One of the oldest and most colorful unions in the world has endorsed Occupy Wall Street, stating in a press release, “Throughout the world, from Egypt to Greece, from China to Madison, Wisconsin, working class people are starting to rise up. The IWW welcomes this.”
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or Wobblies, founded in 1905 by radical thinkers and activists in Chicago, has thrown their 12,000 strong support behind Occupy Wall Street.
The current membership of 12,000 workers might not be as impressive as the Wobblies were at their peak (they numbered in the hundreds of thousands during the early 20st century), but symbolically it is a major coup for Occupy Wall Street.
Their motto, “An injury to one is an injury to all,” was a rallying cry. They counted the great Eugene V. Debs and “Big Bill” Haywood amongst their number.
Here is the IWW press release:
On behalf of our union, the General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World sends our support and solidarity to the occupation of Wall Street, those determined to hold accountable our oppressors.
This occupation on Wall Street calls into question the very foundation in which the capitalist system is based, and its relentless desire to place profit over and above all else.
When 1% of the ruling class holds the wealth created by the other 99%, it is clear that the watchwords found in our union’s preamble, “the working class and the employing class have nothing in common”, ring true more than ever.?The IWW does not follow a business union model. We believe that the working class and the employing class have nothing in common and we don’t foster illusions to the contrary.
Throughout the world, from Egypt to Greece, from China to Madison, Wisconsin, working class people are starting to rise up. The IWW welcomes this. We see the occupation of Wall Street as another step – no matter how large or small – in this process.
Last week, the Transit Workers Union, home to 38,000 members, pledged their support to Occupy Wall Street, as well as several other unions including The New York Metro Area Postal Union and SEIU 1199.
Things are coming together, folks.