Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Joe Hill (7/10/1879 -19/11/15) - An Injury to one is an injury to all.

Today I offer a poem in rememberance of Joe Hill, on the anniversary of the murder by the state of this itinerant worker, labour activist and singer songwriter of the Industrial Workers of the world, who gave rise to the labour motto ' An injury to one is an injury to all.'
Born Joel Haggland  in Sweden, he came to  the U.S.A  on 1902. Active in the Labour movement  throughout his live,  in January 1914, he was arrested in Salt Lake City and accused of murder. He died proclaiming  his innocence. From his conviction  to his death he became an icon for workers everywhere,  and his subsequent  execution sent echoes around the world. For many his spirit and his legacy lives on.
Two earlier posts of mine can be found here :-

Through the dusty ages,
the earth creaks and moans,
dark shadows try to break people bones,
the air is still , thick with mire,
daily each border, delivers human shame,
parasites still create walls of oppression,
build bloodstained monuments that can't thwart hope,
because the mighty human spirit, carries taverns of memory,
within us all, lay rivers of resistance.

Standing together we are strong,
in our palms, another world glows,
with unity's strength, 
we set people free,
no tyrant's grip ,
can ever stop us,
we serve the weak and defenceless,
protecting with dignity and defiance.

Today we remember,
when Joe Hill was shot down,
his enduring dream survives, 
gives us strength,
shoulder to shoulder, 
solidarity lives,
an injury to one,
is an injury to all.

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