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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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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!

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Introduction to the IWW “101”

Friday, October 7
6:00 – 8:00pm
Portland IWW Hall – 2249 E Burnside St.

All workers welcome! Learn more about the key principles and values of the Industrial Workers of the World in an engaging and welcoming environment. We want you to join and help build the union in your workplace. This introduction class is a great first step!

Questions? Contact the branch secretary by email or by calling 503-893-2382.

Need childcare in order to participate? Email our Junior Wobblies coordinator ASAP to talk about options.

Facebook event page.

Transatlantic Workers Focus On Same Company

Jeld-WenWritten by Bill B. (Portland IWW)

The Sheffield IWW Branch contacted the International Solidarity Commission in late 2014 requesting aid in getting in contact with Marty of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA. Klamath Falls organizers are in the process of organizing Jeld-­Wen Industries. The Sheffield, England plant had been an independent company, but has since become a Jeld-­Wen division due to a buyout. Working conditions have deteriorated considerably since that time.

FW Bill B. of the Portland IWW Branch boarded the Coast Starlight heading south, and as the winter sun sank early in the west, the train made its way through the wild and snowy Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Cell (mobile) phone connectivity disappeared, only to be restored as the train approached Klamath Falls an hour late and just as the hands of the clock neared midnight.

Bill and Marty arranged to meet for breakfast the next morning. The IAMAW was threatened with gun violence by a Jeld-­Wen manager while picketing on public property outside the local plant. It perhaps goes without saying that threats of that nature are illegal. Workers at Jeld­-Wen receive strong anti­-union indoctrination upon hiring and are told that if a union representative speaks with them and they don’t immediately report it to management, they will be fired. Firing for union activity is also illegal. However workers in Klamath Falls are cowed, and feel “lucky to have a job.” It is also a small town, and word gets around.

Jeld-WenDick Wendt, said to be very anti­-union, founded Jeld­-Wen in 1960. He died in 2010 and his sons began divesting portions of the company. Onex Corporation, based in Toronto, recently purchased a controlling interest in Jeld-­Wen and has moved some of its management functions to North Carolina, including its CEO. This was said to be due to the fact that the new CEO did not want to move to Klamath Falls. It should also be noted that North Carolina is much more hostile to union organizing.

A large manufacturing complex remains in the town and is one of its largest employers. Bill and Marty drove around the various factory buildings and took photographs of the plant and its surroundings. These include a golf course. The late Mr. Wentz was very interested in sports and hoped to bring the winter Olympics to Klamath Falls. The Jeld­-Wen name was on the Portland soccer (football) stadium for a number of years.

IWW members in Sheffield are anxious to work in concert with organizing efforts in Klamath Falls. Here is to a long and productive association!

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