The IWW - a good idea? Practical?

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Steven.
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Mar 13 2006 14:32
Steve wrote:
gentle revolutionary - do you still consider yourself a member of SolFed?

I fucking hope not!

GR - with your posts it's tricky to know where to start, because there's generally so much content that you pass off as factual that's actually completely wrong.

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gentle revolutionary wrote:
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hmmm more like 60 and mostly on paper.

Not true, about 150 (146 definitely, but the Northern delegate – incidentally also an AFer – claims its even more).

150. Really. I bet most of those are people whose subs have expired. There's no point lying about numbers - that's what the Trots do. If that were actually true there would be no reason why the IWW is far less active and visible than the AF, SF or CW, all of which have far fewer members than that.

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And there certainly is a lot of potential for growth – more so than most libertarian organisations as the US IWW (I think the biggest libertarian organization in the US) shows. San Francisco for instance has 150 members, and Portland had about 250 members a couple of years ago.

What's your evidence for that?

You could pick many other groups in SF or the AF's international far bigger than the US IWW as a proportion of the population

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How could you unionise a place you were working if everyone there had to be an anti-capitalist? It seems a bit silly.

It would be silly if it was true. History and even the contemporary IWW in the US (or the 3000 Sierra Leone miners who organised with the IWW in the 90s, but were crushed or fled during the civil war) shows this isn’t true. You only have to agree with the working principles of the organisation.

The contemporary IWW in the US is minute. It's not a real union by a long shot.

The Sierra Leone IWW information is very sketchy, GR. If you have evidence about it I'd like to see it.

Have you ever actually had a job, gentle revolutionary? The idea of trying to get my workmates to join an anti-capitalist, revolutionary union, is fucking ridiculous.

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but you can pick your time to start an anarchosyndicalist union

SolFed is unlikely to ever become a functioning union. I think the fundamental flaw of SolFed’s approach (apart from placing too much importance on propaganda – ie being a political/propagandist rather than economic organisation – whereas the whole point is in organising workers along direct democratic lines and fighting against the bosses) is that it is too narrow ideologically and actually doesn’t accept people who aren’t already anarchosyndicalists - when again, the whole point is in bringing people over to libertarian ideas through struggle and direct experience.

Your first statement is baseless, not to mention a sad petty swipe. Secondly you're denying the nature of the IWW - it's not a base union, it's a revolutionary socialist one. Ideas at least as unpopular as anarchosyndicalism here.

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Where's the evidence that it's "easier" in the current climate? Surely the fact that there are tens of thousands more members of anarchosyndicalist groups than IWW ones proves this wrong?

Firstly, the approach of these unions who organised tens (and hundreds) of thousands of people (or even millions) is much closer to IWW’s approach than the SolFed’s.

This is a lie.

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Secondly, unfortunately I don’t think these unions are really in the tens of thousands (even the moderate CGT only has about 50 000 members, and a much bigger influence apart from its membership for sure).

What's your point here? IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country. Therefore your statement that it was "easier" is wrong.

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the IWW is really a propaganda group agitating for a revolutionary syndicalist union. It cannot defend its members in the workplace which is why IWW members also stay in reformist unions.

The IWW definitely can and does defend its members.

What happened to the ONLY group of workers who joined the IWW in this country?

They all either got forced out of the union, or were sacked. Great defence.

That said, the IWW in the US is doing good work, and there are soom good comrades doing valuable work here. You, however, are not one of them. You seem to be an activistoid scenester who goes from group to group slagging people off and damaging the reputations of any decent comrades you're associated with. I don't think the IWW need you acting like a petty sectarian in their name on the internet.

martinh
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Mar 13 2006 15:39

While I wish the IWW well, even the mad scots sectarians, I think there's a bit of a wishful thinking here.

If it was easy to organise in this way, people would have done it. The iWW have been involved in several initiatives since they were re-established in the UK around 1990. Of these, I suspect only the USDAW steward in the SPGB who defected and took 5 of his colleagues with him are still around. The rump of the DIWU went into the IWW, but if anything had less success as IWW. The factory in Devon or Somerset where a whole T&G branch were coming over came to nothing.

And then there was the debacle in Hull. But at least there are parliamentary assistants. roll eyes

Now it might be that times have changed and this will be about to change as well, but I see no evidence that this is the case. I could be wrong, but organising can't generally be divorced from the level of the class struggle, and there's still not a lot of that around. Sadly sad

If the IWW establishes a base amongst immigrant workers (both legal and not) then it could buck this trend, as some of these workers are far more likely to fight than natives. But I would reiterate - there is no quick fix to the lack of class struggle, just as there is no quick organisational fix.

And numbers make a difference - though that difference does depend on what they do.

Regards,

Martin

petey
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Mar 13 2006 15:45

- the IWW ovah heah has about 1000 members, i believe. this number has doubled since bush was elected.

- it also is a going concern. not only with starbucks, but more recently with small illegal-immigrant-victimizing shops in brooklyn, where their work co-incides with groups like make the road by walking http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/july_2001/hood.html

- and (i'll say again, then shut up about it) the recent threat by other unions to walk out in solidarity with the TWU showed the potential power of industrial unionism in a way i had never seen it before

AnarchoAl
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Mar 13 2006 16:00
gentle revolutionary wrote:
I just came back from an IWW conference in Edinburgh last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised by the state of the IWW in Scotland, which has our strongest groups today – Edinburgh & Glasgow.

Personally I prefer the wobbly tactic to SolFed's, and the Edinburgh lot seem sound enough, but if the Glasgow branch are "one of your strongest" then you're in serious trouble. They have, AFAIAA, 3 to 5 people turn up to meetings, and the only comrade who'd actually wanted to organise anywhere left for foreign climes some time ago.

woundedhobo
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Mar 13 2006 16:02

Why is there so much interest from anarchists in the IWW-a centralized, hierarchical organization? If most of its members are in the US, guess where the yearly "democratic" general assembly is gonna be? And whose job is it to make sure that the Industrial Worker (newspaper) is putting the union's ideals into print? The general membership? No, the last I checked it was officialy the job of the elected "executive board" made up of people, many of whom strangely claim to be anarchist or anarcho-communist. Guess who decides how much members in Uganda pay for their dues? The membership? No, its the secretary-treasurer or the executive board, the last I checked.

I think what has much less potential for a massive bureaucracy, and much potential for living breathing anarchy is a network of autonomous local

unions that show solidarity with each other. Obviously if you require everyone to be a committed "anarcho-communist" or "anarcho-syndicalist" most people will give you a funny look, but if your local unions in the network are a part of the network because they have agreed to some core principles like one member, one vote, no elected officials making decisions for everyone else, then the potential is there for mainstream and radical people to coexist.

Having said that, the IWW in the US is my favor leftist flavor, and am into giving critical support but not membership. Theoretically since they do have yearly referendums , the membership could vote to strip away executive board powers, but strangely, when I was a member none of the anarchists were into that. Actually many of the self-proclaimed anarchists were into defending the hierarchy, saying it was necessary.

-Mario

(a former member from '96-2001)

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OliverTwister
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Mar 13 2006 16:04
John. wrote:
Steve wrote:
gentle revolutionary - do you still consider yourself a member of SolFed?

I fucking hope not!

GR - with your posts it's tricky to know where to start, because there's generally so much content that you pass off as factual that's actually completely wrong.

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gentle revolutionary wrote:
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hmmm more like 60 and mostly on paper.

Not true, about 150 (146 definitely, but the Northern delegate – incidentally also an AFer – claims its even more).

150. Really. I bet most of those are people whose subs have expired. There's no point lying about numbers - that's what the Trots do. If that were actually true there would be no reason why the IWW is far less active and visible than the AF, SF or CW, all of which have far fewer members than that.

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And there certainly is a lot of potential for growth – more so than most libertarian organisations as the US IWW (I think the biggest libertarian organization in the US) shows. San Francisco for instance has 150 members, and Portland had about 250 members a couple of years ago.

What's your evidence for that?

You could pick many other groups in SF or the AF's international far bigger than the US IWW as a proportion of the population

NEFAC is certainly far more visible in the anarchist 'scene' than the north american IWW, but is probably 5% the size...

Having been to the SF Bay and met several of them, I can attest to the fact that they have 100-150 members (incidentally, one of their job shops were the curbside recyclers who picked up from the house where i was staying). About 50 of those are members job branches; those numbers dont include the stockton truckers. Wobs i've met from portland have claimed that they were as high as 300 dues paying members a few years back. NY is probably somewhere around the size of 100 (at least), and there are several other very large branches as well.

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How could you unionise a place you were working if everyone there had to be an anti-capitalist? It seems a bit silly.

It would be silly if it was true. History and even the contemporary IWW in the US (or the 3000 Sierra Leone miners who organised with the IWW in the 90s, but were crushed or fled during the civil war) shows this isn’t true. You only have to agree with the working principles of the organisation.

The contemporary IWW in the US is minute. It's not a real union by a long shot.

The Sierra Leone IWW information is very sketchy, GR. If you have evidence about it I'd like to see it.

Have you ever actually had a job, gentle revolutionary? The idea of trying to get my workmates to join an anti-capitalist, revolutionary union, is fucking ridiculous.

I don't think anyones claiming that the IWW is poised to do any amazing revolutionary activity in the short run; what we're all talking about is the best way to build for the things the class needs (self-organization, self-consciousness, etc.)

Also as a point of clarification we don't require members to hold any specific ideas...

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but you can pick your time to start an anarchosyndicalist union

SolFed is unlikely to ever become a functioning union. I think the fundamental flaw of SolFed’s approach (apart from placing too much importance on propaganda – ie being a political/propagandist rather than economic organisation – whereas the whole point is in organising workers along direct democratic lines and fighting against the bosses) is that it is too narrow ideologically and actually doesn’t accept people who aren’t already anarchosyndicalists - when again, the whole point is in bringing people over to libertarian ideas through struggle and direct experience.

Your first statement is baseless, not to mention a sad petty swipe. Secondly you're denying the nature of the IWW - it's not a base union, it's a revolutionary socialist one. Ideas at least as unpopular as anarchosyndicalism here.

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Where's the evidence that it's "easier" in the current climate? Surely the fact that there are tens of thousands more members of anarchosyndicalist groups than IWW ones proves this wrong?

Firstly, the approach of these unions who organised tens (and hundreds) of thousands of people (or even millions) is much closer to IWW’s approach than the SolFed’s.

This is a lie.

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Secondly, unfortunately I don’t think these unions are really in the tens of thousands (even the moderate CGT only has about 50 000 members, and a much bigger influence apart from its membership for sure).

What's your point here? IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country. Therefore your statement that it was "easier" is wrong.

Yes, but the IWW is close with SAC, CNT-F, and the CGT. According to the wikipedia article on CNT-F (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNT-F), the CNT-F is ideologically close to us. I know also that SAC mostly refers to themselves as "syndicalists", though they consider it synonymous with anarchosyndicalist. Either way, these organizations have 50,000, 10,000, and 4,000 members and members of the IWA aren't even allowed to talk to them.

wikipedia wrote:
the CNT-Vignoles (or CNT-f), from the name of the street where is located their main office in Paris. They declare to be no more anarcho-syndicalist but "revolutionnary unionists". Anarchists are minority inside CNT-Vignoles (cf. interview of the National secretary in the external links).

Also consider the fact that in all the (mostly) anglophone world the only affiliates to the IWA or IFA have been SolFed and the AF in Britain and the Workers Solidarity Alliance in the US (which probably never got above 100 members and was expelled for refusing to 'boycott' SAC and the CGT).

Out of curiosity, which IFA groups are bigger than the IWW (estimating 1500 in the US and Canada)?

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the IWW is really a propaganda group agitating for a revolutionary syndicalist union. It cannot defend its members in the workplace which is why IWW members also stay in reformist unions.

The IWW definitely can and does defend its members.

What happened to the ONLY group of workers who joined the IWW in this country?

They all either got forced out of the union, or were sacked. Great defence.

That said, the IWW in the US is doing good work, and there are soom good comrades doing valuable work here. You, however, are not one of them. You seem to be an activistoid scenester who goes from group to group slagging people off and damaging the reputations of any decent comrades you're associated with. I don't think the IWW need you acting like a petty sectarian in their name on the internet.

I don't know the references you're making to GR but his post seemed to be basically right to me.

Steve, I think the point and attraction of the IWW is that we're against organizing on ideological lines; this may be the big difference with traditional anarcho-syndicalism.

Admin - Quoting fixed

Steve
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Mar 13 2006 16:46

Not that I want to get into it but the WSM were not expelled from the IWA, they resigned.

martinh
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Mar 13 2006 17:12

Steve,

WSA not WSM. (you'll have people jumping up and down at you over that one smile )

IIRC what happened is that the WSA split, with a group in Minnesota expelling the NY group while retaining the IWA affiliation and changing their name to IWA-Minnesota. This group then later resigned.

So, I can see how the WSA in NY feel they were expelled, particularly when the IWA refused to hear them when they came to put their case. I suspect this will come up once again at the IWA Congress in your neck of the woods later this year, along with the similar situation in Australia.

Regards,

Martin

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JDMF
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Mar 13 2006 17:29
woundedhobo wrote:
-Mario

(a former member from '96-2001)

DUDE! You dont happen to be the same mario that i was in touch with in about -97/98/99???? used to post on deadprez forums arguing with the trots grin

If so, good to hear you are still about mate.

Oliver, about which IFA groups are bigger than US IWW: it is about relative size, US has a population of what, about 360 million? So for a nation of 5 million people they would only need to have 21 members to be bigger.

Steve
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Mar 13 2006 17:46
martinh wrote:
Steve,

WSA not WSM. (you'll have people jumping up and down at you over that one smile )

Oh fuck sorry! (trying to do three things at once embarrassed )

gentle revolutionary
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Mar 13 2006 18:49
Quote:
150. Really. I bet most of those are people whose subs have expired. There's no point lying about numbers - that's what the Trots do.

You bet wrong. There’s at least 146 dues paying members. Sure, many of them are isolated in small places, or just “red card romantics”, but it would be a mistake to judge a group simply by its presence on libcom or in the anarchist subculture (especially as plenty of the members aren’t anarchists, although they are radically democratic/libertarian).

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And there certainly is a lot of potential for growth – more so than most libertarian organisations as the US IWW (I think the biggest libertarian organization in the US) shows. San Francisco for instance has 150 members, and Portland had about 250 members a couple of years ago.

What's your evidence for that?

You could pick many other groups in SF or the AF's international far bigger than the US IWW as a proportion of the population

I’ve heard from NEFAC members themselves they’re no more than 10% of IWW’s size (people here mention 5%). In Britain, it’s twice as big as SolFed and AF. You can’t judge the ratio in comparison with Italy or France with a far more favourable political situation and tradition (although in both of these countries you’ve got decent libertarian base unions which are several times bigger than sectarian, ideological IWA members).

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The Sierra Leone IWW information is very sketchy, GR. If you have evidence about it I'd like to see it.

I’ve got a file with documents about Sierra Leone, we don’t know enough but it was a strong campaign.

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Firstly, the approach of these unions who organised tens (and hundreds) of thousands of people (or even millions) is much closer to IWW’s approach than the SolFed’s.

This is a lie.

Firstly, control yourself. This is obvious flaming.

Why do you think almost all the base unions fled AIT/IWA? Even NELSF members told me the “anarchosyndicalist” unions are largely sectarian jokes. I'm sure there are some good people inside them, though.

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IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country.

????:0

Don’t know where to start with this claim:)

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...the IWW in the US is doing good work, and there are some good comrades doing valuable work here. You, however, are not one of them. You seem to be an activistoid scenester who goes from group to group slagging people off and damaging the reputations of any decent comrades you're associated with. I don't think the IWW need you acting like a petty sectarian in their name on the internet.

What an incredible person you are, I honestly didn’t believe you were this ********. Just because you went to two SolFed meetings you feel a need to attack me for stating the facts (ie the internal bulletin thing). The Comintern would have put you to good use.

People have told me not to take any notice of a "marginal figure" (which is how you’re being seen by many), I’m more active in a week than you are in a year. However, since the net is anonymous, and not everyone knows who you are, people might take you seriously, so I had to answer.

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NEFAC is certainly far more visible in the anarchist 'scene' than the north american IWW, but is probably 5% the size...

Yeah, one of the great things about IWW is that it avoids getting caught up into the “scene”, but usually tries to build ties with actual workers. Sexy actions or preaching to the converted vs. hard work.

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I don't think anyones claiming that the IWW is poised to do any amazing revolutionary activity in the short run; what we're all talking about is the best way to build for the things the class needs (self-organization, self-consciousness, etc.)

Yep.

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I don't know the references you're making to GR but his post seemed to be basically right to me.

He seems to hate me, probably because I was a whistleblower of SolFed and the activist “scene”. Regardless of my commitment and idealism and use of personal resources and countless hours of hard work (as anyone who knows me would confirm), I was too open about some things that I saw going on, and which were (and still are) impeding the growth of libertarian ideas and practice in Britain.

petey
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Mar 13 2006 19:16
gentle revolutionary wrote:
Quote:
IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country.

????:0

Don’t know where to start with this claim:)

nor do i. i'm not "on the scene" but i'm unaware of the IWA presence here at all.

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Rob Ray
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Mar 13 2006 19:21
Quote:
I was a whistleblower of SolFed and the activist “scene”

Sorry who are you? confused

Mind you, bit of kudos for Solfed there, didn't realise it was so powerful/secretive that a whistleblower was necessary 8)

Steve
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Mar 13 2006 20:07
Steve wrote:
gentle revolutionary - do you still consider yourself a member of SolFed?

Well mr whistleblower?

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JDMF
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Mar 13 2006 22:24
newyawka wrote:
gentle revolutionary wrote:
Quote:
IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country.

????:0

Don’t know where to start with this claim:)

nor do i. i'm not "on the scene" but i'm unaware of the IWA presence here at all.

what he means (i assume and to me it seems perfectly clear) was that the size of IWW in its main country, US, is still small compared to the size of population, and that many IWA and IFA groups are larger in terms of comparable size.

In many ways swedish SAC are the biggest though, 6-8k members in nation of 9 million people wink Or perhaps CGT, anyways, numbers game is a bit silly because we are all so small comparatively.

Jason Cortez
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Mar 14 2006 01:14

GR slagg(ed/s )off the Solfed and AF groups (and others?) he was a member of (at the same time) for a short while. He now seems to believe he's a whistleblower because of this apparently eek confused roll eyes

He an earnest sort of bloke with a high potential for burn-out, but likeable enough when not slaging off other groups/people who have done a lot more over a lot longer time.

I think us old timers should watch you youngers slug it out in a seriously stupid drinking contest. Winner takes all (the empties to the recycling bin).

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Steven.
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Mar 14 2006 05:57
JDMF wrote:
newyawka wrote:
gentle revolutionary wrote:
Quote:
IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country.

????:0

Don’t know where to start with this claim:)

nor do i. i'm not "on the scene" but i'm unaware of the IWA presence here at all.

what he means (i assume and to me it seems perfectly clear) was that the size of IWW in its main country, US, is still small compared to the size of population, and that many IWA and IFA groups are larger in terms of comparable size.

In many ways swedish SAC are the biggest though, 6-8k members in nation of 9 million people wink Or perhaps CGT, anyways, numbers game is a bit silly because we are all so small comparatively.

Exactly, it's hardly rocket science.

Gentle Revolutionary, it's 6am so i'm gonna go to bed and respond in the morning, but you are hilarious. Really! grin

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JDMF
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Mar 14 2006 08:07

This thread has taken a sour turn, and i think we need to clarify some points here.

Firstly, Gentle Revolutionary builds this up to some kind of secterian conflict and "sol fed vs IWW" issue (the recent email circulated on public IWW lists add to this as well), which is bullshit. There is no "competition", if there was, how PATHETIC would that be to try to compete which one of these two tiny groups gets a bit less tiny in current political climate?!?!

Also, please before anyone criticises what SF is doing or not doing take a moment to read our industrial strategy first before fighting strawmen:

http://libcom.org/hosted/sf/strategy.htm

As you can see there are no conflicts there for a SF member to join IWW if such group would exist in their workplace. You can also rest assured that if there was some kind of conflict/dispute in IWW workplace, SF people would organise solidarity stuff in response.

Thing is, i know fair few IWW folks (if they still are involved) and have a lot of time for them. Great folks. IWW by its very nature should be very non-sectarian, after all IWW does accept members of all kinds of political parties as members and probably have some cross over members with SF as well. So please Gentle Revolutionary think about how you come across as IWW member and how damaging your assaults are to the reputation of the group you are so exited about.

Steve
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Mar 14 2006 10:33

I agree with JDMF. There is no conflict between the IWW & SF. They are similar but different groups and for me people should just choose which one they prefer and get on with it.

My problem is with those who enter several groups and then use their membership to stir up trouble. Which reminds me, still no answer to my very simple question gr.

gentle revolutionary
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Mar 14 2006 11:26
Quote:
Firstly, Gentle Revolutionary builds this up to some kind of secterian conflict and "sol fed vs IWW" issue (the recent email circulated on public IWW lists add to this as well), which is bullshit. There is no "competition", if there was, how PATHETIC would that be to try to compete which one of these two tiny groups gets a bit less tiny in current political climate?!?!

Seems you've mixed up the order in which this discussion developed. It began with "Anarchosyndicalists" throwing unwarranted attacks on the IWW. I responded by comparing their approach to the IWW's. While I was a former (? there haven't been meetings in London, as far as I'm aware, for a long time) SolFeder I tried to push for more cooperation and good will, and nearly all SolFeders responded by smirking and slagging off the IWW. So much for sectarianism. In general, it seems in this country the SolFed current (represented by people who are more active on this forum) seems more keen on attacking the IWW. I'm not interested in attacking SolFed, although I stand behind what I wrote on the IWW internal list.

Steve, it's interesting how you talk about there being no conflict between IWW and SolFed, although your attacks on the IWW were the direct cause of the only two times that I decided to publicly state my opinions about SolFed.

BB
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Mar 14 2006 11:38
revol68 wrote:
hmmm more like 60 and mostly on paper.

All seeing revol strikes again, at the moment it's at least 200, the paper part is correct though.

Steve
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Mar 14 2006 12:57
gentle revolutionary wrote:
Quote:
Firstly, Gentle Revolutionary builds this up to some kind of secterian conflict and "sol fed vs IWW" issue (the recent email circulated on public IWW lists add to this as well), which is bullshit. There is no "competition", if there was, how PATHETIC would that be to try to compete which one of these two tiny groups gets a bit less tiny in current political climate?!?!

Seems you've mixed up the order in which this discussion developed. It began with "Anarchosyndicalists" throwing unwarranted attacks on the IWW. I responded by comparing their approach to the IWW's. While I was a former (? there haven't been meetings in London, as far as I'm aware, for a long time) SolFeder I tried to push for more cooperation and good will, and nearly all SolFeders responded by smirking and slagging off the IWW. So much for sectarianism. In general, it seems in this country the SolFed current (represented by people who are more active on this forum) seems more keen on attacking the IWW. I'm not interested in attacking SolFed, although I stand behind what I wrote on the IWW internal list.

Steve, it's interesting how you talk about there being no conflict between IWW and SolFed, although your attacks on the IWW were the direct cause of the only two times that I decided to publicly state my opinions about SolFed.

I've said time and time again I have no problem with the IWW, I just don't agree with their approach. You can't seem to tell the difference between a political difference and a sectarian attack.

So you are a 'former Solfeder' but still get the IB. Dishonest - but soon rectified.

Jason Cortez
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Mar 14 2006 13:29
Quote:
So you are a 'former Solfeder' but still get the IB. Dishonest

hardly dishonest Steve, if the IB admin didn't know he had left, it can hardly be blamed on GR. I think he's argument is that there hasn't been any meetings by NELSF (?) (although his'London' comment would suggest that he is a member of SLSF as well?) as far as i am aware this is wrong (certainly SLSF hac a meeting not long ago).

martinh
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Mar 14 2006 14:14

NELSF have had one meeting this year AFAIK, but they are having problems. SLSF will be having a meeting sometime before conference (data and time TBA).

We also have a member who is ex-IWW. I don't think anyone in SF is actively hostile towards the IWW and there are quite a few members who are ex-IWW. TBH I think the Solidarity Collective that some people here have told me about probably has more potential for getting a wider range of people involved, but again if the IWW succeeds at things all well and good. Is GR still involved in that, as well?

I think the chief argument here about it is whether it will. This isn't a sectarian argument - it's about people who think something is or isn't a good idea justifying why. Personally I don't think it can be divorced from what's going in the wider world and class struggle generally.

Regards,

Martin

petey
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Mar 14 2006 14:20
JDMF wrote:
newyawka wrote:
gentle revolutionary wrote:
Quote:
IWA and IFA groups are much bigger than the IWW, even in its main country.

????:0

Don’t know where to start with this claim:)

nor do i. i'm not "on the scene" but i'm unaware of the IWA presence here at all.

what he means (i assume and to me it seems perfectly clear) was that the size of IWW in its main country, US, is still small compared to the size of population, and that many IWA and IFA groups are larger in terms of comparable size.

yes thanks i got that. and what i mean to say (which i thought was perfectly clear) is that i have no idea of the number of IWA members, and have not seen their activity here in the US in the way that i've seen the IWW's activity. perhaps someone can post numbers or actions, like some (a-HEM) here have for the IWW?

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Steven.
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Mar 14 2006 14:24
newyawka wrote:
yes thanks i got that. and what i mean to say (which i thought was perfectly clear) is that i have no idea of the number of IWA members, and have not seen their activity here in the US in the way that i've seen the IWW's activity. perhaps someone can post numbers or actions, like some (a-HEM) here have for the IWW?

The IWA has no group in the US. In countries where it's biggest it's got a few thousand in Spain, couple thousand Italy, a few hundred Germany.

petey
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Mar 14 2006 14:32
John. wrote:
newyawka wrote:
yes thanks i got that. and what i mean to say (which i thought was perfectly clear) is that i have no idea of the number of IWA members, and have not seen their activity here in the US in the way that i've seen the IWW's activity. perhaps someone can post numbers or actions, like some (a-HEM) here have for the IWW?

The IWA has no group in the US.

ah! pertinent information! good, thanks, that explains things. grin

a little follow-up trip to wikipedia contains the amazing statement that solfed has "less than 100 members". surely some mistake? i get the impression that there's that many on this site alone.

MalFunction
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Mar 14 2006 14:39

may i suggest a slightly different tack for this thread?

ie what do people actually want from a workplace organisation that can't be gained from a reformist trade union in the present political / economic climate?

not got anything against the IWW myself -just seems a bit pointless except in situations where exisitng trade unions can't operate. (eg migrant workers).

i'd also agree on the need for some form of anarcho workplace network (pref non-sectarian) to enable people to share experiences etc. difficult to go much beyond that to active industrial conflict without the necessary numbers / interest.

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JDMF
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Mar 14 2006 14:54
newyawka wrote:

a little follow-up trip to wikipedia contains the amazing statement that solfed has "less than 100 members". surely some mistake? i get the impression that there's that many on this site alone.

perhaps they just can't shut up grin

yeah less than 100, around 70-80ish at the moment. Some locals doing better than others and new ones popping up at a nice rate though, so one might just need to edit that number to "barely break 100 member mark" in near future tongue

No illusions though: we are very very small in numbers, all of us, and i wish all libertarian groups all the best in getting bigger and increasing our impact.

gentle revolutionary
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Mar 14 2006 16:11
MalFunction wrote:
not got anything against the IWW myself -just seems a bit pointless except in situations where exisitng trade unions can't operate. (eg migrant workers).

i'd also agree on the need for some form of anarcho workplace network (pref non-sectarian) to enable people to share experiences etc. difficult to go much beyond that to active industrial conflict without the necessary numbers / interest.

We're not trying to setup breakaway unions or anything like that (at the moment at least black bloc ) , but will focus on organising the unorganised and building a dual carders network.

We had industrial workplace networks a couple of years ago - like the health workers doing stuff against the Agenda for Change, producing a newsletter etc.