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PDF version can be found here

We are asking organizations to endorse our call for all charges related to these protests to be dropped. We’ve written a guide for how union members can bring it to a local meeting to endorse it.

We also have a petition for individuals to sign.

On January 20, 2017, thousands took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to protest the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. During one of the many marches held on Inauguration Day, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department showed the world how it planned to treat dissent moving forward: Shortly after the protest began, hundreds of protesters were attacked with pepper spray, rubber bullets, and batons. Police confined over 200 people within a “kettle” for hours before arresting them. Every protester’s cell phone was confiscated as evidence and rooted through. Upon being released, they were handed a riot charge. Months later, US attorneys piled on 8 additional felony charges, including “Conspiracy to Riot”. Protesters now face up to 75 years in prison – all for attending a demonstration.

Among the people arrested were over two dozen members of our union, the Industrial Workers of the World, and its affiliated legal defense and community organizing body, the IWW General Defense Committee (GDC). Within the IWW and GDC, we don’t shy away from our members’ politics, and support our members’ rights to express their politics through protests and marches, a tradition that goes back within our union to battles over free speech in the early 20th century.

Since the arrests, D.C. prosecutors and police have shown a disturbing pattern of repression as well as specific targeting of IWW and GDC members. Our members had their union cards and buttons confiscated and held as evidence. Months after the protest, three individuals (including two prominent members of the DC IWW local branch) were served with warrants for their arrest on charges of conspiracy to riot. Prior to their warrants being issued, the prosecutor’s office revealed that they had created separate trial groupings, including one grouping where nearly all defendants were IWW or GDC members. While they will not say as much in public, it has become clear that the city attorneys for Washington, D.C. are treating membership in our union as evidence of a criminal act.

This is not the first time the IWW has been targeted for repression, and it is unlikely to be the last. The crackdown on protesters in D.C. is part of a larger effort to criminalize and silence dissent in working-class and marginalized communities. D.C. is just one of more than a dozen states that are attempting to quell dissent through legislation or harsh legal penalties. This is not a coincidence. People in power want activists and organizations to be afraid to protest Trump’s agenda.

The labor movement cannot succeed if union members are treated as criminals when protesting anti-union and anti-worker politicians and their policies. No social movement can operate in repressive conditions like that. We have always stood by the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” In this spirit, we are calling on our friends and allies in the labor movement, as well as in allied progressive or left groups, to share this letter and pass the following motion within your union local or organization:

“We are deeply concerned about the severe repression against all protesters facing charges for exercising their First Amendment rights on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. We assert our support of the demand to drop the charges against all protesters. We further commit to:

Contacting to add our organization’s name to those endorsing this letter, to be found at

Requesting the appropriate individual post to our organization’s social media accounts that we support this letter

Requesting the appropriate officer or individual send an expression of our support for the above demand to the United States Attorney’s Office, ATTN: Channing Phillips, 555 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20530

Encouraging our members to get involved in the effort to support all defendants at and”

(Original linkback at the Mid-Atlantic GDC site)

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Portland IWW 20th Anniversary Party!

Friday, January 13

7:00pm – 9:00pm at Cider Riot
(807 NE Couch St, Portland, OR)

For the last 20 years the Portland IWW has been a consistent and innovative organization at the forefront of militant labor organizing in our region. Hundreds of people have been involved in our union throughout this time, many are still active today, and others are just getting started. It’s time to celebrate this legacy, in a time when unions are needed more than ever.

This event will be an opportunity to meet up with old comrades, and learn more about what the IWW is up to today. Our friends at Cider Riot!, Portland’s newest cider bar, will be hosting us in the cidery. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to mingle, share stories, and view a slideshow of years past. The event is all-ages, and open to all friends, family, and fellow workers from near and far. Our Junior Wobblies coordinators will be on hand to provide kids activities on site!

There is a suggested donation of $5-$10 to help fundraise for the Union Benefits program of the Burgerville Workers Union, an IWW organizing campaign. There’ll be pizza on hand too, courtesy of Scottie’s Pizza. Be sure to RSVP with this link to secure your slice!

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Intro to the IWW “102” Class, This Friday!

Learn more about your union and how we keep it democratic.

Intro to the IWW “102” Class
Friday, Oct. 14, from 6:00 – 8:00pm
@ the Portland IWW Hall (2249 E Burnside St.)

PART 2 in our Introductory series about the IWW!

In our recent Introduction to the IWW “101” class, we discussed what makes the IWW unique in comparison to other unions, we talked about the key principles of Solidarity Unionism and Direct Action, and we had a discussion about the Preamble to the IWW Constitution.

In this second class, we will talk about the organizational structure of the IWW (both locally and internationally), some active organizing projects of the IWW, a little IWW history, and we will discuss the various resources of our union.

This class is FREE and open to all workers. Participation in the recent Introduction to the IWW “101” class is not required; please let us know if you have any questions.

Light snacks will be provided!

A Rollerskating Party for All Workers!


The Portland I.W.W. is proud to present
PROLER-SKATING: A Rollerskating Party For All Workers!

Please join us for our FREE rollerskating party at the Mt. Scott Community Center’s roller rink on Sunday, Oct. 23!

October is WOBtober, and we’re going to celebrate with a fun, family-friendly event that is open to everyone (except bosses, of course). There will be:

  • ROLLERSKATING! (free skate rentals)
  • MUSIC! (send us your song requests!)
  • FOOD & BEVERAGES* (this will be a potluck, so feel free to bring along some snacks or a dish!)
  • CONTESTS & PRIZES! (best rollerskating moves?)
  • SOLIDARITY with your comrades!

Please share this event with your family, friends and comrades!

Here’s the Facebook event page.

* note: alcohol is not permitted at the Mt. Scott Community Center. Let’s save the spirits for later!

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