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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June 27, 1869
Birth of Emma Goldman (1869-1940), anarchist, revoluntary, writer.
Related Topics: Anarchism
June 27, 1880
Birth of Helen Keller (1880-1968), American author, lecturer, and socialist.
June 27, 1905
Rebellion breaks out on the Battleship Potemkin. It begins spontaneously when sailors refuse to eat a meal of borscht made from rotten meat infested with maggots. Officers commanded by Ippolit Giliarovsky, the ship’s second in command, threaten to shoot crew members if they persist in their refusal to eat the vile stew. He shoots and mortally injures one crew member -- and then the sailors revolt. They kill Giliarovsky and six other officers, and take over the ship. The sailors elect a ship’s committee of 25 men who they delegate to run the ship. They decide to raise a red flag and head for the port of Odessa, where a general strike is under way.
The mutiny eventually comes to a conclusion when the sailors sail the ship to Romania. Its impact is felt across Russia: Lenin later calls it the “dress rehearsal” for the revolution of 1917.
June 27 - July 8, 1905  
Founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW): Around 200 trade unionists, socialists, and anarchists gather in a congress in Chicago to found a radical alternative to the American Federation of Labor, which restricts itself to organizing craft workers on the basis of narrow interests. The new union sets itself the goal of organizing broad-based industrial unions encompassing all workers, with the long-term goal of overthrowing the capitalist system entirely.
June 27, 1915
Birth of Grace Lee Boggs, American radical activist and writer.
Further Reading: a href="/CxLibrary/CX13081.htm">Grace Lee Boggs: The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
Living by the Clock of the World: Grace Lee Boggs’ Call for Visionary Organizing
June 27, 1954  
In Guatemala, a military coup directed and funded by the CIA forces President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman from office. Arbenz had won the country’s first election under universal suffrage. The U.S. and the Guatemalan elite want Arbenz out because he is moving to bring about land reform which threatens the power of the United Fruit Company and the local elite. Following the coup d’etat, hundreds of Guatemalans are rounded up and killed. Between 1954 and 1990, the security forces of successive U.S.-supported military regimes murder more than 100,000 Guatemalans, many of them indigenous people.
Related Topics: CoupsGuatemalaInterventionLand Reform
June 27, 1980  
An Italian passenger plane is shot down over the Tyrrehian Sea about 40 minutes after taking off from Bologna. The identity of whoever shot down the plane is never officially established, but the leading theory is that it was shot down by NATO forces, likely French.
Related Topics: Airplane Crashes
June 27, 1986  
The International Court of Justice (‘World Court’) rules that the United States violated international law through its use of force against Nicaragua. This included a trade embargo, the mining of harbours and bombing of airfields, as well as furnishing financial, military and logistical support to the so-called Contra insurgents. The Contras’ goal was to overthrow Nicaragua’s popular left-wing government. The Court also rules that the U.S. should compensate Nicaragua financially. The United States ignores the judgement, as it normally does when any international body makes a ruling it doesn’t like.

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: