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1934: Mill City Revolt

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In the year 1934, militant strikes broke across the United States in San Francisco, Toledo, and Minneapolis. This podcast explores the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike in-depth, discussing the history, theory, and practice of one of the the country's most incredible action by the working class through a leftist perspective.

In the year 1934, militant strikes broke across the United States in San Francisco, Toledo, and Minneapolis. This podcast explores the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike in-depth, discussing the history, theory, and practice of one of the the country's most incredible action by the working class through a leftist perspective.
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In the year 1934, militant strikes broke across the United States in San Francisco, Toledo, and Minneapolis. This podcast explores the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike in-depth, discussing the history, theory, and practice of one of the the country's most incredible action by the working class through a leftist perspective.




S1E16 - Olson's Raid

The third Minneapolis truckers' strike of 1934 reached its second climax on August 1st: Governor Olson's raid of Local 574's headquarters and the arrest of several strikeleaders. But even without them, the rank-and-file of Local 574 raised the ante and defied martial law in city streets. Was Olson still a friend of the working class or was he now one of its many enemies? Support 1934: Mill City Revolt by donating to their Tip Jar:...


S1E15 - "Don't Fail Me Now, Boys!"

Episode Notes In this episode, we discuss the events immediately following Bloody Friday through to Governor Olson's declaration of martial law. We cover the working class' and ruling class' responses to the massacre, the settlement negotiations that soon begin, as well as take some time to analyze why cops would murder strikers in the first place. As always, if you have enjoyed and learned from the podcast, consider donating! Link below! Support 1934: Mill City Revolt by donating to the...


S1E14 - Massacre in Minneapolis: Bloody Friday

Episode Notes 85 years ago today the Minneapolis Police Department, in collusion with city businessowners, shot 67 men who were demanding their union be recognized. The cops killed two men: Henry Ness and John Belor. This is Bloody Friday. This episode covers the first few days of the third strike, provides a brief recap in case this is the first episode someone listens to, and, of course, reveals the events of Bloody Friday. The next episode will cover the immediate aftermath: reactions,...


S1E13 - "Make Minneapolis A Union Town"

Episode Notes In this episode, we cover the events between the May and July strikes. Local 574 had the upper hand in the immediate aftermath, but employers chiseled at the contract due to the intentional ambiguity negotiated by Governor Olson. In the run up to the July strike, leading members of the Communist League arrive in Minneapolis to help the campaign, 574 fends off vitriolic attacks from the Teamsters national president as well as the Citizens' Alliance, and workers and unions...


S1E12 - A Moment of Dual Power

Episode Notes And we're back! Apologies for the extended break between episodes 11 and 12. I had a lot on my plate. We should be returning to a regular schedule of episodes from here on out! In this episode, we wrap up the explosive May strike, covering the negotiations between the truckers union Local 574, the employer-based Citizens Alliance, and Farmer-Labor Governor Floyd B. Olson. This includes desperate pleas from Minneapolis employers to President FDR, Olson's threat of mobilizing...


S1E11 - The Battle of Deputies' Run

Episode Notes One of the most explosive events of the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike: The Battle of Deputies' Run! Over the course of two days -- May 21-22 -- the Minneapolis City Market became a battleground of class war. Thousands of strikers, supported by crowds numbering over 10,000, fought with over a thousand policemen and special deputies (the private army of businessmen, professionals, and frat boys). As striker Jack Maloney said later, "the employers were ready and determined...


S1E10 - The Strike Machine and The Tribune Alley Plot

Episode Notes The May Strike begins! In this episode, we cover the first four days of 1934's second strike. We discuss Teamster Local 574's tactics and strike headquarters, Governor Olson's attempts to reconcile the two forces, the Mayor's hiring of 500 additional cops plus the Citizens' Alliance formation of a private army, a small battle on Saturday morning, and a treacherous ambush later that night. The next episode: The Battle of Deputies' Run. Sources: Teamster Rebellion by Farrell...


S1E9 - Negotiations and Preparations

Episode Notes In the last episode, we discussed the aftermath of the February Whirlwind Strike and the run-up to the May strikes. In this episode, we discuss the negotiations and preparations each side took in the first weeks of May. We finish with a reading from Ray Dunne's article in Militant, the Communist League's newspaper, in which he assessed the situation just prior to May 15th. The next episode: The first few days of the strike, including the Tribune Alley Plot, setting the stage...


S1E8 - The Unrest Before the Storm

Episode Notes In this episode we cover the events of February through May as the aftermath of the February Whirlwind Strike continues to take shape. Local 574 continued its impressive organizing campaigns, the unemployed led marches agaisnt the Roosevelt administration, Farrell Dobbs joins the Communist League, small strike within the city faced mixed results, and the Farmer-Labor Governor Floyd B. Olson returns (from Episode 3), endorsing the "union idea." Even when the Teamsters weren't...


S1E7 - The February Whirlwind Strike, or, the Dress Rehearsal

Episode Notes We have finally arrived! The first strike of 1934! This episode is technically the second part of what I wrote for episode 6, but to save you from a 50 minute episode, I split it in half. We discuss the Labor Boards, Local 574 organizers' maneuvering around conservative labor bureaucrats, their strategies for timing the strike, and then the 3-day coal yard strike itself. As the title implies, this was only a practice run for the next two strikes in May and July-August. Also,...


S1E6 - Introducing... The Teamsters

Episode Notes An accidental two-part episode! What I recorded came out to over 50 minutes and so I just had to split it in half. If the episode seems to end abruptly, that is why. This week: building towards the first strike throughout the year of 1933. We introduce Farrell Dobbs, the Teamsters and its national president Daniel Tobin, Local 574 and its president, Bill Brown, and their relationships with the Dunne Brothers and Karl Skoglund. We also bring back the Citizens' Alliance and...


S1E5 - President FDR's Mixed Message to Labor

Episode Notes One last pre-strike episode! In this very short episode, we patch up a glaring hole so far in the narrative: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Rather than a full-blown analysis of the New Deal, we discuss his impact specifically on labor law. It's very much a mixed bag. Next episode: The February Whirlwind Strike! Support 1934: Mill City Revolt by donating to the tip jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/1934-mill-city-revolution Find out more on the 1934: Mill...


S1E4 - Marx, Skogie, and the Dunne Brothers

Episode Notes After a longer than intended delay, here is Episode 4, the last of the long background episodes! Today we take on quite a lot: Who was Karl Marx, why did he criticize capitalism and want to overthrow it for socialism? Why did our strikeleaders take on Marx's philosophy? And anyway, who are the strikeleaders? Following an introduction to Karl Marx, the episode introduces Carl Skoglund, the "Old Swede," and the three Dunne Brothers, Ray, Miles, and Grant. Given Skoglund's and...


S1E3 - Governor Floyd B. Olson and the Farmer-Labor Party

Episode Notes This episode we cover the crucial political developments that form the background of the strike: Minnesota's unique second party, the Farmer-Laborites and its moderate/rebellious gubernatorial leader, Floyd B. Olson. If you can, please consider donating via the tip jar link below or via Venmo @Kele-Cable. Any amount is appreciated! Main Sources: George H. Mayer, The Political Career of Floyd B. Olson by George H. Mayer (UMN Press, 1951). Gieske, Millard L., Minnesota...


S1E2 - The Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie

Episode Notes Thank you all for your support! Please check the link to the 'tip jar' below if you would like to support my work! This episode covers the story's major antagonist, the Minneapolis Citizen's Alliance, and its thirty-year war on organized labor. We cover the reasons for its founding, its capitalist ideology (and a Marxist critique of it), and specific historical instances of the organization at work and the tools they used. The title comes from Karl Marx who argued that...


S1E1 - We Have Been Here Before

Episode Notes My first podcast ever! Hi all, welcome to 1934: Mill City Revolt, a podcast that explores the context, lessons, and play-by-play of the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike. In this episode, I compare the situations of 1934 and today, introduce my Marxist perspective, and layout the roadmap for the rest of our story. This is a totally new experience for me and I am a one-man-show: I do the writing, recording, editing, publishing, etc. Please let me know ASAP if there are audio...