Early history of I.W.W. “stickerettes” or “silent agitators”

[Note: a shorter version of this essay first appeared as “Silent Agitators: Early Stickerettes from the Industrial Workers of the World” in Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics & Culture. Volume 6 (February 2018), PM Press. See also the timeline I put together of early advertisements and newspapers articles about I.W.W. stickerettes.] Founded in Chicago in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W. or “Wobblies”) fought for economic justice for the working class using many tactics, including the widespread use of cartoons, slogans, leaflets, poetry, and songs that appealed to uneducated, immigrant, and itinerant workers. As early as…

I.W.W. “stickerettes” or “silent agitators” newspaper articles and advertisements – timeline

Special thanks to DJ Alperovitz and the I.W.W. Materials Preservation Project for sending me the earliest example of a stickerette from 1906 and for the advertisements from the I.W.W. newspapers Solidarity and Industrial Worker (primarily 1910-1917 with some later ads done in 1933). The other newspaper articles reported on Ralph Chaplin, who designed many of the first stickerettes, and the over 100 I.W.W. members who were arrested by the U.S. government in September 1917 for alleged acts of sabotage under the Espionage Act of 1917. Ralph Chaplin edited Solidarity from March 10 through September 6, 1917, according to the Sacramento…

“Paper Bullets” 29 (Germany) Football Club St. Pauli (FCSP)

Hamburg, the German port city home to the St. Pauli football club (Fußball St. Pauli or FC St. Pauli), hosts a sports team well known for its outspoken anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic politics and its staunchly progressive social activism. Founded in 1910, the club is located in the working-class district along the docks near the Reeperbahn red-light district, and for the past thirty years has maintained a certain cult following across Europe, initially attracting radicals, squatters, dockers, and prostitutes in the 1980s, and later, anarchists, punks, bikers, anti-fascists, and other politicized groups. Known as the “pirates of the league,” the…