Saturday, February 04, 2012

Happy Birthday Big Bill Haywood!

1869 -- Wobbly "Big Bill" Haywood lives, in Salt Lake City, Utah
— where all good Mormons try to emulate him. Industrial Workers
of the World (IWW) honcho.
    Carl Sandburg wrote a piece for the "International Socialist
 casting IWW leader William "Big Bill" Haywood,
    imprisoned along with the rest of the IWW leadership on
    wartime sedition charges, as a kind of  20th-century John
    Brown, & another piece on Haywood for the "Chicago
    Daily News"

From Wikipedia:

William Dudley Haywood (February 4, 1869 – May 18, 1928), better known as "Big Bill" Haywood, was a founding member and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and a member of the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America. During the first two decades of the 20th century, he was involved in several important labor battles, including the Colorado Labor Wars, the Lawrence textile strike, and other textile strikes in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Haywood was an advocate of industrial unionism,[1] a labor philosophy that favors organizing all workers in an industry under one union, regardless of the specific trade or skill level; this was in contrast to the craft unions that were prevalent at the time, such as the AFL.[2] His belief that workers of all ethnicities should be united also clashed with many unions.[3] His strong preference for direct action over political tactics alienated him from the Socialist Party, and contributed to his dismissal in 1912.[4]
Never one to shy from violent conflicts,[4] Haywood was frequently the target of prosecutors. His trial for the murder of Frank Steunenberg in 1907 (of which he was acquitted) drew national attention; in 1918, he was one of 101 IWW members convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 during the First Red Scare. While out of prison during an appeal of his conviction, Haywood fled to the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, where he spent the remaining years of his life.[5]

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