To South Africans and Australians alike, rugby is not just a sport, but a cultural symbol. In the 1960s and early 1970s, it was also a unifying force between apartheid South Africa and its “white neighbor by the sea”—Australia. At the time, Australia had in place many racist policies that discriminated against Aboriginal peoples and the Australian public was only beginning to gain an awareness of both the domestic and international issues of human rights at stake.
The Asturian strikes that occurred in the summer of 1963 were the second major challenge to the Franco dictatorship over the span of one year. The first challenge had occurred in the spring of 1962 (see “Spanish coal miners challenge Franco dictatorship, 1962”). As with the strikes in 1962, the 1963 strikes began in the privately owned mines of Asturias during the last week of July 1963. In total, the miners’ executed their strike for 60 days, finally stopping the strike at the end of September. By the end about 40,000 to 50,000 workers had participated in the campaign.
The strikes in April and May of 1962 in Asturias (the coal mining center of Spain) were executed by the miners of Asturias and were a direct challenge to General Francisco Franco’s regime. Although the mines were privately owned and operated, the state dictated the wage rate and workers’ rights. The Spanish Communist Party played a significant role in the working class’s success against the fascist dictatorship. The “economic stabilization plan” created by the Franco government called for a wage freeze.
Following World War I, Canada was suffering massive unemployment and inflation. A wave of unsuccessful strikes across Canada, the 1917 overthrow of the Tsarist regime in Russia, and the growth of revolutionary industrial unionism created an atmosphere of labor unrest in a country that had almost no labor regulations.
In March 1919, diverse labor leaders met in Calgary in Western Canada to discuss the creation of an industrial union to be called the One Big Union to work for higher wages, improved working conditions, official union recognition and collective bargaining.
In 1958 the women farmers of the Kom and Kedjom areas of the Western Grassfields, now part of modern day Cameroon, were angered by a number of changes which they interpreted as systematically decreasing the power of women farmers. These included the increasing frequency of the nomadic Fulani’s cows coming onto their fields and eating their crops, a law stating that they must switch to a new type of farming called contour cultivation, and rumors that that the KNC (the Kamerun National Congress, a political group that had aligned itself with Nigeria and in 1958 had secured nearly comple
In July 1975, the Dahe Dam on the Dahe River in Shanyang Township, southern China, was completed. The environmental toll of the project accumulated within months. Upstream of the dam, rising waters swamped homes and farmland, while downstream, water coming from the spillways scoured away riverbank, causing widespread erosion and loss of fertile land. The government anticipated a certain amount of upstream flooding, and accordingly compensated the affected population and relocated them when necessary. In the haste to complete the project, however, the engineers had ne
On July 14, 2002, members of ADAPT (formerly Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit) blocked in five governors’ courtesy SUVs and harassed participants at the National Governors Association (NGA) Conference in downtown Boise, Idaho, in an attempt to gain support for the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act, or MiCASSA. ADAPT developed MiCASSA with the intention to help people with disabilities on Medicaid choose whether to spend their support services money on nursing homes or on personal care attendants.
Icelanders overthrow top power holders responsible for economic crisis (Kitchenware Revolution), 2008-9
At the dawn of the financial crisis, Iceland was controlled by the Independent Party, a right-wing party with decidedly neo-liberal economic policies. Over the past 19 years, banks had been privatized, regulations cut, and the corporate tax rate lowered to 18%. Personal income tax, on the other hand, was held at 36%, regardless of income. As global concern over bank failures grew, the Icelandic government continued to assure citizens that all was well. However, in September 2008, the Icelandic bank Glitner failed, followed closely by the remaining Icelandic banks, Landsbanki and Kaupthing.
In 1934 it had been a successful year for strikes in Milwaukee, which emboldened retail clerks at Sears, Roebuck and Company, and the Boston Store to demand higher wages. At the time most clerks earned below $14 a week, which they called “starvation wages.”
On 6 August 1996, Argentinean General Fuel Company, also known as Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC), signed a contract with the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Ecuador without consultation of Kichwa natives of Sarayaku. The contract allowed CGC to exploit and explore 200,000 hectares of Block 23.
The Colombian military and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas have been at war since 1964. Colombian citizens, especially indigenous, are often caught in the crossfire between the two armies. Both the government and FARC have forced children to fight for them.
In 1974, workers at seven textile plants in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina owned by the J. P. Stevens company voted to be represented by the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). However, the company refused to sign a contract with the new union. In 1976, the TWUA merged with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) to form the American Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (ACTWU). The new union immediately launched a campaign to pressure J. P. Stevens to sign a union contract.
Tuba Group factory workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stood up against
exploitation in the summer of 2014. The company, in which five factories
made products for businesses like Walmart and H&M, had become
notorious in recent years for some of the lowest employee wages in the
world (about US $38 a month) and the 2012 “Tarzeen factory fire” that
killed 112 workers. Since February of 2014, Delwar Hossain, the owner of
the group, had been in jail for the workplace negligence that lead to
the tragedy. However, workers continued to face unfair treatment.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” injects a mixture of water, sand and
chemicals under high pressure into dense shale rock formations to crack
the rock and release oil and/or natural gas. Oil companies began using
the process around 1950, but only in the mid 2000’s did it become a
widespread environmental issue as energy companies began developing new
ways to find oil and gas as the cheaper, easier sources were depleting.
One geologic formation, called the Marcellus Shale, included about 1/3
of southern New York state, including the Catskill mountains and the New