bread riots


April 2nd 1863: Richmond Bread Riots

On this day in 1863, a riot occurred in the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, which saw starving, working-class women demanding support from the city government. By 1863, citizens of the seceded Southern states were feeling the effects of Northern blockades, the diversion of supplies to soldiers on the front line, and rampant inflation. These conditions were exacerbated in Richmond by a harsh winter and overpopulation, and were not helped by Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s call for Southerners to fast. Hungry women in Richmond, organised by Mary Jackson and Martha Fergusson, initially intended to take their complaints to Virginia’s governor, arranging to gather at Capitol Square on April 2nd to meet him. When they were refused audience, the women decided to take matters into their own hands. They descended on the capital demanding food, raiding government warehouses and stores, looting bread and other foodstuffs; it was one of the largest disturbances seen in the wartime South. The riots only ended when President Davis personally addressed the crowd and threatened to call troops. Local authorities were particularly keen to downplay the riot and prevent further outbreaks to ensure they could not be used as Union propaganda and undermine the already flagging Confederate morale. Around sixty men and women were arrested, but the demands of the rioters were partially acknowledged and the city resolved to expand poor relief in Richmond. The event has received particular attention from historians as evidence of the political actions of working-class Confederate women.

“Bread or blood!”


My friend recently started binge-watching GOT. She never watched it before nor has she read any of the books. And she and I never had any discussions about any of it, either. Until now.

So she mentions the show to me the other day and says she’s really into it. Then she asks me whether “the big dude with the scar on his face ever gets together with the red-haired girl when she’s older”! She said it’s obvious that he has a thing for her. I asked her what episode she last watched and sure enough, it was the one with the bread riot. She even mentioned how Sandor took a second or two to compose himself after killing the men chasing Sansa, before he scooped her up and carried her to safety!

I wouldn’t give her any show spoilers, but did give her the link to the deleted SanSan scene. I also told her the books were even better and filled her in on SanSan and canon. The SanSan fandom has a new member!

On This Day: April 17

International Day of Peasant Struggle

  • 1797: The Spithead Mutiny begins, also known as the “Floating Republic”, which spread to 16 ships of England’s Channel Fleet.
  • 1854: Benjamin Tucker was born in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
  • 1864: Bread riots in Savannah, Georgia, during US Civil War as it created food shortages.
  • 1905: US Supreme Court rules maximum hours law for New York bakery workers unconstitutional.
  • 1912: The Lena Massacre of striking gold miners in Siberia.
  • 1925: First nationwide anarchist organization in Korea established in Seoul, the Black Flag Alliance (Heuk Ki Yun Maeng). Main figures are Seo O-sun, Seo Sang-kang and LeeChang-shik.
  • 1960: 150 African-American students form Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), inspired by the lunch counter sit-ins.
  • 1965: The first major anti-Vietnam War rally in the US is organized by the SDS in Washington, DC. 25,000 attend.
  • 1969: FBI agents carry Vietnam War draft resister Robert Eaton after he had chained himself to 13 others.
  • 1969: Czechoslovakian Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubček, who attempted reforms as part of Prague Spring, is deposed.
  • 1972: Students at University of Maryland protesting the resumption of bombing in Northern Vietnam, battle with police and National Guard are sent in.
  • 1996: Brazilian police kill 19 landless workers. The massacre is now commemorated as the “International Day of Peasant Struggle.”
  • 2003: British anarchist artist Clifford Harper’s exhibition “Graphic Anarchy” opened at the Guardian newsroom.

‘’Sandor Clegane cantered briskly through the gates astride Sansa’s chestnut courser. The girl was seated behind, both arms tight around the Hound’s chest.


Clegane lifted her to the ground. His white cloak was torn and stained, and blood seeped through a jagged tear on his left sleeve. “The little bird’s bleeding. Someone take her back to her cage and see to that cut.”

He risked his life when he went back for Sansa. Now, why do you think he would do something like that? Because deep inside he cares. He also doesn’t hold back on calling her ‘little bird’ in front of Tyrion and everyone who was present there. He was wounded himself. Notice that Sansa is the one holding on to him and not the reverse. 

After being saved from the mob, it’s no wonder that she later thinks of him as her savior. It’s as close as a song as it gets, though it’s also violent and scary. Her memories of the riot show how terrified she was, and in the moment when she thought her death is a certainty… Ser Not-A-Ser came to her rescue, slashing hands and people with his sword.

1. When Cersei says  why Ilyn Payne is there, Sansa wishes it was the Hound.

2. When she sees how pathetic Dontos is she wishes he had the Hound’s ferocity.

3.When she is anxious about meeting Margaery she wishes he was still around. 

4.During her wedding ceremony she thinks Tyrion is even uglier than Sandor, and recounts her dreams of her marriage day (with a man who is tall and strong who would cover her in his cloak and take her under his protection) and sort of rejects Tyrion’s cloak. The cloak symbolism has been discussed by others many times. To cut it short: She feels protected when Sandor gave her his cloak. In the night of BBW, after Sandor leaves his cloak behind, she covers herself in it and later keeps it with her silk dresses.

5.When Marillion hits on her, she confuses Lothor with Sandor as if she was expecting him to save her once more. 

6.The nightmare she has of her wedding night and Tyrion turns into Sandor getting in the bed and requesting his song. 

7.As Sweetrobin kisses her she shifts her mind again to the Hound.

I dare say that thinking of Sandor in moments of discomfort/distress is similar to Jaimie’s ‘go away inside’. 

She also takes his words with her and they echo in her mind on numerous occasions. 


“The little bird still can’t bear to look at me, can she?” The Hound released her. “You were glad enough to see my face when the mob had you, though. Remember?”

It’s like saying ‘after all I’ve done for you, you still can’t see past my disfigurement or ‘no pretty faced knight saved you, I did’. He knows he is not pretty, yet he still asks her to look at him multiple times. He wants her to see him for what he is, good and bad…opposite to Tyrion’s suggestion to pretend he is someone else. And I think Sandor is frustrated when she avoids his face…because he wants her. Courting is not his best of skills. He can be cruel with his words and sometimes in the way he grabs her chin or hand, yet he calls her something sweet: ‘little bird’ and she does not get his song innuendo because she is still too young. When he tells her he’ll have a song from her one day…she innocently replies that she would sing it gladly. He doesn’t buy it.


‘’You think that makes me some monster. Well, maybe it does, but I saved your sister’s life too. The day the mob pulled her off her horse, I cut through them and brought her back to the castle, else she would have gotten what Lollys Stokeworth got. And she sang for me. You didn’t know that, did you? Your sister sang me a sweet little song.“

To me it sounds like he is proud of saving Sansa. He’s not a good man, but he is not the worse either. It also reminds me of many fairy tales: the knight/prince/hero that saves the princess’ virtue from the claws of dragons/monsters/giants. Of course Sandor is none of that, but he does behave like a true knight . Not gallant, but he can be gentle and protective. And Sansa noticed this. She understands him more than he imagines and she spent a number of nights thinking of that night he came in her room and wonders if she should have gone with him. Another fairy tail/song theme: the maid that is stolen by a hero/ the maid that runs off with her gallant knight. Ironically, if she had gone with him, they might have reached Robb and Cat and they might have died along with them at the Red Wedding.


The horse did not make it in the drawing lol. I need bigger sheets of paper. If I had drawn this on A3 I wouldn’t have been able to fit it in my scanner.

EDIT: I had some grammar mistakes lol (I probably have more…but I am too sleepy to realize.. so forgive me if my spelling is bad…my English gets worse when I am tired )…it’s like I wrote this with my foot. Not sure it’s worthy of the meta tag (someone added it). You are all very sweet. It’s nice to meet others who share the same views.

Le 14 Juillet (AKA, not “Bastille Day)

On the 14th of July 1789, in the midst of the French Revolution (also refered to by the same name in French, even though we had quite a few of those), rioters attacked the Bastille prison and freed the (7) prisoners that were inside. That prison was a relique of the Ancient Regime, that ended officially thee years later with the 1st Republic (September 21th 1792).

Basically, the French Revolution was a very complex period, in which many many things happened, not that historians really agree on what happened exactly (each carrying their own political views and agenda, including me).

In France, this period marks the beginning of the contemporary period (after antiquity, middle-age & modern times) in history, it was a rich period in terms of political, economical, cultural, scientific, social progress.

What we call “La prise de la Bastille” (the Storming of the Bastille) became a symbol, but the event in itself isn’t the most significant, by far.

For example, women walked on Versailles demanding bread, but really, riots broke out everywhere, we had lots of beheading (including Louis the 16th’s who was the king back then), let’s not forget the Reign of Terror, that was fun. The most significant event in my opinion was probably the Abolition of the Privileges (August 4th 1789).

A year after the Storming of the Bastille, on July 14th 1790, there was a celebration, called la Fête de la Fédération, meant to emphasize the importance of citizenship, of civil value, now that royalty & religion were no longer there for the people to put their faith and trust in (more or less).

In 1880, the 14th of July was officially adopted as the annual national holiday, meant as a military event. To this day, people still argue over which day our National Holiday is supposed to be referring to.

Bottom line, it’s supposed to be a symbol of citizenship & freedom and a reminder of the past. Our 19th century was full of revolutions and we had many uprisings before that (les Révoltes paysannes AKA Jacqueries).

One of those revolutions was used to plant the scene to Victor Hugo’s Misérables (June 1832).

To this day, we are known as the country of strikes, social rights (& laziness apparently?) and our history is filled with riots, uprising, demonstrations, protests, strikes.

This history is kept alive, partly with songs, only one of which can be found in Les Misérables… and was cut in the movie. It’s called la Faute à Voltaire, sung by Gavroche.

Here is a list of proeminent revolutionnary songs, with links to good audio versions with lyrics on youtube:

La carmagnole (1792) : The part everyone knows is about Marie-Antoinette: “Madam’ Veto (Marie-Antoinette) promessed to slaughter all Paris, but she missed her shot, thanks to our gunners. Let’s dance the carmagnole, hail the sound of gun barrel”.

La Marseillaise (1792) : The national hymn, the long version has 8 verses.

Ah ! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira (1790) : A very famous song sung during the revolution, the lyrics literally say “We will hang the aristocrats”.

Le chant des cerises (1867) : A beautiful song strongly associated with the Paris Commune (1871). It’s still sung by new artists or during demos to this day.

La semaine sanglante (1871) : At the end of the Paris Commune, over 30 000 people were slaughtered in a week (the story goes they killed everyone they came across in the street that had gunpower on them, so basically everyone), over a thousand people were sent to trial, many of which ended up in forced labor in Cayenne often to die there. The song has seven verse, one for each day of the week of the massacre, describing life after the Commune. Still sung in the face of police violence during protests.

La chanson du Père Duschène (1892) : An anti-clerical anarchist song, sung by Ravachol as he went to his execution. The song advises “if you want to be happy, in the name of god, hang your landlord”.

Les enfants de Cayenne (1900-ish) : The most emblamatic song against the police & prison. It was dug up by punks musicians about 30 years ago, so I don’t have a nice version to share. The lyrics go “Death to prison guards, death to cops”. But not as nicely.

La chanson de Craonne (1917) : A beautiful song sung by the mutineers of le Chemin des Dames during WWI, they were sent to slaughter, at some point they refused to go on. It’s heart-breaking, the lyrics go : “Good-bye life, good-bye love, good-bye to all women, it’s over, over forever, this atrocious war”.

La Butte Rouge (1925) : Another song against war (in general, but it highly refers to WWI). It’s about a place (a hill) where soldiers where killed, but time passed, people forgot what happened there and moved on, while the singer will never forget.

Le Chant des partisans (1941) : The hymn of the French Resistance during WWII, literally the rallying song. Everyone knows it, it’s sung at memorials every year, also sometimes during demonstrations, kids learn it at school : “We are the one who break the bars of our brother’s prisons”.

Le Chant des Marais (1933) : Originally sung in German, wrote & sung by prisoners in concentration camps. It’s also one of the most well-known songs about WWII, sung at every memorials, many learn it at school. It’s sad and beautiful. There is also an English version, though the lyrics aren’t exactly the same (x).

I might do a follow-up with more songs, either old or more recent, if anyone is interested.

[The] volatility within N.W.A. [between its black nationalist, party rap, and gangsta rap elements] resolved itself as swiftly and schematically as it arose. The party rap faded of its own accord, as residual styles do. The dominant, however, could not be excised so easily. In late 1989, Ice Cube left the group over royalty disputes; this departure was just the same a historical necessity, a scission that had to happen so that gangsta could become itself. Cube declared his allegiances plainly enough: his 1990 solo album AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, produced in New York by the Bomb Squad, cited Do the Right Thing; the track “Once Upon a Time in the Projects” seemed a verdict about the period’s hemorrhaging of social reality into the gangster’s fairytale. Shortly thereafter he would become a Muslim, ambivalently involved with the Nation of Islam. The surviving N.W.A. and its largely L.A.-based co-conspirators were thus left to engineer the gangsta emergence toward its realized form.

Yet there is another way to narrate the purification of gangsta than by structural subtraction; it is in this process that we can see the real effects of the culture war. Some of the best-known episodes would wait for the mid-nineties: the Reverend Calvin Butts endeavoring to steamroll a pile of compact discs and cassettes in Harlem in 1993, and C. Delores Tucker’s decency crusade with the National Political Congress of Black Women in the same year (shortly to join forces with former Secretary of Education William Bennett). Notable about these encounters is that they repeat the logic of black-on-black conflict, culturally internal but presented for broad consumption—which perhaps explains their popularity in cultural memory. They themselves are gangsta.

Far more determining are the clashes clustering around the actual period of emergence. In 1989, the FBI advised N.W.A.’s label regarding the song “Fuck tha Police”; the Fraternal Order of Police voted a boycott of the group (and of others advocating assaults on officers) and broke up a Detroit concert where they tried to perform the song. As gangsta moved from emergent to dominant style, larger social tensions were amplified first by the videotaped police beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991, and then by the riots and conflagrations following the officers’ acquittal at the end of April 1992. As urban theorist Mike Davis emphasizes, the events shouldn’t be simplified: “L.A. was a hybrid social revolt with three major dimensions. It was a revolutionary democratic protest characteristic of African-American history when demands for equal rights have been thwarted by the major institutions. It was also a major postmodern bread riot… . Thirdly, it was an interethnic conflict—particularly the systematic destroying and uprooting of Korean stores in the Black community.”

Jeff Chang argues that, for the purposes of media representations, it was a race riot “with Blacks centrally cast as Blacks and Korean-Americans in the role of the long-gone whites.” That the African-American community was geographically constrained from confrontation with whites is evident and suggestive. Against that containment, the riots’ overflowing the boundaries of black-on-black violence was exactly the source of their intolerability. In the arena of hip-hop, this specific shadow-conflict had already come up for discipline at the end of 1991. In an unheard-of event, Billboard editor Timothy White called for a store boycott of Ice Cube’s Death Wish, an album thick with misogyny and racialized violence, much of it directed toward fictive Korean-Americans.

In the same year, Ice-T (Tracey Marrow, “inventor of the crime rhyme”) started the hardcore band Body Count, whose eponymous debut included the song “Cop Killer” (which took up the repeated chant “Fuck the police” and ended “cop killer—but tonight we get even!”). Before being dropped from their record label, the band suffered a series of threats and censures, and eventually solicited the epic theater of Charlton Heston reading the lyrics of their song “KKK Bitch” in a Time Warner shareholder’s meeting.

The coherence of these disciplinary actions is as evident as it is unremarked. In the case of each song and album, the intolerable transgression is inevitably an episode of interracial violence. If one accepts the tactical equivocation of whites and Korean-Americans within conservative and reactionary discourse, the dynamic is even plainer: black-on-white violence is what must be punished. Images of equivalent violence within the Black community drew little commentary and no equivalent outrage.

Of course, the songs in question inevitably proposed this violence as retribution for a violence that historically ran the other direction. This can only have exacerbated the cultural reaction and punishment. Within the crucible of the moment, one can see this punitive reaction both as an expression of outrage and as a systematic effort to shape gangsta’s emergence within this moment of malleability.

History, one might say, is the history of making politics turn away. We can see the culture war working not to stop gangsta, but to contain it—literally. Hemmed in on all sides but one, gangsta was in effect disciplined to turn its antisociality along the course of least resistance: to comply with and celebrate an account of Black urban culture which served the ideological ends of that culture’s conservative critics, without being able to confront those very same antagonists. Black-on-black violence, the internalization of conflict, was not the only impulse present within gangsta’s emergence, but the only one that would be given free reign.

Joshua Clover, “The Bourgeois and the Boulevard,” 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This to Sing About,” pg.44-6

You know what I want to see in Les Mis?

I want to see a female Enjolras, or really any of the amis. But mainly Enjolras. Because yeah I know that they are canonically all male, but that was a long long time ago and besides, if my research into history has shown me anything it’s that women are ba, and that they will stand up for their children and they will fight for their freedom. The bread riots in Paris? Yeah that was almost all exclusively women. So shut up if you think it’s not possible. 

But anyways we’re talking about Les Mis. I did the show almost two years ago, it was one of the best experiences of my life. But one line never sat quite right with me “Let all the women, and fathers of children go from here” and yeah I know it’s not in every version of the show but it’s in some of them. I get it - they know they lost, but I cannot believe that Enjolras would ever deny anyone who wanted to stay that right. I cannot fathom Enjolras making anyone stay, or forcing anyone to go. 

I didn’t get to be one of the barricade ladies - the cast was so huge that they split the ladies in half (lovely ladies/barricade girls) and (factory/street/waltz of treachery) but I was talking to one of the girls who was and she said “It breaks my heart to leave them, if the director hadn’t told me to I wouldn’t” so, in summary, we need girls on the barricade and for the love of GOD someone let a girl play Enjolras. 

anonymous asked:

Bread riots

Our ladies, havin’ been left ‘lone by their men who went off to fight in the war rioted statewide, breakin’ and raidin’ the stores back in 1863 long ‘fore Sherman and his men came down. The planters got off much easier, able to sell off their cotton and havin’ the money to pay off such high prices at the time as cotton was much more profitable than food crops. And on top of that, our dear Confederacy government had the gall to heavily tax our farmers, robbin’ him of his income and means to provide fer his family! I’ll say, we became our own worst enemy, breakin’ ourselves from within. And how could we not? We participated in a rich man’s war, fightin’ a poor man’s fight from the start.