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Big Bill Haywood


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William (Big Bill) Haywood (1869-1928) was a renowned labor leader whose personality and dedication to working class people were matched by his towering physical stature. Haywood was committed to industrial unionism, direct action, strikes, and socialism. He was a leader of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM), a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America. He organized workers during the Colorado labor wars, the Lawrence Textile Strike (1912), and the Paterson Silk Workers Strike (1913.) Haywood, along with many other IWW members were imprisoned under the Espionage Act for speaking out against war and for posing a threat to capitalism. He escaped from jail and fled to Russia.