Portland Wobbly Study Circle

A Portland Wobbly Study Circle recently formed as a project of the Education & Outreach Committee. About half a dozen wobblies will soon begin to read and meet a couple of times per month. The first book scheduled, Detroit, I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution, is directly related to the film shown last month about the radical union among African-American autoworkers during the ’70s (Finally Got the News). The study circle will continue in the future with other books on topics of mutual interest chosen by the group. This project is open to any wobbly who wants to drop in, and it aims to be open to equal participation. There is a blog for the meeting schedule and to facilitate further discussion beyond the meetings online at: PDX Wobbly Study Circle.

Stand in Solidarity with survivors of assault in the Olympia City Jail!

Please join us, Thursday April 21st, 7pm sharp @ the Red and Black Cafe, 400 SE 12th Ave, for an evening of amazing, diverse music and Stand in Solidarity with survivors of assault in the Olympia City Jail!

On November 13, 2007, 39 women were arrested during a peaceful demonstration against the war in Iraq. When taken to the jail, many were forced to remove clothing to a point that exposed their breasts, even though the circumstances of their arrest did not warrant probable cause for strip search.

They were told that they would not be allowed to put their clothes back on after stripping. Neither did they receive prison wear or blankets to cover themselves and were left under the watch of male officers in the jail’s Sally port, which is unheated.

Jail policy firmly states that prisoners must be allowed to keep pants, skirts, shirts, dresses, socks and undergarments. Other articles of clothing, such as jackets, jewelry and shoes may be held by jail staff until the prisoner’s release. The city, against their own policies, destroyed the jail’s video tape of that night and maintains that they are completely innocent of any crime. Three of the women filed suit against the city.

In any other setting, holding power over people with the threat of violence while demanding that they remove their clothing is clearly seen as a sexual assault. Why would we tolerate it in this setting?

Radical Movie Night: Finally Got the News

The IWW Portland Branch is hosting a free Radical Movie Night! The night will begin with a brief introduction about the content of the film. Then a viewing of Finally Got The News: a documentary film about the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. It will be followed by a discussion about the film, radical labor, and African-Americans in the Labor Movement.

The film documents workers’ efforts to build an independent Black labor organization that, unlike the UAW (United Auto Workers), will respond to workers’ problems, such as the assembly line speed-up, dangerous working conditions, an extreme lack of opportunity to advance and inadequate wages faced by African American workers in the auto industry.

 

Major Victory for Janus Workers and the Portland IWW!

After four weeks of informational picketing, everyday for 2 hours outside of Janus Youth Programs’ main office at 707 NE Couch St, workers at the Streetlight/Porchlight shelters and at Harry’s Mother finally gained the right to keep their peer review panel. Both Streetlight/Porchlight and Harry’s Mother are non-profit programs serving youth, and both shops are under contract with the Portland Industrial Workers of the World. Janus told workers at both work sites that they would not sign their labor contracts with the peer review panels that they have had for over 10 years — instead trying to pressure workers into accepting binding arbitration at a cost workers and the IWW could not afford.

After four weeks of picketing, workers took a break for week five, a week that a contract negotiations session with management was scheduled. Management tried to get workers to accept a ridiculously long contract of 8 years, with wage re-openers every two years, in exchange for the keeping the peer review panel. Workers instead said they were only willing to go as long as a 6 year contract, with wage re-openers every 2 years and one additional, non-wages article which could be bargained during the wage re-opener.

Janus negotiators were not willing to budge.

At this point, workers suggested that the offer they were making was more than reasonable, and that there were people willing to get back out on the picket line if Janus would not compromise.

Janus’s negotiators took a caucus, and after a long break, returned to the table and agreed to the workers’ terms.

This is a huge victory for workers who have struggled many weeks for the right to keep their peers in a place to oversee any disputed firings — the peer review panel can overrule any firing decisions that Janus makes against its union workers. Janus workers and the IWW would like to thank the members of the community who have supported them in this effort, including Portland’s Jobs with Justice. A victory for one is a victory for all.

Reflections on COINTELPRO: Past and Present

Oregon Jericho and PDX Coalition Opposing Political Repression present:

Reflections on COINTELPRO: Past and Present

  • Saturday March 12th 2011
  • Time: 6:30-8:30pm
  • Portland State University Smith Memorial Building Cascade Room: 236

Event is free, open to the public, and disability affirmative

 

Speakers:

  • Peter Bohmer- Activist scholar and former COINTELPRO target
  • Arthur Miller- Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee /Northwest Regional Organizer
  • Kent Ford- Co-founder of Portland Black Panther Party and father of Political Prisoner Patrice Lumumba Ford

Panelists will explain their personal experiences with the FBI’s
counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) dating back to the 1960’s.  The full story and implications of COINTELPRO still have yet to be discovered and resolved including the gross reality of contemporary impacts.  Today, in a time of FBI raids and subpoenas, from Minneapolis to Chicago starting in the fall of 2010, more awareness of the countries quickly dwindling and diminishing civil liberties must be understood in historical context.  As civilians deserve redress for the illegal activities of COINTELPRO, hearings must be reopened and amnesty granted for U.S.-held Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.  All of this and more will be discussed.

 

Co-sponsored by:
Students for Unity, Student Animal Liberation Coalition, Bmedia
Collective, Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland International Socialist Organization, NW Student Coalition, Portland Coalition Opposing Political Repression, Oregon Progressive Party, Cascadia Rising Tide, Portland Animal Defense League, PDX APOC, Portland Industrial Workers of the World


“FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!”

Oregon Jericho
The Jericho Movement for Political Prisoner Amnesty
oregon.jericho[at]gmail[dot]com
oregon-jericho.org
(503)-750-0523
P.O. Box 17420
Portland, Oregon 97217

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