Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy birthday, Eugene V. Debs

It is the birthday of Socialist activist Eugene V. Debs (1855), who ran unsuccessfully for President five times as the leader of the Socialist Party. In 1905, he helped organize the Industrial Workers of the World, the labor union bent on abolishing capitalism and wage labor. The radical group known as the Wobblies attracted anarchists and socialists as well as women, African Americans, Asians and immigrants at a time when those groups were not embraced by other labor movements. Here is a reenactment of a 1918 antiwar speech given by Debs for which he was imprisoned.

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