Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee: Supporting Fellow Workers on the Inside
Why get involved in IWOC?
For nearly as long as the IWW has existed, some of our most committed and conscientious Fellow Workers, have been prisoners.
State and Capital colluded, in the early 1900s, to send those organising with the IWW to jail. The famous Poster the IWW produced then sums up the need for solidarity across prison walls - “we are in here for you, you are out there for us”.
This picture had a strong effect on me.
Many people of the left and in trade unionism think about the different forms of oppression our class faces. However, few people involved in trade unionism, or leftist politics generally, seem to think much about prison abolition, or what is called the “carceral state”. This means the tendency of law enforcement and punishment to enforce the rights of property and capital to the detriment of those most deprived and excluded in our society by all the other forms and systems of oppression.
Indeed much of the evils of society - misogny, homophobia, transphobia, classism - run free and unchallenged in prisons. It truly is a forgotten nexus of the struggle for many forms of social justice, and it is here that the dominant social paradigm asserts itself the most strongly.
I would like to invite all of you as Fellow Workers, who engage with the struggle for a better world and a better future, to consider strengthening the links of solidarity with our FWs on the inside. In imagining and preparing for a better world, the organising that goes on among this population strikes right at the heart of everything that is wrong with the capitalist system and allows us to envision a radically just future in its ruins.
Even something as simple as sending a postcard at May Day to someone on the inside, can make a world of difference.
Get in touch with IWOC and see how engaging in this supportive work can change your perspective and open your eyes - maybe even ignite a hope for a radically different future, without jails, without punishment and without hierarchy.