In Support of our Friends and Neighbours in Ottawa

The Battle of Billings Bridge

The Battle of Billings Bridge

On February 13, 2022 the Battle of Billings Bridge took place. Organized by a group of dog walkers in the community, this spontaneous action drew instant support and a rapid response. Intelligence in the convoy resistance learned the planned route for the Convoy’s drive around Ottawa, and the information was leaked late the night before departure. Word began to spread throughout the community through mutual aid networks, signal phone trees, and word of mouth. From dog walkers to cross country skiers, from union leaders to first time demonstrators, from the experienced to the youth, it seemed like Ottawa has finally reached its limit.

We could not be more proud of our community for facing down a mob that has been occupying our streets for weeks now, intimidating our community with their boorish behaviour, disrupting our lives, torturing us with round-the-clock horn honking, swarming businesses without masks on, holding a drunken carnival in our streets, targeting symbols of queer pride, launching racist tirades at passerby, attacking community members for wearing masks, and even trying to burn down an apartment building full of people. We’re calling this what it is. This is a fascist movement, and we stand with you against it Ottawa!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

It’s time, it’s past time, to take back our community. To come together in the spirit of solidarity as brave Ottawans did today, challenging the convoy directly and showing them that they can’t have their way. Some of us were already among you yesterday, standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity. It’s not going to be their way anymore, it’s time for the highway. Time for them to go home. It’s time for US, to SEND THEM HOME.

The whole city has called on the Mayor to do more, but the mayor chose to negotiate with these hooligans that have held us hostage for three weeks! Many have called on the police to enforce the law, but the police have presided over this farce and let the convoy turn our city into a dangerous embarrassment. Now, voices call for the military to be sent in to clear the protesters, and while that may end occupation, we call for another way. We call for a better way! We call for our way! All of us!

All of Ottawa!

We call on our brave community members keep getting organized! Get organized like the dog walkers group that put together today’s successful action! Get organized like the community leaders who put on the Ottawa Community Rally in Solidarity on Feb 12th! Get organized like the brave people who challenged their control of City Hall last week! Get organized like the #RamRanchResistance online and contribute to the information battle! Get organized like the mutual aid networks that have sprung up to assist community members in distress and provide support to our most vulnerable! Get organized with your friends, get organized with your neighbours, get organized with your families, get organized with your co-workers!

Get Organized!

It’s time to start taking our own action, just like the Battle of Billings Bridge. There are more of us than there are of them. Co-ordinate with each other, work with who you know and trust. Have each other’s backs. Don’t take unnecessary risks, stay safe! We are a city of over one million people. We can do this!

Solidarity Forever

The Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch

Organizer Training 101

Do you want to form a union at your workplace for better conditions and respect on the job, but don’t know where to start?

The IWW’s Organizer Training (OT101) is there to demystify the union process by breaking it down into simple steps that anyone can follow. Using real world examples from past union drives, roleplays, and advice from longtime union organizers, we’ll help you develop a plan to fight and win together in your workplace.

Due to Covid restrictions, this training will be held online over our virtual meeting hall (BBB) on two Wednesday evenings and two Saturdays.

Each session is 3 hours long with breaks every hour. All sessions must be attended in order to pass the training. Once completed, you’ll be eligible to attend an OT102, as well as the Training4Trainers program should you wish to become a trainer yourself (and we hope you do!)

1st session: Wed Nov 17th 6pm-9pm
2nd session: Sat Nov 20th 1pm-4pm
3rd session: Wed Nov 24th 6pm-9pm
4th session: Sat Nov 27th 1pm-4pm

What you’ll need:

  • Laptop or desktop (no phones please) running Firefox or Chrome browser
  • Microphone and Webcam (headphones encouraged)
  • Pen and Notebook
  • Copy of the training booklet (email info@ottawaiww.org to request a copy)

Register today

If you’d like to attend, please fill out this form.

Deadline for registration is Nov 10th, 2021

Film Night for the 2021 CanROC Summit

The Canadian Regional Organizing Committee (CanROC) of the IWW will be hosting its 2021 Summit from August 13-15, with panels and workshops. As part of the Summit, the Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch is excited to host an online broadcast of the film Salt of the Earth (1954) on Saturday, August 14 7:30pm EST (runtime: 94 minutes; commentary 60+ minutes).

The broadcast will include union members providing live commentary alongside the film. Our Twitch stream will be open to the public for watching and chatting about the movie with us! Follow us and turn on notifications by going to https://twitch.tv/OttawaIWW

Salt of the Earth is based on the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico. The story of centres on Mexican migrant miners and their families as they fight for safer working conditions. After its release in 1954, it had been marred by McCarthyist anti-communist campaigns including a proposal to ban its export and the blacklisting of workers on the film. UPDATE: The film will be broadcast with French subtitles.

The 2021 CanROC Summit has released the list of workshops hosted by members of the IWW. The list includes:

  • Organizing Non-Unionized Teachers
  • Q&A with CanROC Officers and Representatives
  • Health & Safety: 3 Rights For Workers
  • Survivor Centred Complaints
  • The Organizing Department Board: EXPLAINED
  • Special Laws and Essential Workers in Our Times
  • Environmental Unionism
  • Gender Equity Committee 101
  • Reclaim Your Pay, Freelancer’s Edition

Dates, times and workshop descriptions can be found at https://iww.ca/canroc-summit-2021/

Digital May Day 2021 wrap up

This past International Workers’ Day, we celebrated with another successful Digital May Day! We want to share the recorded collection of the celebration on Twitch for anyone who missed it or wants to rewatch it.

The event kicked off with music, a couple of exclusive podcasts, clips from previous May Day street actions in Ottawa and a panel discussion from our fellow workers in the Ottawa-Outaouais general membership branch.

The first podcast we streamed was exclusive before we posted it on our site. Fellow Worker D of the Ottawa-Outaouais IWW interviews longtime Montreal Activist and Anarchist Jaggi Singh on COVID-19, capital and cops.

We broadcasted a new podcast called Boot Party, which included our member ToolUsingMammal with spaceprole and as_a_worker of The Antifada podcast. Topics ranged from joining organizations and the IWW, mutual aid, music and politics.

We were also excited to share the Ottawa Anti-Imperialist Alliance and Ontario Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines virtual May Day celebration that included speeches and live music from Himig Masa, Ottawa IWW’s Heavysnack, and Fen Racketa member of Loon Choir.

The Burning Hell, our fellow workers from PEI, held a live May Day performance of their amazing indie rock sound, however technical difficulties lead us to host their catalogue of music videos over our stream instead.

Finally, we closed off the night with a live panel discussion among three of our fellow workers on the union organizing subplot of the mainstream TV show Superstore. We discuss do’s and do not’s when organizing a union on the job, what’s realistic and not in the show’s depiction and the importance of having positive union representation in popular media.

An archive of our 2020 Digital May Day events is still online. Fellow Worker Starr interviews FW Ahmad about her articles on Canadian labour law around unions and the Rand Formula and shortening the 40-hour workweek. The interview also goes on to talk about Ahmad’s band The Apparatchiks, her history of union activities and horror movies!

It was a fun and busy day for our branch and we’re looking forward to engaging in more, similar digital events. Be sure to follow the Ottawa-Outaouais IWW on Twitch and turn on notifications for when we’re back on!

Podcast: Episode 7, Resisting Lockdowns

In this podcast, we talk with longtime Montreal Activist and Anarchist Jaggi Singh. Most of the visible resistance to the slapdash, last minute, authoritarian lock downs that provincial governments have imposed (after letting outbreaks turn into crises) have been from far-right conspiracy groups. This is changing. As workers realize that these new authoritarian measures are much less effective than we have been assured, people are beginning to get angry with the clear mishandling of this roller coaster crisis. The left has begun to organize to resist these measures and distinguish it’s position from the baffling, anti-science, xenophobic nonsense being screamed about by the right reactionaries.

You can find Jaggi on twitter @JaggiMontreal or check out some of their other work with No Borders Media Network

The interview was conducted by Fellow Worker D, the mixing/mastering/audio by Fellow Worker C.

Announcing our Digital May Day 2021

This Saturday May 1st is International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day. It’s a day to celebrate workers’ power and protest the capitalist economic system that exploits our class. We’re excited to announce our own digital May Day event running all day.

Since the COVID-19 public health crisis, our branch of the IWW has been meeting workers and members online. We want to keep our fellow workers safe during the pandemic, which is why we hosted May Day 2020 online as well.

For last year’s event, we hosted readings, speeches, music and an interview with a local branch member over live stream. Most of this content is still hosted on our Twitch channel and can be watched right now.

This year, we’ve prepared live music, podcasts and popular culture commentary featuring members of the IWW. We’re also excited to stream other local Ottawa activities, including the Anti-Imperialist Alliance and Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines May Day celebration.

Join the event on Facebook and follow us on Twitch – turn on notifications so you know when we’re live streaming different events!

Podcast: Episode 6, On Organizing

In this podcast, we speak with former Head of Labour Organizing at Efling Union (Iceland) and current Organizing & Communications officer at the Industrial Workers of the World Max Baru. The conversation ranges from how communications systems structure organizations, to the difficulties of working with the “middle class”, the suppression of fast growing organic movements, whether it’s worth it to try to move giant existing institutions, the cost of political participation, how to support workers in their struggle, how workers movements can move forward… if unions will get behind workers.

You can find max on twitter @maxbaru or on his linktree.

The interview was conducted by Fellow Worker D, the mixing/mastering/audio by Fellow Worker C.

Podcast: News Roundup 5, Police Brutality Special

In this podcast, we will discuss Police Brutality in Greece with Fellow Worker Yiannis. The introduction to this podcast was done by Fellow Worker D, the mixing/mastering/audio by Fellow Worker C and the Interviewer is Fellow Worker T.

New Podcast: Your Everyday Ⓐnarchist

Your Everyday Ⓐnarchist

An unassuming public servant by day and a boisterous activist by night – he’s Your Everyday Anarchist.
In what we hope to be a regular podcast feature, Fellow Workers of the Ottawa-Outaouais IWW will be reading op-eds written on our member’s behalf. Whether it be politics, economics, activism, or anything in between, Your Everyday Anarchist has something to say about it… and he’s not one to mince words. 
You’ll laugh, you’ll nod your head, you’ll clench your fists… and you just might learn something along the way.
Our flagship episode covers issues of self-defence and resistance tactics in general. It’s aptly entitled “Be a Lover and a Fighter”, and Your Everyday Anarchist isn’t pulling any punches.

Your Everyday Anarchist Episode 1 – Be a Lover and a Fighter