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The days people realize that if they are in large unified numbers, they can demand anything from their government.
Is the day the government is in big trouble, that’s why they keep you divided. George Orwell
There is more cause of danger from disunion among ourselves than by anything from our enemies. Oliver Cromwell
When we united together around those basic demands of justice, peace, democracy, and human rights, we’re a very powerful force. Jeremy Corbyn
Victor and vanquished never unite in substantial agreement. Tacitus
United – we’re fucked! George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?
As a people we must be united. If we are not united we shall slip into the gulf of measureless disaster. We must be strong in purpose for our own defense and bent on securing justice within our borders. If as a nation we are split into warring camps, if we teach our citizens not to look upon one another as brothers but as enemies divided by the hatred of creed for creed or of those of one race against those of another race, surely we shall fail and our great democratic experiment on this continent will go down in crushing overthrow. Theodore Roosevelt
Union gives strength. Aesop
In Unity there is strength. We can move mountains when we’re united and enjoy life. Without unity we are victims. Stay united. Bill Bailey
It is always somewhat perplexing and sometimes shocking to hear, from respected unionists, a lack of concern for the struggle of brothers and sisters outside their own backyards. Such failure to bear faith and allegiance to real solidarity is what lies at the heart of labor’s inability to coalesce into the force that some of our greatest leaders have envisioned. We must come to the realization that we are all coworkers, brothers and sisters in the struggle with owners. Donald L Foley, APWU
We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin
We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know. W H Auden
I now understand that my welfare is only possible if I acknowledge my unity with all the people of the world without exception. Leo Tolstoy
All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall. Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate: only the unloved hate, the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers, don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty! You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure! Then, in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world, a decent world. Charles Chaplin
49,324. We shall Strike. We shall pursue the revolution we have proposed. We are sons of the Mexican Revolution, a revolution of the poor seeking, bread and justice. Our revolution will not be armed, but we want the existing social order to dissolve, we want a new social order. We are poor, we are humble, and our only choices is to Strike in those ranchers where we are not treated with the respect we deserve as working men, where our rights as free and sovereign men are not recognized. We do not want the paternalism of the rancher; we do not want the contractor; we do not want charity at the price of our dignity. We want to be equal with all the working men in the nation; we want just wage, better working conditions, a decent future for our children. To those who oppose us, be they ranchers, police, politicians, or speculators, we say that we are going to continue fighting until we die, or we win. We shall overcome. Cesar Chavez, The Plan of Delano 1965
The simple fact remains that in a divided society which is based on the exploitation of working people, the main battleground is at the point of production. That is where the wealth is produced. That is where the workers can most effectively hit back. It is where our collective strength and common interest combine most effectively. It is also, incidentally, the area where the Tories and employers behave most true to type, relentlessly and viciously, and where they can expect their behaviour to be studiously ignored by all the press and television.
... All of this was, in every case, countered by the quite extraordinary change which came over the workers involved. They grew ten feet tall, unimaginably more able and more resolute than they were in normal working conditions. Often the worst reactionaries on the shop floor became the mainstream of the pickets. Above all, when usually under our influence, the strikers moved out of their isolated dispute and sought help in the broader movement, they started to learn for the first time what being a trade unionist meant. The slogans ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ or ‘knowledge is power’ or ‘arise ye workers’, which they had seen before only on trade union banners, suddenly came to life. Paul Foot, article January 1982, ‘3 Letters to a Bennite’
We socialists are always saying that workers change in struggle – but what a joy and a relief it is when we can test the theory in flesh and blood. When I drew back the curtains in Tayport at 6.30 a.m. on Thursday 20 May, the sun streamed in – it was a glorious spring morning. Half an hour later, across the river and through the city of Dundee, the picket line at Timex was revelling in the sunshine. There were 60 to 70 people there, their numbers alone a great shout of mockery at the Tory anti-union laws’ insistence on six pickets. There was laughter and anger in equal measure – laughter among the pickets themselves, anger as the scabs’ lorries came up the hill and turned into the gate. Inside the lorries, and inside the private cars of the supervisors, strike breakers cowered, some of them hiding their face in balaclavas, others making a pathetic show of defiance, especially after they passed the gates. Each vehicle was greeted with a great roar of rage ...
A former president of the engineering union, Hugh Scanlon, once said in a famous TUC speech that every scratch on the trade union movement can lead to gangrene. The sweetheart approach of his successors led to gangrene soon enough. Every concession by the unions was greeted by the employers with cries for more. In Dundee like everywhere else the employers, led on this occasion by the Engineering Employers Federation, started to yearn for the day when they would not have to deal with unions at all. True, the unions were a pushover. But how much more of a pushover would the workers be, how much more clear profit was there to be made, if the unions were utterly broken once and for all? ...
Shortly before Christmas last year, he announced lay-offs. On 5 January the workers all got letters – some ‘thick’ (the sack), others ‘thin’ (not the sack). They refused to accept the letters, and occupied the canteen. Hall promised negotiations. The workers went back to work, effectively accepting the principle of lay-offs, though they balloted (92 per cent) for a strike. From 8 to 29 January they worked rotating shifts to cover for their laid off workmates, and waited for the negotiations which never came. There was no whisper of negotiation from Hall. A plea to go to ACAS was vigorously snubbed. On 29 January, frustrated by the constant prevarication, the workers came out on strike. On 17 February they reported en masse for work. They were told they could return only if they accepted a 10 percent cut in wages and other humiliations, including pension reductions. When they refused, they were locked out, and have been ever since.
... These men and women are out to win. They deserve to win and they need to win. Above all they can win. The entire resources – human and financial – of the labour movement should be put at their disposal. Paul Foot, article June 1993, ‘Seize the Time’
The only way we’ll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba – yes Cuba too. Malcolm X
Nineteen sixty-eight was one exciting moment in a much larger movement. It spawned a whole range of movements. There wouldn’t have been an international global solidarity movement, for instance, without the events of 1968. It was enormous, in terms of human rights, ethnic rights, a concern for the environment, too. Noam Chomsky
My friends, it is solidarity of labor we want. We do not want to find fault with each other, but to solidify our forces and say to each other: ‘We must be together; our masters are joined together and we must do the same thing.’ Mother Jones
On 4th May 1926 more than two million ... downed tools ... in solidarity with Britain’s one million miners. Ian Hislop’s Stiff Upper Lip: An Emotional History of Britain III: Last Hurrah? BBC 2012