Belabored Podcast #92: Don’t Mourn, Organize!

Belabored Podcast #92: Don’t Mourn, Organize!

A celebration of pioneering union activist and radical troubadour Joe Hill.

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One hundred years ago, radical troubadour, labor movement martyr and and proto-punk rock icon Joe Hill left us with the famous words “Don’t mourn, organize!” Today we’re celebrating that spirit with a remembrance of his life, music, and legacy as a pioneering union activist. We speak with Alexis Buss, who, along with Philip S. Foner, compiled and edited the centenary edition of The Letters of Joe Hill. With a selection of songs and readings from the collection, we explore Hill’s organizing work with the Industrial Workers of the World, the historical resonance of his songs, and the lessons today’s activist movements can draw from his story. With clips from performances from a recent tribute event at the New School.

And in other news: South Korean labor struggles escalate, unionization and strike votes by Chicago educators, Trump Las Vegas hotels go union, and New York City weighs freelance labor law.

Special thanks to Haymarket Books, Magpie, Bucky Halker, Hari Kondabolu, Son of Nun, Jamie Kilstein, and The New School.


Workers At Donald Trump’s Las Vegas Hotel Vote To Unionize (Huffington Post)

Nevada Unions to Trump: Pay Your Hotel’s Workers Fair Wages (People’s World)

Labor secretary Tom Perez urges Culinary union members to back Clinton (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Michelle: No Surprise: Trump Is a Union Buster at His Own Hotel (The Nation)

Inside a union drive at The Trump Hotel (Toronto Star)

Working Families Party Endorses Bernie Sanders for President (New York Times)

In South Korea, a Dictator’s Daughter Cracks Down on Labor (The Nation)

Massive crowd protest in South Korea against Park’s labor reform plans (Reuters)

Michelle: Angry Workers Swarm Seoul’s Streets, Demand President Resign (In These Times)

New Bill Would Make It A Crime To Stiff Freelancers (Gothamist)

How to Build the Movement for Progressive Power, the Urban Way (The Nation)

More trouble for Rahm Emanuel: Chicago teachers to vote on strike authorization (Washington Post)

University of Chicago Non-Tenured Faculty Vote to Join Union (Reuters)


Alexis Buss, co-editor of The Letters of Joe Hill: 1879-1915

Joe Hill Centenary website

IWW Historical Archives

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Sarah: Melissa Gira Grant, How Stoya took on James Deen and broke the porn industry’s silence (Guardian)

Michelle: Steven Greenhouse, Uber: On the Road to Nowhere (American Prospect)