Thursday, 5 November 2020


Marking the heightening tension between labour organisers and business executives in the US Pacific Northwest, the Everett Massacre, occurring on this day in 1916 was a flashpoint exacerbated by global economic downturn and depression. Dock workers and police authorities in service of commercial interests regularly clashed, and International Workers of the World members (Wobblies) were dispatched in support of an ongoing strike action and rally for fairer pay and better working conditions. In response to these demonstrations, local business enlisted and deputised more union-busting mercenaries and the standoff quickly escalated into armed conflict. The culpability for the violence and death is yet questioned, with some describing the IWW as a radicalised and over-zealous advocate for political and labour reform with other scholars and historians placing the blame on agents provocateur and corporate spies infiltrating the union members’ ranks.