1877 St. Louis General Strike: lessons for today (video)


On July 16, a group of labor and community activists gathered in Granite City, Ill., to remember the 1877 St. Louis general strike. It was a festive occasion with speakers, music and food.

Northern Illinois University professor Rosemary Feurer and Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees leader Ed Sadlowski both spoke about the lessons of the 1877 strike for today's struggles against union busting. Both speakers keyed in on the on-going struggles in Wisconsin and other states.

For several hours, labor and community activists exchanged experiences and ideas about how to roll back the attacks on workers and their unions. Much of the discussion centered on how to build labor unity, and on how to broaden out the coalitions needed to stop the multiple assaults on the working class.

St Louis 1877 General Strike from Scott Marshall on Vimeo.

Photo: Flier.



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  • St. Louis, Chicago, and areas of their metropolises like Granite City, Illinois, the Steel City, included, are inseparably connected by working class history.
    Years ago, the editor of the PW, a much younger Teresa Albano, visited hallowed Turner Hall, in St. Louis, the site of German worker immigrant's activities, its affiliates having been centers for the famous 1877 general strike in the U.S.- to speak.
    The grandson of William Clark, of the Thomas Jefferson sponsored explorations of the Lewis and Clark Expeditions-Peter Humphries Clark was one the country's first African American Socialists and abolitionists- a brilliant educator, philosopher, and patron of Frederich Washington Bailey Douglas. He eventually settled into one of the oldest African American high schools in the U.S.-Charles Sumner High-after making a historic speech on how socialism was a remedy to "...Society's Evils"-at a famous worker's rally- in 1877.
    The university systems of Missouri and Illinois will have to coalesce to document the class history which points to the future of liberation of the working class and all human liberation based on the unity and struggle that our historians and activists advocate in this excellent video. We are destined to do this because the workers in St. Louis marched to Illinois in 1877 to solidify interstate communities with labor's struggles, for ineluctible human progress, the liberation of the working class, staging the first General Strike in the United States of America-then and forever.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 07/21/2011 5:58pm (4 years ago)

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