Now out: The 2019 Workers Hella Revolutionary Calendar: a reminder of who we are and what we’ve done, for a better outlook during these difficult times.
Oaklandsocialist has put together the 2019 workers hella revolutionary calendar. It commemorates the dates you will want to remember. If you scroll all the way down, you will find a short summary of some of the dates marked on the calendar. Better known people and events are not included in this summary. If you want a copy of our calendar, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Printing and mailing costs are $20.
We’ve also included an explanation of some of the people and events marked on the calendar. Note, not all of the dates marked on the calendar are mentioned below. Only the ones that might be less familiar to people:
Welcome to Oaklandsocialist’s Hella Revolutionary Calendar for 2019. We’re hoping that it boosts your spirits (and knowledge) maybe a little bit. Some of the events and people mentioned in the calendar are well known and/or self explanatory. Some might need a little further explanation. Readers can always find further explanation on the internet. We also welcome any questions or comments. Write to: email@example.com
January 1, 1905: The radical Industrial Workers of the World was formed. This was the first major attempt at industrial unionism. “The working class and the employing class have nothing in common,” was its motto.
January 1, 1912: Textile workers, mainly immigrants of 40 different nationalities, speaking nearly as many different languages, united and went on a months’ long strike for a shorter work week with no loss in pay.
January 4, 1901: C.L.R. James was a Jamaican Marxist and fighter for the working class. His history of the Haitian revolution – “The Black Jacobins” – is one of the great, great history books of all times.
January 4, 2011: Mohammed Bouazizi was an impoverished fruit seller in Tunisia. Beaten by the police there, he burned himself to death in protest. His action was the spark that set off the Arab Spring. His name deserves to be remembered. For more information, see our pamphlet “What is Revolution?” on Oaklandsocialist’s blog site.
January 12, 2010: It might seem strange to include a natural disaster on this revolutionary calendar. In the earthquake in Haiti on that date, though, the government literally collapsed. The US sent in troops to shore up capitalism.
January 15, 1919: Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were German revolutionary Marxists and supporters of the Russian Revolution. They were murdered by the forces of social democracy.
January 17, 1962: Patrice Lumumba was a revolutionary nationalist in Congo. His murder was coordinated by the forces of the United States and the UN.
January 21, 1920: The Treaty of Versailles was the treaty that ended WW I, “the war to end all wars”, also called the “war for democracy”. In reality, it was a war waged by the imperialist powers to redivide up the colonial world. It’s success in “ending all wars” can be seen in what’s happened since.
February 1, 1901: Langston Hughes was the US’s greatest poet and writer (in our opinion). He was also a communist. “I wish the rent/was heaven sent,” was one of his poems.
February 4, 1869: Big Bill Haywood was one of the founding members and a central leader of the Industrial Workers of the World.
February 4, 1913: It was Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, that led to to the bus boycott and was one of the opening acts in the civil rights movement.
February 18, 1906: P.J. McGuire was the founder of the Carpenters Union. An associate of Karl Marx and a member of the First International, McGuire was hounded out of power in the union by the business unionists who then took power. The date of McGuire’s birth is not known.
February 22, 1943: Sophie Scholl was an underground organizer against the Nazis in Germany. She was caught and executed on this date. Hardly more than a teen ager at the time of her death, her name deserves to be remembered.
February 26, 1925: Robert F. Williams was a Korean War Veteran and a civil rights organizer in North Carolina. As opposed to most of the rest of the movement, Williams advocated and practiced armed self-defense. His book “Negroes with Guns” is a classic.
March 2, 1896: In that year, the Italian colonialists invaded the Ethiopian Empire. The Ethiopian King Menelik, having seen what was coming, had played off the different European countries against each other and had gained some modern arms from some of them. More important, in this battle the entire Ethiopian population, male and female, old, young and in between, mobilized. This resulted in what was probably the most resounding military defeat of European colonialism in Africa.
March 3, 2016: Beta Caceres was a community rights and environmental activist who was murdered in Honduras. All evidence points to the regime as the culprit.
March 6, 2018: The West Virginia teachers strike set off a strike wave among teachers across the United States.
March 21, 1960: The Sharpeville Massacre was a massacre carried out by the police of the South African apartheid regime against some 7,000 protesters or so. Despite the fact that 69 people were killed, it didn’t stop the movement.
March 28, 1927: Theo Colborn was a toxicologist whose book, “Our Stolen Future”, is a great contribution to our understanding of how toxins in the environment can affect the embryo. She was not only a scientist, she also played a great role in the fracking opposition in Colorado.
April 4, 2017: Despite the lies and confusion, any serious investigation of the sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun will conclude that Assad was responsible. The three alternative “explanations” all contradict each other. Bellingcat.com has a number of articles proving that it was Assad.
April 12, 1934: The Toledo Auto Lite strike was one of the three major strikes in that year that paved the way for the sit down strikes of 1937. Supported by the unemployed and in defiance of the police, the strikers mounted mass pickets to keep the scabs out.
April 19, 1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was one of the most heroic struggles in that era. Led by the youth, the fighters knew they couldn’t win. They also knew it was better to die fighting than to die surrendering. For more on that struggle, see oaklandsocialist.com.
May 7, 1954: Following WW II, the French re-invaded Vietnam. Led by Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese people fought against them. Their battles culminated in the historic defeat of the French in Dien Bien Phu on that date.
May 9, 1934: The San Francisco General Strike was the second of the great strikes of that year. It resulted from the SF police attacking and killing longshore workers who were on strike.
May 15, 1934: The Minneapolis Teamsters Strike was the third of the great strikes that paved the way for the sit down strikes. Led by the Socialist Workers Party, the strike was in effect a general strike.
May 11, 1894: The Pullman Strike was one of the earliest major labor battles in the US. It was led by Gene Debs, who was sent to prison for his role. While in prison, he spent time reading socialist literature and came out a dedicated socialist.
May 20, 1743: Toussaint L’Overture was the leader of the great Haitian slave revolution. He was a brilliant military and political leader.
May 20, 1999: The SF Bay Area carpenters wildcat strike was a strike of some 2,000 carpenters in that area. They went on strike against a contract that had been forced down their throats. In a time of full employment, they expected a big raise but didn’t get it, so they organized and struck.
May 27, 1907: Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring” is considered by some to have been the mother of the environmental movement. Her book exposed the dangers of DDT, which was later banned in the US.
June 16, 1919: Gene Debs gave his famous speech against the imperialist WW I on this date. He was sentenced to prison for sedition and ran for president from his prison cell, receiving nearly 1 million votes.
June 16, 1944: George Stinney was 14 years old when he was framed up by the racist state of South Carolina and executed for the murder of a white girl. His name deserves to be remembered.
July 4, 1776: Many people consider the American Revolution as a backwards event, in part because it didn’t directly end slavery. However, given that the British supported the slaveowners during the US Civil War, it’s clear that had the US remained a colony of Britain, slavery would have lasted even longer.
July 12, 1899: E.D. Nixon was the original leader of the Montgomery Bus boycott. He was also a union activist and a worker on the railroad. Because of his work, he had to be out of town often and as a result he arranged for Martin Luther King jr. to take the leadership in that seminal struggle.
July 16, 1877: The railroad strike known as “The Great Uprising” was a near-revolutionary movement of that year.
July 20, 1925: Franz Fanon was a theoretician and fighter for the colonial revolution in Africa. He is best known for his book, “The Wretched of the Earth”.
July 30, 1857: The Sepoy Rebellion was a rebellion of the “sepoy” Indian troops in that country. They were rebelling against British imperialism.
August 10, 2012: Disillusioned with their pro-employer union, miners in and around Marikana, South Africa went on strike. In a scene comparable to the Sharpeville Massacre of the old apartheid regime, the ANC regime sent the police in to repress these miners, massacring 44 workers.
August 17, 1985: The Hormel meat packing plant was struck starting on that date. Workers displayed all the courage and determination of the strikers of the 1930s. However, with the business unionists in complete control, the strike was defeated. This was one of the key strikes of that era whose defeats helped send the unions into a tailspin.
August 23, 1927: Niccola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian immigrant workers and anarchists. They were framed for a robbery and murder and were executed by the State of Massachusetts.
September 9, 1739: The Stono slave rebellion was the largest slave rebellion in the British owned colonies.
September 9, 1971: The prison rebellion at Attica State Prison in New York State united prisoners across all racial and ethnic lines. The state refused to negotiate with them and sent in troops firing wildly. Several prison guards were killed by the police fire and many prisoners were severely beaten in the aftermath.
September 11, 1973: The military coup of Augusto Pinochet crushed the left social democratic government of Allende in Chile. Unlike many other such leaders, Allende stayed to the end and was murdered by Pinochet’s soldiers.
September 24, 1924: Amilcar Cabral was one of Africa’s foremost anti-colonial theoreticians and leaders. He was from Guinea-Bissau.
September 12, 1977: Steve Biko was a student leader of the movement against apartheid in South Africa. He was tortured and beaten to death in prison.
September 20, 1944: Abram Leon was a Marxist revolutionary theoretician and leader. His book “The Jewish Question”, written while he was only in his 20s, is a classic explanation of how the Jews developed as a “people class”. Leon was active in the anti-Nazi underground and was captured and killed by the Nazis just before the end of the war.
September 22, 1862: On this day, Lincoln did not “free the slaves”; he simply recognized accomplished fact – that the slaves were freeing themselves by the thousands.
October 5, 1802: Sanite Belair was a great woman general in the Haitian slave revolution.
October 5, 1813: Tecumseh was not only a great war chief; he also united a whole series of First Nation tribes to fight the European invaders.
October 6, 1917: Fannie Lou Hamer was the founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). Barred by the white Democrats in that state, she founded the MFDP and sought entry into the Democratic Party convention of 1964. Hubert Humphrey, leader of the liberal wing of the Democrats, engineered a compromise that left the MFDP toothless.
October 16, 1859: John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry was one of the events that drove the slave owners to rebel and helped lead to the Civil War that ended slavery.
November 2, 1983: The Greyhound strike was another strike similar to the Hormel strike of that era.
November 7, 1917: The victory of the Russian Revolution inspired workers all around the world, maybe more so in the colonial world than anywhere else. The revolution and what followed, including its degeneration and the perversion of its ideas under Stalin hold many lessons. For more, see the article on this at oaklandsocialist.com
November 8, 1892: In the New Orleans General Strike, white and black workers united. Their negotiating committee was consciously set up to be half white and half black workers. The whites refused to fall for the racist divide-and-conquer tactics of the bosses. See more at oaklandsocialist.com
November 20, 1910: The Mexican Revolution was one of the great revolutions in history. Adolfo Gilly’s book “The Mexican Revolution” is a classic and well worth reading.
November 9, 1915: Joe Hill was a member of the radical Industrial Workers of the World and probably its most famous song writer. Among other songs, he wrote “The Preacher and the Slave” and coined the phrase “you’ll get pie in the sky when you die.”
November 26, 1883: Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist activist and one of the earliest campaigners for women’s rights.
November 30, 1999: When the World Trade Organization met in Seattle around that date, they were met by massive protests. It wasn’t only students, but workers also joined in. The union leaders tried to keep their members from joining the more radical actions but they failed. In the “Battle of Seattle” thousands of protesters effectively shut down the WTO meeting and drove them out of town. This was a seminal moment in the rising tide against globalization at that time. It was only halted and reversed by the 9/11 terrorist attack.
December 3, 1946: The Oakland General Strike came during a year of a huge number of strikes in the US. It was the last labor general strike. The Oakland Public Library has numerous pictures on its walls about Oakland history, but none about this strike. Press clippings are filed away where none but those who already know about this event can find them.
December 4, 1969: Fred Hampton was the Chicago leader of the Black Panther Party. He sought to unite the black, Latino and white street gangs. He was murdered by the Chicago police with the assistance of the FBI.
December 13, 1903: Ella Baker was a civil rights leader in the South. She is best known for her role in encouraging the youth to lead the movement.
December 30, 1936: In the Flint (MI) sit-down strikes, workers occupied the General Motors factory, forcing it to stop operating. It succeeded in forcing General Motors to recognize the United Auto Workers Union as the one union for all its workers. It also touched off a wave of sit-down strikes of all sorts of other workers throughout the United States. Art Preis’s “Labor’s Giant Step” is an excellent history of the role these strikes played.