written by bendygirl at Thursday, April 23, 2009
I'm now following a new blog (well, new to me) and I'm pushing it into the blog roll, but I want to draw your attention to how I noticed this site:
In southern Colorado, mine workers had been on strike since September 1913
against the big coal interests of the region, chief among them the Colorado Fuel
and Iron Corporation, owned by John D. Rockefeller. The miners' demands included
the eight-hour day, more honest procedures for weighing the mined coal, the
right to buy and trade in any store they pleased, recognition of the union, and other basic dignities that were already supposedly guaranteed under the law--a common
theme in the labor movement's history.
He goes on to talk about a Woody Guthrie song about the massacre and it's meanings for today:
12 more miners were killed before federal troops arrived to "restore order." The strike was over. Mr. Rockefeller and the great corporations won, because they could go to whatever lengths necessary for victory and rest assured that state and federal government stood ready to assist. The solidarity of working families throughout Colorado was no match for the solidarity of corporations and government throughout the country. When it was all over, none of the company's gunmen were charged with a crime.
Today, most people have not heard of the Ludlow Massacre. You probably did not learn about it in school. I didn't. But our history is full of "Ludlows." Tent colonies and armored machine-gun cars may sound old-fashioned. But a privileged class that benefits materially from slowly crushing working families and is willing to act ruthlessly to maintain its privilege never goes out of style. The systems and philosophies and distractions that made it possible then are still at work today. The story has not fundamentally changed. The difference is that there has been progress, thanks in large part to the awakening of the public by events throughout our history like the Ludlow Massacre. But it's been a slow and grinding progress, and we've seen indications of how easily it can be rolled back.
We would do well to arm ourselves with the knowledge and memory of the Ludlows of our history.
Highly recommend a read of Better Than Machines.