I'm posting this quite old article on Wade Rathke from the IWW in America because Rathke is about to go on tour in Britain. "The Organizer - ACORN Film Screening and Q&A in Bristol.
23 January at 6.30pm. FB event -
PR: "ACORN Bristol are proud to be screening a film about the founder of
ACORN and the rollercoaster history of the organisation.
THE ORGANIZER is a portrait of Wade Rathke, the controversial founder of
ACORN, as well as an exploration of the much maligned and misunderstood
occupation - community organising. Before it's infamous demise following
several highly publicised scandals, ACORN had been the largest community
organisation in the US. Rathke, a former anti-war and welfare rights
organiser founded the organisation in Little Rock in 1970 and over the
next decades shepherded its growth into a national political powerhouse
for the poor. His entrepreneurial vision helped build ACORN but internal
conflict and external pressures would lead to its tragic downfall.
Undeterred, Rathke is now building new organisations around the world
and trying to rebuild at home. With a wealth of archives and interviews,
THE ORGANIZER is a film about people who have dedicated their lives to
the often hidden, usually messy and always controversial job of building
power for the powerless.
Wade will be joining us on the night to discuss the film, ACORN,
community organising and more. This is our chance as members of ACORN
Bristol to quiz Wade on how to make our union as powerful as can be!"
When ACORN was set up in Britain, its organisers said that it no longer had links with Rathke, although photos existed of them having a meal with him when he came over on a visit. They are now openly promoting their connections with this dubious character. See the IWW article on his activities here: