James Larkin (1876-1947) was an Irish dock foreman, Marxist labor organizer, newspaper editor and public speaker. He founded the Irish Transport and General Worker’s Union (ITGWU) in 1907 in Dublin.
After growing up the child of a poor Irish family Larkin could have disappeared into the mists of obscurity but instead took on the plight of all Irish workers as his own in an attempt to garner better wages and working conditions.
He found work as a dock laborer in Liverpool, England where he grew up. He originally joined the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL). The NUDL found his calls for aggressive strikes to be too zealous and moved him from Liverpool to Dublin, Ireland.
This led Larkin to leave the NUDL and to the birth of the ITGWU which sought to unionize all laborers in the industrial sector. The ITGWU fought for an eight hour work day, pensions for laborers 60 years and older and the nationalization of all transportation in Ireland. Larkin was a fiery public speaker whose speeches demanding fair compensation resonated with workers all over Ireland.
Finding success with other groups of laborers, the work of the ITGWU under Larkin culminated in the failed eight month strike of tram workers known as the 1913 Lockout. The strikes led to over 10,000 workers losing their jobs when tram employers did not bend to the dissent.
Disparate over the Lockout and hoping to spread his influence and forward the predicament of workers, Larkin moved to the United States in an ill-fated attempt to become a public speaker.
While he did successfully tour the US on a socialist speaking platform in 1919 he was arrested and convicted of criminal anarchy which according to a 1918 New York State statute was “the doctrine that organized government should be overthrown by force or violence.”
In 1923 he was pardoned but was no longer welcome in the United States. Upon his return to Ireland he continued to fight for worker’s rights forming a new union, the Worker’s Union of Ireland (WUI), which he led until his death in 1947.
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James Larkin | Ireland Calling
Betsy DeVos is an American businesswoman who has been making significant contributions to charity for the past three decades. According to her, everyone deserves compassion and a quality life. She has committed herself to making sure that children in the United States have access to the best schools. Betsy advocates for reforms in the sector and wants to make sure that people can attend schools of choice. Her dedication made President Donald Trump to appoint her to his cabinet as the U.S secretary of education. She has been making sure that parents are involved in deciding the kind of schools that their children should join.
Many students in the United States currently attend good schools due to the policies that Mrs. DeVos has been supporting. She advocates for the use of the school vouchers that will allow individuals to use public money in paying for their education in charter schools. The U.S education system has been limiting children to attending learning institutions depending on the neighborhoods that they live. This regulation has concerned many parents from low-income areas since their children might not be able to attend good schools. Betsy efforts have enabled many children in the country to access the best education.Mrs. DeVos is also appreciated for her involvement in politics. She started her career in the field by acting as a volunteer in the campaigns of President Gerald Ford during the 1976 elections. She has been actively involved in activities of the Republican Party for years. Betsy was once appointed to act as a delegate who represented the Michigan people. In 1992, she was offered a position at the Republican Nation Committee, which she held until 1998.
Betsy has been running most of her charity work through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation, which is an organization that she formed with her husband, Dick DeVos. The main activities that the couple has been supporting include leadership, community development, education, justice, and arts. They have assisted many people in addressing various issues that affect them.Various charity organizations in Michigan and other parts of the country have benefited from the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation’s donations. They include the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program, ArtPrize, and the American Federation for Children. Mr. and Mrs. DeVos are the founders of West Michigan Aviation, which provides an excellent education to students across the state. Dick loves aviation, and this motivated him to establish the college. Betsy’s family gives millions of dollars to charity every year, and this has made it be regarded among the most generous in the U.S. They have supported the election of various Republican Party candidates by funding their campaigns. Mrs. DeVos is considered as one of the influential women in the country.
Thor Halvorssen is the perfect leader for human rights advocacy in the 21st century. The man is 39 years old and has been politically active his entire life. His activism gotta start when his father was put in jail in Venezuela as a political prisoner. Then a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, Thor Halvorssen helped Amnesty International and other human rights groups secure his father’s freedom.
His mother was shot in New York City for what she believed in. She was marching in protest of human rights abuses in South America when a security force opened fire on the crowd. It was Thor Halvorssen who broke the story in the Wall Street Journal.
The lifelong human rights activist also shot into the Zeitgeist with a confounding Fox News interview. Fox News, forever a right-wing propaganda channel, brought the human rights activist on air to talk about why socialism is inherently evil. Much to the chagrin of the interviewer, Thor Halvorssen expressed an incredibly nuanced political point of view. Socialism, he explained, is not inherently evil. In fact, he blew everybody away by saying that he donated the maximum amount to the presidential campaign of Democratic Socialist candidate Bernie Sanders.
It is his understanding of social media marketing that will really put him on the map. When pop star Nikki Minaj was offered $2 million for a private concert by the unilateral dictator of Angola, Thor Halvorssen took to the Internet. He penned an open letter to the female rapper urging her not to play the concert. Thor Halvorssen detailed all the human rights abuses perpetrated by the dictator of Angola. He also said that by taking $2 million from this dictator, Nikki Minaj was essentially stealing from the people of Angola. The dictator made all of his money by abusing his population and stealing his country’s natural resources for himself.
The pop star went on to play her concert, but anybody googling the incredibly popular singer was likely to come across this information. That simple act educated thousands if not millions of people across the world about international human rights violations.
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