advocate - By Rivera Sun, CounterPunch, June 24, 2016
- Raid on IWW at Boulder Dam - By Juan Conatz, Libcom.Org, June 13, 2016
- A review of Left of the left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff by Anatole Dolgoff - By Juan Conatz, Libcom.org, July 19, 2016