Filed under: Anti-fascist, IGDcast, Incarceration, Interviews, Labor, Northwest, Radio/Podcast, US
The Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective is an inspiring group of people who are organizing both on the inside of prisons and in active labor unions to popularize anti-fascist ideas while also creating capacity for people that want to leave white supremacist gangs a way to do so. Wanting to get more information on the work that they are doing, we sat down with three members of the group who discussed how they are organizing on the inside and the outside.
First, we talk on the organizing work that is being done by AWC inside of prisons, which is based around supporting active anti-fascist prisoners forming study groups so white (and other) prisoners can begin to question fascist and nationalist ideas. This work is dangerous, as leaving white supremacist gangs can often lead to violence and even death. AWC members discuss how these gangs are also leaving the confines of the prison walls and are starting to organize on the outside, especially in rural communities. AWC members see organizing against fascism and white supremacy behind prison walls as a potential opportunity to not only attack the bases of support for these groups, but build up our own in rural communities.
But in order to best attack white supremacist gangs, anti-fascists have to recognize the various forms of support these groups often give to their members: such as places to stay and jobs, largely through selling drugs. In order to best offer a way for people to leave these gangs, AWC are working to build capacity to offer resources for people when they exit prison, such as potential housing and access to union jobs.
We then switch gears and discuss building an anti-fascist and radical pole within various building trades unions. We spend some time discussing the reactionary, capitalistic, and bureaucratic nature of most unions as well as thoughts on how to push back against reactionary and racist membership.
We end with some ideas about how people, in a variety of ways and capacities can begin to start to incorporate these organizing methods into their own organizing.
For more info on AWC: