Joseph Labadie and the Labor Movement
Life of a Detroit Anarchist
a review of
All-American Anarchist: Joseph A. Labadie and the Labor Movement, Carlotta R. Anderson, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, 1998, 324 pp., $34.95
As a native Detroiter, I was raised with a belief in the strength of the labor movement, the power of the unions, and the importance of the Almighty Henry Ford to the economic life of Detroit.
Mar 13, 2021
Judaism and Anarchism Conference in Venice
Anarchists from all over Europe and the Americas, as well as several from Israel, attended an International Study Conference on Anarchism and Judaism, held in Venice, Italy, May 5–7.
It was organized by Milan’s Centro Studi Libertari Archivio G. Pinelli and the Centre International de Recherches sur l’Anarchisme in Lausanne, in collaboration with the Venice City Council and held on the University of Venice campus.
Mar 18, 2021
What can we say?
First-hand reflections from the Middle East
By the time most of you see this, you will have already read dozens of disturbing and horrifying accounts from international peace activists, solidarity workers, and others who have recently traveled to Palestine to participate in, observe, and learn about the situation that has grabbed the world’s attention for the past few months. That fact troubled me while sitting down to write. What more could I say about my journey that would interest anyone? My hope is that I can convey my experience in such a way that does not simply echo what others have already said or written, and that you don’t glance at this article with indifference (“not another article about the Middle East crisis.”)
May 6, 2021
Debs’ Speech Threatened the Rulers
Much Like Today’s Anti-War Agitation
FE Note: As we write, the U.S. is in the final stages of preparation for its imperial invasion and occupation of Iraq, so the question posed in the upper right headline may be in the first stages of being answered.
A look into a past period of powerful resistance and radical agitation against imperialist war is instructive. Already, far-right-wing talk show hosts are advocating that the 1917 Sedition Act be used to silence anti-war demonstrators.
Jun 24, 2021
a review of
Joe Hill: The IWW & the Making of a Revolutionary Working-class Counterculture, by Franklin Rosemont, Charles H. Kerr, Chicago, 2003, 639 pp. $17.00
“...singing through the hard time for the good times to come...”
—Utah Phillips, IWW storyteller and folk singer
The day I received this book, I also went to see Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, a documentary about the protest music of Apartheid South Africa. In the film, freedom fighter Lindiwe Zulu told about the reaction when black activists would lose one of their comrades in the struggle.
Jul 22, 2021
The IWW: 100 Years of Resistance and Repression
A Radical Union Endures
By the last half of the nineteenth century, working conditions in American factories, mines, and mills were deplorable. Industrialists were ruthless about making money at the expense of the health and safety of the workers. They looked upon their employees as less than human.
No labor laws existed to protect the men, women and children who poured into northern industrial centers. The cheapest of laborers were the freed slaves from the South and poor immigrants from all over Europe, escaping famines, devastating wars, and repressive regimes. Slavery was officially outlawed in the United States, but the treatment of black people was little different than before the Emancipation Proclamation.
May 24, 2015
Direct action (legal and illegal) and sabotage had been used by the U.S. and European labor movements as a method of class combat since the rise of industrialism.
These tactics allowed workers to fight back using whatever tools were available to them, and was viewed as a viable method of achieving worker demands outside of political channels. The IWW promoted direct action after the 1908 split with the Socialist Labor Party (which only advocated political action); however, it was not official union policy until 1914, and then only for a short time.
May 30, 2015
IWW Free Speech Fights
Because of the IWW’s mission to organize all workers into One Big Union, immigrants, migrants, blacklisted, unskilled, itinerant, and other hard-to-reach workers were sought by Wobbly organizers as potential members. Organizers weren’t allowed into the shops, factories, or lumber camps, so they congregated on street corners and in town squares where they would address workers from soapboxes, urging them to join the union.
May 30, 2015
World War I: The Chicago Trial
“No war but the class war” was the expressed motto of many radicals who refused to enlist or otherwise contribute to any national war effort. At their tenth convention in 1914, the IWW passed a resolution stating, “We as members of the industrial army will refuse to fight for any purpose except the realization of industrial freedom.”
May 31, 2015
Paul Avrich (1931–2006)
A Passionate Chronicler of Anarchism
A beloved comrade and renowned scholar of 19th and 20th century anarchism passed away on February 17 at his home in New York City. Paul Avrich was author and editor of dozens of influential books and articles on the history of anarchism, including The Haymarket Tragedy; The Modern School Movement: Anarchism and Education in the United States; An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre; Anarchist Portraits; Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background, and Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America.
Apr 24, 2015
Singing about Revolution & One Big Union
reviewed in this article
The Big Red Songbook, Archie Green, David Roediger, Franklin Rosemont, Salvatore Salerno, editors; 2007; 538 pp.; $24; Charles H. Kerr Co., 1740 West Greenleaf, Chicago, IL 60626. Available from The Barn (see page 55).
In a 100th anniversary commemorative edition of the Industrial Workers of the World’s Little Red Songbook, the editors have compiled over 250 IWW songs along with their histories and anecdotes about them. Covering songs that appeared in the notorious and ubiquitous volumes, from the 1909 to the 1973 edition, each entry includes lyrics and a brief description.
Feb 21, 2015
An Anarcho-Crossword Puzzle
to test your knowledge of anarchist history and culture
<strong>View or download PDF [57 KB]
Hints are displayed below the puzzle.</strong>
<strong>See below for answers and annotations
3. Brit anarcho-punk band; also rude or distasteful
5. Not charity; the Prince agrees 6,3
8. Anti-roach spray, early punk band, but you can
Oct 6, 2013