Serfing the Tide! - Josie, x341890 Philadelphia GMB
The 1990's are witnessing a rising tide within the IWW. Starting with the founding of the Lehigh Valley IWW and the activities of IWW Local 1/Earth First! new groups of activists have joined and stayed with the IWW. While Wobs have always been organizers, and there have been innumerable activities that characterized the earlier IWW, these new Wobs have brought with them a certain hunger, activism, and sense of daring that have helped to shape our current Union. While not every new Wob traces their commitment to the pioneering works of the Lehigh Valley and Mendocino IWW, much of what we are today was inspired by the willingness to start new ideas and to fight at all costs.
In the last year, many of us have been forging links of solidarity and support across our many localities. With the advent of internet access, we have been able to exchange ideas and get to know each other better than we were ever able before. While we do not agree on everything we realize that the IWW must take its rightful role in organizing the millions of disenfranchised and alienated workers that span the globe. Each in our own way we have been building a new IWW, one that can bring the legacy of the old IWW into harmony with the struggles of the workers of today.
It is time to stop bickering and backstabbing, theorizing and haranguing, and time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Whether by forming alliances with workers in other unions, organizing workers into our own, developing community networks, fighting corporate campaigns, supporting our comrades in prison, building organizational resources, or otherwise fighting to reinvigorate the union, we must take the challenge head on.
It is time for a revitalized IWW. We can no longer afford to confine ourselves to an historical club, or stamp collecting society. We must judge our actions not in the minutiae of "Masonic" ritual but in the broader vision of fighting to organize the workers of the world. Our ranks are filled with skilled and experienced organizers and propagandists, both young and old, and we must stop this preoccupation with bureaucracy and bickering that makes the GOB our best member-losing strategy. We must build a vision and a strength reflective of our talents, and welcoming to new activists.
To grow and be effective we must diversify our membership through our conscious efforts to seek out new activists; we must build and sustain new local organizations; we must construct and make available resources to these new organizations so that they can grow; we must guarantee and encourage independent and innovative organizing; we must facilitate information sharing and member exchanges so we can learn and grow together. With a healthy, diverse, growing, active IWW, we can build an unstoppable force that will eventually sweep across the globe.