Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today in Labor History—June 7

June 7, 1896 – A bomb exploded during a religious parade in Spain, killing a dozen people and wounding 30. The government response was to mass arrest anarchists, torturing hundreds in the Montjuich Prison. The severity of the government’s response sparked international protests. (From the Daily Bleed)

Cripple Creek under martial law, 1894
"Illegal" sheriffs' deputies under arrest, Cripple Creek, 1894
June 7, 1907 – The Colorado state militia was sent to Cripple Creek (again), to suppress a Western Federation of Miners (WFM) strike. A brutal strike occurred in Cripple Creek in 1894, the only time a state militia was called out in support of striking workers. There had been numerous firefights between striking workers and the mine owners’ private security forces, including the use of dynamite. The private cops had been terrorizing union members, their families and even local residents unaffiliated with the mines. The WFM won that strike, but it was short-lived, with the mine owners going on the offensive, particularly in 1903-1904, a period known as the Colorado Labor Wars. During this period, private detectives, goons, vigilantes, state militias and national guards were all used by the mine owners to attack the miners. On June 6, 1904, there was an explosion at the Independence mine that killed several nonunion miners. The Citizen’s Alliance brought in the National Guard, who, on June 7, shot into the WFM’s union hall. The Citizen’s Alliance also set up Kangaroo courts and convicted and deported nearly 240 miners who refused to renounce their union memberships. The Cripple Creek strike officially ended in December, 1907. However, the WFM’s struggle in Colorado helped inspire the creation of the even more radical Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), in 1905. One of the leaders of the WFM and Cripple Creek struggle, Big Bill Haywood, was also a founding member of the IWW. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)

June 7, 1929 – Striking textile workers in Gastonia, North Carolina, fought off a vigilante attack on their union hall. (From the Daily Bleed)

June 7, 1968 – Violent clashes occurred between French workers at the Renault plant and police. (From the Daily Bleed)

June 7, 1971The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that clothing with the words "Fuck the Draft" was protected by the First amendment. (From the Daily Bleed)

June 7, 1991 – A three-week General Strike in Albania ended by bringing down the government. (From the Daily Bleed)

June 7, 2001 – George Bush signed a $1.35-trillion tax cut, mostly for the rich. Not long after this “stimulus” plan was put into action, the economy, went further into the tank. (From the Daily Bleed)

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