Palikari – Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre!

Louis Tikas

Louis Tikas

Palikari………..Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre! Louis Tikas was a good friend of Mother Jones and they worked alongside each other in Colorado in the final months of 1913 when the Colorado miners went on strike. Louis Tikas was born in Crete in 1886 as Elias Anastasios Spantidakis and later emigrated from Greece to the USA. He did a variety of jobs and later went to the coal mines. However he was not happy with the conditions of the Greek miners and others, led a strike and then joined the United Mineworkers of Union (UMWA).  Due to the immense respect he had gained among the miners, the United Mineworkers Union appointed him as a union organiser in Trinidad, Colorado. He was to the forefront in organising the camps for the miners and their families as due to the strike they could no longer live in the mining company shacks.

He played a leading role in the strike and it remained solid among the Greeks and other nationalities, so he had effectively become a marked man. On the morning of 20th April 1914, Tikas ensured that many miners and their families were able to escape from the Ludlow camp to the nearby hills following the ongoing attacks from the militia and the hired gunmen employed by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company owned by John D Rockefeller, Jr. Later in the day he and two others were captured by the militia and were assassinated by Captain Linderfelt and left by the side of the railway tracks at Ludlow. Tikas and his comrades were buried at Trinidad few days later at a huge funeral attended by thousands of miners. He was just 28 years old. Similar to the way Mother Jones was largely forgotten after her death, a similar fate befell Louis Tikas. Now Lamprini C Thoma, producer and Nichos Ventouras, director in their splendid new documentary “Palikari – Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre” have brought Tikas and the events at Ludlow back to his homeland in Greece and Europe.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is very proud to announce that their film “Palikari – Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre” will receive its first showing outside of Greece at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at Shandon near where Mary Harris was born. The film will be shown on Thursday evening 31st July at the Firkin Crane Centre and we hope to have Lamprini and Nichos present to introduce this amazing documentary. It should not be missed by those interested in the history of America and the role played by brave and courageous union organisers like Louis Tikas and Mother Jones.

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The grave of Louis Tikas

The film will be followed later by lectures on the legacy of Ludlow from Professor Jim Green and Rosemary Feurer. “Then came Ludlow and the nation heard” from Mother Jones Autobiography.

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2 responses to “Palikari – Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre!

  1. Thank you for this inspiring story of Louis Tikas. I am happy to share it on our Illinois Labor History FB page. I love the greek painting that you posted with the story. Can you tell me the story of the painting? Thank you.

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