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Feb 27, 18

Supporting the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike on the Picket Lines

This report from the Steel City John Brown Gun Club discusses support for the West Virginia teachers’ strike on the picket lines.

Today, members of Steel City John Brown Gun Club traveled south to West Virginia, to stand in solidarity with teachers engaged in the statewide wildcat strike.

We originally intended to go to Morgantown, as it was the closest major strike location, but after conferring with Monongalia county union staff, we decided to instead go to Preston county. County union staff told us that the school superintendent there was failing to support the strike, and they needed more bodies.

We arrived to find a picket of around 30 faculty and supporters and spent the day on the line with the striking teachers.

The insurrectionary history of West Virginia, from its secession from the CSA to its seemingly countless labor uprisings, is alive and well in the region today. They have taken a dramatic action that seeks no legitimacy through the state, but demands what they are due through their own, unmediated collective power.

Not only that, but their communities stand firmly behind them. From the endless honking of passing cars to the folks who frequently stopped to offer words of support and the ongoing constant delivery of food to pickets all over the state, their students and their families have shown unwavering support. The teachers are showing support in kind, by setting up community kitchens so that kids who rely on school lunches aren’t adversely affected by the strike.

The only people who oppose the strike seem to be WV Governor and coal baron, Jim Justice, his government and the bureaucrats they have bullied into compliance.

We thank the teachers and community members of Preston county for the honor of standing the line with them in their historic fight and in the same mountains where the heroes of Blair Mountain fought this same battle in 1921.

Victory to the educators of West Virginia, and all working people struggling for justice.

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If we, as white working class people, want to see a reality of political, social, and economic freedom, REAL freedom, then we must directly contribute to a struggle against all oppression, especially white supremacy.

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