Jim Larkin’s Fight for Equality

James Larkin, born in January 1876 was an activist and labor organizer. He was born and raised in Liverpool. James was born into an unprivileged family, he was not able to receive a formal education, this pushed him to work extra hard through acquiring a variety of jobs to be able to meet him and his family’s basic needs. He worked extra hard in his youth and during this time he was able to find and marry his soul mate Elizabeth Brown. Read more: James Larkin – Wikipedia and James Larkin | Biography

He married her in the year1903 and with her bore four sons. Jim was a hard worker and through that, his efforts were recognized and promoted to a foreman in the Liverpool Docks. While going about his work, he realized that the workers were treated unfairly and this prompted his step to become a fulltime committed socialist. In 1905 he became an organizer with National Union of Dock Laborers. Learn more about Jeremy Goldstein: http://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/big-jim-larkin-hero-and-wrecker/

During his capacity as the organizer with NUDL, he used militant strike methods and due to this, Larkin was transferred to Dublin. His transfer bore the inauguration of (ITGWU) Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union headed by Jim Larkin and James Cannolly. The goal of this political program was to incorporate both unskilled and skilled industrial workers to make a unified organization. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/jim-larkin-released-from-prison and http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/books/the-definitive-biography-of-big-jim-larkin-372254.html

The organization advocated for pensions to all workers over sixty years old. In 1913, the co-founders of ITGWU planned and organized a strike which lasted eight months. Over one hundred thousand workers participated. They were eventually heard and won the right to a fair employment.

At the beginning of World War One, James Larkin organized a mega anti-war demonstration in Dublin. The demo called all Irish men urging them not to participate in the war. In 1914, Larkin was able to conduct a tour in the United States targeting the raising of funds to fight the British.

During his stay there, he joined the Socialist Party of America and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). In 1916, James Larkin learned of the demise of his friend and partner James Connolly an in his honor founded the James Connolly Socialist Club which grew to become a center wing of activities in New York City. Jim was Later deported to Ireland after being convicted of criminal anarchy and communism in 1920.

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