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Len Wallace Songs about Molly Maguires (110* d) RE: Molly Maguires: Songs about? 06 Nov 99

There's a good book about the Molly Maguires published a number of years back by International Publishers which was a defense of them.

Considering the times, the cruelty of the mine owners, the almost slave like conditions of working in the mines, the racial epithets hurled at Irish workers as "lazy" and "ignorant", it is not surprising that some of the Molly's had taken to violent means to fight against oppression.

They had ties to the Ancient Order of Hibernians (a cultural, ethnic, Catholic based organisation) and worked witin it secretly to make contacts. The work of the Mollys to organise a union was not only physically attacked by the employers, but was attacked by the church - the striving for unionism, any kind of radicalism, was considered anathema by the Catholic priests who preached sermons against them.

The problem was that under such conditions, in those times, with political rights restricted, when "law and order" so flagrantly opposed to the working class, did the Mollys have any other choice?

I think some 10 to 14 members of the Mollys were executed by authorities (hung), most of them innocent men and condemned for crimes they did not commit. Typical example of the justice of the times in the name of capitalist order.

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