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Resolution Regarding Sabotage

[Adopted by the General Executive Board of the Industrial Workers of the World and first published in Defense News Bulletin of May 4, 1918.]

Whereas, The Industrial Workers of the World has heretofore published, without editorial adoption or comment, many works on industrial subjects, in which the workers have a natural interest, including treatises on “Sabotage” and

Whereas, the industrial interests of the country, bent on destroying any and all who oppose the wage system by which they have so long exploited the workers of the country, are attempting to make it appear that “Sabotage” means the destruction of property and the Industrial Workers of the World favor and advocate such methods, now,

Therefore, in order that our position on such matters may be made clear and unequivocal, we the General Executive Board of said Industrial Workers of the World, do hereby declare that said organization does not now, and never has believed in or advocated either destruction or violence as a means of accomplishing industrial reform;

  • first, because no principle was ever settled by such methods;
  • second, because industrial history has taught us that when strikers resort to violence and unlawful methods, all the resources of the government are immediately arrayed against them and they lose their cause;
  • third, because such methods destroy the constructive impulse which it is the purpose of this organization to foster and develop in order that the workers may fit themselves to assume their place in the new society,

…and we hereby reaffirm our belief in the principles embodied in the Report of this body to the Seventh Annual Convention, extracts from which were later re-published under the title, On the Firing Line.

Reaffirmed by the present General Executive Board and published December 13, 1919 in New Solidarity.

Members of G. E. B.:
George Speed, chairman;
George D. Bradley; James King; Henry Bradley; John Jackson; Fred Nelson; Chas. J. Miller;
Thomas Whitehead, Gen’l. Sec’y.-Treas.