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  1. 281

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    110 items
    created by: public:SarahStrat 2017-07-25
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  2. Margaret Sanger: A revolutionary woman.

    How did Magaret Sanger's relationship with the International Worker's of the World (IWW) assist her in moving beyond the 'rebel girl' to a revolutionary woman?
    I have used the New York University's archival project the "Margaret Sanger's Papers Project" to both source information and as a departure point, however. I have not been able to use one consistent archive to collate this list.
    The rise of capitalism and the industrialised era of the early 20th Century has been continually evidenced to be an unregulated and exploitative system. No more is this apparent than in the lives of factory workers both male and female and their families who, in the main, existed in conditions of excessive poverty. Focusing on the United States (US), a significant factor or contributor to the dual oppression of women in particular, was a lack of control over and understanding of, reproductive capacity and mechanisms of birth control. In effect and through a Marxist lens, the historical expropriation of the female body has been linked to both the advantage of the state and also in the production of a continuous supply of labour for the capitalist system.
    Margaret Sanger(3), a
    possible member and supporter of the radical union movement, the International Workers of the World (IWW) (6,7) was a renowned advocate for the education of working-class women in the operations of their bodies, reproductive functions and marital relations. She wrote a much-contested pamphlet "Family Limitations' (1) in 1917, with the aim of providing information to working-class families and encouraging them to share their knowledge within their networks. In it, she offered practical advice on the operations of reproduction, how to avoid pregnancy and a woman's right to enjoy sexual relations within a marriage.
    As a member and supporter of the IWW (5,6), this pamphlet (1) alongside her continual public advocacy can be considered to be a form of direct action, the call of the IWW (7). The radical union movement's aim was to disrupt the exploitative relations of capitalism through sabotage and protest. One possible interpretation of Sanger's work in this view can be seen as having the same ends.
    The illegality of birth control information and devices in the US necessarily meant that working-class women had little information nor access in this regard (10,11). Many women penned plaintiff letters to Sanger to plead for assistance in this context (2) providing rich detail of their circumstances.

    In the year 1873, the US Federal Government passed the "Comstock Act" (9), designed to police the dissemination of lewd and obscene material, ranging from pornographic postcards to literature on birth control. Margaret Sanger is credited as challenging this act publicly resulting in her arrest, indictment, and sentencing on several occasions (4,8,11,12)). The resultant public support caused the overturning of the legislation, allowing her to open clinics and offer not only contraceptive assistance but safe terminations of pregnancy.
    The purpose of this pilot research project is to explore how and if Margaret Sanger used her union connections, through the IWW, to bolster her activity, advocacy, dissemination and funding of literature. Did she utilise this platform to further her cause and increase its efficacy? Her revolutionary work is beyond the scope of the rebel girl coined in IWW literature (5)and places her among a pantheon of early women pioneers in this field. It is possible from this early research to surmise that her work changed the landscape for women in this period and beyond. In doing so, she bestowed basic human rights to a disempowered sector of the populous, both in a domestic context and upon the international stage (13,14,15).

    15 items
    created by: public:SarahStrat 2018-08-06
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  3. The IWW as a terrorist organisaton

    Could it be said that the Industrial Workers of the World were treated as the first politicised terrorist organisation in Australian history?
    I have used Trove as the main archive with which to conduct my research in this capacity.
    One of the most pressing internal issues of a country at war is the identification of disloyalists or those termed as the enemy within. The difference is to be noted in the level of threat, danger or dissent gauged by bureaucratic and administrative bodies and their reactions, in that specific capacity, to those identified groups. Are those groups or individuals able to be dispersed or cautioned in a localised manner or, do they represent a threat so large that intervention at a Federal level, through legislation is required? Immigrants from Germany or those considered German-Australian and the International Workers of the World (IWW) were two such groups, the Federal Government legislated against the two. German Australians came under the jurisdiction of The War Precautions Act, legislation that aligned with precedents in International Law during periods of conflict or war. The IWW were specifically legislated against using the Unlawful Associations Act of 1916, pushed through parliament in the space of five days and whose content addresses the IWW specifically. Their vocal opposition to the war, considerable impact on the conscription referendums, methods of direct action, relentless issue of propaganda, nationalised networks not to mention union advocacy placed the IWW in a politically precarious position. The arrest of the twelve IWW leaders and prominent members of the IWW (4) on the eve of the first referendum was inescapably a political action, rich in accusations of conspiracy and corruption. The specific archive collated below offers evidence of the legislation enacted (8) and the political collusion and intricacies involved in their deportation to nations not of their origin (16) which speak to the reality of a politically motivated conspiracy to eradicate the IWW from the Australian political and ideological landscape. There are many and varied newspaper sources that comment or transcribe various aspects of the trial of the 'Sydney Twelve' (2,7,17,18,23,24,26,27,28,29,30) as well as the IWW's own publication 'Direct Action' (17,18) which offer counter commentary and context. It is clear that the IWW were treated far more harshly than other groups designated as having some threat value to a country at war and that individuals were treated inhumanely both in custody and in terms of their deportation. In a young, pluralistic and progressive democracy such as Australia was pre WWI, this is am alarming phenomenon.

    31 items
    created by: public:SarahStrat 2017-09-13
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  4. Unionism and birth control

    38 items
    created by: public:SarahStrat 2018-07-30
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