Category Archives: Event Announcements

Event Announcement! Worker Resistance and Capitalist Development in China: a Discussion with Eli Friedman

We are pleased to announce another great event at  La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA) sponsored  by Advance the Struggle and La Peña 2nd Generation.  On Tuesday, May 13th at 6:30pm we will be hosting an event featuring Eli Friedman on contemporary Chinese class struggle.  Please come through and continue supporting these informative events! Details and flier below:

Worker Resistance and Capitalist Development in China: a Discussion with Eli Friedman.

What sorts of possibilities and limits exist for proletarian politics in China? Over the past several years, migrant worker unrest has gone from defensive to offensive and we have witnessed the emergence of new political and social demands. These changes must be understood within the context of rapidly evolving political and economic conditions – especially the central state’s attempt to “rebalance” the economy.

Eli Friedman (assistant professor of International and Compartaive Labor at Cornell University, and author of the forthcoming book “Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Post-Socialist China) will draw on examples of recent wildcat strikes and other protests by migrant workers to illustrate these dynamics.

This is a FREE event sponsored by:
Advance the Struggle & La Pena 2nd Generation

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Click image for full color flier!

Here is a video from the China in Revolt panel, sponsored by Jacobin, that Eli participated in.

China in Revolt: A Labor Community Roundtable from Jacobin on Vimeo.

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Event Announcement! Class Struggle Along the Supply Chains: Los Angeles Truckers Struggle and Empire Logistics

Come hear two presentations on what is happening with the movement of Los Angeles Truckers and how that fits in  the logistics of empire and capitalism. The Los Angeles truckers have had a wave of strikes and struggles, shutting down the largest port in the country. Ernesto Nevarez will speak about his  25 years of experience organizing truckers. Gifford Hartman, one of  the founder of the website Empire Logistics, will present on how the trucking industry fits in a larger terrain of how commodities circulate on the global level.

Come through to La Peña Cultural Center , 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.
Sunday May 4th 1-3 pm to hear both presenters. 
 
Sponsored by La Peña Second Generation, Advance the Struggle, and Empire Logistics
Below is the flier for the event, a call for May Day actions at the port of LA, and a letter from Ernesto on his goals for the event.  Hope to see you there!!
truckerseventMay Day 10th anniversaryOakland meeting

CALL TO ACTION – MAY 1, INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY

We are excited to repost a call that was recently put out by militant Bay Area workers for an action on this year’s May Day.  After decades of sectoralism and business unionist strategies taken up by unions everywhere, it is important that we support militant rank-and-file movements that look to challenge the restrictive bourgeois laws and employer strategies that pit workers against each other.  See you out on May  Day!

CALL TO ACTION – MAY 1, INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY

United Rank & File Construction Workers Take A Stand on May Day

Join us as we return to a proud history of direct action to fight to protect our own livelihoods, to raise up and organize all workers and against laws that restrict us.

On May 1, International Workers Day, we will be gathering at 16th and Mission at 5am to protest the 2 Gate System. This is a system that contractors and developers have created in order to impose the restrictive, discriminatory and repressive anti-worker laws of the Taft-Hartley act on construction unions.

San Francisco appears, on the surface, to be recovering from the economic disasters of recent years. There are cranes all over town and buildings are popping up everywhere. The people building these buildings are unable to afford the luxuries that many supposedly offer. We are also growing further and further from the chance of ever living a reasonable distance from the city in which we work. Most of us have long been unable to afford to live within the limits of the city we built. We see new wealth coming into SF all the time and yet we have gotten modest or no raises.

Many of us are lucky to have collective bargaining. We look forward to contracts coming up during this building boom. It seems the time has finally come for us to get the raises that we have lacked in the last few years while the cost of living has skyrocketed. We are looking forward to the opportunity to dig out of the financial holes we are in after years of unemployment, losing insurance for our families, losing houses and having to raid our retirement accounts to make ends meet. Now, contractors and developers need us badly and will have to give us a decent raise next contract, right? Maybe not…

Historically in San Francisco a vast majority of building has been done by workers who together, through their unions, bargain with all of their employers for a fair and equal wage rate for all of the labor done by their craft. This is still the case but we see other employers winning work contracts in SF at an alarming rate. Building has increased suddenly in San Francisco but it has disproportionately increased for the non-signatory contractors. There is an unprecedented amount of building being done by contractors who do not agree to the standards of pay and conditions that workers have fought for.

This gives signatory employers (those who employ workers under collective agreements) a powerful bargaining chip as we go into negotiations during this boom. They will argue that they need to stay competitive or the “union contractors” (and therefore workers) will all lose jobs. “Staying competitive” they argue, means that they cannot give raises, may even need some back, in order to compete. Suddenly, the snowball that has killed all the reasonably livable jobs across the country is being rolled around in San Francisco, the last bastion of hope for a decent living for those of us with blue collars.

Ideally, to stop this snowball, we would organize all workers who are not yet in our organizations. We would use the power of withholding all labor on a jobsite until all employers were forced to enter the same collectively bargained agreement. We would like to make it perfectly clear that we see non-union workers as our sisters and brothers in the trade. We want them to have the same wages and conditions that we have. We do not want to compete with them but rather join them into our ranks so that we might work together to raise the living standards of all working people. We want all workers to rise together, as opposed to the arguments made by employers about being “competitive”.

Historically, organized labor has caused economic hardships for entities that take advantage of an unorganized labor force. They did this by standing in solidarity with any group of workers in dispute with their employer and withholding all of our labor until the problem is resolved. The 2 Gate System is one of a host of anti-worker laws that make the tactics that the unions were built on illegal. As yet, the Unions have been mostly unwilling to challenge or disobey these laws. However, through well-organized disobedience and subversion of these laws using the power of united labor action, these laws can be eradicated. We are working toward a day when our unions will do this. Do not be surprised that the leadership of the unions is officially unsupportive, they are not sure the working members want or are ready for the struggle that it will entail, we must show them by taking up the charge as workers.

Until then, the laws do not and cannot forbid you and me, rank and file workers, from going to these jobs and protesting them.

At this time in history, the future of the working class hangs in the balance and we in the stronghold of San Francisco must hold the line for ourselves and fight to turn the tide against the attacks against all working people.

Together, we will build solidarity and power, bring an end to unjust laws, and have a society that meets our needs.

WE ARE NOT AGAINST THE NON UNION WORKER

WE ARE AGAINST THE EMPLOYERS, DEVELOPERS AND CONTRACTORS THAT EXPLOIT THEM

WE ARE AGAINST THE DOWNWARD PUSH THAT EXPLOITATION HAS ON ALL OF US

WE ARE AGAINST LAWS THAT RESTRICT OUR ABILITY TO FIGHT

WE FIGHT TO ERADICATE ALL ANTI-WORKER LAWS AND SYSTEMS

SMASH THE 2 GATE SYSTEM – SMASH TAFT-HARTLEY

1 GATE, 2 GATES, or 10 GATES- PICKET LINES MEAN DO NOT CROSS

Skype Series Event! Portuguese Anti-Austerity Struggle: From the General Strike to Today

Since 2011, countries around the world have had historic upsurges and have gained serious insight into the dynamics of 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 third session will be with a militant from Portugal  who has been involved in the anti-austerity movement.  The event will take place on Saturday April 19th, 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!

The austerity measures imposed in Portugal by the right-wing government, the IMF and the European bank have had destructive effects on people’s lives.  These measures were seen by the ruling class as a way to restructure the Portuguese economy through neo-liberal reforms, which are erasing the rights workers won in the Carnation Revolution of 1974. As a response, an anti-austerity movement grew and also shifted the militant composition of the left; from it’s institutional parties to social movement networks, anarchist and communist collectives, and local struggles. This conversation will try to draw a brief overview of these processes and it’s connection to what’s happening in other parts of Europe.

This is the third installment in our monthly series of Skype sessions with revolutionaries around the world, offering an opportunity to engage with their valuable insights and relate it to our own tasks

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International Revolutionary Skype Series: Brazilian Class Struggle

Since 2011 countries around the world have had historic upsurges and have gained serious insight into the dynamics of 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 second session will be with Brazilian activists who were recently involved in the Free Pass Movement and the protests against the World Cup.  The event will take place on Tuesday March 18th, 6:30pm 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!

Join us for a live Skype discussion with Brazilian activists who have organized in the Free Pass Movement, which last year organized massive demonstrations for public transportation.  These demonstrations  spread throughout the country, won reductions in fares, and shook the foundations of Brazilian society.  Additionally, we will be discussing the struggle around the World Cup by the Brazilian working class to address the countries growing income inequality.

This is the second installment in a series of Skype sessions with  revolutionaries around the world, offering an opportunity to engage with their valuable insights and relate it to our own tasks.

Listen to an interview from our Brazilian comrade on KPFA’s La Raza Chronicles: http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/100862

Link to Facebook event, please share! https://www.facebook.com/events/212264698967130/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

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Click for full PDF

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International Revolutionary Skype Series: Chilean Port Strike

Since 2011 countries around the world have had historic upsurges and have gained serious insight into the dynamics of 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 first session will be with Chilean port workers who were recently on strike for three weeks.  The event will take place on Tuesday February 25, 6:30pm 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!

Join us for a live Skype discussion with Chilean longshore workers who last month ended an intense three-week strike in their fight to end the casualization of labor and obtain retroactive pay from years of unpaid  lunch breaks. Their struggle forms part of a coordinated network of Chilean working-class organization and resistance fighting for labor rights, better living conditions and universal public education.

 
This is the first installment in a series of Skype sessions with revolutionaries around the world, offering an opportunity to engage with their valuable insights and relate it our own tasks.

Click for a full PDF version of the flier!

 SkypeSessions_FLIER

The Coming Bart Strike: The Bay Area’s Battle Against Union Busting

Flier for the rally.  Spread the word!

Flier for the rally. Spread the word!

The capitalist offensive against unions, Wisconsin style, is coming to the Bay Area. BART’s administration has a surplus of money, but the proposals they have put forward for the three BART unions is a concrete step towards their destruction. The destruction of these strong public sector unions will only expand to the rest of the unionized sector, further enslaving the working class to capital. Only a classwide offensive, a movement of drivers and riders, and other workers striking in solidarity, can reverse this process. ATU 1555, ATU 192, AFSCME 3999, ILWU 10, and SEIU 1021 have called for a rally and march, August 1st in downtown Oakland. This is a good step, but concrete actions will need to be taken when the strike unfolds August 5th. The two key objectives will be to unify BART workers and riders in mass mobilizations, breaking the media sponsored attacks, as well as integrate other key working class forces into the struggle, AC Transit, MUNI, ILWU 10, and public sector workers; all of whom, collectively, can shut down the whole system. That form of power along with broad community support is what it will take to counter this attack and form the basis for a broader class offensive.

Please attend the rally and march August 1st, and tell your co-workers and friends.