Workers' Solidarity Alliance makes the Pentagon's watchlist

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R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Mar 29 2021 09:44
Workers' Solidarity Alliance makes the Pentagon's watchlist

For any WSAers who haven't seen it yet, Politico have a copy of a Department of Defense Insider Threat Management and Analysis Center: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/27/military-extremism-target-list-...

Quote:
The briefing was sent to civilian employees as part of required training across the department for "Extremism and Insider Threat in the DoD." Adams said it is required training to be completed by this month. Employees have to digest the material and then answer some questions.

The more detailed materials break down extremist movements into three main categories, including “Patriot” extremism, anarchist extremism, and ethnic/racial supremacy.

“Patriot” extremism, according to the document, holds that the U.S. government “has become corrupt, has overstepped its constitutional boundaries or is no longer capable of protecting the people against foreign threats.” Adherents reject the government’s authority to tax and govern, believe they don’t have to follow the law, and, in some cases, form militias and call for the government to be violently overthrown.

It cites as examples the symbols of the Oath Keepers and Boogaloo Boys, both of which took part in the Capitol attack. It also lists groups such as the Sovereign Citizens and Proud Boys.

Anarchist extremism, meanwhile, opposes all forms of government, the document says, along with capitalism and corporations. It cites as examples the left-wing Antifa and Occupy movements, as well as the Workers' Solidarity Alliance.

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Steven.
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Mar 29 2021 21:47

Yes saw this, although on a less positive note for the WSA, I saw that It's Going Down posted about it, and claimed that WSA was an Irish group (clearly confusing it with the WSM).
Kind of unfortunate if one of the biggest anarchist news outlets in the US hasn't even heard of a nationwide US anarchist group which has existed for decades!

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Mar 30 2021 00:09
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Kind of unfortunate if one of the biggest anarchist news outlets in the US hasn't even heard of a nationwide US anarchist group which has existed for decades

I always assumed WSA to be more of a West Coast phenomenon than nationwide? And while the WSA has done some great stuff, compared to other anarchist groups they've not been as bothered with/good at publicizing themselves.

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Mar 30 2021 02:51

Well they are (were, now are again) the US affiliate of the IWA, which means that they are supposed to cover the whole country. There are definitely people involved in it in the New York area… And was David in Atlanta a member? As he's… in Atlanta.
But anyway yes, not great with publicity for sure. I kind of get the impression that their core membership is kind of the same now as it was in the 1980s, and – not meaning any disrespect to the elders – perhaps they are not so au fait with maintaining a lively social media presence, which is what probably alerts most people to the existence of various groups nowadays.

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Mar 30 2021 06:16
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Well they are (were, now are again) the US affiliate of the IWA, which means that they are supposed to cover the whole country. There are definitely people involved in it in the New York area… And was David in Atlanta a member? As he's… in Atlanta.
But anyway yes, not great with publicity for sure. I kind of get the impression that their core membership is kind of the same now as it was in the 1980s, and – not meaning any disrespect to the elders – perhaps they are not so au fait with maintaining a lively social media presence, which is what probably alerts most people to the existence of various groups nowadays.

Actually a lot of the membership is definitely post-1980s. We are indeed nation-wide, but not equally spread out everywhere. We have a webmagazine and multiple social media pages and although we aren't always consistent, we definitely keep active on those platforms:
https://ideasandaction.info/
https://www.facebook.com/workersolidarityalliance

syndicalist
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Mar 30 2021 14:49

WSA has seen this, thanks. Some internal discussion.

Agree largely with Ivysyn above. Defiantly not above comradely or factual criticism either.

Will come back to this.

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Mar 30 2021 14:50
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Well they are (were, now are again) the US affiliate of the IWA, which means that they are supposed to cover the whole country. There are definitely people involved in it in the New York area… And was David in Atlanta a member? As he's… in Atlanta.

Yes, I knew a few members of the WSA from Canada and the East Coast, but it always seemed to me that their main base on activity was the West Coast (which may be what Ivysyn means by not equally spread out everywhere?). That I don't know much about the WSA other places may have to do with the not publicizing stuff.

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Mar 30 2021 14:53

Look I'm not trying to criticise you or anything, I support your work. However It's Going Down not having heard of you is not a great sign, and there must be a reason for that.
I did take a look at your web presence to try to see if your group was still going, and figured out that it was. But if you're interested in a couple of very simple tips to try to improve your online presence here are a few:
– get a Twitter account and follow a bunch of other big accounts like IGD. Even if you don't have the capacity to run the Twitter manually, you can just use it to automatically repost every new article which goes up on Ideas and Action
– with your Facebook page, don't just post links to articles. You should write a short sentence explaining what the article is about to give context (even better, even though it would take a second longer is to instead post an image, with a short explanation and a link – you could then also mirror this to an Instagram account automatically)
– overhaul your website, workersolidarity.org. It looks like a dead organisation right now. Massively shorten the front page to instead just direct people to other pages on the site, and in particular to Ideas & Action, which is actually kept up-to-date (personally I would just merge the 2 websites, but that's obviously a little bit more involved). And add links to your social media pages to the website, in the same way as it is on I & A.

syndicalist
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Mar 30 2021 15:07

Ok, I was waiting to write a longer reply based on time constraints.

Like I said, fair criticisms are fair criticisms. And appreciate the tips.

WSA has a long way go to revitalize. There are many reasons and an organization which has basically existed in a sea of others for 37 years will certainly have its issues (internal and external). And, for sure, WSA has those.

I sorta got a comradely chuckle out of this: "However It's Going Down not having heard of you is not a great sign, and there must be a reason for that." Indeed, as at a point decades ago, I guess at the height of "love & rage" people didn't hear about us as well. And that was a period of pretty solid-WSA activities. So I'm largely not surprised that GD either never heard of us or pretends it never heard of us. WSA has never been flashy. For sure, we have had recognition problems. And for sure it can either find a path to rebuild or disappear.

Anyway, I really need to get back to work.

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Mar 30 2021 15:27
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It's Going Down not having heard of you is not a great sign

I know they are like one of the bigger Anarchist news sites around, but I honestly couldn't care less about their perception of WSA. WSA is pretty far from them ideologically and what matters to us is how workers see us, not how some insurrectionist publication sees us. Thanks for the feedback otherwise though. I'm sure many of us will take it into consideration.

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Mar 30 2021 15:30
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which may be what Ivysyn means by not equally spread out everywhere?

We have a lot of old-timers and newer members on the east cost. So your intuition here is probably based in part on reality, but it's not really a good picture of WSA overall. One of our most important and long time members is in California, for instance.

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Mar 30 2021 16:06

Can we please not use acronyms in thread headings? (I have edited in Workers' Solidarity Alliance after finding out what it stood for.)

No biggie but I think it might help a bit with inclusion.

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R Totale
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Mar 30 2021 16:29
Ivysyn wrote:
I know they are like one of the bigger Anarchist news sites around, but I honestly couldn't care less about their perception of WSA. WSA is pretty far from them ideologically and what matters to us is how workers see us, not how some insurrectionist publication sees us. Thanks for the feedback otherwise though. I'm sure many of us will take it into consideration.

I mean, it's up to you, but it's really not like IGD is just all smashy smashy all the time, search around a bit and you'll find stuff like IWW Supports Arrested Striking Hunts Point Market Workers in New York, Ben Fletcher and Building the IWW’s Anti-Racist, Class War Politics, Chicago, IL: IWW Grocery Store Workers in Logan Square Denounce Attacks During COVID-19 Pandemic, Washington DC: IWW Organizing Pushes Back Against Wage Theft, Building Renter Power with the Autonomous Tenants Union Network. Yeah, there's also a lot of stuff on there that's probably further from your politics, but so what? The point is that they're a large platform who seem perfectly happy to carry stuff from class-based/pro-organizational groups, and so it seems sensible to use that to me.

I also think it'd be good if some of the older WSA members wanted to do some interviews or something to record more of the history they've been part of, but I've said that before.

syndicalist
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Mar 30 2021 17:21

David in Atlana asked me to forward the WSA twitter thinger:
https://twitter.com/AnarSyndicalist

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Mar 30 2021 17:41
Quote:
We have a lot of old-timers and newer members on the east cost. So your intuition here is probably based in part on reality, but it's not really a good picture of WSA overall. One of our most important and long time members is in California, for instance

I figured that my understanding of the activity of the WSA is based on past members I have met and being more attentive to what was happening in North America when a lot was happening in Seattle IIRC.

But I guess my point partially stands since California is on the West Coast wink

syndicalist
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Mar 31 2021 14:05

Ahem, I'm an "old timer" (founding member, first national secretaty for wtiw).

There are 3 founding members, 1 who joined very early on, in the whole WSA. Two in US north east, one in the south, one on the west coast. We are a minority. We have, for better or worse, held the fort during bright and dark days. I believe we all trace our 1970s roots to trying to revive the specific term "anarcho-syndicalism" (and idea thereof) in the US. I neither see WSA as a success or a failure at this point. It is both in large measure.

Edit: 1984 founding members who still belong to WSA
2 North East
1 West Coast

1 who joined WSA with the first two years of founding,
but who is not an actual founding member and is still a member

Total of 4 who have belonged since 1984-86 period

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Mar 30 2021 22:23
syndicalist wrote:
David in Atlana asked me to forward the WSA twitter thinger:
https://twitter.com/AnarSyndicalist

This is great, thanks. But in that case, it kind of seems like you are trying to hide your Twitter, as you do not link to it from either your main website or your Ideas & Action website. This is something you could fix very quickly. Links to it and your FB should be on every single page on both of your websites!
To the other person, IGD isn't just an insurrectionist publication, as has been pointed out.
Anyway hope you manage to find the time to implement those tips or something similar, it shouldn't take more than 30 minutes

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Mar 31 2021 05:12

There is least one article on IGD from 2019 that was originally published on the WSA's ideas & action website:

A “Green New Deal”?: The Eco-Syndicalist Alternative, Part I

syndicalist
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Mar 31 2021 15:29
Sike wrote:
There is least one article on IGD from 2019 that was originally published on the WSA's ideas & action website:

A “Green New Deal”?: The Eco-Syndicalist Alternative, Part I

Wow, one article! There have been many more since. I'm not built hurt by it. They have their own appreciations, relations, networks, friends and I get that. And WSA has its own, as well as its own obvious problems.

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Mar 31 2021 18:25

It looks as though the ideas & action article was re-published on IGD by the Black Rose Anarchist Federation who seem to have their own author bio page over on IGD. Which kind of begs the question; has the WSA ever considered approaching and asking IGD if the WSA could also have an author bio page of their own on the IGD web site so that the WSA could also publish relevant articles to the site?

adri
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Apr 1 2021 01:45

Their information gathering is quite crap if they think antifa and occupy are/were some "example anarchist groups". I'm not sure what kind of "moderates" they think or would like military personnel to be; right-wing ideology and military usually go hand-in-hand. I'm also curious what military recruiters are doing if not exploiting poor people's "need for belonging and search for identity and purpose." Also clearly visible here is the idea of how only powerful and wealthy people get to decide what injustices are. It's just "perceived injustice" and "extremism" that most of the world regard the US as the greatest threat to world peace. I guess you could also point out stuff like the US funding right-wing groups in Latin America, contras in Nicaragua, etc.

syndicalist
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Apr 1 2021 22:32

I've passed on all your suggestions. See ya!

syndicalist
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Apr 2 2021 14:43
Steven. wrote:
Yes saw this, although on a less positive note for the WSA, I saw that It's Going Down posted about it, and claimed that WSA was an Irish group (clearly confusing it with the WSM).!

Yeah, WSA and WSM were both formed in 1984. And we have been confused more than once over the last 37 years