Cartoon art

Item no. 28197
June 1913
New Jersey
Collection: Other

"Uncle Sam Ruled Out" by Art Young, Solidarity, June 7, 1913.

Only a year after their success in Lawrence, the IWW led an industry-wide walkout of Paterson's silk industry. The primary grievance was the introduction of the four-loom system which raised productivity and profits for the employers while lowering wages and increasing unemployment for the workers. As they did in Lawrence, the IWW created and maintained a high spirit of solidarity among a diverse, multi-ethnic workforce. Also as in Lawrence, the factory owners and police attempted to break that solidarity through harassment and violence.

The Mayor of Paterson passed an ordinance outlawing public meetings thereby prohibiting worker demonstrations and the formation of picket lines. Indoor meetings were no safer from the tyranny of Paterson's authorities as New Jersey's riot act gave police the right to dissolve any meetings addressed by "outside agitators."

Assisting the police in the task of driving out the IWW were Paterson's silk manufacturers. The mill owners employed a private army of detectives who were responsible for the murder of two workers. "Uncle Sam Ruled Out" is a lucid illustration of the impudence with which Paterson's silk manufacturers violated the principles of the American constitution in order to protect their profits from the workers.

See this image in the Solidarity Forever: A Look at Wobbly Culture exhibit.

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