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Bucket of Blood, the Ragman's War

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Bucket of Blood, the Ragman's War



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Bucket of Blood, the Ragman's War by R. S. Sukle
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"Bucket of Blood" is what a coal town was called when deaths occurred to establish a worker's union. During the 1927-1928 strike in the western Pennsylvania coalfields, Russellton became known as such a place. In an effort to break the strike, special Coal and Iron police were brought into the area to evict the mine families from their company houses. These men imposed unconstitutional restrictions to harass the people and keep out relief workers and organizers. It was a time of brutal beatings, rape, and murder. Without union representation the workers were constantly exploited. Because the company used many weapons to keep them enslaved, the miners' families were forced to live in abject poverty. The miner had only one weapon, the strike. "Bucket of Blood: The Ragman's War" chronicles the depravation and indignities suffered by the families in the Russellton camps during the strike. Author R.S. Suckle explores the glimmers of hope appearing through relief efforts by the sons of a local farmer who become union activists. Ragman, a mine mechanic, walks out with the other men. Against his intentions, he is drawn into the struggle by his brothers, and the abuse that is heaped on his family by the Coal and Iron Police. The killing of a state Coal and Iron policeman in Russellton is a local legend. The killer was never identified. This story has been passed down in certain families, each with their own version. Each claims the killer as a relative. "Bucket of Blood" is one of those stories.
Release date NZ
December 18th, 2003
Country of Publication
United States
black & white illustrations
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