We, the 20,000 textile workers of Lawrence, are out on strike for the right to live free from slavery and starvation; free from overwork and underpay; free from a state of affairs that had become so unbearable and beyond our control, that we were compelled to march out of the slave pens of Lawrence in united resistance against the wrongs and injustice of years and years of wage slavery.
In our fight we have suffered and borne patiently the abuse and calumnies of the mill owners, the city government, police, militia, State government, legislature, and the local police court judge. We feel that in justice to our fellow workers we should at this time make known the causes which compelled us to strike against the mill owners of Lawrence. We hold that as useful members of society and as wealth producers we have the right to lead decent and honorable lives; that we ought to have homes and not shacks; that we ought to have clean food and not adulterated food at high prices; that we ought to have clothes suited to the weather and not shoddy garments. That to secure sufficient food, clothing and shelter in a society made up of a robber class on the one hand and a working class on the other hand, it is absolutely necessary for the toilers to band themselves together and form a union, organizing its powers in such form as to them seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Voices of a People’s History of the United States
Howard Zinn, Anthony Arnove
One of the most dramatic labor struggles in American history took place in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912 when textile workers, mostly women, European immigrants speaking a dozen different languages, carried on a strike during the bitterly cold months of January to March 1912. Despite police violence and hunger, they persisted, and were victorious against the powerful textile mill owners. Borrowing from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the following strike declaration, issued by the workers of Lawrence, was translated into the many languages of the immigrant textile workers in Massachusetts and circulated around the world.
Steven James has been working as a machine operator making Oreos, Chips Ahoy! and other Nabisco snacks at a plant in Richmond, Va. for 20 years.
On Aug. 16, James joined about 1,000 of his fellow union members in five states and walked off the job to protest what they say are “unfair” demands for concessions in contract negotiations with Nabisco’s parent company Mondelez International (MDLZ). James, who isn’t working another job, said he plans to stay out of the plant until a fair contract is signed.
“We’re not asking for a lot,” James told Yahoo Finance Live. “We just want a fair contract.”
As America’s appetite for snack foods has grown during the pandemic, James said he and his colleagues on the frontlines have been working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.
“It was just constant. Never had time to spend with the kids. Never had time to spend with the family,” he said.
In support of the strikers, here’s a bag of cookies I didn’t buy when I was at King Soopers earlier today:
The B-52s (styled as The B-52’s prior to 2008) is an American new wave band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion), Kate Pierson (vocals, keyboards, synth bass), Cindy Wilson (vocals, percussion), Ricky Wilson (guitar), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitar, keyboards). Ricky Wilson died from AIDS-related illness in 1985, and Strickland switched from drums to lead guitar. The band also added various members for albums and live performances.
The group evoked a “thrift shop aesthetic”, in the words of Bernard Gendron, by drawing from 1950s and 1960s pop sources, trash culture, and rock and roll. Schneider, Pierson, and Wilson sometimes use call-and-response-style vocals (Schneider’s often humorous sprechgesang contrasting with the melodic harmonies of Pierson and Wilson), and their guitar- and keyboard-driven instrumentation comprises their trademark sound, which was also set apart from their contemporaries by the unusual guitar tunings used by Ricky Wilson on their earlier albums.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, some states will make abortion illegal. If women can’t get a legal abortion, some will get an illegal abortion. And some of them will die. I know, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. It was the mid-1970s and abortion was illegal in Massachusetts. She was a 16-year old girl from a blue-collar, Catholic family in Fall River. I was a young respiratory therapist working in the ICU of a Boston-based academic medical center. She arrived via helicopter, rather than an ambulance, from her local hospital because when she showed up at their ER, she was in full-blown septic shock. Which was the result of an illegal abortion. Since she and her boyfriend didn’t have the wherewithal to take her to New York City – the nearest locale where she could get a safe, legal abortion – she chose the alternative. And paid for it with her life. It took her three days to die. If she had lived – if she had been able to obtain a safe, legal abortion – she would be in her late 50s today, probably with children or even grandchildren of her own. So, spare me your pious rhetoric about being pro-life until you’ve sat at the bedside of a teenager, just starting out in life, whose body swelled up to twice its normal size, whose skin turned black, whose face was unrecognizable, and whose organs literally dissolved as they were consumed by the bacteria. All because the state, in its infinite wisdom, forbad her from obtaining a safe, legal abortion.
Comment from this article:
Where Abortion Access Would Decline if Roe v. Wade Were Overturned
By Quoctrung Bui, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz
May 18, 2021
Ahead of Texas’ abortion ban going into effect on Sept. 1, NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, an OB/GYN, about what it means for abortion providers and patients there.
MARTIN: Could you talk more about – without compromising their privacy, of course – like, what are some of the other things that patients have been saying to you as this deadline approaches? Is there heightened fear?
MOAYEDI: Yes. People are very afraid. People understand, right? They understand that the abortion that they’re having this week, last week, the week before, is something that they wouldn’t be able to have next week. They’ve been asking about it and asking, you know, if I were here in September, would I be able to get this?
And, you know, this is a story I’ve told often, but a few years ago, when our state legislator was debating a different bill – it was a bill that would give the death penalty to people that got an abortion and to providers who provided abortion, right? – something so extreme. And it didn’t make it very far. But I had a patient that week that came in and told me, doc, I know that I’m going to get the death penalty for this, but I need this abortion. That is very real.
From Amazon’s page for Abbie Hoffman’s book, Revolution for the Hell of it:
From one of America’s most renowned dissidents and the author of Steal This Book — a new edition of the counterculture manifesto that helped stir up a revolution in the 1960s
While the supremely popular Steal This Book is a guide to living outside the establishment, Revolution for the Hell of It is a chronicle of Abbie Hoffman’s radical escapades that doubles as a guidebook for today’s social and political activist.
Hoffman pioneered the use of humor, theater, and surprise to change the world for the better. In Revolution for the Hell of It he gives firsthand accounts of his legendary adventures, from the activism that led to the founding of the Youth International Party (“Yippies!) to the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests (“a perfect mess”) that resulted in his conviction as part of the Chicago Seven.
Also chronicled is the the mass antiwar demonstration he helped lead in which over 50,000 people attempted to levitate the Pentagon using psychic energy and the time he threw fistfuls of dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and watched the traders scramble. With antiwar sentiment once again on the rise and an incendiary political climate not seen since the book’s original printing, Abbie Hoffman’s voice is more essential than ever.
Includes a facsimile edition of Hoffman’s rare first book, Fuck the System