From the FAU: Next stop, new International

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A conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany, this past weekend to prepare a new international association of anarchosyndicalist and revolutionary unions. This was the third conference of its kind.

At the meeting it was decided to hold a constitutional congress in a year’s time. The long runup is needed to facilitate the grassroots decision-making processes of the unions involved. Over the coming months, every individual member of the unions will have the opportunity to make proposals about the makeup of the international. Afterwards, they will vote on the proposals.

The conference was attended by the unions CNT (Spain), USI (Italy), ESE (Greece), IP (Poland) and FAU (Germany), who have all committed to taking part in this project. The CNT-F (France) as well as the IWW for English- and German-speaking European countries took part as observers. The conference was also joined via a video chat by Rocinante (Greece), IWW (USA and Canada) and FORA (Argentinia). The FORA has also committed to joining the project. Stimulating discussions and a productive working atmosphere meant that contentious issues were dealt with that had prevented these like-minded unions from coming together in the past.

Although there is still a long way to go before the first congress, it was clear at the conference that the unions were already providing each other with solidarity and mutual aid as well as cooperating in their union work. For example, mutual aid in the form of help for earthquake victims in Italy, solidarity in the form of direct action in support of the CNT’s struggle against Ford, and union cooperation in the form of an international campaign for delivery workers. The fact that many of the basics tenets of “syndicalism” are already being practiced across national frontiers bodes well for the nascent international.

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Bristol IWW Workshop for Workers of Migrant & Refugee background 25TH FEBRUARY 2017

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Bristol IWW will be holding a

WORKSHOP FOR MIGRANT & REFUGEE WORKERS ON SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY AT 10.30-12.30 AT THE STATION, SILVER STREET, BS1 2AG (Triangle Room, 1st floor)

The workshop will consist of a short introduction to basic work rights in the UK with some practical tips on how to deal with issues in the workplace, either individually or with your colleagues. We will be talking about things like types of contracts, pay and national minimum wage, discrimination, how to submit a grievance. You will also have a chance to ask questions.

This workshop is open to anyone from a migrant/refugee background and will be in collaboration with the migrant initiative “One Day Without Us”, which will be taking place on Monday 20th February across the UK. For information on the Bristol event, check their Facebook event.

P.S.

We have been asked on social media to clarify whether this workshop will be safe for “undocumented” migrants working without permission. The answer is that it will be as safe as it can be for people in that situation to attend a public event open to anyone. We are not going to ask anyone to provide that kind of information.

As difficult as it would be to provide formal workplace support to someone in that situation, we certainly wouldn’t turn people away. So, if you are in that situation it may be best to contact us via email at bristol at iww.org.uk AND/OR you can also fill our online questionnaire “Rate Your Boss“. You can do this anonymously if you wish.

Whatever you decide, please know that you are not alone and forgotten. The IWW IS FOR ALL WORKERS, AND FIGHTS FOR ALL WORKERS. Stay strong.

2017: Year of Resistance to Free IPPs

More than 3989 people are serving IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentences in British prisons [1]. Five years since the sentence was legally abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading to unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides. IPPs have one of the highest rates of self harm in the prison system in its entirety [2].. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free.

Only last year, a prisoner whom Smash IPP supported died in prison. We have worked with IPP families who have lost their kids and their partners. Children have grown up with having a parent stolen by this sentence. A Mother with a son who’s an IPP describes the IPP sentence as a “Death sentence”. One IPP wrote how “Our families are doing the sentence just us much as us, is it right for them to never know if we will ever come home? Sometimes I feel that if I died it would be better for them because they could bury me and move on with their lives and not worry anymore.”

Smash IPP say enough is enough. This is life and death. We will not let any more people die because of prison bureaucracy and neglect. “This year we call for a year of action to free all IPPs.”

“The time is now to escalate and generate unrelenting pressure on the government, prison profiteers and the parole boards who are all complicit in ripping families apart, ruining lives and killing working class young people who have died as a result of the mental strain of being an IPP.”

We want to help build relationships between IPP prisoners and their families and anarchists and others that are experienced in campaigning and anti-state struggle. We want to overcome the brutality and social isolation that prison inflicts on us and come together to fight back.

Smash IPP! Set them Free!

If you are keen to get involved in any way please contact Smash IPP:
info@smashipp.noflag.org.uk

We are looking for:

  • Groups that can host nights on an upcoming info tour about this  horrific sentence. We will be talking about what IPP is, share stories from people who have been affected by it and explore what we can do to fight it!
  • Fundraising help & donations
  • Individuals that are keen to get involved in the Smash IPP collective to make this year of action a success
  • Individuals that can potentially support prisoner families with their campaigns
  • Letter writing buddies for IPP prisoners
  • Groups to emerge around the UK that can organise actions and get involved with current resistance

[1]. For more information about IPP sentences see: smashipp.noflag.org.uk
[2]. http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/PressPolicy/News/vw/1/ItemID/335

Sacramento Wobbly killed by Turkish state.

Michael Israel.

Michael Israel.

With great sadness we learn that on 29th of November 2016, Fellow Worker Michael Israel, a founder member of Sacramento IWW, and six other people, were killed in a bombing raid by Turkish air force north of Raqqa, Syria. Michael was serving his second tour as a volunteer with the YPG.

In his own words:

“I am back in Rojava again and will be here for the next several months to do my part in defending the revolution.

The Rojava struggle is the most dynamic and ground breaking revolutionary movement of our time. I am determined that it is the job of leftist allies and internationalists to rally behind this movement, to help build it up and learn from it. Things that we may have only dreamed of in theoretical writing are acted upon in Rojava, modified and adapted to their struggle and made real. Rojava is doing this all and reorganizing society despite the chaos and destruction of 5 years of civil war. The gains of the revolution under such austere and harsh conditions is truly remarkable.

Now that I am back in Rojava, I know all my needs will be met. Here I will never be in want of basic necessities for lack of money. I, like all others in Rojava, will never go without food and water, clothing or a place to rest my head at night. The movement takes care of people here.

That is not to say though that Rojava and the rest of Syria do not need help though.

I’m calling on all of my friends and comrades to learn about the Rojava revolution and how they have been leading the charge in the war against ISIS fascists. I’m calling on all of you who are able, to do your part in helping or sending donations so that this revolution may become stronger with the aid of the international community.”

– Michael Israel: via facebook 11th August 2016

We send our respect and condolences to his family, friends and Fellow Workers.

Cable street celebration 2016.

On the 09/10/2016 I went to London for the 80th anniversary of the battle of Cable street and was very pleased to see no signs of fascists as well as a very discreet police presence. Antifa were as always a very visible and noisy affair, letting off thunder flashes and smoke, marching through the streets of London to Cable street whilst chanting so as far as PR goes did themselves proud.

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I did not stay around for the rally as I had little interest in listening to the political class ranting so instead myself and a London Postal Comrade took the opportunity to go to the freedom bookshop and I would recommend anyone who has never been to try to go.

In Solidarity Les