Anarchists, Wobblies & the New Zealand State 1905–1925
Using government archives and contemporary publications, this pamphlet unearths the story of some of the men and women in Aotearoa New Zealand who opposed the state, militarism, and a world at war.
Anarchists, ‘Wobblies’ (members of the Industrial Workers of the World) and their supporters did not stand against militarism because they were pacifists, but as members of the working class who refused to fight working class people from other countries. For them the world was their country; their enemy was capitalism. Their fight for a free society led to an intense cultural struggle—a struggle that questioned the war, the nature of work and authority itself. This battle for minds had material results. Intense state surveillance and a raft of legislation not only determined who could read what, but led to jail time or deportation from the country. In a time of smothering oppression and social pressures, they held on to their beliefs with courage, ingenuity and resolve.