Mother! thou shouldst be living at this hour;
America hath need of thee. – With thanks to William Wordsworth.
Born 1 August 1837 – Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, American schoolteacher, labor and community organizer, and co-founder of the Industrial Workers of the World.
In 1902, Mother Jones was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in organizing workers and their families against mine owners. She would be just as dangerous today, since her edgy eloquence might help awaken Americans to the fact that they are in thrall to McWorld – a trance-like condition in which they have been tricked into believing that buying things is synonymous with having a happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life – and that this state of affairs allows the greedy few to exploit the impoverished many.
Some quotes from Mother Jones:
“I am not afraid of the pen, or the scaffold, or the sword. I will tell the truth wherever I please.”
“I believe that no man who holds a leader’s position should ever accept favors from either side. He is then committed to show favors. A leader must stand alone.”
“I learned in the early part of my career that labor must bear the cross for others’ sins, must be the vicarious sufferer for the wrongs that others do.”
“I’m not a humanitarian; I’m a hell-raiser.”
“If they want to hang me, let them. And on the scaffold I will shout Freedom for the working class!”
“Injustice boils in men’s hearts as does steel in its cauldron, ready to pour forth, white hot, in the fullness of time.”
“My address is like my shoes. It travels with me. I abide where there is a fight against wrong.”
“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”
“Some day the workers will take possession of your city hall, and when we do, no child will be sacrificed on the altar of profit!”
“The miners lost because they had only the constitution. The other side had bayonets. In the end, bayonets always win.”