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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Department 100 - Agriculture and Fisheries

Industrial Workers of the World - Department 100 - Agriculture and Fisheries

This is the news page for Department 100 - Agriculture and Fisheries. This page displays *all* news items from this Department and its Unions. To see news only from a particular Union, click on the Union title below. For an overview of the IWW's Union st


Gunkist Oranges

Sun, 13 Sep 2015 17:35:38 +0000

By Gustavo Arellano - Orange County Weekly, June 8, 2006

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

(image) BITE ON

Seventy years ago this week, Orange County’s most brutally suppressed strike began with a bite.

On June 15, 1936, at the break of dawn, about 200 Mexican women gathered in Anaheim to preach the gospel of huelga—strike. Four days earlier, about 2,500 Mexican naranjeros representing more than half of Orange County’s crucial citrus-picking force dropped their clippers, bags and ladders to demand higher wages, better working conditions and the right to unionize.

The women spread across the groves of Anaheim, the heart of citrus country, urging workers to let the fruit hang. Twenty Anaheim police officers confronted the women; they refused to disperse. At some point there was an altercation, and 29-year-old Placentia resident Virginia Torres bit the arm of Anaheim police officer Roger Sherman. Police arrested Torres, along with 30-year-old Epifania Marquez, who tried to yank a strikebreaker—a scab—from a truck by grabbing onto his suspenders.

Little else is known about the Fort Sumter of Orange County—newspaper accounts say only that Torres and Marquez received jail sentences of 60 and 30 days, respectively. But Orange County responded with an organized wrath years in the planning. Growers enlisted the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion to guard fields. They evicted families of strikers from their company-owned houses. The English-language press became a bulletin board for the growers—The Santa Ana Register, for instance, described the 200 Mexican women in Anaheim as “Amazons with fire of battle in their eyes.”

Orange County Sheriff Logan Jackson deputized citrus orchard guards and provided them with steel helmets, shotguns and ax handles. The newly minted cops began arresting strikers en masse, more than 250 by strike’s end. When that didn’t stop the strike, they reported workers to federal immigration authorities. When that didn’t work, out came the guns and clubs. Tear gas blossomed in the groves. Mobs of citrus farmers and their supporters attacked under cover of darkness.

What county residents tried to dismiss as a fruitless strike quickly escalated into a full-fledged civil war in which race and class were inseparable. The Mexicans of Orange County, the county’s historical source of cheap labor, were finally asking for better working conditions; their gabacho overlords wouldn’t hear it. And so both sides fought for a month until the lords of Orange County won.

Wonder why Orange County trembles whenever its Mexicans protest? Welcome to the Citrus War of 1936, the most important event in Orange County history you’ve never heard of.

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The IWW And Earth First!: Part 1 - Establishing Roots

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 23:22:21 +0000

By X344543 - Industrial Worker, May 1988. Dedicated to Franklin Rosemont, Carlos Cortez, and Utah Phillips.

(image) Judi Bari was both an Earth First!er and a Wobbly from 1988 to 1993 and during that time there was a close alliance between the two organizations. Although some assume she brought the two together, the truth is more complex. When Judi Bari joined Earth First! and the IWW in the summer of 1988, Earth First!ers and Wobblies were already discussing the idea of forging an alliance. There are many reasons for this, but the overarching explanation is that Earth First! and the IWW are really different manifestations of thesame revolutionary impulse.

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Federal Court Orders FBI To Turn Over Evidence for Independent Forensic Analysis in 1990 Judi Bari Car Bombing Case

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 21:25:16 +0000

Note: Judi Bari was a dues paying member of the IWW from 1988-94 and active in the IWW when the bombing on May 24, 1990 took place.

By Ben Rosenfeld - April 2, 2012

(image) In an order dated March 31, 2012 and released today, Honorable Claudia Wilken, United States District Judge of the Northern District of California, affirmed a March 21, 2011 Order by Magistrate Judge James Larson, directing the United States, through the FBI, to turn over evidence in the 1990 car bomb assassination attempt of Judi Bari in Oakland, CA to a third party forensic laboratory for independent testing.

"This is a historic and momentous development", said Ben Rosenfeld, attorney for plaintiff Darryl Cherney, Judi Bari's co-organizer in the sustained campaign to preserve California's ancient redwoods, who was also injured when the bomb went off. Cherney went to Court in 2010 to prevent the FBI from destroying the evidence. That evidence includes a mostly intact explosive device built by the same hands as the car bomb, a cardboard sign, and latent fingerprints.

The FBI never subjected this evidence to basic forensic examination. Its lawyers contacted Cherney's lawyers in 2010 announcing plans to destroy the evidence. In 2002, an Oakland federal jury found three FBI agents and three Oakland police officers liable for violating Bari and Cherney's First and Fourth Amendment Rights in trying to frame them by falsely accusing them of transporting the bomb which nearly killed them. The FBI never looked elsewhere.

Cherney alone has continued to pursue the bomber(s). With co-Director Mary Liz Thomson, he just released a new documentary entitled Who Bombed Judi Bari? The evidence, hitherto sealed away in an FBI locker, may finally yield an answer to that question.

Request a copy of the Court order via one of the contacts above, or look it up on PACER under federal Case No. 91-01057 (Document Number 686). For historic information about the case, visit

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Review: Who Bombed Judi Bari? - Film by Darryl Cherney and Mary Liz Thompson

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 02:32:36 +0000

By Fellow Worker x344543, March 11, 2012 I knew it was a bomb the second it exploded. I felt it rip through me with a force more powerful and terrible than anything I could imagine. It blew right through my car seat, shattering my pelvis, crushing my lower backbone, and leaving me instantly paralyzed. Slumped over in my seat, unable to move, I couldn’t feel my legs, but desperate pain filled my body. I didn’t know such pain existed. I could feel the life force draining from me, and I knew I was dying. I tried to think of my children’s faces to find a reason to stay alive, but the pain was too great, and I couldn’t picture them. I wanted to die. I begged the paramedics to put me out. --Judi Bari, 1994 Darryl Cherney's and Mary Liz Thompson's new documentary, Who Bombed Judi Bari? takes a thorough look at the deposition of the late Judi Bari as she testified, under oath, about the car bomb that nearly killed her and fellow organizer Darryl Cherney on May 24, 1990. Bari was both a radical environmentalist--having been a major figure in the Earth First! movement from 1988 until her death from cancer in 1997--and a class struggle unionist, having been a rank and file dissident in the Retail Clerks and Postal Workers Union in the 1970s. She was also a delegate and organizer in the IWw, having joined the One Big Union just after becoming active in Earth First! Bari intoduced class analysis and class struggle to the Earth First! movement in a whole new way, making it a point to focus efforts to preserve old growth redwood forests in northwestern California at the point of production, reasoning--rightfully so--that the (capitalist) system that exploits the earth is the very same which threatens the livelihoods of timber workers (it is also the same system that perpetuates racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression--a point that Bari made frequently). Because of Bari's efforts, Earth First! (and the IWW) in Humboldt and Mendocino COunties were able to somewhat effectively counteract the efforts by timber corporations like Georgia-Pacific, Louisiana-Pacific, and Maxxam to drive wedges between timber workers and environmentalists. At one point, Bari and fellow IWW organizer Anna Marie Stenberg even represented G-P Mill Workers in an Osha case against the company when their business union, IWA Local #3-469, collaborated with management against the workers. She also represented the widow of an L-P mill worker, Fortunado Reyes, who was killed in an accident in the non-union L-P mill in Ukiah. She worked with dissident Pacific-Lumber workers in raising awareness about Maxxam's takeover of that company and why the new regime was bad for both the forest and the workers. Due to her relations with timber workers, she convinced Earth First! in northern California and southern Oregon to renounce the tactic of tree spiking, which was of dubious effectiveness at saving forests and certainly hazardous to mill workers. She even convinced contract logger Ernie Pardini to conduct the very first tree sit by a logger in 1993. As Fellow IWW member and Earth First!er Darryl Cherney states in the film, "if there was one thing that corporate timber feared more than anything else, it was that radical environmentalists would unite with rank and file timber workers, and because of her effectiveness in doing that, Judi bari was targetted. She did something nobody else (in Earth First!) did, and that was organize rank and file mill workers into the IWW." The bombing took place in Oakland on May 24, 1990. The Oakland Police and the FBI named Bari and Cherney as the only suspects in the bombing that nearly took their own lives, arguing instead that the two knew they were carrying the bomb and were planning to use it in an act of "eco-terrorism". The evidence for such a plot is nonexistent, however, and in fact suggests that the FBI not new that these charges were false, but in fact deliberately lied about them to frame Bari and Ch[...]

Darryl Cherney wants FBI to hand over evidence

Thu, 09 Sep 2010 07:25:04 +0000

Note: Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were IWW members at the time of these events in 1990.

By Kevin Fagan, Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle - September 8, 2010; Reproduced in accordance with Fair Use Guidelines.

(image) It's an infamous case that never seems to go away, even after millions of dollars have been paid out in civil settlements and police say the trail has gone cold.

The case is the 1990 bombing in Oakland of Earth First environmental activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, who were nearly killed when a nail-studded explosive device blew up in their car.

Nobody was ever charged with the attack, and now, two decades later, the FBI wants to destroy the last bits of evidence it has been storing ever since the investigation dribbled dry - remnants of the bomb and one like it that blew up in a North Bay town a few days earlier.

Not so fast, says Cherney, 54, who has never given up trying to solve the case himself.

Saying in court briefs that the evidence "provides the last best hope for learning who bombed Judi Bari," Cherney and his lawyers were in federal court Wednesday in San Francisco to try to force the FBI to turn the evidence over to them so they can run DNA and other tests on it.

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Baltimore's Human Rights Zone - Pittsburgh Baltimore Bangladesh living wages now!

Wed, 29 Apr 2009 14:04:19 +0000

(image) Ten people from Pittsburgh traveled to Baltimore on April 18, 2009 for a B’More Fair and a Human Rights March hosted by the United Workers Association (UWA). The United Workers Association is the Human Rights Organization that organized the Camden Yards cleaners, part time workers, “temporary” workers hired through a contractor, by putting pressure on Maryland’s Stadium Authority and Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Oriels Baseball Club. They coined the terms “SweatFree Baseball” in reference to the sweatshop working conditions at Camden Yards at the same time as the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance (PASCA) coined the term in reference to its demand that the Pittsburgh Pirates accept the testimony of sweatshop workers sewing Pirates apparel. The UWA came to Pittsburgh for the All Star Game in 2006 and joined with PASCA to make the demand that our local baseball teams respect the Human Rights of all workers.

The UWA interviewed 150 workers at three restaurants in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor development. The interviews demonstrated systemic violations of workers’ rights such as poverty wages and sexual harassment. The UWA has begun to process these worker rights violations by using the International Declaration of Human Rights like a union contract. By declaring the Inner Harbor a Human Rights Zone, the restaurant bosses, the developer, the public officials who provided subsidies to the Inner Harbor developers and the Baltimore community is made aware that the workers know and intend to exercise their Human Rights to remedy violations of their rights.

The enforcement of workers’ Human Rights is different from traditional union organizing in that it emphasizes workers knowing their rights and exercising them rather than a union contract. The emphasis is not on achieving a union contract but on the community of workers that educate one another and provide support to one another on a daily basis.

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Immokalee Workers Take Down Taco Bell

Thu, 10 Nov 2005 20:19:00 +0000

Disclaimer - The following article is reposted here because it is an issue with some relevance to the IWW. The views of the author do not necessarily agree with those of the IWW and vice versa.

By Elly Leary - Monthly Review, October 2005

(image) On March 8, 2005, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in Immokalee, Florida won a significant victory. In a precedent-setting move, fast-food giant Yum! Brands Inc., the world’s largest restaurant corporation, agreed to all the farm workers’ demands (and more!) if the CIW would end the four-year-old boycott of its subsidiary Taco Bell. (Yum!, a spin off from Pepsi, includes Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, A&W, Long John Silver’s, and Pizza Hut franchises.) As United Farm Workers (UFW) president Arturo Rodriguez commented at the victory celebration, “It is the most significant victory since the successful grape boycott led by the UFW in the 1960s in the fields of California.”

El Acuerdo/The Agreement

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Free Speech Riots 1909 & 1911

Sat, 22 Oct 2005 08:10:00 +0000

Disclaimer - The following article is reposted here because it is an issue with some relevance to the IWW. The views of the author do not necessarily agree with those of the IWW and vice versa.

Riots: Part of your Vancouver heritage - By Michael Barnholden, Oct, 20 2005

“The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth. We find that the centring of the management of industries into fewer and fewer hands makes the trade unions unable to cope with the ever-growing power of the employing class. The trade unions foster a state of affairs which allows one set of workers to be pitted against another set of workers in the same industry, thereby helping defeat one another in wage wars. Moreover, the trade unions aid the employing class to mislead the workers into the belief that the working class have interests in common with their employers.

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Revolt of the "Timber Beasts" - IWW Lumber Strike in Minnesota

Sat, 22 Oct 2005 07:43:00 +0000

Disclaimer - The following article is reposted here because it is an issue with some relevance to the IWW. The views of the author do not necessarily agree with those of the IWW and vice versa.

The footnotes are unfortunately unavailable at this time.  We will add them as soon as we can locate them.

By John E. Haynes - Minnesota History Quarterly, Spring 1971 (Volume 42, number 5, pages 163-174)

(image) The brawny lumberjack who tells tall tales, fells giant trees, wears checkered shirts, and loves flapjacks is familiar in American folklore. This romantic image, though based partly on fact, glosses over dark and frightful features of the lumberjack's life that in 1917 prompted Minnesota's sons of Paul Bunyan to down their saws and axes and walk out of their camps. Led by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical labor group advocating industrial unions and the overthrow of capitalism through strikes, sabotage, and eventual revolution, the jacks' strike for a time paralyzed the lumber industry of northern Minnesota. The resolution of that strike helped redefine the boundcanes of permissible political and economic dissent in Minnesota, virtually erased the specter of strong IWW influence on the iron range, and served as a precedent for the state's treatment of dissenters during World War I. 1

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Radical Ecology and Class Struggle: A Re-Consideration

Sun, 07 Aug 2005 05:57:00 +0000

Disclaimer - The following article is reposted here because it is an issue with some relevance to the IWW.  The views of the author and the publisher do not necessarily agree with those of the IWW and vice versa.

By Jeff Shantz (Toronto-NEFAC)


(image) In recent years a variety of social movement and environmental commentators have devoted a great deal of energy to efforts which argue the demise of class struggle as a viable force for social change (See Eckersley, 1990; Bowles and Gintis, 1987; Bookchin, 1993; 1997). These writers argue that analyses of class struggle are unable to account for the plurality of expressions which hierarchy, domination and oppression take in advanced capitalist or what they prefer to call "postindustrial" societies (See Bookchin, 1980; 1986). They charge that class analyses render a one-dimensional portrayal of social relations. The result of this has been a broad practical and theoretical turn away from questions of class and especially class struggle.

In my view, both orthodox Marxist constructions of class struggle and the arguments raised against that conceptualization have been constrained by conceptually narrow visions of class struggle. Commentators have either taken class to mean an undifferentiated monolith (Bookchin, 1986; 1987) which acts, or more often fails to act, as the instrumental agent in history or else as a fiction generated to obscure hopelessly divided and antagonistic relations within the working class (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985; Bourdieu, 1987). What is generally missing from these otherwise disparate accounts is a dynamic understanding of people as workers and workers as activists.

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