Stalin in Clerkenwell Green

From Eric Lee:

This article appears in Solidarity.  Feel free to add your comments below.


It was a beautiful May morning, one of the first warm and sunny days we’ve had all year. In Clerkenwell Green, hundreds of people were assembling for the annual official London May Day march. Many of you will not have been there — in fact there were very few trade unionists at all on this year’s march.

So let me tell you who was there — the twentieth century’s greatest serial killer, Joseph Stalin. Stalin was on several banners, and not only his image side by side with Lenin and Mao, but huge banners just with his picture alone — and quotations from his writings.

As I marched along with some trade union leaders and a traditional brass band, I could not help feeling ashamed at what the march would have looked like to onlookers, of whom there were many along the route. Ashamed and disgusted.

It’s disgusting because holding aloft iconic images of Stalin at a trade union march shows a complete lack of moral judgement. Seventy years ago, it may have been understandable — the second world war was raging, the Soviet leadership had not yet acknowledged Stalin’s crimes. But after 1956, anyone who still believed that Stalin was a great revolutionary leader was delusional. (more…)

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Late Labor Day post

Not being American, and being suspicious of the idea of Labor Day being in the wrong month (i.e. not May), I missed it yesterday. Here are some links:

Molly’s anarchist thoughts on Labor Day; Michael Kazin on the disappearance of the working class from the pages of The New Republic; EJ Dionne on why he misses Big Labor; Ron Radosh on Kazin and Dionne; Elizabeth Chann on the unfinished task; Terry Glavin on Labor Day under the Bolivarian revolutionTedski with some apt music and on the meaning of Labor Day; Kay Street on the conservative attack; Mark Steyn on “16 Tonnes” and Brad DeLong on Labor Day 1894.

Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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