This is a call for teachers and educational workers to spread the West Virginia strike, as well as take part in organizing efforts happening in Virginia.
As thousands of teachers, workers, and students flood the Capitol of West Virginia today in the 8th day of a state-wide strike, it’s clear that their perseverance has emboldened workers and teachers across the country.
On Sunday, the Communication Workers of America announced a strike and pickets in locations spanning from West Virginia to Virginia, and rumors have floated of strikes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Perhaps the most promising of these is the network of teachers in Oklahoma poised to strike state-wide as early as next week, which was seemingly catalyzed in large part due to a secret facebook group called “Oklahoma Teacher Walkout – The Time Is Now!” Skepticism of using fedbook for organizing non-withstanding, the group gained near 40,000 members in less than a week, and was clearly the primary platform for agitating, networking, and ultimately organizing with lightning speed, and all this from Oklahoma, which lies more than a thousand miles away from West Virginia.
We workers of Virginia, who share a common geography and radical labor history with West Virginia, share a common responsibility to continue the fight and spread the strike that West Virginian teachers have started. Learning from Oklahoma’s success, we have created a secret facebook group called “Virginia Teachers Organize!” as a platform for collective strategizing and organizing. Cities and counties across Virginia are holding regionally-based assemblies of teachers and educators throughout this week to discuss how to support and spread the West Virginia strike and to share agitational, educational, and organizational resources for participants to spread to their co-workers. VA branches of the Industrial Workers of the World are attempting to connect these assemblies and informal collectives together, so that we can act in concert and with the support of state-wide solidarity.
If you are a teacher/education worker, student, or worker of any industry in Virginia, we ask you to organize meetings with your co-workers and friends to discuss West Virginia strike, or attend the meetings that may already be organized in your region. Invite your co-workers. Attend the Tidewater education workers’ assembly if you live in the region on March 9th. Share literature about the strike and agitate in your workplace.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask be added to the Virginia Teachers Organize! group. Whatever you do, don’t let this revolutionary moment slip through our fingers as history is being made right next door. Don’t let West Virginia teachers strike alone!