Triangle Fire

if you haven't seen it yet,
i highly recommend PBS's American Experience: Triangle Fire(2011)
(see local listings) also streaming on Netflix.

while watching this documentary i could not help
but think how there are some, even within our own union,
who would have us return to a time when collective bargaining
 was a very costly and deadly pipe dream.

 i' ve just finished reading TRIANGLE - The Fire That Changed America
 by David Von Drekle. it covers events leading up to the city-wide work stoppage
 which preceded the fire, where young women from the Triangle Factory took the lead
 even opposing our own AFL founder Sam Gompers who thought such a strike was ill-advised.

the book recounts the fire itself, in gruesome detail. and it closes with
an outstanding accounting of the trial against the factory owners on
charges of manslaughter. (they were found innocent!!!!)

there are many events commemorating the 100th Anniversary
of this tipping point in Labor History,
one such event that i am looking forward to is the New School's
premiere of "From the Fire".

From the Fire, is a dramatic oratorio created by the Tony-nominated composerElizabeth Swados, writer and director,
 Cecilia Rubino, and poet, Paula Finn, and designed by Bonnie Roche-Bronfman.
 It both recalls the event and explores its relevance in the 21st century.
 The piece will be mounted and performed by Lang theater students
 at the historic Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square (two blocks from the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory)
 during the week of the fire’s 100th anniversary, March 23–27, 2011.

more info:


‘Help Us! Help Us! Help Us Now!’

New Oratorio Captures a Fire’s Terror

Read more:

Cornell University hosts:
Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire
 You will find original documents, oral histories, and photographs.
 You can hear and read first-hand accounts by survivors and others
 that will provide a glimpse into the lives of workers
 and a sense of the horrors of a factory fire that claimed the lives of 146 young workers.

oh, oh, oh,
 APRIL 5th marks the 100th anniversary
of the largest funeral procession ever held in New York
 in memoriam for the Triangle Fire victims.
120,000 persons marched, 300,000 lined up on the sidewalks 
to watch for the four hours it took for the march to pass.

to commemorate this event we in our shop at West Street
 will be asking our members to dress black in mourning,
perhaps you would like to do the same.


“The man who has his millions will want everything he can lay his hands on
 and then raise his voice against the poor devil who wants ten cents more a day.”

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