Sunday, 3 November 2013

Workers, Remember Your History,--Kurt Gustav Wilckens.

      An anniversary we should celebrate, November 3 1886, saw the birth of Kurt Gustav Wilckens, warrior of the working class who dedicated his life to the struggle for freedom and justice for all people. Our history is written in the blood of such people, ordinary people who become giants. Our's is not the history of kings and empires, of greed for power, but a struggle for justice for all.
This from FlagBlackened:
     KURT GUSTAV WILCKENS was born 3 November 1886 at Bad Bramstedt in Schleswig-Holstein, close to the Danish border in Germany, one of the five sons of August Wilckens and Johanna Harms. Of average height with red hair and light blue eyes, he loved nature and hated cities. Starting work as a miner in Silesia, he emigrated at the age of 24 to the United States where he got work in the Arizona mines.
     In Arizona he became involved in the agitation of the revolutionary workers’ organisation, the Industrial Workers of the World (popularly known as the Wobblies). Wilckens took part in strikes and became an orator in the miners’ mass meetings, The IWW organised successfully among Mexicans and South Europeans, the lowest paid of the miners. As a result of the growing might of the miners in the Bisbee area, the local businessmen and scab miners organised into Loyalty Leagues. Early on 12 July 1916, 2000 Loyalty Leaguers commenced a round-up of miners. One miner shot dead a Loyalty leaguer in self-defence and was gunned down. There were robberies, vandalism, and beatings and abuse of women carried out by the Leaguers during the round-up. 1,186 men, including 104 Wobblies, among them Wilckens, were herded into cattle trucks and dumped across the border in the New Mexico desert. Wilckens, by now an anarchist as well as an IWW member, was interned in a camp for German prisoners. He escaped from there, was recaptured and deported to Germany in 1920 from where he departed to Argentina, arriving there in late September.
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