Tuesday, March 29, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Anne Feeney Benefit Concert

Please post widely 


Saturday April 30

6:00-9:00 PM

With Steve and Kristi Nebel


Gary Kanter

The Bridge Methodist Church

5601 South Puget Sound Ave.

Tacoma, Wa. 98409

(let's help her out with her medical bills!)

Currently she is doing better, has about 20% of her energy level back, is getting some much-needed sunshine after cancer treatments and the lengthy battle to heal. Anne still can't sing due to the pitting in her lungs which hopefully will heal soon, but WE CAN SING FOR HER!)

Sponsored by:

Tacoma Branch Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W)                                  P.O. Box 7276 Tacoma, Wa. 98417 TacIWW@iww.org http://www.iww.org/en/branches/US/WA/Tacoma

United for Peace of Pierce County (UFPPC) www.ufppc.org.


The Bridge Methodist Church

5601 S. Puget Sound Ave. Tac. Wa. 98409

Monday, March 28, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Spread it all over! April 5 Mass Actioin at the Capital!

The March for a Fair Budget and the Coalition's Capital Action Festival is on
Tuesday April 5th. March begins 10AM at Rafah Mural at State and Capital Way.
Music starts at noon on Capital steps. Jim Page, the famous folk singer from
Seattle, Danny Kelly our local legendary troubadour, the Citizens Band together
again, hiphop by Thought Crime Collective, more love from Collective Love
Unlimited and fun covers from the Olympia Free Choir. Also political theater!
The Backbone's Wheel of Fortune or Misfortune will let you choose how we spend
our taxes and your attendance is required to stop the theatrical marriage
ceremony of the corporation and government. Throughout all of this will be
short speeches by real people not politicians or pundits on how we can take our
government back!

The gloves are off. Don't let the music and fun fool you. We mean serious
business and we want you to come and participate in actions that we hope will
begin the long struggle towards a better future for us and our children. Like
Wisconsin our state is changing and who comes out on top is either the
corporations or the people. We say the people lead and the leaders follow! We
need people on the steps and engaged and to keep coming back over and over
again! That is how our democracy will regain it's vibrancy!


All this is part of a week of action APRIL 2-8. Mark your calendars for these
events and make plans to join us as we demand that the bankers and billionaires
-- and their politician handmaidens in government -- stop the attacks on
working people and that they share in the sacrifice as our nation struggles to
recover from the economic havoc their greed and malfeasance has caused.

SATURDAY, APRIL 2 -- 2 p.m. at Peace Arch Park in Blaine -- This International
Solidarity Event will bring together unionists, students, activists from
Canada, Washington and Oregon to extend hands across the border in solidarity
with all workers. This event will be co-sponsored by the British Columbia
Federation of Labour; the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and the
Oregon AFL-CIO. Please email Lori Province from the WSLC about mobilization

SUNDAY, APRIL 3 -- 6:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle -- Join IATSE
Local 15 for Solidarity Night at "Billy Elliott: The Musical." Living in a coal
mining town in Northern England, young Billy Elliot doesn't take to boxing
lessons and is instead drawn to ballet. His father and brother, striking
miners, struggle to understand and support his passion for dance. This is a
Union production. Actors are members of Actors Equity; stagehands, IATSE Local
15; hair and makeup, IATSE Local 488; and wardrobe, IATSE Local 887; and
musicians, AFM 76-493 and other locals. No-host bar begins at 5:30 p.m. and the
show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $26.30 to $56.90. For tickets or
information, contact IATSE Local 15 at 206-441-1515 ext. 225 or
stagerep@ia15.org. Tickets at these group rates are limited, so please get in
touch now!

MONDAY, APRIL 4 -- 5:30 - 7 p.m. at MLK Memorial Park in Seattle -- The Rev.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at 6:01 p.m. in
Memphis, Tenn., where he was standing with sanitation workers demanding their
dream of a better life. Today, the right to bargain collectively for a voice at
work and a middle-class life are under attack as never before. Join in this
National Call to Action on April 4 and stand with other civil and human rights
activists, union members and supporters, Latinos, Asians and immigrants,
religious supporters, environmental, student and women's groups against a
political agenda that is attacking working families, their human rights and
their dignity. This event, sponsored by the Communications Workers of America,
will be at 2200 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Seattle.

TUESDAY, APRIL 5TH – March begins 10 am at the Olympia/Rafah Solidarity Mural
at State Avenue and Capital Way. Then on the Capital Steps:
11:45-12: Speaker
12-12:30 Danny Kelly
12:30-1 Speaker
1-1:30 Collective Love Unlimited
1:30-1:45 Wheel of Fortune
1:45-2:30 Jim Page
2:30-3 Marriage Ceremony between Corporations and Government
3-3:45 Citizens Band
3:45-4 Open Mic
4-4:30 Thought Crime COLLECTIVE
4:30-5 Speakers
5-6 Olympia Free Choir
6-7 March around the capital campus!

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 -- Noon at the Capitol (exact location TBA) -- Washington
Community Action Network will bring hundreds of community activists and
students to Olympia in an attempt to find the sacrifices that the Legislature
will make the bankers and billionaires pay to get us out of the economic

THURSDAY, APRIL 7 -- Time/precise location TBA -- Health care unions, led by
SEIU District 1199NW, will mobilize health care workers in Olympia to demand
that the Legislature fix the deficit problems and to look into the faces of the

FRIDAY, APRIL 8 -- Noon at the Capitol Steps -- This is the big one: a major
Labor Rally at the Capitol in Olympia. Washington's working families are tired
of being blamed and punished for the damage done by Wall Street banks and
corporations. Join thousands of public- and private-sector workers from all
trades as we stand together as one and demand that lawmakers PUT PEOPLE FIRST!
We want good jobs, we want our rights, and we want them NOW!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Foundry Workers Strike To Save Their Healthcare

by David Bacon
Wednesday Mar 23rd, 2011 Indybay.org

BERKELEY, CA 3/22/10 -- A strike of over 450 workers in one of the largest
foundries on the west coast brought production to a halt Sunday night, at
Pacific Steel Castings. The work stoppage, which began at midnight, has
continued with round the clock picketing at the factory gates in west

Local 164B of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers
International Union (GMP) has been negotiating a new labor agreement at
Pacific Steel for several months. The old agreement expired on Sunday

The strike was caused by demands from the company's owners for concessions
and takeaway proposals in contract negotiations. Those include:

- requiring workers to pay at least 20% of the cost of their medical
insurance, amounting to about $300 per month per employee.

- a wage freeze for the first two years of the agreement, and tiny raises
after that.

- eliminating the ability of workers to use their seniority to bid for
overtime, allowing criteria including speedup, discrimination and

"All eight other foundries in the Bay Area have agreed to a fair
contract," said Ignacio De La Fuente, GMP international vice-president.
"Workers at Pacific Steel haven't had a raise in the last two years, in
order to help the company pay for increases in health plan costs. Pacific
Steel is now alone among the rest in trying to make its workers give back
$300 a month."

The $300/month would mean an approximately 10% cut in wages for most
workers at the foundry.

Joel Soto, a member of the union's negotiating committee, has worked eight
years at Pacific Steel, and has a wife, 2-year-old child and another on
the way. Soto said, "We've been trying to save money for a house. If we
have to give up $300 a month, we'll have to continue renting. My wife and
I both support our parents, and that $300 cut is what we're able to give
them now that they're old. And with my wife pregnant, we can't do without
that medical care."

Benito Navarro has ten years at the foundry, and a wife and son. "That
$300 is what I pay for my car to get to work. I'm the only one in my
family working, so if we don't have that money, I'll have to give up the
car. But I'd rather eat than drive."

On both Monday and Tuesday dozens of Berkeley police, with helmets and
face shields, shoved and hit strikers as they attempted to help the
company bring trucks full of castings out of its struck facility. On
Tuesday, one striker, Norma Garcia, who is seven months pregnant, was
struck in the abdomen and taken to a hospital.

"It is inexcusable that Berkeley is spending precious municipal resources
on providing protection for this business, and opening the city to
liability through these unprovoked actions by police against strikers,"
said De La Fuente.

"That violence isn't necessary," added Soto. "We're just struggling for
our rights. I wouldn't be so surprised to see this in other cities, but
Berkeley?" Another worker showed the swelling on his arm he said was
caused by a blow from a police baton.

Workers feel additionally betrayed by the company because they and their
union testified before the Berkeley City Council three years ago. They
urged the city to draft environmental regulations that would allow the
foundry to continue operating while installing needed pollution control

Pacific Steel Casting Co. is a privately held corporation, the
third-largest steel foundry in the United States. Its large corporate
customers include vehicle manufacturers, like Petebilt Corp., and big oil
companies, including BARCO. The company has been very productive in recent
years, despite the recession. It chose not to comment.


For more articles and images, see http://dbacon.igc.org

[olympiaworkers] Jimmy John's Resists Campaign to Reform Sick Day Policy with Illegal Firing of Six Workers

Industrial Workers of the World

Sandwich Chain Seeks to Suppress Educational Poster on the Risks of Eating
Food Prepared by Sick Employees

Jimmy John's Workers Union - Industrial Workers of the World

Contacts: Micah Buckley-Farlee, 612-845-9290 Mike Wilkow, 612-807-6633

March 23, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS- In an effort to silence employees who have blown the whistle
on serious food safety hazards at Jimmy John's, the company fired six
workers yesterday for putting up posters demanding the right to call in
sick and paid sick days in order to avoid exposing customers to infection.
Under current policy, Jimmy John's workers are disciplined for calling in
sick if they cannot find a replacement, forcing many workers to make
sandwiches while ill.

"It just isn't safe -- customers are getting their sandwiches made by
people with the flu, and they have no idea," said Micah Buckley-Farlee,
one of the fired workers, "and now we're getting fired for blowing the
whistle on this disgusting practice. Rather than safeguard public health
and do the right thing for their employees and their customers, Jimmy
John's owners Mike and Rob Mulligan are trying to silence us. These
illegal and offensive firings will not stand."

In addition to the threat of discipline for calling in sick, many workers
are unable to afford to take a day off if they are ill because wages at
the sandwich chain hover around the federal minimum of $7.25 and the
company offers no benefits. The result of these pressures is that
sandwich-makers often have to work while sick, creating an enormous public
health risk. The issue of working while sick in restaurants has assumed
increased concern from the public in recent years. A recent study
performed by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy shows a
marked increase in workers unable to take sick leave noting that of the
793 employees surveyed 72% said they worked while they had severe flu

The risky anti-union firings at Jimmy John's could easily backfire on the
company. Firing workers in retaliation for organizing activity is
expressly forbidden by the National Labor Relations Act. The IWW Jimmy
John's Workers Union will file charges with the National Labor Relations
Board today seeking reinstatement of all fired workers. The workers are
hopeful that the NLRB will consider an injunction to reinstate the fired
workers while litigation progresses. Regardless of the outcome of legal
action, the union workers have announced that direct actions against the
franchise, such as picketing, will continue to escalate until they have
won the demand for paid sick days and all illegally fired workers are

"All we want is for the owner Rob Mulligan to do the right thing,"

says Alyssa Rodewald, a Jimmy John's worker who was fired for calling in
sick last week. "Spend your money giving us paid sick days and protecting
customers, not spending legal fees in a hopeless attempt to justify your
immoral actions".

The Jimmy Johns Workers Union, open to employees at the company
nationwide, is affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World labor
union. Gaining prominence in recent years for organizing Starbucks
workers, the IWW is a global union founded over a century ago for all
working people.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[olympiaworkers] 1935: Battle of Ballantyne Pier

Libcom.org Sep 16 2007


Mounties clash with dockers

A short history and background of the 1935 dockers' strike and subsequent
bloody confrontation with police in Vancouver that became known as the
Battle of Ballantyne Pier.

The story of the Battle of Ballantyne Pier can be traced back to 1912 when
the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), began organising
amongst waterfront workers in Canada, and alongside the Lumber Handlers'
Union in Vancouver. Going head to head with the employers association, the
Shipping Federation, several strikes resulting in wage increases were won
by workers in the coming years. Victories on the waterfront increased over
the next decade, and by 1923 the Shipping Federation became determined to
break the power of the ILA.

A strike, possibly provoked by the employers' association, broke out in
October 1923 which saw 1400 men joining picket lines at the Vancouver
waterfront. However, provisions had been made by the Shipping Federation.
The dockers were immediately met by 350 men armed with shotguns who had
been housed on a nearby ship. This premeditated intimidation of the
strikers, coupled with the fact that ships were still being loaded and
unloaded by numerous scabs who had been drafted in, forced the strike to
collapse two months later.

The 1923 strike destroyed the ILA, and it was soon replaced a new
organisation, the Vancouver and District Waterfront Workers' Association
(VDWWA). Set up originally by the bosses as a company union, the VDWWA
soon began to take a confrontational stance towards the Shipping
Federation. By 1935, nearly every port in British Columbia had been
organised by the VDWWA. Following the pretext to the destruction of the
ILA, the Shipping Federation provoked another major strike in the spring
of 1935, locking out 50 dockers at the port at Powell River.

The strike soon snowballed to bring other dockers across the region into
the fold. Following a refusal to unload ships coming from Powell River,
900 workers were met with a lockout in Vancouver. Dockers across the
border in Seattle also refused to unload ships coming from Vancouver and
Powell River that were manned by scabs.

On June 18, several weeks after the original lockout, between 900-1100
dockers and their supporters marched through Vancouver towards Ballantyne
Pier where scabs were unloading ships. The strikers were met at the pier
by several hundred armed policeman. Attempting to force their way through,
the dockers soon found themselves under attack from the police lines. Many
marchers were clubbed as they tried to run to safety, while many others
tried hopelessly to fight back, using whatever weapons they could find.
Aided by Mounties who had been posted nearby, the police continued to
viciously attack the strikers. The VDWWA union hall was attacked, with
tear gas being used against members of the women's auxiliary who had set
up a first aid station inside. The battle continued for three hours, and
ended with several hospitalisations, including that of a fleeing striker
who had been shot in the back of his legs.

Dragging on until December, the strike lost much of its militant character
after the fighting at Ballantyne Pier. The struggle to form a union
completely independent of the Shipping Federation continued for another
two years, when, in 1937, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union
(ILWU) was born.

The strike of 1935 failed. It did, however, lay the path for the future
founding of a union for the dockers of British Colombia which was
completely independent of the employers' association. The ILWU
participated in numerous disputes in the following years, and in the 1940s
was integral in winning many strikes that lead to better pay and
conditions for waterfront workers.

Alex Aspden

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

[olympiaworkers] May 21st Peltier March and the Case of Leonard Peltier


From: Leonard Peltier Offense/Defense Committee  Northwest Regional Organizer's Office                           P.O. Box 5464                                                       Tacoma, WA 98415-0464 bayou@blarg.net


As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together we make a mighty fist. -- Sitting Bull



12:00 NOON: MARCH FOR JUSTICE Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 35th & E. Fairbanks. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)

1:00 PM: RALLY FOR JUSTICE U.S. Federal Court House, 1717-Pacific Ave.

This march will kick off our New Northwest Campaign for Clemency for Leonard Peltier. It will take time to build this campaign and we ask for your help. Leonard has been in prison since 1976 for a crime he did not commit. His health has gotten bad and he needs all of us now. We need people to pass this statement to their friends, groups, organizations, publications, web sites and Facebook. We need people to post and pass out fliers. We need donations. We need to make this march as large as possible to show others that there is support for Leonard Peltier. Please help us. Please contact us if you can help.

For donations: Please make checks out to the Leonard Peltier Offense/Defense Committee (mark them for NW March) and send them to: Tacoma LPODC, P.O. Box 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415. Thank you

The Case Of Leonard Peltier

After a conflict between the Lakota people and the U.S. government and corporate interests a peace treaty was signed and the great Lakota reservation was created in the late 19th century. That peace treaty meant nothing to U.S. interests, for its terms were violated from almost the moment it was signed. Those interests continued to steal more Lakota land wherever they found gold and other minerals that they wanted. At the same time, they sought to destroy the Lakota way of life. U.S. interests outlawed Lakota religion and massacred the Lakota at Wounded Knee in an act of religious suppression. U.S. interests kidnapped Lakota children and placed them in internment, in schools where they were held for years away from their families, while their language and traditions were being beaten out of them. U.S. interests carried out a secret forced program of sterilization of Lakota women. Then, in the 1920s, acting upon the interests of oil and mineral companies, the U.S. forced a 'government' entity upon the Lakota people, to be controlled by those corporate and U.S. interests.

In the late 1960s uranium was found in the northwest section of the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation. The U.S. interests wanted that uranium for their weapons of mass destruction and nuclear power plants.

The U.S. interests knew that the Lakota people would not give up any more of their land willingly: they had already refused to take payment for the Black Hills, stolen from them for its gold. U.S. interests then set out to suppress all possible resistance to further theft. That led the resisters' to request the help of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Upon a request by Lakota Elders, a stand was taken at Wounded Knee, on the Pine Ridge reservation of the Lakota people.

In the two and a half years after what became known as Wounded Knee II there was a 'Reign of Terror' the resisters on Pine Ridge was forced to suffer. Whole villages were shot up, people were run off the road, many Native people were wounded and over 67 of them were murdered. The Lakota people again asked AIM for help and an AIM encampment was set up. Most of the people in that encampment were from Northwest AIM. And Leonard Peltier was one of them.

The AIM people were under considerable oppression and lived there daily in danger from the death squad (they called themselves the Goon Squad). One day two cars came speeding onto the land of their encampment, in the same manner that earlier drive-by shootings by the death squad had taken place on Pine Ridge.  The AIM members there that day defended themselves from what they saw as another murderous attack. In the firefight that took place two FBI agents and one AIM member died.

Norman Zigrossi, head of the local FBI office at the time, defended the illegal actions, saying, "Indians are a conquered nation and the FBI is merely acting as a colonial police force."  He went on, "When you're conquered, the people you're conquered by dictate your future."

It is clear that the attack upon the AIM encampment was planned to start a conflict to draw away resistance to the illegal signing away of Lakota land that had taken place in Washington, D.C. at that time.  Before the firefight, hundreds of U.S. Government agents were brought on to Pine Ridge reservation, the roads leading to the AIM encampment were blocked before the firefight and local hospitals were given notice to expect casualties.

In the first trial of two AIM members, who had been in the firefight at their encampment, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty by reason of self-defense.

The U.S. interests then put all their efforts into convicting Leonard Peltier. They fabricated evidence, intimidated witnesses and illegally changed judges, settling on one who would not allow Leonard's lawyers to present his case of self-defense.

Through appeals, Leonard's lawyers have been able to disprove the case against him to the point that the U.S. Government prosecutors have stated that they don't know what role Leonard played in the firefight -- he was just there that day and thus by default aided and abetted in the deaths of the agents. It can be reasoned that since the first two AIM members were found not guilty by reason of self-defense, then Leonard has been in prison all these years for aiding and abetting an act of self-defense!

Much of our focus should be on FBI political repression, COINTELPRO, and how they are connected to Leonard's case, for the FBI has been and continues to be used as the U.S. Government's and corporate interests' Political Police Force.

As you read this, Leonard's lawyers struggle to get all the documents that the FBI has withheld in his case. The FBI claims it needs to withhold those documents to protect national security. We need to ask, "Whose national security needs to be protected from the truth?" Given that documents already received by the defense team have exposed the U.S. Government's frame-up of Leonard to the point that the government's lawyers have had to admit that there is no evidence connecting him directly to the deaths of the FBI agents, and have shown that the FBI took illegal, aggressive actions to suppress the right of Native people to organize to air their grievances, there is no doubt that documents still withheld will show further evidence of FBI illegal actions.

Even the courts have recognized the repressive nature of the government actions against AIM and Leonard. Judge Heaney stated, "The United States Government overreacted at Wounded Knee. Instead of carefully considering the legitimate grievances of the Native Americans, the response was essentially a military one, which culminated in the deadly firefight on June 26, 1975."

And in 2003 the Tenth Circuit Court found that, "Much of the government's behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and in its prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed."

Even with this acknowledgment Leonard has been in prison for over 28 years. Leonard is not in prison based upon the laws of this land, for the courts have stated over and over again that the U.S. government has violated those laws in Leonard's case. Leonard Peltier is in prison for one reason and one reason alone, and that is because it is in the interests of the few to keep him locked up: because he represents the essence of this land, the wrong upon which the United States was established, a simple truth which has to be recognized before the country can ever be sound. Leonard suffers under the same interests that hung Chief Leschi, the same interests that massacred the Lakota at Wounded Knee, the same interests that are behind many of the wars around the world, the same interest behind the WTO, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the same interests that strips our schools of basic funds, that strip you of your unemployment benefits and overtime pay, and the same interests that we all find ourselves struggling against in our common pursuit of peace and well-being. Justice for Leonard and the end to political repression by the FBI will only come from the organized spirit of solidarity of all people struggling in their true interests.

Illegal actions by the FBI should be the concern of all American people who believe in social justice, because Leonard was not and will not be the only victim of political repression.  Among those that were targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO were: Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights activists and organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Jesse Jackson (note that the FBI also carried out intimidation of Jackson supporters in the south when he ran for U.S. president), Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers (UFW), the National Lawyer's Guild, antinuclear weapons campaigns (SANE-Freeze), the National Council of Churches, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), antiwar  organizations, the alternative press, student organizations including the National Students Association (TNSA) and  Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), environmental, anti-racism and feminist organizations, GI organizations, the Industrial Workers of the World, organizations of self-determination for people of color, and Native organizations such as the American Indian Movement (AIM).

The political repression carried out by the FBI has never ended. It was seen this year with the FBI's intimidation of antiwar protesters who planned to protest at the national conventions of the two major political parties. Though the FBI claimed it needed more power, money and agents to deal with the threat of terrorism after 9-11, the agency still had the time, money, and forces to harass people who questioned 
the war in Iraq.

The same drive to acquire enormous profits that keep this country in Iraq over the opposition of its own people is also what led to the U.S. Government's suppression of traditional indigenous people, AIM and in its frame-up of Leonard Peltier.

And as to making connections, the infliction of war on Iraq was justified by using false documents, lies about weapons of mass destruction and sham connections to terrorists. That is the same tactic the U.S. Government used in its suppression of AIM and in its frame-up of Leonard Peltier.  The government used the war in Iraq in the interest of bringing global U.S. company's huge profits, and on the Pine Ridge reservation that same government carried out its repression in the interest of U.S. energy corporations.

We call on you as sisters and brothers to join us at our REGIONAL CLEMENCY FOR LEONARD PELTIER MARCH AND RALLY in Tacoma, as we send the message: We will not give up! We will not surrender! We will continue to stand for justice for Leonard Peltier and for justice for all that he represents for as long as it takes to set him free! Our strength is building and time is on our side, the sweep of justice is moving throughout the world and we are a part of that great wave of truth and justice. Please join with us on May 21, 2011 for a tremendous show of solidarity, a march and rally in Unified Solidarity for Justice for Leonard Peltier. All of us working together will free Leonard Peltier.

In The Spirit Of Crazy Horse

Leonard Peltier Offense/Defense Committee           Tacoma Chapter                                                      Susan Morales                                                          Steve Hapy                                                             Arthur J. Miller

If you want up-dates on the march and on Leonard Peltier please send a request to: bayou@blarg.net

For more information go to:


Thursday, March 03, 2011

[olympiaworkers] May 21 Regional Celemency March for Leonard Peltier


From: Leonard Peltier Offense/Defense Committee Northwest Regional Organizer's Office                           P.O. Box 5464                                                      Tacoma, WA 98415-0464                           bayou@blarg.net


As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together we make a mighty fist. -- Sitting Bull



12:00 NOON: MARCH FOR JUSTICE Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 35th & E. Fairbanks. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)

1:00 PM: RALLY FOR JUSTICE U.S. Federal Court House, 1717-Pacific Ave.

Like an onslaught of a mighty storm, crisis has beset the people from many directions. Those that have it all keep on wanting more from those who have very little at all. They who have it all believe that their greed and power is the natural order of things, the way things must be. We struggle now, as we must, against powerful forces that just take and never concede to us anything in return without a struggle. This is a hard road we travel down and there is none of us who can really escape this reality.

The forces of greed would have us believe that each struggle is an issue in itself, separate and unconnected to others. This keeps us divided and weak. For if we are to withstand the onslaught of greed, we need to come to understand that all things are connected. An injury to one is an injury to all.

Our struggles are like streams of water flowing down a mountain side. We can turn these streams aside to flow alone, or dam them with our limited understand of the way things are and thus disperse harmlessly upon the land. Or our streams can flow into a river of joint connections, adding greater power with every stream that merges with it as it washes down the mountain side to become a great power that none can ignore.

In understanding connections, we learn that what is done to some of us, both in trying to get something from us they want and repressing those of us that speak out and stand up for the people, can be done to any of us at any time. Thus, when we stand in solidarity with others, we stand also, in solidarity with ourselves.

There is no better example of how far the forces of greed and repression will go than the case of Leonard Peltier. Here is a case where there was something corporations and the government wanted, the natural resources on Native land, and they were willing to do anything to get what they wanted. Here is a case where justice did not matter, the laws of this land did not matter, and even the constitution could not stand in the way of their illegal acts. Even lives lost meant nothing to them in their pursuit of that which they wanted.

Leonard is not a history lesson of things in past times. Leonard is still in prison, locked-up since 1976 for the crime of defending his people and Mother Earth. Leonard has grown old in prison and he has severe health problems. It is time to begin a new Leonard Peltier Clemency campaign. President Obama will either win the next election, but can't run after that, or he will lose and will be going out of office. Either way, he will be more open to granting clemency than he has been so far. A campaign like this takes time to build. This campaign in order to be successful needs to be out in the public view. For these reasons we are starting our new clemency campaign with a regional march and rally in Tacoma on May 21, 2011. It is essential that this public show of support be as strong as possible.

All of you who support Leonard Peltier, we need your help. We cannot let things that might divide us or possible disagreement stand in our way. Given Leonard's health, the only question that makes any sense is which side are you on? If you stand in solidarity with Leonard, the time has come to act in unity for him.

The Leonard Peltier Offense/Defense Committee (LPODC) has been working hard to rebuild Leonard's support. Realizing that they cannot do that alone, they have asked some long time Peltier activists to taken on the job of being regional organizers for LPODC. Based upon my past work with the old Northwest Leonard Peltier Support Network, LPODC has asked me to be the regional organizer for the northwest. I agreed to that because I am committed to Leonard for as long as it takes. I wish to point out that I am only an organizer, and not the leader. It is Leonard's supporters, each and everyone one of you, who are the leaders of this movement. But reality sets in here. I am not what I use to be. I have grown old, I have health problems and I don't have my own money to put into this like I use to do. I have been out of work for 7 ½ months. But I am willing to give this all that I have, but I need your help even more than in the past.


    1. Donations and benefits. Getting the word out costs money.

    2.People who can do nice lay-out of fliers and posters.

    3. People who can print fliers and posters.

    4.People who can handout fliers or post them along with posters.

    5. People who can get march fliers out through their newsletters or get articles printed in their publications.

    6. People who can forward march statements, like this one, to friends, groups, organizations, e-mail lists, on Facebook, Twitter, to web sites or any other place...

    7. People who can help organize car caravans for justice (car pools) to Tacoma.

    8. We need a sound system and generator.

    9. People to organize video showings.

    10. People to make banners and signs.

It will be the people who free Leonard by their strong solidarity. Each and everyone of you can help in some way. Each of you have as much power over as much work as you are willing to do. Please help us show all to see that the people demand Leonard to be set FREE1

Arthur J. Miller                                                       Leonard Peltier Offense/Defense Committee           Northwest Regional Organizer                                       P.O. Box 5464                                                       Tacoma, WA 98415                                    bayou@blarg.net

If you want up-dates on the march and on Leonard Peltier please send a request to: bayou@blarg.net

For more information go to: www.whoisleonardpeltier.info

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Wisconsin – Next Stop, the General Strike!

Feb. 28, 2011 Trial by Fire


"This has been a life experience we will never forget. I feel like all
of these people are family."

Union Supporter and protester, Neporsha Hamlin, of Madison, WI.

News this week of well over seventy thousand union members and their
supporters occupying the Capital Rotunda of Madison, Wis., comes not a
moment too soon, as workers around the country have faced vicious attacks
on their basic freedom's in the face of badly managed state budgets.

Events in the embattled state have unfolded quickly, starting with the
public Teachers unions and quickly spreading to other sectors.

So far, over 40% of the city's union teachers, acting on their own
initiative, have led wildcat strikes in their schools, calling in "sick"
to attend protests, closing entire school districts, with thousands of
their students following in toe.

In response, city employers threatened to fire any teacher who skipped
school to attend the protests. Thwarting their efforts, Doctors from
hospitals across the city joined together and set up a station near the
capital to provide the "sick" teachers with notes, covering their absences
from work. Family physician Lou Sanner, 59, of Madison, told reporters
that many of the teachers he was writing notes for appeared to be
suffering from stress.

Fire-fighters in Madison joined protests last week as well, marching with
other union members and supporters, with some even occupying the capital

Across the country, protest and rallies have been had in over 60 cities
that we are aware of, and solidarity protests were held by the unions on
Saturday at every state capital in the country.

Whats in the bill?

On February 11th, Governor Scott Walker introduced a bill (which you can
read here) that would essentially destroy collective bargaining rights –
the rights which legally allow workers to band together to bargain over
working conditions – for Wisconsin's nearly 175,000 state and local
government employees. That Bill has now passed a house vote, and is
awaiting a vote in the State Senate.

Barring police and fire-fighters, most workers employed by the State of
Wisconsin would lose their right to bargain over wages that exceeded
inflation, and could be terminated for participating in legally protected
acts of protest if the Governor ever declared a "State of Emergency." Home
health care workers, family child care workers, UW Hospitals and Clinics
employees, and UW faculty and academic staff would lose their collective
bargaining authority altogether.

State employees would be barred from negotiating a contract which lasted
longer than a year, and employees who have voted to certify as a union
would automatically lose their recognition at the end of one year, and
have to run an entirely new certification campaign in order to remain

To justify his vicious attack on workers, Walker argues feebly that the
state's budget shortfall has tied his hands. In a letter to Wisconsin
State Employees, he cites a strange statistic to back himself up – "In the
current fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2011, we face a budget deficit
of $136.7 million."

He fails to mention that before his recent debt plan, the state's
nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported that the state would
actually end the year with a surplus. Walker and Republicans themselves
sunk the State into debt by spending hundreds of millions on benefits for
the wealthy.

Their new debt plan gave $48 million to private health savings accounts,
which reports found regularly only benefited wealthy people – people with
an average adjusted gross income of $139,000. The HSA accounts are, in
fact, primarily serving simply as tax havens for the wealthy, nearly half
of whom reported withdrawing nothing from their accounts.

The handouts to the wealthy – which happened to also bankrupt the state –
have prompted SEIU president Mary Kay Henry to speculate that this year's
"budget crisis" may well have been engineered specifically to justify
anti-union legislation.

Perhaps most revealing of all, however, is the recent discovery that
Wisconsin tax payers are not in fact paying for the pensions and health
insurance plans of state workers – one of the biggest rallying cries of

In a brilliant piece of investigative journalism, author Rick Ungar
found that: "Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by
collective bargaining agreements to "contribute more" to their pension
and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker' s assertions as
fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the
workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are
not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health
insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state

As it turns out, workers receive their pension and health insurance plans
using "deferred compensation" – money that employees otherwise would have
been paid as cash, but instead have placed in the government operated
pension fund where the money is then invested.

What next for us workers?

When asked why she was attending protests in Madison, 30 year old Virginia
Welle, a teacher at Chippewa Falls High School, told reporters in no
uncertain terms that she was "fighting for my home and my career."

More than that, though, workers in Wisconsin are fighting on the frontline
of what is quickly becoming a heated nationwide assault on workers'
rights. Already, similar bills have been proposed in Ohio, Michigan,
Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa.

But in Wisconsin, the next step for the Republican controlled government
is to kick the protesters out of the capital.

They may try a number of things to do so. They have already, in fact,
passed new rules barring protesters from sleeping overnight in the capital
building – a move opposed so thoroughly by the public that even the head
of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association called on the governor to
keep the Capitol open.

But that will not be enough to end the unrest. Even "If they kick us out,"
says Dan Wise, a 19-year-old Technical College student who has been
attending class by day and protests by night, "we will protest outside."

The smarter, and more likely move that the Walker administration will take
is to try to "compromise" on the bill, offering to the Democrats and Union
Leaders a more watered down version of the same crap.

If the workers stay out in the streets, and continue to occupy the
capital, Walker will eventually come to terms with the fact that he has to
compromise in order to quiet the crowds. The problem is that Walker, in an
effort to keep as much of his bill as possible, will look to compromise
with Democrats, and not with the workers themselves (who undoubtedly have
much more at stake than the politicians).

The Democrats, in turn, will lean on their lackeys in the union leadership
to begin helping to reign the crowds in.

The rank and file of Wisconsin, if it is interested in stopping this bill,
has to ignore the calls that may soon come from their union leaders should
the Democrats reach a "compromise" with Walker. The union bureaucracies of
every country have always, when push came to shove, been fundamentally on
the side of the employers – on the side of the state. Although they may
support the basic rights of their members, and may even at times support
their militancy, the union leadership has an interest fundamentally at
odds with the rank and file.

The union leadership, in the end, is interested in dues collection. The
union leadership is interested in "seats at the table" with the Democratic
Party, and the union leadership is interested in maintaining its position
as "union leaders." They will, at all costs, defend this holy trinity of
modern business unionism, if necessary against their own members.

The creative and brave initiative of the Wisconsin rank and file, in fact,
have put some of these interests at risk. Union leaders are at this moment
scrambling to regain control over their workers, who without being
instructed, led one of the most brash wildcat strikes in recent memory.
They are concerned the workers may realize that not only are they capable
of acting independently of their union presidents, but that their
independent action is twice as effective!

The single most important thing to do now is to keep that independent
spirit alive amongst the workers of Madison.

To do this, and to bring more workers on board with the Teachers, workers
must devote all of their energy to building for the general strike in
Wisconsin, which the South Central Federation of Labor (representing
45,000 workers from 97 different unions) has recently announced it
endorses. The prospects are superb, with an outpouring of solidarity the
likes of which this country has not seen for years.

In using this spirit of mutual support and understanding to build a
general strike, workers in Wisconsin can definitively show that our
greatest power, and our greatest virtue, is our ability to withdraw our
labor power from society, and in so doing, pound the forces of reaction
into submission.

Perhaps Joe Hill, the famed "troubadour of the IWW," said it best, when he
observed that:
"If the workers took a notion they could stop all speeding trains; every
ship upon the ocean they can tie with mighty chains."-Joe Hill