Solidarity Across the Ocean

An extraordinary gathering of Women Coal Miners will take place in Tennessee in the United States from August 2nd. Large numbers of women miners from the US, Canada and Britain will come together for a reunion in Jonesborough, near the Archives of Appalachia at East Tennessee University. On August 1st, Mother Jones Day in Cork, a group of the women who are part of the “Daughters of Mother Jones” will unfurl a banner to express their solidarity and support for the Cork Mother Jones Festival and to mark the 176th anniversary of the baptism of Mary Harris / Mother Jones on 1st August 1837 at the North Cathedral in Cork.

Women Miners Reunion, Jonesborough, Tennessee

Women Miners Reunion, Jonesborough, Tennessee

Participants will include former underground miners who pioneered gender integration in the coal industry in the 1970s and representatives from Women Against Pit Closures in England. This reunion is the first international gathering of women coal miners in nearly 15 years.

Marat Moore on Croagh Patrick

Marat Moore at the summit of Croagh Patrick mountain, Co. Mayo, Ireland after last year’s inaugural Cork Mother Jones Festival

We hope to have photos of the unfurling of the “Daughters of Mother Jones” banner on this site next week. Our thanks to Marat Moore from the group who was one of our main speakers at last year’s cork Mother Jones festival.

In the meantime we send best wishes and solidarity to the women and hope that their gathering will be an outstanding success.

Dublin 1913 Lock-out Centenary

Padraig Yeates

Padraig Yeates

Padraig Yeates is an acknowledged authority on the history of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, a major industrial dispute which pitted Dublin’s employers led by William Martin Murphy against more than 20,000 workers, led by Big Jim Larkin, who were sacked for their membership of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union (ITG&WU).

According to Yeates:-

1913 can be seen as the beginning of the struggle for Irish independence in the twentieth century, or the swansong of the British labour movement in what became the Irish Free State. It reflected the militant syndicalist movement in Britain and across the industrialised world, exposing the growing divisions within nationalist Ireland in the process. 

It was a naked class conflict, pitting Irish workers against Irish capitalists with both sides receiving support from their counterparts in Britain. But above all it was a dispute about the nature of Irish society. The victory of the employers in alliance with the established churches, and especially the Catholic Church, provided a foretaste of the conservative consensus that would prevail after independence.

police baton workers

Police baton-charge on striking workers in Sackville (O’Connell) Street, Dublin, August 1913

Padraig will be delivering a keynote lecture on the Lockout at the Spirit of Mother Jones at the Firkin Crane theatre, Shandon, Cork at 7.00pm on Wednesday, 31st July 2013.  All are welcome and there is no admittance charge.

William Martin "Murder" Murphy, notorious employer's leader

William Martin “Murder” Murphy, notorious employer’s leader


Big Jim Larkin, ITGWU leader and nemesis of the employers of Dublin

Big Jim Larkin, ITGWU leader and nemesis of the employers of Dublin


Women and children with food parcels sent by British trade unionists

Women and children with food parcels sent by British trade unionists

 

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