Storming the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

french-revolution-bastille-day-1024x843On the morning of July 14th, 1789, a group formed of craftsmen and salesmen decided to fight back and ran to the Invalides to steal some weapons.
The mob stole 28,000 riffles there, however no powder was to be found.
The crowd knew that a pile of powder was stocked in the Bastille, a prison that was a symbol of the King’s absolute and arbitrary power.
So they decided to attack it.
At the time of the storming, the Bastille was only guarded by a few soldiers. There were 80 “invalides”, veteran soldiers wounded in the field and around 30 grenadiers from the Swiss mercenary regiments.
Marquis Bernard-Rene de Launay was at the time governor of the “Invalides.
The Storming of the Bastille and the Arrestation of Governor de Launay. Source: Anonymous.
Read more via Storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789 |

A Tribute to Terry Miller.

from Australian Associated Press and Rod Parham
South Australian asbestos campaigner Terry Miller OAM has been remembered for his “tireless” advocacy work after he died aged 76.
Mr Miller developed severe asbestosis following two decades working for James Hardie in Adelaide’s north and went on to form a group that provides practical support to victims and their families.
“There are very few people who have worked so tirelessly, for so many years, to help so many people,” Asbestos Victims Association of South Australia president Kat Burge said on Friday.
Mr Miller became secretary of the Asbestos Victims Association after asbestosis forced his early retirement in 2002.
The organisation lobbied the state’s parliament to pass legislation aimed at fast-tracking the compensation process for victims.
“Terry knew first-hand just how terrible asbestos diseases are, but he used that personal experience to fight for the rights of fellow asbestos victims,” Ms Burge said.
Mr Miller is survived by his two children, Karen and Scott, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Terry Miller was a very special man, an active member of his Union the Vehicle Division of the AMWU he was a great person to have on your side during a struggle.
The respect that Terry had gained in his advocacy for asbestos victims was truly inspiring.
He was not a man to be trifled with and was clear in what he wanted for his clients. He was from the Riverland I believe, and spoke with the honesty that only ‘bushies’ do.
Terry will be missed sure but what a Legacy he leaves for asbestos suffers everywhere. Thanks Old Mate. RP

Save Our ABC from Privatisation.

Why do they want to get rid of Our ABC?

The Turnbull Government – abashed by truthful reporting – just slashed $83 million from our ABC.

Added to Tony Abbott’s 2014 cuts, that’s over $320 million gutted from our public broadcaster.

And now the Liberals have passed a Motion at their Conference to Privatise the ABC.

The ABC’s Managing Director says these cuts will make it hard to function as they should, and after the last round of cuts, we lost Lateline.

If these latest cuts go through, we could be watching the final episodes of Four Corners or The 7:30 Report.

Even more concerning, Pauline Hanson is mounting a hostile parliamentary review of the ABC and SBS, designed to interfere with their charters and editorial content.

It’s a dream come true for Rupert Murdoch and the Conservative think tanks who’ve been fighting for years to cut, gut and destroy our ABC.

We have to fight back.

Fortunately, the ABC is one of the most liked and respected organisations in Australia

Here’s just a small sample of what may never have come to light without our ABC:

    • The horrors of the live export trade, sparking a huge campaign8
    • Institutional child abuse in Don Dale detention centre, which lead to a Royal Commission

These new cuts are clear political payback for the ABC’s honest reporting on the Turnbull Government’s corporate tax cuts and for daring to describe Tony Abbott as ‘destructive’ on climate change

If they go through, it could have a chilling effect on ABC reporting on our elected leaders.

It’s not just the fate of our ABC that’s at stake, but also the right of all Australians to hold the government of the day to account.

An attack on our ABC is an attack on democracy,

Rod Parham

Helen Keller, Blind and Radical.


Helen Keller joined the Socialist Party of America and campaigned for Eugene Debs and his running-mate, Emil Seidel, in the 1912 Presidential Election.
During the campaign Debs explained why people should vote for him: “You must either vote for or against your own material interests as a wealth producer; there is no political purgatory in this nation of ours, despite the desperate efforts of so-called Progressive capitalists politicians to establish one.
Debs and Seidel won 901,551 votes (6.0%). This was the most impressive showing of any socialist candidate in the history of the United States.
A book on Keller’s socialist views, “Out of the Dark”, was published in 1913.
She later wrote “I had once believed that we are all masters of our fate – that we could mould our lives into any form we pleased.
I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life’s struggle.
But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about. I forgot that I owed my success partly to the advantages of my birth and environment.
Now, however, I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone.”
Hattie Schlossberg wrote in the New York Call: “Helen Keller is our comrade, and her socialism is a living vital thing for her. All her speeches are permeated with the spirit of socialism.
Photo: Helen Keller with a fellow traveler Charlie Chaplin.
via Helen Keller.

Victorian Women deal with a Wife Beater, 1878.


Author Jeremy Clay tells the tale of the Victorian women who dealt with a violent man.
Let’s begin at the end, and go straight to the moral – don’t mess with the women of the Forest of Dean.
Cowering by a village pond, braced to be ducked by an angry mob, the wretch at the heart of this story learned that lesson the hard way.
It was a summer’s day in 1878 when life went awry for the Gloucestershire miller. He’d been summoned to appear before the magistrates in Coleford for neglecting to send his child to school.
By the time he got home, he was seething with rage, and took out his fury on his wife, vowing to do the same to his kid.
As the ugly commotion grew, a neighbour set off to alert the police, but help was closer at hand. News of the brutality had spread fast, and a makeshift army of women soon gathered at the wife-beater’s door.
When he spotted them, 40 strong and in no mood to knock, he bolted straight upstairs to hide. That might have been a better plan if he had a) a larger house or b) more in the way of furniture to lurk behind.
As it was, the villagers surged in and instantly found their quarry, ripping away half his clothes and dragging him outside.
“Then,” said the Gloucester Citizen, “in a manner unmentionable to ears polite, these Amazonian women administered the punishment so familiar to English boys, and in no respect less severe or mortifying in its character.”
A rabble’s thirst for DIY justice is rarely so readily quenched, though. Once they’d finished flogging him with whatever stopgap weapons were to hand, they frogmarched him to the millpond, with the collective urge to turn an old convention on its head. This time round, a crowd of women would duck a man.
At the water’s edge, the trembling miller fell to his knees and begged for mercy. He got it, too, after promising solemnly that he’d never raise a fist to his wife or child again.
But just to be on the safe side, he was drenched with a few buckets of water before being let free, shuffling off, in the words of the Cheltenham Chronicle, “a wetter and wiser man”.
Illustrated Police News image provided by The British Library Board.
via BBC News – Victorian Strangeness: The tale of the women who turned vigilante.

The New York Newsboys strike of 1889.

11Above: Great photo of Brooklyn newsboys, 1900, photograph by Lewis Hine.
One hundred and twenty seven years ago, hundreds of newsboys took to the streets in protest at unfair pricing and competition practices. It was not their first time and, most memorably, it would not be their last.
“For an hour or two they made things very lively on Park Row,” said the New York Times, “parading the street and stirring up a great commotion.”
The newsboys strike which occurred ten years later, the inspiration for the film and Broadway musical Newsies, a major labor protest that lasted almost two weeks and actually affected the sales of New York’s major newspapers.
Battles between newspapers and their youngest independent employees had been waged several times in the past, mostly because publishers could reintroduce bad business practices once a certain generation of newsboys grew out of their jobs.
It would not be until the 20th century that newsstands — and the adults that owned them — would become the primary source for selling papers.
Three years earlier, in 1886, a strike by Brooklyn newsies against publishers in that city sparked riots that lasted almost two days. Brooklyn boys would also join their Manhattan counterparts in protest on August 12, 1889.
The newsies strike in 1889 would be unsuccessful, but it’s notable for being incredibly similar to the more famous strike ten years later.
In 1889, the Evening World (the newspaper of Joseph Pulitzer) and the Evening Sun (owned by Charles Dana) bumped up the price of their bundles of 100 papers from 50 cents to 60 cents.
The kids revolted. Pulitzer’s paper would pull this same tactic ten years later on a new batch of newsies, this time raising the prices due to the popularity of the (largely media manufactured) Spanish-American War.
When the war was over and sales decreased, the World attempted to keep the higher price, joined in this scheme by William Randolph Hearst and his New York Journal. The kids again revolted, but more successfully.
Newsies were usually depicted in the press one of two ways — pathetic whelps who latched on to any sign of good will or little criminals who were up to no good. There was truth in both of these characterizations, but the stereotypes were often exaggerated.
The Times coverage of the 1889 strike upon the newspaper’s competitors focused on the newsboys delinquent ways. Of the strike, “[a] number of fights followed, and some of the boys were very roughly handled.” A couple of teenagers were dragged to the Tombs Prison Court, one for assaulting a police officer.
This less organized affair devolved into street gangs and attacks upon other newsies. “Several of the delivery wagons on the uptown routes had a serious time of it. All the way up Broadway and on the west side they were followed by a howling mob of half-grown men and boys, who showered them with volleys of stones and brickbats at every opportunity.”
At some point in the next decade, the price decreased back to 50 cents again. When publishers would again attempt to raise the price, they would be met by a larger and more organized force.
via The Bowery Boys: New York City History: Newsboys strike 125 years ago, but it wasn’t yet a musical.