Iww Organization Essay

960 WordsFeb 23, 20124 Pages
The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) was a radical organization in the United States that was most active between the turn of the century and the 1930s. The Wobblies, as they were known, believed there must be radical changes in American capitalism to improve the oppressive conditions that workers faced. Many I.W.W. members believed in socialist or communist ideology and some advocated whatever means necessary to effect change, including sabotage and violence. The Seattle chapter of the I.W.W. was founded in 1905 and contributed to the city's reputation as a hotbed of labor radicalism. The local office showed a keen interest in labor-related and Wobbly-related activities across the nation, but most of its activities focused on organizing labor within the state. Beginning in 1907, the Seattle I.W.W. undertook a campaign to organize Washington's lumber workers. Wobblies believed that the poor treatment and low wages in the industry would make lumberjacks and mill workers receptive to leftist ideas. However, the employers in mill towns and lumber camps fought these attempts vigorously by screening out Wobbly workers and sympathizers, using detectives and by directing vigilante groups. For the most part, the timber companies' efforts to drive out the Wobblies in the early 1910s were successful, but World War I and the accompanying economic boom in the lumber industry strengthened the hand of the unions. Everett had been one of the few mill towns where labor radicalism remained strong in spite of the business community's concerned efforts to drive it out. Wobblies in Everett, joined by members of the Seattle I.W.W., continued to deliver radical rhetoric despite vigilante beatings and arrests. After the brutal beating of forty Wobblies whom deputies had taken out of jail and turned over to a group of vigilantes, the Seattle I.W.W. rallied 250 supporters to

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