Archives for category: IWW
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Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 19 Tory Street, Wellington.

Local, national, and international speakers! Books, books and more books! A week of anarchist fun, make your plans now! More information coming soon!

If you are interested in booking a table or organising  an event please get in touch, wellingtonanarchistbookfair at gmail dot com.

The website is here: http://wellingtonanarchistbookfair.com/

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Ki nga kaimahi MaoriFrom AWSM: Exactly 100 years ago, in July 1913, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) published an article in their monthly newspaper titled ‘Ki nga Kaimahi Maori’. Percy Short, a painter from Johnsonville, started a series of articles in Te Reo for the revolutionary organisation. The IWW – te Iuniana o nga Kaimahi o te Ao – was founded in the US in 1905. Its famous preamble states that “the working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life.” [1] Millions of workers across the world joined this revolutionary organisation that was opposed to dividing up workers by trades and instead favoured the ‘one big union’ for all.

In Aotearoa, the first IWW branch was eastablished in 1908 in Wellington.2 In 1913, things really heated up for the IWW with a nation-wide speaking tour and the regular publication of the paper Industrial Unionist. With the start of the ‘Great Strike’ in late October the paper was published almost every three days keeping its four page format. Circulation reached 4,000 which was an enormous achievement for a small organisation with limited funds and radical ideas.

The article by Short, while brief, shows a sincere desire to connect the struggles on the waterfront and in the mines with the confiscation of land. It talks about how ‘in the old days’ – the time before colonisation – everything belonged to everyone (na te iwi katoa nga mea katoa) and concludes:

E nga kaimahi o te Ao katoa, Whakakotahitia; kaore he mea e ngaro, ko te Ao katoa e riro mai – Workers of the whole world, unite; you have nothing to lose, you have the world to win.

Ki nga Kaimahi Maori
(TO MAORI WORKINGMEN)

E hoa ma, –
E tuhituhi ana tenei reta ki nga mate, ara nga tangata e kiia ana nei he kaimahi.
Whakarongi mai! Tenei te huarahi tika mo tatau, mo te iwi rawakore, e whakakotahi ai tatou kia rite ai o tatou kaha ki o te hunga e pehi iho nei ia tatou.

E mohio ana tatou, ko nga mea papai katoa i te ao, he mea mahi na tatou ko nga kaimahi. Na reira e kii nei te I.W.W. (Iuniana o nga Kaimahi o te Ao), e tika ana kia riro i nga kaimahi aua mea papai. Engari, kei raro i te ahuatanga o naianei e riro ana te nuinga o nga hua o te werawera i te hunga, e kiia nei he rangatira; Aa, he wahi itiiti noa iho e riro ana i nga mokai nana nei i mahi. He penei tonu te ahuatanga i nga whenua katoa i tenei ra.

Kati, i mua, ki te mahi tetahi tangata, ka puta te painga ki te iwi nui tonu: ko te whakaaro o tetahi, te whakaaro o te katoa. Ko nga tangata o mua, ka mahi tahi, ka kai tahi, ka ora tahi, ka mate tahi. Kua rereke taua tikanga inaianei. I mua, na te iwi katoa nga mea katoa. Inaianei, kei nga rangatira anahe te oranga, ara te whenua, nga maina, nga tima, nga mihini nunui, nga tereina me era atu mea. Heoi ano te mea kei a tatou, he haere ki te pinono mahi ki nga tangata nana nei aua mea. Ko te kaupapa o to tatou oranga kua tahaetia e te hunga whaimoni. Kati, ma tatou ano e whakahoki mai ano te kaupapa o te oranga.

Me pehea tatou e rite ai to tatou turanga ki to te hunga e pehi iho nei i a tatou. Koia tenei. Me huihui tatou ko te iwi rawakore e haere nei ki nga rangatira ki te patai mahi atu, me te mea nei kei te mau mai te tiini a tana rangatira ki o tatou kaki. Kei o tatou puku ke taua tiini e mau ana – te tiini o te hemokaitanga. Ka kore he mahi, ka kore hoki he kai. Hei aha ma te rangatira to hemokaitanga. No nga mokai ano tena mate.

Heoi, me uru koutou ki tenei Iuniana whawhai, ara, te I.W.W., e ki nei: “Me aha to kara me to karakia. Kia piri! Kia kotahi te whakaaro! Kia manawanui! Kia maia!”

“E nga kaimahi o te Ao katoa, Whakakotahitia; kaore he mea e ngaro, ko te Ao katoa e riro mai.”

Na te Komiti o te pepa nei.

To Maori workers

Friends,

This letter is written to the ones who are suffering, the people we call the workers.
Listen! This is the correct path for us, the poor who have no possessions. We unite to gather our strength against the people who are suppressing us.

We know that all the precious things in the world were made by us workers. Therefore the I.W.W. (the union of the workers of the world) says it is correct that the workers want to obtain all that is precious. However, under the current mechanisms, most goods produced with the sweat of the people are owned by what we call the bosses. Only a small portion is given to the slaves who do all the work. This is how it is in all countries of the world.

In the old days, the work of one person went towards the well-being of everyone, of the whole tribe. The thoughts of one were the thoughts of everyone. The old people worked and ate together. They struggled together. They lived and died together. However, the tikanga – the custom – has changed completely. In the old days, everything belonged to everyone. Now all the wealth belongs to the bosses: the land, the mines, the ships, the big machines, the trains and a lot more. All we can do is go to the people who control our belongings and beg for work. Our wealth is being stolen by the money-chasers – the capitalists. It is through us that our wealth will come back to us.

How can we prepare our stand against those who oppress us? This is how. We, the poor, who have to go to the bosses and ask for work, should meet and say we are chained around our necks by the bosses. A chain is tightened around our tummies – the chain of starvation. If there is no work, there is also no food. The bosses don’t care that you are starving. This struggle only affects their slaves.

Come join this fighting union called the I.W.W. We say: “What does it read on your banner and what is your chant? Let’s stick together! Let’s unite our thoughts! Be resolute! Be brave!”

“Workers of the whole world, unite; you have nothing to lose, you have the world to win.”

By the committee of this paper.

For further reading:

[1] IWW preamble: http://www.iww.org/culture/official/preamble.shtml

[2] Peter Steiner: Industrial Unionism – The History of the the I.W.W. in New Zealand , read online here: http://www.rebelpress.org.nz/files/industrialunionism.pdf

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Join us on Friday June 20th at 7pm to watch An Injury To One, screening at the Peoples Cinema, Wellington (57 Manners St).

AN INJURY TO ONE provides an absolutely compelling glimpse of a particularly volatile moment in early 20th century American labor history and the effects of mining on the community of Butte, Montana.

The Anaconda mine in Butte has become the largest environmental disaster site in the United States. It’s open pit is a cocktail of contaminated materials: a century after the era of intensive mining and smelting the area around the city remains an environmental issue. Arsenic and heavy metals such as lead are found in high concentrations in some spots affected by old mining, and for a period of time in the 1990s the tap water was unsafe to drink due to poor filtration and decades-old wooden supply pipes. AN INJURY TO ONE looks at this disaster through it’s history of labour struggle — the mysterious death of Wobbly organizer Frank Little and the Speculator Fire of 1917. Much of the extant evidence is inscribed upon the landscape of Butte and its surroundings. Thus, a connection is drawn between the unsolved murder of Little, and the attempted murder of the town by a company in search of profit.

Archival footage mixes with deftly deployed intertitles, while the lyrics to traditional mining songs are accompanied by music from Bonnie Prince Billy, Jim O’Rourke, The Dirty Three and Low, producing an appropriately moody, effulgent, and strangely out-of-time soundtrack. The result is a unique film/video hybrid that combines painterly images, incisive writing, and a bold graphic sensibility to produce an articulate example of the aesthetic and political possibilities offered by filmmaking in the digital age.

“An astonishing document: part art and part speculative inquiry, buzzing with ambition and dedication. Takes us from the 19th century to the eve of the 21st, from Butte as land of frontier promise to Butte as land of death and environmental destruction. Travis wields avant-garde graphics and archival ephemera like a lasso, and his shots of modern-day Butte are allusive still-lifes that defy time and place. This is stirring, must-see stuff.“— Austin Chronicle

Entry is Koha!

Sewing_Freedom_cover_davidson

‘Sewing Freedom: Philip Josephs, Transnationalism & Early New Zealand Anarchism’ can now be purchased online at www.sewingfreedom.org.

‘Sewing Freedom’ is the first in-depth study of anarchism in New Zealand during the turbulent years of the early 20th century—a time of wildcat strikes, industrial warfare and a radical working class counter-culture. Interweaving biography, cultural history and an array of archival sources, this engaging account unravels the anarchist-cum-bomber stereotype by piecing together the life of Philip Josephs—a Latvian-born Jewish tailor, anti-militarist and founder of the Wellington Freedom Group. Anarchists like Josephs not only existed in the ‘Workingman’s Paradise’ that was New Zealand, but were a lively part of its labour movement and the class struggle that swept through the country, imparting uncredited influence and ideas. ‘Sewing Freedom’ places this neglected movement within the global anarchist upsurge, and unearths the colourful activities of New Zealand’s most radical advocates for social and economic change.

Published by AK Press (USA/UK), the book includes illustrations by Alec Icky Dunn (Justseeds), and a foreword by Barry Pateman (Kate Sharpley Library, Emma Goldman Papers).
A visual sampler of the book, MP3s and video, endorsements, and more, is also available at www.sewingfreedom.org.
Sewing_Freedom_launch

Jared Davidson, AK Press, and the Museum of Wellington City & Sea invite you to the launch of Sewing Freedom, a new book on early anarchism and labour history in New Zealand.

Sewing Freedom works on several levels. It is a meticulous biography, a portrait of an era, a sophisticated discussion of anarchist philosophy and activism, and an evocation of radical lives and ideas in their context. Davidson has designed a fresh, crisp book with visual impact, nicely enhanced by Alec Icky Dunn’s wonderful sketches… This beautifully-executed book tells an important story in New Zealand’s political history.” – Chris Brickell, Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Otago University and author of Mates and Lovers


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sewing Freedom is the first in-depth study of anarchism in New Zealand during the turbulent years of the early 20th century—a time of wildcat strikes, industrial warfare and a radical working class counter-culture. Interweaving biography, cultural history and an array of archival sources, this engaging account unravels the anarchist-cum-bomber stereotype by piecing together the life of Philip Josephs—a Latvian-born Jewish tailor, anti-militarist and founder of the Wellington Freedom Group. Anarchists like Josephs not only existed in the ‘Workingman’s Paradise’ that was New Zealand, but were a lively part of its labour movement and the class struggle that swept through the country, imparting uncredited influence and ideas. Sewing Freedom places this neglected movement within the global anarchist upsurge, and unearths the colourful activities of New Zealand’s most radical advocates for social and economic change.

More information on the book, a sampler, and reviews, can be found at www.sewingfreedom.org


ABOUT THE LAUNCH:

WHEN: Wednesday 15 May – 5.30PM

WHERE: The Boardroom, Museum of Wellington City & Sea, Queens Wharf, Jervois Quay

Books will be on sale for $15 cash on the night.

Free entry. Nibbles and drinks provided.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:

Jared Davidson is an archivist at Archives New Zealand, a member of the Labour History Project, and author of Sewing Freedom. His first book, Remains to be Seen: Tracing Joe Hill’s Ashes in New Zealand, was published in 2011.

Barry Pateman is an anarchist historian, Kate Sharpley Library archivist, and Associate Editor of The Emma Goldman Papers (USA). A prolific editor and writer, he has been involved in a number of projects and publications, including Chomsky on Anarchism, A History of the French Anarchist Movement, Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years, and Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America.

Mark Derby is the Chair of the Labour History Project and an extensively-published writer and historian, having worked for the Waitangi Tribunal; the PSA; Te Ara, the online encyclopedia of New Zealand; and as South Pacific correspondent for Journal Expresso, Portugal’s leading newspaper. His books include The Prophet and the Policeman: The story of Rua Kenana and John Cullen, and Kiwi Companeros, on New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War.

http://www.akpress.org/
http://www.museumswellington.org.nz/museum-of-wellington-city-and-sea/
http://sewingfreedom.org/