“Working Class History”: 120 Posts About Ordinary People Shaping The Course Of History

We like to think that only those in power can shape the course of humanity. That us average folk have no say in a serious matter.

But one popular Instagram account is trying to prove the opposite. Called "Working Class History", it's making posts to show everyone that "history isn't made by kings or politicians, it is made by us: billions of ordinary people."

From protesters fighting for their beliefs to activists devoting their whole lives to a noble cause, continue scrolling for proof that every single good deed matters. No matter big or small, they all play a part in the grand scheme of things.

More info: Instagram

#1

"On 2 January 2020, residents of Antofagasta, Chile, held a fake protest for a stray dog named El Vaquita in order to trick him to visiting a veterinarian. El Vaquita ("little male cow") is one of several famous street dogs in the country, who frequently join demonstrations and protests, and instinctively side with them during confrontations with the police. During one clash, El Vaquita was shot by police with a riot shotgun and injured by a pellet. He would not allow himself to be captured, and had repeatedly refused to be adopted, so no one could take him to the vet. So instead, local people organised a fake demonstration, which he then joined, which led him voluntarily to the vets where his injuries were treated. In 2019, in a poll by the local newspaper El Diario, he was voted "character of the year", surpassing all of the humans. We have posters and other items commemorating other protest dogs Negro Matapacos and Loukanikos."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#2

"On 27 October 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain's order to launch nuclear torpedos against US warships and setting off what might well have been a terminal superpower nuclear war. The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War III had begun, and two of the officers agreed to 'blast the warships out of the water'. Arkhipov refused to agree - unanimous consent of three officers was required - and thanks to him, we are here to post about it on the internet!"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#3

"On 13 April 1985, Danuta Danielsson, a woman of Polish-Jewish origin whose mother had been put in a concentration camp during the Second World War, hit a neo-nazi of the now defunct Nordic Reich Party on the head with her handbag in Växjö, Sweden. The fascists were subsequently chased out of town."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#4

"On 29 December 1939, French physician, libertarian socialist and women's rights activist Madeleine Pelletier died in an asylum where she had been interned after openly assisting an abortion for a teenage survivor of incest. Born into a poor family in 1874, Pelletier became a feminist and socialist, and was arrested for breaking a window at a polling place after she and other women were denied entry. While never admitted into intellectual circles, she was a pioneer of advanced feminist ideas, like gender roles being largely determined by society, rather than biology. While expressing no interest in sex in her personal life, and so possibly asexual, Pelletier advocated for women's rights to sexual pleasure, as well as to contraception and abortion. Despite all the misfortune she experienced, Pelletier declared: "I remain a feminist. I will remain one until my death even though I don't like women as they are now any more than I like the working class as it is. Slave mentalities revolt me."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#5

"On 2 November 1970, actor and Vietnam GI resistance supporter Jane Fonda was arrested at Cleveland airport as she returned from an event put on by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in Canada and charged with drug smuggling. The following day Fonda was also charged with supposedly kicking a police officer, when a more famous mugshot was taken as she raised her fist in defiance at the police. Both charges were bogus – the "drugs" were vitamin tablets – and they were both later dismissed. Although Fonda is clear that the intention was to discredit her due to her valuable support for the GI anti-war movement. In addition to being a patron of VVAW, Fonda was a leading organiser of and participant in the FTA (Fuck The Army) tour, and anti-war alternative to the USO shows to serving GIs."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#6

"On 14 October 1977, anti-gay crusader Anita Bryant was "pied" in the face by Tom Higgins, a gay rights activist. Bryant, who was already well-known as a singer, led Save Our Children, a homophobic campaigning group which successfully overturned legal protections for LGBT+ people in Dade County, Florida. Bryant had declared about homosexuality: "I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before." After being pied, Bryant burst into tears and began praying. Bryant was also brand ambassador for Florida orange juice, which then became subjected to a mass boycott campaign. Gay bars replaced screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice cocktails) with "Anita Bryants" – made with vodka and apple juice, with the profits donated to the campaign. Bryant's lucrative orange contract subsequently lapsed and her marriage failed, which caused her to be ostracised by some Christian fundamentalists who did not approve of her divorce. Later in life, Bryant's homophobic views softened, and she stated she was "more inclined to say live and let live". In 1998, Dade County reintroduced legal protections for LGBT+ people, and efforts by Christian groups to overturn them failed."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#7

"On 28 January 1917, Carmelita Torres, a 17-year-old Mexican maid who worked in the United States, refused to take the mandatory gasoline bath given to day labourers at the border, and convinced 30 other trolley passengers to join her. Her protest spread in what became known as the bath riots. Torres was one of many workers who crossed the border between Juarez and El Paso each day. In the name of public health, Mexican workers were frequently subjected to degrading and humiliating treatment. They had to strip naked, brave, undergo a toxic gasoline bath, and have their clothes steamed. The stated aim of the programme was to kill lice, which can spread typhus. However, it was not applied to everyone crossing the border: just working class Mexicans. In addition to gasoline being poisonous, it was also a deadly fire risk. A group of prisoners in El Paso being treated with gasoline were burned to death in an accidental fire. Furthermore, US health workers were secretly photographing naked Mexican women. On January 28, anger at the practice finally exploded, and within a few hours Torres had amassed a crowd of several thousand mostly women protesters. They blocked all traffic and trolleys into El Paso. They pelted immigration officers with rocks and bottles when they try to disperse them, and when US and then Mexican troops arrived they received the same treatment. The riots were eventually suppressed by the soldiers, and Torres herself was arrested. This appeared to have the effect of discouraging future protests. The enforced bathing and fumigation of Mexican workers with toxic chemicals like gasoline, and later DDT and Zyklon B, continued until the 1950s. The use of Zyklon B at the border appealed to scientists in Nazi Germany, who in the late 1930s began using the agent at borders and in concentration camps for delousing. Although notoriously they later used it to exterminate millions of people in the Holocaust."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#8

"On 4 May 1929, actor and member of the Dutch resistance Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium. Her parents, a baroness and a banker, were both fascists who personally met with Hitler. After her father abandoned them, she and her mother moved to the Netherlands, and her mother's views changed when Nazis executed her brother, Otto van Limburg Stirum, in retaliation for resistance activities. As a child, Hepburn studied ballet, and began to perform recitals to fundraiser for the resistance. The performances were referred to as “zwarte avonden” ("black evenings") as organisers blacked out windows while they took place so they could not be observed from outside. Hepburn described how "Guards were posted outside" to warn of approaching Germans, and how audiences "made not a single sound at the end of [her] performance." Hepburn was part of the resistance cell of Dr. Hendrik Visser’t Hooft, which according to his daughters he proudly recalled to them. Hepburn would help deliver copies of his underground anti-fascist newspaper as a courier: “I stuffed them in my woolen socks in my wooden shoes, got on my bike and delivered them," she later recounted. As an English speaker, Hepburn also relayed messages between downed British pilots and the resistance, and according to her son her family sheltered a British pilot who had been shot down."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#9

"On 28 February 1972, the trial of legendary Black communist Angela Davis for murder, kidnapping and conspiracy began in San Jose, California. The trial resulted from a courtroom shootout in 1970 in which four people were killed. Davis had purchased some of the firearms used in the incident. However, Davis herself was not present, and she declared herself innocent of all charges. By the time the trial had begun, nearly 300 groups had sprung up around the world supporting her and working for her freedom, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono contributed the song "Angela" to the campaign. Angela Davis had a team of experienced lawyers, but she delivered her opening defence address herself. The defence demolished the prosecution's case, and eventually on 4 June, the all-white jury came back with not-guilty verdicts on all charges."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#10

"On 28 November 1919, Faye Schulman, photographer and Jewish resistance partisan, was born in Lenin, Poland (now Belarus). In 1942, the Nazis murdered 1,850 Jews in the Lenin ghetto, leaving only Faye and 25 others alive, making Schulman take and develop photos of the massacre. Covertly she made copies of the photographs for herself. She soon fled and joined the partisan resistance, serving as a fighter and nurse. While on a raid in Lenin with her unit, Schulman managed to retrieve her camera equipment, and then began documenting the resistance movement, developing her photos under blankets. "I want people to know that there was resistance. Jews did not go like sheep to the slaughter. I was a photographer. I have pictures. I have proof." Schulman survived the war and moved to Canada, eventually passing away on April 24, 2021, aged 101."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#11

"On 31 May 1927, Fred Trump, the father of US president Donald Trump, was arrested at a rally of the Ku Klux Klan in Queens, New York. He was initially arrested for "refusing to disperse" along with six other people after the rally descended into disorder. The Long Island Daily Press reported that all seven arrestees were wearing Klan robes. After Donald Trump was endorsed by David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump was questioned about his father's arrest. Donald claimed to journalist Jason Horowitz that "it never happened", despite it being reported in several newspapers. When Horowitz asked Trump if the address reported for his father in the newspapers, 175-24 Devonshire Rd, was accurate, Donald dismissed it as "totally false". However Fred Trump's wedding announcement in the Daily Press listed his address at 175-24 Devonshire Rd. Fred Trump was subjected to legal action by the Justice Department on multiple occasions for racist behaviour as a landlord, and one of his former tenants, folk singer Woody Guthrie once wrote in a song mentioning Trump: "I suppose / Old Man Trump knows / Just how much / Racial Hate / He stirred up"."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#12

"On 13 June 1936, this photograph was taken at a rally for workers launching a new ship in Nazi Germany. The man circled, defiantly folding his arms rather than perform the Nazi salute is believed to be August Landmesser, a shipyard worker who fell in love with a Jewish woman. He was later imprisoned for the relationship and drafted into the army. During his military service he was killed in action, whereas his partner was murdered in the concentration camps."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#13

"On 4 August 1990, the term "Two-Spirit", for Indigenous people "who embody diverse (or non-normative) sexualities, genders, gender roles, and/or gender expressions", was adopted at the 3rd Annual Gathering of Native American Gays and Lesbians being held near Beausejour, Manitoba, Canada. Teacher, counselor, administrator, mentor and elder, Dr. Myra Laramee (First Nations Cree) brought the term to a sharing circle of 80 Indigenous LGBT+ people from across North America at the 1990 Gathering, and it was quickly adopted. As Harlan Pruden, the managing editor of the Two-Spirit Journal, put it: "[Two-Spirit evokes] the time before the harshness of colonisation where many, not all, First Peoples had traditions and ways that were non-binary, where some Nations had 3, 4, 5, 6, or even 7+ different genders and these genders were not only accepted and honoured but also had distinct roles within their respective Nations. Today, we would generally refer to these individuals as Two-Spirit.” Pictured: Two-spirit Zuni princess We’wha, New Mexico, c1886."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#14

"On 11 June 1943, Karl Gorath, a 20-year-old gay German nurse, was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was first arrested for homosexuality after being denounced by a jealous lover in 1939, and given a prison sentence. After his release he was sent to the Neuengamme concentration camp, where he was made to wear a pink triangle denoting LGBT+ prisoners. Working in the camp's health department, with some comrades he attempted to smuggle food to Russian prisoners, who were being starved to death. Their plan was discovered by the Nazis, who then sentenced Gorath to transportation to Auschwitz as a criminal and political prisoner, to be denoted with a red triangle. Despite contracting dysentery, he managed to survive the war and was released in 1945. But within a few months he was arrested again by West German authorities, who had kept the homophobic Nazi laws intact. His case was overseen by the same judge, who greeted him with the words "You are already here again!" and gave him the maximum sentence of five years. His lawyer requested that his time served in the concentration camps be counted as part of this, but his request was denied. After his release, because of his convictions he was unable to get a job for a decade. And when the time came to draw his pension, his years interned in concentration camps were deducted from his allowance, as were his unemployment payments. He died in 2003, having never received compensation for his treatment, unlike some other Holocaust survivors. He told his story in a 2000 documentary, "Paragraph 175", named after the relevant section of the penal code."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#15

"On 16 October 1968, Black sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists in a Black power salute during the playing of the US national anthem as they were awarded gold and bronze medals at the Olympics. Smith would later clarify: “I wore a black glove to represent social power or Black power; I wore socks, not shoes, to represent poverty; I wore a black scarf around my neck to symbolise the lynching, the hangings that Black folks went through while building this country.” Following the protest, they were largely ostracised by the US sporting establishment. While Time magazine now considers their picture of the event as the most iconic photograph of all time, back then they wrote: "'Faster, Higher, Stronger' is the motto of the Olympic Games. 'Angrier, nastier, uglier' better describes the scene in Mexico City last week." Back home, both Smith and Carlos were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats. The Australian athlete Peter Norman, the other man on the podium, also showed solidarity with the protest wearing an 'Olympic Project for Human Rights' badge in protest of his government's 'White Australia' policy. He too would also be reprimanded by his nation's Olympic authorities and was not picked for the following Olympic games - although it is disputed whether this was as a consequence of his stand in Mexico. After Norman’s sudden death in 2006, Smith and Carlos helped carry his coffin and delivered eulogies at his funeral."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#16

"On 25 December 1914, 100,000 troops on the Western Front during World War I held an unofficial truce where they refused to fight one another. German troops began singing "Silent Night" in German, French and English, along with other Christmas carols. They decorated the trenches with Christmas trees, lit candles and hung multilingual banners wishing opposing armies "Merry Christmas". Across much of the front artillery fell silent, British troops joined in the carol singing and both sides began to shout Christmas greetings at one another. On Christmas Day, soldiers began to climb out of the trenches to fraternise with the other side, bring back bodies from no man's land and exchange gifts like tobacco, chocolate and alcohol. In several areas there are first-hand accounts of often-improvised football matches being played. The truce covered about 100,000 men, almost entirely on the Western front however there was also a small truce along part of the Eastern front between Austrian and Russian troops. Fighting continued in some areas. Henry Williamson, a British private, wrote to his mother on December 26: "In [my] pipe is tobacco. Of course, you say. But wait. In the pipe is German tobacco. Haha, you say, from a prisoner or found in a captured trench. Oh dear, no! From a German soldier. Yes a live German soldier from his own trench. Yesterday the British & Germans met & shook hands in the Ground between the trenches, & exchanged souvenirs, & shook hands. Yes, all day Xmas day, & as I write. Marvellous, isn't it?" British authorities were extremely angered by the mutiny, and ordered that soldiers engaged in informal truces be court-martialed."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#17

"On 8 April 2013, former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher died. Street parties broke out across the UK, particularly in working class areas and in former mining communities which were ravaged by her policies. Her legacy is best remembered for her destruction of the British workers' movement, after the defeat of the miners' strike of 1984-5. This enabled the drastic increase of economic inequality and unemployment in the 1980s. Her government also slashed social housing, helping to create the situation today where it is unavailable for most people, and private property prices are mostly unaffordable for the young. Thatcher also complained that children were "being cheated of a sound start in life" by being taught that "they have an inalienable right to be gay", so she introduced the vicious section 28 law prohibiting teaching of homosexuality as acceptable. Abroad, Thatcher was a powerful advocate for racism, advising the Australian foreign minister to beware of Asians, else his country would "end up like Fiji, where the Indian migrants have taken over". She hosted apartheid South Africa's head of state, while denouncing the African National Congress as a "typical terrorist organisation". Chilean dictator general Augusto Pinochet, responsible for the rape, murder and torture of tens of thousands of people, was a close personal friend. Back in Britain, she protected numerous politicians accused of paedophilia including Sir Peter Hayman, and MPs Peter Morrison and Cyril Smith. She also lobbied for her friend, serial child abuser Jimmy Savile, to be knighted despite being warned about his behaviour. Margaret Thatcher was eventually forced to step down after the defeat of her hated poll tax by a mass non-payment campaign. Pictured: Jimmy Savile welcoming Thatcher to hell, reportedly."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#18

"On 11 February 1916, Lithuanian-born Jewish anarchist Emma Goldman was arrested in New York City for distributing information on birth control. She was technically charged with breaching the Comstock Act, which banned "obscene" material from the mail or from being transported across state lines. Goldman's arrest came as she was due to deliver a public lecture on family planning, which was a key concern for working class people. Radicals argued that family planning was essential for working class people to be able to have an acceptable standard of living, and believed that authorities opposed birth control so that there would be an oversupply of labour to keep down wages and fill the army. Emma Goldman decided to defend herself in court, and used the trial to generate large amounts of publicity for her message. She was eventually convicted, and rather than pay a $100 fine she chose to serve 15 days in prison."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#19

"The second Monday of October, is a holiday, but one which is hotly disputed. To some, it is Columbus Day, celebrating the anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. But to others, especially Native Americans, it is Indigenous Peoples' Day – celebrating the people who lived in the Americas for centuries beforehand (content note: genocide). Rather than "discover" America, as is the popular myth, Columbus merely arrived in what is now the Bahamas, and began over five centuries of genocide against the Indigenous inhabitants. As soon as Columbus landed, he and his crew began enslaving, murdering, torturing and raping the Taíno people who lived there. Travelling to Haiti, Columbus then began forcing the Indigenous people to mine gold, and chopping off the hands of any who did not collect enough. But it was an impossible task as there was almost no gold in the area. In just two years, half of the 250,000 Taínos on Haiti had died: either by murder or suicide in desperation. Within just a few decades, only 500 remained. However, Indigenous people in the Caribbean and elsewhere did resist both Columbus and the other colonisers who came subsequently, and continue to do so today. Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrates this resistance, and was first proposed in 1977. South Dakota became the first US state to celebrate it in 1990, and every year more states, cities and institutions make the switch from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. Due to continued pressure from Indigenous resistance, in 2021 the US federal government acknowledged Indigenous Peoples' Day for the first time, although at the same time they still officially celebrate Columbus Day as well."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#20

"On 17 May 1966, Vassilis Palaiokostas, “the Greek Robin Hood,” was born in the mountain village of Moschofito, Greece. In the 1990s-2000s he became famous for robbing the rich and handing his takings to the poor — former comrade Kostas Samaras remembers “he and his brother Nikos would stop the car and hand robbery money to immigrants in the street.” Palaiokostas has been linked to some of the most audacious illegalism in Greek history, including the 1992 Kalambaka robbery (the country’s biggest ever bank heist) and pioneering bossnapping with the ransoms of notorious industrialists Alexander Haitoglou in 1995 and George Mylonas in 2008. He is even more famous however for his series of prison escapes which earned him a police nickname — The Uncatchable. The most extraordinary of these were in 2006 and 2009, when he escaped from Korydallos Prison not once but twice by helicopter, bringing him international renown. A folk hero among the working classes of his homeland, he is still free, still on the run, with a 1.4 million Euro bounty on his head."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#21

"On 15 August 1970, Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P Newton delivered a speech in New York City where he criticised the previous attitude of the party, and other left groups towards women and LGBT+ people. He criticised homophobia and sexism in revolutionary movements, commenting that "homosexuals… might be the most oppressed people in… society", and called on the left to desist using homophobic language to describe "enemies of the people" like president Richard Nixon. He argued that all radical events should include "full participation of the gay liberation movement and the women's liberation movement". The move came after the foundation of the Gay Liberation Front, which supported the Black liberation movement, and militantly raised issues such as homophobia within radical organisations."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#22

"On 25 June 1978, the rainbow LGBT+ flag was first flown at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day march. The flag was designed by gay artist and army veteran Gilbert Baker (pictured right in 2006) and the two flags flown were hand-dyed and stitched by 30 volunteers. The original design included eight coloured stripes: pink for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for peace and purple for spirit."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#23

"On, 25 May 1895, libertarian socialist author Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for two years' hard labour for "indecency" for having sex with men. Though many potential witnesses refused to testify against him, he was convicted, and upon sentencing judge stated: “It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for two years.” Wilde's detention would cause him serious health problems which eventually contributed to his untimely death. In his essay, The Soul of Man under Socialism, in which he expounds his political ideas, he declares: "Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#24

"On 12 January 1989, the punk subculture was identified as the primary problem in a "youth analysis" produced by the East German (DDR) government. In the early 1980s authorities estimated there were around 1,000 punks in the country, and around 10,000 visibly identifiable punk sympathisers, who had developed a national network to exchange information and ideas, and had links with left wing and anarchist punks in West Germany. Punks were surveilled by the Stasi intelligence service and the political police, forced to sign papers identifying themselves as potential criminals, routinely arrested and interrogated, beaten by police, had their mohawks cut off. They were banned from youth clubs, restaurants, cafes and bars, and often stripped of their identification documents and given replacement IDs which restricted travel within the DDR and prevented travel elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc. Some punks who could not be recruited as informants for the Stasi were badjacketed – i.e. rumours were spread by authorities that they were in fact informants."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#25

"May 1, is International Workers' Day! It commemorates the sentencing to death of seven anarchist workers in Chicago who were wrongly convicted for throwing a bomb at police who attacked a strike demonstration in May 1886. 80,000 workers in Chicago had walked out on May 1 demanding a maximum 8 hour working day, alongside over 200,000 other workers across the US. Employers and the government were determined to crush the movement, and four of the anarchists were executed, with the fifth cheating the hangman by killing himself. An eighth was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. The surviving three were later pardoned, and the fight for the 8 hour day continued. Before his execution, defendant August Spies told the court: "if you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labour movement – the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery, the wage slaves, expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a spark, but here, and there, and behind you, and in front of you, and everywhere, flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out." Socialist and workers' organisations later chose May 1 to be celebrated as International Workers' Day, and today it is celebrated as a national holiday in many countries around the world, and an unofficial one in many others."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#26

"On 19 August 1944, this photograph was taken in Paris of 18-year-old French Resistance fighter, Simone Segouin, also known under her nom de guerre Nicole Minet. She had come from Chartres to help liberate the capital. Segouin's first mission with the resistance was to steal a bicycle from the German military. It was then repainted, and then used for resistance activities. For example on one occasion she was transporting weapons by bike from Chartres to Dreux. She was stopped by German soldiers, but then managed to escape after bombardment by British soldiers distracted the Germans. At the time of writing (August 2021), Segouin, aged 95, lives in Courville-sur-Eure, where a street has been named after her."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#27

"On 28 May 2013 during the Turkish Occupy Gezi protests, the "woman in red", Ceyda Sungur, was pepper sprayed by police, which became the defining photo of the movement. The protests began against development of Gezi Park in Istanbul but transformed into a national movement against the increasing authoritarianism of the right-wing government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A university worker, Sungur didn't want notoriety, saying "a lot of people who were at the park and they were also tear-gassed… There is not (a) difference between them and I." She was subsequently arrested for “provoking people to disobey laws”, although the following year the charges were dismissed."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#28

"On the day that most likely translates to October 13, 1157 BCE in our current calendar, the earliest recorded strike in history was first reported. The dispute is recounted in a papyrus written by a scribe in the ancient Egyptian town that is now called Deir el-Medina. Gangs of skilled construction workers in the employ of Pharaoh Ramses III stopped work when, eighteen days after their payday, they had still not received their wages, which would have been paid in food and other goods. The workers shouted that they were hungry and sat down by a temple. Officials gave them some pastries, and they returned home, but the following day they protested once more, demanding their pay at the central grain storehouse in Thebes. Eventually they received their back pay, but the pattern of workers needing to go on strike to be paid what they were owed was repeated multiple times."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#29

"On 16 November 2019, Chilean stray "riot dog" Rucio Capucha was injured by police water cannon during a protest in Santiago. Rucio Capucha was following in the pawprints of legendary protest dog Negro Matapacos, frequently joining riots on the side of protesters and confronting the police. As with other Chilean protest dogs, he was thus often subjected to violent attacks by the police. On this occasion, video shows he was clearly deliberately targeted by police in a water cannon truck, who blasted him with it as he walked through an empty section of street during a protest. The blast left him with a contusion on his left lung, but he was cared for by veterinary students and survived. He was then adopted and lives happily with a family. We have produced some merch commemorating protest dogs like Matapacos and Loukanikos in Greece"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#30

"On 11 April 1945, as US forces approached, the inmate resistance seized control of Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. However, when the Allies took control of the concentration camps, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum some of those interned for homosexuality were not freed but were required to serve out the full term of the sentences they had received under the homophobic Nazi penal code. Thousands of LGBT+ people were interned in concentration camps, most made to wear a pink triangle. Many of them were subjected to medical experiments, castrated, or murdered. After “liberation,” the US army handbook for the occupation of Germany established that, while most Holocaust survivors should be released from concentration camps, “criminals with a prison sentence still to serve will be transferred to civil prisons.” Gay and bisexual men, and trans women had been convicted under paragraph 175 of the criminal code, which had been strengthened by the Nazis, and were therefore considered common criminals. Homosexuality was also against the law at that time in Allied countries, including the US, the UK, and the USSR. One prisoner, Hermann R, who was detained at Landsberg Fortress, southwest of Dachau, joined liberation celebrations. But two weeks later, A US military commissioner told him: “Homosexual – that’s a crime. You’re staying here!” US occupation authorities kept the Nazified paragraph 175 on the books, and in the first four years after the end of the war, around 1,500 men per year were arrested under it. Later, West Germany kept it as well and convicted over 50,000 men before it was finally revoked in 1969. East Germany on the other hand reverted to the pre-Nazi paragraph 175, and convicted some four thousand men before revoking it in 1968. LGBT+ people were not recognised as victims of the Holocaust and had their pensions deducted for the time they spent interned in concentration camps, with most never receiving any compensation. Pictured: gay men in a concentration camp"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#31

"On 2 August 1944, around 4,000 Roma people in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp resisted being taken to the gas chambers. The SS swarmed into the Roma camp, but prisoners had armed themselves with sticks and crowbars, and barricaded themselves indoors, fighting the Nazis with hands and nails. A non-Roma prisoner who survived described that everyone was fighting, and that "women [were] the fiercest in their fight" as they were "younger and stronger" than the other detainees and were "protecting their children". Eventually they were overcome, and all murdered in the gas chambers in Birkenau. Pictured: Rudolph Richter, a Roma prisoner in Auschwitz"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#32

"On 21 April 1856, stonemasons in Melbourne, Australia, went on strike demanding a maximum 8-hour working day – down from 10 hours per day Monday-Friday with 8 hours on Saturday. They marched from their construction site, the Old Quadrangle building at Melbourne University, brandishing a banner demanding “8 hours work, 8 hours recreation, 8 hours rest”. The workers were extremely well organised, and were soon successful in achieving their goal, with no loss of pay, for workers engaged in public works in the city. They celebrated on Monday 12 May, the Whit Monday holiday, with a parade of nearly 700 people from 19 trades. In 1903, workers in Ballarat, Victoria, erected an 8 hour day monument, commemorating the movement."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#33

"On 17 April 1958, Belgium opened the world fair, which included a ‘human zoo' displaying Black men, women, and children in their 'native conditions' found in the Congo, then a Belgian colony. The people used were abused and taunted by white spectators, who threw money and bananas over the bamboo fence to try to provoke a reaction. The Congolese people in the exhibit, as well as Congolese workers in the fair, were housed in an isolated building, in cramped accommodation with restrictions on receiving visitors or being able to leave, until the fair ended in October. It was to be the last 'human zoo' to take place anywhere in the world, although earlier in the century others were staged in places like the US, UK, Germany and Norway."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#34

"On 20 August 2018, the first day of the school year, 15-year-old autistic school student Greta Thunberg began a solo school strike demanding government action on climate change. Instead of going to class, she printed leaflets declaring "We kids most often don’t do what you tell us to do. We do as you do. And since you grown-ups don’t give a shit about my future, I won’t either. My name is Greta and I’m in ninth grade. And I refuse school for the climate until the Swedish general election." Then she headed to the Swedish parliament building where she protested alone. Within a couple of days a handful of people began to join her, and she gave numerous interviews to journalists, making headlines around the world. Within a few months, hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren in hundreds of towns and cities around the world organised their own walkouts. While Thunberg as inspired many young people, some commentators have pointed out that she received much more favourable media coverage than Indigenous youth who have been using direct action and fighting police to protect biodiversity and fight climate change for years in places like Standing Rock in the United States."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#35

"On 6 July 1907, Frida Kahlo (born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderón), disabled painter, communist, and one of Mexico's greatest artists, was born in Coyoacán, Mexico City. Her father was European, while her mother was of Spanish and Tehuana descent. Major themes in Kahlo's work include feminism, colonialism and Indigenous resistance, and imperialism. While living in the US, Kahlo played an active part in the socialist movement, and wrote to friends stating: “I’ve learnt so much here and I’m more and more convinced it’s only through communism that we can become human.”"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#36

"On 20 December 1973, Spanish fascist prime minister who was hand-picked as dictator Francisco Franco's successor, Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated in Madrid. Basque separatists ETA had spent five months digging a tunnel under a road he went down to attend mass. They then detonated a bomb as he drove over, shooting his car 20 metres into the air and over a five-storey building, earning Carrero Blanco the nickname of "Spain's first astronaut". His successor was unable to hold together different factions of the government, and so this action was credited by some for helping accelerate the restoration of democracy after Franco's death."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#37

"On 30 June 1960, Congo achieved independence from Belgium following decades of brutal colonial rule which killed 8-10 million people – half its population. Belgian authorities used men for forced labour in the rubber industry, having the wives and children of workers who didn't meet their daily quotas dismembered, killed and even eaten. Following independence, Belgium and other Western powers continued to maintain power and rob the country's rich natural resources. The first democratically elected Prime Minister, socialist Patrice Lumumba was arrested, tortured and murdered on the instructions of Belgium and the CIA, who then installed a brutal dictator."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#38

"On 26 July 1950, the No Gun Ri massacre began, when the US military murdered up to 300 South Korean civilians, in one of the biggest mass killings by US ground forces. A large group of refugees were travelling south after being ordered to leave their villages by US troops, consisting primarily of women, children and the elderly. First they were strafed by US military aircraft, possibly killing around 100, then as they sought refuge under a bridge ground troops attacked for three nights. One GI, Norman Tinkler, later reported to the Associated Press "We just annihilated them"; another, Hermann Patterson, recalled "It was just wholesale slaughter". One of the survivors, Chung Koo-ho, later recounted her experiences: "People pulled dead bodies around them for protection… Mothers wrapped their children with blankets and hugged them with their backs toward the entrances… My mother died on the second day of shooting.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#39

"On 27 October 1940, Japanese planes dropped grain over Ningbo, China during World War II. Two days later, bubonic plague broke out in the city killing 97 people. After the war Japanese military officials confirmed that they had carried out a biological attack, under the supervision of Unit 731. Unit 731 was one of several biological warfare teams which carried out many attacks on China, killing tens of thousands. Some aircraft sprayed bubonic plague, while others dropped ceramic containers full of plague-infested fleas. Elsewhere, reservoirs, wells, livestock and agricultural land were deliberately infected with pathogens including cholera, dysentery, typhoid and anthrax. These continued to kill after the war ended – up to 30,000 in 1947 alone. In addition to aerial attacks, they conducted horrific human experiments, mostly on Chinese communists and partisans, but also on some Russians and other Westerners. Subjects were infected with diseases, frozen alive, dismembered, gassed, raped and more. Hundreds were killed each year after the unit was set up in 1932. Its scientists even published papers publicly in peer-reviewed journals, claiming that the experiments discussed were on non-human primates. Towards the end of the war, all the prisoners and Chinese labourers in the unit were murdered, and Japanese troops tried to destroy all evidence by blowing up the base. Officers and scientists who were captured by the USSR were put on trial for war crimes and sentenced to periods of 2 to 25 years imprisonment in Siberian gulags. However, the US claimed the trials were "communist propaganda," and gave immunity to scientists in exchange for their data, including the sadistic head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii. The USSR also soon established a biological weapons facility using research from the Unit. Some of the Unit's scientists given immunity continued experimenting on Japanese civilians without their consent, deliberately infecting patients with typhus for example."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#40

"On 4 September 2005, in the wake of hurricane Katrina the Danziger Bridge shootings took place, when several New Orleans police officers opened fire with assault weapons on an unarmed Black family. The Bartholomew family along with James Brissette, a 17-year-old friend, were on their way to a grocery store. Plainclothed police with machine guns then shot six of them, killing two and then stomping on one of the victims as he lay dying. Some of the victims were shot up to seven times and lost limbs. One man was shot five times in the back and a teenage girl was shot four times. Brissette and Ronald Madison were killed. The police then fabricated a story claiming they had been fired on by four suspects, an officer had been shot and had to return fire. They even arrested one of the survivors and charged him with eight counts of attempting to kill police. The officer in charge of investigating the shootings helped fabricate evidence to support the shooters' lies. Guilty verdicts for the killers were handed down in 2011, six years after the crimes."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#41

"11 November is Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I in 1918. The official commemorations never mention what actually ended the war: the mutinies and revolutions which swept Russia and Germany, as well as Bulgarian, French and British forces, albeit to a lesser extent. So take some time to remember those tens or hundreds of thousands of British troops in World War I who mutinied or tried to find ways of avoiding killing their German fellow workers, like Harry Patch, the last survivor of the war, or the millions of Germans, French and Russians who did likewise."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#42

"On 21 February 1848, the Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels was published. Translated into over 200 languages, and widely read by workers across the world, it remains one of the most influential texts ever written. Its chapter 1 begins with a note on history: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. "Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes… "The modern bourgeois [capitalist] society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#43

"On 2 April 1976, shooting of the first Star Wars movie began at Elstree Studios in England. While its US director George Lucas apparently had admiration for the technical skills of the British crew, he was bewildered by their working practices: in particular the tea break. After decades of organising, and many strikes, workers in many industries in the UK had set tea breaks where they would not do any work. At Elstree, work started at 8:30 AM, ended at 5:30 PM with a 1-hour lunch break, with tea breaks at 11 AM and 4 PM. When it was time for a break, the crew would stop work immediately, even if they were in the middle of shooting a scene. This working class culture, of putting drinking tea and having a chat above the work ethic and the profit motive, was one of the things Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher set out to smash a few years later. This earned her a lot of hatred amongst working class communities but attracted admiration from even her rivals in the political class, for example the president of the European Commission Jacques Delors, who told Thatcher's biographer Charles Moore "She demonstrated a sort of revolt against the old British system with their tea breaks. I had respect for that.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#44

"On 5 May 1818, Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany. Living until the age of 64, Marx was a journalist, revolutionary socialist, philosopher and economist, and one of the most influential figures in world history. Like all of us, he had his flaws, but he dedicated his life to the the cause of the working class, and inspired hundreds of millions with his works, including Capital. Over a century later, Capital remains the most incisive critique of the capitalist system. While his ideas have been used by some to justify politicians and parties acting on behalf of the working class, Marx was clear that ultimately "The emancipation of the working class must be the work of the working class itself." Though his wife was from a wealthy background, Marx and his family often lived in abject poverty, and four of their children died in infancy. His children who survived to adulthood all became socialist activists in their own right, including his eldest daughter Jenny who also died before him. Despite his often difficult circumstances and the tragedy in his personal life, Marx was also well up for a laugh. For example his friend and biographer Wilhelm Liebknecht recounted an evening pub crawl in west London where, forced into a tactical retreat after drunkenly slagging off a bunch of English people, Marx and his friends began smashing street lamps by throwing stones at them, until being spotted by a policeman, whereupon they had to flee down back streets and alleyways. In the Communist Manifesto he co-wrote with Friedrich Engels, Marx noted that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." This is something we hope to illustrate at Working Class History."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#45

"On 21 September 1908, William White, a Black man, was hospitalised and possibly killed by white patrons in Hanover, Pennsylvania, as part of a racist carnival game. White worked as a target in a popular game in the US called "hit the c**n", which was also known as "hit the n-word baby", "African dodger" and other names. It was played all over the country from New York to Florida to Indiana and elsewhere at least from the 1880s to the 1950s, at carnivals and public events like soldiers' reunions and Labor Day festivities. Pictured, for example, is a photograph from a 1942 YMCA brochure for a children's summer camp in Wisconsin. The Philadelphia Record newspaper reported in White's case that rather than use the light balls supplied at the carnival, a group of baseball players used their own heavy balls, and subjected White to a barrage of hits. The paper went on to lightheartedly state: "After a half-dozen pitchers had thrown in rapid succession the negro was pretty well used up, and he was compelled to retire soon afterward with internal injuries which may prove fatal.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#46

"On 20 June 1967, boxing legend Muhammad Ali was convicted for refusing the draft for the Vietnam war in Houston, Texas. Ali had been a vocal opponent of the US war, saying “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?” To try to quell the escalating resistance to the war, Ali was given the maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. But their efforts were unsuccessful, and the anti-war movement continued to grow. Despite the Nation of Islam beginning to distance themselves from Ali, demonstrations supporting him took place around the world, from Egypt to Guyana to London to Ghana. Four years later his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court. Ali had no regrets: "I wasn’t trying to be a leader. I just wanted to be free. And I made a stand all people, not just Black people, should have thought about making, because it wasn’t just Black people being drafted. The government had a system where the rich man’s son went to college, and the poor man’s son went to war. Then, after the rich man’s son got out of college, he did other things to keep him out of the Army until he was too old to be drafted.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#47

"On 15 March 1908, the Rochester Democrat And Chronicle newspaper in New York denounced female anarchists, with this headline: "Women anarchists have become the terror of world's police". The article stated that "the guardians of the world nearly always find a woman implicated when a ruler is stricken down", then contradictorily claimed that "emotional women lose sense of fear". (Content note: sexual and gendered violence) This headline seems especially relevant today given the scenes we saw across the UK at the weekend, where police attacked, assaulted and arrested women around the country at candlelight vigils commemorating the murder of a young woman, Sarah Everard, allegedly by a serving police officer with a history of committing sex offences."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#48

"On 25 January 1911 Kanno Sugako, a Japanese anarchist feminist, was executed for her part in a plot to assassinate the Emperor. She remains the only woman to be executed in Japan for treason (content note: sexual violence). Radicalised at the age of 14 after being raped, she was one of Japan's first female journalists and advocates of women's rights, as well as a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. She was inspired by Sophia Perovskaya, who helped assassinate the Russian Tsar. Sugako had admitted her guilt in the plot, as had her half-dozen or so co-conspirators. But 24 anarchists, who were mostly innocent, were sentenced to death, which enraged Sugako. In her prison diary she wrote: "Needless to say, I was prepared for the death sentence. My only concern day and night was to see as many of my… fellow defendants saved as possible… I am convinced our sacrifice is not in vain. It will bear fruit in the future. I am confident that because I firmly believe my death will serve a valuable purpose I will be able to maintain my self-respect until the last moment on the scaffold. I will be enveloped in the marvelously comforting thought that I am sacrificing myself for the cause. I believe I will be able to die a noble death without fear or anguish." In her final entry she wrote of her happiness upon learning that 12 of her fellow defendants were reprieved, and so whose lives had been were spared."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#49

"On 13 May 1985, Philadelphia police attacked the home of Black liberation and environmentalist group MOVE with automatic weapons, then dropped a bomb on it, killing five adults and six children, destroying 61 homes in the predominantly Black neighbourhood, and making 250 people homeless. Almost 500 police officers fired over 10,000 rounds of ammunition into the house, which was filled with women and children, while other officers blew holes in the walls with explosives. The police commissioner then ordered the house to be bombed, which they did using an improvised device made from C4 given to them by the FBI. Only two people survived the blast and ensuing fire: Ramona Africa, and Michael Ward, aged 13. While no officials were prosecuted, Ramona Africa was subsequently jailed for seven years on riot and conspiracy charges. The incident occurred during the tenure of Philadelphia's first Black mayor, a Democrat named Wilson Goode. The children killed were named Katricia Dotson (Tree), Netta, Delitia, Phil, and Tomasa Africa and the adults were Rhonda, Teresa, Frank, CP, Conrad, and John Africa. In April 2021, it was revealed that anthropologists at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania had the bones of one of the children, unbeknownst to the families."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#50

"On 16 July 1993, British right-wing newspaper the Daily Mail published an article titled "Abortion hope after 'gay genes' findings" saying that "definite evidence of a genetic link to homosexuality" had been found so "it could soon be possible to predict whether a baby will be gay and give the mother the option of an abortion." It also predicted that the people likely to be upset about prospect were "radical gay… groups". In 2020 the Mail was the most popular newspaper in the UK. It previously supported fascist politicians like Adolf Hitler in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy and Oswald Mosley in Britain. Today it continues to direct hate against groups like transgender people, Muslims, disabled people and others, and articles by its columnists like Melanie Phillips have been cited in manifestoes produced by neo-Nazi terrorists like Anders Breivik."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#51

"On 21 July 1936, this iconic photograph of 17-year-old Marina Ginestà was taken in revolutionary Barcelona by Juan Guzmán atop the Hotel Colón. Ginestà was born in Toulouse, France, and when the photo was taken was a 17-year-old member of the United Socialist Youth, working as a translator for a Russian journalist just after the start of the military rising of right-wing general Franco. Later in the ensuing civil war she worked as a journalist herself for the Republican press, until she was wounded and evacuated to Montpellier, France. While the photo became famous, Ginestà herself only became aware of it in 2006 in Paris, where she lived until her death aged 94 in 2014."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#52

"On 13 November 1938, US screen icon and Black Panther supporter Jean Seberg, who was hounded to death by the FBI, was born in Iowa . She provided large amounts of financial support to the NAACP, Native American education groups, and the Panthers, including the free breakfast for school children program. As part of the FBI's COINTELPRO program to attack radical groups she already had her phone tapped and they decided to neutralise her, planting false stories in the press which eventually led to the death of her premature baby and her subsequent suicide."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#53

"On 22 May 1920, the antisemitic hoax document the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was printed by auto industry mogul Henry Ford in the Dearborn Independent, inaugurating a policy of antisemitism in that paper. The paper was sold in all Ford outlets, and had a circulation of 700,000. In 1927 he published an antisemitic book, named The International Jew, and he later began sending money to German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler every year for his birthday. For his efforts, Henry Ford was later presented with the Grand Cross Of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle by Hitler, the highest Nazi order which could be awarded to a non-German. Ford was also one of many US corporations which aided Hitler and the Nazis during World War II. Ford invested millions of dollars in Nazi Germany, and made trucks for German occupation troops in France. Ford also repaired and help supply spare parts for German military vehicles in Switzerland. Henry Ford's son, Edsel Ford even attended a party, alongside executives from General Motors and other corporations, celebrating the Nazi victory in France at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Ford and son also refused to build aircraft engines for Britain, and attempted to restrict shipments of motors to Britain, which needed them for the war effort."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#54

"On 26 July 1937, Gerda Taro, 26-year-old pioneering photojournalist and committed anti-fascist, was killed in a tragic accident while covering the Republican retreat after the Battle of Brunete during the Spanish civil war. Born in Germany of Polish Jewish descent as Gerda Pohorylle, she later changed her name to disguise her origins to have more commercial success, choosing a name which sounded similar to popular actor "Greta Garbo". Taro was forced to leave Germany after being arrested and imprisoned for subversive and anti-Nazi activism. In exile in Paris she met fellow Jewish exile, Endre Ernő Friedmann, and for a time they published work under the name Robert Capa. While the male half of Capa went on to global fame and acclaim, Taro remained until recently much less well-known. Although she was a hero at the time to many anti-fascists and left-wingers, and on August 1, thousands of people gathered in the streets of Paris to mourn her death."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#55

"On 5 August 1981, after just two days on strike, 11,345 federal air traffic controllers were sacked by US president Ronald Reagan for refusing his order to return to work (content note: suicide). The workers in the extremely stressful industry had gone on strike demanding a pay increase and a reduction in working hours from 40 per week over five days to 32 per week over four days. Despite the threat of firing, only 1300 workers crossed picket lines and returned to work. And Reagan, himself a former union leader, then fired all of the remaining strikers. The workers were then banned from federal service for life (lifted over a decade later), their union was legally dissolved later in October, and military air traffic controllers were used as scab replacements until new hires could be trained. Some workers and their partners killed themselves. One striker's wife was found hanged in her kitchen by a pile of unpaid bills. The dispute was a landmark event in the relationship between workers and employers in the US, similar to the great miners' strike in the UK in 1984-5 which was defeated by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. In both countries, much of the ability of workers to organise and win improved pay and conditions was destroyed, in a legacy which remains to this day."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#56

"On 4 December 1969, Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was murdered while asleep in his bed during a raid on his apartment by Chicago Police in conjunction with the FBI. Hampton had been drugged earlier in the evening by an FBI informant, who also told agents the location of Hampton's bed, where he slept alongside his nine-month pregnant fiancée, Akua Njeri. Fellow Panther activist Mark Clark was also killed in the attack, and several others injured. Aged just 21, Hampton was an active, charismatic and effective organiser, who had been making significant inroads into making links with working class whites and building a "Rainbow Coalition" including Puerto Rican, Native American, Chicane, white and Chinese-American radicals. Hampton and Clark were amongst the most prominent victims of the FBI's COINTELPRO program, which amongst other things was directed by FBI director J Edgar Hoover to "prevent the rise of a Black Messiah"."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#57

"On 26 February 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black child, was shot and killed by a neighbourhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida. Martin was born in Florida on February 5, 1995, and later attended Dr Michael M Krop high school where he played sports, and mathematics was said to be his favourite subject. He had a keen interest in aviation and considered becoming a pilot. Initially, Sanford police filed no charges against the killer. But marches and protests had begun breaking out across the United States, and the Black Lives Matter movement was born. As public pressure grew, charges of second-degree murder were eventually filed, but the killer was acquitted. The killer also later sold the gun he used to an anonymous buyer for $250,000, and in 2019 he sued the Martin family and others for $100 million. The case was eventually thrown out of court in February 2022."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#58

"On 30 August 1948, leading Black Panther activist Fred Hampton was born in Summit, Illinois. Hampton was instrumental in forming links between the Panthers and organisations of working class Chinese people, whites, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans in what he dubbed the Rainbow Coalition. A revolutionary internationalist, he explained: "We're going to fight racism not with racism, but we're going to fight with solidarity. We say we're not going to fight capitalism with Black capitalism, but we're going to fight it with socialism." He was a central target of the FBI COINTELPRO programme, which resulted in him being drugged by an FBI operative, then shot in the shoulder while he was asleep, then shot twice more in the head at point-blank range by Chicago police during an FBI raid in 1969. He was only 21 years old."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#59

"On 19 February 1923, the US supreme court decided unanimously to bar South Asians from becoming US citizens and to denaturalise those who had already done so. Bhagat Singh Thind, a Sikh South Asian man, who had fought in the US army was trying to gain US citizenship. Citizenship at the time only permitted for white people or people of African descent. In 1922, a US resident originally from Japan, Takao Ozawa, had applied for citizenship, arguing that his skin was the same colour as white people. However, the supreme court ruled that skin colour was not sufficient to be deemed "white" and that to be white you needed to be a member of "the Caucasian race". So Thind in his case argued that according to the racial "science" of the day, as a South Asian (or "Hindu" as he was referred to by officials at the time), he was of Aryan and Caucasian descent. The supreme court ruled that while he may technically be "Caucasian", that was not what the framers of citizenship laws intended by the term. They affirmed that the term "white" referred to words of "common speech and not of scientific origin", and solely referred to white people of European descent. The Sacramento Bee newspaper lauded the decision as "most welcome" and declared that "There must be no more leasing or sale of land to such immigrants from India." The San Francisco Chronicle reported that in the wake of the decision South Asians would be forbidden from farming or owning land in California. The Chronicle also claimed: "We already have in this country all the race problems we can handle. We want no more and will not have them… We want no immigrants which recognise caste." People of South Asian descent did not regain the right to become US citizens until 1946."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#60

"On 6 December 1989 (content note: gendered violence), 14 women, most of whom were training in engineering fields, were murdered in a mass shooting at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. The 25 year old shooter specifically targeted women, claimed he was "fighting feminism," and killed himself after shooting 28 people. The names of those lost were: Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie St-Arneault, Annie Turcotte, and Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz. The day is commemorated annually across Canada as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#61

"On 5 May 1970, hundreds of thousands of university students in the US walked out of class and took to the streets in a nationwide student strike against the Vietnam war and in protest at the killing of four students at Kent State by National Guard troops the previous day. Learn more about the movement against the war in our podcast episodes 43-46."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#62

"On 3 June 1943, 200 white sailors in the U.S. Navy headed to East Los Angeles and began to attack Latino and Black children and adults wearing zoot suits. They clubbed youths and any adults who tried to stop them, stripped the boys of their zoot suits and burned their clothes in a pile. Over the next few days, thousands of servicemen joined the attacks across the US, and were praised by the press, while police arrested the victims of the attacks, rather than the perpetrators and the LA city council even tried to ban the wearing of the suits. Within weeks Detroit exploded in its worst ever race riots. Zoot suits at the time were a symbol of primarily Black and Mexican working class pride, defiance and rebellion, and were associated with the Pachuco/a subculture."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#63

"On 12 August 2017, 32-year-old anti-racist Heather Heyer was killed and dozens injured in a white supremacist terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. Heather was one of thousands of people protesting against a Unite the Right rally of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan activists and other white nationalists and antisemites, when she was hit by a car driven at speed deliberately into the crowd by a 20-year-old Nazi, who was pictured previously on the Unite the Right protest holding a shield emblazoned with the logo of Vanguard America, a far right group. Elsewhere in the city, another group of fascists attacked and viciously beat DeAndre Harris, a young Black education worker, leaving him with spinal and other injuries. President Donald Trump said some of the neo-Nazis were "very fine people"."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#64

"On 4 February 1924, around 175 radical Industrial Workers of the World union members took on the Ku Klux Klan, patrolling the streets of Greenville, Maine, after the KKK tried to threaten IWW union organisers. Logging workers in the area were organising for better pay and conditions when around 40 Klansmen had visited a boardinghouse where IWW members (known as Wobblies) were staying and ordered them to leave. Local wobbly organiser Bob Pease charged that the KKK was doing the bidding of lumber companies, and told the local Press Herald that they opposed the IWW “because we want good wages, eight hours a day in the lumber camps and clean linen on our bunks". The IWW was also ordered to leave the town by local authorities, but they defied both the government and the Klan, and instead organised and took to the streets, declaring “We are going to stick, and if the Klan wants to start something, the IWW are going to finish it”."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#65

"On 5 June 2013, teenage anti-fascist and unionist Clément Méric was killed by neo-Nazis in Paris. Méric and some of his fellow antifascists happened upon a group of fascists at a sale of Fred Perry and Ben Sherman clothing – popular with both antifascist and fascist skinheads. Despite being physically far smaller than the neo-Nazis, and recovering from leukaemia, 18 year old Méric reportedly mocked them. A brawl then erupted in which Méric was punched in the face five times with brass knuckles before the fascists fled. Méric was a member of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union, and was active in movements for LGBT+ and migrants' rights. His killers were part of the Third Way fascist group. Two of them were jailed for terms of 11 and seven years imprisonment in 2018 but one was released after 55 days pending an appeal. In the years following his death, thousands of people have gathered to demonstrate in his memory around the anniversary date, and have been addressed by individuals including Assa Traoré, sister of Adama Traoré, a young Black French man who was killed by police in 2016."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#66

"On 26 August 2017, the famous Chilean "riot dog", Negro Matapacos ("Black Cop-Killer"), died of old age. A stray dog from the streets of Santiago, he began joining student demonstrations in 2010. The following year, one of the biggest social movements since the fall of the military dictatorship began, fighting for free education and against neoliberal reforms to the education system. Negro Matapacos was then seen regularly at every demonstration, defying tear gas and water cannons and always barking at or attacking only the riot police, and never any students or rioters. He subsequently continued to appear sporadically at future demonstrations, and hung out on university campuses, becoming beloved to student and radical movements as a symbol of resistance to violent authority. His last days were spent resting with people who took him in, with a crowdfunded veterinarian. After his death, his legacy lives on in songs, street murals, an award-winning documentary and in the memories of all those who knew him. He was a good boy."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#67

"On 7 December 1928, Avram Noam Chomsky, legendary activist, linguist and author was born in Philadelphia. Chomsky came to prominence as an activist as an outspoken critic of the Vietnam war, for which he was arrested several times and placed on President Richard Nixon's official list of enemies. He has since become one of the world's leading critics of US foreign-policy, and one of the most cited scholars alive. Politically Chomsky usually identifies with currents including libertarian socialism and anarcho-syndicalism."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#68

"On 4 December 1969, Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was murdered while asleep in his bed during a raid on his apartment by Chicago Police in conjunction with the FBI. Hampton had been drugged earlier in the evening by an FBI informant, who also told agents the location of Hampton's bed, where he slept alongside his nine-month pregnant fiancée, Akua Njeri. Fellow Panther activist Mark Clark was also killed in the attack, and several others injured. Aged just 21, Hampton was an active, charismatic and effective organiser, who had been making significant inroads into making links with working class whites and building a "Rainbow Coalition" including Puerto Rican, Native American, Chicane, white and Chinese-American radicals. Hampton and Clark were amongst the most prominent victims of the FBI's COINTELPRO program, which amongst other things was directed by FBI director J Edgar Hoover to "prevent the rise of a Black Messiah"."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#69

"On 22 January 1891, Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci was born in Sardinia. Gramsci's most important contribution to the workers' movement was his theory of hegemony, which describes how the capitalist class maintains its power most of the time not through open violence and repression but through ideology and its domination of culture."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#70

"On 3 February 2006, Al Lewis, Jewish lifelong socialist and actor who portrayed grandpa Munster in the popular TV show The Munsters died in New York aged 82. Radicalised by his immigrant garment worker mother at a young age, he became a committed socialist by the time of the great depression. When landlords evicted people, Lewis and his colleagues would break back into the properties and move the tenants' furniture back in. And if unemployed workers were denied relief, Lewis would join others in storming relief centres and fight the police. Despite living through the Reagan years of reaction, he kept his principles and remained realistic: "I've been in the struggle over 70 years. It doesn't bother me I may not win. After doing X amount of time or years, don't throw your hands up in the air because, you see, everybody wants 'the win'. They want it today. It doesn't happen. The struggle goes on. The victory is in the struggle, for me. And I accepted that a long time ago.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#71

"On 22 September 1962, Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini punched a young fascist who tried to confront him outside the premiere for his film, Mamma Roma. Pasolini's radical politics and openness about his homosexuality made him a frequent target of the right. Meanwhile, right-wing newspapers reporting on the scuffle wrote misleading headlines about what took place, about which Pasolini later wrote, "the newspapers that reported the episode switched it around [illustrating it with misleading photographs] so that it looked like I was the one beaten up.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#72

"On 18 July 1969, Black Panthers held a conference in Oakland alongside the white anti-racist Young Patriots Organisation and Puerto Rican street gang-turned-radical group the Young Lords. The Young Patriots were a group of poor, mostly Appalachian migrants in Chicago. Although they opposed racism, they originally wore Confederate flags, which they believed were a symbol of rebellion. As they worked more with communities of colour, they abandoned the flag as an irredeemable symbol of white supremacy. Leading Panther Fred Hampton played a key role in building links with them and other white working class youth, until he was assassinated by police."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#73

"On 23 July 1944, 19-year-old French communist resistance fighter Madeleine Riffaud saw a German military officer taking a walk over a bridge on the river Seine in Paris and got off her bicycle. As he looked at the Louvre, she took out her gun and shot him twice in the head, killing him. As she cycled away, she was pursued and knocked off her bike by French collaborators in a car. Riffaud tried to shoot herself to avoid torture but was captured and handed over to the Nazi SS. She was beaten repeatedly, escaped but was recaptured and deported to a concentration camp. There, she was released in a prisoner swap, and took part in the armed uprising which liberated the city in August. She later recounted to Agence France-Presse in an interview, “It was joyous… People were falling in love and kissing each other without knowing each other. After years of having to do everything in secret, we could fight in the open.” Riffaud survived the war and later became a journalist, supporting and reporting on anti-colonial rebellions in Algeria and Vietnam."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#74

"On 15 June 1990, the Battle of Century City took place, as police in Los Angeles attacked striking janitors and their supporters during a peaceful Service Employees International Union demonstration. Janitors in the Century City office complex, most of whom were employed by cleaning contractor ISS, had gone out on strike on May 29 demanding improvements to pay and conditions. On the June 15 protest, LAPD officers brutally attacked the workers and their supporters, leaving several people seriously injured, including one pregnant woman who miscarried as a result. Rather than deter the workers, the violence caused mass outrage. And ISS subsequently agreed to recognise the workers' union, provide for family health coverage and pay a living wage. The event also began to be commemorated with the creation of an annual June 15 Justice for Janitors Day."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#75

"On 26 September 1950, a US naval ship sprayed Serratia marcescens and Bacillus globigii bacteria into the air two miles off the coast of San Francisco for six days as part of a secret experiment in biological warfare. Officials believe that they successfully exposed all of the city's 800,000 residents. While the bacteria were thought to be harmless, 11 people checked into Stanford hospital with serious and unusual urinary tract infections, one of whom died. In later Senate subcommittee hearings the military admitted conducting open-air biological warfare tests 239 times, including in Minnesota, Key West, Panama City, on the New York subway, in Washington DC and elsewhere."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#76

"On 2 September 2005, just after hurricane Katrina, a New Orleans police officer gunned down Henry Glover, an unarmed Black man who was picking up baby clothes. Some members of the public tried to assist Glover, but they were physically attacked by police officers. Another officer then drove Glover away in a civilian's car, then set the car containing the body on fire. He was observed by a fellow officer laughing while he did this. Five police officers were subsequently charged. The killer was originally convicted of manslaughter and jailed, but later won an appeal and was acquitted. This was just one of many racist police murders and abuses in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Pictured: Edna Glover with a portrait of her son"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#77

"On 29 April 1992, following the acquittal of the police officers caught on film brutally beating Rodney King, an unarmed Black motorist, riots erupted across Los Angeles in the biggest urban revolt since the 1960s. Public anger exploded after the acquittal, which was the last in a long line of egregious, brutal and racist practices by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). Officers would openly use racial slurs over police radios, and would terrorise residents of Black and Latine neighbourhoods. Newsweek reported that the rebellion was multiracial: "Hispanics and even some whites - men, women and children - mingled with African-Americans. The mob's primary lust appeared to be for property, not blood. In a fiesta mood, looters grabbed for expensive consumer goods that had suddenly become 'free'. Better-off Black as well as white and Asian-American business people all got burned." There was widespread expropriation of goods, which many participants felt was justified. One former gang member named Will told the International Herald Tribune: "A lot of people feel that it's reparations. It's what already belongs to us." LAPD, federal law enforcement personnel, National Guard and US Army troops were brought in to suppress the rebellion. By the time it was over, more than 60 people had been killed, 10 of them by law-enforcement, and property damage was estimated at over $1 billion. Pictured: a local resident expropriating diapers during the rebellion."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#78

"On 22 January 2018, legendary anarchist author Ursula K Le Guin died aged 88 in Portland, Oregon. Le Guin won numerous awards for her fantasy and sci-fi novels, and was an ardent feminist and advocate for diversity in literature and publishing: "when women speak truly they speak subversively — they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert. We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains. That’s what I want – to hear you erupting. You young Mount St Helenses who don’t know the power in you – I want to hear you.”"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#79

"On 30 May 1814, Mikhail Bakunin, Russian revolutionary and founder of collectivist anarchism was born. Born in Tsarist Russia, Bakunin developed a burning hatred of injustice. He left the army and threw himself into the radical movement, playing a leading role in the 1848 insurrection in Dresden. He was deported from France, arrested and sentenced to death in Germany, extradited and sentenced to death in Austria, extradited and jailed in Russia then exiled to Siberia, from where he escaped. Although sometimes flawed, his experiences led him to develop the ideas which formed the basis of the modern anarchist movement in the last decade of his life."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#80

"On 1 January 1994 the Zapatista uprising began, when Indigenous people in Chiapas, Mexico rose up and took control of their communities, redistributing power and organising new, directly democratic ways of running society. Despite state repression, violence and massacres, their movement of around 300,000 people remains self managed to this day."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#81

"On 28 October 1967, Black Panther Huey P. Newton was stopped by policeman John Frey who, realising he had stopped a leading Panther, called for back up. After backup arrived, shots were fired leaving all three wounded, officer Frey fatally. Newton was later handcuffed to his hospital bed and beaten by police and eventually convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a charge later overturned in 1970 after a mass campaign in his support around the world."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#82

"On 6 April 1968, just two days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, 17 year old Black Panther "Little" Bobby Hutton was murdered by police in Oakland, California. Hutton had been the very first recruit to the Black Panther Party. He had been involved in a shootout with police until he surrendered. He left his weapon, took off his shirt and emerged from the basement where he was holed up, barechested with his hands up. He had been advised by a comrade to surrender naked, but he was embarrassed and left his trousers on. Police shot him at least 10 times, killing him. Six days later, over 1000 people came to his funeral, at which actor Marlon Brando delivered the eulogy. His killing spurred rapid growth of the BPP."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#83

"On 17 March 1846, Saint Patrick's Day, one of the first shipments of famine refugees left Dublin for New York. During the next five years more than a million people followed, driven by hunger to Canada or the United States. Élisée Reclus, the great French geographer, anarchist, vegetarian, and naturist, who arrived in Ireland at the end of the famine, noted that “Within a few miles of the wealthiest island in the world there live the most wretched human beings in Europe” and observed that “In no other country has famine committed such ravages as on the fertile soil of Ireland.” The Great Famine killed a million people and forced a similar number to emigrate, while vast quantities of food produced in Ireland was exported to Britain for profit. In the decades preceding the famine, agricultural labourers and tenant farmers had staged numerous violent revolts. They had suffered successive famines throughout the 19th-century, and in 1841 almost half the homes in Ireland were single-room mud cabins. They fought these miserable conditions through secret societies known to history as “Whiteboy” groups. Members of these secret organisations were bound by elaborate oaths and rituals. They demanded lower rents and tithes, increased wages, and fairer land distribution, and they pressed their claims with property destruction, animal mutilation, assault, and even murder. Pictured: a famine memorial in Dublin"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#84

"On 17 January 1961, the first democratically-elected prime minister of Congo, which became independent from Belgium the previous year, was murdered following a coup backed by the US and Belgium. Socialist independence leader Patrice Lumumba was originally supposed to be assassinated by the CIA, but instead he and two colleagues were arrested, brutally beaten, tortured and then shot. Belgian troops then dug up the bodies, dismembered them and dissolved them in sulphuric acid, grinding what was left to powder and scattering it."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#85

"On 4 July 1998, best friends Lin "Spit" Newborn, 24, a Black skinhead, and Daniel Shersty, 20, a white US air force serviceman, both members of Anti-Racist Action (ARA), were murdered in the desert outside Las Vegas by a gang of white supremacists. Newborn's friend, PJ Pérez, described him as "a madman. A poet. A motherfucker whose good side you'd want to stay on. He was a father, a son, a passionate and dedicated fighter for what's right." Shersty was born to a working class family in Florida, and joined the Air Force in order to fund college which his parents could not afford. The pair, both amateur musicians, met in Las Vegas, became fast friends and helped co-found the local chapter of militant anti-fascist group ARA. ARA took the fight to neo-Nazis who were recruiting in the local skinhead scene and attacking Black and Latine schoolchildren as well as white "race traitors". One neo-Nazi was swiftly jailed for the murders, and others were convicted in 2012. ARA continued their fight against white supremacists across the US, and helped disrupt many of their activities, and successfully drove them from many local youth subcultures."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#86

"On 29 August 1997, workers at the Lusty Lady Club in San Francisco voted to join the Exotic Dancers Union, part of a local branch of the SEIU union. Following a campaign of organising and direct action, which included the women deciding to dance only with their legs closed in protest, they won significant improvements. Their achievements included guaranteed work shifts, pay increases, removal of one-way mirrors (which enabled clients to film them), abolition of racist scheduling, and protection from arbitrary discipline and firing. They later took over the club and ran it as a workers' co-operative, with elected management."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#87

"On 26 January 1944, Angela Yvonne Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama. A communist, civil rights organiser and the third woman to feature on the FBI's most wanted list, for a time Davis was also closely associated with the Black Panther Party. Davis worked at University of California at Los Angeles until being fired for her political views on the orders of gov Ronald Reagan. Soon after, Davis was arrested following the Marin county courthouse incident on bogus charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy of which she was later all acquitted at trial. Davis has also been a consistent advocate of feminism which takes into account factors like race, class, capitalism and transgender rights, and highlights the vital historical contributions of Black women: "When we speak of feminism in this country, there almost always is the tendency to assume that this is something that was created by white women… Women like Ida B. Wells, women like Mary Church Terrell, women like Anna Julia Cooper, are responsible for the feminist approach today that we generally call intersectionality… What I want to argue is for a feminist perspective that understands that we cannot simply reform institutions like prison and the police, because they are so embedded with racism and violence that, if we're ever going to extricate ourselves from that, we have to abolish prisons"."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#88

"On 1 August 1910, renowned Jewish photographer and anti-fascist Gerta Pohorylle (Gerda Taro) was born in Stuttgart. She became active in the anti-Nazi underground in Germany, and was arrested. In 1933 she had to leave the country, where she became a colleague and companion of Robert Capa. With him she travelled to Spain after the outbreak of the civil war, to support the Republican side against the fascists and photograph the conflict. Taro became the first woman photojournalist to cover a war and be killed during it, when she was accidentally run over by a Republican tank during a retreat in 1937. We have made available one of her iconic photographs, right, of a militiawoman in training in Spain, to help fund our work."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#89

"On 7 May 1945, Nazi Germany unconditionally surrendered, leading to the end of World War II in Europe. But rather than be punished for their crimes, many Nazi and fascist leaders continued to hold onto power and wealth. In West Germany, despite "denazification", most Nazi war criminals went unpunished, and many were rehired in official positions as the Cold War with the eastern bloc heated up. For example, out of around 1 million people involved in the Holocaust, only around 600 received serious prison time. Even convicted war criminals like Hanns Martin Schleyer rapidly regained power: Schleyer himself quickly became president of Germany's main employer associations, helping to break unions. Many Nazi scientists were employed to work in the US as part of Operation Paperclip, while others were put to work in the Soviet Union under Operation Osoaviakhim. In Greece, the US and UK backed Greek fascists and Nazi supporters in a brutal civil war against the former resistance members. In Italy, the CIA intervened in elections in 1948 to prevent victory of the left, which had been the backbone of the resistance. And in Italy and across Western Europe, ex-Nazis were employed by NATO to form an underground anti-communist army called Gladio which carried out terrorist attacks in countries like Italy and Belgium. In the East, in Romania, resistance guerrillas were labelled "bandits" by the new Soviet authorities, who put Petru Groza and Gheorghe Tatarescu in charge. Both men had previously been part of right-wing governments, and Tatarescu was minister of state during anti-Jewish pogroms in 1927. In Bulgaria, fascist leader Khimon Georgiev was made Prime Minister, and soon repressed striking coal miners. In Hungary, the man appointed to run the first government in Russian-occupied territory was Bela Miklos, the first Hungarian to have been awarded the highest Nazi honour: Knight Grand Cross of the Iron Cross."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#90

"On 5 November 1843 an enslaved woman called Carlota Lucumi led a slave uprising in Matanzas, Cuba. Brandishing machetes, Lucumi and her co-conspirators summoned other enslaved people with a kettle drum, then killed the cane plantation enslavers before heading to neighbouring plantations and farms to free other enslaved people. While Lucumi herself was soon executed, the rebellion lasted until the following year, when Spanish colonial authorities succeeded in violently repressing it. The abolition of slavery in Cuba was eventually achieved in 1886. Pictured: an artistic rendition of the rebellion by Lili Bernard."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#91

"On 23 May 1908, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, bisexual Swiss German photographer, writer, anti-fascist and androgynous style icon was born. A prominent character in the prewar Bohemian Berlin, with the rise of fascism Annemarie rejected her pro-Nazi family, began financing the anti-fascist literary review Die Sammlung and photographed the rise of fascism in Europe."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#92

"On 5 May 1882, pioneering British feminist, anti-fascist and left communist Sylvia Pankhurst was born in Manchester. The daughter of famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Sylvia became disillusioned with the mainstream movement during its right-wing turn, and instead focused on organising amongst working class women. When the Women's Social and Political Union threw its support behind the Allies in World War I, she opposed the war, and supported the campaign against conscription. Sylvia then supported the Russian revolution, and travelled there, meeting Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, although when Lenin bankrolled the establishment of the Communist Party of Great Britain, Pankhurst considered it too right-wing for her. Later in life she supported anti-fascists in the Spanish civil war, helped Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe and was extremely active in campaigning against the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Security services monitored her for decades, and even in 1948 MI5 (UK domestic intelligence) weighed up different options for "muzzling the tiresome Miss Sylvia Pankhurst." After the death of her companion, she moved to Ethiopia on the invitation of its emperor, Haile Selassie, and upon her death in 1960 received an Ethiopian state funeral. While her mother and sister have been commemorated at Parliament in London, the House of Lords has vetoed plans to place a memorial to Sylvia at the site on numerous occasions."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#93

"On 6 May 1933, Nazis raided the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (Sexology Institute) in Berlin. Run by Magnus Hirschfeld, the institute was a pioneering organisation that supported gay and transgender rights and equality for women. Hirschfeld coined the term “transsexualism.” The institute employed at least one transgender worker and had begun offering the first modern gender affirmation surgery. A few days after the raid, the institute’s huge library was burned in the streets while propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels delivered a speech. The Nazis then stepped up persecution of all LGBT+ people, although, in particular, gay and bisexual men, and trans women were targeted, with thousands sent to concentration camps. Some of them were forced to serve out their sentences by Allied authorities after “liberation.”"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#94

"On 10 May 1904 Dutch cellist, conductor, lesbian and anti-Nazi resistance member Frieda Belinfante was born in Amsterdam. During the German occupation she joined the resistance and began forging documents for people hiding from the Nazis and their collaborators. Along with gay resistance fighter Willem Arondeus she helped plan a successful attack on the Amsterdam population registry which destroyed ID records so that forged papers couldn't be identified. While the other members of the group were captured and executed, Frieda managed to evade capture by disguising herself as a man, and eventually fleeing to Switzerland with the help of the French resistance. She survived the war and lived until the age of 90."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#95

"On 30 January 1965, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's funeral took place. One of its most memorable moments was when cranes on the London docks dipped as his funeral barge went past. However, it later emerged that the dockworkers had originally refused to dip the cranes as they "didn't like" Churchill, and had to be paid extra to do it. While typically depicted as a national hero today, in fact Churchill was hated by many, especially working class people, hence why he lost the 1945 election. And despite being presented as an anti-fascist, Churchill actually supported fascism. He declared that Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was "a really great man", and wrote that he "whole-heartedly" supported Mussolini "from the start of the finish in [his] triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism [communism]", and supported Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), describing the independent African nation as not "civilised". Churchill also supported the military coup of general Francisco Franco and his fascist army in Spain, and wrote of his admiration for Adolf Hitler in Germany, with whom he also advocated appeasement until late in 1938, even after Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia. In his younger days Churchill also opposed the vote being given to women, or working class men. Famously, he was a virulent racist, who supported using poison gas on civilians, and he sent troops against striking British workers. During World War II he was also a key architect of the manufactured Bengal famine, which killed between two and four million people."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#96

"On 14 December 1951, Jewish bagel bakers in New York City went on strike, shutting 32 out of 34 of the city's bagel bakeries. It left shelves bare and almost entirely cut off the weekly supply of 1.2 million bagels to the city, causing what the New York Times described as a "bagel famine". The bakers came to agreement with the employers in January, and bagel drivers remained out until seven weeks after the start of the dispute, when they reached a deal to compensate them for wages lost during the strike. Happy Hanukkah everyone! Pictured: a bagel bakers in Queens, 1963"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#97

"On 15 April 1989, the Hillsborough disaster took place during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when a crush occurred after police directed fans into overcrowded areas, resulting in 96 dead and over 700 injured. Though it was caused by police negligence and a ground which did not adequately meet health and safety standards, the police and the Conservative government, with help from the mainstream media, concocted an entirely false story blaming working class Liverpool fans for the disaster. The right-wing tabloid Sun newspaper falsely claimed that Liverpool fans robbed the dead, urinated on police and attacked officers who were trying to save lives. After years of campaigning by the families of the victims, eventually in 2012 the truth finally came to light, with the Hillsborough Independent Panel determining that the primary cause of the disaster was a "lack of police control". They also revealed that police had doctored 164 witness statements, that Conservative MP Irvine Patnick had passed lies from the police to the press. The police also went to extreme lengths in their attempts shift responsibility to the victims, even testing the blood of dead children for alcohol to try to blame them for their own deaths. New inquests held in 2016 also found that the crush was caused by police, exacerbated by stadium defects. They determined that the senior police officer responsible breached his duty of care and that this amounted to gross negligence. They determined that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed. To this day, many people in Liverpool still boycott The Sun. Pictured: fans on upper tiers of the stadium help others escape the crush"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#98

"On 22 February 1943, three German White Rose activists, students Christoph Probst, Hans and Sophie Scholl, were executed by guillotine for urging the overthrow of the Nazi government: just some of the many Germans who attempted to oppose fascism. As the blade fell, Hans called out “Let freedom live!”"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#99

"On August 1924, James Baldwin, renowned gay Black author and social critic was born in Harlem, New York City. Frustrated with endemic racism in the United States, he moved to France where he spent most of his life. However, he did return to the US during the civil rights movement and played an active role in fighting racism, despite the official movement's homophobia, encouraging civil disobedience and taking part in the March on Washington in 1963 and the Selma march in 1965. Baldwin believed racism to be a central tool of US capitalism, telling journalist Joe Walker: "Racism is crucial to the system to keep Black and whites at a division so both were and are a source of cheap labour… The price of any real socialism here [in the US] is the eradication of what we call the race problem." In 1968 Baldwin also pledged to refuse to pay tax in protest against the Vietnam war. For these "subversive" activities, Baldwin was subjected to illegal surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who collated 1,884 pages of documents on him."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#100

"On 28 June 1969, the Stonewall rebellion began in the early hours. The New York Police Department, as part of its policy of closing gay bars, raided the Stonewall Inn, which had a substantial poor and working class LGBT+ clientele. However, for the first time in the city, rather than submitting to arrest, a crowd began to gather around the police. Inside the bar, gender nonconforming people, trans women and lesbians began resisting invasive body searches. And outside a butch lesbian fought back against police when they arrested her, calling on the crowd that had formed to “do something.” According to some eyewitnesses and her own account, this individual was Stormé DeLarverie, a biracial lesbian and drag performer, who was known as a “guardian of lesbians” in the Village, although this is disputed by others who point to the fact that the only police record for a lesbian arrested that night was of a Marilyn Fowler. The crowd, which included a significant number of Black, Latine, and white LGBT+ patrons and passersby, then began to physically fight the police, triggering riots that lasted for six days. Those involved in the disturbances included activists like Marsha P. Johnson and John O’Brien, popular folk musician Dave Van Ronk, as well as many others. In the aftermath, participants and other LGBT+ radicals set up the Gay Liberation Front, which revolutionised the gay rights movement. They organised anniversary protests on June 28 the following year in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and elsewhere. This became the annual Pride celebration that continues to this day all over the world."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#101

"On 12 September 1992, anti-racist group Anti-Fascist Action fought neo-Nazis heading to a Blood & Honour music gig in the Battle of Waterloo in London. It was probably the biggest street fight against fascists in the city since that in Lewisham in 1977. Blood & Honour drew crowds of up to 2000 racists to listen to bands with names like "Dead P*ki in the Gutter". To try to avoid anti-fascists, Blood & Honour didn't disclose the location but instead chose Waterloo station as a redirection point. So around 100 anti-fascists headed to the station. One of the participants later recalled: "I was very nervous. I thought we were going to be slaughtered. Everyone knew that Blood and Honour could muster ten times more people than we had." But the Nazis were turning up in small groups, and so, the anti-fascist wrote: "We spent the rest of the afternoon ambushing groups of fascists as they arrived, and trying to avoid the police. For example, four fascists arrived by car and were set upon until every window was broken, and the rest of the car was not exactly in showroom condition. The battles raged in all the surrounding streets. A comrade from Norwich and myself piled into a group of three fascists by the Waterloo roundabout. One of them turned to attack my comrade and I stuck my foot out to trip him up and with wonderful luck it was perfectly timed and he keeled over and hit his head, crack, on the pavement.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#102

"On 24 August 1943, French philosopher and anti-fascist Simone Weil died in London. Previously she had opposed French colonialism in Asia and North Africa, taken part in the factory occupations during the popular front government in 1936, then travelled to Spain to fight against the right-wing military rising of general Francisco Franco. Weil fought in the Durruti column until she was injured in an accident and left the country. In collaborationist Vichy France, she got a job as an agricultural labourer and worked with the resistance, until she travelled to London with her Jewish parents to keep them safe. There she continued writing on behalf of the resistance, sleeping only around three hours per night. Her cause of death was officially designated a suicide from self-starvation and tuberculosis, but biographers state that while people in occupied France lived on minimal food rations, Weil did the same, which severely worsened her illness."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#103

"On 11 February 1987, Mark Ashton, Irish communist and co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, died aged just 26. LGSM raised huge amounts of money for Welsh miners during the great strike of 1984-5, and both brought the ideas of the workers' movement to the gay community and brought the idea of gay and sexual liberation to the workers' movement. Ashton died of complications related to AIDS, at a time when the UK government had failed to take action to combat HIV. His friend, LGSM co-founder Mike Jackson, stated at a memorial event: "To this day, Mark’s loss remains deeply felt by so many family members and friends… Driven, principled and charismatic, Mark would have achieved so much more if he had not died so young." The group, and Mark, were immortalised in the fantastic 2014 film, Pride. Learn more about LGSM and Mark, in our podcast episodes 27-29 with participants"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#104

"On 31 March 1979, a group of around 15 men, including off duty police in San Francisco's vice squad, attacked patrons and workers at a lesbian bar in the city. The men had been celebrating a bachelor party when they were denied entry to Peg's Place by the door person as they were drunk and carrying beer. Some of the men were reported to have shouted "Let's get the d*kes" and forced their way in, attacking the woman working the door, and beating the woman who owned the bar with a pool cue. When the men were told the women were calling the police, they responded "We are the cops, and we'll do as we damn well please". And when on duty officers eventually arrived, the patrons claimed that they did not provide any medical assistance to the wounded and refused to take witness statements. One woman who was attacked ended up needing to be hospitalised for 10 days with head injuries. In the end, one police officer was convicted for his part in the attack, but served no jail time, and he and the other officers involved kept their jobs. The incident was a contributing factor to growing anger in the LGBT+ community which would explode some weeks later following the failure to convict on murder charges the killer of gay superintendent Harvey Milk. Pictured: a protest against police violence in the city later that year"

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#105

"On 6 July 1992, Black trans activist and sex worker Marsha P Johnson's body was found in the Hudson River. She is most famous for participating in the Stonewall rebellion, which sparked a global movement for LGBT+ liberation, but she also spent years doing radical organising on the ground. Johnson took part in the Gay Liberation Front and the demonstration on the anniversary of the beginning of the Stonewall riots which became Pride. She then co-founded Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries with her friend Sylvia Rivera, a radical grouping which also provided housing and support for gay, gender nonconforming and trans youth. Later she threw herself into AIDS activism, becoming an organiser in ACT UP. All the while Johnson engaged in survival sex work and was constantly harassed by police, being arrested over 100 times. After her body was discovered, police ruled her death a suicide, despite her having a massive head wound. Friends and activists insisted that Johnson wasn't suicidal, and highlighted evidence that she may have been murdered. Eventually in late 2012 the NYPD reopened the case as a possible homicide."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#106

"On 29 July 1962, fascist aristocrat Oswald Mosley attempted to march through Manchester. However he was attacked by anti-fascists who knocked him to the ground, and had to be rescued and escorted by 250 police, who were unable to prevent the fascist being pelted with tomatoes, eggs, coins and stones. Following the march Mosley attempted to speak but he was drowned out by a crowd of 5,000 anti-fascists who forced police to call off the meeting after just seven minutes. Clashes between local residents and fascist Blackshirts continued for some time, and the police arrested 47 people. As in most similar cases, the majority of those arrested were anti-fascists."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#107

"On 24 May 1990, the car of revolutionary construction worker and environmentalist Judy Bari was bombed, severely injuring her and wounding a colleague, Darryl Cherney. They had been campaigning to protect ancient redwood forests in California from logging companies, and had received death threats and had their car rammed by a logging truck previously. Despite it being a clear attempt to murder them, the FBI arrived on the scene almost immediately and attempted to frame them for their own attempted assassination. Bari, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World union and direct action environmentalist group Earth First!, died of cancer in 1997, having lived in constant pain since the attack. Several years later Cherney and Bari's families won a civil rights case against the FBI for the frame job and were awarded $4.4 million."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#108

"On 11 August 1964, 18-year-old Scottish anarchist Stuart Christie was arrested in Madrid while carrying explosives to blow up Spain’s right-wing dictator general Francisco Franco. Christie was working with the underground anarchist resistance to the regime, which began after Franco's victory in the Spanish civil war in 1939. However, unbeknownst to Christie at the time, the resistance group had been infiltrated and its plan betrayed. When Christie went to an American Express office in Madrid, he noticed a member of staff alerting undercover police, and promptly left. He later recounted to the Guardian newspaper: "I felt curiously detached as I took a deep breath and walked out of the office, trying to keep my face expressionless. Mustering all the confidence I could, I paused at the doorway to look at the group of five men now standing to one side of the entrance. Until I appeared at the doorway they had been deep in conversation. They stopped briefly, exchanging knowing looks with one another, and carried on. An empty taxi pulled in to the pavement beside me. But when the driver appeared to invite me to get in, I knew it was an undercover police car. I was being hemmed in. By this time I had reached the corner of the busy calle Cedaceros. As I steeled myself to make a dash through the crowds I was suddenly grabbed by both arms from behind, my face pushed to the wall and a gun barrel thrust into the small of my back. I tried to turn my head but I was handcuffed before I fully realised what had happened. It was all over in a matter of moments." When arrested Christie was wearing a kilt, which confused the Spanish press in to describing him as "a Scottish transvestite." He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but after an international campaign in his support he was released in 1968. Christie remained active supporting and helping record the history of the Spanish resistance movement until the end of his life in August 2020."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#109

"On 8 August 1879, Emiliano Zapata, revolutionary and leading figure of the peasant army which helped overthrow Porfirio Diaz in the 1910 Mexican revolution, was born. Of Nahua and Spanish mestizo descent, he organised alongside local Indigenous communities to fight against land seizures by wealthy hacienda owners, and occupy seized land. With the outbreak of revolution, he led a revolutionary militia, took part in many battles, and under the slogan “Tierra y Libertad” (“Land and Liberty”) kept fighting for the original goals of the revolution, most crucially land redistribution. After Zapata was assassinated, his followers kept up the struggle, and today, after an uprising in the 1990s, modern day Indigenous Zapatistas control a sizeable autonomous territory in Chiapas."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#110

"On 14 August 1944, 29-year-old Italian resistance partisan Irma Bandiera, aka 'Mimma', was murdered by the Nazis. They had blinded her and tortured her for seven days, however she refused to give up the names of her comrades. Her body was then dumped in the street outside her parents' house. Today there is a street named after her in her native Bologna."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#111

"On 9 December 1842, one of the founders of contemporary anarchist communism, Peter Kropotkin was born. An activist, scientist, and philosopher, he abandoned his aristocratic background in favour of the revolutionary working class struggle. He participated in the 1917 Russian revolution, and wrote numerous influential works, including Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution. In this work he criticised interpretations of the ideas of Charles Darwin which focused on competition, and highlighted instances of cooperation in the natural world. "If we ... ask Nature: 'who are the fittest: those who are continually at war with each other, or those who support one another?' we at once see that those animals which acquire habits of mutual aid are undoubtedly the fittest. They have more chances to survive, and they attain, in their respective classes, the highest development of intelligence and bodily organization." These ideas continue to be influential today. Evolutionary biologist Steven Jay Gould wrote of Kropotkin: "I would hold that Kropotkin’s basic argument is correct. Struggle does occur in many modes, and some lead to cooperation among members of a species as the best pathway to advantage for individuals. If Kropotkin overemphasized mutual aid, most Darwinians in Western Europe had exaggerated competition just as strongly. If Kropotkin drew inappropriate hope for social reform from his concept of nature, other Darwinians had erred just as firmly (and for motives that most of us would now decry) in justifying imperial conquest, racism, and oppression of industrial workers as the harsh outcome of natural selection in the competitive mode.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#112

"On 21 January 1950, George Orwell, celebrated British author and socialist who fought against the fascists in the Spanish civil war and revolution, died aged 46. Orwell fought with the socialist POUM militia, and was wounded by being shot in the neck, while many Western journalists and authors just hung out in Barcelona hotels. While right-wingers are often fond of quoting Orwell to try to defend providing a platform for fascists, Orwell himself was not such a fan, as he described in his account of the Spanish civil war, Homage to Catalonia: "When I joined the militia I had promised myself to kill one Fascist — after all, if each of us killed one they would soon be extinct". He also vividly described the atmosphere in revolutionary Barcelona: "The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing… It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle… Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said 'Senor' or 'Don' or even 'Usted'; everyone called everyone else 'Comrade' and 'Thou,' and said 'Salud!' instead of 'Buenos Dias.'… Yet so far as one could judge the people were contented and hopeful. There was no unemployment, and the price of living was still extremely low… Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom. Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine. In the barbers' shops were Anarchist notices (the barbers were mostly Anarchists) solemnly explaining that barbers were no longer slaves.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#113

"On 3 October 1993, Katerina Gogou (Κατερίνα Γώγου), Greek anarchist poet, author and actor died by suicide aged just 53. Under the military dictatorship, Gogou could only make a living as an actor portraying sexist stereotypes of women, like "housewife" or "love interest" in comedies which reinforced the ideology of the dictatorship. So Gogou expressed her feminist and revolutionary ideas in her poetry. For example, this was one poem discovered after her death: "Don’t you stop me. I am dreaming./We lived centuries of injustice bent over./Centuries of loneliness./Now don’t. Don’t you stop me./Now and here, for ever and everywhere./I am dreaming freedom." After the fall of the dictatorship, she was a key figure in the early anarchist scene in Exarcheia, Athens, and was a vigourous proponent of trans and gay rights."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#114

"On 6 February 1976, Native American activist Leonard Peltier was captured in Canada on the basis of fictitious affidavits generated by the FBI. He was later extradited to the US, where he is still in prison supposedly for the killing of two FBI agents. One of the affidavits was signed by Myrtle Poor Bear, and stated she was Peltier's girlfriend and witnessed the killings. However according to other witnesses she was not present at the scene, nor did she know Peltier. Poor Bear herself claimed she was threatened by the FBI and pressured into giving the statements, and she attempted to testify to this at Peltier's trial; however the judge barred her testimony."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#115

"On 16 September 1973, Chilean communist folk singer and musician Victor Jara was murdered by the forces of general Augusto Pinochet following his US-backed coup a few days before. Jara was taken prisoner along with thousands of others in the Chile Stadium, where guards tortured him, smashing his hands and fingers and then told to try playing his guitar. Jara responded defiantly, instead singing the protest song “Venceremos” (We will prevail). The song concludes with the refrain: "We shall prevail, we shall prevail A thousand chains we'll have to break, We shall prevail, we shall prevail We know how to overcome misery." He was then shot over 40 times and killed. In 2003, the stadium was renamed the Victor Jara Stadium. In 2018, eight former Chilean army officers were convicted for Jara's murder and sentenced to just over 18 years' imprisonment. In 2019, a wave of rebellion swept Chile, in which Jara's songs were sung by thousands of people in the streets. The protests resulted in the government agreeing to abolish the Pinochet era-constitution which was still in effect."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#116

"On 24 July 2009, 3,000 steel workers in Tonghua, China rioted and beat an executive to death when threatened with privatisation and job losses. Jianlong Steel Holding Company official Chen Guojun, who earned over 3 million yuan the previous year, planned to take over the majority state-owned Tonghua Iron and Steel Group. He announced plans to cut the number of workers from 30,000 down to around 5000, with those made redundant receiving around 200 yuan in compensation. The firm was still profitable, but the planned restructuring was aimed at increasing profits further amidst a global economic downturn. Outraged, the workers shut down production and rioted, beating Chen, blocking roads and smashing police cars to prevent police and ambulances from reaching him. The sale was subsequently scrapped."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#117

"On 18 July 1969, Black Panthers held a conference in Oakland alongside the white anti-racist Young Patriots Organisation and Puerto Rican street gang-turned-radical group the Young Lords. The Young Patriots were a group of poor, mostly Appalachian migrants in Chicago. Although they opposed racism, they originally wore Confederate flags, which they believed were a symbol of rebellion. As they worked more with communities of colour, they abandoned the flag as an irredeemable symbol of white supremacy. Leading Panther Fred Hampton played a key role in building links with them and other white working class youth, until he was assassinated by police. In his speech, William "Preacherman" Fesperman of the Young Patriots, argued for armed self-defence against police brutality: "A gun on the side of a pig means two things: it means racism and it means capitalism and the gun on the side of a revolutionary, on the side of the people, means solidarity and socialism.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#118

"On 7 June 1954, British mathematician and pioneering thinker in the field of artificial intelligence Alan Turing died of cyanide poisoning at the age of 41. Turing had also helped the Allies win World War II by decoding encrypted Nazi communications, and after the war helped develop some of the earliest digital computers. In 1952, he was convicted of "gross indecency" for homosexuality and sentenced to chemical castration by the state as punishment. His death was officially ruled a suicide, in response to the persecution he had been suffering. However, the police investigation of his death was entirely inadequate. And while they concluded he deliberately ingested cyanide from an apple, they failed to test the apple for the presence of cyanide. Alternative explanations for his death were that he could have accidentally inhaled cyanide from an experiment, or that British security services killed him to prevent state secrets being passed on to the Soviet Union, which was a common fear held about LGBT+ people whom they typically considered a security risk. Years of campaigning against the legacy of UK state homophobia eventually resulted in Turing receiving a posthumous pardon in 2013, as well as the passing of the so-called Turing's Law, which granted posthumous pardons to nearly 50,000 other men convicted of "gross indecency" for same-sex relations."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#119

"On 26 November 1883, the formerly enslaved woman and pioneering feminist, Black emancipationist and poet Sojourner Truth died in Michigan aged 86. She was born into slavery in a Dutch-speaking community in New York, and later gave birth to five children. She escaped in 1827, and with the support of an abolitionist family, successfully sued for the return of one of her sons who had been illegally sold in Alabama. After moving to New York City she became a charismatic preacher, helping enslaved people escape and advocating for abolitionism, and for women's rights, including women's suffrage. During the civil war Truth assisted the Union side, and after the war she helped people formerly enslaved in the South build new lives, often as wage workers. Truth remained active until the end of her long life, spending time in her later years campaigning for land redistribution to formally enslaved people – which was famously promised as "40 acres and a mule", but was never delivered."

Image credits: workingclasshistory

#120

"On 14 September 1867, volume one of Karl Marx’s Magnum Opus, Capital, first appeared in Germany. Subsequently published in all the world’s major languages and studied widely by workers, it was often referred to as “The Bible of the working class”. Today, it is still unsurpassed as an analysis and critique of capitalism. While parts of it are quite dense and complex, notably the first three chapters, much of it is very readable. Some Capital study guides, for example, suggest skipping the first three chapters if readers find them excessively complex, and returning to them later. Some suggest beginning with chapter 27, where Marx emotively recounts the violent theft of common lands in Britain which laid the foundations of the capitalist system. For example, in 18th-century Scotland: "the hunted-out Gaels were forbidden to emigrate from the country, with a view to driving them by force to Glasgow and other manufacturing towns… From 1814 to 1820 these 15,000 inhabitants, about 3,000 families, were systematically hunted and rooted out. All their villages were destroyed and burnt, all their fields turned into pasturage. British soldiers enforced this eviction, and came to blows with the inhabitants. One old woman was burnt to death in the flames of the hut, which she refused to leave. Thus [the Duchess of Sutherland] appropriated 794,000 acres of land that had from time immemorial belonged to the clan. She assigned to the expelled inhabitants about 6,000 acres on the sea-shore — 2 acres per family… The Duchess, in the nobility of her heart, actually went so far as to let these at an average rent of 2s. 6d. per acre to the clansmen, who for centuries had shed their blood for her family.""

Image credits: workingclasshistory

Get Discount
x