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Nels Peterson was a member of the Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union 510 of the Industrial Workers of the World, Card #297-036.


"In the fall of 1924 Nels Peterson ... [was] among many IWWs arrested at the harbor [in San Pedro, Los Angeles] and imprisoned for possession of IWW literature in violation of the Busick Injunction [that prevented the IWW from operating in California].... While Peterson ... [was] in jail planning for a trial ... requested to debate the legality of the Busick Injunction, Peterson penned a tune.... Intended to spread the word of IWW battles against the injunction from the pages of the Industrial Worker, and to become part of the Wobblies' vocal legacy, it was fatefully put on paper by its imprisoned author."

Judy Branfman, "How Long Are You in Town?":

Two Stolen Songs Find Their Way Home"


The Busick Injunction


 

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