Bread and Roses




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Published on Apr 24, 2011

Vocals and watercolors by Kate Vikstrom (www.katevikstrom.com)
Dedicated to the belief that the world and its abundance belongs to all of us--not only to a privileged few:

Bread and Roses was a poem and song that emerged during the women's millworker strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1912. Women were fighting for fair wages, child labor laws, overtime pay, fair working conditions. Part of their strike proclamation read:

"We, the 20,000 textile workers of Lawrence, are out on strike for the right to live free from slavery and starvation; free from overwork and underpay; free from a state of affairs that had become so unbearable and beyond our control, that we were compelled to march out of the slave pens of Lawrence in united resistance against the wrongs and injustice of years and years of wage slavery."

This song came to mind recently because of the workers who are fighting for jobs, and for their union bargaining rights--fighting against the rich and powerful who seem to be trying to make workers and labor unions the enemy. My heart goes out to all who struggle for bread and roses.


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