Educate, Organize, Emancipate: The Work People’s College and The Industrial Workers of the World

Origins and history of the Work People’s College of the IWW, our union.

The Organizer

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 4.10.25 PM

Around 8 years ago, the Twin Cities IWW decided to resurrect the idea of Work Peoples College with a series of workshops, one-day educationals, and presentations. This eventually transformed into a multiple day event up in the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota in 2012 and 2013. In Germany, European Wobblies began their own WPC just this summer. But where did this concept come from?

Saku Pinta’s “Educate, Organize, Emancipate: The Work People’s College and The Industrial Workers of the World” gives background on WPC. Originally appearing in the PM Press book Anarchist Pedagogies: Collective Actions, Theories, and Critical Reflections on Education, Pinta’s chapter focuses on the school, which was established by Finnish socialists in Northern Minnesota in the 1910s. It eventually became affiliated with the IWW and continued operation into the 1940s.

Published with permission from the author and PM Press.

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