Scabs is the story of the Ludlow Massacre. Back in 1913, the death toll for miners in Colorado was twice the national average. Colorado Fuel & Iron had the state in it's pocket, and though regulations were in place to protect miners, the laws were not enforced. A strike began that lasted for over a year. Their demands were an 8 hour day, payment forms other than scrip, which was only usable at company stores, extra pay for doing dead work, and enforcement of Colorado state mining laws. For months, small pockets of violence broke out between strikers and the National Guard. This all came to a head on April 20th, when the National Guard set up a machine gun overlooking the Ludlow tent colony. The strikers and their families saw the soldiers scrambling and everyone started to panic. Women grabbed children and hid, and men armed themselves and took positions in rifle pits. No one really knows who started the gunfight, the strikers blamed the soldiers and vice versa. For almost 12 hours they exchanged fire as the soldiers slowly pushed the strikers back from the tent colony. When most of the miners were driven out of the colony, the National Guard moved in and burned Ludlow to the ground. When morning came, and the last of the fires had died down, roughly 20 people were dead, including 11 women and 2 children, who were suffocated by smoke and heat while hiding in a pit that was dug out in their tent. Word got out of the tragedy, and miners arrived from all over the state with weapons and ammo. For 10 days, thousands of miners ran through the hills of Colorado, shooting scabs, mine operators and burning mines and surrounding buildings down. It was the second biggest uprising since the Civil War. The strike would break a few months later, and was considered a failure at the time, though years later, historians now view it as a major turning point for workers rights.
released July 31, 2013
All songs written, recorded and performed by Jon Pizarro
Artwork and layout by Jon Pizarro and Bridson Wills (bridsonwills.com
Ten Day War intro sample taken from Eleanor Swansons book of poems called "Trembling in the Bones"
Ten Day War outro sample taken from Howard Zinns talk "The Hidden History of the American Working Class"
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