‘Workers’ Pickets and Defense Corps’ from Problems of Strike Strategy. Published for the Trade Union Unity League by Workers Library Publishers, New York. 1929.

Teamster Local 544 Defense Guard in action during the Minneapolis Truckers Strike of 1934.

Decision of the International Conference on Strike Strategy called by the Executive Buro of the Red International of Labor Unions (R.I.L.U.). Held in Strassburg, Germany, January, 1929.

‘Workers’ Pickets and Defense Corps’ from Problems of Strike Strategy. Published for the Trade Union Unity League by Workers Library Publishers, New York. 1929.

The success of strikes in many cases depends upon the organization of the picket lines and the ability of the strikers to meet the attacks of the gangsters and the strikebreakers in the pay of the employers. In this regard the organization of picketing and workers’ defense corps assumes an especially important role. The strike or lockout committee must do the following:

1. Absolutely all workers, no matter what their beliefs and affiliations, must be drawn into the picket line, in such a manner as to have the experienced, militant comrades working together with the unorganized workers, the social-democrats, catholics, etc.

2. The leading pickets should be carefully chosen, utilizing not only the young workers, but also the older workers, men and women, and especially workers’ wives.

Women’s Emergency Brigade, Flint Sit-Down Strike, 1937.

3. The very broadest circle of workers must be drawn into the picket line (mass picketing) in order to engage the largest possible number of workers in active work during the strike.

4. Special demonstrations of strikers’ wives and children against the strikebreakers and the police force defending the strikebreakers, is very effective.

5. Picketing must be obligatory upon all strikers. No worker can refuse to carry out this definite duty during the strike.

Colorado Mine War UMWA striker, Ford Cornwall, an admitted sniper charged with hitting the Baldwin-Felts arc lamps, 1914.

6. In countries having a fascist regime (Italy, Poland) or those having organized employers and reformist strikebreakers (United States, England, Roumania, Bulgaria,) it is necessary from the very inception of the strike to commence organizing defense corps, drawing into these corps the most active groups of workers.

7. It is especially desirable to draw into the picketline and into the workers’ defense corps, members of workers’ sport organizations, members of proletarian women’s organizations, etc. These can play a very important role during the strike.

8. It is necessary to teach not only the pickets, but all the strikers to draw the proper conclusions from the conflicts between the pickets and the state authorities, pointing out to them the elementary fact—the connection existing between the employers and the bourgeois government.

9. Especial attention should be given the fight against various police and private detective organizations (factory militia, detectives, shop spies, stool pigeons, fire brigades which are part of the police force, etc.)

Problems of Strike Strategy. Published for the Trade Union Unity League by Workers Library Publishers, New York. 1929.

Contents: Preface by William F. Dunne, Foreword by A. Lozovsky, Introduction, Preparing the Masses for Strikes and Lockouts, The Forms, Character and Functions of the Instruments of Struggle, Our Tactics in Democratically Elected Strike Committees, Guidance and Not Commands, The Relationship Between Strike Committees and the Reformist Trade Union Bureaucracy, The United Front During Strikes and Lockouts, Workers’ Pickets and Defense Corps, “Wildcat” or Unofficial Strikes, Broadening the Field of Struggle The Problem of Reserves, Continuation of the Struggle After Disruptive Activities by the Reformists, How to Prevent the Disruption of Strikes, Strikes in Countries with Divided Trade Union Movements, Strikes in Fascist and White Terror Countries, How to Give Political Content to Strikes, Forms and Methods of Mobilizing the Trade Union Opposition (Left Wing) in All Countries, Work Among Working Women and Working Class Housewives, Forms and Methods of Mobilizing Young Workers, Organizing Strike Relief, The Problem of Information and Connections, Establishing Contacts with Trade Union Organizations in Other Countries, Conclusion. 49 pages.

PDF of original pamphlet: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1797&context=prism

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