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Spokane's Great Free Speech Fight of 1909

Author-historian Dale Raugust speaks on the least known and probably most seminal event in Spokane history. The Free Speech Fight of 1909 – began on a downtown street corner after the Spokane City Council enacted a law in early 1909 banning speeches on downtown streets, as a way to limit labor agitation. The Industrial Workers of the (IWW) – the “Wobblies” – issued a call for hundreds of workers and activists to converge on Spokane to “fill the jails” in a mass civil protest, resulting in 500 arrests and nearly bankrupting the city and prompting national labor law reform.

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