Born a Rocker - Die a Rocker – Working Class History T-Shirt of the Month September 23
This month we celebrate the life of the German anarcho-syndicalist, writer and publicist Rudolf Rocker, who died in the USA in September 1958 at the age of 85. A native of Mainz, Germany, Rudolf Rocker became a bookbinder after school and wandered around Europe as a craftsman’s apprentice. In 1891 he first came into contact with anarchist views, which made a strong impression on him. From 1893 to early 1895 he was a political refugee in Paris and then went to London. Here began what was probably the most unusual period of his life. A non-Jew, Rocker lived among the poor Jews of Whitechapel in London’s East End. He learned their Yiddish language, and, as editor of various Yiddish-language labour newspapers, gained strong influence in the anarcho-syndicalist Jewish trade unions in England. After the outbreak of World War I, Rocker was interned. He returned to Germany in 1919, where he co-founded the Free Workers Union of Germany (FAU), and was elected secretary of the International Workingmen’s Association in Berlin in late 1922, an organisation representing more than a million workers worldwide at the time. After the Nazis seized power, Rocker escaped to the USA, where he lived until his death in 1958. Throughout his life, Rocker was warning against totalitarian tendencies, nationalism and the idea that a fixed end goal can be achieved with anarchism or other socially progressive movements. Here’s a quote that touches upon the latter:
“Anarchism is no patent solution for all human problems, no Utopia of a perfect social order, as it has often been called, since on principle it rejects all absolute schemes and concepts. It does not believe in any absolute truth, or in definite final goals for human development, but in an unlimited perfectibility of social arrangements and human conditions which are always straining after higher forms of expression, and to which for this reason one can assign no definite terminus nor set any fixed goal.”
This month’s design by Semi Legal Art is to celebrate Rudolf Rocker’s life-long commitment to anarchism and libertarian ideas. The slogan “Born a Rocker – Dia a Rocker” is to emphasise this commitment and pay tribute to the fact that Rudolf Rocker is continuing to ‘rock’ many peoples’ minds and hearts around the world! Are you a Rocker, too?
made with dignity in Croatia by a self-organized workers' cooperative without a boss. Raw materials come from India and are traded in solidarity and are certified ecological. In addition, basic trade unions in India are supported with every shirt. More about the production process at dnamerch.de
Product: T-shirt with round collar, straight fit, ribbed cuffs, strengthening neck band
Fabric: 100% organic cotton, single jersey, 160g/m², 0% elastane in the fabric
Solidarity: Sewn with dignity in our self-managed partner sewing workshop in Croatia. 1% of proceeds goes towards building strong unions in South Asia's garment industry
Background: What is the T-Shirt of the Month project?
The T-Shirt of the Month project is a collaboration between Working Class History, a grassroots Educational project that tells stories from below through different formats and channels, and dna merch, a Berlin-based social enterprise and ally of the transnational workers network ExChains. The project aims to generate funds and support each other. The project "T- Shirt of the Month" follows the idea of "Prosumption", a more sustainable and collective approach to production and consumption. dna merch, together with a global network of artists, creates exclusive shirt designs, inspired by events and stories from working class history. Each shirt is strictly limited and made of 100 percent organic cotton: it can only be pre-ordered for one month and will then be sewn and printed in exactly the quantity that will be available that month was told!
T-shirts of the month are literally shirts to make working class history. They do this in several ways:You help fund WCH's work in promoting the spread of stories from below through WCH's various channels.
You are helping to sustain Humana Nova, a worker-owned textile cooperative in Croatia.
DNA merch uses a portion of proceeds to support militant grassroots unions in South Asia.
They bring exposure and income to designers and artists from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds.
Ordering and delivery: We recommend you to order the shirts or hoodies of the month separately from other things. Depending on the time of order, the production of the textiles will take 5-10 weeks. If you order other items, we will send them within Germany in advance, the easiest way is of course, if you just order 2x.
Orders outside of Germany will only be split on request and against payment of the postage (so if you order other items and don't want to wait forever for them, the easiest way is to place 2 orders).
This shirt is only available in a strictly limited edition until September 30th. Sewing and printing takes about four weeks. The parts will be shipped from Germany by November 10th, 2023.
|Availability||Prosumption - Production on demand|
|delivery time and information||The product is produced on the basis of monthly pre-orders. In this way, only what is needed is produced. i.e. everything that is ordered during the month is produced in the following month and then shipped by the 10th of the following month.|
|exchange information||Due to the long production time of Prosumption clothes, an exchange for a size can also take a long time.|