Open battle between striking teamsters armed with pipes and the police in the streets of Minneapolis, June 1934
The citywide Minneapolis Teamster’s Local 574 strike began on May 16, 1934. The fundamental issue in the strike was over the open or closed shop with regard to transportation and warehouse unionization in this Midwestern city.
After facing off against cops, bosses’ goons, business union misleaders, two-faced politicians, the Citizen’s Alliance and the National Guard, the Teamsters broke the back of the formerly open-shop citadel, Minneapolis, ushering in what became a union city.
Four workers died by cops’ and goons’ guns and/or other weapons during this strike. Illuminating features of this strike were the willingness of the strikers to independently fight on their own terms, many times physically, and also form military formations, drawing on the experience of many of the strikers who were WWI veterans.
Thus, the strike leaders, anticipating that they would be facing naked state oppression eventually, led the strikers to set up and run infirmaries, soup kitchens, flying squadrons and the like.
Furthermore, a critical aspect of this strike was the formation of the Minneapolis Organization of the Unemployed. The Minneapolis Teamster’s leadership made it a priority to include the unemployed organization as a formal part of their union. Thus the unemployed as well as sympathetic farmers were life-and-death allies of the strikers and played valuable tactical and strategic roles in the strike and thereafter.
The successful conclusion of this strike by Local 574 led to the unionization of over-the-road truckers and other workers throughout the Midwest and nationally.
Bryan G. Pfeifer, “Lessons of three strikes from 1934 needed now”
Supporters of Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) revolutionary trade unions prepare for the 2012 May Day march in Manila, the Philippines.
Reuters Campaign Finance Correspondent Alina Selyukh sent in this photo from CPAC where Occupy protesters and unions are demonstrating.
Crowds of people were chanting “We got sold out” and “We are the 99 percent” in a demonstration dubbed the “War on workers.”
Another protest is planned for later this evening, Selyukh reports. [REUTERS/Alina Selyukh]
The shameful deeds of the British State in Derry on January 30th will always be remembered as Bloody Sunday, but often forgotten are its shameful deeds of January 31st 1919, or ‘Bloody Friday’.
“On Friday 31 January 1919 upwards of 60,000 demonstrators gathered in George Square in support of the 40-hours strike and to hear the Lord Provost’s reply to the workers’ request for a 40-hour week. Whilst the deputation was in the building the police mounted a vicious and unprovoked attack on the demonstrators, felling unarmed men and women with their batons. The demonstrators, with the ex-servicemen to the fore, quickly retaliated with fists, iron railings and broken bottles, and forced the police into a retreat.”
“An estimated 10000 English troops in total were sent to Glasgow in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of George Square. This was in spite of a full battalion of Scottish soldiers being stationed at Maryhill barracks in Glasgow at the time. No Scottish troops were deployed, with the government fearing that fellow Scots, soldiers or otherwise, would go over to the workers side if a revolutionary situation developed in Glasgow.
On 10 February 1919 the 40-hours strike was called off by the Joint Strike Committee. Whilst not achieving their stated aim of a 40-hour working week, the striking workers from the engineering and shipbuilding industries did return to work having at least negotiated an agreement that guaranteed them a 47-hour working week; 10 hours less than they were working prior to the strike.”
From Existence is Resistance:
In protest against Rockefeller Center putting up every flag at it’s center except the Palestinian flag, Existence is Resistance organized it’s 2nd annual Occupation on Ice.
The activist where split up with some skating on the ice and raising the Palestinian flag at a precise moment with those all around the center. Palestinian flags were in full display on the skating rink and all around Rockefeller Center. Many tourist cheered the action and were supportive.
The NYPD came and demanded that we put our flags down and leave, they said no flags were allowed but we said Rockefeller Center is filled with flags. We are simply asking them to include the Palestinian flag amongst the flags of the world. After some questioning and checking our id’s we were let go.
Photos courtesy of Bud Korotzer of DesertPeace.
The Occupy movement is known internationally for protesting the inequalities of the global financial system, so much so that in four short months, “Occupy” has essentially become a brand known the world over.
But now there’s an effort by Native American activists in Oakland to get rid of “Occupy” and replace it with “Decolonize” - as in “Decolonize Oakland.” They say the term “occupy” is offensive in light of the brutal history of occupation by early colonizers and the United States government. Native Americans in Seattle, Albuquerque, Portland and Sedona have launched similar campaigns.
The name change is proving contentious at Occupy Oakland, with some protesters accusing Native Americans of guilt tripping in the name of supporting the oppressed. But cut through the chatter, and the basic point seems to be this: Occupy doesn’t want to give up the brand.
“That name change could … alienate Oakland from the wider movement,” wrote John C Osborne, who has been reporting on the Occupy movement on his blog the Classist. “The brand recognition if you will.”
The irony of Occupy Oakland being captivated by “branding” isn’t lost on Morning Star Gali, a Native American activist from Oakland who’s helping lead the name change effort. The Occupy movement, in general, shuns thecorporatization of society.
More to the point, Gali says that for many Native Americans, especially those who came up in the “Red Power” movement in the 1960s, the term “Occupy” has a lot of baggage.
Native Americans tribes were brutally “occupied” by Spanish and English colonizers. Later, the United States government waged war on the Native American tribes and forced them into camps or reservations. More than 90 percent of North America’s indigenous population was wiped out by “occupiers,” either through war or the spread of disease.
And Bay Area Native American activists believe the occupation continues. In California, many Bay Area tribes are still struggling to gain federal recognition as sovereign nations. In the absence of a treaty, or compensation for their land, Native American activists in the Bay Area say they continue to live under outside rule.
As a Native American, “it’s nauseating to hear the word ‘occupy’ over and over again.’” Gali said. ”We need to occupy this, we need to occupy that. It’s the modern day colonial language.”
December 26, 2008 - China marks 115th birthday of former leader Mao Zedong
The newly inaugurated Mao Zedong Square in his hometown of central Hunan Province was crowded with people Friday to mark the 115th birthday of the former Chinese leader.
Thousands of people gathered at the square near Mao’s birth place, Shaoshan Village, after midnight to cherish the memory of the “Great Helmsman” who led the nation to found New China in 1949 and served as top leader until he died in 1976.
People paid tribute in front of Mao’s 10.1-meter-tall bronze statue — many presented bouquets and some brought birthday cakes. Most people hummed along when “The East is Red”, a song in tribute of Mao, was played.
Mao’s grandson, Mao Xinyu, was also in the crowd to pay his tribute.
Nearly every Shaoshan villager had noodles for breakfast Friday, a traditional Chinese food to celebrate birthdays as people believe long noodles bring long lives.
Occupy protesters set up a picket line at a Port of Portland terminal in Portland, Ore., as part of a West Coast day of action, Dec. 12, 2011.
Funeral of John Maclean in Pollokshaws, Glasgow in 1923. Schoolteacher, socialist leader, Marxist educator, anti-war agitator, honorary Vice-President of the Congress of Soviets (USSR) and appointed Bolshevik representative for Scotland. His funeral remains one of the largest in Glasgow’s history.
His legacy has since been claimed by both Scottish Nationalist and Labour movements, making him rare in this respect amongst Scotland’s historical figures. The Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement both claim his political legacy.
“General Strike!” by Cristy C. Road
Pyongyang, DPRK: A parade of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards was held at Kim Il Sung Square in celebration of the 63rd founding anniversary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (socialist north Korea). Sept. 9, 2011
Photo by KCNA