now is the best time for a general strike

Strike Now

Once electric power was shut down, bringing the cars to a complete halt, it took only a matter of days to settle...

The Bloomington Illinois Streetcar Strike of 1917

A worn marker on Bloomington's Constitutional Trail tells the story:

Bloomington's most dramatic labor struggle took place here in 1917, during a streetcar workers' strike. Protesting their 9-1/2-hour days at $1.75 per day, streetcar workers formed a union in April 1917 and were immediately fired by the company. The fired workers called a strike. The company brought in replacement workers. On July 5, 1917 a nationally prominent labor leader, 87-year-old Mary "Mother" Jones spoke at a strike support rally. The audience, emboldened by her words stopped streetcars in the square and then marched down Madison Street from Downtown Bloomington. Confronting the Mayor and the police chief across the railroad tracks, they demanded the electric power station here be closed, which would stop the streetcars. They won; the next day 1,500 National Guard troops were brought downtown and encamped around the Old Courthouse Square. The streetcar company, owned by U.S. Congressman William McKinley of Champaign, finally agreed to negotiate, and a first contract was won for Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees Local 752 in Bloomington. Bloomington's last streetcar ran in 1936, but transit workers today are still members of Local 752.

Manifesto for General Strike in the United States 2021

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