WHY ARE HUMAN BEINGS LIVING HERE?
WHY ARE HUMAN BEINGS LIVING HERE ?
CHICAGO, 1935 – the first national convention of the Women’s Economic Council of the famous African-American labor union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, led for decades by the remarkable Philip J. Randolph. His nimble political mind, and genius for large scale organizational leadership helped shape the BSCP into a force to be reckoned with re national issues of race that extended far beyond the union. Randolph delivered an ultimatum to the White House in the middle of WW II: either the US take immediate steps to integrate the nation’s armed forces, or he would call for a huge national protest to take up indefinite residence in the streets of the nation’s capitol. All too aware of the hundreds of thousands who could be on his doorstep virtually overnight, President Franklin D. Roosevelt literally begged Randolph not to do it. Randolph agreed to hold off, on the condition that Roosevelt acted swiftly, and in good faith – and the president kept his word. Twenty years later, Mr. Randolph returned to Washington,D.C to stand beside his friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, as King called the whole world to witness.
IF THE WORKERS TAKE A NOTION
BY JOE HILL
If the workers take a notion,
They can stop all speeding trains;
Every ship upon the ocean
They can tie with mighty chains.
Every wheel in the creation,
Every mine and every mill,
Fleets and armies of the nation,
Will at their command STAND STILL.
Join the union, fellow workers,
Men and women, side by side;
We will crush the greedy shirkers
Like a sweeping, surging tide;
For united we are standing,
But divided we will fall;
Let this be our understanding —
“All for one and one for all.”
Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might;
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
Joe Hill wrote this famous song about Elizabeth Gurley Flynn , the fiery daughter of Irish immigrant labor organizers, who became a well-known speaker and agitator while still a teenager. Hounded, imprisoned, and threatened by the authorities all her life, Flynn remained as fearless in her old age as she had been in her youth. She loved her class, the international working class – and it loved her back.
THE REBEL GIRL
Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor, and her dress may not be fine;
But a heart in her bosom is beating that is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling when her spite and defiance she’ll hurl;
For the only and thoroughbred lady Is the Rebel Girl.
That’s the Rebel Girl, the Rebel Girl! To the working class she’s a precious pearl.
She fights with pride and courage beside the Rebel Boy.
We’ve had girls before, but we always need more
In the Industrial Workers of the World –
For it’s great to fight for freedom With a Rebel Girl.
BREAD OR REVOLUTION