Monday, January 21, 2008

Strike at Cananea, Sonora, copper mine

The big copper mine at Cananea, just south of Arizona, was the site of a big copper strike in 1906, a foreshadowing of the Mexican Revolution that broke out just a few years later. The strikers were influenced by the anarchosyndicalist Flores Magón brothers, and the philosophy on the workers' side had a strong tinge of IWW-style idealism. American mine owners led Arizona state troops into Sonora to break the strike. Now, more than a century later, there is another strike going on at Cananea.
Mexican labor authorities seized on technicalities to order an end to the strike at the country's largest copper mine in Cananea, Sonora, on Friday. The Mexican press reports that over 700 heavily armed agents of the Sonora state police arrived in Cananea just hours before the decision was announced, and agents of the Federal Preventative Police were sent to this tiny mountain town as well. Strikers report that the streets were filled with rocks and teargas, and 20 miners have been injured - some seriously - in the ensuing conflict. The union says that five strikers are missing.

Read the entire story here. Can we be setting up to recapitulate the bloodshed of the last century? The mine owners are now Mexican, but the complaints haven't really changed.

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