v. Class Battles on Screen:
Worker Counterattacks continued
fig 128:The New Disciple
Only after careful deliberation, and after being rebuffed by their employer, do workers vote to strike. Strikes in this film are portrayed as orderly affairs. Even on the picket lines, respectable men (signaled by again costuming them in suits and ties) discuss their problems in a calm. Also note how the director has spaced the strikers into several small groups rather than one large mass. There is no single leader evident in this scene (fig. 129).
fig 129:The New Disciple
These images of orderly workers did not come solely from the imagination of worker filmmakers. Indeed, calm and peaceful marches and rallies were far more common than destructive riots. The first Labor Day parade held in New York in 1882, attracted 10,00020,000 peaceful marchers (fig. 130).
fig 130:Labor Day Parade (1882)
Likewise, the picture below shows the much maligned members of the Industrial Workers of the World marching in the 1913 Los Angeles May Day Parade (note the way in which "real" radical men and women are dressed) (fig. 131).
fig 131:IWW May Day Parade