In 1934, during the height of the Depression and one of the largest national strikes in history, 4 unarmed Rhode Island workers were killed by State Police and Militia Men called out by Governor TF Green to protect the Saylesville Bleachery in Lincoln, Rhode Island. It wasn’t a “strike,” he declared, but a “communist insurrection.”
Whatever. Four workers were cut down in the street. You can still see the bullet holes in the gravestones from the high powered guns used against the strikers and each labor day some of us gather to remind the powers that be that we are not all dead and buried. This year Maureen Martin, Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO will deliver the address at the memorial to the martyrs created by the Rhode Island Labor History Society to memorialize what is known as The Battle of the Gravestones.
The monument is located in Moshassuck Cemetery, 978 Lonsdale Avenue in Central Falls.
If you like, you can see actual newsreel video of the street battle here.
CIVIL WAR AT SAYLESVILLE