After finding a boycott target of the Palestine solidarity movement on Amtrak, this essay was written to tackle the grim intersections of oppression at home and abroad its presence evoked for me, the kid of a railroad worker. In five vignettes, the following thoughts are shaped by the Asian-American experience, and by the state of urgency that is anti-racism in the time of Trayvon Martin. It was written with those fellow people in mind anxious to change the world, trying to figure out effectively how.
The Woolworth Strike of 1937: 110 women participated in a sit-down strike against one of the largest chain stores in the early 20th century, at the Woolworth Five and Dime store in Detroit, Michigan. Some of their demands included a 10 cents/hour raise, union recognition, an eight-hour workday and free uniforms. They weren’t alone during their strike: they reached out to Local 705, a waiters and waitresses union, which helped with food and sleeping arrangements while the Woolworth women were on strike.
On the 7th day of the strike, after sit-down strike leaders said they were ready to call for a national sit-down - which could have lead to all 40 Woolworth stores closing - owner Frank Woolworth and the women came to an agreement, effectively accepting nearly all of their demands, including a 5 cent/hour raise and overtime pay past 48 hours/week.
[Photos: William Vandivert/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images]
Chicago, the best theatrical / activist / people’s history event of your life is about to take place here, Jan. 31
Feature documentary trailer on the supremely bad ass Richard Aoki (1938-2009), third generation Japanese American; Oakland born and raised founding member of the Black Panther Party; leading member of UC Berkeley’s Third World Liberation Front; lifelong activist.