Tag Archives: seattle

Discussion on Patriarchy and the Movement

As many of us know, there is patriarchy within our movements that need to be addressed. This is one forum in which these conversations are happening. You can livestream even if you are not in Portland! Information is on the poster below

Check out the Facebook event here:


Occupy, ILWU, EGT and the Coming Class Battles

What follows is a controversial contribution to the discourse around the past year of struggle that Occupy forces have been involved in regarding the various port shutdowns on the West Coast, the relationship to the ILWU, and the challenge to capital’s attack on the proletariat – waged, unwaged, unionized, non-unionized, identifying as workers and not identifying with work.  There are many discussions and debates which the content of this intervention has already started – in person, behind closed doors, on list-serves, and at national conferences.  Our expectation is that publishing it here will allow for these debates to become more accessible to all revolutionaries, activists, members of organizations, and independent radicals.  Please add your thoughts in the comments section. All criticism, disagreement, appreciation and further lines of questioning are welcomed – we only ask that you do so in principled ways that avoid strawmanning the arguments presented here, as well as the arguments put forward by new writings and comments which will be forthcoming.  Enjoy.

Occupy, ILWU, EGT and the Coming Class Battles.

Union agrees to support the Employer in maintaining operations, including: promptly advising the Employer that any Work Stoppage is unauthorized; declaring publicly that such action is unauthorized, if questioned; and promptly ordering its members to return to work notwithstanding the existence of any wildcat picket line.

                                                                                 -EGT & ILWU local 21 contract

Capital itself is the moving contradiction, [in] that it presses to reduce labour time to a minimum, while it posits labour time, on the other side, as sole measure and source of wealth.

                                                                                                -Karl Marx

I. Introduction

II. The Fight for ILWU Jurisdiction

III. ILWU Class Struggle History

IV. Occupy, Surplus Populations and the Spectacle of Blockades.

V. Social Movement Unionism

VI. Automation, Accumulation and the State

VII. Rank-File, Union Leaders and Capital

VIII. Contract Time

IX. Labor White, Black and Brown, Shut the Ports Down!

X. The December 12th, 2011 experience

XI. Classwide Organizing

XII. Our Future

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Species of Revolt: On Revolutionary Organization

Last week’s Everything for Everyone (E4E) conference provided an opportunity for people from diverse tendencies across the country to engage in political discussions and debates in comradely ways.  Seattle was the hosting city of the conference, and it’s also a city in which the past year of struggle has produced a positive culture among diverse revolutionary tendencies that emphasizes in-person discussion of political differences, common work among people with diverging politics, and a holistic infusion of art and culture Imagewithin the movement.  We all learned a lot from engaging with folks in the Northwest and appreciated the careful attention and labor that comrades have put into maintaining and developing the radical networks that exist.

What follows is a contribution to the discussions around revolutionary organizations and networks that didn’t start in Seattle, but which took important steps forward through the engagement of people from across the country.  Written by a member of the Red Spark Collective, the following piece attempts to address several questions raised by documents discussed at E4E, in addition to debate unleashed during the plenary at the end of the festival.


Species of Revolt

Since everyone’s been talking about revolutionary organizations lately, I’d like to lay out a few thoughts of my own on the subject.  I think it’s important that other members of Red Spark do the same, as we ourselves have key disagreements that need to be openly aired and productively debated.




We should approach the role of revolutionary organizations as we might the role of single species within an ecosystem.

It is important to have a great diversity of species in that ecosystem, a few large and complex megafauna, as well as a vast majority of other organisms that are more dispersed, liquid and dense, like the abundant networks of bacteria or fungi undergirding a forest.  No matter what, that revolutionary ecosystem relies on this horizontal network of basic community more than anything.  The disciplined revolutionary organization is, like the vertebrate animal or the flowering plant, a minority when it comes to biomass or number of species—but it has an undeniable ability to expand the bounds of its ecosystem and to cause sea-changes in the basic forms of life possible within it.

The old theory of the vanguard sought to make one species dominant—to grow that species until it incorporated all others.  The result, of course, is a cancer, followed by the intrusion of the desert.  The humans shoot all the wolves and the green fire goes out in their eyes and then the deer overgraze the mountain and starve in next year’s famine, leaving their bones to dry in a dust-locked wasteland. 

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Oakland to Seattle: Solidarity Against Police Brutality

This statement was written by participants in the Justice for Oscar Grant movement in Oakland, including the group Advance the Struggle.  Please distribute widely, to help build for tonight’s demonstration against police brutality in Seattle.  For more info about the events leading to this demonstration, check out Jomo’s article “It doesn’t get better, we rebel to make it better.” 


Dear Comrades,*

It was recently brought to our attention by members of the Black Orchid Collective that during the end of the Gay Pride weekend (6/24/12) LGBTQ youth organized an anti-racist and anti-heterosexist street dance party. This unpermitted gathering was assaulted by the Seattle Police Department (SPD), who unleashed unjustified brutality at the participants. Six young people were arrested.

Lt. Greg Calder was filmed pepper-spraying a youth at close range, and then physically abusing this young person. The victim was then arrested for assaulting the police despite video evidence that clearly proves the cop to be the aggressor. First off, we now know due to extensive documentation and experience that so-called “non-lethal weapons” (pepper spray, tasers, tear gas, etc.) have led to the death of far too many people. Secondly, the SPD in particular and the American police in general routinely blame the victim and frame up innocent people in these situations. The police only serve the rich and protect the conditions in which oppression thrives.

Down in the Bay Area, we have police departments that claim to be on the side of queer communities just as in Seattle. SPD’s actions on June 24th only prove what we should already know: police are not queer allies. Even if they are themselves gay, lesbian, or transgender, they are our queer enemies.

On April 29th in Oakland, a black trans-gender woman named Brandy Martell was murdered in Oakland in a homophobic hate crime. Police arrived on the scene and did nothing to help the dying victim. In fact they even turned an ambulance away while a passerby did CPR that he learned at Occupy Oakland’s medic training. As long as police attack people for dancing in the street for the cause of liberation, we can be guaranteed that they will stand idly by in the face of homophobic violence from the community.

We support all struggles motivated by love, striving for true freedom, and battling oppression, as these are the basic ingredients of a future society in which equal rights exist for all, and everything is provided for everyone. Radical queer movements will be amongst those advancing the struggle toward the society of the future. We can be assured that the police will be there every step of the way to try to prevent such a society from smashing out of the one we are imprisoned in today.




* The greeting was changed from “Brothers and Sisters” to “Comrades” so as not to gender people within that binary (done with permission of statement authors).