Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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February 11, 1916
Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control. Sentenced to a fine, she opts to spend two weeks in prison instead.
Related Topics: Birth Control
February 11, 1937
Forty-eight thousand General Motors workers win their 44-day sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan.
February 11, 1969  
Students set fire to the Sir George Williams computer centre in Montreal, after occupying it since January 29.
February 11, 1978
Native Americans set out on “The Longest Walk”, a 320-mile walk starting in Alcatraz and ending on July 15 in Washington.
Related Topics: Aboriginal History
February 11, 1979  
Poet John Trudell, former national chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM), burns an upside-down flag and speaks from the steps of the FBI building in Washington, D.C. during a vigil for Leonard Peltier. Twelve hours later Trudell’s wife Tina, her mother, and their three children die in an arson attack of their home on the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada. The FBI refuses to investigate the crime.
February 11, 1990
Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years of incarceration by South Africa’s apartheid regime.
On the day of his release, he makes a speech to the nation in which he says: “Today the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. The mass campaign of defiance and other actions of our organisation and people can only culminate in the establishment of democracy.... It is our belief that the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-racial basis. Negotiations on the dismantling of apartheid will have to address the over-whelming demand of our people for a democratic, non-racial and unitary South Africa. There must be an end to white monopoly on political power and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratised.... Our struggle has reached a decisive moment. We call on our people to seize this moment so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait. Now is the time to intensify the struggle on all fronts. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come will not be able to forgive. The sight of freedom looming on the horizon should encourage us to redouble our efforts.”.
Further Reading: Long Walk to Freedom
Related Topics: ApartheidSouth Africa
February 11, 2011
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is forced to resign after 18 days of mass protests.
Related Topics: Egyptian Revolt 2011

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: