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Old 09-07-2015, 01:52 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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September 7th, 2015: Labor Day

Labor Day, a Monday morning you can give the alarm clock the finger. But you'll probably want to get up anyway, to continue the third day of partying it will take a week back at work to recover from. How did this holiday happen, to celebrate the kids going back to school, or the break in the Summer heat, maybe the start of Black Friday/Christmas sales advertising? Nope.
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But it’s also a day to remember the struggles of working people, and to recall the pioneers of the U.S. labor movement. These folks brought us the 8-hour work day, overtime pay, and collective bargaining. They also worked to eliminate paternalistic employer practices, child labor, and unsafe working conditions.
Like these men who paid dearly for your Monday off.

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In September 1913, 11,000 miners across southern Colorado went on strike against several mining companies, protesting low pay and unsafe conditions. The strike lasted over a year. The company responded by evicting miners and their families from company housing, which led to thousands of people living in tent colonies. The tent colony in Ludlow, near Trinidad, was particularly large. The mines in that area were operated by Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation. CF&I hired agents from the Baldwin Felts Detective Agency to harass miners. The detectives brought an armored vehicle with a mounted machine gun called the “Death Special,” from which they fired on striking miners. There were occasional deaths on both sides.

The Rockefeller family, who owned the mining operation, called on the governor of Colorado to send in the National Guard. When they arrived, striking miners thought they were there to protect them from the hired agents, but soon saw that the National Guard was there to impose CF&I control.

On April 20, 1914, the shooting escalated into an all-out battle. Baldwin Felts agents and the militia set fire to the tent colony. Some women and children fled into the wilderness, while others took shelter in cellars they had dug under the tents. In the cellar of tent #58, two women and 11 children suffocated as their tent and its wooden floored blazed above. Two other women survived to tell the tale. Several other people were shot to death.

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The miners, outraged at the massacre, destroyed mining operations all around the area, and traded shots with the militia until federal troops were sent in. By the time the strike was over in December 1914, the union was out of funds and somewhere between 60 and 200 people had been killed. Hundreds of miners and a few militiamen were arrested for murder, but not convicted. Even though the union lost the strike, national publicity about the working conditions of Western miners led to new federal safety regulations for mines. The site of the Ludlow Massacre, on land owned by the UMWA, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
This was only one of many bloody battles that went on for years, but there were also thousands of fights where nobody was killed but still caused great suffering for the people fighting the old 1%.
Tomorrow we'll go back to the lighter side of IOtD, but this story and these people must not be forgotten.
You can read about five other bloody battles at MentalFloss.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:22 AM   #2
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Tomorrow we'll go back to the lighter side of IOtD, but this story and these people must not be forgotten.

AMEN TO THAT

...Nothing else to add today
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Old 09-07-2015, 06:59 PM   #3
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Thank you fellow workers!
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:22 PM   #4
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Thank you, 2nd amendment.

(How different would history unfold if the folks in Tiananmen square and other places had been able to shoot back?)
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:12 PM   #5
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I'll grant you that the ability to fire back was important.

However, when you appreciate a work of art, do you praise the tool?
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Old 09-11-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
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Awesome IotD, Bruce.
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:49 PM   #7
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Snakeadelic doesn't agree.
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