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Crystal Eastman

Mike Stout
Language: English



[2006]
Words & Music by Mike Stout
Album: Break the Chains [2007]

eastmanCatherine Crystal Eastman – pacifist, socialist, suffragist and feminist. She had been active as a supporter of the radical International Workers of the World (I.W.W.). A brilliant, dynamic, indefatigable activist: She believed military establishments and wars defended business interests and threatened the values she most cherished. She came to Pittsburgh at the age of 26 in 1907. Graduate of Vassar with a Masters from Columbia University, she graduated second in her class at NYU Law School. Hired initially for two months by Paul Kellogg of the Pittsburgh Survey, she stayed more than a year investigating in depth and in detail the industrial accidents that occurred in Allegheny County during 1906-07. Her study of the county’s 526 workplace deaths in a single year analyzed the specific hazards of various occupations including coal mining, steel making, and railroad work. She also extended accident investigations to detail the profound impact the deaths had on workers’ families.
In 1914, she was one of the founders of the Woman's Peace Party (later the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) and became president of the radical New York branch (1914-19). She also served as executive director of the American Union Against Militarism (1915-17) and helped commit its wartime successor, the National Civil Liberties Bureau (1917-18), to the protection of conscientious objection and free speech. After the war, she organized the First Feminist Congress in 1919, and helped found the American Civil Liberties Bureau in 1921 (renamed the American Civil Liberties Union in 1923). From 1918 to 1922, with her brother, Max Eastman, she co-owned and co-edited the Liberator, a radical journal of politics, art, and literature. She would have been in the core group but for an illness at the time of ACLU's inception. Until her death in 1928 of nephritis at forty-eight, Eastman worked tirelessly for feminism, social justice, and world peace.
The Mike's lyrics and his dynamic performance have brought to life her important contributions to social justice and workers rights. Along with his day job of running a union
print shop, Mike works to create music that raises awareness of serious social and political problems. His music speaks from the heart and soul, and indeed keeps the spirit alive and thriving..
Crystal Eastman was a warrior of yore,
Mover and shaker, path breaker for sure.
Voice for the victims of the captains of wealth,
The mother of all workplace safety and health.
Oh,
Crystal Eastman, your spirit's alive and risin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.
Sister Eastman, your cause is alive and thrivin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never never die.

She took her pen to the mills and factories of hell,
Shined a light where the dead and injured fell.
Wastelands of pain and injustice she saw;
She wrote the first workers' compensation law.
Oh,
Crystal Eastman, your spirit's alive and risin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.
Sister Eastman, your cause is alive and thrivin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.

Courageous, audacious, always on the front lines,
Hell-raiser, trail-blazer, way ahead of her time.
She led the fight to right so many wrongs;
Charming, disarming, so beautiful and strong.
Oh,
Crystal Eastman, your spirit's alive and risin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.
Sister Eastman, your cause is alive and thrivin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.

Organizer, rebel-rouser, brilliant and wise,
Her words were music, there was fire in her eyes.
She sowed the seeds, co-wrote and paved the way
For the ACLU and the ERA.
Oh,
Crystal Eastman, your spirit's alive and risin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.
Sister Eastman, your cause is alive and thrivin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.

She fought for women's rights and equal pay overdue,
Said, "Mothers raisin' kids are working people too".
Her life was a torch that burned for liberty;
A symbol of the free women to be.
Oh,
Crystal Eastman, your spirit's alive and risin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.
Sister Eastman, your cause is alive and thrivin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never die.

Code-pink resister to the robber barons' wars,
Outspoken sister for the peace and freedom force.
She was black-balled, and dragged through the mud,
But in the end they couldn't bury her love
Oh
Crystal Eastman, your spirit's alive and risin',
Crystal Eastman, your name will never never die.
Crystal Eastman, the time has arrived to tell the world
about the love that you gave,
The families and the lives that you saved.
Oh Crystal Eastman, she fought for peace and
Crystal Eastman, she fought the beast man.
Oh Crystal Eastman,
Hail Crystal Eastman,
Hail - Crystal Eastman.

2009/12/17 - 08:14



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