On this day in 1917, Frank Little was lynched. He was a union leader with the Industrial Workers of the World, organizing workers in various industries throughout the United States. He had gone to Butte, Montana to help organize copper miners. And then, early in the morning of 1 August 1917, six masked men broke into his hotel room and dragged him away. They beat him and finally hanged him from the Milwaukee Railroad trestle. He was probably 38 at that time.
It is widely believed that the men were Pinkerton agents, but there might have also been local law enforcement in the group. This is what capitalism is. This is what the owners do. Quite literally, small changes in their profit margins are more important than human life. Of course, one might say that things are better now. The capitalists have learned how to get the workers to self-oppress. That’s true. But if the workers ever wake up, the capitalists will go back to killing. They aren’t hiring assassins the way they used to only because they don’t have to.
We mark the noble life and sad death of Frank Little.