#DefendJ20 Letter to U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C. from the D.C. Industrial Workers of the World and Mid Atlantic General Defense Committee

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On Friday December 1, 2017 the Washington, D.C. General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee (GDC) Local 21 issued a letter to the United States Attorney of the District of Columbia demanding the prosecution drop the charges against all arrested in connection with the inauguration protests on January 20, 2017.

Download PDF [ here ]

Dear U.S. Attorney Liu:

On January 20, 2017, thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to protest and document the presidential inauguration. Shortly after the protest began, hundreds of participants and bystanders were illegally kettled, bombarded with pepper spray, stun grenades, and some were beaten with batons. As a result of the kettle, over 200 people were detained in a sweeping mass arrest.

Among the people arrested were over two dozen members of our union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and its affiliated legal defense and community organizing body, the IWW General Defense Committee (GDC). The IWW and GDC supports our members’ right to express their politics through protest. This is a union-wide tradition that dates back to the battles over free speech and human rights in the early 20th century led by the labor movement.

We are deeply concerned about the severe repression against all those facing charges for exercising their First Amendment right on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The charges the prosecution are pursuing are indicative of a disturbing pattern of repression against political dissent in this country and around the world. The Washington, D.C. General Membership Branch of the IWW and Mid-Atlantic GDC Local 21 demand you drop the charges against all those arrested in connection with this case.

  • For more information, resources, and ways to plug in to the defense campaign, visit DefendJ20Resistance
  • For daily updates on the ongoing proceedings, be sure to follow Unicorn Riot  on Twitter @UR_Ninja
  • Also check out It’s Going Down for weekly #DropJ20 podcasts

DC IWW Supports the TPSS Co-Op Workers Union for $15/hour and a Union

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The DC General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) supports the TPSS Co-op workers in their  struggle to unionize. Wages lag behind the rising cost of living in the DC metropolitan area. In Takoma Park, the average cost of living is much higher than in other parts of Maryland, and even a starting salary of $11.50 is unacceptable. A starting wage of $15/hour–though not ideal–is a reasonable demand that allows workers the chance to afford rent, transportation, child care and sustenance in one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in the country.

We further support the rights of all workers to unionize, ensuring fair and equitable treatment during these trying times. Moreover, a union will foster a spirit of unity and cooperation among workers so TPSS Co-op can continue to be a place of respect, dignity, and community.

TPSS Co-op is a member-owned cooperative, and the IWW shares many of the the values and goals of the Co-op: a healthy planet, democratic/cooperative ownership, and community-sourced goods and resources. A fully democratically organized workplace is necessary to help strengthen the bonds between the co-op, its workers, its members, and the community at-large.  The financial statements, publically available on the TPSS Co-op website,  indicate good financial health through growth, profitability, and the ability to consistently meet its obligations. To remain successful, the co-op must also fulfill its obligations of utmost importance – paying a reasonable wage to its workers and providing improved working conditions.

We encourage the membership, the Board of Representatives, and the greater Takoma Park community to support the workers of the TPSS co-op in creating a truly democratic community.

We believe such a community is in the best interest of everyone and that a productive conversation, centering the workers’ needs, will build a stronger relationship–grounded in solidarity–between the TPSS workers and the Takoma Park Community.

We the membership of the DC General Membership Branch of the IWW hereby fully endorse the efforts of the TPSS Co-op workers’ union and pledge our support, solidarity and aid to our fellow workers.

DC General Membership Branch – Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

(e) dc.iww.gmb@gmail.com | (w) www.dciww.org | (p) 202-630-9620

Links & Attachments:

[.PDF] DC IWW Supports the TPSS Co-op Workers Union for 15 and a Union

[Community Petition] Support TPSS Co-op Workers

 

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