19 November

The radical labour organiser and International Workers of the World activist Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, aka Joseph Hillström, aka Joe Hill, was executed by firing squad in Utah on 19 November 1915. His last word was 'Fire!'

November 19, 2009 · 2 min read

Hill was found guilty of murder in a controversial trial. Shortly before his death he wrote famously, ‘Don’t waste any time in mourning – organise!’

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,

Alive as you and me.

Says I, ‘But Joe, you’re ten years dead.’

‘I never died,’ said he,

‘I never died,’ said he.

‘In Salt Lake, Joe,’ says I to him,

Him standing by my bed,

‘They framed you on a murder charge.’

Says Joe, ‘But I ain’t dead,’

Says Joe, ‘But I ain’t dead.’

‘The copper bosses killed you Joe,

They shot you Joe,’ says I.

‘Takes more than guns to kill a man,’

Says Joe, ‘I didn’t die,’

Says Joe, ‘I didn’t die.’

And standing there as big as life,

And smiling with his eyes,

Says Joe, ‘What they can never kill,

Went on to organise,

Went on to organise.’

From San Diego up to Maine,

In every mine and mill,

Where working-men defend their rights,

It’s there you find Joe Hill,

It’s there you find Joe Hill.

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,

Alive as you and me.

Says I, ‘But Joe, you’re ten years dead.’

‘I never died,’ said he,

‘I never died, said he.


Morality tales

From cowardly men to wayward wives, pre-modern superstitions transmitted social norms as well as scares, writes Eleanor Janega

Playing on the dark side: An interview with Dawn Ray’d

Gerry Hart speaks to Simon Barr of Dawn Ray'd about black metal, its relationship with the far right and its radical potential

The global spectres of ‘Asian horror’

Bliss Cua Lim looks at how the female ghost subgenre illuminates efforts to globalise ‘Asian horror’


Rudolf Rocker: an anarchist ‘rabbi’ in London

David J. Lobina rediscovers a forgotten but fascinating figure in London’s radical and Jewish history

Review – Falling Down: The Conservative Party and the Decline of Tory Britain by Phil Burton-Cartledge

Sabrina Huck argues that a generational shift away from the Conservative Party can’t be taken for granted

The driver of dispossession

Tina Ngata explains the social and legal legacies of a 15th-century Christian principle that paved the way for imperial violence in, and far beyond, New Zealand

Want to try Red Pepper before you take out a subscription? Sign up to our newsletter and read Issue 231 for free.