Seattle General Strike

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  • From February 6 to 11, 1919, 65,000 workers in Seattle, Washington, engaged in a general strike in support of a shipyard labor dispute. While authorities predicted that the general work stoppage would produce anarchy in the streets of Seattle, essential services were maintained under the direction of the Seattle Central Labor Committee (CLC), and unarmed veterans patrolled the streets to ensure order. Despite this strong sense of labor solidarity on the local level, larger national unions, such as the American Federation of Labor (AFL), feared that the strike would intensify antilabor opinion in the country. Seattle mayor Ole Hanson equated the strike with the Bolshevik Revolution and prepared to use force in order to break the strike. Faced with growing pressure from these external sources, ...

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