In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with two members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), about both looking back on the West Virginia teachers strike as well as looking towards what we can expect in the coming teacher’s strikes in Oklahoma and other states.
In this podcast, we discuss first and foremost the nuts and bolts of the strike in West Virginia, talk about if the strike was illegal or a wildcat strike, and if this even matters, the end result of the strike, if it is should be seen as a victory or a capitulation, as well as the other lessons. We discuss the role and importance of the historical memory of wildcat and militant strike activity in the area, and its help in growing the seed of mass class action. Also, we touch on how anarchists, wobblies, and others intervened in the strike, and talk about the role of the West Virginia IWW.
We then turn towards the coming strikes in other states, and talk about how in general people should approach these coming showdowns with the lessons of West Virginia in mind. Already, during the time that this podcast was recorded, there was a strike by teachers in both New Jersey and in Puerto Rico. As the tension between rank-n-file power, self-organization and union bureaucracy remains at the forefront, the need to move beyond the limitations put in front of us by our enemies is greater, now more than ever.