Post-Trump North American left trends

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Mike Harman
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Jul 13 2018 22:24
Steven. wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
I'm not sure where this idea even came from. Nobody in the IWW has ever tried to do that.

that's what Jim said the IWW should be doing a couple of posts up

I think it's my fault for trying to give two different examples of anti-fascism (a trans-continental version and a local self-defence version) in the hope that the discussion could move past 'anti-fascism' vs. 'ambulance chasing' vs. 'workplace organising' into more concrete examples of what useful vs. not-useful activity might be. There's often a sense that people are talking past each other in discussions like this, but equally an unwillingness to be specific about exactly what people are opposed to.

Oliver Twister wrote:
IWW: Here's the difference - there's no clear contradiction between organizing militant unions at work, organizing prisoners (and it's an important political point here that prisons *are* workplaces),

This is a very important point and it's not just a bit of cleaning or working in the kitchens, but a labour force of around a million people (a third of all incarcerated people, and not sure what that stat was based on) working full time for cents per hour to produce commodities for large companies on contract, and one that has been regularly going on strike in the US.

Now there are liberal versions of anti-prison/anti-police stuff, like the DSA endorsing Larry Krasner for District Attorney on a reform ticket, but that's about as far from the IWW-IWOC as it's possible to get.

Jim
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Jul 13 2018 22:52
Mike Harman wrote:
Organising local transport from cities 1-5 hours away seems like a much more effective use of time and cash than shipping IWW members around the country and it'd potentially bring people into local/regional networks. Doing national travel (in the US) feels like reproducing summit-hopping dynamics.

I'm aware of how big the US is and I'm not suggesting people should regularly be flying en masse across the continent to take part in anti-fascist protests. But my point still stands that anti-fascists need to be matching the areas the far-right are using to mobilise. This is something learnt from years of experience in the UK. The times when we've had problems have been when we've only mobilised with anti-fascists from London, but the far-right groups opposing us have mobilised from London and the wider home counties. This imbalance can give the far-right a numerical advantage they may not otherwise have and means they're more likely to win any confrontations. In most cases, if the left mobilises from the same areas it'll pull enough people to outnumber the far-right and enough people prepared to defend themselves from fascist violence.

Transport can be done from cities more than 5 hours away as well. One thing we've done in the UK is doing half the drive overnight, stopping in a big city where there's networks to host people, and then completed the drive on the morning of the protest. If you're hiring minibuses you can do 10-11 hours of driving assuming you're leaving when people finish work on a Friday and arriving for a demo in the middle of the day on a Saturday. For stuff like Portland it would make sense for places like Seattle, Olympia and Eugene to be sending coaches full of people, while the Bay Area could send minibuses (although I'm not sure there's any big cities between Portland and the Bay Area which could host people overnight, I guess camping could be an option).

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OliverTwister
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Jul 13 2018 23:16
Steven. wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
Steven. wrote:
Yeah, Jim, not only is that not what a revolutionary union should be focused on, but it doesn't recognise the reality of life in the US, which isn't really like a single country but is more like a continent. The distance from New York to LA is similar to the distance from London to Baghdad

I'm not sure where this idea even came from. Nobody in the IWW has ever tried to do that.

that's what Jim said the IWW should be doing a couple of posts up

Yeah I know, I meant I'm not sure where the idea came to him from. I just wanted to be clear that this has not been a proposal inside the IWW.

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Jul 14 2018 09:26
OliverTwister wrote:
So I've been thinking about this a lot since last night, and I think there's one really, really important difference between this possibility for the DSA and a similar hypothetical possibility for the IWW:..
IWW: Here's the difference - there's no clear contradiction between organizing militant unions at work, organizing prisoners (and it's an important political point here that prisons *are* workplaces), and organizing militant community organizations a la "Community Self Defense". Someone can very easily be pulled in through one kind of work and end up doing the other two - and in fact we've seen many concrete examples where this has been the case. I haven't seen anyone come in through IWOC or GDC organizing and then argue against organizing at work (although they might argue against the workplace-exclusive chauvinism of the conservatives, which is a very different thing).

...I doubt anyone on here could point to a political contradiction between revolutionary unionism in prisons, in other workplaces, in the community, and among tenants or unemployed - these things all tie together.

The only people who say they can't are the conservatives in the IWW. At which point it becomes pretty plain that they are the spiritual descendants of the DeLeonists who were obsessed with keeping the rabble out.

TBH, I think you're understating the difficulties here - like, I'm broadly sympathetic to your case, but how would you characterise the IWW's participation in the J20 protests? I'm guessing you wouldn't say that was a bad thing, but I think even if there's not a "political contradiction", it is the case that doing workplace organising takes lots of energy and resources and headspace, and that doing anti-repression work takes lots of energy and resources and headspace, so I don't know for sure, but I would imagine that those wobs who were J20 defendants, or close to them, probably won't have been putting that much into workplace organising efforts over the last eighteen months or so. I certainly wouldn't want to be getting into any big risky conflicts at work if I'd been in their shoes. Similarly, Corey Long is not, afaik, a wobbly, although I'm sure we can agree that he's the sort of person you might want in a militant community defence org, but if he was, then again I think he and those close to him would've taken up a lot of energy in recent months, and probably not have had a huge amount of energy to put into other projects.
Obv, there's no way to dodge these questions entirely - if you don't do stuff that gets you repressed in DC or Charlottesville or wherever, then you'll still run up against it at Orgreave or Shrewsbury or Bisbee or or Ludlow or wherever - but equally I don't think it's helpful to gloss over how difficult it can be either?

Jim wrote:
I'm aware of how big the US is and I'm not suggesting people should regularly be flying en masse across the continent to take part in anti-fascist protests. But my point still stands that anti-fascists need to be matching the areas the far-right are using to mobilise. This is something learnt from years of experience in the UK. The times when we've had problems have been when we've only mobilised with anti-fascists from London, but the far-right groups opposing us have mobilised from London and the wider home counties. This imbalance can give the far-right a numerical advantage they may not otherwise have and means they're more likely to win any confrontations. In most cases, if the left mobilises from the same areas it'll pull enough people to outnumber the far-right and enough people prepared to defend themselves from fascist violence.

TBH, I think that the #1 best thing is always to mobilise more effectively in the local area. Like, yeah, people travelled to go to Liverpool, but even if it had just been purely scousers that day then the national nazi march would still have been completely humiliated, because the local mobilisation was really really good (and also NA were a bit all mouth no trousers). Similarly, that march in Boston in August 2017 wasn't shut down, afaict, by anti-fascists mobilising over a really broad area, but by getting Bostoners to turn out in huge numbers. And I know that "just do a really good job of getting local people to support you" is kind of a non-answer, because there'll be times when that's not possible for whatever reason and you need outside support, but I do kind of think that the goal we should try and work towards should always be "how can we mobilise more effectively in the local area?" over "how can we get more antifa activists to make the journey from Aberdeen or Florida or wherever?"

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 14 2018 15:30

I think some of you are missing the point when talking about antifascism and the IWW. The debates within (and in public) that happened weren't about shades of activity when it comes to antifascism. It was between a large majority who think that antifascism should be incorporated into the union's main outlooks and between a small minority who did not think the IWW should be involved at all in antifascism.

It was between the Twin Cities GDC's "Unionism and Anti-Fascism" and Wobblies For A Revolutionary Union Movement's "Revolutionary Unionism or White Workerism" on one side. The other side was more dispirate, but could probably be best represented by the Industrial Unionist's "Future of the I.W.W. Part 2: The Structural and Strategic Roots of the Anti-GEB Movement" and Marianne Garneu's "Antifa is liberalism".

These are very different conceptions. They're not just about whether people should be sent 50 miles or 1,000 miles to an alt-right rally. They were about whether antifascist activity is something that should be part of the union's activity, just as important as workplace organizing, and whether they should be done under the IWW's flag, at all.

In the end, membership overwhelmingly approved of the former, so its a settled question at this point, but thought some clarification was needed.

The more interesting aspect for myself is how much of these two broad stances were informed by the post-Trump world we live in now, and how much of this was just the cycle of conflict over leadership that happens in the IWW and would have happened whether or not Trump came along.

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Jul 14 2018 16:04
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I always hear about this bogeyman of new members who join and are opposed to workplace organizing, but nobody has ever been able to point to this as any real tendency

in my branch they all eventually left, not without creating a bunch of distractions, because it became apparent it wasn’t the organization for them, and none of these types ever tried to go to trainings we encouraged etc they just wanted an activist club to be their political home. our situation looked like what Juan describes here:

Quote:
That isn't much different than the average new IWW branch (or a lot of IWA/ex-IWA groups for that matter).

on that note, look guys… we are a very small branch, not even enough folks anymore to even send a delegate to convention. we have some folks in our orbit (inactive members) who are working on a proto-student union initiative. we’ve had a GDC before and the folks who did that do some research on the right, but have mostly realized at our size this is a distraction in actual day to day practice, because it takes time away from time spent focused on worker organizing. theoretically if we eventually expand we could do all sorts of non-workplace stuff. we also do IWOC stuff where we can, and put our resources into it. but in my experience you just have to have priorities and most new GMBs are instead of focusing on stuff that could build a base in the class often just end up a left activist club “ideological affinity or historical fandom” when we willy nilly recruit people outside of a context of struggle.

honestly i think what i’m trying to describe is most IWW branches are dealing with newbie problems… not the problems of more long term established branches. and i just see having some priorities as possibly a helpful way to guide such branches. once we get decently good at unionism then we can more systematically try other stuff.

the problem with trying to export models is often groups are not at a ready capacity to actually apply such models. so tons of branches just start doing "community self-defense" cause it's the cool new thing, but are they experienced enough in actually talking to their neighbors or doing one on ones? etc

a similar thing i feel occurred locally for us, when we tried to import the model of the intermediate level (since we were mostly all in a political org too) and all of a sudden we were always looking for a way to have a bunch of extra groups for each level of a struggle. i have eventually argued for collapsing these levels, or at least trying to put most of the projects into the IWW because it's really all the same people, but spread thin with inefficient division of labor.

like say tomorrow your branch was reduced to the size of a small branch 10 or a dozen... would your first thing to start doing be get involved in all sorts of non-union campaigns... certainly members should be encouraged to do whatever activism they want. but you have to accomplish some short term goals. we find it easier to focus. if you start telling folks new to the union actually we do a million things... it just sounds like instant burn out, and like the group is spread thin between a bunch a different projects.

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OliverTwister
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Jul 14 2018 20:17
Juan Conatz wrote:
I think some of you are missing the point when talking about antifascism and the IWW. The debates within (and in public) that happened weren't about shades of activity when it comes to antifascism. It was between a large majority who think that antifascism should be incorporated into the union's main outlooks and between a small minority who did not think the IWW should be involved at all in antifascism.

It was between the Twin Cities GDC's "Unionism and Anti-Fascism" and Wobblies For A Revolutionary Union Movement's "Revolutionary Unionism or White Workerism" on one side. The other side was more dispirate, but could probably be best represented by the Industrial Unionist's "Future of the I.W.W. Part 2: The Structural and Strategic Roots of the Anti-GEB Movement" and Marianne Garneu's "Antifa is liberalism".

These are very different conceptions. They're not just about whether people should be sent 50 miles or 1,000 miles to an alt-right rally. They were about whether antifascist activity is something that should be part of the union's activity, just as important as workplace organizing, and whether they should be done under the IWW's flag, at all.

In the end, membership overwhelmingly approved of the former, so its a settled question at this point, but thought some clarification was needed.

The more interesting aspect for myself is how much of these two broad stances were informed by the post-Trump world we live in now, and how much of this was just the cycle of conflict over leadership that happens in the IWW and would have happened whether or not Trump came along.

I hadn't noticed that IUC article before. Thanks for that. It's interesting to see that, just a few weeks before Convention, they were raising the idea of a purge/forced split of the GDC if it couldn't be brought 'under control':

Industrial Unionist Caucus wrote:
– Move the GDC either fully into or fully out of the union – this is the only way to have an honest discussion about the direction that committee takes among the membership of the organization to which it ought to be directly accountable. Connectedly, this requires a conversation about what works and what doesn’t in the GDC, and outlining a functioning legal and direct action defense strategy, beyond the Picket-Training-and-Go-Wild “strategy” which predominates at the moment.

They also got a jab in at the the "Anti-GEB" members of the executive board who didn't just put the membership first by keeping their mouths shut about pretty blatant abuses of power and authority. Reminds me of the one conversation I had with br after the breach where he said that we should have just all resigned quietly without giving any reason, rather than come out with what was going on.

I think your summary is pretty spot on. I also think the question is a decent one - what kind of conflict would have happened without the Trump election? How much of this was just an inevitable struggle (whether that's thought of politically or just in terms of individuals fighting for control)?

Having been at the center of it, and having personally had pretty identical politics and priorities to a lot of the conservatives until shortly before the election, I think it would have played out like this: the conservatives would not have felt threatened by a rising tide of people who wanted something different, nor would myself and the other two "anti-GEB" members of the Board have felt a conflict between loyalty to the membership and the principles of the union vs loyalty to the Board, which eventually caused us to violate the taboo against breaking the "cabinet solidarity" of the Board (which has definitely been a big part of the Board's internal culture in recent years). As it was, myself and one of the other two "Anti-GEB" members had ourselves had a tense relationship until things changed around the election, and I'd been very close with one of the new members of the Board, and initially very excited also to work with Marianne Garneau (both of whom I had recruited to run for the Board).

JDD's harassment campaign had begun well before the election so there were definitely going to still be consequences. However without the groundswell for changes in the union's outlook, the conservatives wouldn't have felt threatened, I think they would have been much more willing to throw him under the bus because they wouldn't have felt like they needed his vote. It's possible that MD would still have tried to protect him though. The remaining 6 board members probably would have continued with a relatively innocuous and forgettable year, perhaps with a 'normal' amount of conflict/tension. The folks in the union who have been wanting to see a more dynamic outlook would still be disorganized and only operating locally. Although that outlook clearly had a majority by the time of Convention, I think that was due to growth, changing political priorities of existing members, and organizing - it's not clear if it would have been a majority outlook if the 2016 election had gone the way it was 'supposed' to go.

In short I think that the conflict was overwhelmingly precipitated by the election and everything around it, and wasn't any kind of inevitable power struggle between older and newer leaders.

Mike Harman
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Jul 14 2018 21:39

From the Ritual Mag piece

Ritual Mag wrote:
For example, a tremendous amount of antifa attention and energy has been devoted to protesting or attempting to shut down (“no-platform”) talks by alt-right figureheads such as Milo Yiannopoulos or Richard Spencer on college campuses. The argument is that this hate-mongering speech has no place in any forum; that it doesn’t merit seeing the light of day, both because its ideas have no merit and because it causes harm. The most specific or acute claim of harm is that these men’s presence (however brief) makes those campuses hostile places for undocumented and trans students, among others.

But the focus on Milo or Spencer and their ilk as individuals obscures what is really the source of those student populations’ vulnerability. If they are able to make a campus inhospitable to some students, it is only because the infrastructure doesn’t exist to protect them in the first place.
...
But does the security and well-being of undocumented students really hinge on a single event, even an inflammatory one? First of all, what is to prevent Milo or anyone else from releasing that info online at any moment?

This reads like Freddie de Boer...

There's a few obvious things wrong with this account:

1. Milo doxxing people at speeches was primarily brought up about people arguing a 'marketplace of ideas'/absolute free speech argument (or that Milo "isn't a white nationalist" so shouldn't be no-platformed). The idea people think that information can't be released online seems very silly and a strawman.

2. There doesn't seem to be any acknowledgement of these events as rallying points for the far right (as opposed to a platform for one speaker), and an example of local fascist organising - i.e. Berkeley college republicans and similar groups using them to recruit.

3. Even on campuses, it ignores things like far-right postering and harassment, or the physical attacks on some students that have happened.

There are kernels of truth in there, like yes the main risk to undocumented students is usually going to be immigration enforcement, but that's a reason to organise against immigration enforcement, it shouldn't just be a gotcha against anti-fascism.

Jim
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Jul 15 2018 02:01
R Totale wrote:
TBH, I think that the #1 best thing is always to mobilise more effectively in the local area. Like, yeah, people travelled to go to Liverpool, but even if it had just been purely scousers that day then the national nazi march would still have been completely humiliated, because the local mobilisation was really really good (and also NA were a bit all mouth no trousers).

This is probably a side point and worth starting another thread if any of us want to discuss in depth, but things in Liverpool would not have gone down the way they did without people from outside the city playing a role in mobilising. The militant anti-fascist group in Liverpool had fallen apart, partly due to far-right pressure, so there initially wasn't a group able to call a militant counter-protest. We leafleted coaches heading from London back to the north west calling for a counter-protest after some generic leftist demo, people outside Liverpool designed, paid for and sent propaganda up to the city. On the day itself if it'd just been locals sorting it the local UAF we marching away from Lime Street station while NA were forming up, it was only because the AFN had called another counter-protest (which was heavily promoted in local media), which meant they got shut down.

Essentially, there's a bit of a false dichotomy here between 'local' and broader here. We rise and fall together as a class, we need to support everybody fighting fascism and provide whatever support we can. Sure we need to mobilise as heavily as we can in our local areas. But it's not just that, we need to support people if they need it, if we allow the far-right to establish themselves in one area, we'll all suffer as a result. We shouldn't be letting fascists emerge just because they're active in other people's local areas.

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klas batalo
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Jul 16 2018 15:41

How are we supposed to recruit people? Just any old leftists or activists? Broad recruitment campaigns? Or through organizing?

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Jul 17 2018 06:06

I'm dispirited and checked so I lack the will and likely the ability to contribute anything meaningful to this conversation. I just came on here to say I think Oliver is out of line to be using people's full real names on here and should go back and edit out all of the multiples places where he does that. If he can't or won't then, if necessary, I can identify those bits for the mods so they can do it for him. If I need to do that, someone please contact me via email or facebook as I'm rarely on here anymore. Thank you.

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Jul 17 2018 12:38

I'm not a mod, I don't generally agree with Oliver and maybe I missed a name, but from what I noticed, the 2 full names he used were of those who are very public about their current or former IWW membership. One has appeared in numerous media, including cable news, identified as a member of the IWW and has written for and about the IWW using that name. The other has published numerous texts on radical/social movements, as well as been interviewed by and about the IWW using that name. So far from "out of line", it seems understandable that one would think it was a ok to refer to them publicly by the name they've chosen to publicly associate themselves with an organization. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Oliver's statements about those people border on libel in places outside the United States that have much broader criteria for that so might be a good idea for libcom folks to consider editing those out?

Mike Harman
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Jul 17 2018 13:22

I've removed two full names that I could find and replaced with initials, other posts I scanned only use initials, but it's quite possible I missed one so point it out via a reply to this or a pm if you see one. I agree it's not really an issue where people do political work under those names very openly though.

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Jul 17 2018 13:31

North American left trends: are there any trots left in NA nowadays? Or has the revival of proper social democracy totally killed off the attraction of "doing social democracy halfheartedly while also saying it's bad and we need something else" as a strategy?

Mike Harman
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Jul 17 2018 14:05

Socialist Alternative has a member on Seattle's City Council: https://itsgoingdown.org/collected-accounts-seatac-muslimban-protest/

It's going down wrote:
I want to make sure everyone knows that Kshama Sawant [City Council member] put a lot of people in danger last night. We had all marched into the airport and blocked the exits, we were strong in numbers and most of us were fully prepared to stay the night. The organizers went from group to group telling us that the plan was to stay until the people detained were released. Kshama decided that on her own with a few people from SA [Socialist Alternative, a reformist group] she would end the occupation before the prisoners were released. She did not confer with any of the organizers that have far more experience with organizing, protesting and most of all risk analysis. She lead about 2/3rds of the protest out, onto the street and to the light rail leaving the rest of us at MUCH higher risk for attack and arrest.

ISO is still going. https://socialistworker.org/2017/02/08/making-sense-of-what-happened

Apart from badjacketing anti-fascists at Berkeley and leading people outside of airports, not sure if they're getting up to much else recently (although the ISO's website has regular updates).

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Jul 17 2018 15:58
Juan Conatz wrote:
It was between the Twin Cities GDC's "Unionism and Anti-Fascism" and Wobblies For A Revolutionary Union Movement's "Revolutionary Unionism or White Workerism" on one side. The other side was more dispirate, but could probably be best represented by the Industrial Unionist's "Future of the I.W.W. Part 2: The Structural and Strategic Roots of the Anti-GEB Movement" and Marianne Garneu's "Antifa is liberalism".

I'm not the only one who used the name that Marianne publicly posts under. She has several articles on Libcom under that name as well. I have no idea if it's her legal name, but it's one that she uses extremely publicly. That "Antifa is Liberalism" article was published under that name, for example.

Jimi was expelled from the IWW for harassment and endangerment of members. As Juan pointed out he's also been very public under that name. I think it's fair to use someone's name in that situation, it's something that ought to be known.

I'm extremely conscious not to use any name that people don't already identify with their activism publicly online.

syndicalist
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Jul 18 2018 16:55

As this is basically a posting about the IWW, I'll throw my uninvited 2 centavos in. The US centric
IWW was at its best form when, during the earlier part of the 2000s, was heavily engaged in a number of workplace campaigns. It seemed much more focused, much shaper and closer to its "historical mission". I'll never be a web (again), but have much respect for all those who have to eat the sand and grit of shop organizing.

Mike Harman
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Jul 18 2018 17:30

Responding to gram negative's comment from here since it seems more appropriate to this thread:

gram negative wrote:
honestly, more than anything, i'm impressed on how important libcom is; i didn't realize the site had this cachet until getting this attention recently.

I wouldn't really take the Brooklyn Rail as an example of reach, they've published an article by an endnotes contributor in the same editorial section: https://brooklynrail.org/2016/05/field-notes/black-representation-after-... (which we re-published) so whoever the actual editor of that section at Brooklyn Rail is, they are at least to some extent plugged into the international ultra-left.

Both of the Nagle pieces were read by over 5,000 people each (don't have the exact numbers to hand), for comparison the Chomsky anti-fascism one was read by about 60,000, but a lot of news articles get mid-hundreds. If you do topical-ish blog posts with click bait titles, they get shared a lot on twitter and facebook... Out of about 31k libcom twitter followers probably high hundreds are journos and academics. I think this is a symptom of the 'collapse of the centre' in a lot of mainstream discourse (like Teen Vogue doing intros to Marxism) since 2008 and especially since 2014/15, but it's reflective of an ideological trend (and maybe the paper membership of the DSA) as opposed to class struggle on the ground.

While this article is talking about Tommy Robinson in the UK, it also discusses Trump, Bannon Richard Spencer as different facets of an international far-right movement and the ways anti-fascism isn't well prepared to deal with the non-fascist/electoralist far-right, which relates back to the IWW anti-fascism stuff. https://livesrunning.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/know-your-enemy-the-tommy-... Could probably use its own thread maybe.

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Jul 18 2018 18:19
Mike Harman wrote:
Responding to gram negative's comment from here since it seems more appropriate to this thread:

gram negative wrote:
honestly, more than anything, i'm impressed on how important libcom is; i didn't realize the site had this cachet until getting this attention recently.

I wouldn't really take the Brooklyn Rail as an example of reach, they've published an article by an endnotes contributor in the same editorial section: https://brooklynrail.org/2016/05/field-notes/black-representation-after-... (which we re-published) so whoever the actual editor of that section at Brooklyn Rail is, they are at least to some extent plugged into the international ultra-left.

FWIW, I think that might be a little bit of an understatement.

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Jul 18 2018 19:25
syndicalist wrote:
As this is basically a posting about the IWW, I'll throw my uninvited 2 centavos in. The US centric
IWW was at its best form when, during the earlier part of the 2000s, was heavily engaged in a number of workplace campaigns. It seemed much more focused, much shaper and closer to its "historical mission". I'll never be a web (again), but have much respect for all those who have to eat the sand and grit of shop organizing.

You've already thrown your 2 cents in multiple times. As I pointed out before, you have a pattern of saying the same thing over and over without actually engaging with anything anyone says.

Are you referring to the Borders Books campaign that never expanded out of one shop? Or the original Starbucks campaign that was also basically limited to one shop? Or are you referring to the wildcat at JeffBoat, which IWW members were involved in but which didn't get any real support from the wider union and which the union never incorporated as a lesson into it's vision of organizing?

Your implication is that the current IWW is not heavily engaged in a number of workplace campaigns. This is right after we've just become the first fast food union in US history, after multiple real strikes, with a strong presence at multiple Burgerville locations - to give just one example.

Or maybe you're implying that because there's more happening then just "workplace campaigns" that we're less focused...

The historic IWW did not limit itself to just "workplace campaigns", they wanted to build a broad and fighting labor movement that could organize the working class in its entirety to overthrow capitalism. It's sad that someone who has identified with anarcho-syndicalism for so long has such a limited vision of what the "historical mission" of the IWW was.

syndicalist
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Jul 19 2018 23:18
OliverTwister wrote:
It's sad that someone who has identified with anarcho-syndicalism for so long has such a limited vision of what the "historical mission" of the IWW was.

Yup. And it's so sad that damn near 45 years later, the same debates, discussions and not always so pleasant back and forth continue without any clear resolution.

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Jul 20 2018 03:51
syndicalist wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
It's sad that someone who has identified with anarcho-syndicalism for so long has such a limited vision of what the "historical mission" of the IWW was.

Yup. And it's so sad that damn near 45 years later, the same debates, discussions and not always so pleasant back and forth continue without any clear resolution.

Actually I think a lot of things have been resolved at this point.

The CNT, USI, and FAU have left the sectarians behind who want to use the IWA as a way to police and censor what their comrades do.

The overwhelming majority of the IWW has made it clear that they don't see any contradiction, and in fact a lot of synergy, between workplace and community self-defense organizing.

A lot of older white men have lost their shit about both things.

This has clarified a lot.

syndicalist
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Jul 20 2018 04:22

Shrug. Whatever you say.

ZJW
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Jul 24 2018 07:52
Mike Harman wrote:
whoever the actual editor of that section at Brooklyn Rail is, they are at least to some extent plugged into the international ultra-left.

The editor: https://brooklynrail.org/contributor/paul-mattick

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 24 2018 12:10
klas batalo wrote:
I saw the GDC in Grand Rapuds share anti circumscision propaganda last night.

I didn't see this, although its worth coming back to this because it's something really common I've seen from you guys, basically that these new people attracted to the IWW through activism and antifascism stuff brings in people with all sorts of weird, scattered politics, some of which has nothing to do with the IWW and some of which is actively opposed...

There's nothing unique about IWW accounts posting weird, contradictory stuff. The Burgerville campaign posted some photo ops with Bernie Sanders if I remember correctly. I believe Stardust campaign had posted some smiling picture with the NYPD, thanking them.

That's just what happens in an organization of thousands of people.

syndicalist wrote:
Is the IWW a union or a political organization or something else? This has been a weird balance never actually resolved or addressed in some ways.

I don't understand the very basic nature of this question, considering who is asking it. I'm sure you're well aware that there has always been a tension within revolutionary unionism (anarcho-syndicalism included) between total workplace centrality and outside-the-workplace efforts.

Mike Harman wrote:
This reads like Freddie de Boer...

There was for sure crossover between the Jacobin, NY-based, on Twitter alot, antifa skeptic academics and some of the stuff people have been saying in the IWW.

R Totale wrote:
North American left trends: are there any trots left in NA nowadays? Or has the revival of proper social democracy totally killed off the attraction of "doing social democracy halfheartedly while also saying it's bad and we need something else" as a strategy?

I assume you mean more whether those organizations have benefited from the last 2 years. Of course they are still around. I don't think they are really players in anything to the extent that they once were though. Does anyone else know?

OliverTwister wrote:
I'm not the only one who used the name that Marianne publicly posts under. She has several articles on Libcom under that name as well. I have no idea if it's her legal name, but it's one that she uses extremely publicly. That "Antifa is Liberalism" article was published under that name, for example.

No, that article was under a different name than the one you used. But both names have been used in public association with leftist causes and the IWW.

Mike Harman
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Jul 24 2018 12:40
Juan Conatz wrote:
The Burgerville campaign posted some photo ops with Bernie Sanders if I remember correctly.

Here it is:
https://www.facebook.com/burgervilleworkersunion/photos/a.94537273892289...

Juan Conatz wrote:
I believe Stardust campaign had posted some smiling picture with the NYPD, thanking them.

Can't watch the video atm to verify the smiling or not bit, but:

Stardust Family United wrote:
! Early on during the protest, no less than 13 NYPD police officers did arrive, having received a phone call falsely claiming that we were chaining ourselves to our barricade. It seems our childish heckler- upset that we refuse to be intimidated- threw a tantrum and wasted our city's precious law enforcement resources.

We love the NYPD and are grateful for all they do to keep us and our city safe!

https://www.facebook.com/stardustfamilyunited/videos/last-week-9-members...

Juan Conatz wrote:
That's just what happens in an organization of thousands of people.

I think you can and should criticise things like this, but cherry-picking some cases and ignoring others to make a point that's just not supported is not good. In this case the idea that workplace organising is somehow immune to co-option vs. other kinds of activity is just not holding up.

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 24 2018 13:00

Going back to the DSA, FiveThirtyEight, a popular polling focused site owned by ABC have a weekly podcast. This week they talked about the conflict in the Democratic Party, millennials and socialism, the DSA, etc. It was actually shocking to me to hear a conversation in mainstream media trying to separate 'liberalism' from 'leftism'. I thought they echoed people on this site in pointing out that the DSA/democratic socialists actual programs or policy proposals are not really socialism and have more in common with the old, labor-focused Democratic Party.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/politics-podcast-the-far-left-and-t...

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 25 2018 12:40
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The seeming decline of anarchism as a unique and identifiable segment of the radical left

Raising this some more, how are the anarchist political organizations doing? From an outsider's perspective, Black Rose seems to have sort of stalled out. I haven't heard of a lot of new locals or really any activity from them other than their conferences, showing up to protests and posting on FB.

WSA is/was at its lowest point membership-wise. Is that still true?

First of May Anarchist Alliance has seemed to have had some regional growth in places with large IWW/GDC branches.

It doesn't seem too much that anarchism has benefited from the Trump era.

Mike Harman
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Jul 25 2018 12:52

Can someone explain the difference between First of May Anarchist Alliance and Black Rose?

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 25 2018 13:14
Mike Harman wrote:
Can someone explain the difference between First of May Anarchist Alliance and Black Rose?

Simply put, Black Rose largely comes from the generation of pro-organizational anarchists inspired by platformism and especifismo, while First of May comes from the generation of anarchists inspired by ARA and Love and Rage.