Who we are and what we want
We are workers, tired of self-defeating the turn of events, we are undergoing in the work places and trade-unions (confederations or alternatives ones), therefore we have decided to start a website, aiming for the formation of a committee to help coordinate the workers in struggle.
There are four sections: historical archive, feedback, art and ongoing struggles.
“Historical archive” is our class memory, it is a collection of material we want to submit to a critical analysis. The “feedback” section is meant to broaden contacts and discussion, we hope, occasions of political synthesis. The “ongoing struggles” is to promote information and solidarity among the workers: for this, above all, the need is felt. We have decided, as a work in progress, to open a section on “art”: songs, poems and films on labour movement. The class struggle is, mostly, a matter of emotion and we are interested in art that shows and feeds this passion.
We found ourselves having to fight in difficult situations (layoffs, increased workloads, etc.) and we did want to use existing trade unions or self-organization, but what we have always tried, it is to show the unity of the workers.
It may seem obvious, but the obstacles we faced were enormous, years and years of arbitration have made a clean sweep of the most basic principles including, for example, the “mutual support” between the exploited.
When we were in hardship, we tried to give birth to coordinating committees of struggle, but we encountered the limitations in the various local experiences. Limitations can be overcome only by going beyond the suffocating cages of categories or crafts.
We distance ourselves from all “nihilistic” attitudes typical of this times of resignation. To be clear: we are not concerned in being chained to the companies’ gates, climbing roofs , pleading to trade unionists or with the politicians in charge.
Continuing to struggle, in individualistic terms, everyone in its own workplace, we will not go anywhere. We have to start putting our strength in the field, the only language our opponents will understand. Since we live in a global society we must place the local experience in an international perspective. So, we will try to give adequate attention to the struggles developed in other countries.
Finally, we chose to call the site Chicago86 in memory of the massacres of strikers that took place in Chicago in 1886, to emphasize the importance of the international struggle for the reduction of the working day. This is the meaning of May Day, and for this reason every year we go down to the streets to remember our comrades fallen in the battle.
Solidarity is necessary for a class that means to promote and foster, and that has nothing to do with the philanthropic attitudes towards the “poor worker” left jobless. To the reduction of the working day we add, alongside, another absolutely complementary claim, that of wages for the unemployed – these two claims can not be separated.
It is hard to predict the progress of the class struggle in Italy and elsewhere, but only by remaining faithful to these rallying cries we can make a valuable contribution to the formation of an environment of genuine class struggle.
- Chicago86 -
This announcement from an anonymous source:
April 15, 2012
MAY 1: NEW YORK BLOCKADE ANNOUNCEMENT
MAY 1st BLOCKADE CALLED FOR NEW YORK BRIDGES, TUNNELS, AND FERRIES COMMUTER DELAYS EXPECTED
NEW YORK – On May 1, 2012, autonomous direct action groups within Occupy Wall Street, as a part of the global mobilizations for general strike and economic non-compliance, will block one or more Manhattan-bound bridge or tunnel to protest the shameful opulence of the 1%. Working and unemployed people across this country have seen no improvement to their lives in spite of all of the chatter about a recovery from the Financial Crisis of 2008. We don’t care what Obama or Romney say because only working people –domestic laborers, rank and file union members, undocumented workers, restaurant, retail and chain-store workers— can solve today’s problems.
Last fall, when Occupy Wall Street blocked the Brooklyn Bridge for several hours, we were acting within a long line of protest in New York City that stretches back to the so-called Fiscal Crisis of 1975, which much like now, was a bank led assault against working people. In the summer of 1975, striking hospital employees, including doctors and nurses, blocked the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was even blocked by thousands of laid-off police, the very people who act as the guard dogs of the 1%. More recently, both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Holland Tunnel were shut down during protests of the shooting death of Sean Bell. But this May 1, we will create the biggest shut down the city of New York has ever seen.
We are announcing these blockades now as a fair warning to the rest of the working people of New York and New Jersey who are considering joining the strikes and mobilizations of the day: the city will be shut down, so enjoy the day without the 99%!
Join on us May 1st as we stand in solidarity with the Occupy movement and workers everywhere.
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/192822994163133/
Dear New York City,
We, the students of public education, are here to inform you about the injustice that is taking place in our school system:
- The privatization of our school system
- The budget cuts
- Lack of appropriate leadership
- Malicious closings/phasing out of schools against the communities’ wishes.
- Cell phone policies
- Overcrowded classes & abuse of SAFE rooms
- Over policing of our schools and the criminalization of our youth
We feel that these issues are setting our students up for failure, and we DEMAND a change! We believe that trying to control our schools is just another symptom of the blatant racism in our country similar to the government’s response to the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin.
Because of this, our first action will be a mass student walkout on May 1st at 12pm to Fort Greene Park. We will be holding teach-ins, teen summits & other peaceful events.
Tabling at Union Square has officially kicked off. Please come join us, bring flyers, posters, pins, and other General Strike materials to help agitate for the General Strike on May 1st 2012! Subscribe to our mailing list and find out how you can plug in and participate.
(email any content to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us expand this list)
Communique by the Rank and File Initiative, posted in dozens of New York subway stations:
Rank and File Initiative
This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union, opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry. As of 10:30 AM, the majority remain open. No property was damaged. Teams have chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing, assaults on transit workers’ working conditions and livelihoods — and the profiteering of the super-rich by way of a system they’ve rigged in their favor.
For the last several years, riders of public transit have been under attack. The cost of our Metrocards has been increasing, while train and bus service has been steadily reduced. Budget cuts have precipitated station closings and staff/safety reductions. Police routinely single out young black and Latino men for searches at the turnstile. Layoffs and attrition means cutting staff levels to the bare minimum, reducing services for seniors and disabled riders. At the same time, MTA workers have been laid off and have had their benefits drastically reduced. Contract negotiations are completely stalled.
Working people of all occupations, colors and backgrounds are expected to sacrifice to cover the budget cut by paying more for less service. But here’s the real cause of the problem: the rich are massively profiting from our transit system. Despite the fact that buses and subways are supposed to be a public service, the government and the MTA have turned the system backwards—into a virtual ATM for the super-rich. Instead of using our tax money to properly fund transit, Albany and City Hall have intentionally starved transit of public funds for over twenty years; the MTA must resort to bonds (loans from Wall Street) to pay for projects and costs. The MTA is legally required to funnel tax dollars and fares away from transportation costs and towards interest on these bonds, called “debt service.” This means Wall Street bondholders receive a huge share of what we put into the system through the Metrocards we buy and the taxes we pay: more than $2 billion a year goes to debt service, and this number is expected to rise every year. If trends continue, by 2018 more than one out of every five dollars of MTA revenue will head to a banker’s pockets.
This much is clear: the MTA’s priorities are all out of whack. This fare strike is a means for workers and riders to fight for shared interests together — but this is just a first step. All of us — the 99% — have an interest in full-service public transportation system that treats its ridership and employees with dignity.
The MTA is a shared, public service — fund it with tax revenues.
Eliminate free money for bondholders at the expense of taxpayers.
End the assault on worker’s livelihoods.