Home Page



Media Centers

Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

LOCAL Review :: Labor & Class

Review: "Wobblies! A Graphic History of The IWW."

A review of the new book "Wobblies!" Its a pictoral history of the IWW. The book charts the major events and memorable momments of not only the IWW, but it also chronicles the highlights of early radical union organizing. [Written specially for the Richmond IMC as part of a book review program -ed.]
"Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World" (Verso, April 2005) on one of the most dynamic and enduring radical movements in American history, comes a century after the birth of America’s most influential and militant union, and at a critical time for both the movement and the nation.

Coming in an era where many of the social welfare programs that were won during the days of the great labor struggles in the latter part of the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth are under attack from a congress and White House that are increasingly hostile to workers and the labor movement, Wobblies! helps us to remember the great moments of that noble struggle, and helps us to appreciate the sufferings of those first workers who organized a union, and the strikes and pickets for conditions we now take for granted: an eight-hour day, a minimum wage, employer provided health care. With an administration hostile to the few social protections of the working class, it is time again for the workers to take to the streets together as the Wobblies have done for century.

Wobblies! uses some of the time honored styles of the IWW, including political comics, art, and songs to spread the message of working class unity in the face of capitalist exploitation. As a compilation of the work of many artists and activists, you can feel the diversity of backgrounds that make up the IWW as you turn each page. The book goes beyond being a simple replication of classic IWW methods, and is extremely informative of the history of the IWW. It covers most of the major stories surrounding the IWW, from the Patterson New Jersey strike, to the strikes of the Western Federation of Miners.

For someone not familiar with the history of the IWW, or of the movements that gave birth to the Wobblies, Wobblies! provides a suitable introduction into the history of the radical movement from its inception in Chicago in June of 1905, to its landmark organization of migrant workers two decades later, to its support of the civil rights movement and its present struggles with the forces of capital.

In the current climate of today’s labor-management relations this book, and the strategies and tactics used by the IWW are becoming increasingly more relevant. With the total proportion of unionized workers in the private sector down to a measly two percent, greater emphasis on organizing workers is the only possible to save what precious few elements of the welfare state workers have won from being removed by an administration more in bed with business than Hoover’s.

Campaign contributions can not hold back the bosses alone; it will take dedicated grassroots organizing with charismatic leaders and inspirational tactics in the time honored style of the IWW to save the working class.

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software

[Valid RSS]