Saturday, March 2, 2013

Today in Labor History—March 2

Whipping an Enslaved Male, Serro Frio, Brazil, ca. 1770s
March 2, 1807 - Congress abolished the African slave trade. The first American slave ship, Desire, sailed from Marblehead, Massachussetts, in 1637. Since then, nearly 15 million blacks had been transported as slaves to the Americas. Overall, the African continent had lost 50 million people to slavery and the deaths associated with it. Another 250,000 slaves were continued to be imported illegally up to the Civil War. (From Workday Minnesota and the Daily Bleed)

March 2, 1937 - John L. Lewis, president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and U.S. Steel President Myron Taylor signed an agreement recognizing the Steel Workers Organizing Committee as the sole representative for its workforce. The contract also included a 40-hour work week and pay for overtime. (From Workday Minnesota)
Judi Bari Portrait from the Lucha Continua mural, 3260 23rd St., Mission District, San Francisco (Image by Gary Soup)

March 2, 1997 – Earth First! activist and IWW organizer Judi Bari (b.1949) died on this date from cancer. Bari and her comrade Darryl Cherney survived a terrorist bomb in Oakland, CA, in 1990. The police and FBI immediately blamed her for the bombing, claiming that she was the terrorist and that the bomb was intended for the logging companies. She was arrested and handcuffed to her hospital bed. Bari and Cherney were eventually exonerated and won a hefty settlement for the FBI’s role in violating their civil liberties. (From the Daily Bleed)

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