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Emma Goldman - William Haywood

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William Dudley "Big Bill" Haywood (1869–1928) was a miner in Silver City, Idaho, when he became interested in the labor movement. In 1896 he joined the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and became active in union campaigns to increase wages and end child labor in the mines. He progressed through the ranks of the national executive board until deciding that labor problems required more revolutionary solutions.

Haywood and his political friends joined together in 1905 to form the radical labor organization, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Known as "the Wobblies," they wanted to unify all labor and place production in the hands of the workers. The IWW advocated strikes, boycotts, and passive resistance by their members. They were also accused of using violence and sabotage.

In 1906 the WFM and its leaders including Haywood were brought to trial for the murder of former Idaho governor, Frank Steunenberg (1861–1905). Famous attorney Clarence Darrow (1857–1938; see entry) defended Haywood and several others and they were acquitted in 1907. The trial received enormous publicity for its dramatic details. It was the first trial to be covered by the press wire services.

Haywood soon left the WFM and devoted his time and energy to the Socialist Party of America (believes that both the economy and society should be run democratically in order to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few) and the IWW. He was recognized as the spokesperson for industrial workers and was celebrated by various nonworking class socialists who turned William Haywood. (The Library of Congress)
him into a public personality. The New York Times called Haywood "the most hated and feared figure in America," for his role in labor organization.

The IWW opposed U.S. participation in World War I and Haywood produced antiwar propaganda when America entered the conflict in 1917. That September the Justice Department conducted raids on the IWW headquarters in twenty-four cities. They seized books, minutes of meetings, financial records, and membership lists. Haywood and others were arrested under the Espionage Act for conspiracy and interference with conscription (the military draft).

In 1918 he was convicted and sentenced to twenty years in prison and fined $10,000. While awaiting the result of an appeal for a new trial in 1921, Haywood jumped bail and fled to the Soviet Union. He died in Moscow in 1928.



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