Statement on rights of members to be involved with GDC without IWW GMB approval

The General Defense Committee (GDC) is a committee of the Industrial Workers of the World. Much like other committees (like IWOC, Gender Equity Committee, or Junior Wobblies) members do not need permission from an IWW General Membership Branch to be involved with the IWW General Defense Committee. Members can join the GDC, become delegates for the GDC, initiate other new GDC members, and organize towards chartering a GDC Local and this activity does not need to be connected with or approved by an IWW General Membership Branch.

At the same time, the GDC Steering Committee recognizes that programs of community self defense are strongest when operating in close cooperation with our presence in the workplace, and that our union’s organizing is well served by the close support of the GDC. In GMBs where there is not broad consensus to form a GDC, we encourage members to work out a cooperative strategy, rather than obstruct efforts to form a General Defense Committee.

Currently GDC Locals are organized in different ways in their relationships with local GMBs. They range from operating as committees of a Local GMB (as is done currently with the Michiana Local) to being independent from GMBs, to even existing as Locals in places where no GMB exists.

If you want to talk about joining the GDC, becoming a GDC delegate, or organizing towards chartering a GDC Local feel free to contact GDC Central at”