Julie Herrada
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.


Julie Herrada


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.


Julie Herrada
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.


Julie Herrada
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.”


Julie Herrada
Paul Avrich (1931–2006) A Passionate Chronicler of Anarchism

Paul Avrich (left) with Federico Arcos at Emma Goldman’s grave site, Waldheim Cemetery, Chicago, 1998. Photo: Julie Herrada

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.


Julie Herrada
Sacco and Vanzetti DVD Review

A review of

SACCO AND VANZETTI, Directed by Peter Miller, Willow Pond Films, www.willowpondfilms.com

To many anarchists, there are few more sympathetic characters in our movement’s history than Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.

The Martyrs’ Farewell
That we lost and have to die, does not diminish our appreciation and gratitude for your great solidarity with us and our families. Friends and Comrades, now that the tragedy of this trial is at an end, be all as of one heart. Only two of us will die. Our ideal, you our comrades, will live by millions. We have won. We are not vanquished. Just treasure our suffering, our sorrow, our mistakes, our defeats, our passion for future battles and for the great emancipation.
Be all as of one heart in this blackest hour of our tragedy. And we have heart. Salute for us all the Friends and Comrades on the earth.
We embrace you all and bid you our extreme good-bye with our hearts filled with love and affection.
Now and ever, long life to you all, long life to liberty.
Yours for life and death.
--Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti (Death House, August 21, 1927)


Julie Herrada
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.


Peter Werbe
Fran Shor
Dave Sands
Julie Herrada
Mike Sabbagh
David Watson

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