Prof. Rosemary Feurer set to return to this years Spirit of Mother Jones festival

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Prof. Rosemary Feurer visits Cork’s historic Shandon Steeple in 2012.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to confirm that Professor Rosemary Feurer, who attended the inaugural Mother Jones festival is returning to the 2014 festival.

Rosemary is Associate Professor of History at the Dept. of History, Northern Illinois University. Her fields of study include the United States – 20th Century, Labour and Social Movements.

Rosemary will present a lecture entitled “Get off your knees”: James Connolly, Jim Larkin and Mother Jones in the Fight for a Global Labour Movement”, at the Firkin Crane Centre on Friday 1st August at 3pm.

“James Connolly, Jim Larkin, and Mother Jones were leading transnational organisers a century ago who learned from each other.  Connolly’s decision to come to the U.S. was in part inspired by the grounding in direct action labour movement struggles that Jones had helped to innovate. Long before James Connolly or James Larkin came to the U.S., the Irish workers and socialist movement that they led caught Mother Jones’ attention. The Irish and U.S. labour movement came to use the same language and inflection as they grew together. The similarity of language and purpose in these leaders, despite factional distinctions in their organisational loyalties, allows us to see how the radicals of a century ago contributed to the grounding of a global labour movement.

 

Both Connolly and Jones were members and speakers for the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. And they both meant the “World” part of the title, even after Jones had stopped paying dues to the organization. They thought of themselves as being part of the same global movement that would allow workers democratic decision making and ownership and direction of human civilization. They used notions of “civilizing” influence of socialism and democracy.  

 

Both deeply believed that there was no one more suited to controlling the economic destiny of the nation than those who produced the wealth of the nation. They were comrades in the struggle for workers power”.

 

Rosemary Feurer, has been studying the links and connections between these activists and will discuss her important findings and reflections at this lecture, which is co-sponsored by the School of History at University College Cork.

She manages the largest website on labour history in the USA, www.laborhistorylinks.org and also manages www.motherjonesmuseum.org  Her publications include Radical Unionism in the Midwest 1900-1950 from Working Class in American History Series in 2007.

Rosemary’s award winning documentary which she produced and co-directed,  “Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman” was shown at the 2012 Cork Mother Jones Festival and Rosemary will again present this documentary on the opening night of the 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival at 6pm.

2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the Ludlow massacre. Rosemary will also contribute at our remembrance of this important event in American history; “Then came Ludlow and the nation heard” a discussion along with Jim Green which will take place on Thursday evening at 7.15 at the Firkin Crane.

A Depiction of Louis Tikas and Mother Jones.

 

"Resurrectional Ethnogenesis at Ludlo" by  Giannis Gigas Thomas.

“Resurrectional Ethnogenesis at Ludlo” by Giannis Gigas Thomas.

Above is an icon depicting Louis Tikas, the Ludlow Massacre and Mother Jones by Giannis Gigas Thomas.  This icon was exhibited at the Art Athina Exhibition 2014.  Below is a graphic describing the scenes depicted in the icon.    For more on Giannis Gigas Thomas art visit his website at www.prosopa.eu

Graphic explaining Louis Tikas icon.

Graphic explaining Louis Tikas icon.

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.