Silent Agitators

Many organizations have used stickers to publicize their philosophy or cause. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which during its colorful history has pioneered a variety of creative tactics, 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."

Silent agitators were produced by the millions. 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."

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."

Famous quotes containing the words agitators and/or silent:

    Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilisation.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

    Death not merely ends life, it also bestows upon it a silent completeness, snatched from the hazardous flux to which all things human are subject.
    Hannah Arendt (1906–1975)