Happy Communist Holidays

The Communists must figure that the Christians have their holiday period – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s.  America has its summer holidays:  Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.  Why shouldn’t the Communists have their holidays?

 

The three main Communist holidays – Earth Day, May Day and Cinco de Mayo (which is today) are actually covers for the anniversaries of three key Communist birthdates:  Vladimir Lenin (April 22nd), labor leader and hell raiser Mother Mary Jones (May 1st – also the anniversary of the Chicago Haymarket Riots), and Karl Marx (May 5th – Cinco de Mayo).  Joseph Stalin was born Dec. 18, 1878.

 

That’s right:  Cinco de Mayo isn’t some celebration of Hispanic heritage.  It’s to celebrate the Father of Communism, Karl Marx.  Earth Day wasn’t about Mother Earth; it was about the first ruler of Communist Russia, Vladimir Lennon.

 

As for May Day (May 1st), although it originally began as a celebration of Spring, particularly in European countries, May 1st became known for a destructive event and a destructive person.

 

Mary Harris “Mother’ Jones was born May 1, 1837.  She was an Irish-American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent labor and community organizer.  She helped coordinate major strikes and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World.

Jones worked as a teacher and dressmaker, but after her husband and four children all died of yellow fever and her workshop was destroyed in a fire in 1871, she began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers union. From 1897, at around 60 years of age, she was known as Mother Jones. In 1902 she was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in organizing mine workers and their families against the mine owners.  In 1903, upset about the lax enforcement of the child labor laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, she organized a Children’s March from Philadelphia to the home of then-president Theodore Roosevelt in New York. Mother Jones magazine, established in 1970, is named for her.

Mary Harris was born on the north side of Cork City, Ireland, the daughter of Roman Catholic tenant farmers Richard Harris and Ellen (née Cotter) Harris.  She claimed her birth date to be May 1, 1830.  The date was chosen to represent the national labor holiday and anniversary of the Haymarket Riots in Chicago, and the year (1830) to imply centenarian status.

Mary Harris emigrated with her family to Canada as a teenager.  She received a Catholic education in before her family moved to the United States. She became a teacher in a convent in Monroe, Mich… After tiring of her assumed profession, she moved first to Chicago and later to Memphis, where she married George E. Jones, a member and organizer of the National Union of Iron Moulders, later the International Molders and Foundry Workers Union of North America, in 1861.  She eventually opened a dress shop in Memphis on the eve of the Civil War.

There were two turning points in her life. The first, and most tragic one, was the loss of her husband George and their four children (all under the age of five) during a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis, Tenn… After her entire family succumbed to the disease, she returned to Chicago to begin another dressmaking business. Then, four years later, she lost her hard-earned home, shop and possessions in the Great Chicago Fire. This second loss catalyzed an even more fundamental transformation: she turned to the nascent labor movement and joined the Knights of Labor, a predecessor to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or “Wobblies”).

The Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago and the fear of anarchism and revolution incited by union organizations led to the rapid demise of the Knights of Labor. Once the Knights ceased to exist, Mary Jones became largely affiliated with the United Mine Workers. With the UMW, she frequently led strikers in picketing and encouraged the striking workers to stay on strike when the management brought in strike-breakers and militias. She strongly believed that “working men deserved a wage that would allow women to stay home to care for their kids.”

After the Haymarket Massacre, which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.  Labor Leader and first head of the Socialist Democratic (later Labor) Party, Peter Maguire first suggested a labor parade through the streets of New York on the first day of September in 1882.  Congress made it a national holiday in 1894.

Active as an organizer and educator in strikes throughout the country at the time, she was particularly involved with the UMW and the Socialist Party of America. As a union organizer, she gained prominence for organizing the wives and children of striking workers in demonstrations on their behalf. She became known as “the most dangerous woman in America,” a phrase coined by West Virginia district attorney Reese Blizzard, in 1902 at her trial for ignoring an injunction banning meetings by striking miners. “There sits the most dangerous woman in America”, announced Blizzard. “She comes into a state where peace and prosperity reign … crooks her finger [and] twenty thousand contented men lay down their tools and walk out.”

Jones was ideologically separated from many of the other female activists of the pre-19th days due to her strong opposition to abortion and outspoken aversion to female. She was quoted as saying that:  “You don’t need the vote to raise hell!”  Her opposition to women taking an active role in politics was based on her belief that the neglect of motherhood was a primary cause of juvenile delinquency. She became known as a charismatic and effective speaker throughout her career. A passionate public speaker, she would liven her rhetoric with real and folk-tale characters, punctuate with participation from audience members, flavor it with passion, and include humor-ridden methods to rile up the crowd such as profanity, name-calling, and wit. Occasionally she would include props, visual aids, and dramatic stunts for effect.

By age 60, she had effectively assumed the persona of “Mother Jones” by claiming to be older than she actually was, wearing outdated black dresses and referring to the male workers that she supported as “her boys.”  The first reference to her in print as Mother Jones was in 1897.[4]

In 1901, workers in Pennsylvania’s silk mills went on strike, many being young female workers demanding to be paid adult wages. John Mitchell, the president of the UMWA, brought Mother Jones to north-east Pennsylvania in the months of February and September to encourage unity among the striking workers. To do so, she encouraged the wives of the workers to organize into a militia, who in turn would wield brooms, beat on tin pans and shout “Join the union!” She held that wives had an important role to play as the nurturers and motivators of the striking men, but not as fellow workers. She made claim that the young girls working in the mills were being robbed and demoralized.

To enforce worker solidarity, she travelled to the silk mills in New Jersey and returned to Pennsylvania to report that the conditions she observed were far superior. She stated that “the child labor law is better enforced for one thing and there are more men at work than seen in the mills here.” In response to the strike, mill owners also divulged their side of the story. They claimed that if the workers still insisted on a wage scale, they would not be able to do business while paying adult wages and would be forced to close down.  Even Jones herself encouraged the workers to accept a settlement. Although she agreed upon a settlement which sent the young girls back to the mills, she continued to fight child labor for the remainder of her life.

In 1903 Jones organized children, who were working in mills and mines at the time, to participate in the “Children’s Crusade,”  a march from Kensington, Pa., to Oyster Bay, N.Y., the hometown of President Theodore Roosevelt with banners demanding “We want to go to School and not the mines!”

As Mother Jones noted that many of the children at union headquarters had missing fingers and other disabilities, she attempted to get newspaper publicity about the conditions in Pennsylvania regarding child labor. However, the mill owners held stock in essentially all of the newspapers. When the newspaper men informed her that they could not advertise the facts about child labor because of this, she remarked “Well, I’ve got stock in these little children and I’ll arrange a little publicity.” Permission to see President Roosevelt was denied by his secretary and it was suggested that Jones address a letter to the president requesting a visit with him. Even though Mother Jones wrote a letter for such permission, she never received an answer.  Though the President refused to meet with the marchers, the incident brought the issue of child labor to the forefront of the public agenda.

In the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912 in West Va., , Mary Jones arrived in June, speaking and organizing through a shooting war between United Mine Workers members and the private army of the mine owners. Martial law in the area was declared and rescinded twice before Jones was arrested on Feb. 13, 1913, brought before a military court. Accused of conspiring to commit murder among other charges, she refused to recognize the legitimacy of her court martial. She was sentenced to 20 years in the state penitentiary. During house arrest at, she acquired a dangerous case of pneumonia.

After 85 days of confinement, her release coincided with Indiana Senator John Worth Ken initiating a Senate investigation into the conditions in the local coal mines. Several months later she was in Colorado, helping organize coal miners. Once again she was arrested, served some time in prison and was escorted from the state in the months leading up to the Ludlow Massacre. After the massacre she was invited to Standard Oil’s headquarters to meet face-to-face with John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a meeting that prompted him to visit the Colorado mines and introduce long-sought reforms.

By 1924, Jones was in court again, this time facing charges of libel, slander, and sedition. In 1925, Charles A. Albert, publisher of the fledgling Chicago Times, won a $350,000 judgment against Jones. Jones remained a union organizer for the UMW into the 1920s and continued to speak on union affairs almost until her death. She released her own account of her experiences in the labor movement as The Autobiography of Mother Jones (1925). In her later years, Jones lived with her friends Walter and Lillie May Burgess on their farm in Adelphi, Md. She celebrated her 100th birthday there on May 1, 1930. She died in Adelphi in November 1930.

She is buried in the Union Miners Cemetery in Mount Olive, Ill., alongside miners who had died in the 1898 Battle of Virden.  She called these miners, killed in strike-related violence, “her boys.”

In her pictures, she looked like a sweet old grandmother.  But, she was denounced on the floor of the United States Senate as the “grandmother of all agitators.”  She replied, “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.  I hope to live long enough to be the great-grandmother of all agitators.

And that is why workers of the world, united, celebrate May Day.

So, Happy Communist Holidays…

 

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Published in: on May 6, 2014 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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