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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:35 AM
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We benefit because unions fought for workers' rights
SHANNYN MOORE
http://www.adn.com/2011/09/03/2048246/we-benefit-becaus...

"You might be a redneck ..." is the now-classic opening joke line for rural America. The true historic meaning of "redneck" was lost long ago to jokes about trailers and family reunion dating games.

Exactly 90 years ago this week, an estimated 15,000 coal miners in Logan County, W.Va., formed an armed militia to fight back against an army of police and strikebreakers backed by abusive coal operators. They wore red bandanas around their necks to identify themselves -- thus the term "redneck." Habeas corpus was suspended. More than 100 people were killed, hundreds more wounded and 985 arrested. Today, people still find old, abandoned weapons in the woods -- a stark reminder of the Battle of Blair Mountain.

The year before, in 1920, detectives from Baldwin-Felts (think Blackwater) arrived via the morning train in Matewan, W.Va., to evict families living at the Stone Mountain Coal Camp. After forcing several families from their homes, the detectives ate dinner and then walked back to the train station. Matewan Police Chief Sid Hatfield, an ardent supporter of the miners' struggle to organize, intervened on their behalf. Chief Hatfield attempted to arrest the evictors from Baldwin-Felts. Detective Albert Felts countered with an arrest warrant for Hatfield. Matewan Mayor Cabell Testerman cried foul. All the while, struggling armed miners quietly surrounded the detectives. The ensuing clash, which killed 10, including the Felts brothers and Mayor Testerman, became known as the Matewan Massacre and was a turning point for miners' rights. Unfortunately today, the Matewan Massacre is but a footnote in history.

(snip)
I got an email this week calling me "a union shill." I'm fine with that. I will shill while I still have breath in my lungs for working men and women in this country against corporations and their puppets who prefer indentured servants to employees. I will fight alongside them against discrimination and unfair labor practices. On Monday, I'll wear a red bandana to honor my ancestors who fought in the Battle for Blair Mountain. I'll remember my grandfather, Sam Moore, a member of John L. Lewis' United Mine Workers of America. I'll be grateful for my parents' teacher union benefits that were mine as well through childhood.




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tblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:17 AM
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1. The Democratic party must become the party of labor!
And veterans, and children, and the homeless, and those without healthcare & jobs. And education! And the environment. Either that or why have a party??? It's not rocket science. We need to show that we will protect those who need protection or we are sunk. The time is now while the GOP is so clearly for only the wealthy and the large corporations. It's low hanging fruit! Let's pick it!!!
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