A friend of mine posted this picture yesterday:
"Someone might need a tutorial on holidays?"
"Police? Well, they are usually unionized, right?"
"Union organizers! They keep us strong and free."
"My shop steward definitely keeps me safe from management."
And it went on from there. One person made the case that the dry cleaners' experience was directly connected to the events at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York and made them, possibly, more amenable to learning the stories of America's labor organizing histories. "History is a weapon."
Several people mentioned American flags flying everywhere in honor of Labor Day. Here in Tennessee, college classes ran on schedule and even the campus post office was open for half the day.
Labor Day seemed a non-event.
Are we erasing Labor Day from our national commemorative calendar? Are we in danger of forgetting the importance of organized labor to our history?
It is a distinct possibility.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Sunday, May 22, 2016
According to Northern Ireland elections statistics, only 56% of registered voters in the Foyle District turned out to vote in last month's elections. As an historian of Derry, this breaks my heart a little.
Look at the photo to the left. Those are real people. Historical figures, some of them, like Eddie McAteer and Bernadette Devlin McAliskey. Civil rights steward Vinnie Coyle. Others, probably, not known to me. And then the faces of the young, the hopeful, the indignant, the worried. The faces of the civil rights movement.
Which -- of course -- was in large part a movement for for the right for every adult citizen to have a vote.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
And another legend passes.
Paddy Doherty had not been well for the past several years, but it was still hard to hear that he passed away on the 7th January, 2016. Touted as the face of the civil rights movement in Derry, he was a legend. He was a firebrand and an ideas man and a figure of controversy. He was a neighbor, a friend, a husband, the patriarch of his clan.
|Derry Journal 1/8/16|
Doherty is not the first of his generation to pass. Solicitor Claude Wilton, of ' Say nahing de ye see Claude' fame died in 2008. Photographer Larry Doherty, responsible for capturing on film some of the most iconic images of the early Troubles, died last year. Others have passed and more will follow.
It is too soon, perhaps, to say how they will be, or indeed, should be, remembered.