Happy Independence Day TCCLC Sisters & Brothers,
As Americans we all know the history of July 4th The Founding Fathers, taxation without representation, the Boston Tea Party, and the start of the American Revolution against tyranny. We also know that even now, 241 years after the Declaration of Independence, the fight against tyranny continues.
As Union members and working class you also know the history of Labor’s struggles since the founding of our republic. The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the Haymarket Affair, the Pullman Strike, The Ludlow Massacre, PATCO and many other events in history that define our movement. Much like our republic was born out of the tyranny of King George, the American Labor movement was born out of revolution and workers struggle against the tyranny of organized money.
One comparison of history with the American Revolution and Labor’s fight on this July 4th could be the Boston Tea Party. History points to the Boston Tea Party as the beginning of the American Revolution. When Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty boarded cargo ships and dumped British tea ready to be sold to the colonies overboard in Boston harbor. This act of protest by the Sons of Liberty led the British Parliament to pass the Intolerable acts, which led to the first Continental Congress and eventually our Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776.
I think most Americans recall their history lesson from school and the get the take-away that it was ‘taxation without representation’. Which it was. But it wasn’t an increase in a tea tax by the British Parliament’s Tea act of 1773 that infuriated the Americans; it was the Tea Act’s tax subsidy to the British East India Company that lowered the British company’s taxes. The Tea Act cut the company’s tax so much that the East India Company could under-cut American tea traders. The colonist and Sons of Liberty knew this would create a monopoly for the British company and be devastating for American traders. The colonist came together in union to protest. The Sons of Liberty and the colonist were ‘organized labor’, the East India Company and the British were organized money. Taxation tyranny. Americans joined in union. Raised their voices to an injustice. Spoke out against organized money. And when the time came engaged in civil disobedience and started the American Revolution.
On this July 4th let us remember the Sons of Liberty as one of the first effective union protest. Their protest in union sparked the birth of our great nation. Unions today continue the struggle against today’s organized money and its imposed legislative tyranny. Today we are Sons (and Daughters) of Labor!
Hopefully you have the (Union won) holiday off with pay and can spend time with family and friends.
Enjoy the day!
Thanks for all you do for Labor. Keep up the good fight!