Category Archives: Anti-Capitalism/Labor

Anti-Globalization Movement in Grand Rapids began in the Spring of 2000

The US anti-sweatshop organizing in the 1990s focused a great deal of individual corporations and their exploitation of workers in countries around the world. Organizers around the world however, didn’t just challenge the practices of individual corporations, instead they saw … Continue reading

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Anti-sweatshop Action in Grand Rapids – 1996

As part of the growing anti-globalization/anti-free trade movement that was growing in the US, especially after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, organizers with the Institute for Global Education held an action at the Woodland Mall to … Continue reading

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Grand Valley Labor News series on Amway – 1980

We recently received a three-part series of articles written by Michael Johnston, a Grand Rapids labor historian and former journalist with Grand Valley Labor News (GVLN). This recently acquired three-part series is important, since he provides important analysis about co-founders … Continue reading

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Artwork highlights a People’s History in Grand Rapids – Print #18: Anarchist and Feminist Voltairine De Cleyre

Last semester, art students in Brett Colley’s GVSU class on printmaking, invited me to come talk about the Grand Rapids People’s History Project. The intent of the class was to have students investigate their own part of a People’s History … Continue reading

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Celebrating the Grand Rapids Furniture Workers Strike of 1911: Lessons for contemporary organizing and resistance

On April 19, it will be 106 years since hundreds of furniture workers walked off the job in Grand Rapids protesting working conditions, wages and the lack of an 8 hour work day.  We have been researching this historic event … Continue reading

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Responding to the GR Press Pro-Amway Propaganda – 1998

“Our people are seeking inspiration all the time, as most people are. Some people find it in the Rotary Club, some people find it at church and some people like to go to Amway meetings.” Rich DeVos, in, “The Power … Continue reading

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Haiti and Grand Rapids: Part 3 (1993)

This is the third part of three articles from 1993, written about the Haiti/Grand Rapids connection, a series which appeared in the Independent newspaper, The Fundamentalist. Part 1 looked at a Grand Rapids-based company, H.H. Cutler, which had moved their … Continue reading

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Giving Haiti the Business: Grand Rapids-based H.H. Cutler Leads the Way (1993)

(This article on Grand Rapids-based company H.H. Cutler and trade policy in the early 1990s is re-posted from the Independent newspaper, The FUNdamentalist Nov/Dec 1993) According to the National Labor Committee report, “Haiti After the Coup,” H.H. Cutler was the … Continue reading

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Grand Rapids Furniture Barons lived off the wealth created by furniture workers

As we have noted in previous articles related to the 1911 Grand Rapids Furniture Workers Strike, the strike pitted a handful of wealthy robber barons and thousands of furniture workers. The wealth gap between the Grand Rapids furniture barons was … Continue reading

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A.J. Muste: radical pacifist, labor organizer and former Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation spent his formative years in Grand Rapids

One never knows how our lives evolve and what impact we will have on social issues and the various movements for radical social justice. Abraham Johannes Muste, also known as AJ, was one of those people who had and continues … Continue reading

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