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steve early

‘Bread and roses’ strike resonates

By Steve Early
January 11, 2012
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One hundred years ago tomorrow, thousands of angry textile workers abandoned their looms and poured into the frigid streets of Lawrence. Like Occupy Wall Street in our own gilded age, this unexpected grassroots protest cast a dramatic spotlight on the problem of social and economic inequality. In all of US labor history, there are few better examples of the synergy between radical activism and indigenous militancy. The work stoppage now celebrated as the ”Bread and Roses Strike” was triggered, ironically, by a Progressive-era reform that backfired.

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