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(en) US, IWW Centenary Conference Schedule Saturday, June 25 - Sunday, June 26

Date Fri, 10 Jun 2005 08:02:06 +0300

All events are at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Behavioral
Sciences Building: 1007 W Harrison St (near Harrison & Morgan Streets),
except for the Saturday evening concert.
So that we can plan for enough food for everyone, please call us to let us
know you're coming: 215-222-1905. Registration is $45 for the weekend, $30
for IWW members, students, retirees, and the unemployed. Single day
registration is $25, or $20 for IWW members, students, retirees, and the
unemployed. We will take your money at the conference.
Conference attendees can also purchase discounted tickets to the Saturday
evening concert for $10.
We have very limited conference housing still available for $35 per person,
per night, for Friday and Saturday nights only. Please call 215-222-1905
immediately if you would like to reserve conference housing.

Saturday June 25: The Once and Future IWW

8:00 ­ 9:30: Registration
Registration table will be set up all day

9:30 ­10:30: Welcome to conference
Room 145

10:30 ­ 12:00: Workshop Session 1

Militancy Isn¹t Enough: The Objectives of Radical Organizing
Norm Diamond
A good deal of what passes for ³organizing² merely reinforces the status
quo. This workshop reflects on the kinds of organizing that have the
potential to contribute to social change. What is it we aim at transmitting
through our practice? What do we seek to develop in ourselves?

Dump the Bosses off Your Back:
A history of the IWW through song
Charlie King and Len Wallace
This 60 minute piece tells in loose chronological order the history of the
Industrial Workers of the World. It uses as a narrative thread Ralph
Chaplin¹s labor anthem Solidarity Forever. The six verses introduce six
parts that spell out the philosophy, goals and tactics of the IWW. As much
as possible we let Wobbly activists tell the story in their own words: Big
Bill Haywood, Ralph Chaplin, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn; Joe Hill, Fred
Thompson; Utah Phillips and others. Songs, poetry and stories are presented
against a backdrop of images - photos, cartoons and graphics - that capure
the history, the humor and the fighting spirit of the IWW. Songs include:
One Big Industrial Union; Dump the Bosses Off Your Back; Mr. Block; I
Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night; Hallelujah On the Bum; Bread and Roses;
The Preacher and the Slave and, of course, Solidarity Forever. 75 slide
images complete the historical picture.

Interracial organizing and the IWW
Mumia Abu-Jamal (recording), Rev. Finley C. Campbell, Peter Cole
One of the most important contributions that the IWW has made to U.S. and
global labor struggles is its principled stand against prejudice based upon
ethnicity, nationality, and race (as well as against other forms of
discrimination). This panel will explore some of the ways that the IWW has
committed itself to racial equality. Mumia Abu-Jamal will discuss, from the
depths of Pennsylvania¹s death row, race and labor. Otuna N¹Gessa will
perform ³The resistance movement of 1910-1921,² a portion of his epic The
Columbiad, which dramatizes some of the radical struggles that Big Bill
Haywood and other Wobblies undertook to organize black and white workers in
the South. Peter Cole will discuss his research on Local 8, the IWW¹s justly
celebrated union of black and white, native-born and immigrant longshoremen
in Philadelphia. These men, led by the legendary black Wobbly, Ben Fletcher,
represented the pinnacle of interracial organizing in the early 20th

12:00 ­ 1:30: Lunch

1:30 ­ 3:00: Workshop Session 2

Stan Weir and the IWW tradition*
Andrea Carney, Norm Diamond, and George Lipshutz
Staughton Lynd (Chair)
Stan Weir and Martin Glaberman were perhaps the persons who added most to
the IWW view of the world in the second half of the 20th century. These
workshops will familiarize participants with Stan and Marty¹s ideas on
informal work groups, the basis of working class consciousness, and the
limitations of trade unionism, to argue that their ideas are a present-day
extension of the vision of the IWW as articulated in the Preamble.
Stan Weir was a merchant seaman, automobile worker, and longshoreman. His
writing has been collected in Singlejack Solidarity (University of Minnesota
Press), ed. Norm Diamond and George Lipsitz.
*Participants should note Session 3¹s workshop on Marty Glaberman, which
will carry over discussion from this session.

The Strategy and Tactics of Direct Action
Ron Kaminkow
This workshop will explore one of the basic hallmarks of the IWW known as
³Direct Action². We will discuss how the overall strategy of direct action
differs from the strategy of political action, and also explore the
day-to-day tactics of direct action. We expect to have a lively discussion
of what exactly direct action is, and what it is not. Participants will
then share their experiences involving direct action at work. Throughout the
course of the workshop it should become apparent that, not only is direct
action a superior tactic and strategy for the labor movement to embrace, but
it is in fact, essential.

Ethnic Identitiy in the IWW
From the WFM on the Keweenaw to the IWW on the Mesabi:
The Radicalization of Finnish-American Labor in Lake Superior Mining
Gary Kaunonen
In the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Miners Strike organized by the Western
Federation of Miners, Finnish-American workers and organized labor took on
monopoly capital, including the giant Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, with
mixed results. Just two years later, the district wide 1916 Minnesota Iron
Ore Miners Strike led by the IWW, against the industrial behemoth Oliver
Iron Mining Company (a subsidiary of U.S. Steel), found newly radicalized
Finnish-American workers united with the IWW fighting a class war on
Minnesota¹s Iron Range. Finnish-American workers were integral to the
promotion of industrial unionism through their efforts in print media,
rank-and-file organization and donation of Finnish Socialist Halls for union
gatherings. The analysis of historical schisms in the Finnish-American
working class in industrial America illustrates the general problems of
fractioning within the American political/labor movement. This is perhaps a
credible analytical tool in understanding labor in America today and the
importance of historical education in understanding current events.
Lessons from the IWW foreign language press
Jon Bekken
The IWW has always placed great importance on its press and other media of
communications, publishing newspapers in more than a dozen languages, in
addition to pamphlets and songbooks. More recently, it was the second union
in the world to establish an online presence. This presentation will give an
overview of the IWW's foreign-language press, ranging from quarterly
magazines and occasional pamphlets to the daily Industrialisti (which
continued publication from 1913 until 1975), and the role they played in
sustaining an alternative Wobbly culture and uniting the largely immigrant
working class the IWW set out to organize.

3:00 ­ 4:30: Workshop Session 3

Marty Glaberman and the IWW tradition*
Mumia Abu-Jamal (taped recording), Manny Ness, and Peter Linebaugh
Staughton Lynd (Chairing)
Stan Weir and Martin Glaberman were perhaps the persons who added most to
the IWW view of the world in the second half of the 20th century. These
workshops will familiarize participants with Stan and Marty¹s ideas on
informal work groups, the basis of working class consciousness, and the
limitations of trade unionism, to argue that their ideas are a present-day
extension of the vision of the IWW as articulated in the Preamble.
Marty Glaberman worked in the automobile industry for many years as a member
of the collective associated with C.L.R. James. His writing has been
collected in Punching Out (Charles H. Kerr), ed. Staughton Lynd. Presenters:
Mumia Abu Jamal, by taped commentary; Kathy Kelly, Voices in the Wilderness;
Peter Linebaugh, author of The London Hanged and co-author of The
Many-Headed Hydra.
*Participants should note Session 2¹s workshop on Stan Weir. This session
will carry over discussion from that workshop.

International solidarity
The IWW and Dilemmas of Internationalism 1905-1939
Wayne Thorpe
This presentation focuses on the evolution of the IWW¹s international policy
by discussing the four prospects of international allegiance or strategy
considered by the organization from its founding to the outbreak of the
Second World War: 1) affiliation with the largely social democratic
International Federation of Trade Unions; 2) affiliation with the communist
Red International of Trade Unions; 3) affiliation with the syndicalist
International Working Men¹s Association; and 4) the IWW as itself a labor
The SAC of Sweden and International Solidarity
Sabina Wallner
The Central Organization of Swedish Workers, SAC, was founded in 1910. Today
it has about 7500 members in 70 local organizations. SAC combines the
struggle for higher wages and improved conditions with a struggle for
ever-increasing influence over production. SAC has been cooperating with
unions throughout Europe to unite workers in the wake of the EEU, and has
sent numerous delegations to learn from and assist unions all over the

The New Old Timers Remember the Old, Old Timers
Utah Phillips, Mark Ross, Steve Kellerman, Penny Pixler, Mike Hargis
Have you ever head of Fellow Worker Stupid (named so because he was so
smart)? Drank Wild Turkey while hearing what it was like to do time as a
conscientious objector? Rode the rails under instructions from the Wobs who
built the Agricultural Workers Organization? Been told what¹s what with
white male priviledge by a 90-year-old? Well, these folks have.
This session will tap the memories of our ³new old timers,² who joined the
union when the ³old, old timers² were still around. We¹ll also learn about
what drew these Wobs in during the 60s and 70s.

4:30 ­ 5:30: Wobbly Graphics, Photos & Archives Room 145
Exhibition of IWW Collection at Wayne State
William LeFevre and Mike Smith will give a presentation on the IWW
collections at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State
University. Included in the presentation will be reproductions of IWW
manuscripts, cartoons, artwork and photographs.
Wobblies! comic art
Nicole Schulman will give a presentation of artwork from the newly-released
book Wobblies: A Graphic History of the IWW which she co-edited with Paul

8:00pm: Fan the Flames of Discontent concert at the Preston Bradley Center,
941 W Lawrence Ave. at Sheridan
Featuring Larry Long, Anne Feeney, Charlie King, Len Wallace, Mark Ross,
Rebel Voices, Citizens' Band, and a special appearance by Utah Phillips.
Emceed by Chicago folk singer John Berquist.

Sunday June 26: Alternative Models of Worker Organizing

10:00 ­ 11:00: Plenary Room 145
Staughton Lynd on Solidarity Unionism

11:00 ­ 12:30: Workshop Session I

Multi-shop Organizing
Make the Road by Walking/Workers in Action, NYC
South Street, Philadelphia
Stockton Truckers, California
This session will review the campaigns of three organizing efforts in New
York, Philadelphia, and Stockton, which all seek to influence local industry
standards while helping workers with individual grievances.

Magna Carta and ³Practical Communism²
Peter Linebaugh
Can the commons' provide an alternative basis of worker organizing?
Organization based on fighting expropriation from common resources and
organization based on fighting the exploitation of the wage-earner
increasingly overlap.
The ³rule of law,² habeas corpus, trial by jury, and prohibition of torture
are principles of American jurisprudence which stem from the Magna Carta,
but whose reality in American political practice has been subverted by the
slave system, the capitalist system, and the system of undocumented workers.
Magna Carta provides a link between human rights and human subsistence. Its
epitome, however, is not ancient traditions of pannage ­which recognized the
earth as a common treasury for all ­ but rather the appropriation of
hydrocarbon resources. It is the women of the planet who take the brunt of
poverty. The women take the lead in the re-union of the political and the
ecological or subsistence clauses of Magna Carta. ³The rights of man are
liberty and an equal participation of the commonage of nature,² said

12:30 ­ 1:30: Lunch

1:30 ­ 3:00: Workshop Session 2

Battling Bad Bosses
Stop NICA Committee, Chicago
NICA, The National Independent Contractor¹s Association provides services to
companies that (ab)use independent contractors, primarily couriers. It takes
over administrative duties, such as payroll, radio fees, and offers
³insurance/worker¹s comp² (for a fee) and ³free escrow services.² The basic
scheme is to cut companies¹ overhead by transferring the cost to the
workers. The Stop NICA! committee has been waging a campaign to prevent NICA
from joining with companies that don¹t already have it, and to kick it out
of the companies that do.
troymelquistsucks.com, Portland, OR
troymelquistsucks.com is a part of an effort by Portland Wobbly computer
workers and former employees of RedcellX. The website is dedicated to
exposing the shady business practices of self-styled entrepreneur Troy
Melquist, CEO of RedcellX. His deceptions and disregard for his employees
have gained the attention of government officials, the press, and labor
unions. The group has also facilitated the filing of seven wage claims
against RedcellX with Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI). Three of
these have already been found in favor of the employee and sent to the
Oregon Department of Revenue for collection.

Workers in Chains: Organizing in multi-outlet stores
Starbucks Workers Union, NYC
Borders Books, NJ
South Street Workers Union, Philadelphia
This session will discuss the aspects of ³David and Goliath² organizing, and
examine how workers in large companies have set up networks of solidarity,
the failure of business unionism, and what kind of unions can be built now
and in the future to take on grievances and build power.

Worker Organizing Beyond the Workplace
South Street Workers Union, Philadelphia
CTA "Fight or Walk" campaign, Chicago
MUNI FareStrike committee, San Francisco
Workers organizations are confronting issues outside the workplace but which
affect all working people. The South Street campaign has organized free
health and tax clinics and has struggled against public transit cuts. In
Chicago and San Francisco, rider-based fare strikes 9or the threat thereof)
have been used to organize against recent proposed fare hikes, service cuts,
and layoffs by the public transportation agencies. Members of the Chicago
and San Francisco campaigns will share lessons learned from these efforts
and direction of current struggles.
From: "Jon Bekken" <iweditor-A-earthlink.net>

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