Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones to be honoured this summer in Shandon, Cork

Mother Jones was “the most dangerous woman in America” according to Reese Blizzard, a West Virginia District Attorney. Born around 1837, Mary Harris Jones was an Irish woman who became one of the most important revolutionary trade union organisers in the history of the USA. Her courage in standing up to mine owners, politicians and their armed thugs (who often killed striking workers) is legendary.
 
For more than half a century she led strikers in picketing and encouraged the workers to stay on strike when management brought in strikebreakers and militias. She was often thrown into jail and was demonised by the press for fighting for the cause of coal miners and other workers. She organized miners’ wives into teams armed with mops and brooms to guard the mines against scabs.

Mother Jones will be honoured this summer in the Shandon area of Cork City, where she was born 175 years ago. The centrepiece of the celebrations will be the unveiling of a bronze plaque bearing her image and one of her most famous sayings: “Pray for the dead, but fight like hell for the living.” She also said that “I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country. You don’t need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!”