Listen to Mother

Mother Jones, the angel of the miners.

Mother Jones, the angel of the miners.

Mother Jones was one of the greatest heroines ever produced by the American working class. Completely fearless, she fought to organize workers, especially miners, from the 1870s to the 1920s. She lived at a time when forming a union could mean losing your life.
Excerpts from Mother Jones speech to striking coal miners, on levee at Charleston, West Viriginia, August 1, 1912. “Mother Jones Speaks” pages 163-165
Now you have gathered here today for a purpose, Every movement made in civilization has had an underlying purpose. You have reached the century in human civilization when the charge of human slavery must forever disappear…. This industrial warfare is on. It can’t be stopped, it can’t be put back, it is breaking out over all the nation…
When we had a fight in 1900, the Governor was going to clean us up, and four thousand women went down at three o’clock in the morning. There weren’t ladies, they were women. A lady, you know was created by the parasitical class, women, God Almighty made them. The crack thirteenth were sent down by that govenor to meet those four thousand women. Their sleeves were rolled up on their arms, they walked fifteen miles over mountains. What did those women do? They licked the crack thirteenth of Pennsylvania, the “two-by-four” lawyers, the bank crooks and corporation rats — they don’t know how to fight. So the militia begged for mercy. The Colonel says “Move back, we are going forward in civilization. I will charge bayonets on you people.” Not on your life, you don’t charge bayonets on us, because if you do — I will tell you now, we are fighting the robbers who take our bread and butter, if you go to shoot us we will clean up the high-way with the whole bunch of you. You ought to see them run! Their mustache wasn’t curled that day. They went up amnd hit the pike and didn’t bother us any more. The sheriff said to me, “Take these people away.” No, I didn’t come here to take them away, I came to meet them. He said, “I will have you arrested, I will call on the Governor for the militia.” I said, “We will lick the militia.”
It is the fighting of the classes. You have today in this country two warring forces, the one the lying oligarchy, the other the crush pin, the breath is taken from them.”

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: