About

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My name is Juan Conatz and this is mostly a spot to post unfinished comments on stuff I’m reading, blurbs of thoughts, stalled articles that I’ll probably never finish, etc.

For more thought out/polished writings, check out the list below.

2010

Sometimes we don’t get to the point of winning or losing... – an account of attempted  Teamster organizing at a warehouse I worked at in Peosta, Iowa. Written for libcom.org

Reportback from Class Struggle Anarchist Conference 2009 – A reportback from the 2009 Class Struggle Anarchist Conference in Detroit, Michigan, which was a conference involving most of the formal anarchist political organizations in North America. Written for libcom.org

2011

A history of Wild Rose Rebellion (2007-2009) – Cowritten with R.Spourgítis. A history of an Iowa-based anarchist group. Written for Wild Rose Collective’s website.

Impressions of Madison – An account of a February 2011 trip to the protests in Madison, Wisconsin, which erupted over the Governor’s plan to revoke collective bargaining rights to state employees. Written for libcom.org

Why a general strike hasn’t happened yet – An attempt to identify some factors that had prevented a general strike from breaking out in Wisconsin. Written for libcom.org

The power of working-class solidarity – Cowritten with Brendan Sawyers, Grace Parker and at least 2 others. Written for the Madison General Membership Branch (GMB) of the IWW as a pamphlet during the protests in Wisconsin.

The specific anarchist group – Cowritten with R.Spourgítis. Written for Wild Rose Collective’s ‘new member packet’.

A response to ‘Direct Unionism: A Discussion Paper’: Part 1 and 2 – A reply and review of ‘Direct Unionism: A Discussion Paper‘,  which argues for a network of militants and non-contractual organizing. Written libcom.org. Also appeared in the Industrial Worker.

Wisconsin: what now? – A June 2011 update on what had happened in Wisconsin since early April 2011. Written for libcom.org

The general strike that didn’t happen: a report on the activity of the IWW in Wisconsin – Cowritten with Brendan Sawyers. A report to the 2011 IWW Delegate Convention in Baltimore, MD about the union’s activities during the protests in Wisconsin.

Holding the line: informal pace setting in the workplace – An account of working in a warehouse in Iowa City, IA, which was trying to increase productivity and the resistance that some of us responded with. Written for Recomposition: Notes for a New Workerism. Included in the upcoming book, Lines of Work: Stories of Jobs and Resistance.

Is reform possible? – A piece exploring whether the increasingly common claim by various anarchists and communists that reform is impossible is actually true. Written for libcom.org

2012

Communization or GTFO?: a short piece on how we use propaganda – A short piece exploring some common issues and objections when it comes to agitational material. Written for libcom.org

‘Bout to explode: a day in the life of a precarious worker – a day in the work life of a sleep deprived day laborer. Written for Shift Magazine.  Included in the upcoming book, Lines of Work: Stories of Jobs and Resistance.

Conversation on general strikes – Basically a Facebook conversation between multiple people tidied up and turned into a blogpost. Written for libcom.org

Some objections to Occupy May 1st – A short list of objections to the May 1st general strike effort within the Occupy movement and some responses to them. Written for the Industrial Worker.

Interview with Burnt Bookmobile – An interview with an individual involved in Burnt Bookmobile, a blog out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin run by some people influenced by various anti-authoritarian tendencies, including insurrectionary anarchism, left communism, and nihilism, among others. Written for libcom.org

20 Years Later: the Los Angeles riots, hip-hop, rage and Trayvon Martin – A piece about the Los Angeles riots, hip-hop and race in America. Written for libcom.org

Striking back at bosses: solidarity networks and sexual assault – an account of members of the Twin Cities IWW taking on a creepy boss through Seattle Solidarity Network-type tactics. Written for The Organizer.

Fragmented thoughts on political organization –  Some rough thoughts on political organization, mostly based on my experience with groups in North America and conversations with some current and former members. Written for libcom.org

No-strike clauses and the IWW – An article on no-strike clauses, how they became common, what previous Wobblies thought of them and why they are bad for the IWW. Written for The Organizer.

Building branch culture: Mesaba and Red November, Black November – An article about two Twin Cities IWW branch events in 2011. Written for libcom.org

Reviving an old tradition of educating IWW agitators: Work Peoples College – Cowritten with Cedar Larson. A reportback of the IWW’s Work Peoples College, a week long workshop and training event meant to spread skills and share experiences within the union. Written for the Industrial Worker.

Review of Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and class struggle – Review of a pamphlet written by the UK anarcho-syndicalist group, Solidarity Federation. Written for Recomposition: Notes for a New Workerism.

2013

Developing the IWW’s Direct Unionism Politics –  An article that rekindles the discussion sparked by the discussion paper on Direct Unionism. Written for Recomposition: Notes for a New Workerism.

Personal issues with ‘writer’s block’ – A piece that goes over some reasons for personal problems with being able to write, exploring underlying reasons behind the ‘writer’s block’. Written for libcom.org

Shotgun organizing – Cowritten with John O’Reilly. An article about ‘shotgun organizing’ which we define as an individualized way of thinking every problem needs to be solved in the most intense and forceful fashion possible, regardless of whether or not it can be handled differently or of the effects on a workplace organizing committee. Written for the Industrial Worker.

Ghosts of Leninist past: a review of The Roots of American Communism – comments and a review of Theodore Draper’s history of the various factions that would become the Communist Party USA. Written for libcom.org

Occupy City Council!: Minneapolis and sewer socialism – a mostly finished writing on Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative, Occupy and SEIU in Minneapolis. Written for libcom.org

Zines and underground comics of the 1980s and 1990s – A blogpost about various ‘zines, underground comics and alternative publications I was exposed to during the late 1980s and 1990s. Written for libcom.org

2014

Contractualism should be avoided – a reply to a pro-contractualism article that appeared in the Industrial Worker. Written for the Industrial Worker.

Preventable mistakes – an account of a failed attempt to respond to a firing at work. Written for the Industrial Worker.

“I never met a man I admired more”: Vincent St. John (1876-1929) – a short biography of Vincent St. John, who was a hugely important and influential member in the IWW’s early years. Written for The Organizer.

7th Annual ‘Red November, Black November’ a success! – A report on the Twin Cities IWW’s yearly membership social. Written for The Organizer.

2015

From Wisconsin to Baltimore: which lessons learned? – The Wisconsin uprising of 2011 provides valuable lessons for the Black Lives Matter movement across the US, especially about the directions not to take. Written for ROAR Mag.

Uncovering the little-known life of Frank Little – A review of Always on Strike: Frank Little and the Western Wobblies. Written for the Industrial Worker.

2016

From here to there: how I became a Wobbly – a short account detailing how I became involved in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Written for The Organizer.

A review of Left of the left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff by Anatole Dolgoff – A short review of Anatole Dolgoff’s Left of the left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff. Written for libcom.org

Black Lives Matter: global uprising against police brutality – update on numerous BLM actions during July 2016. Written for the Industrial Worker.

Paperboy of the 1990s – a brief indulgence in 1990s nostalgia, centering on my first job. Written for libcom.org

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