The Wobblies

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Movie Info

This informative documentary covers the activities of the International Workers of the World, the I.W.W., during the first part of the 20th century. The I.W.W. was the rival of the American Federation of Labor, but the former found fewer adherents because it was not mainstream. Its membership included several minority groups who were also busy fighting the prejudice of the times, they were often left of center simply because of advocating unpopular social issues, and their leaders included socialists like Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. The nickname for the members of the I.W.W. was the "Wobblies," originating with a Chinese man who said he belonged to the "I. Wobble. Wobble." Information on the union's activities, including a textile strike in Massachusetts in 1912 and another strike in Paterson, New Jersey in 1913 is provided by interviews with elderly former union members and a look at their memorabilia. Images are culled from still photographs, cartoons, posters, and archival footage.

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Audience Reviews for The Wobblies

  • Oct 08, 2007
    An excellent introduction to the IWW, both its history and its working philosophy. I would say this is fair and unbiased in its presentation, but I know that anti-IWW folks would probably disagree. Possibly the greatest point of disagreement would be that the IWW is presented as a group who did not participate in as many violent actions as they are often accused of. Now because I wasn't personally on hand for every single event in which the IWW participated, it would be hard to verify this as truth, but my stateside grandfather, who was an original Wobblie and a member of the IBEW, often talked about how claims of IWW violence were exaggerated by management and government for political purposes. Me? I believe my grandfather.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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