labor struggle

SOLIDARITY With the Striking Platinum Miners in South Africa [graphic VIDEO of Police Massacre]

Platinum miners outside of Rustenburg, a few hours northwest of Johannesburg, have organized wildcat strikes to demand a living wage.

As a consequence, on August 16th, South African police massacred at least 34 miners and injured 78 more.

Actions and Events in SOLIDARITY WITH THE STRIKING MINERS are being held around the world.

Far from advocating for workers’ rights, the largest mining union in South Africa, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), has openly denounced the strikers, urging them to return to work and even blaming them for last week’s violence.

Statements from President Zuma, COSATU, NUM, and the SACP blame murdered workers for their own deaths.

Why is the NUM leadership, the COSATU leadership, and the SACP refusing to denounce this ANC-ordered massacre? In some cases they are openly endorsing it.

Sections of the working class struggle are engaged in open class war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a graphic video of the incident, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf6Oi2bR56E

"It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out."

May Day turns 125 years old this year. Elizabeth Schulte tells the story of the fight for the eight-hour day--and of the Haymarket Martyrs who gave their lives for it.

The Haymarket Martyrs

ON MAY 1, 1886--125 years ago this month--hundreds of thousands of workers were taking the streets of cities around the U.S. to demand an eight-hour day.

The epicenter of this great labor struggle was Chicago, where the eight-hour movement inspired defiant protests and strikes--and inspired fear and repression from bosses and their loyal servants in law enforcement.

Two days after the massive May 1 actions, Chicago police fired on a protest of workers at a South Side factory, killing four people. A protest demonstration was called the next day for Haymarket, just west of downtown. The rally was peaceful, but as it was nearing a close, police waded into the crowd. At this point, a bomb was thrown into the ranks of police--and this became the excuse for a deadly rampage by the authorities.

Eight working-class radicals were arrested and charged with conspiring to commit the bombing--even though most weren't even at Haymarket when the explosion occurred.

The eight radicals were prosecuted--but it was the entire eight-hour movement that was put on trial.

The robber barons wanted to destroy the workers' movement. And they had good reason. The struggle of workers--and their demand for the eight-hour day--threatened the very foundations of the employers' profits.