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Fighting in ParadiseLabor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawaii$
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Gerald Horne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835026

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835026.001.0001

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Confronting Colonial Hawai‘i

Confronting Colonial Hawai‘i

(p.17) Chapter 1 Confronting Colonial Hawai‘i
Fighting in Paradise

Gerald Horne

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the rise of labor radicalism in Hawaii. In the mid-1930s, the Communist Party in San Francisco asked seaman Bill Bailey to go to the Hawaiian Islands and organize. What he encountered upon arriving was an island already brimming with conflict and resentment from years of racism and worker repression—fertile ground for the implantation of radical ideas. Bailey realized there was enough cloth at hand already to construct a formidable tapestry of labor solidarity. Labor was also mobilized by the bloody aftermath a demonstration in Hilo, where men with fixed bayonets, riot guns, sidearms, rifles, menacing machine guns, Thompson submachine guns (the notorious “tommy guns”) and more fired upon protestors.

Keywords:   Hawaii, Community Party, labor movement, radicalism, Bill Bailey, protests, demonstrations

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