We live under the yoke of a system that is not only unjust and exploitative, but it is also cruel, vicious and brutal. Through the years those who have fought that exploitation and injustice have felt the full force of that cruel, vicious brutality, and in some cases the fee paid for that challenge has been their liberty, their sanity, or their life. The history of the ordinary people is written in the blood and suffering of those who saw the injustice and stood up to that injustice, and who felt the full bare-knuckle force of this man made savage creation, the capitalist state. It is our duty to remember them, honour them, and pick up the challenge in their place.
Jules Gustave Durand, Born September 6, 1880, in Le Harve. French anarchist, secretary of Le Harve Coalmen's Union and revolutionary trade unionist. Durand was an initiator of the French general strike of 1910, and was wrongly charged with the murder of a “blackleg” in a brawl. On the back of a series of corrupt witnesses and a hate campaign by the press he was sentenced to death on November 25, 1910. In a tremendous show of solidarity against this injustice protests and strikes closed the docks at Le Harve and spread across the channel to English ports and to some American ports. After further protests spearheaded by the League of Human Rights, he was released on February 15, 1911. Sadly, due to his inhumane treatment and spending 40 days restrained in a straightjacket he suffered a complete mental breakdown and spent the rest of his days in an asylum where he died in 1926. His case was re-opened and his name was cleared and on June 15, 1918, it was stated that he had been completely innocent of the charge.
One of a legion who have paid dearly for daring to seek justice for all, and an end to exploitation.