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Vale Betty King



F.W. Canopy Son writes:-

Aunty Betty Worked on indigenous and environmental issues in relation to her people's land. She linked up with IWW people in Melbourne in the mid 1990's.

There were 300 people at the funeral. Many of those came from Portland and south west Victoria to pay their respects to Aunty Betty. The funeral was at midday followed by a large entourage who travelled to her burial site at Lake Condah Mission Cemetery.

Review - Sir No Sir!


Sir! No Sir! (2005)

Directed by David Zeiger

USA Documentary Runtime: 85 min

The film tells the story of the GI resistance movement during the Vietnam war.

The depiction in "Sir! No Sir!" is accurate and balanced. The GI's who opposed the war when they were on active duty took great risks.

Straws in the wind

Straws in the wind

Same job, Less pay - Here comes your AWA


—If this is a new class war why is only one side hurting?

"Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrongdoing which will be imposed on them; and these will continue, until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." ( Frederick Douglas)

Once an Aussie Bagman


Once an Aussie bagman

Travelled to the Middle East

Under the name of the A.W.B.

And he sang as he put the money in their moneybags

“I don’t remember a thing” carolled he.

“I don’t remember, I don’t remember -

The General Strike

The General Strike

by Ralph Chaplin


Thousands of thoughtful and class-conscious workers in years past have looked to the General Strike for deliverance from wage slavery. Today their hopes are stronger than ever. Their number has been increased with additional thousands who are confident that the General Strike, and the General Strike alone, can save Humanity from the torture and degradation of the continuation of capitalism and the misery and privation of its recurrent wars and depressions.

The General Strike is the child of the Labor Movement. It is Labor's natural reaction to a system of society based upon the private ownership of the machinery of production. It is Labor's ultimate attitude in the class struggle. It is Labor's answer to the problem of economic disorganization.

Victory in Port Pirie

Direct Action – July 1st 1914


A Fight to the Finish

I.W.W. Men Jailed at Port Pirie.

The Following is from the Sydney “Sun” of June 25th

PORT PIRIE, Thursday.. “A serious position has arisen over members of the Industrial Workers of the World claiming the right to hold meetings in the public street.Charles Reeves, the organiser, was recently sentenced to 10 days imprisonment for refusing to move on when requested to do so by a constable. Since then members of the organisation have defied the police by holding a meeting in the street every night. Five of their number were on Wednesday sentenced to 21 days, and they told the magistrate that they intended speaking again when released.

Members of the I.W.W. have arrived from Broken Hill and Adelaide to continue the free speech campaign, and a wire received from the Barrier last night states that another large crowd from that city will arrive here to-morrow by train. Speakers are also coming from Sydney, Melbourne and other parts of the Commonwealth. At a meeting last night the crowd collided with the foot police, and mounted troopers were called out. If it had not been for the leaders appealing to the crowd to keep their heads a serious disturbance would have taken place. The police several times broke the mob up, but eventually had to let the meeting proceed owing to being outnumbered. Police reinforcements will probably arrive from Adelaide to-morrow.

Since the campaign started the police have taken the names of about 20 speakers, who will all appear at the police court. Violent and inflammatory speeches were made at last nights meeting, and the police were bitterly attacked, on man, referring to the constable’s job as being “the lowest which a man would take.” “The police are so low and degraded,” continued the speaker, “that when they die they will need to climb a ladder to reach Hell.” A Russian member gave an address in his own language; another speaker said the rulers of Port Pirie were the most damnable mob that ever lived in any town in Australia. Members of the I.W.W. had all come to Port Pirie quite prepared to be gaoled for advocating their cause; but none of them minded, and the authorities would soon find that the gaols were not large enough to hold them. They already had comrades coming from all over Australia to carry on the fight, and, if necessary, they would come from America. He himself was concerned, he said, in a similar fight in America, and there the members of the organisation killed a policeman for every member of the I.W.W. who was shot by the police. When the authorities were up against the I.W.W. they would find they were up against a tough proposition. Until additional police are sent here it is probable that the meetings will be allowed to occur without intervention..

Reeve informed the magistrate that he would continue with I.W.W. propaganda, gaol or no, whereupon the Beak threatened to commit him for contempt of Court. “Direct Action here and now wishes to inform the Beak in particular, and the judicial vampires of capitalism in general that the I.W.W. never did have anything but contempt of the most radical kind for the legal institutions of the capitalist class. We wish further to intimate that before this fight is through the Bosses round Pirie way will have reason to regret the day their hireling prostitutes interfered with the Freedom of Speech.


The fight is by no means only in these chance encounters with police authority. In Sydney and other towns recently the authorities have hampered the I.W.W. in its propaganda work as far as they dared, and there is every reason to believe that, now that our principles are permeating the minds of the working class throughout Australia, a conspiracy as afoot to crush the organisation. Well go to it, you legal pimps and judicial parasites. We defy your laws, your courts, and your gaols. You have awakened too late. You may gaol individuals: principles and ideas still remain, and before you can now stop I.W.W. propaganda you will have to put your dishonoured and filthy claws on thousands of workers throughout the Commonwealth. And then some. Before twelve months have elapsed we will not alone have Free Speech in Port Pirie, but in every industrial centre in Australia.

We call upon all rebels and lovers of freedom to rally to the cause of Free Speech. Salvation Army ranters and fanatical sky pilots are allowed to make the night hideous in the streets of the city, because their teaching of the cowardly Christian “virtue” of meekness and servility is calculated to keep the workers in bondage. But discussion on industrial and economic subjects, according to the magisterial abortion who is handing out justice in Port Pirie, is an interference with the principles of freedom. Contempt of the Court! Bah! We spit upon you.

Meantime rebels at the scene of action: REMEMBER THE WOODEN SHOE. Never mind hitting the police. Hit the boss in his heart and soul.

Direct Action: July 15th 1914


The fight for free speech waged by the I.W.W. in Port Pirie has been won. The “authorities” who set the law in motion were for once compelled to recognise an authority and a power greater than themselves, the power of working class solidarity. The fighting spirit and the unswerving devotion to principle which characterises members of the I.W.W. the world over, were something that the “powers that be” had not estimated in their calculations.

The following letter, written from Port Pirie in the thick of the fight is illustrative of the spirit, the joyful enthusiasm, with which members of the organisation enter into conflict of this kind:- “We are having a hell of a grand fight in this town. When the fellow workers of Port Pirie sent out their “S.O.S.” for help. We came by rail and boat, and bikes, tired legs and blistered feet, to show to the world that our solidarity was not a vain empty boast, and to demonstrate by precept and example that an injury to one was an injury to all.

At our next meeting the police tried to ride us down with their horses, but we beat them every time accompanied by roars of applause from the three thousand workers who constituted our audience. When those who were summoned appeared in the “sacred” court of justice they refused to kiss the dirty old book of capitalism. Chunks of I.W.W.ism were heaved at the j. P. on the bench, and his call for silence greeted with an hilarious and hearty laugh. Law and Order has got hell here this week. We flout their law, slang the police and tell the working-class that the Law is the Boss and the workers are the “ordered”. If they organise on I.W.W. lines we will soon alter the old order of things.

The police took six more names last night, but they won’t damp our spirits. They can gaol us or trample our faces in the dirty streets of Port Pirie, but they can never take from us the militant spirit that permeates the breast of every member of the Industrial Workers of the World. We will win this fight with passionate devotion to our principles, and we mean to win, irrespective of the sacrifices to be made.

We are hoboes and scamps and tired tramps,



What it means. What it Leads to.
How the Boss Saves his Face

By Tom Barker

The most marked thing, in modern society is the development of scientific labour-saving machinery. Mechanical revolutions are taking place side by side with ever increasing rapidity. The day of handicraft and factory production has gone and in its place we have machinofacture, where not only the product itself but the very machinery, which produces it, are made by machinery. The modern machine eliminates all forms of skilled labour, and performs, with little or no supervision, the most elaborate functions.

Wages and Work

Work and Wages

By Norman Rancie

It is not an uncommon sight to see members of the working class standing perplexed and baffled when asked that pertinent question “Is a rise in wages beneficial to the working class?”

Many maintain that it is a grave waste of time to fight for a rise in wages, because every time it is followed by an advance in prices, the workers being no better off and the employing class not affected in the least. This ignorant wail comes only from those not conversant with the present industrial system. To the student of Political Economy this question is easily answered: Yes; undoubtedly and undeniably yes! A rise in wages is always beneficial to the workers, and it behoves them to continually fight for more wages until the wages system be overthrown.

The dogma that a rise in wages is o good to the working class has been foisted upon suffering humanity by lying politicians and traitorous leaders with but one object in view: To keep the toiling masses from arising and seriously affecting the profits of the master-class. The workers find themselves, every now and then, forced to demand higher wages in an effort to keep pace with the ever-souring prices of commodities, It is useless to blame the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, or the Socialist Party for the existence of these prices.

No statesman or ruler in the universe can deny the working of this self-evident economic law. In the lands of trusts, in the lands of no trusts; under protection or free trade; under conservative, liberal or labour governments, it matters not. From every corner of the globe; from all sorts, colours and creeds of workers, comes the one and the same cry, “What can be done to present the high cost of living?” Because prices of certain articles are high it does not necessarily mean that those particular articles have increased in value.

No! It is the tendency of all commodities to day to decrease in value. The value of a commodity is determined by the amount of necessary social labour embodied in its production. It should be plain to all, that in the machine age, the same amount of labour is not spent in producing commodities as formerly. Their value ust, therefore, necessarily decrease.

High prices simply mean that gold – the universal medium of exchange – has decreased in value at a more rapid rate than other commodities.

Gold has been adopted as the universal medium of exchange merely because of its peculiar adoptability. It wears well and is easily recognised; it is almost impervious to counterfeit, and can be carried in a very small compass.

Gold is a commodity, as are labour-power, mules, coal, sheep, jam, boots, automobiles or socks. All commodities have decreased in value owing to inventions and new labour saving appliances. Gold – the medium of exchange – has decreased in value even more rapidly, until the sovereign to-day does not approach in its purchasing power the sovereign of years gone by.

The commodity gold – according to experts – costs less than half as much as it did a few years ago, by reason of the newer and more economical processes of treatment. It will be plain, then, to all that the sovereign has lost some fifty percent of its previous purchasing power.

Having learned, then, that out wages will buy merely about half of what they purchased a generation ago, is there not sufficient justification for making a bold bid for more wages and take back the loot that has been stolen?

The wages of the working class, in the aggregate, are determined by the necessities of life; the necessity of reproducing its labour-energy from day to day. Why not, then, fellow workers, make some of those so-called luxuries, necessities? The necessities of today were luxuries yesterday.


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