Interviews with organizers: Canada’s postal struggles & the New School occupation

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Beginning with the crisis of 2008, a series of community, labor, and education struggles have unfolded across the world, in the US, and Canada. As experienced organizers face new challenges, and new people are brought into the movement, the challenges and problems posed by building powerful radical movements confronts us.

Today we present two interviews with organizers that helped build struggles against problems they faced in the crisis, and reflect on those experiences and lessons for radicals in these movements.

First, we share an interview with Phinneas a Canadian postal worker. Last year, a series of direct actions exploded across Canada in response to attempts to rationalize and mechanize production, and around the labor contract in negotiation. Phinneas’ article Waves of Struggle, is his account of the actions and problems they faced.

Next, we share an interview with Marianne a student organizer active in Occupy and the New School occupation that happened during the most active period in Occupy Wall Street. As more people were brought into that movement, students across the city began to bring the struggle back to their universities, culminating in the spontaneous occupation of a building in the New School last year. Marianne reflects on the successes and shortcomings of that process, and makes suggestions for how we can move forward in the future.

For different perspectives, you can read two additional accounts of the occupation, though we don’t endorse them, here and here.

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Response to Direct Unionism

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This post is by our friend and fellow IWW member John O’Reilly. John writes in reply to the Direct Unionism discussion paper which has been the subject of some discussion in IWW circles. For people who haven’t already read the discussion paper, John’s reply is a good starting point for entering the conversation. (more…)

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Longview, Occupy, and Beyond: Rank and File and the 89% Unite!

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Comrades in the Seattle-based Black Orchid Collective sent us this piece which we’re reposting here. Black Orchid describe the piece this way:

This piece is written by the Black Orchid Collective in Seattle, with contributions from members of Advance the Struggle in the Bay area, members of Hella 503 in Portland, as well as friends in various cities. We have all been deeply involved in Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle, Occupy Portland, Occupy Oakland, and Occupy Wall St., including the Dec. 12th West Coast Port Shutdown. We have worked to build solidarity between the Occupy movement and the rank and file workers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). This piece presents our critical reflections on these struggles so far. We welcome criticism and discussion.


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Some basics of capitalism

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We in Recomposition are part of a larger anti-capitalist milieu. What people mean by “capitalism” isn’t always clear. This post is made up of excerpts from Value, Price and Profit, a pamphlet by Karl Marx. These excerpts help in thinking about how capitalism operates in general.

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