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student worker action group - an injury to one is an injury to all » Archives

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SWAG has been around for a number of years, in various forms. We'd rather not fall into the common student group trap of reinventing the wheel each time September rolls around and a new group of people are involved.

In that spirit, we've conserved some of the memory of previous SWAG activities and memberships, posted here for your perusal and enjoyment.


Activities From 2009-2010 Fall Term

Discussion Group Series: Emancipating Education

The public education system serves to legitimize and reproduce unequal structures of power and authority. While schools teach children obedience, competition, and blind respect for authority, anarchists encourage critical thinking, cooperation, and mutual, universal respect.

Join the Worker Solidarity Alliance and the Student Worker Action Group for three nights of engaging discussion about possibilities and limitations of public education in Alberta. Events are free, and no registration is required.

Monday, November 9, 7pm in Education South 213:

When we think of education, the role of the teacher comes to mind. How much freedom and agency do teachers really have? What roles could teachers play in effecting radical change within their communities?

Monday, November 23, 7pm in Education South 213:

What kinds of students does the education system favour? What happens to the rest? This session will include an introduction to some radical, student centered educational philosophies as well as discussions around student activism and organizations.

Monday, December 7, 7pm in Education South 213:

What forces affect the structure of the physical and social spaces of schools? Who decides what gets taught and how it is delivered and tested? In whose interests are we educated?


Advertised activities from the 2006-2007 school year

SWAG has a number of actions planned this year, and the number will only grow as our membership expands and diversifies. Fundamentally, we don't organize students as students. Organizing students is notoriously akin to herding cats, and herding cats is best left to experts. The identity of 'student' is incredibly multifaceted and malleable, and ultimately --for most at least- transitory. After a few years people go off and do other things, and therefore if you can organize around specific workplace or economic issues then:

  • Makes it so one retains those skills and ideas and can effectively translate them into later life, as opposed to fighting for lower tuition now and working for Evil Corp. Inc. tomorrow. And...
  • Students have many different interests, values, everythings, and are anything but a cohesive whole. To speak of students is generally to speak for them, and we don't want engage in that sort of silly identity politics. Furthermore, we don't want to involve ourselves in the crass idea of some group being a "special conduit' to the "radical student population," whatever that is (our research shows it is Ayn Rand fans). It seems that running events around student's subjective experiences in the workplace is a better way to think about things than as "students."

Organizing students as workers, as members of a class, just makes more sense. Class is what brings us together and -objectively, but unfortunately subjectively the matter is much different- smashes our differences of race, gender, sexual orientation.

So, what do we do? Drink union made beer and read Kropotkin of course!

upcoming actions

For 2006/2007 SWAG is going to engage in/have/etc... (all dates 2006/2007)

Strike Support

Every Sunday at 1:30 in the Safeway parking lot (109th and 82 Ave) we head out to the Palace Casino to support our fellow workers on the picket line.

Union organizer training workshop

The Industrial Workers of the World, along with SWAG are hosting a training workshop for organizers. Learn how to fire your boss, get better working conditions, vacations with pay, take your friends to the seashore.

The workshop is:
When: November 18th, 12pm-5pm
Where: University Campus, Old Arts Building Room 232

Bring your friends, leave your boss. Free refreshments, including, but not limited to, coffee and delicious snacks. Thanks to all who attended! We will be holding another in due course.

Poster for the November 18th organizing workshop

Films Showings with titillating discussion following.

The films are as follows:

Film screenings are on hold this semester due to our organization, in its entirety, being in their final year.

To all our comrades, we're deeply sorry.

An extensive pamphlet campaign.

It is important for student-workers and on-campus workers, most of whom work in the low-pay service industry, to know their rights on the workplace. The Students Union fails to provide this information in a decent, cohesive manner. We're going to change this.

The U of @ Anarchist Library.

There are many rare anarchist books in the stacks of Rutherford Library. These books are important as they evidence both the radical history of Alberta -this province has not always been a bastion of reaction- and because some of them are irreplaceable. We're working on getting them catalogued and moved to Special Collections; when done, we'll hold a wee meeting and chat about some of the more special tomes.

Because friends don't let friends get the CLAC

Some would argue that the Christian Labour Association of Canada is a bosses organization which screws workers, especially young ones, and represents the bosses interests instead of the workers (you know, those involved in productive labour). Whether people agree with this or not, and we tend to, we think it is important to get the truth out about CLAC and let people decide for themselves. -|-Solidarity work! There are always labour issues at hand, whether they are strikes that could use some picket support, or folks who are having trouble with their boss. SWAG is involved in more than a few of these at any given time.

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