The LA IWW GMB holds its regular monthly meetings on the last Sunday of the month at 12:30 PM. For the meeting location, please contact either or (323) 374-3499.
San Diego IWW
meets every 3rd Sunday of the month at 12:30 pm at the San Diego Education Association at 10393 San Diego Mission Road.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Report: The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón

L to R: Ross Altman, Rubén Martínez, Marco Amador The Los Angeles Branch of the I.W.W. and community members filled Beyond Baroque in Venice on Aug. 9 for an evening of music and drama honoring the branch’s namesake, Ricardo Flores Magón.

Opening the show, song-fighter Ross Altman performed “The Rebel Girl,” “There is a Power in the Union” and “The Preacher and the Slave”—all written by Joe Hill, the legendary Wobbly singer and songwriter. It was in Ross Altman’s home town of San Pedro where Hill, a 30-year-old migrant laborer, joined the I.W.W. in 1910. These songs were particularly relevant to the theme of the event, since they highlighted the solidarity that existed between the I.W.W. and Mexican revolutionaries in Los Angeles in the second decade of the twentieth century.

Ross Altman
Ross then performed international songs of struggle—“A Las Barricadas,” a revolutionary song from the Spanish Civil War, “Guantanamera” and his own original song about the Mexican Revolution.

Next, Rubén Martínez took the stage with Chicano Son artist Marco Amador. They performed music and readings from his show (which aired on PBS last year), “The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón,” a tribute to the revolutionary anarchist who lived and struggled in Los Angeles from 1904 until he was arrested for the last time in 1918. Martínez wrote this work in order to unearth the radical roots of the Occupy movement, taking us back to a time when Los Angeles was one of the “reddest” cities in America.

As Martínez wrote in the Los Angeles Times, just days after the LAPD had brutally removed the Occupy LA encampment from Solidarity Park:(*)

“The scene Magón joined in Los Angeles was an early 20th century version of the Occupy movement. There were raucous rallies at the plaza, festive fundraisers at the Italian Hall and plenty of run-ins with the LAPD.”

L to R Rubén Martínez and Marco Amador
The Los Angeles Times itself has played a significant historical role in defense of the ruling class, attacking organized labor, socialists, anarchists and Wobblies in its pages. As Martínez wrote,

“Trials of the radicals were heavily covered by The Times, whose general manager, Harrison Gray Otis, seethed against anarchists in general, whom he blamed for the 1910 bombing of The Times Building, and against Flores Magón in particular. Otis owned upward of a million acres of land across the border in Baja California, and an armed contingent of "Magonistas" associated with Flores Magón's Partido Liberal Mexicano briefly took control of Tijuana and other parts of Baja in 1911.”

It was in Los Angeles where Magón, fighting alongside American anarchists, embraced anarchism himself. The aim of the insurrection that he and his brother Enrique lead in Baja was to found a socialist republic. In a show of international solidarity, several Wobblies fought alongside the PLM, among them Joe Hill.

After a rendition of “A Las Barricadas,” Martínez and Amador performed “El Golpe,” a musically complex piece that Amador says was inspired by the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. He explained the relevance of the song to Flores Magón, who dedicated his whole life to revolution: “He was more than just an intellectual—he was bringing revolutionary concepts to a revolutionary time.”

Following El Golpe, Martínez spoke about Magón’s life as a political prisoner. Repeatedly imprisoned in Mexico, he was forced to go into exile in the United States, where he was also persecuted, doing a total of nine years in prison. His last arrest, part of the Palmer Raids, was in 1918, for violating the 1917 Espionage Act. He died in Leavenworth Penitentiary four years later at age 49. Martínez performed “I’m Writing You From Inside,” based on letters Magón wrote from Leavenworth which talk about his resolve to continue to resist the oppression of state power, even as he suffers from failing health, exacerbated by neglect by prison staff.

After performing Woodie Guthrie’s “All You Fascists are Bound to Lose,” Martínez and Amador took questions from the audience. Finally Ross Altman joined them on stage and lead the singing of “Solidarity Forever,” the I.W.W.’s anthem.

Beyond Baroque is an independent literary and arts center and public space that has hosted many cutting-edge poets and musical talents through the years.


Intro to the IWW, Sunday 9/8/2013

Is your boss a jerk? Would you like higher pay and more control over your working conditions? Time to get organized! Join the I.W.W.

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. Our bosses want to exploit us for as much work as possible while compensating us as little as they can get away with. As workers, we want higher pay for less work, we want benefits such as paid sick days and quality health insurance, and we want the dignity and respect that can only be achieved through work place democracy which gives workers a say in their own working conditions.

In short, we want to do away with the bosses altogether and run our workplaces for own benefit. (Students and the unemployed are welcome to attend.)

Intro to the IWW - Sunday, September 8th
The Blood Orange Info Shop
3485 University Ave., #2 Riverside, CA 92501
The Blood Orange Info Shop is on the Lemon Street side of the Life Arts Building at the bottom of the ramp.

Facebook event:
SoCal IWW Info:

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón, Friday 8/9/2013

The Ricardo Flores Magón Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World is proud to host RUBÉN MARTÍNEZ, who will perform excerpts from his show, "THE BALLAD OF RICARDO FLORES MAGÓN." He will be joined by Chicano Son artist MARCO AMADOR. This show, which Martínez produced and performed at the Ford Theater and which aired on KCET, is a theatrical narrative of the life and times of the Mexican anarchist revolutionary, which unearths the radical roots of L.A. and the I.W.W.

Exiled from Mexico, the Magón brothers came to live in Los Angeles, where along with their participation in the Mexican Revolution, they joined in the working class struggles here alongside the Industrial Workers of the World. I.W.W. members joined a Magonista expedition which took control of Tijuana and other parts of Baja California in 1911.

Also performing this evening will be ROSS ALTMAN, a singer-songfighter who will play classic Wobbly songs for the working class.

Who: The L.A. General Membership Branch of the I.W.W.
What: Rubén Martínez and Marco Amador will perform excerpts from "The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón" with additional performance by Ross Altman.
When: Friday, August 9 at 8:00 PM
Where: Beyond Baroque 681 North Venice Blvd. Venice 90291
Phone: (310) 822-3006

Free - Donations welcome

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

LA General Membership Meeting - 6/30/2013

The next GMB meeting will take place at Corazon del Pueblo in Boyle Heights on Sunday June 30. Dues collected at 12 noon and meeting starts at 12:30 sharp. The meeting is open to IWW members, and all workers are always welcome to attend as guests.

Corozon del Pueblo
2003 E. First St.
Los Angeles, 90033

Bus lines to Corazon del Pueblo are Metro Local Line 30, Metro Local Line 68 and Metro Gold Line (exit Mariachi Plaza.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Intro to the IWW, Sunday July 14

This introduction to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is geared towards new members and folks interested in learning more about the union.

Sunday July 14, 12:30-2:30 PM
Corozon del Pueblo
2003 E. First St.
Los Angeles, 90033

The workshop provides an overview of the IWW's history, vision, and methods of workplace organizing, as well as a discussion of what the IWW is up to today and how to get involved at the local level.

Join us and invite a friend!

Organizer Training 101, June 22 & 23

Hello fellow workers!

This is just a reminder that the two day Organizer Training 101 is coming up June 22nd and 23rd (Saturday and Sunday).

The training is about 8 hours on each day and we ask all attendees to commit to both days. Training begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 6:00 PM (breaks & lunch in between). A Light breakfast will be served at 9:30 AM

Trainers are fellow workers Javier (LA branch) and Jefferson (Phoenix branch).

This training is open for all fellow workers but we just ask that you please RSVP as soon as possible to: to get location details.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

IWW Celebrates May Day with Community Picnic

Dozens came out to MacArthur Park on May 1st to join the LA GMB branch of the IWW and Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC) for a picnic highlighting the work of local grassroots organizations and working class struggles.

Before the picnic, Wobblies from Southern California marched with red and black armbands in support of Wyvernwood residents in East Los Angeles, who are fighting against a development that will destroy their rent-controlled housing community. This East L.A. march ended at La Placita Olvera, which was the ending point of a larger march for immigration reform that day.

At MacArthur Park, the program started with bluegrass music, after which FW Richard Modiano read the preamble of the IWW constitution and Matt Hart talked about the origins of International Workers’ Day. FW Emma spoke about the IWW’s proud 108-year history of democratic unionism, direct action and independence from the AFL-CIO.

The student movement was represented by José Amenero of the California Student Union (CASU). José talked about students’ fight for free, quality education, and their struggles against privatization, budget cuts and fee hikes.

Alicia Rivera, an organizer with Communities for a Better Environment, spoke about the fight against refinery pollution in Wilmington, explaining that the Chevron fire in Richmond, California, had drawn attention to the way corporations sacrifice maintenance and safety to profits. Refineries are already refining tar sands oil brought by train to Wilmington, and this toxic substance corrodes pipes, putting workers and residents at risk. Corporations are also trying to increase fracking in California. Alicia explained that the fight against tar sands oil, fracking and global warming were all interrelated, and ended by saying, “I believe our creator would like us to protect this world that has been given to us.”

Members of RAC spoke about their organization, which was born out of a 2007 immigrant rights protest at the park that turned violent when police rioted, beating several people. It has evolved into a self-determined community that gives out 180 boxes of vegetables and fruit to poor families every week. RAC has occupied a space in the park for this and maintains a firm policy of non-cooperation with authorities.

After dark, the May Day picnic ended with a preview of a film that local artist Byron José is making, called “Las Reinas de Los Angeles,” about transgender immigrants who put on Spanish language shows around Los Angeles.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Los Angeles May Day Picnic 2013

Los Angeles IWW General Defense Committee, Local 4, 1929
As a way to commemorate working class struggles across the world and support cultures of resistance here locally, the Ricardo Flores Magon IWW LA branch would like to invite everyone to a community picnic at MacArthur Park May 1st 2013 at 5:00 after the May Day march. Food will be served by our friends from Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC) but we encourage everyone to bring a dish to share.

Please check back on our Facebook event page for updates and info as we get closer to May Day.

We hope that people bring their mindfulness of struggles here locally, across the world, and most importantly the ones we face in our day to day lives as a way to connect them historically to a tradition that dates back to 1884.

Early 1930's non-Stalinist Communists and Socialists organized a United Front to commemorate May Day
Keeping the struggle for a new world in our hearts
  • 1992 LA Uprising 
  • Walkouts against Prop 187
  • Democratic National Convention 2000
  • The fight for the South Central Farm
  • The 2006 May Day La Primera de Mayo General Strike
  • The 2007 May Day confrontation at McArthur Park 
  • The 2009 UCLA student occupations
  • Occupy/Decolonize LA
International Worker's Day Picnic 2013
May 1st at 5:00 pm MacArthur Park
Look for the black and red flags!
Food: Potluck style. Some refreshments will be served by RAC!

Free food * Live music * Political literature * Make your DIY literature table * Friends * Comrades * Non-alcoholic Drinks

"The Brief Origins of May Day" by Eric Chase - 1993.

Friday, March 29, 2013

LA General Membership Meeting - 3/30/2013

Just a reminder that the next General Membership (GMB) meeting will take place at the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research tomorrow, Saturday March 30 (pay dues at noon and the meeting begins at 12:30 PM.)

The Library is located at 6120 S. Vermont, Los Angeles, CA 90044 (off the 110 Freeway, exit Slauson or Gage) and is accessible by MTA Bus 204 and Express Bus 754. Street parking is available.

The meeting is open to IWW members, and all workers are always welcome to attend as guests.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Statement of Solidarity with Survivors of Gender-based Violence and Condemnation of the PLP’s Defense of Rape

In Solidarity with the Fellow Workers of the Boston General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, The Los Angeles / Ricardo Flores Magón General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World support the following Statement of Solidarity. The Los Angeles GMB of the IWW supports the Boston GMB’s positions of solidarity with the Fellow Worker who was raped by Seth Miller, member of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), and will integrate region-specific methods of solidarity with our Fellow Worker. Furthermore, the LA GMB will assess and deconstruct patriarchal elements from within our branch’s functions and promote outreach to survivors of gender-based violence.

Background Information:
A few years ago, a Fellow Worker was raped by Seth Miller, a member of PLP in Los Angeles. He and the Fellow Worker had been friends and had done organizing together prior to this attack. Last year, the survivor decided to go public with what had happened and approached PLP hoping that they would help her hold the perpetrator accountable. The response of the PLP has been appalling: obstructing the survivor’s desired accountability process, and requiring only a self-evaluation and a drinking partner for the perpetrator. Worse still, they have started an insidious misinformation campaign intended to undermine the credibility of the survivor, her account, and her allies. In their official response they claim to fight “sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny in every aspect”, and then promptly continue with slandering the survivor and her allies as “informant-provocateurs” acting in collusion with the “fascist police state.”

We at the Los Angeles/Ricardo Flores Magón General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World condemn the Progressive Labor Party’s response to the Fellow Worker’s demands for justice against their rapist. It is our duty to recognize and take action when those that call themselves revolutionaries perpetuate gender violence by protecting rapists, ignore the survivor’s demands, and attack the survivor for demanding justice.

Whereas the Los Angeles / Ricardo Flores Magón General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World is determined to fight rape culture and patriarchy in our union and in
society at large, and

Whereas a Fellow Worker was raped by Seth Miller, a member of the Progressive Labor Party, as described at:, and

Whereas the response of the Progressive Labor Party to the survivor’s efforts to have them hold Seth Miller accountable has been abhorrent, and
Whereas the Progressive Labor Party has sought to undermine the credibility of the survivor and has sought to protect the rapist, and

Whereas the survivor, a Fellow Worker, has asked that we a) exclude PLP from our organizing campaigns and spaces, b) warn our allies, c) examine and address patriarchal behavior in our organizing communities, d) actively support and defend survivors of sexual violence, and

Therefore, be it resolved that the Los Angeles / Ricardo Flores Magón General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, in solidarity with the survivor and in support of her wishes, will no longer collaborate in organizing campaigns or share organizing spaces with the Progressive Labor Party, or any other organizations which protect rapists and promote rape culture through their words or actions. This proposal and accompanying documentation will be made available to groups that we organize with, and to the stakeholders of venues where we meet regularly. We pledge to stand in solidarity with all victims and survivors of gender-based discrimination, assaults, and other forms of violence, both in the “revolutionary left” and in the broader society. We recognize that the only way to do that is to listen to survivors and to honor their wishes.

- The Los Angeles/Ricardo Flores Magón General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, January 27, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

San Diego IWW Meeting Sunday 1/20/13

The next San Diego IWW meeting will be held Sunday, January 20th at 12:30 PM at the City Deli, 535 University Ave, San Diego, California 92103.

The meeting is open to the pubic.

Please come and learn more about our organizing efforts here in San Diego.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

OC IWW Social Saturday 1/19/2013

Come to this potluck social to meet and mingle with Fellow Workers from the Orange County and surrounding areas! This is a great time to introduce your friends, family, and yourself to the IWW.

Discuss workplace issues, and be downright sociable ;-) please, invite your friends and let's make this a party to be proud of!

Saturday 1/19/2013 - 6:00 PM
Teamsters Local 952
140 South Marks Way,
Orange, California 92868

For more info email or phone 949-441-1273
Twitter: @OrangeCountyIWW

Sunday, January 6, 2013

UPDATED: Orange County IWW Organizer Training: January 19-20/2013

POSTPONED - to be rescheduled for later this Spring.
In the democratic spirit of the slogan "Every member an organizer!" the IWW's Organizer Training provides workers with the basic skills and strategies needed to organize at their jobs. The training covers the basics of building an organizing committee, reaching out to coworkers through one-on-one meetings, and building strength up to the point of going public with a union. Learn to organize in your workplace through discussion with experienced organizers, workshops, role playing, and other exercises. The training also provides a foundation in U.S. labor law. The training provides workers with the direct action tactics they need to assert their rights on the job, with or without union representation.

Attendance at both days is highly preferable, since the second day builds upon the previous day's instruction. However, participants will still learn valuable skills and tactics, even if they are only able to attend one day of the training.

Bagels and coffee, as well as a lunch will be provided on both days. A vegan option will be available. Training materials will also be provided. A $10 donation is suggested but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. We will also be having a branch social at 6 PM.

The IWW, founded in 1905, is a radical rank and file union open to all workers, regardless of occupation or employment status. The Orange County Sub-Branch of the IWW meets on the 1st Saturday of each month at 12pm at the Orange County Catholic Worker in Santa Ana. To learn more about this local branch of the IWW, please visit our Facebook page:

Online Sign-Up Form for the OC IWW Organizer Training 1/19-20/2012

Email or call (949) 441-1273 for further information.

IWW Organizer Training
When: Saturday, January 19 & Sunday, January 2013
Time: 9 AM - 5 PM, both days
Location: TBD
Cost: $10 suggested (but no one will be turned away for lack of funds)