IWW member Chris “Max” Perkins has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. An experienced journeyman carpenter (and apprentice plumber & electrician), Max now takes chemotherapy. He is disabled from working due to symptoms and side effects like joint pain, nausea, lethargy and sleeplessness. He has spots on his lung and recently underwent a brain scan. Max’s very small income means he urgently needs support with housing costs. His friends in the Boston GMB appeal to all Wobs who can contribute any funds to please consider supporting Max in a difficult time.
Max is an activist of long standing in environmental, workers’ & animal rights, and anti-fascist campaigns. Max remembers that “the police did nothing,” when Neo-Nazi skinheads marched in Germany and England in the 1980’s. He helped organize counter-demonstrations, enduring tear gas, broken bones and hospitalization in his zeal to shut the racists’ rallies down. As a member of the Hawaii Carpenters’ Union, Max took part in strikes over wage theft and the use of scab labor, and fought corruption in his union local. At Occupy Long Beach, Max helped organize a protest against police brutality when cops attacked a veteran of the Iraq war, choking him unconscious for no reason. Max explains, “I spend three months in Lincoln Park in Long Beach during winter in a tent,” facing down police harassment. “I had a place I rented, but I chose to be in the park.” Max recalls, “I fed the homeless, and helped mentally ill people. The cops bussed people out of County Jail, sent them to Occupy to try to make it impossible. I know first aid, and as a former EMT, I know deescalation techniques,” skills which were in high demand in the Occupy camp. A Wobbly for many years, and now an active member of the Boston IWW, Max is a fixture at pickets by the Wobs and by other unions. In recent years he’s marched for Harvard workers exposing racial discrimination on the job, helped local IWW’s invade the Flagship Gap store in touristy Faneuil Hall to protest factory disasters in Bangladesh, and helped bring the noise to many raucous night-time pickets during Boston’s Insomnia Cookies strike (which ended with offers of re-employment and cash settlements for IWW’s fired for striking).
Max has been a musician since he was a teen, and has performed with anarcho-punk acts including Radical Apathy, Plain Truth, Threatening Gesture and Napalm. His sadly-disbanded group Radical Apathy toured a number of IWW branches just a few months ago. Scraping by on a meager disability check, Max has a place to live for September, but still needs housing for the coming months, and has little ability to earn income. Wobs who want to support FW Max can contribute online at http://igg.me/at/HelpMaxMove, or send a check, made out to Chris Perkins, to Boston IWW, PO Box 391724, Cambridge, MA 02139. All proceeds will go towards Max’s housing costs and living expenses.