Sabotage : Preface
(1890 - 1964) ~ IWW Activist, Founder of the ACLU, and US Communist Party Chairwoman : At the age of 17 she became a full time organizer for the IWW, and was consequently arrested 10 times. Although she was never convicted of any criminal activity, she was forced to leave the IWW in 1916 because of internal conflicts. In 1920 she helped found the American Civil Liberties Union, and began actively supporting Sacco and Vanzetti... (From : Spartacus Educational Bio.)
• "...how they inspired us, how we revered them. French Communards, Russian revolutionists escaped from Siberia, Germans driven out by Bismarck, Garibaldians in their red shirts, Irish, Polish exiles. Oldtime Americans marching, telling of Haymarket, Homestead, Pullman. Men who knew Marx, Engels, Silvis, Parsons – patriarchs and prophets to us." (From : Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, 1939.)
• "'The right to assemble; the right to speak' written in dead words in the Bill of Rights was written in live deeds by the people all over the United States." (From : Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, 1939.)
• "Defense of our civil liberties; for political prisoners; fighting against raids, wholesale arrests, and deportations of thousands of foreign-born workers – these were the big issues of 1918 and 1919. The boss class was terrified by the great Russian Revolution." (From : Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, 1939.)
Originally published as SABOTAGE, THE CONSCIOUS WITHDRAWAL OF THE WORKERS' INDUSTRIAL EFFICIENCY, in October, 1916, by the IWW publishing bureau, in Cleveland, Ohio. It was later withdrawn from the IWW's official litearture. The pampahlet originally sold for 10 cents.
The following document is presented for historical purposes and in the interest of the freedom of speech. The IWW takes no official position on sabotage (i.e. the IWW neither condones nor condemns such actions). Workers who engage in some of the following forms of sabotage risk legal sanctions.
Elizabeth Gurley-Flynn's Introduction:
The interest in sabotage in the United States has developed lately on account of the case of Frederick Sumner Boyd in the state of New Jersey as an aftermath of the Paterson strike. Before his arrest and conviction for advocating sabotage, little or nothing was known of this particular form of labor tactic in the United States. Now there has developed a two-fold necessity to advocate it: not only to explain what it means to the worker in his fight for better conditions, but also to justify our fellow-worker Boyd in everything that he said. So I am desirous primarily to explain sabotage, to explain it in this two-fold significance, first as to its utility and second as to its legality.
From : IWW.org
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