A Haint is Stalkin' the Mountains: West Virginia's Turbulent History of Class Struggle

Socialism 2018

July 05, 2018

The whole machinery of capitalism is rotten to the core. . . You will not be serfs, you will march, march, march on from milestone to milestone of human freedom, you will rise like men in the new day and wage slavery will get its death blow. It has got to die." These were the closing words of radical labor organizer Mother Jones in a 1912 speech to striking coal miners in West Virginia. Inspired by the 2018 teachers' strike, this talk will explore the rich tradition of working class struggle, radical politics and interracial organizing in West Virginia's history and draw out key lessons for the battles of today. From the Mine Wars to the Battle of Blair Mountain to the rise of the Socialist Party this talk will delve into the stories of courageous rebellion in a state that fought a longstanding, bloody war against American capitalism in the early 20th century.

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