Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:39 PM
TalkingDog (8,300 posts)
The myth of freedom in the land of the free
New Haven, CT - In 1893, a massive financial panic sent demand for the Pullman Palace Car Company into a downward spiral. The luxury rail car company reacted by slashing workers' wages and increasing their work load. After negotiations with ownership broke down the following year, the American Railway Union, in solidarity with Pullman factory workers, launched a boycott that eventually shut down railroads across the US. It was a full-scale insurrection, as the late historian Howard Zinn put it, that soon "met with the full force of the capitalist state".
The US Attorney General won a court order to stop the strike, but the union and its leader, Eugene V Debs, refused to quit. President Grover Cleveland, over the objections of Illinois' governor, ordered federal troops to Chicago under the pretense of maintaining public safety. Soldiers fired their bayoneted rifles into the crowd of 5,000, killing 13 strike sympathisers. Seven hundred, including Debs, were arrested. Debs wasn't a socialist before the strike, but he was after. The event radicalised him. "In the gleam of every bayonet and the flash of every rifle," Debs said later on, "the class struggle was revealed".
I imagine a similar revelation for the tens of thousands of Americans who participated in last fall's Occupy Wall Street protests. As you know, the movement began in New York City and spread quickly, inspiring activists in the biggest cities and the smallest hamlets. Outraged by the broken promise of the US and inspired by democratic revolts of Egypt and Tunisia, they assembled to protest economic injustice and corrupt corporate power in Washington.
3 replies, 720 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Response to TalkingDog (Original post)
Thu Mar 22, 2012, 04:46 PM
RKP5637 (28,310 posts)
1. Hence we have this ...
They will take action against OWS as in the past.
Imagine the surveillance when this is completed (Wired article below). To me seems an overkill, but then what do I know, I'm just a serf.
"The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) (Wired)"