Recomposition's blog

No glory in glorified babysitting

Image contribution by Monica Kostas

A piece from Daniel Cole who lives and works in Australia as a early childhood educator. His perspective shines light on what it’s like to do strenuous childcare work, and how managers and disconnected executives worsen the load by making ridiculous guidelines and demands, while pinning providers on a scale that doesn’t truly measure their experience and value. He aims to get other educators on board with imagining what it would be like to autonomously run childhood centers, and what can be done to organize in that direction.

Militancy and the beautiful game: an interview with Gabriel Kuhn

Gabriel Kuhn is an anarchist activist living in Sweden and author of an impressive array of histories, translations, and collections published on anarchism, history of the left, and sports. His energy for writing is matched by a passion for soccer as a longtime fan and once professional athlete. We interviewed him about his experiences playing for a living, radical history, and controversies today.

No pain no gain

Track / Image by Monica Kostas

The fifth installment in Recomposition's 'Politics on the Field' series comes to us from Chicago where Kingsley Clarke discusses his love of track and field, a view into youth coaching of the sport, and the class and racial dynamics that exist today.

He’s a Mendocino and I’m from Bogota

Cleats / Image by Monica Kostas

The fourth installment of Recomposition's 'Politics on the Field' series comes from South Florida where Marcos Restrepo brings us to the world of youth sports. With the Super Bowl past us and all the attention the world plays to sports industries and media, it’s important to remember that where sports grows from in the innumerable fields and arenas where children learn and play. Restrepo presents a picture of these games a father and someone critical of what capitalism has done to a game that continues to capture the passion and imagination of millions.

A Portrait of IWW Athletes

In the third installment of our series “Politics on the Field” we bring the story of three IWW athletes. This piece of history is written by IWW Neil Parthun, a sports show host, who offers a glimpse into the lives and trajectories of the IWW members who played sports as a career, and ends with his reflections on labor in professional sports.

Primero Chaca

A Goal / Image by Monica Kostas

The second in our 'Politics on the Field' series featuring pieces about where sports, life, and politics intersect. The second contribution comes to us from Monica Kostas, who also has done the artwork for our series as well many Recomposition works. She describes soccer in the life of her hometown while giving background on the sport’s history and radical roots, and reflections on playing in a militant life.

Hat Trick

Hat Trick / Image by Monica Kostas

A piece by John O’Reilly in Minnesota about his experiences working at a liquor store. Sports is often there in the background shaping our interactions, defining relationships, and reflecting the struggles and aspirations of workers. In Hat Trick O’Reilly reminds us of the role of sports setting out the divisions and unity in our lives.

Package Handler’s Report and Analysis

In this essay, IWW organizer Coeur de Bord analyses the first year of organizing at a United Parcel Service hub in Minneapolis outside of the preexisting trade union structure. They show how even a small core of organizers can engage large numbers of workers and mobilize them around concrete demands.

Free parking - Phinneas Gage

In this piece Phinneas Gage recalls the challenges of organizing under punitive back to work legislation and the effect it had on shop floor organising. As tensions grow over a dispute about the safety of various parking arrangements around renovated facilities the shop again begins to mobilise. Then tragedy strikes and the workers are reminded that sometimes the cost of a partial victory can be as great as any defeat.

Concrete examples of non labour relations board unions: part III - Phinneas Gage

The third part of a series of concrete examples and very brief summaries of organizations that have some component of direct action and a form of collective bargaining that operate outside the labour relations framework.

Concrete examples of non-Labour Relations Board unions (Part II) - Phinneas Gage

The second part of a series of concrete examples and very brief summaries of organizations that have some component of direct action and a form of collective bargaining that operate outside the labour relations framework.

Breaks - Scott Nappalos & Monica Kostas

A short account about breaks at work and life under capitalism.

Happy birthday to Recomposition!

A short article by John O’Reilly & Monica Kostas, celebrating five years of Recomposition.

Concrete examples of non-Labor Relations Board union: part 1 - Phinneas Gage

A piece by Phinneas Gage detailing some examples of labour struggles that happened outside of state labour board strategies.

Necessary steps in tough economic times: New York students take to the streets in the wake of Occupy

A piece by Marianne LeNabat that takes us through an overview of how students in recent decades have become saddled with debt, how a student movement rose up in NY during the height of Occupy Wall Street, some of the lessons we can draw from organized resistance, and the ripples that student fights caused spreading solidarity throughout various sectors of society.

The making of a politicized prisoner

The third installment in Recomposition's 'How I was radicalized' series comes from Okwute Ekwensu. His powerful account describes the experience of leading a criminal life that led to incarceration, followed by his radicalization in prison.

Growing up during the ‘War on Terror’

The second part of Recomposition's ‘How were you radicalized?’ series brings us to the 2000s. Starting with his family roots in the South African anti-apartheid and American civil rights movements, the author takes us through the post-9/11 and Iraq War era, a time when many of us found the radical left.

From the right-wing to the revolutionary left - Tom Wetzel

A new series from Recompositon called 'How I was radicalized'. This first part is by Tom Wetzel, and takes us briefly though the 1960s.

Beating back the bureaucrats - Jonathan Payn

An article by Jonathan Payn that focuses mostly on a recent initiative called Bloque Sindical de Base in Argentina.

Snake march - Phinneas Gage

Concluding Phinneas Gage’s three-part series on struggles at the Canada Post during 2011, we present ‘Snake march’. In this final installment, he describes the moral as the lockout drags on. Parliamentary filibusters and symbolic occupations fail to turn the tide on contract negotiations. The postal workers return to work, determined to not let management bulldoze them in the shopfloor.