IWW Work People's College

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Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Mar 16 2012 01:06
IWW Work People's College

This is happening this summer.
http://workpeoplescollege.org/

From the About page

Quote:
From 1921 until it’s closure in 1941, the Work People’s College trained hundreds of workers on tactics of the class struggle, nourishing a tradition of working class radicalism in Minnesota that lives on today.

In 2006, the Twin Cities IWW began reviving the Work People’s College with a series of workshops, one-day educationals, and presentations. In summer 2012, we are inviting IWW members from across North America to a six-day intensive training at Mesaba Co-op Park designed to give a new generation of leaders in the IWW all the tools they need to build union branches, and fight and win the next battles of the class struggle.

Here's a draft list of the curriculum. I imagine it is a bit ambitious, but I know many of these are being bottom lined already. (including one by me btw).

Quote:
History of Labor in North America
IWW History
Labor Case Study: NYC Warehouse Organizing
Power and Oppression in North American Capitalism
Participating in Mass Movements: Wisconsin, Occupy, and More
Understanding Capitalism
Strike Support and IWW Solidarity
Media Relations
Public speaking
Labor Law 102: Dealing with Employer Retaliation
Fundraising and Resource Acquisition
Databases and Online tools
Creating a Solidarity Network
Video for Organizing Campaigns
Graphic Design for Union Propaganda
House visits, Canvassing, and Workers Surveys
Goal-setting and Evaluation
Organizing with Undocumented Workers
Picket Training
Campaign strategy: How to Win Big Fights
Industrial Research and Intelligence Gathering
Prison Organizing
Dual Card Organizing
Building Community Support and Coalitions
Dealing with Oppressive Behaviors on the Job and in the Shop Committee
Membership Development: Welcoming New Members
Membership Development: Developing Leaders & Retaining Members
Membership Development: Creating a Working Class Intellectual Culture
Organizing With Women & IWW Structures for Addressing Harassment and Gender Issues
Branch Administration
Running a Good Meeting & Committee
Event Planning

…and more!

Registeration is now closed, but if you're interested in helping out people who are trying to go, you can donate some money here: https://www.wepay.com/donations/31136

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jun 18 2012 22:59

So Work People's College is coming up in 10 days. We're about $1,000 short of our fundraising goals of $15,000, so if anyone has a couple bucks to spare we could use it.

I'm going to be giving a workshop on Wobblies and mass movements up there.

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x359594
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Jun 21 2012 05:35

Donate here: http://workpeoplescollege.org/

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jul 7 2012 21:13

Well...wow. Was pretty inspiring week. I think its gonna take a while to collect my thoughts on everything, but I'm glad I went. I met a lot of old comrades, and newer ones. Pretty amazing experience that will for sure benefit the IWW. There were a number of libcom posters there, so I'm curious to hear from them, too.

kingzog
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Jul 8 2012 01:01

I was there and it was a wonderful experience for everyone involved I believe. So inspiring and practical, I took tons of notes, wish I could have had more time to socialize with other wobs, but my wife and I spent most time out of workshops with our daughter. Also, I just wanna say that the Twin Cities Branch of IWW really has a great thing going and I hope we can replicate that in Seattle!

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 8 2012 08:07

Yeah, I heard the kiddo wake up a couple times as my tent was right next to yours. The last time I was in that situation was living with my niece and the first time I was like "Do I need to make a bottle?" before I realized where I was, haha.

Agree it was a wonderful experience. I'm trying to translate how I felt into writing and words but having a hard time. Maybe need a couple weeks or something...

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klas batalo
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Jul 8 2012 16:37

glad to hear it went well, can't wait to hear from our local branch secretary who went out and got trained, she's awesome, and i bet she brought back even more awesome ideas and methods! grin

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Jul 13 2012 07:26

I attended as well. It was only the third time in my life I've been to Minnesota and each time keeps getting better.

The first time was in 1993 and I arrived in Minneapolis after hitchhiking from Chicago; I left the Twin Cities on a "hotshot" freight train that took the high route (through Havre, Montana) and got me, my traveling partner, and a long train of double-decked cargo containers to Washington state -- before bulls kicked us off in Wenatchee -- in 48 hours. That summer was the only time I ever rode the rails, but it was a blast and I traveled through 9 states and Canada on only about 25 bucks. I was a neo-bindlestiff.

The second time was in 2007 in order to attend a Working Class Studies Association conference at Macalester College in St. Paul. I presented on the '46 Oakland General Strike, using Stan Weir's first-hand accounts to accompany the photos and video clips I showed. Both the conference sponsor Peter Rachleff and participant David Roediger were good friends with Stan and I got to hear amazing stories about his inspiring experiences as a life-long shopfloor militant. David also pointed out that Stan grew up in the Boyle Heights section of East Los Angeles, where the paternal side of my family lived for most of the 20th century, but he also pointed out the labor folklorist Archie Green grew up there too (later, at the memorial after Archie's death, I learned from his son Derrick that Stan, Archie and my grandmother all went to the same high school and lived within blocks of each other). Small world!

But on that second trip I also met Will Barnes face-to-face for the first time. Will was to become a very influential comrade and a good friend, but since he passed away in February being in the Twin Cities a couple weeks ago was my indirect way of paying my respects to him and his influence on my development as a radical. On that trip, he gave me a driving tour of the Twin Cities that was the best working class exploration of any city I've ever experienced.

The WPC was amazing. I slept an average of 4-5 hours a night, mostly because I couldn't break away from engaged late night conversations with comrades from all 4 corners of the continent, like young militant service industry workers from Florida, musicians from Vancouver BC, Starbucks workers from New York and dual carding grocery workers from Southern California. And hearing in-depth analyses from young and old workers active during the upsurge in Wisconsin, the organizing drives of food service workers in the Twin Cities, and articulate young radicals from across the Midwest. Every one of these conversations was amazing.

I did a 3-part series of workshops on the history of class struggle in North America. In the discussion during those I learned greatly myself. I left Mesaba motivated, full of hope, and with many new trusted comrades across North America. My third trip to Minnesota topped the inspiration of even the previous two life-changing trips there.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jul 13 2012 07:58
sabotage wrote:
glad to hear it went well, can't wait to hear from our local branch secretary who went out and got trained, she's awesome, and i bet she brought back even more awesome ideas and methods! grin

Yeah, I met her and we found out we both knew you and Lou Rinaldi.,,

H., I'm glad you had a good time. Did you get a chance to talk to Peter R after he gave his talk? I missed it as I was pretty exhausted and ended up drinking on the beach in the dark.

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Jul 13 2012 10:18

Sounds awesome. Is there going to be an official report? I think it would be a good idea to try something similar with the IWW in Europe. Any wobblies on here know who I should contact to get detals of how it was organised? Please PM me.

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Jul 13 2012 13:10

Sounds awesome. How was the turnout?

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jul 13 2012 13:15

I think it was around 100? At least 75 for sure it seemed.

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knotwho
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Jul 13 2012 15:38
Awesome Dude wrote:
Sounds awesome. Is there going to be an official report?

I have heard that there will be a video coming out in August.

Quote:
Any wobblies on here know who I should contact to get detals of how it was organised?

The contact emails for the WPC steering committee are workpeoplescollege_at_gmail.com
and
info_at_workpeoplescollege.org

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Juan Conatz
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Jul 16 2012 02:18

There are folks working on a video. I'm working with the other editor of The Organizer on getting a piece that includes feedback from different people that attended and then getting it published in the Industrial Worker. There's other individuals planning writing reportbacks too I believe.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jul 27 2012 19:48

Here's a short video made this year at WPC
http://vimeo.com/46318888

redsdisease
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Jul 27 2012 22:36
Juan Conatz wrote:
Here's a short video made this year at WPC
http://vimeo.com/46318888

That looks like it was really great. Jealous that I missed it.

Anybody who went want to say what their favorite workshops/ discussions were or any other highlights?

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Juan Conatz
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Aug 5 2012 01:04

I really liked the Strike Support & IWW Solidarity one. Honestly, I was distracted by other things so don't remember or missed a lot of other stuff.

The workshop I gave ('Wobblies in mass movements') could have been better. I was a bit unclear on how I wanted to do it.

syndicalist
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Aug 5 2012 05:32

Labor Case Study: NYC Warehouse Organizing

I'd be interested in learning how this went. The stuff for publiuc consumption, as this is a public list.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Aug 5 2012 05:48

I personally wasn't at that one, so not sure.

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Juan Conatz
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Sep 1 2012 23:28

A reportback (on the cover of this month's Industrial Worker)

http://libcom.org/library/reviving-old-tradition-educating-iww-agitators...

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Juan Conatz
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Oct 13 2012 08:22

A reportback from two Vancouver Wobs

http://libcom.org/library/2012-work-peoples-college-report-back