Interview with Chicago factory occupation organizer

Author Benjamin Dangl talks to Mark Meinster, a labor organizer with UE 110 about the inspiration for his union’s successful occupation of a shuttered Chicago factory in December to protest their abrupt termination and unpaid wages.

I had read about the land occupations carried out by the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra in an interview with Joao Pedro Stedile in 2002. I was struck by the MST’s focus on popular education and leadership development, and especially the way they placed the occupation tactic within the context of the right to unused land enshrined in the Brazilian constitution. The occupation, although technically an illegal tactic, was used to enforce a legal right. This gives workers confidence and places the struggle on a moral plane, allowing for more significant community and political support. We drew on this concept in planning the Republic occupation…

Read the whole interview at Upside Down World.

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