On 31st August, 1980, the Polish communist government gave in to the demands of the striking workers at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk. The workers were now free to organize and bargain freely.
There is no doubt that Reagan, Gorbachev and Thatcher played major roles in ending that vicious and dangerous period of history known as the Cold War. But we must never forget the vital role played by the epic struggles of Lech Welesa and his fellow workers in Gdansk.
It is a shame their extraordinary bravery was followed by rampant Reaganite globalization fueled by speculative consumer-capitalism, and leaves us today with a hard-hearted corporate-driven pre-emptive American hegemony, but still the original bravery deserves remembrance.
This is the 81st anniversary of the murder by the State of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.
What from the splendid dead
We have inherited -
Furrows sweet to the grain, and the weed subdued -
See now the slug and the mildew plunder.
Evil does not overwhelm
The larkspur and the corn;
We have seen them go under.
Let us sit here, sit still,
Here in the sitting-room until we die;
At the step of Death on the walk, rise and go;
Leaving to our children's children this beautiful doorway,
And this elm,
And a blighted earth to till
With a broken hoe.
-- Edna St Vincent Millay "Justice Denied in Massachusetts"
Lest we forget.
Chemical Warfare: August 9th 1961
Forty-seven years ago today, US aircraft sprayed dioxin-laced Agent Orange over the central highlands province of Kon Tum, Vietnam. This was the start of the largest and most sustained chemical warfare campaign launched by man against man.
Lest we forget the inhumanity of these war crimes.
August 6th, 1945
Sixty three years ago today, on a day that will live in perpetual infamy, the Americans made the first use of a nuclear weapon, destroying Hiroshima and killing 140,000 innocent civilians.
Nothing can forgive, and nothing can make us forget.
Free Marijuana Day!
On this date in 1937, FDR signed the Marijuana Tax Act, effectively making marijuana illegal. That worked well, didn't it? The legislation and its successors has made criminals of -- literally -- millions of Americans; it has ruined many millions more in affected families, and has created the incarceration crisis that threatens to overwhelm the US today.
In memory, therefore, it would be good to make August 2nd Free Marijuana from the Clutches of The Law Day.