Posted tagged ‘American history’

You say you want a revolution: Soundtracks for Change in American Protest Movements

2011/10/14

Recently, Tom Morello gave an interview with Keith Obermann on the Occupy movement that has sprung up in the United States, Canada, and across the Atlantic. The musician behind the Nightwatchman and guitarist for Rage Against the Machine spoke of the importance of music and culture in political change, saying that in America, “every successful, progressive, radical or revolutionary movement this country has ever seen has had a great soundtrack.”

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You Have a Friend Request. It’s America.

2011/07/05

Ever wonder what would happen if the United States of America joined Facebook?

Well, this here link will take you to a good guess of what would likely be on the USA’s wall: Like it or Unfriend it

They were different times, and good riddance

2011/04/26

March on Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, summer of '64

A spy force specializing in repression. Police beatings. Documents hidden away for decades. Wild accusations with no merit leading to harsh crackdowns.

In a land where individual freedom is supposed to be so important, it’s hard to believe that less than 50 years ago, state-sponsored activity like the above took place. Against people that simply wanted to live the American dream.

In files found in the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office just recently, that’s exactly the story that they tell. Fearful of integration and spurred on by Edgar J. Hoover’s nutball theory that the members of the Civil Rights movement were raging communists, Alabama Governor George Wallace created “the Commission to Preserve the Peace.” Robespierre would have been proud. When it came to fighting integration, the commission could basically do whatever they wanted…And they didn’t want to hand out candy.

Here’s an article from the Tuscaloosa News on the release of the documents, and what that information does to fill in some important holes in the Civil Rights Era:

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Sing a Song for Joe Hill

2010/11/19

Some say Joe Hill died on this day. In 1915. He was executed by a firing squad in the state of Utah. One night two men had been murdered in what seemed like a tale of revenge, and Joe Hill got the blame. He didn’t have no reason for killing those two men, but then again he didn’t have no alibi for why he had suffered a gunshot wound that same night.

The two men, they said, had been murdered by a man who had got himself shot too. Joe Hill hadn’t been a friend of the state of Utah – he was a Wobblie – a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. The I.W.W. still exists today, and in Hill’s time they were leading the charge for workers’ rights (for little things like the weekend and an eight hour work day). Hill served as the I.W.W.’s songsmith – he took old gospel standards and turned them into worker anthems.

Joe Hill

Joe Hill

Unfortunately, we don’t have a time machine to go back and find out the truth about Joe Hill. But many folks believed then, and many folks still believe now, that the trial of Joe Hill was a farce. That he wasn’t guilty of no murders, but he was being blamed because he organized workers, and that meant less money for the Big Wigs, Fat Cats, and those otherwise involved with getting rich off the poor. They saw their chance to get rid of Hill and they took it.

And why didn’t Hill have an alibi? Well some would tell you that Joe Hill was in the arms of a married woman, and revealing the affair would have ruined her life. So he gave his life to save her.

But some say Joe Hill didn’t die that day.

And some sang songs about him. Here’s a few of ’em.

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