strikes, barricades: the people who work with cloth

09.09.2011 § Leave a comment

All around the world, people working with textiles (a feminized sector) are  striking and shit – in China, a lingerie factory is on strike against their death-making wage; in Egypt, the largest textile factory is threatening serious strike; in Nigeria, ex-textile workers are protesting non-payment:

Coalition of textile workers laid off about 10 years ago protested yesterday over non-payment of entitlements and gratuity accrued to them to the tune of N7 billion. The textile workers, therefore, gave the Federal Government seven-day ultimatum to pay the money.

The protesting ex-workers said if the government failed, they would mobilize over 7, 000 of their members to take to the streets.
The aggrieved workers, who barricaded the entrance of the closed Kaduna Textile Limited yesterday, were carrying placards with different inscriptions ranging from; ‘we are dying of hunger’, ‘pay us our benefits’ and ‘our children are engaging in prostitution’, among others.

Speaking through the coalition’s Chairman, Wordam Simdik, the protesting textile workers from Kaduna Textile Limited, Arewa Textile Limited, Nortex and Finetex, said after the closure of the companies in 2002 and 2003 respectively, they had been left with no terminal benefit and gratuity which had led to the death of 2, 700 of their members.



ROUNDUP: Chile student riots; solidarity sabotage in the Bronx; Nigerian militant resistance; riot and repression in China; UK police station firebombed

10.08.2011 § 2 Comments

the signalfire is ablaze…



Violence erupted on the streets of Chile’s capital and other cities as tens of thousands of students staged another protest demanding changes in public education.

Masked demonstrators burned cars and barricades, looted shops and threw furniture at police in Santiago on Tuesday. Some attacked an apartment building, throwing rocks and breaking windows. Riot police used tear gas and tanks with water cannons to push them back.

As in previous demonstrations, protesters danced, sang, wore costumes and waved signs. But then groups of masked protesters split off and tried to break through police barricades blocking the way to the presidential palace.


As 45,000 Verizon (NYSE: VZ) employees remain on strike, the company reported that it has seen at least 12 acts of sabotage to communications facilities in four states. Some of the damage to its network has resulted in outages for its FiOS TV, Internet and phone services.

Verizon said it has seen 10 incidents of fiber-optic lines being cut in the Bronx, Pomona, Farmingdale and Guilderland in New York, in addition to incidents in Tewksbury, Mass., Bel Air, Md., and East Dover, Oakland, and Plainfield, N.J. The company blamed one outage on electronic equipment that was stolen from a Cedar Grove, N.J. facility, and it said the heating system at its central office in Manhattan was tampered with.


NO fewer than 20 youths were Tuesday arrested by  Ondo State Police flowing a violent protest over power outages in  Oke Aro area of Akure, the State capital.

As early as 6am some miscreants said to be protesting lack of power supply in the area of  barricaded major streets and allegedly manhandled innocent people and vandalized several vehicles.

The protesters were said to have also stormed the office of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in Oke Aro, during the protest that lasted for over four hours.

Road users were held hostage for hours as the miscreants barricaded the roads and threatened to set vehicles and other government property ablaze.


About ten thousand people in China’s Hunan province took to the streets on Aug. 4 to protest the construction of a toxic waste incinerator near their town’s water supply. Several protesters were beaten bloody by police, while irate villagers beat up the vice mayor.


A police station in Nottingham was firebombed on Tuesday night as violence also hit Liverpool, Leicester, Bristol and Leeds.

Canning Circus police station in Nottingham was attacked by a gang of 30 to 40 men but no injuries were reported, according to Nottinghamshire police. The force said at least eight people were arrested in connection with the attack.

Around the same time, a number of cars were firebombed at a car lot in Carlton Road in the city.

The violence followed the arrest of 10 youths earlier in the evening after a small group of people got on to the roof of one of the buildings at Nottingham High School. In another incident two men, aged 17 and 18, were arrested after rocks were thrown at Bulwell Police Station in the city.

“Women were betrayed by the revolution they helped to make” – Gender, Class and Security Politics in Iran

06.04.2011 § Leave a comment

Fabulous article just finished, focuses intensively on role of women and labor in recent uprisings as well as Iranian revolution. Some passages excerpted below.

New Middle Eastern Uprisings: Gender, Class and Security Politics in Iran

” The two groups that most contested Khomeini’s consolidation of power were women and labor. Iranian women were at the forefront of the struggle to overthrow the Shah; they participated in leftist guerilla struggle as well as in the mass demonstrations that formed the iconic images and collective strength of the revolution. Women’s experience of making the revolution empowered them to launch the modern Iranian feminist movement in its immediate aftermath. Missing from most histories and timelines are a series of marches and sit-ins organized and led by women demanding that gender equality be written into the new post-revolutionary constitution. On International Women’s Day, March 8, 1979, just weeks after the revolution had triumphed, tens of thousands of womenfrom all classes, some veiled, some nottook to the streets. “We didn’t make a revolution to go backwards,” they chanted. For Iranian women, a new phase of struggle against new state forms of patriarchy began at the very moment when the struggle for national liberation was over, when Khomeini told everyone to stop protesting and go home. They marched for days against Khomeini’s draconian family law and mandatory veiling and sat in at the Ministry of Justice. On March 9, Khomeini revoked the mandatory veil decree, only reinstituting it after discrediting the women as corrupted by Western-influenceand then driving them off the streets with violent repression.

Women were betrayed by the revolution they helped to make. Subsequent generations of women’s rights activists have taken this legacy seriously and drawn the lesson that national self-determination in no way guarantees self-determination for women (a reversal of the common wisdom at the time). Significantly, among the first groups of Iranians, if not the first, to express solidarity with the Tunisian revolution, was the women’s movement, which issued a statement excerpted here:
“Tunisian women’s rights activists should know that what they manage to accomplish in their quest for democracy and the equality of women will significantly impact the region and serve as a model for us all. Today, a gain for the women of Tunisia is a gain for all the nations in the region and for all women in Islamic countries.” 

The above clip summarizes the work of a
grassroots feminist campaign in Iran from 2005-2008.
Iranian women were out in front of the riot squads in 2009 and joined the protests again this past week despite the violence. The women’s movement struggles to find ways of injecting feminist politics into the broader struggle. This is, of course, not an easy task but activists have continued to organize under severe repression. All of the major feminist leaders are in jail or exile, but new leaders have stepped up and the decentralized structure and word-of-mouth strategies enable the work to go on.
Also rarely mentioned in references to the Iranian revolution is the role of labor. Not only were there strikes in every sector of the economy in 1979, including most decisively a protracted strike by oil workers at the Abadan refinery (one of the world’s largest at that time), but workers formed their own councils, or shoras, to coordinate their activities and put forward demands. [2] Again, the experience of making the revolution translated into demands that could not be met within the framework of patriarchal capitalism that Khomeini was attempting to consolidate. Instead, workers demands revealed competing definitions of what an Islamic Republic should look like. On March 1, 1979, less two weeks after the revolution had been victorious, the Founding Council of the Iranian National Workers’ Union issued 24 demands including: “government recognition of theshoras; the expulsion of all foreign and Iranian capitalists and expropriation of their capitals in the interests of all workers; and the inclusion of workers’ shoras in industrial decisions such as investment and the general conditions of the plant, as well as buying, selling, pricing and the distribution of profit.” [3]

More nurse resistance: Warsaw Nurses Occupy, Strike, Starve.

23.03.2011 § Leave a comment

Casualized Nurses, Tenants….  The Precariat is rising up….


A group of nurses have occupied the gallery of the Polish Parliament (the Sejm) to protest the casualization of their profession…

Besides the protest of angry nurses, tenants activists disrupted the City Council yesterday, telling the politicians that they should go home. ZSP and the Tenants Defense Committee recently announced that they would boycott meetings with city authorities who don’t intend to change anything and reiterated that they do not recognize the legitimacy of the local government. They are calling for popular control of public housing and informing that it would help people who cannot get housing to set up home in vacant units.

Tensions were particularly high after the murder of a housing activist from the Warsaw Tenants Association, which also took part in yesterday’s protest. The tenants groups blame the politicians for pushing through more and more inhuman turbocapitalist acts and chanelling the budget and their energies into projects beneficial for a small elite.

Besides these two actions in Warsaw, there has been an increase in labor protests this month, with large protests of postal workers and miners and serious threats of strikes on the railways, some educational institutions and in the Fiat plant in Tychy.

Read full article here: Warsaw Nurses occupy


When women intervene, something more than class relation appears… (Feminized Labor unrest in Kenya, Indonesia, Pakistan, Zambia)

22.03.2011 § Leave a comment

“A struggle of women, even with ordinary demands which
are themselves not particularly “feminine” (wages, working
conditions, layoffs…) is never just a struggle or a strike, but
always a struggle or a strike by women. In fact, the contradiction
between men and women is never absent, whether it is
addressed as such or just present in the themes. All women’s
movements bring to the table (or just make apparent) the
question of the separation of the private and public spheres
(to challenge their separation is to challenge their very existence,
which is nothing if not separate) constituting the
wage relation; the question of subsistence, of solidarity and
of unproductive-reproductive labor, that is to say, the organization
of life despite exchange; the question of sexuality (an
ostensible public appearance is always attached to a deviant
sexuality); and finally the pleasure of being together not only
as female workers or employees, but as women….

In their own struggles or in that of male workers, when women
intervene, even in the direct expression of ordinary demands,
a different dimension, something other than the reflexive
game between the classes, always appears.”

— TC: “Comrades, But Women”

Nurses and midwives are staging-go slows and inciting strikes in Kenya and Indonesia; women faced with the paticular oppressions of feminized labor in Pakistan and Zambia are pissed and rising up:

The 180 nurses at the hospital staged the go-slow on 16 March to protest at being overworked and the withholding of their uniform and other allowances by the hospital’s management

— KENYA: Nurse’s go-slow

Eight nurses and midwives have been arrested in Jayapura for their
involvement in a strike that resulting in a halt to services at the
general hospital in Jayapura. They face charges of inciting their
colleagues to take part in a strike.

INDONESIA (Jayapura) Nurses and Midwives arrested for inciting strike

Sindh Labour Minister Ameer Nawab said home-based workers, an overwhelming majority of whom were women, were not only paid less but they also did not have any job security. Besides, since they were not considered workers in the legal term, they could not get registered with various social security schemes of the government.

— PAKISTAN: Policy for Home-based Workers Sought

“Many women have been flocking our office with numerous complaints of alleged poor condition of services. Many have complained that they were working under harsh condition of services and in some case they were dismissed without any benefits despite the years they have served,” she said.

Mrs Tonga appealed to the ministry of Labour and Social Security to intervene in the matter.

And Chipata Muslim Association of Zambia vice chairperson Aiyub Mogra said his association had not received such complaints from the maids.

“Maids have never complained of their alleged poor conditions of service to the association. We are not aware of complaints,” he said

East Women’s Lobby Bemoans Poor Work Conditions for Domestic Workers

Can a General Strike have a gender analysis? Can a General Strike help destroy white society? Plus: Austerity Stats!

09.03.2011 § 1 Comment

So there’v been sum posters done to push for general strike


Drooker for IWW


pretty one, anon?

But like, it also just so happens that the people who the cuts are targeting are women in general, black women in particular, and POC in general.  Should the form of the General Strike be adequate to this reality? Could it be?

Some people have been doing some sweet stats on this stuff. 23.3 percent of black women work in the public sector, the highest percentage of any group in the US, and so will be hit disproportionately. If we only look at states that are seriously in crisis, then the percentages go way up —

It’s hard to escape the fact that, in the states and localities with the biggest budget crunches (New Jersey, California, New York…) public employees are uniquely black.

Who are all these evil public workers? Black people.

appears that public sector job and benefit cuts will be centrally to women-dominated fields, while the fields most male-dominated are being generally left untouched:

If we focus on public sector employees at the local level, it becomes clear that women and their families will receive the brunt of the effects of these anti-union bills floating around state capitols in the Midwest. The most common occupation for local public sector women workers is elementary and middle school teachers (22 percent).  The most common occupation for local public sector male workers? Police and sheriff’s patrol officers, a group whose union representatives would be excluded from proposed legislation.

Whats at Stake for Women Workers in Wisconsin

see also:

Attack on Public Employees Deals a Sharp Blow to Blacks

thorough statistical report on Women and Men’s employment in the public sector: Women and Men in the Public Sector

Italian feminists: putting the mother/whore binary on blast since ’77

21.02.2011 § Leave a comment

On the italian women’s recent insurgence contra berlusconi:

“The recent scandals involving the PM reveal a squalid picture of corruption, in which the woman’s role is defined by the worst possible stereotypes and expressions of an archaic and vulgar sexism. On the other hand though, some of the recent mobilisation address their appeals only to “good” women: mothers, wives, working women. “

by Italian feminist group Le Malifiche, via ludmila

hollerin back at ya:

The revolts of the 1970s and in particular the ones that took place in Italy in 1977 aired all sorts of dirty laundry that no political or biological family knew how to clean anymore: colonialism, whose racist heritage was doing rather well, after all, sexism, which only looked healthier after 1968, the “free” spaces of extra-parliamentary cells which had become micro-fascist breeding grounds, the “emancipation” through work that was a postmodern version of Daddy and Grandpa’s slavery, and so on.

What triumphed was the sentiment of having been fooled and having received, in a rural and underdeveloped Europe, an outdated kit for the American way of life of the 1950s, while in the U.S. people were spitting on consumerism and the family and fighting to bring the Vietnam War home. These movements were unique, insofar as they did not fit into the sociological categories usually employed to mystify uprisings. In Italy a “diffused irrationalism” was spoken of, because young people refused to work and rejected the emerging global petit-bourgeoisie, believing in neither what society said of them nor the future they were offered.

The fact that these years of unheard-of collective creative fertility, both in terms of life forms and intellectual production, passed into the history books as “the years of lead” tells us a lot about what we are supposed to forget.

The feminist movement triggered this transformation, which dissolved all the old groups that had channeled energies since ’68. “No more mothers, wives and daughters: let’s destroy the families!” was the cry heard in the street. People were no longer demanding rights from the state but making an affirmation of foreignness in regard to the state of the world, an affirmation which made itself heard: nobody wanted to be included to be discriminated on a new basis. These movements were manifestations of the human strike.”

—- Claire Fontaine, “Ready-Made Artist and Human Strike: A few Clarifications”

and if that wasn’t enough, get Claire Fontaine’s “Human Strike Within the Field of the Libidinal Economy” HERE

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