Friday, August 6, 2010
The Ludlow Massacre of 1914, provides an interesting historical mirror in which to view the corruption and brutality of the contemporary corporate mafia which runs America. Today the massacres (Waco, 9/11 etc aside) are largely held outside our borders in places like Afghanistan or Central America, but the same greed and callousness of the Rockefeller family is perhaps the continuing link, like a long skeletal vertebrae linking America's oppressive past to what might resemble our future.
This was the deadliest incident in the 14-month 1913-1914 southern Colorado Coal Strike. The strike was organized by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) against coal mining companies in Colorado. The three largest companies involved were the Rockefeller family-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron Company (CF&I), the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company (RMF), and the Victor-American Fuel Company (VAF). Ludlow, located 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Trinidad, Colorado, is now a ghost town...
...The fighting raged for the entire day. The militia was reinforced by non-uniformed mine guards later in the afternoon. At dusk, a passing freight train stopped on the tracks in front of the Guards' machine gun placements, allowing many of the miners and their families to escape to an outcrop of hills to the east called the "Black Hills." By 7:00 p.m., the camp was in flames, and the militia descended on it and began to search and loot the camp. Louis Tikas had remained in the camp the entire day and was still there when the fire started. Tikas and two other men were captured by the militia. Tikas and Lt. Karl Linderfelt, commander of one of two Guard companies, had confronted each other several times in the previous months. While two militiamen held Tikas, Linderfelt broke a rifle butt over his head. Tikas and the other two captured miners were later found shot dead. Their bodies lay along the Colorado and Southern tracks for three days in full view of passing trains. The militia officers refused to allow them to be moved until a local of a railway union demanded the bodies be taken away for burial.
During the battle, four women and eleven children had been hiding in a pit beneath one tent, where they were trapped when the tent above them was set on fire. Two of the women and all of the children suffocated. These deaths became a rallying cry for the UMWA, who called the incident the "Ludlow Massacre."
In addition to the fire victims, Louis Tikas and the other men who were shot to death, three company guards and one militiaman were killed in the day's fighting...
...A United States Commission on Industrial Relations (CIR), headed by labor lawyer Frank Walsh, conducted hearings in Washington, collecting information and taking testimony from all the principals, including John D. Rockefeller, Sr., who testified that, even after knowing that guards in his pay had committed atrocities against the strikers, he "would have taken no action" to prevent his hirelings from attacking them.
The video below with Aaron Russo ties the Rockefeller family into 9/11, the War on Terror, and the contemporary tragedy we are now living in. The bit about socialism at the end I find confusing however, since none of this has much to do with socialism of the modern democratic kind, and everything to do with greed, totalitarianism, plutocracy, corporatism, and gangster capitalism. But let's not get lost in labels. The viral strain of the Rockefeller family in American political history is the topic at hand.