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Research Guides

Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection: Raids on IWW Halls

Interpretive exhibit examining the historical and cultural context of the the Industrial Workers of the World Photograph Collection at the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

The Story

   It was very common for the IWW halls to be raided by hired bandits or anyone aggressively in opposition to the IWW. Some of the raiding had trashed the furniture, broke windows, and thrashed valuable documents and property of the IWW. There were other incidents where raids had escalated to shootings and violent interruptions of meetings where children were present. The Walsenburg Shooting is an example of a raid and violence taken out on the IWW hall and members, resulting in gruesome deaths of members. The San Pedro raid in 1924 had interrupted a meeting where IWW families and their children were present, resulting in members beaten and killed, while their children were victims to serve burnings that they had to be hospitalized for. The raids also give historians the idea that many records could be incomplete or destroyed. Some of the photographs in the UW IWW Photograph Collection look incomplete in terms of only a few photographs relate to each other and appear very random.

Slideshow of photos