'The victims of industrialism are more numerous than the victims of war.' - Ruskin.
Socialist Aotearoa sends its love and solidarity to the families of the Pike River Miners tonight, as they await news about their loved ones. The Miners are the backbone of the New Zealand working class, and they deserve the best of health and safety. One single life is not worth the millions the companies make from the sweat of the miners brow-
Joe Carolan, on behalf of Socialist Aotearoa
A dirge for the miners, the brave Huntly miners,
O'erwhelmed in the drive, where they labour'd for bread;
No more shall we see them, no more shall we hear them;
In the pride of their manhood, all crushed down and dead.
Sleep on, O brave comrades; your life's work is ended—
The breadwinner's sailed to a far distant shore;
Unflinching you laboured, for home and for kindred;
And now all your sorrows in this world are o'er.
O, think of their kindred--their nearest and dearest—
Their wives and their offspring, lamenting, and then
Hark! hark to the wailing, the fierce, bitter wailing,
The weeping of women, the sobs of the men!
Mourn, mourn for the miners, entombed 'neath the timbers;
Hot tears for our comrades, all mangled and torn;
And a curse for the system--the mad, cruel system—
That gathers its strength from the slaughtered and shorn!
For ages the workers have toiled on--have toiled on,
While Do-Noughts grew wealthy, without work at all;
And thousands received for a lifetime of bondage
Our dead comrades' wages--the earth for a pall!
Work on, then, O millions, in darkness and sorrow;
Be earnest and dauntless--the time yet shall come
When the gold-hunt that lures you will end with the morrow,
And a new hope arise like the throb of a drum! –
Arthur Desmond, 10 Jan 1891
[The Huntly (near Auckland) mine disaster occurred on 22 Dec 1890.]