Back before the 8-hour workday,
back before the living wage,
children worked in factories,
they worked in the Gilded Age.
The government didn’t care;
they called it laissez faire.
Workers were dying in factories,
children died of lead poisoning.
Herein lies the setting:
the battle between Labor & Capital.
The great upheaval of 1886
How the Other Half Lives.
People of the Abyss
The Country almost went Socialist.
The Gilded Age set the stage;
recall the Robber Barons:
fat boys getting fatter
hungry ones stay in line
Rockefellers getting richer,
keep it moving down the line.
Robbers Controlled the Currency,
barons controlled the Country.
Harrison Gray Otis,
the Publisher of the LA Times
didn’t care about Workers Rights;
that’s why the
LA Times building
did it’s dance with dynamite.
They called it The Crime of the Century.
The shot heard around the world.
It was a response to poverty,
a response to dying little girls.
The Struggle for Justice
inspired social awakening.
Mother Mary Jones organized Progressives
she gathered the underdogs.
Tired of toxic meat,
tired of industrial danger,
tired of Twelve-hour shifts,
tired of child labor.
Coal miners called labor strikes
unafraid of facing fights
they believed in an Eye for an eye,
they even used Dynamite!
Two Thousand Seventeen
the Gilded Age again
Bills piling up & families are hoping,
to rescue their homes from foreclosure.
put profit over public interest
merchants of Doubt
reapers of Dividends
Americans for Prosperity
manipulators of Public Opinion
teaching false history
just to justify greed;
masses manipulated by moguls
owners of oil companies.
School windows are always broken
students are always throwing bricks
force-fed the state standards;
force-fed the censorship.
If it weren’t for a guilty verdict
of the McNamara Brothers,
a Socialist named Job Harriman
would have become LA’s Mayor.
500 Socialists were elected
across the nation by Autumn 1911.
A century later the struggle continues,
progressives still organize strikes,
the struggle for justice will never be broken
workers will always fight for their rights!
Photo: The aftermath of the LA Times building, following the 1910 bombing that killed 21 and injured many more.