This document was written by Daniel DeLeon, a prominent leader of the Socialist Labor Party, in 1895. The Socialist Labor Party sought to turn labor movements and unrest into more radical socialist revolutions. In this declaration, DeLeon explores the shortcomings and oppressive nature of capitalism. He then encourages his readers to join the struggle.
“Under that system the toiling masses, hungry and despised, turned the wilderness into a garden, the stones, the clay, the trees into resplendent cities, the ore and the coal into new organs of motion, through which human strength, speed and skill were multiplied a thousandfold, the lightning itself into an obedient messenger; they built factories, ships, docks and warehouses; constructed railroads, bridged rivers and pierced mountains; then descended into their nameless graves, leaving all in the hands of their despoilers, to further oppress and degrade the inheritors of their misery… But throughout the civilized world the wage workers are asserting their interdependence— the natural dependence of every man upon his fellows, of every nation upon all other nations; and under the banner of International Socialism millions of them are now marching to the conquest of the public powers.”
This document is the proclamation of the striking textile workers of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912 – known as the Bread and Roses Strike. The workers went on strike due to the low wages and long hours. This proclamation elaborates on the reasons for their strike and the challenges they have faced at the hands of people in power.
“We, the 20,000 textile workers of Lawrence, are out on strike for the right to live free from slavery and starvation; free from overwork and underpay; free from a state of affairs that had become so unbearable and beyond our control, that we were compelled to march out of the slave pens of Lawrence in united resistance against the wrongs and injustice of years and years of wage slavery.”
This pamphlet was written by Harry Haywood and Milton Howard in 1932 under the direction of the Labor Research Association. The pamphlet states the causes and purposes of lynching, the organization of lynching, laws and resistance against lynching, and more. This document also makes a connection between the class struggle, the exploitation of black workers, and lynching.
“Every one of these Negro workers was murdered as a direct result of the class struggle as expressed in his demand for wages or better conditions from the white landlords who exploit the Negro masses with even greater intensity than they rob the white workers…”
Alzada Clark organized workers – specifically Black women – in the South, established unions, and participated in the Black Power movement at large. In this interview, she discusses her experiences.
“The Cullmer Company said they beat every union election in the state but one, until “that black woman came around.” They had a lot of respect for me there in the union. They said they couldn’t have organized the women without me.”
In this document, Harriet Hanson Robinson describes women working in factories in the 1830s in Lowell, Massachusetts – from her experience working in a factory starting at 10 years old. The Lowell Factories recruited young women and girls to work in factories. These young women and girls disrupted the workplace, demanding better conditions and wages.
“One of the girls stood on a pump, and gave vent to the feelings of her companions in a neat speech, declaring that it was their duty to resist all attempts at cutting down the wages. This was the first time a woman had spoken in public in Lowell, and the event caused surprise and consternation among her audience.”
This document is Rose Chernin’s account of the disruption and organizing of the unemployed through the formation of Unemployed Councils. They organized disruptions at places such as grocery stores and organized rent strikes. In this account, Chernin describes the successes, the failures, and her personal thoughts during and after the experiences.
“I, on the other hand, when I talked to people, could convince them to struggle against their conditions. I believed in this struggle. That is all it takes to be an organizer. Belief in our power.”
This document, written in 2000 by the Industrial Workers of the World, outlines the organization of workers and the working class. It includes a brief historical discussion, advantages of one union and organization, union and democracy, and direct action.
“A sane world run by producers for the common good is an aim that should be achieved and can be achieved. The I.W.W. can build the sort of labor movement to achieve this. There is really only one big problem in the world: a working class too disorganized to act for its own good. The I.W.W. has the solution to that problem.”
The Industrial Workers of the World is a worker-led union advocating for and working towards direct action, democracy in the workplace, and unionism. This preamble to their constitution updated their mission and struggle.
“Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth.”
This document was written by James P. Cannon on August 6, 1934 during the Minneapolis Truckers’ Strike. It describes the importance of resisting the violence and remaining persistent in their demands and needs.
The Trade Union Educational League was founded in late 1920. It was supported by the Communist Party USA and a majority of members were also members of the Communist Party USA. Its goal was to build a union and workers’ movement. This pamphlet emphasizes the importance of organizing as many workers as possible for the survival and growth of the workers’ movement.
The Trade Union Educational League was founded in late 1920. It was supported by the Communist Party USA and a majority of members were also members of the Communist Party USA. Its goal was to build a union and workers’ movement. This pamphlet is a collection of lectures given by A. Losovsky – the General Secretary of the Red International of Labor Unions – which give a comprehensive, global of the trade union movement.
The Trade Union Educational League was founded in late 1920. It was supported by the Communist Party USA and a majority of members were also members of the Communist Party USA. Its goal was to build a union and workers’ movement. This pamphlet specifically urges for the unification – “amalgamation” – of trade unions as a way to empower workers and combat capitalism.
“The first stage of the capitalists’ getting together came when they discovered the economy and efficiency of the industrial factory. In the manufacture of a machine the products of several trades are necessary: draftsmen, patternmakers, moulders, blacksmiths, machinists, etc. Why not gather all these crafts together under one roof and one management?”
The Trade Union Educational League was founded in late 1920. It was supported by the Communist Party USA and a majority of members were also members of the Communist Party USA. Its goal was to build a union and workers’ movement. This pamphlet was specifically written for the railroad men.
“As I write this (March, 1921) events are taking shape that render more pressing than ever the need for the utmost possible power and solidarity on the part of all railroad workers. The companies are now making a great drive to crush the unions and to force us down to serfdom… For this threatening struggle railroad men should be prepared with the strongest, closest-knit organization possible.”
This document is an anthology of poems written for the working class and dedicated to the workers’ struggle.
“I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me? I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes. I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns, They die. And I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns. I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget. Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget. When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there w ill be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision. The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.
In this document, students and workers in Paris in May 1968 explain that reforms are not enough. Destruction and permanent revolution is necessary for the people to prevail.
We currently live in a pre-revolutionary time, hence one of destruction. This permanent struggle, engine of all true progress, will arrive at the revolution, a positive reality, but in no way definitive, for there is no established revolution. And so we say that THE REVOLUTION WILL BE PERMANENT OR IT WILL NOT BE AT ALL.
This book is a collection of cartoons by Jacob Burck that comment on a vide range of political and economic struggles, such as fascism, imperialism, and black liberation, but has an underlying focus capitalism and the worker.
“It is necessary that you penetrate to this reality, that you see the truthful core of these presentations, until, with more and more ardent partisanship and more and more anger, you unite together.”
This article was written by Garry Hill who worked at the Tonsley Park Chrysler plant in Australia in 1976 during the workers’ struggles – that he actively participated in.
“The text tells of the conflict inside the factory, the rough and tumble of mass meetings, workers’ resistance to production, the tactics of management and the role of the trade union- in this case the notorious Vehicle Builders’ Union.”