Monday, September 19, 2011

The Battle's of Matewan and Blair Mountain

Hat tip to Andy Newman at Socialist Unity for this remarkable post on 1920's bloody shoot outs between West Virgina coal miners and Company strike breakers.  The clip is from the 1987 film by John Sayles.

We have this image of a capitalist and conservative America, especially in the "West".   While I remember being astonished by Paul Mason's (BBC Newsnight Editor) book "Live Working or Die Fighting" about just how radical the Labour movement in the United States of America use to be. 

I also recall one of the authors of "The Spirit Level", Professor Richard Wilkinson at this year's UNISON conference being asked a question about what reaction they got when they visited the United States (which gets a lot of stick in their book because of its huge income inequality).  He replied that the US is such a divided society that they have always had a really positive reception on their book tours and lectures.  So there is still support out there for "radical" policies. 

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