Vu, August 13, 1930

Over 100,000 textile and steel workers clashed with police in the Nord region of France in August 1930.

David Seymour (Chim), Striking workers at a Renault factory, France, 1936

Members of a militant theatrical group, Mars, support a Front Populaire demonstration at the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Associated Press, [Police and striking steel workers clashing outside Republic Steel Corporation plant, Chicago], May 30, 1937

Police shot and killed ten demonstrators during the Memorial Day massacre of 1937. Supporters and striking workers, who belonged to the Congress of Industrial  Organizations, were protesting low wages and poor working conditions. Known collectively as “Little Steel,” Republic Steel, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, and other smaller steel companies, refused to sign a union contract as U.S. Steel had done.

Wallace Kirkland, [Picketers circling in front of meat packing plant during packers’ strike, Chicago], 1948

Chicago’s meat packing industry, the object of scathing critique in Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle, was subject to numerous strikes.

Jean-Pierre Rey, [Girl waving flag in crowd during general strike, Paris], May 1968

From LIFE‘s May 24, 1968 coverage of the Paris uprisings:

Defying truncheon and tear gas to win the barricades

The street battle of Paris began with student demonstrations and swiftly escalated into savage warfare. Rock-throwing bands charged up the boulevards. Police, led by the elite and detested Compagnies Républicained de Sécurité, and Gardes Mobiles, charged over cobblestone barricades the student built and attacked without restraint or discrimination. Men and women, rioters and bystanders alike, felt the truncheon and choled on toxic gas. Streets already strewn with rubble and burning automobiles were further clogged by a general strike as workers and leftists rallied in support of the students (above). Finally the government ordered the police to pull back and the students–at a cost of 10 dead and 1,500 injured–appeared to have carried the day.

About erinbarnett

Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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