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.

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

During COVID-19, IWW Offers Wage Theft Support to Non-Members

During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Ottawa-Outaouais IWW has opened up wage theft support to all non-members in the region. The decision has come after multiple years of dealing with employers who have become comfortable withholding holiday, overtime, termination and severance pay, or outright not paying employees for their work. While we have seen this prevalent prior to an international public health crisis, we know now is a critical time for working people to be properly compensated.

Learn more about what wage theft is and how to get involved with the IWW with wage recovery here.

An Ottawa-Outaouais IWW member hands out leaflets during a 2014 wage theft picket.