Fellow worker Camazotz talks about how they raised over $8,700 for a new union hall.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Fellow Worker Camazotz from the Milwaukee IWW. Camazotz recently organized a fundraiser on his Twitch.tv channel that raised over $8,700 for his branch to put towards a union hall! The livestream started at noon on Sunday, March 15th to 4pm on Tuesday, March 17th. The stream included hilarious commentary on the Democratic Primary Debate, chats with Wobblies from different branches, and gameplay from The Outer Worlds. Enjoy the interview and give a follow to FW Camazotz channel!
FW Lupo: What branch are you based out of?
FW Camazotz: Milwaukee GMB
How long have you been in the IWW?
How did you get into the IWW?
Through YouTube, BadMouse Productions. He ended one of his videos by saying “I’m a card carrying red” and held up his Red Card. And so I researched and looked up my local branch. I joined up online, I went to a meeting to introduce myself, then I went to MayDay with the branch and from there I got more involved. There’s other YouTubers like Emerican Johnson who inspired me too.
When did you start the Twitch channel?
Around 6 months ago.
How did you come up with your Twitch channel name?
The whole basis of my work online is amplifying the voices of marginalized people in leftist spaces. Every Sunday I host a Latinx panel discussion called Unidos. We go over issues and news in the global south and our perspective living in the first world, and how to bridge the gap between first world and third world leftists. When I went up to my friend who helped me design my avatar and logo and everything, I explained all this to him. I explained everything I want it to be about. I want to keep it to Mezoamerican culture so he found this bat-god called Camazot that is the god of death and sacrifice. First thing that came to my mind was sacrificing Jeff Bezos (eat the rich). So my friend created the logo and I in turn got it commissioned into a mask. So now I have this image that’s recognizable. They recognize the name because of the image. It came from my artist after laying out all my goals and vision and he gave me Camazots, the Mayan god of death and sacrifice.
What inspired you to create this Twitch stream fundraiser?
A couple of the newer members were speaking about a space. We were tired of meeting in libraries, found out there was once a space committee that was working in cooperation with Twin Cities GMB but that fell to the side. So it was me and two other wobs who wanted to reorganize the space committee. We designated roles, who’s doing what, etc. Started doing online stuff since last June.
How much did your fundraiser make?
Have you worked on other Twitch fundraisers before?
Yeah I have been on other Twitch fundraisers. I worked with The Serfs to raise money for Trans Lifeline and also raised money for water infrastructure for First Nations peoples on a separate Twitch stream. About one week before this IWW fundraiser I helped with an event on Twitch for Maine Trans Network. It is the largest trans-led organization in the country. I’m not really handy with building a space but I can fundraise. So I just asked my fellow workers to come on for one or two hours to speak about organizing and the IWW. I’ve created an online community that is hungry for offline organizing. The first day we raised $3,000. My fellow workers from the branch came online and were pleasantly shocked! So I ask this question: why are we only focused on pickets and banner drops and leafleting? We are thinking like it’s 100 years ago and we need to start thinking for the modern day. Arab Spring wouldn’t have gotten to where it went without Twitter. The Chile Uprising wouldn’t have gotten far without Facebook live and Instagram. If we do not use the technology at our disposal…it is irresponsible of us because we are not doing everything we can to solve this capitalism problem.
Were you inspired by other leftist organizations to utilize Twitch?
Yeah I saw how other channels on Twitch were plugging the DSA. Every channel was DSA, DSA, DSA and I said I’d love to see IWW be represented more on here
Are there any other leftists on Twitch that you want to shoutout?
Non Compete, Lottieblix, The Serfs, Christopher Szabo, Silverspook, Thought Slime, Radical Reviewer. Also check out their YouTube channels.
How can a union hall help your IWW branch?
Just having a place that allows us to first of all store all our flags, banners, sound equipment, etc to start. It allows us to work with other organizations in our city to strengthen the movement throughout all of Milwaukee. We can’t do that effectively without a space. But at the end of the day we are only going to be as good as what we can deliver to the people and the union hall benefits the community which in turn benefits the branch.
Have you been to an IWW union hall before?
No I haven’t but the working class needs safe spaces. We need social structure for people to gather around. That’s what makes churches so strong. You know there’s community behind those doors. There’s no sense of community anymore for the working class, we’ve been so individualized to our own harm. The hall becomes a symbol of community. A symbol is important to any movement. And that’s what we need now. A symbol for people to rally around, one of solidarity. There can be no compromise in that if we want to see real change.
If you could choose any billionaire/capitalist to be in the cockpit of the first manned mission to the surface of the sun who would it be?
It would be a frankenstein spliced-creation of Mitch McConnell and Jair Bolsonaro because they’ve both done such damage to their respective countries.