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Mid-Valley Organizer

May 1, 2024

No. 11


Events and Updates

Sunday, May 5th2:30 – 4:30 PMTenants United Corvallis Meeting (open to renters)In personCorvallis Community Center
Sunday, May 5th5:00 PMGeneral Membership Meeting (open to the public)HybridWestminster House
Wednesday, May 8th12 – 1 PMCoalition of Graduate Employees Teach-InIn personMemorial Union Quad
Saturday, May 18th12 PM45th Annual łatwa ina Pow-WowIn PersonGill Coliseum

Why We Oppose the Police

As a matter of principle, the Industrial Workers of the World have always prohibited members of law enforcement from joining our union. This policy reflects our understanding that the role of police – historically and presently – serves to protect the interests of the ruling class and uphold the capitalist system, often at the expense of the working class. You can think of cops as private security for the elite; when the ruling class is made to feel uncomfortable, they call on the police to intimidate those demanding accountability. When workers engage in direct action for better working conditions, the police respond to the picket line with the threat of violence. Countless fellow workers over the course of modern history have been brutalized and arrested in defense of their right to a fair workplace. Police are not only against the workers, but against a better world altogether; therefore, they have no problem injecting violence into peaceful protests for social justice. Take for example the recent college campus encampments formed by students protesting against the genocide in Palestine – the ruling class, in this case the administration and their wealthy donors, were made to feel uncomfortable because they couldn’t force the students to be silent – and that is why they were compelled to call on the police to arrest their students and employees. Basic dignity and respect mean nothing to a cop; they make a living terrorizing minorities, the defenseless, homeless and the mentally ill, and they’ll even show up to your home to evict you when the time comes that you can no longer afford your basic needs.

Many citizens may feel that they have to rely on the police for protection; a common misconception is that the job of a cop is to keep people safe. In reality, they only solve around half or less of reported crime overall, and they rarely ever stop crimes from happening. There is no correlation between police spending and crime rate in over a half century of research. When the ruling class closes your local library, or elects to lay off educators at your children’s school while continuing to increase spending on the police budget, they’re stealing directly from your community and giving it to their security guards in the event that you ever get the bright idea of organizing and holding them accountable.

We oppose the police because they’re in direct opposition to the needs and demands of the working class, and furthermore because they rely on fear and violence to impose the will of the ruling class.

May Day Song

by Ralph Chaplin

O, Labor Day, O, First of May,
Welcome and honored on land and on sea.
Winter so drear must disappear,
Fair days are coming for you and for me.
We, of the old world, building the New,
Ours is the will and the power to do;
Then let us sing, hail to the Spring—
Hail to the Day we can strike to be free!

Banner so red, high overhead,
Hated and feared by the powers that be!
In every land firmly we stand;
*People of all nations who labor are we.
Under one banner, standing as one,
Claiming the earth and our place in the sun.
Then let us sing, hail to the Spring—
Hail to the Day we can strike to be free!

O, Labor Day, O, First of May,
Warm with the gleam of the bright days to be!
Join in the throng, fearless and strong—
One mighty Union of world industry.
Shoulder to shoulder, each in *their place,
Ours is the hope of the whole human race.
Then let us sing, hail to the Spring—
Hail to the Day we can strike to be free!

*changed to gender inclusive words

Source:  Songs of the Workers (15th edition) (1919)
Industrial Workers of the World


BRUCE “UTAH” PHILLIPS, who died in May 2008, was a living, singing museum of radical working-class culture. Through his songs and stories he connected three generations to the living memory of class struggle martyrs, hobo lore and life, and the pacifists and anarchists of the early 20th century. In addition to being a world beloved folksinger and performer, Phillips spent time as a peace campaigner, a freight train hopper, and a union organizer. Phillips will be best remembered for his countless renditions of the songs of Joe Hill and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Wobblies. – Brad Duncan

Arrests Overcome by Direct Action at Labor Notes Conference

The 2024 Labor Notes Conference, an annual educational session attended by labor organizers and members of various unions, took place in the village of Rosemont, Illinois over the weekend of April 19. On the first night of the Conference, attendees and organizers held a protest outside the venue to show solidarity with Palestine. On the first night of the Conference, some attendees and organizers held a protest outside the venue to show solidarity with Palestine. During the course of the protest, police allegedly asked the crowd to move aside so that cars could pass, but the crowd declined to move. Around that time, a commotion broke out near a police vehicle which resulted in 3 people being detained, according to several accounts from attendees. Witnesses allege that police attempted to separate one of the three of those arrested by rushing them inside a nearby building, when some in the crowd rushed over to hold the door open and demand the release of the separated protestor, resulting in a tense standoff. The protester apparently escaped police captivity at some point during the standoff. Meanwhile, as another one of those arrested sat inside of the back of a police vehicle, union activists had already surrounded the vehicle to prevent it from leaving. Chants broke out and a drumline made up of members of Chicago Women in Trades marched around the police vehicle leading a chorus of “Which Side Are You On.” Police held the protester in custody for about an hour before yielding to the higher authority of collective action and releasing them to the crowd. According to attendees, all of those arrested were no longer in police custody by the end of the standoff.