176. Voices from the Centennial March to Blair Mountain - Organized by the United Mine Workers of America
“So why did we want to recreate this March? Because we are bound and determined that the history of our forefathers will not be taken away from us by any rich person or any government.”
Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)
One hundred years ago, in a rural mountainous stretch in middle America, a violent labor uprising took place, a battle of good versus evil, rebellion against wage slavery, a fight for freedom against tyranny -- yet this historical memory lies dormant in most minds today.
U.S. Labor Day weekend 2021 marked the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain, which was part of the West Virginia Mine Wars. The battle was the largest armed insurrection in the U.S. since the Civil War. The sacrifices of those miners and their families provides an important history of courageously standing up and facing tyrannical men of murderous intent.
When I learned about the centennial gathering in remembrance of the great battle of Blair Mountain in West Virginia over Labor Day 2021, I knew I had to go; not just to document the event and raise awareness through the Labor Radio Podcast Network, but I needed to go for myself, as a labor pilgrimage to march alongside the United Mine Workers of America, upon the hallowed ground where miners fought for their rights and a better future for every worker.
During the United Mine Workers of America’s reenactment of the famous march that ended in Sharples, West Virginia near Blair Mountain, I was able to interview fellow marchers and capture a rousing speech by Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America.
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