On this day April 20th, 1914, the National Guard and Colorado Fuel & Iron Company cguards carry out the Ludlow massacre. National guardsmen attack a camp housing 1,200 striking miners and their families, in Ludlow, Colorado, on strike because miners at the time were severely underpaid , combined with unfair working conditions and continued victimisation of union activists.
It would lead to the machine gunning of strikers, their tents being set on fire, at the end of the day twelve children, two women, two miners and a bystander had been murdered. As news of the massacre spread, workers from across the county went on strike to show solidarity. Several cities in the state were taken over and occupied by miners and even some National Guardsmen even laid down their arms and refused to use them.
However workers failed to obtain their demands, along with union recognition, no guardsman either ever persecuted over the killings even though sixty six people had been killed by the time violence ended and the full course of the strike. One of the most deadliest attacks by corporate power on striking workers in U.S history.
Lest we forget. Unions learnt from Ludlow, fought back strong, and were able to forge and implement new forms of welfare support and working class power. Over the years with stricter labour laws and increased enforcement of them curtailed the right of employees and gave strength to those in unions. So that business leaders are denied repeating the abuses of old. Long may this be so.
Woody Guthrie - Ludlow Massacre