Thursday, November 22, 2012

Today in Labor History—November 22

Live Free or Die Fighting, Canuts Uprising, Lyon Silk Strike, 1831 (public domain)
November 22, 1831 -- The revolt of the silk workers was continuing in Lyon, France. Workers seized arms and fought the military. Approximately 100 died, 69 of them civilians. 263 soldiers were wounded. (From the Daily Bleed)
In this book, Bernays Argued That The Manipulation of Public Opinion is a Necessary Part of Democracy
 November 22, 1891 -- Dr. Edward L. Bernays was born in Vienna, Austria. Bernay, a nephew of Freud, is considered by many to be father of public relations. He is also credited with getting women to smoke and helping United Fruit to overthrow Guatemalan President Arbenz. (From the Daily Bleed)

November 22, 1909 - The “Uprising of the 20,000,”occurred in New York, as female garment workers went struck for better pay and an end to sweatshop working conditions. 19-year-old Clara Lemlich, who led the strike, said she had no patience for talk and called for her coworkers to join in a General Strike. Their strike won some gains for workers, like a raise and a reduction in work hours to 52 hours per week, but did not end sweatshop conditions in the industry. During the strike, a Judge told arrested picketers,"You are on strike against God."

In the black of the winter of nineteen-nine
When we froze & bled on the picket line,
We showed the world that women could fight
& we rose & won with women's might.

Hail the waistmakers of nineteen-nine
Making their stand on the picket line,
Breaking the power of those who reign,
Pointing the way, smashing the chain.
 (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)

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