“You understand we are radical”: the United Mine Workers of America, District 18 and The One Big Union, 1919-1920
The story of the United Mine Workers of America District 18 and their path into, and then later out of, the radical One Big Union.
The third in Recomposition's series at looking at some of the arguments against the IWW.
[i]The root for many critiques of the IWW came from the thinkers of the Bolsheviks, and the positions of the bureaucracies of the Soviet State via the Comintern. The positions laid out in Lenin’s text Left-Wing Communism: An infantile disorder, remain the references point for many such arguments.
Theodore Draper's incredibly detailed book about the many groups, factions and individuals that would form what became the Communist Party USA. Mostly focusing on the years 1917-1921, Draper traces the roots from the 'Left-Wing' of the Socialist Party of America and the IWW, to the Third International-linked CPUSA.
Eisensteins first film depicting working conditions and repression in Tsarist Russia.
Strike was Sergei Eisenstein's first film (1924). It depicts life at a factory complex in Tsarist Russia and the conditions the workforce experienced. The plot is about the workers organising a strike which due to repression escalates into a full blown occupation. Its most famous scenes like Battleship Potemkin where the violent measures used by the Tsarist authorities.
A 1924 article from the Portland Press Herald about conflict between the Industrial Workers of the World and the the Ku Klux Klan.
From the Portland Press Herald – Tuesday, February 5, 1924
K.K.K. And I.W.W. Wage Drawn Battle in Greenville
175 Workers Patrol The Street After Clash Saturday Night
HOSTILITIES OPEN WHEN KLAN CLEANS OUT BOARDING HOUSE
Woodsmen Ordered Out But Refuse to Leave – Reinforcements Pouring in By the Hundreds
A critique of the labor politics of William Z. Foster and the Communist Party of America's Trade Union Education League (TUEL). Author Ben Legare was the main US organizer for the One Big Union (OBU) a socialist union founded in western Canada by dissident members of the American Federation of Labor.
A 1920 article descriving conflict within the One Big Union in Canada over industrial vs. regional organization.
Two hostile camps have developed in the Canadian One Big Union. The one is fighting for a militant industrial form of an organization, the other for a geographical (district) beans and soup association.
The former is advocated by the lumber (migratory) workers, and the later by the city "home" guard element.