You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
Saturday, March 21, 1903
From the Appeal to Reason-J.A. Wayland on the land question.
This Socialist/Labor journal maintains that we humans have a natural right to the land. The vast land monopolies along with the crop lien system and the high rates of mortgages, lead directly to high rates of foreclosures. Mass impoverishment of the people is the result. "Common ownership of the means necessary for life [must be] restored in order for human life, in its full dimensions, to flourish."
Serfs, Wake Up! by J. A. WaylandSOURCE
...As the serfs of [the Middle Ages] raised up under that system were unable to see the robbery they suffered, and were mostly satisfied, so you, tenants of today, raised up under the private ownership of the soil, pay your rent, or serfage, and do not see the wrong under which you live. Because you have always seen land bought and sold, and rent paid for it, you have never thought that there was anything wrong with such a system that takes from you half of your products, and gives it over to those who have cunningly got hold of the land. Private ownership of land is a crime, and the landless, who are in a majority, should use their ballots to elect men to office who will change it, that every child, when it grows up, will have the use of land, without paying other human beings for what God made a free gift to man. If each has all the land he or she can use, what would they want with more, except to deny others the right to use the earth, that they may levy tribute on them? Wake up.
"Yours for the Revolution"
The Appeal To Reason, 1895-1922
-ed. by John Graham
U of Nebraska Press, 1990
Friday, March 21, 1913
West Virginia-The poet, "Paint Creek Miner," is revealed.
We have learned that "Paint Creek Miner" is none other than Ralph Chaplin. Chaplin has now described for us how he came to write the popular poem, "When the Leaves Come Out:"
One evening [last fall] when Rumbaugh and I were preparing to "jungle up" for the night, firing broke out from both sides of the "hollow." We could hear the sharp crack of rifles at various distances, the whine of bullets, and the "ping" of impact on rocks or tree trunks. Not more than a couple of rods away we saw a commotion in the underbrush. There was stifled whimpering and a curse. Then a boyish leg was thrust into sight, kicking spasmodically. Rumbaugh crawled over and came back with a pocketful of ammunition and an old Marlin deer gun. "Poor kid," he explained, "couldn't have been more than sixteen."SOURCE
...Huntinton seemed ages away. We were exposed to intermitten fire for three full days before we finally caught a freight back to Charleston. I arrived in Westmoreland once more, dog-tired and black with cinders. I sat down at the kitchen table and scribbled the stanzas of "When the Leaves Come Out."
...You see them there, below, the damned scab-herders!
Those puppets on the greedy owners' string;
We'll make them pay for all their dirty murders,
We'll show them how a starving hate can sting!
They've riddled us with volley after volley,
We heard their speeding bullets zip and ring,
But soon we'll make them suffer for their folly-
O, Buddy, how I'm longing for the spring!
The Rough-and-Tumble Story
of an American Radical
-by Ralph Chaplin
When the Leaves Come Out
-by Ralph Chaplin
Thursday, March 21,2013
From a recent article in Labor Notes:
In Wisconsin, When Bargaining Is Illegal, We Bargain ‘Informally’ by Dawn TefftThe article goes on to explain "informal bargaining" strategies giving examples, and ends with this encouraging news:
After the Wisconsin legislature banned public sector unions from most collective bargaining in 2011, we had to come up with ways of dealing with management informally.
Many other Teachers locals in Wisconsin are doing informal bargaining, too. The strongest ones de-emphasize the old legalistic activities of representing members in grievances and servicing contracts. Instead, they prioritize signing members up, educating them about the new environment, and activating them.Full article here:
They don’t just react to problems as they arise, but focus on what they want to gain and create new strategies to win it.
Unions existed before legislation enabled collective bargaining rights. Politicians can alter the landscape, but they can’t bestow—or take away—the power of collective action.
Dawn Tefft is an AFT organizer who was assigned to SPARC and is a former president of MGAA.