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"American Fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the corporatists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.” - Vice President Wallace, 1944 warning of American Fascism

Wednesday, Feb 8:

IWW “Free Speech Fights” in San Diego, California. As the IWW was fighting for the right to Free Speech for all, vigilantes kidnapped and beat Industrial Workers of the World organizers. Some were tarred and feathered, tortured while being forced to kiss the American flag, and run out of town by the heavily armed, violent so-called “good conservative citizens”. -1912

A General Strike is called throughout Butte, Montana, a Worker's Council is organized to conduct the strike. -1919

Thursday, Feb 9:

IWW organizer Tom Mooney was falsely convicted in a bombing frame-up orchestrated by the Pinkerton Detective Agency with the hopes of damaging the growing American Labor Movement. He was pardoned and released 22 years later. -1917

19,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers in Washington state and Oregon begin what is to become a 40-day strike. -2000

Friday, Feb 10:

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) founds the Building and Construction Trades Department as a way to overcome the jurisdictional conflicts occurring in the building and construction Unions. -1908

11 members of the Carpenters’ Union in Northern Ontario are shot, 3 fatally, by Spruce Falls Power and Paper Co. suppliers. The action came as the company insisted on a pay freeze and 2 months of 7-day-a-week work. -1963

Saturday, Feb 11:

IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) leads rubber strikes. 15,000 rubber workers strike in Akron, Ohio, protesting a forced speed-up and low pay. -1913

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announces he will call out the National Guard, if necessary, to deal with any "unrest" among state employees in the wake of his decision to end nearly all collective bargaining rights for the unions unilaterally. Under Walker’s anti-worker Republican “free market” strategy, Wisconsin slid to last in the nation for growth, 44th in economic performance, and 39th for business climate. Walker raised the state deficit from $137 million to $2.2 Billion within 3 years. In 2015 Walker gleefully cut funds to the bone for all public services and education to balance the budget and pay for his huge corporate tax cuts. -2011

Sunday, Feb 12:

John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers and founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), was born on this date. In 1935, he pulled the UAW from the American Federation of Labor (and punched out Carpenters Union President William Hutcheson in the process) when the AFL refused to endorse industrial Unionism. Lewis then formed the CIO, which organized millions of unskilled, mass production workers into Unions in the 1930s and 1940s. -1880

76-year-old Mary Harris "Mother" Jones leads a protest of conditions in the West Virginia mines and is arrested. The miners lived and worked under a large force of company guards, armed with Winchesters and three Gatling guns always pointed at the workers. Mary Jones was called "The most dangerous woman in America" by the U.S. Government, she was dangerous to the established order because she was fearless in her defense of the oppressed working class. -1913

Monday, Feb 13:

First Public School in America was founded, 152 years before the US Constitution was written. Public schools are 100% American and our birthright, public schools made America great. The people who fought and won the American Revolution were educated in public schools! -1635

A national 8-month strike by the Sons of Vulcan, a Union of iron forgers, ends in victory when employers agreed to a wage scale based on the price of iron bars, the first-time employers recognized the Union, the first Union contract in the iron and steel industry, and one of the first Union contracts of any kind in the United States. -1865

Tuesday, Feb 14:

Western Federation of Miners’ strike for an 8-hour day. The WFM was a so-called “radical”, militant Union formed by miners from Butte, Montana, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Colorado, South Dakota, and Utah. They fought for fair pay, the 8-hour workday, and less deadly working conditions. -1903

Striking workers at Detroit’s newspapers, out since the previous July, offer to return to work. The offer is accepted 5 days later but the newspapers vow to retain some 1,200 scabs. A court ruling the following year ordered as many as 1,100 former strikers reinstated. -1996

This Week in Labor History is compiled by Kevin D. Curtis