They Died for You: A Brief History of Canadian Labour Martyrs :: Larry Gambone & DJ Alperovitz :: thoughtcrime ink books
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They Died for You

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They Died for You

A Brief History of Canadian Labour Martyrs

by Larry Gambone & DJ Alperovitz


'They Died for You' by the Vancouver Island branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) are short biographies of labour martyrs in Canada from 1903-2006. These workers were killed in the course of everyday worker organizing and struggles with bosses. Our matryrs died so that workers could have the freedom to organize, and thus force the boss to treat them with some measure of dignity and not as machines of flesh and bone. Freedom is the ability to control your life rather than being dominated by forces outside of you. Thus, the hard-won victory of the eight-hour day, where once you were forced to work ten, now mean two extra hours of daily freedom. So too, pensions and paid vacations enlarged the scope of freedom by allowing us to have more time for ourselves and our families.

For many of our martyrs, though, merely loosening the chains was not enough, they sought to eliminate servitude to the Boss Class in its entirety. They desired an economy owned and run democratically by the workers, and thus putting an end to domination and poverty at the same time. With the disasters that a rampant corporate system has brought upon us today, these ideas of economic democracy should be dusted off and promoted once again.

Book information

Publisher: IWW Vancouver Island GMB (Victoria, British Columbia)
Publication Date: Jan 01, 2006
Printer: Black Cat Press
Format: booklet
Length: 37 pp.


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