Occupy the Workplace: Solidarity with Workers of Vio.Me (Thessaloniki, Greece)

iwwlogo-buttonThe International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) congratulates the workers of Viomichaniki Metaleftiki 

The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) congratulates the workers of Viomichaniki Metaleftiki (Industrial Mining) who have taken control over their factory and restart production after having occupied it for more than 20 months.

After fighting for the payment of their stolen wages since May 2011, the workers have now decided in a direct-democratic assembly to collectively organize production without bosses. They have brought the factory back into operation, shifting to the production of building materials that are not toxic or damaging for the environment. The IWW International Solidarity Commission is in full support of this move.

As the world plunges deeper into economic and ecological crisis, the workers at Vio.Me have shown us the way forward. Instead of waiting for the state to decrease unemployment, instead of leaving their fate in the hands of the capitalist legal system or state bureaucrats, the workers of Vio.Me decided to take the factory into their own hands and to operate it themselves. The Vio.ME workers have given us all a living example of workers’ power and have lit the way for all of us in the struggle against capitalism throughout the world. It is now up to all of us to spread it. Let this be one of millions of workplace takeovers to come across Greece and the world.

The IWW is committed to a grassroots, global resistance to the employing class. We aim to work with others to build a movement that can defeat the capitalists and construct a new world based workers control of the means of production and a radically democratic economy. We salute the seizure of the Vio.Me factory as a step in the right direction, and pledge our solidarity and our commitment to stand at the side of all workers in the struggle for the emancipation of the working class, for the creation of a world without bosses!

FW Lorenzo’s book ‘Anarchism and the Black Revolution’ can be found on the the Wessex reference library page.

Prison Books Collective

lorenzo

From Memphis Black Autonomy Federation

Greetings,

In an attempt to disrupt the anti-police brutality work in Memphis, Tenn., USA. and the city’s March 30 Anti-Klan protest, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s department in Chattanooga, Tenn. (very likely working with other law enforcement agencies in Tennessee), has issued a “fugitive” summons for U.S. black anarchist, Lorenzo Komboa Ervin. He is the author of Anarchism and the Black Revolution and the co-founder of the Black Autonomy Federation, whose chapter in Memphis has organized several protests against police brutality and made the national call for the upcoming Anti-Klan protest.
Background
The summons stems from court costs the county claims that Lorenzo owes in connection with a 12-year-old misdemeanor conviction.  Damon McGee, Mikail Musa Muhammad (Ralph P. Mitchell), and Lorenzo  were convicted in January, 2001, for disrupting a Chattanooga (Tenn.) City Council meeting in 1998 where they went to protest against police brutality. At the…

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This Saturday in Portsmouth!

Get yer new Hereford Heckler here!

heckler

IFA statement on the situation in Egypt.

Egypte IFAbanner

STOP THE REPRESSION IN EGYPT!
SOLIDARITY WITH THE LIBERTARIAN SOCIALIST MOVEMENT!
SUPPORT THE EGYPTIAN PEOPLE!

Last Sunday, January 21, several political activists were arrested after the riots provoked by the police in front of Alexandria court of justice. Among them are four members of the Libertarian Socialist Movement, a member of the Revolutionary Socialist organization (Trotskyist) and 16 other unaffiliated. All are activists who fight against the reactionary regime of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After January 21, the defendants were wrongfully imprisoned for twenty days. Today, they are released on bail, except the Trotskyist militant, and they all still waiting for their trial.

This sentence is not a coincidence: these activists are deeply involved in union and neighborhood mobilization, and they are fierce opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood. This happens in a context in which the police have shown, for the last few months, great brutality against the protesters and demonstrators. Besides, all the political activists are followed, receive anonymous threats and are harassed. Proof of this is the raid against political activists who distributed leaflets in the streets of Alexandria a few days after the events of January 21.

The accession to power of the Muslim Brotherhood, after the fall of Mubarak, does not bring the winds of change, as would have thought those who believed that after Mubarak everything would be fine. The Islamist government demonstrated a paranoid absolutism, under the watchful eye of the military. Their political project is the liquidation of political opposition, starting with the most radical elements, especially as this objective is facilitated by the silence of the associations defending human rights and that of the opposition parties.

Given the explosive social context and the protest mouvement that is strengthening and radicalizing within the population, the government of the Muslim Brotherhood does its best for the repression and the abuses that follow be dealt with in the shade, so that the great powers of the European Union do not marginalize it even more.

President Morsi leads a tyrannical and dictatorial policy and claims to be legitimately acting this way, although hardly more than 25% of the Egyptians voted for him in the Egyptian presidential election marked by nearly 50% abstention. Therefore, we support the Egyptian youth and workers who rise up every day more numerous against this obscurantist, reactionary regime, which serves the interests of the Egyptian bourgeoisie.

We condemn the arrests and torture which the opponents to Morsi’s regime are submitted to. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the 21 accused of Alexandria, as well as of all political prisoners held in Egyptian gaols. For the immediate release and for the immediate cessation of proceedings against all the political prisoners in Egypt!

Help Take The Smile Off George Ferguson’s Face

Bristol’s Budget Day – Tuesday 26th February – an appeal from Bristol And District Anti Cuts Alliance (BADACA)

Please support and publicise these events via any networks you have available. We need you and all your friends there.

Bristol George Ferguson

Tuesday 26th February – From 1pm – Lobby Bristol City Council

This is the full meeting of Bristol City Council where a vote will be taken on George Ferguson’s budget – £35 million of cuts and 330 jobs lost. Despite the inconvenient timing we need to get as many people as possible to a lobby from 1pm outside the Council House and as many people as possible in the public gallery for the meeting. We have written to all councillors calling on them to speak out against the budget. A large and vocal lobby and a packed gallery may encourage them to do this. Please come if you can an publicise among others – even if you can only get there for a short time in your lunch hour it will help. Bring banners, flags, placards etc. Facebook event.

Tuesday 26th February – from 5.30pm – Lobby the Institute Of Directors

In previous years the council’s budget meeting has gone long into the evening. This year, George Ferguson is attending an IOD event at 6pm – meeting his big-business friends. This means that either the council meeting will be guillotined or will continue without him – meaning he won’t have to hear what councillors think of his budget. BADACA is organising aprotest outside the M Shed Museum where the IOD event is taking place. Please join us there from 5.30pm. Bring banners, flags, placards etc. A flyer/poster for this can be downloaded from our website.

Physical Resistance: A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism by Dave Hann

Large-scale confrontations, disruption of meetings, sabotage and street fighting have been part of the practice of anti-fascism from the early twentieth century until the twenty-first.

Rarely endorsed by any political party, the use of collective bodily strength remains a strategy of activists working in alliances and coalitions against fascism.

In Physical Resistance famous battles against fascists, from the Olympia arena, Earls Court in 1934 and Cable Street in 1936 to Southall in 1978 and Bradford 2010, are told through the voices of participants. Anarchists, communists and socialists who belonged to a shifting series of anti-fascist organizations relate well-known events alongside many forgotten but significant episodes.

Studies of anti-fascism in Britain have tended to be either academic texts or partisan political histories. Physical Resistance is niether; it is an inclusive history, broader in scope than any other work so far. It covers the whole period of anti-fascist activism but importantly, it redefines political practice according to the act of participation rather than the adherence to precisely defined ideological standpoints and offers an alternative interpretation of political action, which includes physical resistance as part of an everyday pattern of opposition. This wider and longer historical perspective is pieced together through the everyday experiences of activists themselves.

The importance of any book about anti-fascism depends upon how it is used. As well as the history of anti-fascism, our discussion will address the re-emergence of an anti-fascist movement over the last year.

For publishers details see:
http://www.zero-books.net/books/physical-resistance

or contact physicalresistance@riseup.net

Tinley Park Five

DylanWithDogOn Sunday March 3, Dylan will turn twenty-one years old while serving a five-year sentence for driving a car containing antifascists and anarchists who were involved in an altercation with white supremacists in the suburbs of Chicago. As friends and comrades of Dylan, we’re constantly aware of the sacrifice that he and the rest of the Tinley Park Five are making, but the the thought of Dylan missing his twenty-first is a particularly bitter pill to swallow.

We do want to make sure that Dylan has as good of a day as is possible. In order that he should hopefully receive it by his birthday, letters and other packages should be sent as soon as possible. PLEASE! If you’ve got an extra fifteen minutes just send Dylan a short letter to wish him a happy birthday! It’ll mean a lot to him.

Dylan Sutherlin M34022
P.O. Box 1000
Lincoln, IL…

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Vio.Me factory under workers’ control; experiment in industrial self-management in Greece.

The machines of self-management have been switched on!

After 3 days of intense mobilization, the factory of Vio.Me. has started production under workers’ control earlier today! It is the first experiment in industrial self-management in crisis-striken Greece, and the workers of Vio.Me. are confident this is going to be only the first in a series of such endeavors.
The march was massive and vibrant.

The mobilization kicked off with a big assembly of the workers and solidary organizations and individuals in a central downtown theater on Sunday evening. Here the course of action of the solidarity movement was discussed, and everyone had the chance to take the microphone and to express their opinion on the workers’ struggle.

Really talented artists played in support of the Vio.Me struggle.

On Monday evening there was a march in the city center followed by a huge benefit concert with several well known folk bands and singers. Among them Thanassis Papakonstantinou, one of the most important contemporary Greek songwriters who is in a sense “part of the movement” since he always supports with word and deed the efforts of society for self-determination. The attendance exceeded everyone’s expectations. Unfortunately about a thousand people didn’t manage to get in, as the stadium was packed. The stellar moment of the night was when the workers took the microphone and explained their vision of another society, based on social justice, solidarity and self-management. Five thousand people were applauding, shouting and chanting songs of support. It was then that everyone realized that this endeavor is bound to succeed!

One of the Vio.Me. workers addresses the people.

Early next morning the mobilization went on with a vibrant march towards the factory. The workers were already in their positions and the production was triumphantly kick-started in front of the cameras of national, local and alternative media. The workers organized a guided tour of the factory and explained all the details of the production process to journalists and participants in the solidarity movement.

 The first batch of products produced under worker’s control!

There is still a long road ahead: The costs of production are high, access to credit is impossible and getting a part of the market in times of recession is uncertain. The workers are however optimistic: The proceeds from the benefit gig and the donations of supportive groups and individuals collected through viome.org should be enough to keep the company afloat in the first few months. And the support of the social movements means many of the products will be distributed through the existing structures of social and solidary economy. The workers of Vio.Me. are already researching new cleaning products, based on non-toxic ecological ingredients, apt for home use. The factory makes quality building materials (mortars, plasters, tile adhesive paste and jointing materials, waterproof grouts, etc.) and the workers know very well how to improve the quality even more while lowering the production costs and hence the price. The challenge is now to find a market for these materials, either within Greece or in the surrounding Balkan countries. Some products can be shipped even further, so they could be distributed through the international solidarity movement as well.

The 40 workers of Vio.Me. and hundreds of participants in the solidarity movement have for three days lived an unforgettable experience, which however is only the start of a long and difficult road. Now more than ever we need to be united and strong, determined to build a new world based on solidarity, justice and self-management!

Securing your rights on Welfare to Work(fare)

[ Week of Action Against Workfare begins 18th March boycottworkfare.org/?p=1996 ]

“The Jobseekers Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/276) are due to be published 14 February 2013 and will be available for download from legislation.gov.uk after 2:30 pm”
http://consent.me.uk/2013/02/13/workfareregs/

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