The aim of the General Defense Committee (GDC) is to provide defense and solidarity to members of the working class under attack. We provide these through the provision and maintenance of legal and financial support, and through attempts to innovate new forms of defense of the working class as a whole. The GDC publicly promotes the vision of the IWW and the creation of worker-run industry to the entire working class.
Effective worker organizations will face oppression from the master class, and have been effectively shut down and marginalized through lawsuits, imprisonment, and through the institution of neighborhood terror by police, security, and gangs. Some attacks on worker organization involve courts, police, and prisons. We must secure defense against such attacks, but do not imagine that legal and financial defense alone are sufficient.
Some of the most effective weapons of the master class are to divide the working class according to unevenly shared oppressions of race, sex, gender, sexual attraction, religion, nationality, or language. While the IWW organizes against such divisions in the workplace, the GDC both defends workers in legal trouble, and takes action against such oppressions, in ways that attempt to strategically link anti-oppression struggles to worker organization. As such, we see the GDC’s mission partly as defense of active organized workers already in our union, and partly as outreach to currently under-represented members of the working class.
It shall be the purpose of the General Defense Committee to aid those who find themselves persecuted by the powers that be in their struggle for justice and freedom. It shall also be the purpose of the General Defense Committee to publish and distribute literature exposing the false and reactionary propaganda of the master class.
By organizing the many and centralizing their efforts in each instance, labor will be given the protection of the entire working class, thereby making an injury to one the concern of all.