Proudly afflicting the comfortable [and collecting shiny things] since March 2003

Send Magpie an email!


RSS Feeds
Click button to subscribe.

Subscribe to Magpie via Feedburner  Magpie's RSS feed via Bloglines
Add to Netvibes

Need a password?
Click the button!


Bypass 'free' registration!


Cost of the Iraq War [US$]
(JavaScript Error)
[Find out more here]

Hooded Liberty


BLOGS WE LIKE
3quarksdaily
Alas, a Blog
alphabitch
Back to Iraq
Baghdad Burning
Bitch Ph.D.
blac (k) ademic
Blog Report
Blogs by Women
BOPNews
Broadsheet
Burnt Orange Report
Confined Space
Cursor
Daily Kos
Dangereuse trilingue
Echidne of the Snakes
Effect Measure
Eschaton (Atrios)
feministe
Feministing
Firedoglake
Follow Me Here
gendergeek
Gordon.Coale
The Housing Bubble New!
I Blame the Patriarchy
Juan Cole/Informed Comment
Kicking Ass
The King's Blog
The Krile Files
Left Coaster
librarian.net
Loaded Orygun
Making Light
Marian's Blog
mediagirl
Muslim Wake Up! Blog
My Left Wing
NathanNewman.org
The NewsHoggers
Null Device
Orcinus
Pacific Views
Pandagon
The Panda's Thumb
Pedantry
Peking Duck
Philobiblon
Pinko Feminist Hellcat
Political Animal
Reality-Based Community
Riba Rambles
The Rittenhouse Review
Road to Surfdom
Romenesko
SCOTUSblog
The Sideshow
The Silence of Our Friends New!
Sisyphus Shrugged
skippy
Suburban Guerrilla
Talk Left
Talking Points Memo
TAPPED
This Modern World
The Unapologetic Mexican New!
veiled4allah
Wampum
War and Piece
wood s lot
xymphora

MISSING IN ACTION
Body and Soul
fafblog
General Glut's Globlog
Respectful of Otters
RuminateThis


Image by Propaganda Remix Project. Click to see more.


WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

If you like, you can send Magpie an email!



WHO LINKS TO MAGPIE?
Ask Technorati.
Or ask WhoLinksToMe.


Politics Blog Top Sites

Progressive Women's Blog Ring

Join | List |
Previous | Next | Random |
Previous 5 | Next 5 |
Skip Previous | Skip Next

Powered by RingSurf



Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Check to open links in new windows. Uncheck to see comments.


Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Solidarity forever.

That's not just some stale old labor slogan when you're a young woman growing up in a small Wyoming town, and your father's union goes out on a strike that turns out to be four years long. Over at the Daily Kos empire, a diarist using the name writerscramp tells the story of those four years, and more.

I think sometimes, especially in the first couple of years after the strike ended, my parents and the rest of the striking miners and their families probably looked back on the strike and wondered what they'd been fighting for, considering how it all turned out. What had they accomplished, really? All that sacrifice and heartache...for what?

For the future, is the answer. Watching my parents' struggle, this fight that seemed so impossible, we learned first-hand just what it really means to stand up for what you believe in. The words are easy to say and talk, as they say, is cheap. But when it comes down to it, to gambling your future, your family's future, on a principle and a trust in the people who share your beliefs, the actual act of standing up, fist held high, is one of the most courageous things you can ever do.

They had no guarantee that the rest of the people in the union wouldn't chicken out at the last minute, when push came to shove. Some of them did. There was no certainty they'd win. It wasn't money or benefits or anything else that made people like my stepdad vote to strike that September night in 1987. And principle, though laudable, doesn't pay the bills.

But he voted anyway.

I knew at the time that this experience was shaping me and my beliefs. Looking back, I realize just how deeply they shaped me. My parents, always Democrats, always politically active, believed in the responsibility of citizenship, that the price of freedom means participation and vigilance and standing up for what you believe in, no matter who else stands with you. When the unions in Poland and Czechoslovakia and other countries behind the Iron Curtain stood up to their government oppressors, and when that South African woman told us about her union's fight against apartheid, my parents stressed to us, over and over, just how much of a role the labor movement played in upholding democracy. "It wasn't the companies who fought for democracy in this country," they'd say, "it was people like us -- farmers, miners, factory workers. And you see it is this way in these other countries, too."

I've always been an activist at heart, either because of the way I was raised or the way my DNA lined up or a combination of both. But in the years since the strike, my natural tendency to tilt at windmills has been tempered by the understanding of what it means: you fight every day, not because of what you hope to achieve, but because it's the right thing to do. You'll never be guaranteed a win, no matter how righteous your cause; fighting the good fight doesn't mean you get a happy ending. But you fight for what's right anyway, because it's what's right. And if you're very, very lucky, others will stand to fight alongside you. This is how great changes happen.

The whole story is here. Make sure to read the comments — they're extensive and really interesting.

Via NathanNewman.org.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:59 AM | Get permalink




Liar, liar, pants on fire!


NEWS HEADLINES

Mail & Guardian [S. Africa]
NEWS LINKS
BBC News
CBC News
Agence France Presse
Reuters
Associated Press
Aljazeera
Inter Press Service
Watching America
International Herald Tribune
Guardian (UK)
Independent (UK)
USA Today
NY Times (US)
Washington Post (US)
McClatchy Washington Bureau (US)
Boston Globe (US)
LA Times (US)
Globe & Mail (Canada)
Toronto Star (Canada)
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
AllAfrica.com
Mail & Guardian (South Africa)
Al-Ahram (Egypt)
Daily Star (Lebanon)
Haaretz (Israel)
Hindustan Times (India)
Japan Times (Japan)
Asia Times (Hong Kong)
EurasiaNet
New Scientist News
Paper Chase
OpenCongress

COMMENT & ANALYSIS
Molly Ivins
CJR Daily
Women's eNews
Raw Story
The Gadflyer
Working for Change
Common Dreams
AlterNet
Truthdig
Truthout
Salon
Democracy Now!
American Microphone
rabble
The Revealer
Current
Editor & Publisher
Economic Policy Institute
Center for American Progress
The Memory Hole


Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll

IRISH MUSIC
Céilí House (RTE Radio)
TheSession.org
The Irish Fiddle
Fiddler Magazine
Concertina.net
Concertina Library
A Guide to the Irish Flute
Chiff & Fipple
Irtrad-l Archives
Ceolas
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
BBC Virtual Session
JC's ABC Tune Finder

SHINY THINGS
alt.portland
Propaganda Remix Project
Ask a Ninja
grow-a-brain
Boiling Point
Bruno
Cat and Girl
Dykes to Watch Out For
Library of Congress
American Heritage Dictionary
Dictonary of Newfoundland English
American's Guide to Canada
Digital History of the San Fernando Valley
MetaFilter
Blithe House Quarterly
Astronomy Pic of the Day
Earth Science Picture of the Day
Asia Grace
Gaelic Curse Engine
Old Dinosaur Books



ARCHIVES