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We’ve talked about some of the more well known general strikes in US history: the interwar strikes in Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Toledo. But even before them, in the 19th century, there was one general strike that predated them all. In New Orleans in 1892, tens of thousands of workers, Black and white, stood as one against their exploiters. They fought not just for better wages and shorter hours, but for the bosses to recognize and negotiate not just unions of white workers, but Black workers too. The 1892 New Orleans general strike stands as a monument to the power of multiracial working class unity, and shows why bosses have fought so hard for so long to prevent workers from achieving it.
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