Written by X389468Pictures by a Fellow Worker Typically May Day is a day where leftists and union folks of all stripes get together and remember both martyrs for the labor movement and the gains that have been made since the Haymarket Affair well over a hundred years ago; however, there are certainly folks who neither […]
Author: Vapauteen Kissa
Union member and labor history enthusiast among other things.
By X389468 Over the years, IWW members have written hundreds of songs. These range from the ever-popular “Solidarity Forever” to more forgettable numbers such as “There’s A Bright Way To Freedom” or “When You Wear That Button”. Some are still sung today, though many languish unsung between the pages of an old edition of the […]
If you have ever looked at the history of the IWW, chances are you’ve noticed that IWW members get arrested and end up in jail a lot. The most famous stretch of time where large concentrations of Wobblies ended up in America’s jails is during and just after the First World War, but even before […]
From the Archives: On Being Happy
By Robert Whitaker This poem appeared in the October 1925 edition of the Industrial Pioneer. Note that this was written before the Great Depression. ❖❖❖ How can a man be happy when the world is so awry?When strong men beg for work to do and unfed millions die?When little children lift their heads and plead […]
From the Archives: Wobbles
The name ‘Wobbly’ lends to quite a few pun opportunities. One of the more ingenious of these can be found within the pages of the Industrial Pioneer, a monthly IWW publication that ran from 1921-1926. The Industrial Pioneer introduced a humor section, and labeled it ‘Wobbles’ – I’m sure the masterminds behind that were very […]
The Case For Propaganda
by X389468 It’s no secret that the IWW has seen better days. At one time, our membership was in the hundreds of thousands and we appeared to be on the verge of becoming the voice of “unskilled” labor. Vicious government repression over several years put an end to that, and instead we were forced to […]
From the Archives: Escaped!
This poem was written by Ralph Chaplain and published in the Industrial Pioneer in 1923. As a side note, the term used at the time for an escaping prisoner is “wildcat”. ❖❖❖ A man has fled…! We clutch the bars and wait;The corridors are empty, tense, and still;A silver mist has dimmed the distant hill;The guards […]
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Mortimer Downing in the year 1923 and was published in the Industrial Pioneer, an IWW monthly paper. “How ‘Wobbly’ Originated” “Up in Vancouver, in 1911, we had a number of Chinese members, and one restaurant keeper would trust any member for meals. He could not pronounce […]
As of November 28, 1918, the Sacramento local of the IWW is for the most part languishing in jail. However, in typical IWW fashion their spirits remain unbroken and they continue to be problems for the law and for everyone within earshot. The Sacramento IWW in particular decided to employ a technique called “building a […]
The following are all summaries of articles that appeared in the Sacramento Bee: October 24, 1913 – A verbal fight breaks out between a socialist speaker and some “IWW elements” that apparently needed the presence of two police officers. It’s probably for the best that the panicked citizens of Sacramento lived before Twitter existed. July […]