On this day…


On this day, 9 April 1898, Paul Robeson, African-American singer, actor, communist and former shipyard worker was born. During his lifetime, he became involved with the struggle against fascism, actively supporting the fight against Franco during the civil war, as well as the civil rights movement and workers’ struggles. He was blacklisted for his activism during the McCarthy era. This is a video of him performing one of his most beautiful songs, I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night, to an audience of Scottish miners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0bezsMVU7c
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On this day…


On this day, 9 April 1945, Georg Elser, a factory worker and folk musician who tried single-handedly to kill Hitler, was murdered in the Dachau concentration camp. Working in a weapons factory and then a quarry, he gradually built up an arsenal of stolen explosives, which in 1939 he planted in a pub in Munich, which he knew Hitler visited every year on 8 and 9 November to celebrate the Nazi putsch of 1923. Unfortunately that year Hitler left early and the bomb missed him by minutes, instead killed six senior Nazis and tragically a waitress. Elser was later arrested and tortured, but insisted he acted alone and refused to give up any other names, other than one of a communist who had already died. He was sent to the concentration camps, where he was killed on the orders of Himmler just a few days before their liberation. Read a short account of his life here: https://ift.tt/2Havlh9
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On this day…


On this day 70 years ago, 9 April 1948, the Deir Yassin massacre took place when around 120 fighters from the Zionist paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem. Over 100 to 150 or more Palestinians, including many women and children, were killed, among them people who had been decapitated, disembowelled, mutilated and raped. The incident led to many Palestinians fleeing in terror, and was a key event in the Israel-Palestine conflict. This is an account and analysis of that conflict: https://ift.tt/2jdGY7G
Pictured: a Zionist military briefing in the village

On this day…


On this day, 9 April 1914, Basque anarchist, feminist and civil war fighter Casilda Hernaez was born. Becoming a militant as a teenager, she was first jailed for inciting a strike in an all-female workplace, then was later jailed for 29 years for distributing radical media and possessing explosives. Released under the Republic, she joined an anarchist militia during the civil war until women were shamefully banned from the fighting, then help defend her union buildings from attacks by Stalinists in the 1937 May Days. She survived the war and moved to France and Britain, helping the French and Spanish resistance. More info in this short biography: https://ift.tt/2EvGm7v

On this day…


On 8 April 1877, teacher and communist Jeanne Marie Labourbe was born in France. Later migrating to Russia, she joined the revolutionary movement in 1903, participated in the 1917 revolution and helped organise the 1919 mutiny of the French Black Sea fleet which had been sent to fight the revolution. She was shot by French counterintelligence shortly after. This is a short history of the mutiny: https://ift.tt/2oR3shw
Pictured: Illustration from a commemorative Soviet stamp with her face on the centenary of her birth

On this day…


On this day, 8 April 1970, thousands of Teamster truck drivers across the US went on wildcat strike against a union-management-agreed pay offer. The workers defied the police, the National Guard and their own union’s orders to return to work and held out the 12 weeks until they won an offer nearly 70% higher than the one the union agreed. This is a history of the dispute: https://ift.tt/2qetD3C
Pictured: Teamsters stand off against National Guard troops

On this day…


On this day, 8 April 1958, sugar cane workers on two adjoining plantations in Barbados refused to cut cane unless they were given a 15 cent per ton wage increase. After being told they were entitled to only a six cent raise, the cane cutters walked off the job, kick-starting the 1958 sugar workers’ wildcat strike, which spread to dozens of plantations around the country. This is a history of the strikes: https://ift.tt/2H4qyh3
Pictured: sugarcane workers in Barbados around this time

On this day…


On this day, 8 April 2010 of Carlsberg factory workers in Copenhagen, Denmark, were on strike in protest at new management policies to restrict beer drinking at work. The company’s truck drivers joined the strike in sympathy. The previous week, Carlsberg removed beer coolers from the factory floor, which contained free beer for workers to drink throughout the day. Instead they declared that workers would only be allowed to drink beer in the canteen at lunch hour. The strike lasted for five days but ended in defeat. However the following month workers walked out again for a pay increase. This is an article about the strike from the time: https://ift.tt/28pwxma
Pictured: a Carlsberg factory worker

On this day…


On this day, 8 April 2013, former UK Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, warming the hearts of workers everywhere. Street parties spontaneously broke out across the country, particularly in working class areas and in former mining communities which were ravaged by Thatcher’s policies. Pictured: Thatcher being welcomed the hell by one of her good friends and supporters, serial paedophile Jimmy Savile
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