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Seattle General Strike / Water Wars / St. Patrick Battalion / Equal Access

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Uploaded on Mar 2, 2009

Seattle General Strike
It is the 90th anniversary of the Seattle General Strike, the first general strike in US history, and one of only a few ever to occur in this country. PepperSpray was there at the King County Labor Temple to record the celebration, and over several shows we will bring you bits and pieces of this fascinating moment in Labor history. We begin with the introduction, provided by James Gregory, Chair of the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. One surprise he unveiled was a proclamation from Washington State's governor declaring 2009 a year to acknowledge the state's labor heritage. Governor Gregoire's proclamation noted that it is 100 years since the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) fought for free speech in the streets of Spokane; 90 years since the IWW was besieged by angry vigilantes in the Centralia Tragedy; 90 years since the Seattle General Strike shut down the city; the 75th anniversary of the waterfront strikes which birthed the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Much to the delight of the crowd, the proclamation also noted with pride that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Seattle "Battle In Seattle" WTO protests. Amazing how they call out the troops on us in the midst of struggle, and later call out those times as our finest hours.

For those interested in labor history, the proud legacy of struggle, or this not-well-known chapter in Seattle history will appreciate this series, beginning with "Indymedia Presents" #342.

Water Wars
The Common Language Project, a Seattle-based collective of journalists, provides first-rate reportage on social justice issues from around the world, with a specific focus on stigmatized regions and peoples under-represented in corporate media. They gave us this piece by Alex Stonehill and Sarah Stuteville, called "Troubled Waters," done as part of their "Water Wars" reports. Over 30 million people rely on East Africa's Lake Victoria for their livelihoods. But lake levels have dropped dramatically in recent years. Climate change, hydroelectric dam projects and increasing pressure on its threatened resources have some environmentalists suggesting the lake may be destroyed within twenty years. For more info about this topic or the Common Language Project, go to www.clpmag.org.

St. Patrick Battalion
David Rovics sings this song, which we filmed a while back at a concert for Utah Phillips. We present it here for all those who want more substance than green beer and superficial shenanigans on St. Patrick's Day. This is based on the true story of Irish immigrants who arrived in Boston just in time to be drafted in the US war against Mexico. The Irish were shocked at the anti-Catholic rhetoric and misbehavior of the US troops and a large number went over to the side of Mexico, forming the St. Patrick Battalion.

They say that on St. Patrick's Day we're all Irish. If so, then we can all celebrate these brave Irishmen who chose humanity over uniform. For more music from David Rovics, go to his website: www.davidrovics.com.

Equal access is a right, not a privilege
We end the show with a Pepperspray public service announcement, made in conjunction with students at the Washington State School For the Blind.

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