The Workingman's Party

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The Workingman's Party

Post by AlbertCurtis on Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:43 pm

"The Workingman's Party was a California labor organization led by Denis Kearney in the 1870s. The party took particular aim against Chinese immigrant labor and the Central Pacific Railroad which employed them. Its famous slogan was "The Chinese must go!" They held large Sunday afternoon rallies in the plaza in front of San Francisco's City Hall (only a few blocks from Chinatown). Attendance at these rallies peaked at the end of the nineteenth century. Kearney's attacks against the Chinese were of a particularly virulent and open racism, and found considerable support among white Californians of the time. This sentiment led eventually to the Chinese Exclusion Act."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workingman%27s_Party

""The Chinese Must Go!" was the slogan of the Workingmen's Party of California. The image above comes from an 1879 "ticket," a listing of the party's candidates. Click on it to see the entire list. By the late 1870s, anti-Chinese mobs were attacking Chinese businesses and homes in San Francisco and threatening to burn down that city's Chinatown. Further, as the Workingmen's Party ticket shows, anti-Chinese hysteria was widespread across the state. Congress would respond with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This was the first measure to restrict emigration to the United States on the grounds of race. It would be followed, early in the twentieth century, with a "Gentleman's Agreement" with Japan which stopped emigration from that nation. Later, in the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924, Congress would again ban all emigration from China, Japan, and most of Asia. It would also drastically reduce the numbers of immigrants overall and mete out quotas to various nations, also based upon racialist ideas. As a result, the Chinese Exclusion Act marked a turning point in American history, the beginning of an effort to control the racial make-up of the nation."
http://www1.assumption.edu/users/mcclymer/His130/P-H/chinese%20Exclusion/default.html

"During the height of the 8-hour movement, radicalized white workers denounced capital and the owning class, but they also were already blaming “coolie” labor for dragging wages downward. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad led to a big influx of skilled Chinese workers, who came to dominate employment in cigar making, shoe making, and textiles. Thousands of white workers came to San Francisco during this same period, seeking work out west in the wake of the economic depression back east. But the railroad brought the depression along with the workers.

By 1877, the “Great Uprising” in the east, focused around a nationwide rail strike, led to rebellious excitement among San Francisco's unemployed. Demonstrations were held nightly in the sandlots surrounding City Hall in the Civic Center area. The Workingmen's Party of the United States, a socialist party which had absorbed the remnants of the US section of Karl Marx's International Workingmen's Association (a.k.a. the 1st International) after its collapse in 1876, called for a mass meeting in the sandlots for the evening of July 23, 1877. The police arrested men who were advertising the meeting with a banner earlier in the day, and by that night, the entire police force and militia were on alert to prevent the rumored attack on the Pacific Mail Steamship Docks at Brannan St. in Mission Bay. (Pacific Mail was the primary means of transit for Chinese immigrant workers, and they were hated as much as was their chief employer/importer, the Central Pacific Railroad.)

The official speakers spoke against Capital, and against granting franchises, and land and money subsidies to private parties, and so on. But when no mention was made of the Chinese (scapegoated by white workers as "coolie" labor, driving wages downward, but also the object of widespread virulent racism), a crowd of toughs from a neighborhood “ward club” (the local structure of the Democratic Party) invaded the rally. Before long an angry mob stormed off and by the next day over 20 Chinese laundries had been destroyed, as was a plumbing shop, and the Chinese Methodist Mission was stoned. It was the worst riot San Francisco had ever had at that point. .......The Workingmen's Party ended up with approximately one third of the seats at the California Constitutional Convention, facing factions as diverse as railroad lackeys to Grangers and anti-monopolists. They wrote shamelessly racist constitutional clauses suppressing the rights of Chinese people, and got them passed. They also supported the anti-corporation positions of the grangers, regulatory controls on railroads and so on, but got only symbolic language regarding improved conditions for workers. The eight-hour day, already a demand for nearly two decades, was reduced to a phrase “Eight hours shall constitute a legal day's work on all public work.” Of course, the vast majority of workers were privately employed.

Frank Roney came down from Nevada to Sacramento to observe the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention. After watching the Workingmen's Party delegation in action he concluded: “The worst brand of stand-pat, corporation ridden politician would have made a better showing than this primitive band of fake reformers.”

The Workingmen's Party won almost every elective seat in San Francisco except on the Board of Supervisors in the 1879 election. Isaac Kalloch, a former New England abolitionist, was the new mayor."
http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=The_Workingmen%E2%80%99s_Party_%26_The_Dennis_Kearney_Agitation

More at Google: http://www.google.com/search?q=working+mans+party&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

For when the sillies say,"Unions are race mixing and commies and always have been.' or other similar nonsense.


Last edited by AlbertCurtis on Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Workingman's Party

Post by GF on Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:08 pm

Cool info!
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Re: The Workingman's Party

Post by AlbertCurtis on Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:11 pm

Godfaesten wrote:Cool info!
There is a lot more at the links, use it well my boy, use it well. Smile

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