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Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: Rebel Girl: An Autobiography; My First Life (1906-1926)

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(Article changed on March 13, 2013 at 20:17)

"We hated the rich, the trusts they owned, the violence they caused, the oppression they represented."

-Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

(Rebel Girl: An Autobiography; My First Life [1906-1926] pg. 46, 'CHILDHOOD AND EARLY YOUTH')

I write this article because this woman inspires me.  She was very brave and had a fire in her belly that could not be quenched; her thirst could not be alleviated, however, as her brothers and sisters would have to fight and die, in some cases, to keep the Corporate Machine from running roughshod over the People. And in honor of "International Women's Month," something that sprang from the origins of this woman's hard-work, sweat, blood, freedom, tears-and-determination.  Without her influence of which we would not be reading about.

This forceful woman stood against convention when women were to be "seen and not heard."  When they were supposed to "get in the kitchen!"  When they were supposed to bear children, and be a man's sexual device whenever he demanded, drunkenly a lot of times.  Back when there was the "rule of thumb," when a husband couldn't beat his wife with anything larger than the circumference of his thumb, legally.  I guess you have to have standards, so people can break them.

So I will be posting quotes from her book, "Rebel Girl: An Autobiography; My First Life (1906-1926)."  And I do so from my "notes" portion to keep this for posterity.  If you ask people if they have ever heard of this woman they will most likely say they've never heard of her.  Historians aside, most folks in the United States are not going to know the history of such a person, even though she was integral in the Women's Rights Movement on top of the Labor Fight, because of her "Socialist-Communist" ties. Hell, most "Americans" don't even know that Helen Keller was not only part of the Suffragette Movement, but was also a card-carrying Communist and Lesbian.  Your teachers will never tell you these things, as it runs counter the overall Propagated Message they (Power Structure) want you to know.  You are told to proudly recite and hold your unaware (right) hand over your untarnished, still-innocent heart, and recite the agenda-conditioned words, like good little robots.

The citizens of the United States would like to believe they are well-versed in the history of their own (misnomer) nation, but sadly, we are not.  Especially when it comes to "counter-culture" folks.  Anyone who deems themselves counter the Capitalism Agenda becomes cast as the Devil, immediately.  This is natural, this is fact, so there is no use denying its existence.  Self-preservation always turns into Propaganda.  Throughout history we know this, we see it and read about it, yet we continue enabling its continuance? 

So this piece shows how perception is the reality.  Her views on this Machine are apt.  She is not reaching.  Especially when you see how things are "progressing" now, under this Unchained Beast.  It shows that this is not "news," even if we had any of that anymore, we don't.  Not if you were listening to the correct speakers, anyway.  Any ideology unchecked, without a balance, will teeter and fall.  Rome did and now we intend to follow their lead, apparently.  More on that subject, too, at a later time, if we have any.

More evidence of the struggle and the reality:

"There were many small factories, veritable sweatshops, in the neighborhood, where children went to work as early as the law allowed and even younger.  They made paper boxes, pencils, shirts, handkerchiefs (at three dollars a week and bring your own thread).  There were larger factories employing adult labor--piano and refrigerator factories, a drug plant, and others.  Mothers worked too and many children were left alone; one boy was killed when a huge sewer pipe rolled over him;  a widow's only son fell from a swaying pole in a backyard, where he was putting up a clothes line, and was killed.  Children lost their legs on the railroad and under trucks on the streets.  The wife of the corner saloonkeeper (sic) made huge kettles of soup for free lunch and sent bowls of it around to the poorest families.  People helped each other as best they could.  Truly, as some philosopher said, 'Poverty is like a strange and terrible country.  Only those who have been there can really speak of it with knowledge.'

"An unforgettable tragedy of our childhood was the burning of the excursion boat, the General Slocum, in 1904.  It had left the Lower East Side loaded with women and children on a Sunday school picnic of the Lutheran Church.  When it reached Hellgate, a pot of fat upset and the kitchen took fire.  The captain tried to reach a dock at 138th Street.  By then the boat was an inferno.  A thousand people died as a result of burns or drowning.  The local undertakers' establishment were full of bodies.  The Alexander Avenue Police Station was a temporary morgue, where grief-stricken fathers and husbands rushed up from the East Side to claim their dead.  It was heart-rending to all of us in the neighborhood, like a disaster in a mining town.  Investigation showed that the boat was an old firetrap, with inadequate fire-fighting equipment and life preservers.  The captain, who did his best, was sent to prison, which cleared the company of responsibility for negligence.  It was considered one of the worst marine disasters up to that time.  The lives of working-class mothers and children were sacrificed to greed and corruption."

-Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

(Rebel Girl: An Autobiography; My First Life [1906-1926] pg. 38, 'CHILDHOOD AND EARLY YOUTH')

The Madness we have going on now is similar.  Corporations could care less about you, unless you're a consumer.  They would pay you nothing for your labor, if they could get away with it; they're getting away with it; the "minimum wage" in the United States, if applied correctly, should be around $21.00 an hour.  Any time you hear someone slandering the Labor Unions of our nation you hear a Corporation's Mouthpiece.  There are no rational reasons for an individual to have an anti-union stance, unless they represent a Corporation's Interests, of course.  This is why you will hear the "Pinheads" at FOX "NEWS" talk about the "'corruption' of Labor Unions," not that there isn't... but it's an organization, so of course there is corruption.  I am not condoning that behavior, but since we do not abolish the United States Court System, and all its Inequities, even though it's "corrupt."  We don't abolish most things we agree with, only the stuff we disagree with receives that distinction and delineation.

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