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Always on Strike Frank Little and the Western Wobblies by Arnold Stead

Always on Strike Frank Little and the Western Wobblies by Arnold Stead

A history of the I.W.W.’s golden years as lived by one of its’ guiding lights.

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“[The governor] asked me what we would do if the companies did not yield to our demands. I told him we would call everyman out of the mines. Then he said that if we did, that he would place them under Federal control. I laughed and told him we would call out every worker in the country, agriculture workers, lumbermen, munitions workers, miners, mechanics and all classes of working men. He said ‘Why, man, you wouldn’t do that. This country is at war.’ I said ‘ Governor, I don’t care what country your country is fighting. I am fighting for the solidarity of labor!”
—From the speech for which Frank Little was murdered in Butte, Montana

Frank Little is considered by some to be the greatest organizer produced by the U.S. labor movement, and yet precious little has been written about the famous Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) agitator. Little was a key leader of the country’s first free speech fights, organized a number of mass strikes, and was considered such a threat to corporate interests that he was lynched by company thugs for decry attempts at strike breaking. Police and government officials not only turned a blind eye to his murder, they later used his words and actions to justify a campaign to scapegoat and persecute other members of the IWW.

Always on Strike chronicles and critically engages with Little’s exploits in hopes of exposing a new generation of radicals to his life, legacy and politics.

Featuring cover art from a portrait of Frank Little by Keith Seidel, keithseidel.com