Plutocracy: Political Repression in the U.S.A.

Oct 15, 2023 | Political, Videos

In the days when thousands of men worked in the mines, each mining camp was under the dominion of the company and had a law enforcement officer who was on the pay roll. The company store monopolized the goods that were sold to the workers. They even had control over the education system; they only hired those teachers that agreed with their views and only allowed textbooks that had been approved by the company. Doctors and lawyers were appointed by the company to keep injured employees from collecting payment for damages for the many catastrophic accidents that put their lives at risk. The laws were the company’s rules and the working conditions were cruel and heartless. They had no voice and at any moment any one of them was at risk of being fired, beaten, or shot, in fact more men were killed and crippled by the coal industry than during any battle of the civil war.

The miners saw themselves as industrial slaves and when Mary Harris Jones, an Irish-American schoolteacher and labor activist, appeared on the scene, they were ready to rebel against their masters. The company fought back and organized a series of police raids where they openly killed and injured dozens of men.

As the mining of coal pushed the U.S. economy to new heights, the men and boys who drew it from the ground continued to be considered ‘expendable’. This led to miners organizing themselves in order to fight back and demand that their rights be respected.

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David B