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Thu Nov 19, 2015, 05:30 PM

Remembering Joe Hill and his music ~

Music was a centerpiece of the Wobbly “movement culture.” However, I wouldn’t say this came into existence with the IWW. Earlier, the abolitionists and the Gilded Age labor movement made singing, songwriting, poetry and other forms of writing a key part of their efforts. Coal miners and Jewish textile workers had already developed a strong working-class poetic and musical tradition, as did the Knights of Labor. So Joe Hill and Woody Guthrie were standing on big shoulders.



Remembering the Life and Music of Labor Agitator Joe Hill, Who Was Executed 100 Years Ago TodayDavid Cochran
11/19/15

Joe Hill saw his music as a weapon in the class war, composing songs to be sung on soapboxes, picket lines or in jail. And 100 years ago today, the forces of capital and the state of Utah executed him.

< snip >

Born Joel Hagglund in Sweden, Hill immigrated to the United States in 1902, changing his name to Joseph Hillstrom, which would eventually be shortened to Joe Hill. Working his way across the country, Hill became politicized, eventually joining the Industrial Workers of the World. Popularly known as the Wobblies, the IWW sought to organize those workers more mainstream unions avoided—the unskilled, migrants, immigrants, minorities—in an effort to combine the entire working class into One Big Union.

As a Wobbly, Hill was active in free speech fights in Fresno and San Diego, a strike of railroad construction workers in British Columbia and even fought in the Mexican Revolution.

In 1914, Hill was arrested in Salt Lake City and charged with killing a storekeeper, allegedly in a botched robbery. Despite the flimsy nature of the evidence, Hill was convicted and sentenced to death, with the prosecutor urging conviction as much on the basis of Hill’s IWW membership as any putative evidence of his involvement in the crime. An international amnesty movement pressed for a new trial, but the Utah governor refused and Hill was executed by firing squad on November 19, 1915. In a final message to IWW General Secretary Bill Haywood, Hill urged, “Don’t waste any time in mourning—organize.”

Much more here - http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/18386/joe-hill-labor-music-execution



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Reply Remembering Joe Hill and his music ~ (Original post)
TBF Nov 2015 OP
gordyfl Nov 2015 #1
TBF Nov 2015 #5
haikugal Nov 2015 #2
safeinOhio Nov 2015 #3
TBF Nov 2015 #6
guillaumeb Nov 2015 #4
Powers Hapgood Nov 2015 #7
gordyfl Nov 2015 #8
TBF Nov 2015 #9

Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 05:47 PM

1. Joe Hill

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Response to gordyfl (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 07:42 PM

5. Thank you - that is lovely! nt

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 05:57 PM

2. Thanks for this post TBF...Joe Hill was a memorable hero.

It's good to know our history...where we've been and how we got here.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 06:15 PM

3. My favorite Joe Hill song

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 07:45 PM

6. Love the graphics they used! nt

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2015, 06:41 PM

4. If unions had called a general strike when Reagan declared war on workers,

perhaps US history after the PATCO strike would have been different.

The IWW talked about the need for one big union.

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 09:44 AM

7. Paul Robeson's Version

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Response to TBF (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2015, 01:24 AM

8. Funeral - Joe Hill

Crowds gather in the street as Joe Hill’s coffin is carried from his funeral at the Westside Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois.

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Response to gordyfl (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 21, 2015, 09:43 AM

9. And we still mourn -

not only for Joe Hill but also in search of activists today that can tell the difference between policies that help the working class, and those that only prop up capital.

Thank you.

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