USI article about the IWA

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syndicalist
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Jan 9 2008 06:48
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x357997:the garment workers in Bangladesh tried to join from what i understand.

You have misunderstood.

The then WSA-IWA first established contact with the NGWF in late 1992. For a period of time the NGWF flirted with the IWA. This tailed off by the late 1990s.

Mark.
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Jan 9 2008 18:03
Skraeling wrote:
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Despite this internal situation the IWA continues to be a pole in the world with enormous potential for organisation and development. It is enough to think of the recent request for affiliation presented by strong unions from Pakistan and Indonesia. These unions surely have practices and trajectories different from the classic ones of the IWA, but an interchange of opinions and a profitable and supportive relationship would permit the association to introduce itself in the areas that are strategically most important and “hot” of world social conflict.

who are the "strong unions" from Pakistan and Indonesia that requested to join the IWA? Anyone got any info on them? Any info or leads would be appreciated.

I asked about them on an old thread and got this answer from syndicalist. I don't know any more about them.

syndicalist wrote:
As for Pakistan, the union seeking affiliation, All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions (APFUTU) appeared to be close in politics to the former-Stalinist World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). It organized hierarchically as well. In reference to Indonesia, not sure about the particulars, except it seemsed to be hierierical and out of step of syndicalism. I've only seen the internal structure. I think they may also call for involvement in ILO stuff, I know the APFUTU.
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Felix Frost
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Jan 9 2008 18:43
rata wrote:
JH wrote:
The CNT and USI are unions. Solfed is an anarchist group. I don't see what there is to argue about here. I'm not saying that the IWA shouldn't include different kinds of organisation - just that this might bring some problems and differences in outlook.

Obviously you are one of those who have problems with labels. Solfed is clearly a syndicalist propaganda organization. Yes, the majority of people propagating anarcho-syndicalism are anarchists, but they are not part of IWA based on the fact that they are anarchist, but on the fact that they are working towards creation of revolutionary unions. To claim that anarcho-syndicalist propaganda groups are anarchist group is true only in this manner: they are anarchist group as much as anarcho-syndicalism is anarchist. And if you read anarcosindicalismo basico, you'll see that there is a difference between the two.

Refering to Anarcosindicalismo basico isn't really helpful though, as some people in the IWA reject this classic form of anarcho-syndicalism, and talk about the "FORA model" where all members of the revolutionary union are supposed to be anarcho-communists.

But speaking of anarchist groups in the IWA, whatever happened to the Czech IWA section, the Federation of Anarchist Groups. I noticed that they are missing from the links page on iwa-ait.org, and their website seems to be gone.

rata
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Jan 9 2008 19:21
Felix Frost wrote:
Refering to Anarcosindicalismo basico isn't really helpful though, as some people in the IWA reject this classic form of anarcho-syndicalism, and talk about the "FORA model" where all members of the revolutionary union are supposed to be anarcho-communists.

In fact it is helpful if you are trying to see the difference between anarcho-syndicalist organization and anarchist organization. The other matter is the fact that IWA is gathering all revolutionary unions, whatever their nature is - anarcho-syndicalist, foraist, etc.

Felix Frost wrote:
But speaking of anarchist groups in the IWA, whatever happened to the Czech IWA section, the Federation of Anarchist Groups. I noticed that they are missing from the links page on iwa-ait.org, and their website seems to be gone.

I'm not in a position to comment on that, since that is an ongoing thing and the information about that issue still didn't go through the IWA channels.

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Devrim
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Jan 9 2008 19:25
rata wrote:
Felix Frost wrote:
But speaking of anarchist groups in the IWA, whatever happened to the Czech IWA section, the Federation of Anarchist Groups. I noticed that they are missing from the links page on iwa-ait.org, and their website seems to be gone.

I'm not in a position to comment on that, since that is an ongoing thing and the information about that issue still didn't go through the IWA channels.

I heard they had disbanded.

Devrim

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jan 10 2008 20:31
laureakai wrote:
I hope I haven't mispoken here. I've heard this from some individuals - don't know if they represent views of entire groups. It seems this way, but on reflection, one cannot take the ideas of individuals as representative.

Are you from NEFAC?
If so, has there been any discussion whatsoever about this w/ your comrades on the other side of the pond?

Best I can tell it's based on past attacks against the ILS-SIL network (which in actuality was a solidarity and mutual aid network, NOT any sort of attempt at setting up a new anarchist international) by various IWA people. The closest thing to any sort of "platformist international" that exists is the network of groups around the Anarkismo project, which, at least as of now, is fairly informal... and is limited to specific "platformist" or "especifist" political groups. There are no syndicalist groups involved.

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OliverTwister
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Jan 10 2008 20:57

But Laure wasn't talking about a platformist international, rather a possible syndicalist-lite one. There's been a couple of instances where there's been hints at this, including during the I07 conference.

Dundee United has been pretty in favor of this, so you can't claim that no platformist has spoken in support.

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jan 10 2008 21:18
OliverTwister wrote:
But Laure wasn't talking about a platformist international, rather a possible syndicalist-lite one. There's been a couple of instances where there's been hints at this, including during the I07 conference.

Maybe, I have no idea. I can say with certainty that no platformist groups are involved with any efforts along these lines though.

Quote:
Dundee United has been pretty in favor of this, so you can't claim that no platformist has spoken in support.

I meant no platformist groups.

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Devrim
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Jan 10 2008 21:33
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
But Laure wasn't talking about a platformist international, rather a possible syndicalist-lite one. There's been a couple of instances where there's been hints at this, including during the I07 conference.

Maybe, I have no idea. I can say with certainty that no platformist groups are involved with any efforts along these lines though.

Quote:
Dundee United has been pretty in favor of this, so you can't claim that no platformist has spoken in support.

I meant no platformist groups.

That is a fair point. It is a little unfair to blame all of 'Platformism' for 'Dundee_United'.

Devrim

Mark.
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Jan 10 2008 21:39
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
Best I can tell it's based on past attacks against the ILS-SIL network (which in actuality was a solidarity and mutual aid network, NOT any sort of attempt at setting up a new anarchist international) by various IWA people. The closest thing to any sort of "platformist international" that exists is the network of groups around the Anarkismo project, which, at least as of now, is fairly informal... and is limited to specific "platformist" or "especifist" political groups. There are no syndicalist groups involved.

My understanding is that ESE was proposing a union international along the lines of the IWA, presumably involving the CGT, SAC, CNTF etc. - along with small groups like the ESE. I did see something about this in Spanish but I think it was probably a report from the same meeting that laureakai went to and it didn't say a lot more. I think some people in the IWA saw the ILS-SIL network as a first step towards this kind of international - without any real justification that I can see.

I'd be surprised if the CGT and SAC were interested in ESE's proposal. My impression is that the CGT try and avoid doing things that will worsen relations with the CNT. SAC always had an official policy of neutrality in the dispute between the CNT and the CGT. Besides this it doesn't sound a very sensible structure if you're starting something from scratch. There are historical reasons why the IWA has ended up combining unions and what are basically small political groups, but I don't see a reason to try and repeat this.

[Edit: I didn't see Oliver's comment before posting this. It would be interesting to know whether the proposal is being taken seriously (at least outside Poland and Greece)]

guadia
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Jan 12 2008 09:19
Felix Frost wrote:
But speaking of anarchist groups in the IWA, whatever happened to the Czech IWA section, the Federation of Anarchist Groups. I noticed that they are missing from the links page on iwa-ait.org, and their website seems to be gone.

czech iwa section "fas" officially announced its dissolution more than one month ago here in czech.

syndicalist
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Jan 12 2008 16:09

i editied this piece on the FAS.

There's got to be something else about them on-line by way of background and so forth.

"In 1994-1995 crisis occured in the movement. ... The
....Federace sociálních anarchistù (Federation of Social
Anarchists, FSA), inspired besides by platformism by the
Bookchin´s essay "Social anarchism or a lifestyle anarchism" arose
in 1997 around Petr Wohlmuth and created their specific ideologie.
... had a considerable influence in the theory and in
turning the movemnt towards social problems and social anarchism."
http://www.ainfos.ca/02/nov/ainfos00698.html

MT
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Jan 13 2008 12:52

syndicalist, it is offtopic. also, noone from fas here to explain or defend, so in case you are really into this, start another topic perhaps.

Jason Cortez
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Jan 13 2008 16:54

Well there certainly a desire for a new international amongst some attendees at iparis 07. How well supported this is by the various goups is less clear, but it appears to vocal minority as far as i can gather.

Quote:
Syndicalists plan stronger international cooperation
by Eric Chester
from Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #47
On the weekend before May Day, the CNT-Vignoles hosted an
international conference for revolutionary syndicalists. I was lucky
to be able to attend as part of an IWW delegation. The event was
inspiring, with upwards of five hundred attending, the great majority
of whom were young activists. Most came from France, but there were
also official delegations from the CGT of Spain, the Swedish SAC, and
the IWW.
After several days of workshops, all of us joined the CNT-F contingent
marching through the streets of Paris on May Day. The CNT contingent
was the second largest, with well over a thousand marching behind our
banner calling for direct action and the end to capitalism. Since the
march was held only days before the final round of the French
presidential election, most contingents carried signs calling for the
defeat of the conservative candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, thus implicitly
endorsing the Socialist Party candidate, Segolene Royal. The CNT was
one of the few participating groups to reject the politics of the
lesser evil.
The success of the Paris conference once again highlighted the
importance of deepening international links between syndicalist
unions. In addition to providing a hospitable venue for
anti-authoritarian radicals to meet each other, and to engage in
in-depth discussions, the conference workshops laid the groundwork for
activists working in the same industrial sector to begin to formulate
a common program.
I participated in a workshop of teachers that drew more than eighty
people. After a lively discussion of the growing threat presented by
the privatization and commercialization of schools and colleges, the
workshop resolved to call for an "Education Day" to take place in the
fall of 2008. The idea is to hold a coordinated set of demonstrations
on the same day in several countries around a common set of demands.
"Free Public Education Funded by Taxing the Rich" and "Critical
Thinking, Not Test Taking" are two components in the tentative list of
demands.
The IWW had the opportunity to present its work around Starbucks at
one workshop, and to ask other unions to join in this effort. Even
before the conference, CNT-F had organized a day of protest when
dozens of union activists went to several Starbucks in Paris to
protest the firing of several IWW organizers. Since the conference,
the CGT of Spain has started a protest campaign directed at Starbucks.
These are the first tentative steps toward a genuine international
solidarity, but a great deal more needs to be done. During the last
few years, CNT-F, CGT-E, and SAC have convened several meetings,
sometimes with the participation of the IWW, with the goal of
furthering international connections. At the Paris conference,
representatives of the CNT-F and the CGT-E indicated that they
intended to proceed further. They are proposing the formation of a
formal network of syndicalist unions that would also include SAC and
the IWW. This network would develop programs that would enable the
four unions to work together on a range of common projects.
The development of such a network would mark a quantum step forward.
The project needs to be fleshed out, with specific proposals for how
the four unions can work more closely together. Possible common
activities include the exchange of articles for publications, holding
future conferences (perhaps for specific industrial sectors),
organizing drives aimed at specific transnational corporations, and
sending unified delegations to meet with radical anti-authoritarian
organizations in the developing countries.
If the network is to become a reality, it will require resources.
Participating unions will have to provide funds for travel, and for a
staff person to coordinate the network. The extent to which funding is
forthcoming will provide a clear signal as to how important the
success of the network is to the participating unions.
The IWW has a great deal to gain by joining such a network. Our union
is considerably smaller than the other three. Furthermore, in the
United States, where most IWW members live, the radical left is small
and marginalized. In much of Western Europe, the situation is
substantially different. Nevertheless, the IWW can significantly
contribute to the network. The Wobblies provide an entry point into
English-speaking countries, as well as a proud history of militant
struggles.
Participation in the network would not prevent the IWW from forming
ties to unions outside of the network who wish to cooperate on a
specific project. The IWW would still try to interest a wide range of
other unions in helping with the Starbucks campaign. At the same time,
the IWW would place a priority on its relations with the three other
unions within the network, forging ties that on many levels extending
beyond the limits set by work on a specific project.
Ultimately, the goal would be the creation of a new international of
syndicalist unions. Needless to say, this is an ambitious project, and
the connections between the four unions would have to be far stronger
than they are now before this could become a viable option.
Nevertheless, it is an important goal, one that should be kept in
mind. For now, we can decide to make international solidarity a
critical priority.

The ASR in publishing the article were not endorsing FW Chester's call for a new international organization. Also this conclusion certainly isn’t one that every participant came to.

syndicalist
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Jan 14 2008 07:04

Eric Chester: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Chester

http://vote-socialist.org/p08/questionnaires/chester.html

akai
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Jan 14 2008 14:07

At the risk of going off-topic:
I remember Eric Chester. I know of a few other socialist party types in the IWW but didn't realize Chester was a Wobblie. Thanks for the info and the article.

I have to say I think that we should be looking into the question of whether or not the ideas for getting a new "anarchosyndicalist international" aren't partly inspired by members of the left who are also for other reasons opposed to groups like the IWA.

In Poland, traditionally the groups most opposed to IWA or IWA-like politics has been CKLA, which is strongly in favour of active cooperation with left political parties, union leaders, etc. This view is also held by the leadership of the WI, probably most of its members, but with some @s against it.

At this point in time, we are "negotiating" with those groups about some cooperation on concrete matters, but there is no agreement on the matters of cooperation with political parties. There is very big propaganda made by these groups that such a stance is "sectarian" and a lot of scummy leftists bastards support them in this, particularly the ones who are interested in entrism in to these groups.

For many of us, it is quite clear that these groups here which seek ties with CGT or Vignoles or IWW are looking to create a type of anarcho-syndicalism based on broad left values.

Of course, the issue of where people draw lines in cooperating with leftists is crucial and there is no agreement between ZSP and WI or CKLA on this. In addition, it also seems that populists such as third positionists seem to qualify as potential supporters with at least the leader of WI who had no problem sitting on a panel with this politician colleague from WI and a former editor of a nazi paper at a conference dominated by right-wing nuts and opened by a fanatic pro-lifer.

Of course the Socialist Party in the US is a joke, but still it is worth considering whether having would-be politicians in your organization conveys a clear message about self-governing society. WI in Poland was in a worse situation since their candidate in the last parliamentary elections was head of the Self-Defence list and was greatly compromised since the party was involved in a sexual harrassment and even rape scandal and the guy stooped so low to say Andrzej Lepper is not a sexist. Bad shit.

Currently the IWW example is being used by the leader of WI to try to convince ZSP to resign from its position about non-cooperation with politicians. Just yesterday we received a long letter telling us about how wrong we were because the IWW allows party people and nothing bad happens. I felt it was a bit of a manipulation, because we actually never said we rejected cooperation with leftists, and we could even consider sometimes concrete actions with some politician acting in a personal capacity, but what was actually happening is that the IWW was being used to avoid the question of WI or CKLA's longer-term cooperation with some politicians and union leaders (who in turn cooperate with the right wing) which we simply don't want to be sucked into, nor do we need them invited such people to our events, etc. I was actually planning on even saying today that at least IWW political party members don't run for Parliament but I guess I can't use that argument. smile

Sorry if it's a digression but at least from how things look here, a new international seems to be the wet dream of some local people who are too attached to their Castro wannabe friends and wanna be influential players in one big coalition with those guys. I get the feeling if this were 1917, they'd be the ones sucking up to the Bolsheviks, if this were Spain, the ones trying to get ministries and negotiate with the Comintern.

Mark.
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Jan 14 2008 19:29
Jason Cortez wrote:
Well there certainly a desire for a new international amongst some attendees at iparis 07. How well supported this is by the various goups is less clear, but it appears to vocal minority as far as i can gather.

Thanks for the ASR article - going off this it does sound like people are serious about the idea.