Bread and Roses


Bread and Roses

The slogan "Bread and Roses" originated in a poem of that name by James Oppenheim, published in American Magazine in December 1911, which attributed it to "the women in the West". It is commonly associated with a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts during January-March 1912, now often known as the "Bread and Roses strike".

The slogan appeals for both fair wages and dignified conditions.

History

The Lawrence strike, which united dozens of immigrant communities under the leadership of the Industrial Workers of the World, was led to a large extent by women. Many claimcitequote that during the strike some of the women carried a sign that said, "We want bread, but we want roses, too!" No reliable evidence has yet been found to verify this,Fact|date=April 2007 and the claim has been rejected by some veterans of the Lawrence strike.Fact|date=April 2007

A 1916 labor anthology, "The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest" by Upton Sinclair, is the first known source to attribute the phrase to the Lawrence strikers. A republication of Oppenheim's poem in 1912, following the strike, attributed it to "Chicago Women Trade Unionists".

The strike was settled on March 14, 1912, on terms generally favorable to the workers. The workers won pay increases, time-and-a-quarter pay for overtime, and a promise of no discrimination against strikers. The strikers are credited with inventing the moving picket line (so that they would not be arrested for loitering).Fact|date=July 2008

Legacy

The strike and slogan have been the inspiration for the names of a diverse collection of organisations and publications.

* The usage of the rose by the Irish Labour Party -- and its sister parties around the world -- owes it its origins to the slogan.
* Oppenheim's poem was set to music in 1976 by Mimi Fariña and has been recorded by various artists, including Judy Collins, Ani DiFranco, Utah Phillips, John Denver, and Josh Lucker.
* New Zealand Labour Party Member of Parliament, Union leader, and women's rights campaigner Sonja Davies called her autobiography "Bread and Roses", after the poem. This autobiography was the basis of a successful New Zealand mini-series directed by Gaylene Preston, which concentrates upon Davies's early life as a single mother organiser of protest action to keep her local railway line open.
* A housing cooperative in Kitchener, Ontario that specializes in providing affordable housing for people living with HIV and/or AIDS.
* In 2000 British director Ken Loach titled a movie "Bread and Roses". The film is about the struggle of two Mexican labourers in Los Angeles, performed by Pilar Padilla and Elpidia Carrillo, for the right to form a union. It depicts an episode in the ongoing Justice for Janitors campaign, which is run by the Service Employees International Union.
* Eben Moglen uses this image when talking about culture in the ditigal age: "In the digital age, when all culture can be given to everyone at the same price as it's given to one person, we have enough bread and roses. So it's strange that Rupert Murdoch and Michael Eisner have most of the bread, and all of the roses."
* A quarterly journal produced by the UK section of the Industrial Workers of the World ('Wobblies') [http://www.iww.org.uk/br/index.html]
* A Labor Day celebration, Bread and Roses Heritage Festival, in Lawrence, Massachusetts
* A pub in London, run by the Workers Beer Company
* A charitable foundation in Philadelphia.
* A non-profit organization founded by Mimi Farina that brings entertainment to shut-ins in prisons, hospitals and convalescent homes.
* Mount Holyoke College seniors sing a song titled "Bread and Roses" during their Laural Parade at graduation. [http://www.alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/reunions/songs1.php]
* Bryn Mawr College students sing the same song after three of their annual traditions nights. [http://www.brynmawr.edu/activities/traditions.shtml]
* On April 14, 2007, the song marked the final notes performed at New York City's experimental music venue, Tonic, as part of a protest against gentrification pushing out such venues in the Lower East Side before police arrested performers, Rebecca Moore and Marc Ribot.
* A fair trade, organic café in the Skydragon Centre downtown Hamilton, Ontario.
* A bakery in the Bloor West Village neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario.
* A café that serves free hot meals to homeless individuals and families in Venice, Los Angeles, California.
* A memorial to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in Havana, Cuba reads: "For Peace Bread And Roses We Will Face The Executioner. Ethel And Julius Rosenberg. Murdered June 19, 1953."
* A feminist radio show on KBOO in Portland, Oregon.

Poem and Song lyrics

References

* Bruce Watson, "Bread and Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream" (New York: Viking, 2005), ISBN 0-670-03397-9.

ee also

*Anna LoPizzo, woman striker killed during the Lawrence textile strike
*William M. Wood Co-founder of the American Woolen Company

External links

* [http://www.iww.org/culture/chronology/chronology2.shtml Industrial Workers of the World chronology]
* [http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45b/073.html Bread & Roses: The Strike Led and Won by Women]
* [http://www.geocities.com/breadandrosesboston The Boston Band called Bread and Roses]
* [http://www.breadandroses.net/ Bread and Roses Heritage Festival]
* [http://www.breadandrosespub.com/ Bread and Roses Pub London]
* [http://www.breadandroses.org/ Bread & Roses Nonprofit founded by Mimi Fariña]


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