Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Upcoming Commemoration

On Friday October 2nd the Two Rivers General Membership Branch of the IWW will celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of Missoula's most important historical event, our nations first struggle over the exercise of free speech rights.

in 1909 the city began enforcing an ordinance preventing labor organizers and others from speaking on street corners. As the famous Wobblie organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn describes in her autobiography "Rebel Girl", "We sent out a call to all foot-loose rebels to come at once- to defend the Bill of Rights."

As each of the "rebels" took to the soapbox on the corner of Front and Higgins they were immediately arrested, soon filling the jails of Missoula, where they "disrupted the citizenry with their ruckus". On Oct. 2nd the city capitulated and declared that IWW orators could speak wherever and whenever they chose. Following this victory Flynn and her fellow agitators took the fight to Spokane and Aberdeen Wash.,Kansas City and Fresno Calif.,where they taught a young nation that rights are only as strong as the hearts of those willing to stand up for them.

The Two Rivers chapter will start the festivities with an open soap box at 5:00 pm on the corner of Front and Higgins Street Missoula and followed with a re-enactment beginning at 6:00. From there we will go to the upstairs theatre at the Union Hall on East Main Street to view the film "Jailed for Their Words" beginning at 7:00 pm. Following the screening there will be a short discussion on the current work of the IWW. The public is invited to attend and participate.

For more information contact Dave Jones at 363 5292 email at flyfeverdj@hotmail.com