"Don’t mourn, organize"

To reiterate a previous posting, that’s what Wobblie organizer Joe Hill said to supporters just before he was executed for a murder he didn’t commit.

“Don’t mourn, organize.”

In about 1910 or so, the Wobblies, probably the most militant union ever in US history, marched on a logging town in Washington state. They were met by the sheriff and his goon squad. The Wobblies said, “we have a legal right to organize here.” The sheriff said, “I’m the law here”, and his goons attacked, driving back the Wobblies.

Three days later, the Wobblies marched again on that logging town, and this time they organized it.

From the song made famous by Joan Baez

 I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me.
Says I “But Joe, you’re ten years dead”
“I never died” said he,
“I never died” said he.

And standing there as big as life
and smiling with his eyes.
Says Joe “What they can never kill
went on to organize,
went on to organize”

Don’t mourn, organize.

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