Our History: From valued, skilled workers to useless castaways
In 1811 we started our uprising, to bring to light the atrocities that these supposedly revolutionary machines brought with them. Our ancestors fought for respect, for fair pay and for autonomy.
Bravery was needed and bravery was what they had. After trying to make peaceful change through conversations with the British Government, our founders knew they weren't going to listen to any more but would only pay attention to actions. So, the luddites started the destruction of their machines. The factories crushed us and our livelihoods and so we destroyed theirs.
From the ashes of the pro-Jacobin groups and the trade unions in the late 1700's the luddites rose. We took the name from our inspiration, Ned Ludd, a fellow-weaver who smashed his masters loom in a rage after being beaten down by his hands.
Our movement took flight first in Nottingham.
In Yorkshire we were led by the Croppers, highly skilled workers and finishers of woollen cloth, whose work was gradually being done for them by machines, producing lower quality goods.
And in Lancashire we had the weavers and spinners who were slowly losing their respect and status within the trade, due to the introduction of machines which led to lower wages and poorer conditions.
Across the country, our dignity was dying with the quality of goods being sold in the name of machines instead of hand-craftmanship. With our dignity went our autonomy to the point of no control over our money, our working conditions or our working days.
For months, our founding luddites fought admirably against the British Government, sneaking into factories late at night to destroy and damage machinery until the authorities caught wind of the movement and quashed it without a backward glance. In Manchester and Stockport, we not only destroyed but burned down their loom factories, leaving ashes that no phoenix could rise from.
With the support of the factory owners at their side, Parliament put into law the death penalty for any man who damaged one of their precious machines. Public trials became too regular an occurrence where we saw our fellow-fighters hanged for their 'crimes'. They murdered two of our Yorkshire members in 1812. And when that wasn't enough, they went after our children, who worked as look-outs to support the cause.
They thought us ruthless, crazed, loons out to destroy any hope for progress or a move to efficiency. We were no such things. Progress was not a problem and never has been. Unfair, unequal pay and no regard to the tossed away worker was and continues to be the issue at hand. These events took place between 1811 and 1813 with spurts of destruction cropping up over the next decade or so. Today, we face a similar time of need. A need for an uprising to bring back our autonomy. Though our jobs aren't laborious, they are jobs of the mind, and we will never give up our minds to those in power.
Read for more information and what you can do to help liberate the worker and bring back their autonomy.