Monthly Archives: August 2014

Skype Event Announcement (8/23)! Turkish Revolutionaries on their Experiences in Taksim Square!

Since 2011, countries around the world have had historic upsurges and have gained serious insight into the dynamics of anti-capitalist struggle in this period.  Advance the Struggle along with La Peña Second Generation proudly presents a monthly Skype series with revolutionaries from across the globe to discuss these massive social movements.  

The sixth session will involve militants from the Gezi Park protests and the ongoing movements in Turkey.  The event will take place on Saturday August 23rd, 12pm noon at La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA).  Below is a description of the event and the leaflets for the series.  Hope to see you there!

Come Saturday August 23rd at 12:00 to hear Turkish revolutionaries who will skype about their experiences in the wave of struggles at Taksim square in Instanbul. As protesters were evicted from the square, sizable protests emerged, confronting the government. Soon after, a wave of different movements, fighting for workers rights, freedom of the press, all ascended with force. A presentation will begin followed up by direct discussion with the Turkish revolutionaries.

taksim square poster

Below is a video by Brandon Jourdan of Global Uprisings entitled, “The Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and the Uprising in Turkey,” which gives a fantastic first hand look at the escalating social movements for urban space and against political repression.  Enjoy!

Taksim Commune: Gezi Park And The Uprising In Turkey from brandon jourdan on Vimeo.

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Brenner and Weissman on the ILWU

The following article by Suzi Weissman and Robert Brenner was published earlier this week in the Jacobin online magazine. It’s a great overview of the past few years of ILWU’s struggles, the Longview uprising, the relationship between militant workers and various Occupies (Portland and Oakland in particular) and the treacherous role of the ILWU international.

One of the big questions that we’re left with after reading this piece is: what are pro-revolutionary activists and militants supposed to do in a situation where union leaderships are generally playing conservative roles, and when even those leaders who play more positive, militant, roles end up getting smashed?  What does it mean, concretely, that an “aroused rank-and-file” is the only means for the working class, and trade unions in particular, to get our of this slump?  

Our comrades have written about similar issues and begun to tackle these questions in the past years and generated debate, discussion and even controversy – so we welcome continued interventions into the important strategic discussion and debate.

ilwu image

Longview, Washington

Unions That Used To Strike

by Robert Brenner and Suzi Weissman

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, once known for its militancy and political radicalism, faces a choice between nurturing rank-and-file power and a slow, painful death.

In early July, 120 mostly poor and immigrant port truckers set up picket lines at three trucking companies in LA-Long Beach Harbor, extending their longstanding campaign to unionize. The next day, workers from the powerful and historically militant International Longshore and Warehouse Union honored the truckers’ picket by walking off their jobs, immediately shutting down three waterfront terminals.

The dockworkers had found themselves contractually free to refuse to cross the port truckers’ line, when their union’s agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) had expired a short time before.

But almost immediately, a waterfront arbitrator ordered the longshoremen back to work. The ILWU had suddenly and without warning extended their agreement with the PMA for three days. Following the rules of their own contract, the union told its members to cross the truckers’ pickets and return to their jobs.

This action was in line with the ILWU’s informal pact with the PMA to maintain the flow of work after their contract had run out, and it snuffed out any potential the embryonic solidarity of the longshore workers and port truckers might have had to shift the balance of power between themselves and their employers.

In a small way, it encapsulated the two previous years of the union’s evolution. Continue reading

Logistics, Circulation, Class Struggle and Communism Reader

portstrike
Part of our regular practice together is engaging in short term studies of relevant questions coming up on the pro-revolutionary left.  One of our recent studies has been centered on the strategic importance of sites of capital circulation as places where pro-revolutionary activists and proletarians should focus our intellectual and practical energies.

We’re offering up a formatted version of various texts that have already been published as well as a powerpoint we’ve used among ourselves to help frame the texts.

The texts in question are from Endnotes, Mute, Degenerate Communism and Libcom.  We give props and appreciation to those authors and publications for putting out important theoretical and strategic pieces to help pro-revolutionary activists around the world clarify our thinking.

Let us know what your thoughts are if you’re studying similar stuff, ways in which you’ve formatted study packets, and other thoughts.

Reader and presentation after the jump.  Enjoy.

Continue reading