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From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 7 Oct 2004 08:20:34 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
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Report from Cincinnati, Ohio picket
Approximately 40 people showed to the Ohio Valley IWW* picket on
Saturday September 25th at the Cincinnati Wild Oats store. With solidarity
from SEIU members, shoppers, ex – employees, and employees we passed out 1000
leaflets demanding the re-instatement of Tom Kappas, an end to arbitrary
policies, and to stop retaliating against union members at the store. Picketers
covered every entrance at the Rookwood Commons shopping center.
Picketers remained in front of the shopping center for about 6
hours and got a very positive response from the public. Many people said they
couldn’t believe Wild Oats was that kind of company and many passer-bys beeped
their horns to signs that read, “HONK FOR WORKERS RIGHTS!”
The picket even spurred in front of Denver and Boulder, Colorado
Wild Oats stores. IWW members distributed flyers at every Wild Oats location
and talked to many workers who spoke of their mistreatment by Wild Oats.
Boulder, CO is where the headquarters for Wild Oats is located.
Two local television stations also covered the Cincinnati picket
and interviewed Tom and several of the picketers. Only one station actually
showed the picket on the nightly news.
Management’s response was given to employees two days before the picket
happened. A statement that Fred Meyer, the store director, wrote explained
that Tom was fairly fired and that he admitted to not following the company
policy but didn’t state which one, remember Wild Oats has an anti-union policy.
He also stated that a union won’t tell him who he can or cannot hire or fire.
Fred then went on to say that he will not negotiate with the
union about Tom’s termination and that workers should stay off the picket line.
The statement ended with Fred apologizing for the union picket, saying that he
was sorry that the employees had to bear such a thing. Fred also mentioned
that if picketers become violent with customers and employees, “to let
management know right away.”
Well, the Ohio Valley IWW isn’t a bunch of thugs if that’s what
he wants to attest to, just some working class youths that are standing up for
(y)our rights!
The union was pleased with the response and the solidarity that
we have seen. More actions are being discussed and the workers at the store
are gathering signatures on petitions with a goal set at fifty – one employee


T. K.

This Is Not a Poem
(9-11 August 2004)

All appearances to the contrary
this is not a poem
this is an assault
or, more properly, a return of fire
this is a series of locutions
asking questions like
how far is it from Cincinnati
to Boulder and back again?
this is a union placard that reads
"class warfare is not over"
despite all the duplicitous pronouncements
of politicians and business leaders
this is a protest rally outside
Wild Oats headquarters up the road in Boulder
decrying the union busting tactics of
corporate hypocrites or, should I say, hippiecrites
this is a linking of arms with our
brother in struggle Tom Kappas who
was fired by Wild Oats management in
Cincinnati for taking the employee discount
on two half rotten bananas
this is a piece of investigative journalism
the sort rarely found in mainstream media these days
that exposes the real reason for Kappas's firing
he was trying to unionize his store
was hooked up with the IWW
the International Workers of the World
aka the Wobblies, the folks who a century ago
coined the slogan "one big union"
this is not a poem
it's a series of curses and rude hand gestures
venting some long held frustration
before the real work begins
it's my friend Lenny shouting through a megaphone
"fuck you Wild Oats and the horse you rode in on
we don't want you or your rotten bananas"
but he knows this goes far beyond the hypocrites
peddling fair trade coffee all the while
fucking over their own employees
this is not a poem
not if poetry is the sort of thing
sanitized, anthologized in college classrooms
discussed in five paragraph essays by
middle class students who think the word "union"
signifies a big building on campus with movies, bowling and ATMs
no, this is not a poem
this is a nonviolent call to arms
a charge up the hill to freedom
a storming of the Bastille
Lady Liberty leading the people
a black flag and red star
homegrown, grassroots anarchism
a safety net and acts of solidarity
an Indian swami charming the corporate cobras
Mother Mary and a choir of not-so-cheery cherubs singing the Magnificat
an ongoing revolution that will not rest until
all the oppressors are cast down from their thrones
a worker's cable network, listserv and website
building a global movement that cannot be defeated
this is not a poem
this is a plea to the laboring masses
to get off their asses
turn off the mind rot
blaring in the living room
and take to the streets (myself included)
this is a boycott and general strike
to bring down the thieving classes
corporate pirates beware, no more free passes
this is Dorothy Day saying "damn this rotten system"
an impassioned restatement of Gandhi's
first principle "never give up"
and Joe Hill's last wish "don't mourn, organize"
this is not messianic rhetoric standing alone
but millions of messiahs standing together
and ending wage slavery forever
this is a bedraggled, yet wizened Lakota medicine man
who thinks the Ghost Dance just might be starting to work
this is a prayer for the return of the buffalo
and all the wild places destroyed by human greed and arrogance
this is a prayer for justice and peace
chanted in all four sacred directions
this is not a poem

A. P.


Boulder printed and distributed 750 flyers at 4 area Wild Oats stores. At
least nine Wobs participated in the distribution. Management became aware of our
presence at all four locations. They called in a high level manager to check
us out, and he got flyer'ed too.
Very, very, very positive responses from the public in Boulder.

Denver printed 1000 copies, but has a smaller number of Wobs involved. Denver
Wobs are continuing distribution of the 1000, guessing that at this point
several hundred have gone out.


You can learn more about the situation at www.cincyiww.org
Please sign the online petition…and forward this message to a friend…

The Ohio Valley I.W.W. is planning a next course of action. Please consider
getting involved with our General Organizing Committee and attend a meeting
Monday, October, 11 – 7:30 pm – Highland Café – Cincinnati

To Contact the Ohio Valley IWW

cincyiww@iww.org <https://mail.mutualaid.org/src/compose.php?send_to=cincyiww%40iww.org>

* [Ed. Note: IWW - Industrial Workers
of the World is antiauthoritarian
anticapitalist direct action syndicate.]

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