Silent agitators

Many organizations have used stickers to publicize their philosophy or cause. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) calls their stickers silent agitators, or silent organizers. Professor Eric Margolis has written about the history of such media,

Wobbly organizers were revolutionary fish swimming in the sea of bindle stiffs and tramp workers. The Wobbly card was a ticket to ride the rails. "Side door coaches," as box cars were called, were plastered with paper stickers, "silent organizers," that Wobs put up everywhere they passed: "Join the One Big Union," "I Will Win," "Win a World." Slaughter in Serene: the Columbine Coal Strike Reader, 2005, Prof. Eric Margolis, pp. 28.
Silent agitators were produced by the millions.The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood, 1929, by William D. Haywood, pp. 282. Professor Margolis described the way such stickers were used when the Wobblies called a strike in 1927:
Bill Lloyd, Superintendent at the Puritan Mine (in Colorado's northern coal field), went to work one chilly Autumn morning to discover Wobbly stickers pasted on every timber and cross beam in the place: "Join the Wobblies, Join the Wobblies," he said indignantly, "From the bottom of the shaft clear to the working faces, see, they had these posters."Slaughter in Serene: the Columbine Coal Strike Reader, 2005, Prof. Eric Margolis, pp. 31.

Big Bill Haywood described in his autobiography how the IWW issued stickers to propagandize against the war. The stickers declared, "Don't be a soldier, be a man. Join the I.W.W. and fight on the job for yourself and your class."The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood, 1929, by William D. Haywood, pp. 294.


ee also

*Wobbly lingo
*Black cat

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