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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Hellraisers Journal, The Labor Martyrs Project, and WE NEVER FORGET (33 comments)

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  •  may I add to the quote (3+ / 0-)
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    annieli, JayRaye, northsylvania
    Suffice to say that as we lose the memory of our history as a class, so goes our class consciousness.
    and we find ourselves in a situation where we have lost the tools to fight the next stage of struggle. Always, know how we got here, remember who you are and which side of the struggle you need to be on!

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:23:16 PM PDT

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    •  The tools to fight in those days were the unions. (5+ / 0-)

      They had charters, officers, conventions, strike funds, incredible speakers, songs, newspapers, art.

      They had teams of organizers, and the organizers came from the same workers that they were trying to organize. Today they get some young intern who took a couple of labor relations courses in college.

      Perhaps workers will get tired of losing what was gained at such a high cost, and will finally rebuild the labor movement as a movement with a strong rank and file base.

      I don't see any other way forward for the labor movement if we are to survive as an actual movement.

      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

      by JayRaye on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:41:55 PM PDT

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      •  I can't agree with you more! (3+ / 0-)
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        JayRaye, annieli, northsylvania

        If the movement is to survive as a movement, it will need to be rebuilt and it will need to be rebuilt with a strong rank and file base (that doesn't rule out professional organisers, look at mother jones and the IWW who were professional organisers but they never lost track of the rank and file and stood along side them in the struggle) ... it was a different forms of union organising and it is probably one that is needed once again. The country and the world is smaller than it used to be ...

        "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:51:05 PM PDT

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        •  Yes I'm all for professional organizers, but (4+ / 0-)

          the paid organizers back then came from the ranks. Now they think they have to have a degree in labor relations to be an organizers.

          Mother Jones came from the working class and she was married to an iron molder, a union man.

          The incredible organizing drive by the UMW that was done before the strikes both of 1903 and 1913 was done by union men, paid as organizers. Ordinary miners, no degrees in labor relations among them.

          Business Unionism has taken over now-a-days and business unionism can simply not respond to the crisis that the labor movement is in today. Only a strong democratic union movement run by the rank and file can make the fight-back that is needed today. If we are to survive as a movement.

          I do believe that it will happen, is happening in many places. The Chicago Teachers Strike was an example. History tells us that the ruling class can only beat us down for so long before get back up and start fighting again.

          God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

          by JayRaye on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:11:20 PM PDT

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          •  agreed completely ... (2+ / 0-)
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            JayRaye, annieli

            that is what I meant about being connected to the rank and file; it lends an immediacy and understanding of the importance of every struggle.

            "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:50:22 PM PDT

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      •  Defining who are the martyrs in the labor struggle (4+ / 0-)

        is an important point, and one that is always difficult. While the development of unions (Labor's Untold Story is one of my favorite, actually, my favorite book when I was teaching labor history), what about those who struggled but never got their union - how do we find and remember them. Or those, not only international workers, but those in the US  who were definitely part of the labor struggle, but in  ways that were not defined by the industrial labor movement that came out of Europe (some of the rebellions by Chinese who worked as indentured servants on the intercontinental railroad; the many slave rebellions in our history; the migrant workers who died of pesticides in the fields, etc.). How broadly do we define labor martyrs and how do we locate them?

        •  I have extra copies of Labor Untold Story (1+ / 0-)
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          JayRaye

          to lend out to people so that they know the history of the US labor movement; I love that book!

          "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

          by NY brit expat on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 03:59:29 PM PDT

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        •  These are all good questions Geminijen. (3+ / 0-)
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          NY brit expat, Geminijen, annieli

          And something that I give a lot of thot too. For sure, workers who fot for other workers don't have to be in a union or win the fight for a union to be considered a labor martyr. Most fights for union recognition were defeated for years and years. But they kept fighting anyway.

          The strike which included the Ludlow Massacre, that strike was defeated but they are still Labor Martyrs.

          God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

          by JayRaye on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:19:30 PM PDT

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