Featured Editorials

Hellraisers Journal: Mother Jones-"Among the comrades we extol, Thy name shall blazon on the scroll."

She was fearless of every danger,
She hated that which was wrong;
She never gave up fighting
Until her breath was gone.

Saturday December 23, 1905
From the Appeal to Reason: A Poem for Mother Jones by Ellis B. Harris

Mother Jones, Miners Angel .jpg

From the Appeal of December 16, 1905:


Here's to you, Mother, Mother Jones.
Foe of the sabre,
When Justice, reigning, Wrong dethrones,
Helped by Love's labor,
Among the comrades we extol
Thy name shall blazon on the scroll,
In memory of one great soul,
Dear, kindly neighbor.

Anti-trans ballot initiative fails to make ballot in California

A group called Privacy for All announced yesterday that it had failed in its attempt to qualify the so-called Personal Privacy Protection Act for the November 2016 ballot.

The PPPA would have forced transgender and gender nonconforming people to use public facilities reserved for our birth sex.

Anti-trans activists needed to get 365800 signatures to place the initiative on the ballot but fell short. They are not saying by how much.

Hellraisers Journal: "This is the Story of the Success of the Agricultural Workers' Organization."

With no treasury they declared war against the millions of dollars
robbed from the agricultural workers.
Perhaps never in the history of the world was there a war more unequal,
or a success more unexpected.
-ISR on the AWO, December 1915

Wednesday December 22, 1915
From the International Socialist Review: No Budget, No Problem for the Agricultural Workers' Organization

From the Review of December 1915:


By J. A. Macdonald
Agricultural Workers Organization, Big Bill Haywood, Day Book, Sept 24, 1915.png

THIS is the story of the success of the Agricultural Workers' organization. This story is not finished, it cannot be till the doomed industrial system of today has also been damned and over thrown. It is the story of the moving of the propaganda of revolutionary industrial unionism from the open forum and the street corner, to the primary theater of the industrial revolution—the job.

The wise men of the labor movement—generally too wise to work—the philosophers of the easy chair and the big salary, said the migratory worker could not be organized. They said the work was too casual. A union for them would have to be too migratory. It would have to have its office in a box car.

Making me feel old

Esquire magazine has an article about a time long ago: 5 Transgender Americans on the Hardships of Transitioning, Then and Now.

Transgender men and women have lived openly for decades in America. Most of them transitioned before it was remotely acceptable to the wider culture—and so made possible the social transformation in gender identity that we are seeing today. The three women and two men on these pages lived much of their lives as one sex and then, along with thousands of others, have lived long, accomplished (and dangerous) lives as another. They are a comment on the abiding nature of the human impulse to change sexual identity (at a moment when it's almost regarded as a fad) and also emblematic of those who did so when it was so much harder.

Full disclosure: The author of this diary began transition 23 years ago.

Hellraisers Journal: Nils Hanson on the Organizing Drive of the AWO in the Mid-Western Wheat Fields

Thirty thousand Negroes will come and 30,000 I. W. W.'s will go back.
The red card is cherished as much and its objects understood as well
by a black man as by a white one.
-Solidarity, Fall 1915


Tuesday December 21, 1915
From the International Socialist Review: Nils Hanson on Organizing in the Wheat Fields

IWW Membership Card.png

In the latest edition of the Review, Nils Hanson discusses working conditions, living conditions, and the great organizing drive, launched by the Agricultural Workers Organization, this past fall in the harvest fields of the mid-western states. He tells of following the wheat harvest from Kansas on up to North Dakota.

The A. W. O. of the Industrial Workers of the World, has become such a menace that the North Dakota farmers claim they will import Negroes as harvest hands next year. In response to that threat, the I. W. W. newspaper, Solidarity, recently gave "John Farmer" this warning:

The I. W. W. has some good Negro organizers, just itching for a chance of this kind. Thirty thousand Negroes will come and 30,000 I. W. W.'s will go bak. The red card is cherished as much and its objects understood as well by a black man as by a white one.

Hellraisers Journal: The Rockefeller Plan, Built Upon the Ashes of the Women and Children of Ludlow

I stand facing the far east
sounding the voices of the babes of Ludlow.
-Mother Jones


No one listened. No one cared. The tickers in the offices of 26 Broadway sounded louder than the
sobs of women and children. Men in the steam heated luxury of Broadway offices could not
feel the stinging cold of Colorado hillsides where families lived in tents.
Then came Ludlow and the nation heard.
Little children roasted alive make a front page story.
Dying by inches of starvation and exposure does not.
-Mother Jones

Monday December 20, 1915
From The Labor World: The Inside Story of How Rockefeller Won the Miners' Vote for a Company Union

CO Justice, Detail, Masses, Nov 1914.png
The Rockefeller Industrial Representation Plan-Established Upon the Ashes of Ludlow

Science tackles human brain structure

I always used to cringe when I heard someone try to explain being transgender in terms of "male brains" or "female brains."

It has been my belief that gender is more complicated than that. But then, it has also long been my belief that it shouldn't really matter why we ar transgender...we're all human beings and should all be according the respect and dignity due all human beings.

Be that as it may...science marches on.

Hellraisers Journal: Sluggers of Chicago Garment Strike Cut Off Bosses Payroll, Crime Wave Follows

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Sunday December 19, 1915
From the Chicago Day Book: Laid-Off Sluggers and Gunmen Causing Crime Wave

Now that the Chicago Garment Workers Strike is winding down, citizens of Chicago are finding that crime is up in their city. The Day Book of December 17th cites evidence that this is due to the 600 to 800 sluggers and gunmen who have recently been released from duty by the private detective agencies and garment shops who had employed them as strikebreakers:

Chicago Garment Workers Strike of 1915, Day Book headline, Dec 17.png

Judith Butler on the extermination of trans women

Judith Butler, well known feminist philosopher and the author of Gender Trouble participated in an email discussion with the feminist collective Broadly on the topic Why do Men Kill Trans Women?. It is intertwined with Broadly's own offering by Diana Tourjee, He's Not Done Killing Her

There were 23 known killings of transgender women in the United States in 2015. That number nearly doubled from the 12 reported in 2014. Broadly published an in-depth feature on these crimes in which we investigate their underlying cause. In addition to contacting police departments, victims' friends, and family, we interviewed the renowned queer theorist, Gender Trouble author Judith Butler.

One of the most disturbing, yet often easily overlooked, aspects of these crimes is the gender of the killers. Butler maps anti-trans violence back to the source, ultimately suggesting that trans deaths were caused by men because of men's need to meet culturally held standards of male power and masculinity.

She also insists that gender cannot be parsed from the other realities of the victims' lives. Ninety-one percent of the trans murders we investigated were people of color. They were primarily poor; many engaged in sex work. Law enforcement agencies have widely failed to classify these murders as hate crimes, maintaining a myopic perspective. By insisting that these facts be considered together, Butler does what the police have failed to do: recognize that the context in which these women lived and died is inseparable from their lives as transgender women of color.