The event of the month this month in my opinion is the prison strike in the US. I’m not getting great coverage of it here but the following articles are worth sharing: a good introduction piece here about slave labour and the prison industrial complex and the organising (or lack thereof) which led up to September 9th, although it was published on the first day of the strike so probably out of date at this stage and doesn’t really tell us anything about what happened. A more recent discussion article about reasons why women prisoners are not joining the strike in large numbers (yet!), most of the reasons rooted in patriarchal nature of grievances and tactics, and an exploration of ‘everyday resistance’ and how the movement might strategise around this. And finally a really useful summary of events day-by-day, and and most importantly with resources for how you can help. Support-wise, it is a bit US focused, but there are somethings there that people elsewhere can use. As I said, with lack of media interest it is kind of difficult keeping track of what is going on there. If somebody does have some good overview readings on the strike – preferably ones that don’t rely on the US dept of justice or other official sources for their info – then please do share.
On the same note, I haven’t come across any really good writings on the protests following the latest killings of black lives by police in the US, so please share if you have one or two to recommend.
The best thing I read this month came out just on the last day of September: a piece written by a group of militant organisers trying to organise among the low-wage immigrant working class in London. The focus of the article is about a text written in the 1970s by a US group – the Sojourner Truth Organisation – who had similar objectives, on the subject of how race and class intersect and the challenges this poses for collective consciousness. The London group discuss how the Sojourner Truth Org document is relevant and not in their context, what potential and problems there is for race-focused campaigns in London (such as Black Lives Matters in the US), and what are their principal challenges to organising with immigrant workers in racist UK.
And another late post is the transcript of a 1994 talk about similarities between Marx and Kropotkin, and their shared visions of moneyless, stateless communism. Fair play to the libcom library crew for digging this one out.
- A striker killed by trucks ordered in to break the picket line in Italy. Abdelssalam Eldanf was born in Egypt, and was on strike demanding the reinstatement of fired precarious co-workers. Needless to say, the police did their jobs of policing the strikers, not the management who directed the trucks to push through the lines.
- Construction workers in Australia refuse to demolish a previously listed and protected building to make room for your typical speculative urban renewal. This is exactly what a workers’ economy should entail – organised workers deciding what kind of activity would be of benefit to society.
- An interview with someone from the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain – Couriers and Logistics branch about the recent victories scored by precarious couriers in London, organising challenges and tactics.