Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1919, amid a widespread strike for union recognition by nearly 400,000 steelworkers, hundreds of alleged “anarchists,” “communists,” and “labor agitators” were deported to Russia, marking the beginning of the so-called “Red Scare.”
And on this date in 1998, Chico Mendes – rubber tapper, trade union leader, and environmental activist – was assassinated by a rancher. Mendes fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest and advocated for the rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples. Mendes was the nineteenth rural activist murdered that year in Brazil.
Today’s labor quote is by Chico Mendes:
“At first I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest.
Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”