Author Archives: atrain36

Come out to the Chicago Anarchist Film Festival

Posted by atrain

With the absence of Finding our Roots or larger anarchist gatherings, the 10th Chicago Anarchist Film Festival offers an opportunity to share ideas, reunite with old friends, meet new people and watch amazing radical films.  CAFF points to the importance of long term projects development in movement building and creating momentum.

From CAFF:

Celebrate with us, as the 10th Annual Chicago Anarchist Film Festival commemorates its decennial anniversary of insurrectionary cinema with six nights of films and much more! This year’s festival is twice as big with more to think about! Happy Birthday CAFF!

CAFF invites anarchists, anti-authoritarians, the anarcho-friendly and the anarcho-curious to experience radical cinema from around the world with features, shorts, documentaries, animation, and found footage. Anarchist films cross boundaries, take risks, and subvert passivity. With this year’s theme, Crossing Boundaries, CAFF seeks to project voices that transcend borders and cultures — voices that do not normally get heard. That said, viewers will also find humor, silliness and fun in the offerings. With several More Than Film presentations/workshops, the curatorial team has re-imagined the film fest as more than “seats facing a screen”— we also seek to engage the audience in dialogue with filmmakers and activists. In honor of our decade of existence, we will also be featuring Circle-A-Archives selections from throughout the festival’s history that showcase not only our favorites, but also important moments in politics and culture.

2010 Online Schedule | Download Program (pdf)

Donation of $5–10 each night, sliding scale
(No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds)

Categories: Four Star Recommends These Chicago Events | Leave a comment

Teamsters Local 743 on Strike

From our TDU local:


Dear Sisters and Brothers from the Friend Family support list,

Workers at SK Hand Tools in Chicago (3535 W. 47th St.) and McCook
(9500 W. 55th St.) voted unanimously to STRIKE as of Tuesday, August
25, 2009!  Please forward this e-mail to friends and allies.

Strike support will be needed on a 24/7 basis at both locations –
please contact the Teamsters Local 743 union hall at (773) 254-7460
for more information.

For Immediate Release:
For More Information:
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sarah Hainds, (773) 254-7460

Cell: (773) 860-0306

Teamsters Strike Over Lost Health Insurance

Workers and their families forced to delay important medical treatment

Teamsters Local 743 union members working at SK Hand Tools voted
unanimously to strike today at 3:30pm due to the company’s unilateral
withdrawal of the workers’ health insurance without notice.

The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has issued an unfair labor
practice complaint alleging that the company has bargained illegally
by stopping health care coverage without notice.

“President Obama is leading a national debate about how to protect
hard-working Americans from callous employers like SK Hand Tools,”
said Teamsters Local 743 president Richard Berg.  “This French-owned
company has left us no choice but to strike for our basic needs,
health care,” he continued.

SK Hand Tools has been making high quality metal tools in Chicago for
88 years.  SK workers have been in contract negotiations for nine
months.  The company has been in the Teamsters union since 1968.

“We are willing to make concessions to save the company,” union
steward David Biedrzycki stated, “but we can’t lose our health
insurance.  They expect us to pay for our health coverage
out-of-pocket when they’re also asking for a 20% pay cut – we can’t
afford this!”  The workers’ wages have been frozen for the last six

The workers currently earn on average $14 per hour.  The pay reduction
that management is proposing includes an additional $4 cut in the
first 6 months, which would lower that average to just over minimum
wage.  SK Hand Tools employs about 70 workers.

SK Hand Tools sells its merchandise through its website and through
stores like Sears & Roebuck and  SK also makes some of the
Sears Craftsman products.

Teamsters Local 743 represents 11,000 workers throughout the
Chicagoland area working in manufacturing, health care, clerical, food
service, warehouse and maintenance industries.

Categories: Four Star Recommends These Chicago Events | Leave a comment

8/17- Starbucks! Stop the Cuts! Hand Off Our Healthcare! Protest/Rally!”

From the IWW:

Event: 8/17- Starbucks! Stop the Cuts! Hand Off Our Healthcare! Protest/Rally!
“Members and supporters of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union to protest and rally against Starbucks’ HEALTH CARE CUTS and UNION BUSTING on this National DAY OF ACTION”
What: Protest
Host: I ♥ Union Baristas!
Start Time: Monday, August 17 at 12:00pm
End Time: Monday, August 17 at 3:00pm
Where: Starbucks Coffee Co. (California and Logan Blvd)

Categories: Four Star Recommends These Chicago Events | Leave a comment

Two FSAO Members share their experience as war resistors on active military duty

Posted by atrain

FSAO veteran on active duty

Veteran and member of Four Star on active duty

Recently, two members of FSAO were interviewed and published describing their experiences as war resistors on active military duty at Ft. Polk Lousiana 2004-2005.

The interview was published at

The FSAO members served in 1/131 INF (infantry) located out of Elgin, Il and began active and open resistance to the military when they received word while on active deployment in 2004-2005 at Ft. Polk LA, that their unit was gearing up for Iraq.
While in Louisiana, their primary job was to train soldiers and participate in large scale war simulations. To hear more about their mission at ft. Polk watch the video located at:

The former soldiers resisted by individually filing for conscientious objector status and for hardship discharge. As far as collective action, they actively agitated and built strong relationships with other enlisted soldiers who came from working class backgrounds.  Through dedicated organizing, FSAO members encouraged one soldier to file for Conscientious objector status (who was later discharged from service), and four others to seek discharge through other means.

On a day to day level, FSAO veterans took part in agitation and propaganda; which included graffiti of military poster at their barracks and on post, the creation of their own posters and flyers and movie nights showing radical films.  Several soldiers activly displayed anarchist and anti-war materiel and went as far as refusing to take it down.

Tagged poster

Tagged poster

At the height of the deployment, FSAO members started a massive letter writing campaign to Illinois senators that created a massive investigation of the unit because 2/3 of the weapons were deadlined (non functional), and the soldiers would not be able to train with them before deployment.  The deployment was halted after two months of investigation leading to a major victory for the anarchist soldiers.

Continuing political work until discharge after the deployment in 2006, these members further influence three soldiers to ETS (leave the military on their  agreed commitment date) instead of re-uping for additional service and two others switched military units to avoid participation on their units next deployment in Afghanistan 2008-2009.

We hope that these experiences serve as a model and example of what collective resistance can bring.

Categories: Four Star News and Views | 1 Comment

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