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Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut’s immigrant ‘crisis’ not its first

The good people of Connecticut are terrified that society will be overrun by the dangerous, ignorant foreigners and their strange religion. Politicians fan the flames of prejudice to increase their personal popularity with voters. Editorial cartoonists depict these immigrants as less than human, with animal-like features. Sometimes the caricatures show the foreigners with weapons, including bombs, primed for use against innocent civilians. This scenario sounds like today’s Muslim refugees from Syria, but it’s not. It was the life of the immigrant Irish of the 1850s.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut’s intersection with women’s suffrage

On Nov. 13, two historical events in the women’s movement will intersect. First is the new film Suffragette which chronicles the British campaign to win the vote for women, led in large measure by Emmeline Pankhurst. The second is a talk by Pankhurst to a Hartford audience in 1913. Her presentation is considered one of the century’s most significant speeches.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Unions in Connecticut — and the need for them — thrive

If there is dignity in all work, why isn’t there dignity for all workers? It’s a question worth considering this Labor Day. Throughout history, when working people have become “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” they have organized unions. This is how they broke the back of sweatshops in this country. And how they forced the end of child labor, so 10-year old kids could attend free public schools instead — another successful labor demand. It’s how they cleaned up dangerous workplaces and the surrounding neighborhoods that suffered from toxic pollution. And it’s how minority and women workers have been able to successfully fight income inequality.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Origins of our independence similar to today’s conditions

We are a long way from starting another revolution to take power away from today’s 1 percent and the government they have largely bought, and return it to the vast majority of working people. But when folks start reading up on their own revolutionary history, the Koch brothers should follow the example of Connecticut’s Tories and move to Canada.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Op-Ed: Labor Day — a holiday created for Connecticut workers

My grandmother Nellie Grace arrived in Boston from Ireland in 1909.  On the ship manifest she was described as a domestic servant.  Many people’s relations have come from similarly humble beginnings.  The fabric of Connecticut history is made of many threads, spun from the sweat and blood of working men and women.  It’s a shame […]

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Op-Ed: Twain’s novel speaks of democracy and technology today

Steve Thornton Today, June 19, marks a significant incident in Connecticut history. Yet no one celebrates it. (No, I don’t mean Juneteenth, which is the African American community’s commemoration of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.)  June 19, 1879 was the day Hank Morgan got hit with a crowbar by a worker known as Hercules, a powerful blow […]