Radical media, politics and culture.


"N.Y.U. Moves to Disband Graduate Students Union"

Karen W. Arenson

New York University is moving to close down its graduate students union at the end of the summer, the labor movement's only toehold among graduate students at private universities.

Union officials quickly attacked N.Y.U. 's plan and vowed to fight the university in any way they could.

"Toni Negri: Against the Empire ... For a Capitalist Europe!"

Roberto Sarti

In the run up to the [French EU] referendum a very popular intellectual, Toni Negri, decided to weigh in for the debate. Negri has now put himself on the same side as Chirac and Raffarin, the French bosses and the worst social democratic reformists, and come out in favour of a "yes" vote.

UNITE HERE Local 100 writes:
On February 1, 2005, Cablevision cut off union health insurance for over two hundred Madison Square Garden workers and their families. This is part of Cablevision's attempt to force these workers to agree to changes in their contract that would cut work opportunities, health insurance and pension benefits for many employees. Many workers at Madison Square Garden already earn less than $10 an hour.

Three days after Cablevision cut off union health insurance for its employees at Madison Square Garden, it made a $600 million bid to develop the West Side rail yard.

alavio writes:
Another Attack on Zanon Occupied Factory

By Grupo Alavío

The workers of Zanon and other social organizations mobilized in front of the central courthouse on April 21 to defend their factory against mounting attacks. At a moment when the courts and government must make a “political and legal decision” concerning the ceramics factory that has been producing under worker control since 2001 – legal attacks, death threats and physical attacks against the workers have increased.

hydrarchist writes: this is from the most recent issue of the multilingual webzine republicart themed around guess what... the Precariat.

A Callcenter In London — A Montage

Marion Hamm


"Precarisation" is what the mobilisations for EuroMayday (1) and many publications (2) about the issue of precarity come up with in their search for a missing link between very different life situations in neoliberalised Empire – and maybe even a basis for a shared, radical consciousness. The picture emerging from writings about cognitariat and migration, from the struggles of the US-based "Justice for Janitors" campaign and the intermittents in France, from the intoxicating demonstrations (3) of the EuroMayday Parades and their connectedness with mobilisations for migrant rights, seems to lend justification to the more theoretical reflections.

Nate writes:
Long live the Great Precariat Alliance... and long live the social
precariat's european bio-union

The demonstration saturday [November 6] in Rome has marked the
beginning of a new campaign of union and social mobilization. This
campaign has a transeuropean reach, it breaks with the traditional
sectorial unionism, making the new contradictions of political social
action manifest.

If anyone has found interesting new material on the IWW amidst the research prompted by the centenary please submit them!

Flavia Alaya writes:

"One Big Union": The Dream, the Reality, the History
The IWW and a Century of Radical Labor Activism, 1905-2005

A Conference and a Celebration
Saturday, May 7, 2005
Paul Robeson Campus Center
Rutgers University, Newark Campus
350 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Newark, NJ

The New Jersey May Day Committee is at it again! Founded last year (when we organized a spirited worker history roundtable and tour in Paterson), we've now taken on a bigger event: a full-day, super-gala conference that will commemorate and celebrate the first hundred years of the Industrial Workers of the World--"the Wobblies"--founded in Chicago in 1905, and attempt to put a century of radical worker activism into historical and activist perspective.

revolution_reversal writes:
No Canadian Bullets in Iraq! March on SNC shareholders meeting

Thursday, May 5

Meet 10am @ Metro Hall

55 John St. (outside St. Andrew Subway station)

On Thursday May 5th the shareholders of SNC-Lavalin, one of Canada's largest corporations, will be meeting in Toronto.

SNC-TEC (a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin) has a contract to manufacture 300-500 million bullets for the U.S. military over the next few years. These are bullets that will be used in Iraq - bullets that will surely kill and wound thousands of innocent people. The US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq has already killed more than 100,000 civilians and continues to destroy Iraqi lives. Canadian support for this occupation cannot be tolerated.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

Fifth Estate Plans Special "Wobblies and Work" Issue

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The IWW is the oldest anti-capitalist trade union federation in history. Their mission, the abolition of the wage system, still holds today; their practice of justice and fairness and their commitment to worker empowerment serves as a model for all trade unions.

Fifth Estate will be joining in this centenary celebration by dedicating its Fall issue to the topic of “"Wobblies and Work.”"

We are looking for original articles on the history of the IWW, as well as articles that address the contemporary international radical labor milieu. Submissions of art and images are always welcome. Possible topics include work and anti-work, the unethical nature of the Protestant work ethic, the right to be lazier, proletarian lifestyles, sub-proletarian subcultures, underemployment, unemployment, worker’'s comp scams, workplace sabotage, shopfloor shenanigans, lockouts, factory occupations, slackers, and hobos. We are also interested in hearing about the worst job you ever had and how great it was to quit.

Feature articles and essays: 1500-4000 words
News, reviews, and reports: 800 words


Fifth Estate

Peter Waterman writes:

"From ‘Decent Work’ to ‘The Liberation of Time from Work’:
Reflections on Work, Emancipation, Utopia and the Global Justice and Solidarity Movement"
Peter Waterman, Global Solidarity Dialogue Group

1. Introduction

"Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number —
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you —
Ye are many — they are few." — P. B. Shelley, "The Mask of Anarchy," 1819.

"A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias." — Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891.

"The Future Is Not What It Used To Be." — Cited Sousa Santos 1995:479.

I want to here comment on a number of historical and contemporary understandings of work and workers, represented in the quotations below. I want to comment more particularly on the utopian ones. Utopian ideas have always been central to or lain beneath emancipatory movements, particular labour and socialist ones in their emancipatory moments (Beilharz 1992). I want, even more specifically, to comment on this problematic in relation to the World Social Forum (WSF), or to the Global Justice and Solidarity Movement (GJ&SM) in general. Because, at least with the Forum, we are confronted with the problem of an event largely dominated by a position on work that is quite literally pro-capitalist, whilst so far providing little hearing for any specific utopian (post-capitalist) position on such.


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