Tag Archives: Olympia IWW

Olympia I.W.W. Orientation! | Sat. 5/6 3pm | Olympia Center

Hey Fellow Workers!

Are you interested in joining the Industrial Workers of the World? But not sure how to get involved.  Or maybe you want to learn more about it.  Interested in learning more about your rights as a worker!?

Maybe you are already a member but want to learn how you can get more involved!

Well then you need to come to the Olympia I.W.W. Orientation this weekend on Saturday the 6th of May at 3pm at the Olympia Center.

We will learn more about the I.W.W. as a whole and also about the local Olympia branch! Plus we will brush up on our meeting process – Rusty’s Rules.  And more!!

We will also, of course, answer any questions you have.  You can join or pay dues there.  There will be light snacks and coffee!

Why Organize a Union with Your Fellow Workers?

It is only through collective action that we can, not only come together to win our demands on the job, but recognize within ourselves that we have the power to change the world around us for the better.  

Have you ever had a job where you were not treated fairly?  How about a job where you had ideas about how the work could be done better, but the boss didn’t want to lesion?  Or you didn’t feel free to talk about them.  Or maybe where you have been fired or laid off no good reason?

Maybe you felt upset about it but you wondered what you could do about it.  You might have felt that you didn’t have any power to change the situation.  Well you do!

When workers act together to better their working conditions that’s a union!  And the answer to the question – “But what can we do about?” — is collective action!

We are not here to lie to you.  It is not this easy, as you might have already guessed.  It takes time and effort to talk with your fellow workers and organize with them to take action on the job and start to make things better.  To start to realize the power that workers have on the job.  Then there is the push back and resistance that will inevitably come from the bosses.  They will lie to you and do everything they can to intimidate you and your fellow workers in to backing down and staying in your place.  This is why you have to talk with your fellow workers and learn about the ways that the boss will try to intimidate you.

But if you stay strong and keep organized then you can take progressive action against the boss to win your immediate demands and to ultimately win your union recognition!  There is a saying in the I.W.W. “The workers, with their hands in their pockets, have more power than the bosses.  And besides the bosses can’t put their hands there.”

The Olympia branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) is here to help you with this process.  Ultimately it is up to the workers on the job to organize their shop.  But the I.W.W. can help you learn the tactics and skills to have your dignify on the job!  We are here to help!  If you have any questions or want to set up a meeting get in touch.  And remember, Solidarity – it’s a weapon, not a word!

It’s Our One Year Anniversary!

On May 18th, 2016 we, the Olympia General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, were chartered!  We have come along way since then.  We appreciate all the hard work that our members have put in, and continue to put in, to organize the branch!

It seems like it has not been a year, but so much has been done to get us here and to prepare us for the struggles ahead.  We are here to fight!  We are here to organize!  We are here to stay!

Don’t forget to come and see us on May 1st, International Workers Day, at Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia from noon to 5pm.  We will have speakers, music, food, and fun!!

In Love and Stuggle

Oly I.W.W.

May Day 2017 Olympia

Come celebrate International Worker’s Day AKA May Day with the Olympia I.W.W. and others!!  There will be food, friends, music, literature, and fun!

This event is for all ages.  Come and have some fun as we celebrate the Working Class!  Learn about the history of May Day and other working class struggles as we talk about the struggles ahead and take refuge in friends and family.

There will be performances by:
Lenee Reid
Nomy Lamm
Kaitlyn Smith
And more!!

Here is the link the Facebook event.

If you have any questions please contact us.
Email – OlympiaIWW@riseup.net

Regional Organizing Assembly

Hi Fellow Workers,

The Olympia General Membership Branch will be hosting a Regional Organizing Assembly the weekend of May 2­7th.

This assembly will bring together organizers from all over our region for a weekend of networking, strategizing, skills sharing, and maybe even some troublemaking. We plan to have workshops, facilitated discussions, social events, and more, all geared towards building regional solidarity and collaboration. Registration is now open!

Please email us with any questions at:
OlympiaIWW@riseup.net

Warm Regards and Solidarity,
Olympia I.W.W.

Legal Support

On March 4th, 2017 four people were arrested at a counter-demonstration in response to a Trump rally in Olympia, Washington. The arrested were there to oppose the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, workers, the environment, and much more. They were there to take a principled stand.
Charges against some of the arrested include serious felonies. For the safety of the arrested we are withholding their identity at this time. We are also refraining from going into detail about the circumstances of their arrests until we are able to consult with their legal counsel. However, it is reasonable to say that the arrests were the result of overly aggressive action by the police.
At this time, we know that two of the people arrested are members of the Industrial Workers of the World and our General Defense Committee.  The Union supports our fellow worker(s) as well as the other people who were arrested and we are calling on you to support them as well with donations to support their legal defense. Funds raised will be provided equally to support the legal expenses of all four of the arrestees, which may run several thousand dollars.
Any money in excess of what is needed to pay legal expenses of the March 4 arrestees will go to Local 20 General Defense Committee to support future legal expenses of Olympia area activists resulting from involvement in labor struggles, anti-oppression, and environmental defense work.

You can donate to the legal fund of those who were arrested here.

An Olympia IWW General Defense Committee: A Response to Extraordinary Times

gdcsabcat

 

Our organization must be effective. The sense of despair many of us feel is grounded in the reality of an ascendant far right. Right now they face little resistance. The sense of urgency many of us have felt is a recognition of the need to build that resistance. It is time for us to take up that task, to find new comrades ready to fight and to fight. No one is coming to save us- we cannot use the electoral system to fight the right effectively. It is time to stop waiting and defend each other in the streets.

-From No One Is Coming to Save Us: An Anarchist Response to the Election of Donald Trump, itsgoingdown.org/no-one-coming-save-us-anarchist-response-election-donald-trump/, 11 November 2016

 

We should not fool ourselves. These are not ordinary times. The election of Donald Trump signals a full scale assault by the state on Muslims, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, women, and many other people. The environment and the social safety net are going to come under increased attack. Problems like police violence and imperialism abroad are going to get worse.

What is even more troubling is that the most racist and violent groups in our society are already emboldened by the election to strike out violently at people in our communities. This is not an abstract or hypothetical problem. People are being verbally and physically assaulted in our area right now and it is only likely to get worse. People have been killed by Nazis in our community (in 1993), Nazis have come to Olympia to organize in support of police violence (May 2015), more recently a white supremacist assaulted an interracial couple with a knife (August 2016). We have an active militia movement in the South Sound region. None of this is going to get better under President Trump.

The situation we find ourselves in demands an effective response. We need to come together and we need to be more militant and better organized than in the past. If our response is effective we can count on even more wrath and repression from the state and the far right. We can either choose to be victims or we can develop mechanisms for community self-defense. Fortunately, a model to organize against all of this already exists.

The IWW’s General Defense Committee has existed since 1917, with the purpose of providing defense and relief to people persecuted for fighting the oppression of the working class. More recently, the Twin Cities IWW has refined the GDC concept by drawing on the example of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to develop a Community Self-Defense based organization within their city that strives to go beyond mere organization for physical self-defense and confrontation to provide tools, institutions, and programs necessary to increase the resilience, autonomy, and fighting spirit of their community. Other IWW branches have also formed GDC locals to follow this example.

twin-cities-ddc

Twin Cities GDC on the streets

The vision brought into fruition by Twin Cities GDC is awe inspiring. They have focused on anti-police violence and Black Lives Matter work. This has been greatly aided by their successfully bringing together people of color from the Twin Cities IWW African People’s Caucus, unaffiliated people of color, and white anarchists into a concerted campaign, with the added benefit of helping counter attempts to “bad jacket” militant direct action by blaming it on “white anarchists” or “outside agitators.”

Twin Cities GDC also has working groups that do legal defense, Copwatch, tech security, picket training, antifa/intel work, harm reduction based drug addiction remediation, sexual assault victim and survivor support, martial arts training, coordination of solidarity with other groups, and long term strategic planning. A core strategy is building capacity for resistance and self-defense across their whole community by offering skills trainings open to anyone who supports their goals.

Working within the IWW gives Twin Cities GDC infrastructure that allows for networking and resilience. The IWW is dues and membership based organization with thousands of members across the world in General Membership Branches in dozens of cities. This provides GDC Locals with logistical, financial, other support, and the ability to effectively network. More importantly, it provides continuity between struggles. An individual crisis may pass, but the IWW has been around for over 100-years. It isn’t going to blow away when things cool down. This allows GDC locals to build capacity for more effective resistance over time.

Any community would benefit from having a GDC local under normal circumstances. The rise Trumpism and the resurgence of white nationalism and the far right makes it clear we have to be more organized and more effective than we have been in the past. We need to build solidarity and capacity across our movements in order to support groups in our community being targeted by bigots and state oppression. Building a GDC local in the Olympia area right now is an excellent way to make that happen.

Our Olympia IWW general membership branch has already taken all the steps necessary to form our own GDC Local. Over the next several weeks we will be beginning our organizing campaign by reaching out humbly to other community based organizations already struggling against oppression in our area in order to find out how they would like us to most effectively support their ongoing efforts. We will also be looking for the best ways to organize to support the sanctuary movement, help empower vulnerable groups to feel safer in our community, fight fascism and white nationalism, build capacity and skills across our movements, and spread anti-oppression analysis among the white working class.

If you are ready to take up the fight let us know. Email OlympiaIWW@riseup.net, message us at https://www.facebook.com/olyiww/, or call 360-362-0112 and leave a message. Together we can create a horizontal organization that will fight for targeted people, the working class, and help build a better world.