Saturday, March 25, 2006
ONE BIG UNION and JOE HILL
[PBS presented the biography of Joe Hill. The online story of the labor organizer explores the history of the nation as it struggled with issues of justice, opportunity, and the American Dream].
Hillstrom embraced the ideology of the I.W.W., and soon joined the union and began to recruit members and support fellow Wobblies wherever conflict might surface. In late 1910 he wrote a letter to the I.W.W. newspaper, Industrial Worker, identifying himself as a member of the Portland, Oregon I.W.W. local. The letter denounced the tactics of local police in attacking Wobblies and other workers in the area. In the first documented use of a name that would eventually become known around the world, the letter was signed "Joe Hill."
By January, 1911 Hill was on the border between California and Mexico, ready to join a brigade of Wobblies determined to aid the forces fighting for the overthrow of the Mexican government. As the revolution wore on south of the border, Hill was reportedly in the border town of Tijuana. Denouncing the role of capitalists in opposing the peasant uprising, Hill urged other Americans to join the fray.
"Don't waste time mourning. Organize!"
Joe Hill was shot to death by a firing squad on the morning of November 19, 1915.
Songs of Protest.
at 8:53 AM