Monday, 5 September 2011

Labor Day, 2011

It's Labor Day! From the "Doomed to Repeat It" desk, we have this bulletin.

California, 1911:

In 1912, [Joe] Hill apparently was active in a "Free Speech" coalition of Wobblies, socialists, single taxers, suffragists and AFL members in San Diego that protested a police decision to close the downtown area to street meetings. He also put in an appearance at a railroad construction crew strike in British Columbia, writing several songs before returning to San Pedro, where he lent musical support to a strike of Italian dockworkers.

California, one hundred years later:

A protest of recent fatal shootings by BART police had been planned for Thursday, but failed to materialize when BART officials — hoping to prevent protesters from communicating about police locations — shut down cellphone service in stations for about three hours. That action has been criticized by politicians and free-speech advocates.

Joe Hill was executed by firing squad right here in Utah. His famous statement from prison ("Don't mourn, organize!") has been truncated in retrospect, it seems. Here's the actual full text of that statement, from a letter to Big Bill Haywood:

Goodbye Bill: I die like a true rebel. Don't waste any time mourning, organize! It is a hundred miles from here to Wyoming. Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don't want to be found dead in Utah.

BLAMMO! Well, we won't hold it against him. Happy Labor Day, Joe Hill

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