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|Laborfest: Film:The Mine Wars|
|Date||Friday July 08|
|Time||7:00 PM - 9:00 PM|
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518 Valencia at 16th St., San Francisco. 16th St BART.
The Mine Wars (120 min.) (2016) Directed by: Randall MacLowry
The largest labor rebellion since the US civil war is the focus of this powerful documentary.
This documentary examines the lives and conditions of miners in West Virginia and their effort to organize. It also included Mother Jones who supported their early organizing efforts. Following the First World War the miners who had supported the war thought they would get rewarded with better conditions, pay, and benefits. Instead, the mine owners mobilized to crush their union and struggle for good labor conditions.
The miners decided to organize after the assassination on August 1, 1921 of Sid Hatfield, the pro-union chief of police, by mine guards in broad daylight. Over 10,000 miners decided to arm and free their fellow union members who had been jailed in mass repression of miner organizers and workers. This followed the 1920 Matewan massacre in Mingo County where Hatfield had resisted the mine owner thugs and 7 were killed along with the mayor.
This important film shows that far from supporting the miners, the US government mobilized the army to attack the miners, even dropping bombs on them from US bi-planes. This battle on Blair Mountain is one of the most important labor battles in US history.
Mother Jones 1837-1930
Sid Hatfield 1891-1921
Matewan Massacre May 19, 1920
Battle of Blair Mountain August 25 to September 2, 1921