Rest in Power “Zoe”: Statement from Sacramento IWW

What follows is a statement from the Sacramento chapter of the IWW regarding both the recent police murder of Stephon “Zoe” Clark and the following uprising.

On March 18th, Sacramento Police Department officers Terrance Mercadal and Jared Robinet shot ten bullets each, killing the 22-year-old father of two. He was the seventeenth person killed by Sacramento-area police in the last two years. In the wake of this tragedy, a routine that we know all too well has played out: police chief, Daniel Hahn, has called for calm as his department “gathers more facts” about the incident; city mayor Darrell Steinberg voiced his initial “full support” of the involved officers; and local newspaper Sacramento Bee has called for “calm” while glorifying the police, going so far as to ask “what’s a cop to do?” when faced with explosive community accountability.

That accountability comes in the form of rolling demonstrations led primarily by Black folks and supported by a wide swathe of Sacramento residents who refuse to accept another police execution of a Black person as “business as usual”. Beginning on March 22nd, thousands of demonstrators pushed riot police from intrusion on a highway takeover and shut down access to the Sacramento Kings’ home game. Community members have since squared off with police into the early hours of the morning; hosted a benefit music and arts night to fund raise for Zoe’s family and funeral services; disrupted a city council meeting; prevented access to a second Kings’ home game; and faced off with riot police after taking an unsanctioned march from District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s downtown office.

The current moment in Sacramento emerges from both spontaneous social anger and years of community organizing by many groups. In particular, protests focused on the Golden 1 Center demonstrate an understanding of the connections between ways that Sacramento government and business prioritize money at the expense of Black and poor lives. In addition to direct police violence, this includes ongoing “urban renewal and renovation” targeted at raising property values, eliminating mom-and-pop stores and their owners, creating a playground for a growing segment of Silicon Valley tech executives out-priced of Bay Area living, and pushing specifically workers and people of color, to the city’s furthest limits. Protesters recognize city officials’ complicity and active efforts to bring in more capital to swell its coffers, while leaving larger and larger numbers of its residents houseless. Police officers’ protection of the Sacramento Kings’ arena crystallizes the direct connection between the state and capitalists through its protection of publicly-financed private property and revenue accrual.

Stephon Clark will be laid to rest today but it does not mean that we should. Members of the Sacramento IWW write this statement in full support of the ongoing efforts taken by community members and call for their expansion. Revolutionary activity begins in the streets but ends in a new society. That end goal—a world which dismantles structural racism in all of its forms and eliminates wage slavery as the primary way to survive—requires expanding this momentum to all corners and crevices of the city.

Ways to expand the uprising include:

– Talking to coworkers about actions of solidarity, like sympathy strikes or slowdowns
– Talking with your neighbors about SacPD’s actions and hosting fundraising block parties
– Talking to your coworkers and neighbors about instances of racial and other forms of discrimination by managers, bosses, and landlords and developing ideas on how to fight back collectively
– Organizing and conducting research to document the connections between city officials and businesses
– Continuing protest of and strategizing against police violence and prisons, including immigrant detention
– Working with friends on ways we can support each other without government or police-supporting institutions as intermediaries, like sharing food and resources, learning health care skills and supporting victims of domestic violence
– Targeting other urban renewal projects that seek to turn the city’s population into subservient, destitute, downtrodden workers, like Amazon Warehouses, with collective demonstrations
– Sharing contact information with protest participants and organize strategy sessions

Actions taken by community members and workers offer a glimmer of a world in which social norms are disrupted, inverted, and we take brief control over the streets, state offices and meetings, and our lives. We can take more ground and control, but we must do it together.

Rest in power Zoe and all other victims of state- and capitalist-sanctioned violence in all of its forms.

An injury to one is an injury to all.
#RIPStephonClark #StephonClark #IWW

“Drop ALL the Charges!”: April 2-3, Call-In Campaign for the Remaining J20 Defendants!

The following is an announcement for a call in campaign to demand that the remaining charges facing J20 defendants be dropped.

On 12/21/17 a jury returned a not-guilty verdict for the first six defendants in the J20 case. Forty-two charges acquitted: twelve felonies, thirty misdemeanors. Subsequently, on 1/19/18, the prosecution dropped charges against 129 defendants. This is a huge victory!

But the fight isn’t over yet as 59 people still face decades in prison; With the next round of trials set to start on April 17th, 2018. Now is the time to keep the pressure on the District of Columbia US Attorney’s Office. We know this is a case of political targeting, and we must demand that the remaining 59 defendants get their charges dropped! We are asking that everyone call the US Attorney’s office from 9am-5pm on 4/2/18 and 4/3/18 and tell them to DROP THE CHARGES against ALL the remaining defendants!

Now is the time to keep up the pressure! The US Attorney’s office can decide to drop the charges at any time; let’s make sure they can’t get any other work done until they do! We’re asking people to call the desks of:

  • Jennifer Kerkhoff – Lead Prosectuor on the case, Deputy Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section (202) 252-7380
  • Lisa Greene – The Deputy Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7485
  • Richard Tischner – The Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7274
  • US Attorney for DC Jessie Liu – The person in charge of the US Attorney’s office, a Trump appointee (202) 252-7566
  • Rizwan Qureshi – Assistant J20 prosecutor (general line – use directory/operator) (202) 252-7679
  • John Gidez – The Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section, Kerkhoff’s colleague (202) 252-6752
  • John Borchert – Assistant J20 prosecutor (esp. Dreamhost and Facebook warrants) (202) 252-7679

Call-in Script:

For maximum impact: Make it personal. Why are you upset? Let them respond. Make it a conversation. Ask them what they plan to do in response to public comment. End with a clear call to action. Here’s a sample script to get you started!:

Hello. My name is __________.

I am calling because I’ve seen in the news that 59 Inauguration protesters are still facing trumped-up criminal charges. In light of the first trial’s outcome–where the judge threw out one charge for complete lack of evidence, and the jury handed down NOT-GUILTY verdicts for the rest, as well as the subsequent 129 dropped cases that followed. — I ask that your office drop the remaining charges.

Over the last year, these prosecutions have pushed every limit:

  • using over-inflated charges, some of which were not even real, to intimidate and coerce plea deals,
  • issuing gag orders to shield law enforcement from public accountability,
  • making these prosecutions as disruptive as possible, and the investigations surrounding this case as intrusive as possible

Most defendants will wait more than a year for their day in court – under the constant threat of decades in prison.

Prosecutors have the choice of when or how to bring charges, and the responsibility for how that power is used. Your office has abused that power to punish, repress, and intimidate.

Drop the charges now.

Note: Some callers to AUSA Kerkoff in January found her to be argumentative, and may treat the call similarly to her courtroom presentation. Please be aware that your calls are likely recorded and we do not advise answering any questions about your identity. Please use your best discretion if referencing anything that occurred on January 20th so as to not negatively impact the ongoing case.

Sign up for a time slot at

New York: IWW Wins Half-Million Dollar Backpay Settlement

What follows is an update on the IWW campaign at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, where wobblies have waged on ongoing campaign. To hear our podcast interview with someone from the campaign, go here.

Stardust Family United, a solidarity union of the Industrial Workers of the World, has claimed a huge victory over the repressive owner of Ellen’s Stardust Diner (home of the world famous singing waitstaff), Ken Sturm. In the largest settlement received by the IWW in recent history, Sturm has succumbed to the will of his workers and started payment of almost half a million dollars in back wages.

In September, just one week before a scheduled hearing to settle allegations of 19 Unfair Labor Practices, including illegal surveillance of employees engaged in protected concerted activity, the interrogation of employees regarding union activity, and the unlawful termination of thirty-one employees for organizing, Sturm reluctantly offered reinstatement to all thirty-one employees and agreed to cease harassment and surveillance of the union. Although the employer also agreed to pay back wages, it should come as no surprise that Sturm strung his former employees along for another four months, through the holiday season, before finally bowing to the power of the workers and starting payment of the $490,000 he owes them.

Stardust Family United was formed in 2016, in an effort to fight for the underserved employees of Ellen’s Stardust Diner in their struggle against the unfair, unsafe, and unlawful labor practices of their employer. Blatant disregard for the workers’ well-being ranged from ignoring pleas to fix dangerous equipment in the shop, resulting in multiple injuries on the job, to bullying tactics designed to shut down communication between employees. Undeterred, the members of SFU waged a struggle in the shop, in the streets, and in the courtroom. By refusing unsafe or unpaid work, the singing servers have dramatically improved conditions on the job. Through protests, pickets, and walkouts, they placed pressure on the boss to re-hire the illegally terminated workers. And despite Sturm’s repeated attempts to break their spirit with shameful tactics, from hateful “anonymous” text messages to false allegations in a NY Post article, SFU has stood their ground every single time. And every single time, they’ve won.

With invaluable support from the One Big Union, SFU has been relentless in holding Sturm and his army of corrupt lawyers and dictatorial managers accountable for their actions. Now that back wages are being paid to those illegally terminated, an injustice has been righted.

Call-In to Support Incarcerated Folks at Nash CI

Image result for iwoc

An incarcerated IWOC member asks for support in the form of a call-in campaign in North Carolina.

Support incarcerated folks in Nash Correctional Institution in Nashville, North Carolina by calling-in and speaking out against the Warden and the dangerous environment being created within the prison walls.

Message from an Anonymous Incarcerated Worker:

“I do need you and the other workers to help me help these guys here at Nash Prison. This warden that’s running this place is treating the people and prisoners like slaves. He is putting the Willie Lynch down on staff and prisoners, he is making this prison unsafe for his staff and prisoners. Every day he is pushing us trying to make us go off so he can keep us locked down in our cells all day. Right now he is running this place like close custody prison, locking our cell doors while we are in the block, tell his staff to open the door every hour or so. I need all IWW to help us here…Tell the union. This will help get things back to the way it should be and stop this guy from treating his staff and prisoners like slaves.”

Numbers to call:

Secretary of Public Safety: (919) 733-2126
Adult correction chief deputy and chief of prisons: (919) 838-4000
Community Corrections: (919) 716-3010

Call-In Script:

“I’m calling because we’ve received word that the warden of Nash Correctional Institution is deliberately creating an unsafe environment for both inmates and staff. We suggest he be disciplined and his actions investigated.”

PLEASE BE AWARE that these calls will, at the very least, be aggravating to staff and will disrupt their work day which may lead to aggravated responses. Because of this, the call-in may require varying degrees of emotional labor depending on staff responses.

Montreal: IWW Action Following Wave of Abusive Firings at Heritage Coffee

The following report comes from the Montreal branch of the IWW, and details a picket action against a coffee shop who fired two wobblies for union organizing.

Wednesday February 28th, the Montreal branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (SITT-IWW) started a picket line in front of the distribution centre Heritage Coffee, situated at 5715 chemin Saint-François in Ville Saint-Laurent. This picket line follows the firing of two workers, members of the SITT-IWW, for union organizing. A lot of members called on Monday to communicate to the employer their frustration towards this decision that goes completely against the most fundamental rights of the workers.

Friday February 23rd, around the end of her shift, Tessa Mascia was asked to come in the office of the Chief Operating Officer where she was fired. “The COO handed me a letter and said I was fired. I thought he was joking. He said he was not. He said “it just wasn’t working out,” like he was some teen kid breaking up with a high school hook up.” explains Tessa. The worker was however a good employee. She had one of the highest levels of productivity among her coworkers and was just certified to operate a forklift merely weeks prior. On Monday, February 26th, Kyle Shaw-Müller, another union member, was fired without even receiving a termination letter. He was asked to come into the office of the director after he trying to convince his colleagues to ask the employer to reverse his decision to fire Tessa. “I knew I was putting myself on the line: but to be fired without warning for talking to someone about another firing? Shocking.”

After numerous calls on Monday, a picket and a meeting with negotiators from the union, the employer is still refusing to cancel his illegal and rash decision. The Industrial Workers of the World will therefore not only call upon the legal means at its disposal, but will also mobilize the strength of its membership (Canadian and International) to change the employer’s mind.

The Industrial Workers of the World has many branches around the world, including one that is based in Montreal. Its members are working towards the construction of a union model based on robust working class solidarity, known as Solidarity Unionism. This model is characterized today by a focus on direct action at the workplace, as exemplified in our campaigns at Starbucks Coffee in the United-States or at Frite-Alors! in Quebec. The Union will continue in the creation and deployment of determined flash mobilization networks directly focused at the workplace in solidarity with workers under attack.

West Virginia Teachers have Ignited a Fire, and It’s Spreading

An update from the West Virginia Industrial Workers of the World about how the spirit of the strike in West Virginia is spreading. To hear our last audio report with someone in the WV IWW, go here.

As of March 5th, the statewide teacher’s strike in West Virginia will be entering it’s 8th day over 3 school weeks. Teachers launched their statewide strike despite threats from West Virginia’s Attorney General that it would be declared illegal, and they’ve stayed on strike despite an ‘agreement’ between the Governor and the unions leaders that would have left other public-sector workers behind. The unity and solidarity of West Virginia teachers has become a strong example across West Virginia and the entire country.

Senate Reneges on the Deal

The original ‘deal’ that the governor and union leaders struck was to give a 5% raise to teachers and 3% to all other state workers, in return for the teachers returning to work. However this ‘deal’ still hadn’t gone through the legislature, and the teachers voted with their feet to remain on strike. For many teachers, it seems that the biggest issue was not about a raise, it was about the public employee’s insurance program, and they felt that returning to work would be selling out other state employees. They also wisely acknowledged that the legislature hadn’t even agreed to the Governor’s deal, and might not.

In fact, on Saturday, the West Virginia Senate rejected the proposed 5% pay raise and dropped it to 4%, which the House rejected. The teacher’s aren’t accepting that, and are planning to remain on strike.

Communication Workers Strike Across West Virginia

As of March 4th, workers at Frontier Communication have gone on strike across all of West Virginia. It seems undeniable that the example of the teachers has given them a huge example of the power of a mass strike. Teachers are definitely seeing the Frontier Strike as related to their own and trying to figure out how to build solidarity between striking teachers and striking education workers. We are hoping that education workers are just the start towards a general strike of all workers in West Virginia.

Teachers in Oklahoma and Other States Begin Discussing Statewide Strikes

Over the weekend it also came out that there was significant talk about a statewide strike from teachers in Oklahoma. At least 25,000 teachers have joined a secret Facebook group calling for a statewide walkout. This would be a huge for West Virginia, Oklahoma, and the entire country. Teachers in West Virginia and elsewhere have been very excited about this, immediately linking up the #55Strong hashtag with #77Strong (referring to the number of counties in West Virginia and Oklahoma respectively).

What’s Next?

The West Virginia Teacher’s Strike has already turned itself into a model for teachers across the US and the world. There are real possibilities for this strike to continue to spread, across West Virginia as well as along teachers across the country. For people from outside West Virginia, we think the most important thing to do now would be to make contacts with education workers in your states and help them figure out how to support the strike in West Virginia, as well as spread it to other states.

How To Support and Spread the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike

What follows is a list of resources about how to spread and build the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike.

The teachers strike in West Virginia is continuing to evolve, several days after the union bureaucrats tried to call it off. Teachers voted today to occupy the capitol, although that did not end up happening. We are seeing the teachers continuing to run their own strike and give an example of what real #resistance looks like to the rest of the country and the world! The working class solidarity we are seeing as people run food distribution, take care of children, and spread the strike will be an inspiration for years. The spirit of Blair Mountain lives!

Come Out!

For people within driving distance of West Virginia, we warmly invite you to come here and talk with teachers and other people in the community wherever you can, and bring agitational materials with you. There will be a lot happening in Charleston, but it will also be valuable to go to other parts of the state if you can. Now is an important time to talk with other working-class people across this state about how they can support the teachers strike, and how they can unite their own struggles with the teachers strike. If you’re able to go but need help with gas or printing costs, let us know. Let’s figure out how to spread the strike to teacher’s 2nd jobs!


For people further from West Virginia, we strongly encourage you to begin talking in your communities about how you can support this strike and learn from it, education workers in particular. If possible, organize mass meetings of education workers to talk about next steps in your area. We’ve already heard of this happening in other states! If you want to do this and aren’t sure how, contact us or your local IWW group. The efforts of the rich to destroy public education are not limited to West Virginia. Don’t let WV Strike alone – now more than ever we need a coast-to-coast strike of education workers!


The official IWW West Virginia fund is located here.

Strike fund for West Virginia teachers is here.


You can also follow us at: or

Contact us at:


Spread the following memes on social media. Also, print out and put up this poster in support of the strike!