garments workers

I remember the day I received my copy. It was 2005 and I had just turned nine. Rav Sabbati led me into a dark corner of the Beit Midrash at the Sinagoga Al-Hambra, handed me this and told me that he understood I had an interest in cross-universe travel and that he could help me with it. He would let me have this book now, and if I turned nineteen and was still interested, he would connect me with the Consortium pour le voyage et l’etude d’univers alternatifs, in Lyons.

Since then, my copy of this book has seen thousands of timestreams in hundreds of universes. It’s gazed upon the mechanized horror of Nazi Germania and the crumbling boulevards of Paris under Soviet occupation. It’s served as a improvised notebook for recording the singsong language of the walen (Dutch-affiliated whale communities; long story) and the consonant-heavy folksongs of the Muscovite Nyandertalets.

This book has ridden in the bag of the striking garment workers of the Arbeiter Ring as a roiling New York City faced off with the National Guard. It’s seen the Appalachian Free State and the Negro Revolt, and stood stopped a Union bullet at Ninth Manassas in 1934. It’s ridden the steppes of the great Khazar Empire with the Ninth Armoured Reconnaissance Division “Khagan Yosef’s Own”. It’s seen the underwater kingdoms of the Eelmen of the Pacific Rift. It’s staunched bleeding wounds and holes in dikes. It’s been signed by soldiers and musicians, commercial airship pilots and the conductors on the underwater trains that crisscross the Pacific. In the back cover is the small, cramped signature of John Peacock Flannery O’Nann (W-Deseret), the first Neanderthal President of the United States.

Interestingly, there has never yet been an Earth I’ve seen where humans, or hominins did not tread. I think that counts for something. 

#BREAKING: 42 factory owners & government officials charged with murder of 1,100 workers in the infamous Bangladesh factory collapse.

The Rana Plaza disaster has led to an unprecedented legal consequence for those charged with ignoring workers’ basic rights: jail time and possibly a death sentence.

READ this article to learn more about a story that could further shake the global garment industry.

Luisa Moreno (1907-1992) was a Guatemalan social activist who emerged as a leader in the United States labour movement during the 1940s. She was responsible for a number of important activities, such as organizing and leading strikes, or writing pamphlets in both Spanish and English, working to improve the status and living conditions of Latino workers in the USA.

She worked as a seamstress in Spanish Harlem during the Great Depression, and organized her colleagues – mostly Latina women – into a garment workers’ union. Her efforts brought together many Hispanic unions with the purpose of improving their pay, life, and status in society. In 1939, she organized the first national Latino civil rights assembly, the Congreso de Pueblos de Habla Española. She eventually gained enough notoriety and influence that she was deported in 1950.

Rose Schneiderman (1882-1972) ─ feminist, socialist, suffragist, garment worker organizer, Jewish activist, is credited with coining the term ‘bread and roses’: “What the woman who labors wants is the right to live, not simply exist─the right to life as the rich woman has the right to life, and the sun and music and art. You have nothing that the humblest worker has not a right to have also. The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too…”


The Getty Images Instagram Grant, run in collaboration with Instagram, supports visual artists using #Instagram to tell important stories about communities underrepresented by mainstream media. 

Ismail Ferdous, a Bangladeshi documentary photographer using #Instagram to cover social humanitarian issues, received a grant in 2015 for his project “After Rana Plaza.” 

“This project came from a very personal place, as I live among those affected by the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh’s garment industry. Seeing the workers every day, coming and going, is a constant reminder of the collapse and its effects still linger more than two years later.” -@ismailferdous 

📷: Rahela Begum lost her son at the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse: "Whenever I go in front of Rana Plaza, I feel like my son will come back suddenly. My elder son told me to change our house but I denied him. I told him this house is attached with my son’s memories and I will not leave this place at any cost." 

The Getty Images Instagram Grant is accepting applications until April 12. Learn more and apply at

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“The Most Dangerous Sorceress in the Empire”,Clara Zetkin, circa 1910.

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and here is why.

In 1910 German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed to the Second International that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day, to commemorate demonstrations held by Women Garment Workers in New York CIty on March 8, 1857, and again on the 51st anniversary, March 8, 1908 Zetkin, a renowned revolutionary theoretician, argued with Lenin on women’s rights, and was considered a grave threat to the European governments of the time. Title quote by Kaiser Wilhelm I. 

Today in labor history, August 22, 2010: Police open fire and attack with tear gas 2,000 garment workers who block a highway in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for three hours to demand that they be paid overdue wages. In 2010, the garment industry in Bangladesh raked in $12 billion, but the minimum wage for garment workers – working 10 to 16 hours a day under hazardous conditions, six days a week – was $24 a month.

this is your yearly reminder that international women’s day was originally international working women’s day, and was started by the socialist party of america in 1909 in part to commemorate the March 8th, 1908 garment worker’s strike.

so as you celebrate, remember that you’re celebrating because of working women, socialists, and union workers who campaigned for safer working conditions, better pay, and universal suffrage. 

remember the women that everyone tried to silence.