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Minutes of the IWW Founding Convention

The 1905 Proceedings of the Founding Convention of the
Industrial Workers of the World
Friday June 27 through Saturday July 8th, 1905

Special Thanks to the Marxists Internet Archive for placing the Proceedings of the Founding Convention of the Industrial Workers of the World on the World Wide Web. Included in these Proceedings are the contributions of the most famous labor radicals of the day, including Mother Jones, Big Bill Haywood, Eugene V. Debs, Daniel De Leon, Lucy Parsons and hundreds of rank-and-file leaders of the "Wobblies".

This is a massive work; over 600 pages were were transcribed by the MIA from the original typeface of the stenographic report, reproduced by the New York Labor News Company, a division of the Socialist Labor Party and the Socialist Trade & Labor Alliance, founding organizations of the IWW.

Publisher's Note

It is, we think, with pardonable pride, that we present this book to the reader.pride, not only in our share of the work of producing the book, which the elaborate index renders all the more useful, but pride in the zeal of all those who have helped us preserve to the Labor Movement of the world a great historic document, the importance of which will grow by the day. But, greater by far, is our joy, that at last there has been organized a great class conscious economic organization of the Working Class.

In the years to come, the student of economics and sociology will find the record of the first convention of the Industrial Workers of the World a landmark, from which to date the great forward movement of the Labor Movement in America. Heretofore, in the economic field, there has been more or less recognition of the class interests of Labor, but the unionism hitherto dominant craft unionism.denies the class struggle; it pronounces the interest of capitalist and worker identical, and where it is not quite so frank, it acts up to the principle. This false principle, and the wrong tactics flowing from it, have led to the disruption of the Labor Movement. It is against this denial of the class struggle, and against the impotence, to which such denial condemns the Working Class in its conflict with capitalism that the Industrialists have unfurled the banner of revolt. The I. W. W. stands upon the basic principle that the way to unite the workers is to organize them as a class, upon their class interests, and not for the purpose of securing for the present a few paltry crumbs from the table of Capitalism to a privileged few within the pure and simple unions, but that all may enjoy the fruits of their industry and the fullness thereof.

The arduous labors of the convention that brought forth the organization of the Industrial Workers, are recorded in full in this volume. Men and matters there appearing, will be re appearing continuously henceforth. Both, together with the new ones that will arise, will be better understood by this stenographic report, now given to the public.

Transcriber's Note

In transcribing this massive document, we have kept the spelling used in early 20th Century America as it was presented in the stenographic record of the Proceedings. Only in some minor areas of punctuation were any changes made, such as the use of punctuation in a section's title or subhead, something that is no longer done in modern publishing.