This event was a pre-recorded and posted during the 2022 School Revolt, which had the theme of Anarchism, Education, and Intersectionality. Daniel and Pelle put together multiple videos for the event, discussing a week’s worth of entries in Working Class History: Everyday Acts of Resistance and Rebellion.
Pelle: Hello and welcome to breakfast with Pelle, Daniel, and the Working Class History book. My name is Pelle.
Daniel: And my name is Daniel, and we’re a son and father who like to read Working Class History: Everyday Acts of Resistance and Rebellion. Often together while we eat breakfast.
Pelle: We usually start by one of us reading out the entries for that day and then asking each other questions and thinking about what those events mean to us today. We’re often unfamiliar with the event or with context, but we always end the conversation feeling a little bit wiser.
Daniel: For the Anarchist Pedagogies Network’s festival, School Revolt 2022, we thought we’d share some of those conversations with you.
[interlude – background sound: the noise of preparing breakfast and coffee]
Daniel: Okay, hi everyone. Today it’s March 14th, and we’re gonna read the two entries from Working Class History for that particular day. So do you want– Do you want to read it, Pelle, or should I?
Pelle: Uh, you, you.
Daniel: Okay, yeah, so March 14th, 1970. That’s four years before I was born. “Two sailors, Alvin Glatkowski and Clyde McKay, mutinied to protest the war and took control of the SS Columbia Eagle, which was carrying ten thousand tons of napalm for the US military 00:01:54,330 –> 00:01:55,330
in Vietnam. They then sailed the ship to Cambodia, which was neutral at the time, to prevent the
cargo being used. Initially, they appeared to have succeeded, as the Cambodian government agreed to their demands and gave them asylum. But, unfortunately for the mutineers, just days later, there was a military coup, and a new pro-US regime took power. Glatkowski and McKay were locked up and the ship handed back to US forces. McKay managed to escape from prison and joined Khmer Rouge guerrillas
in the countryside. The guerrillas later killed him. Glatkowski eventually returned to the US and was jailed for ten years.”
Pelle: What’s a coup?
Daniel: So, yeah, this… So, it talks about a military coup. It’s basically, in this case, where the military take over for maybe a variety of reasons, but they take over control.
Pelle: Take over governments?
Daniel: Yeah, basically, yeah. And then usually what happens is there’s a period where the military controls things and then another, um, let’s say government steps in, right?
Daniel: So it describes the other government as a “pro-US regime,” so you know it wouldn’t have been, like, voted in but probably people put into government.
Pelle: Yeah. (in Norwegian) They took over the ship that was going to bomb somewhere. And they took over the ship they were going to bomb with. And they steered it away, they stopped it, because napalm is a very extreme way to die.
Daniel: Yeah, exactly.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) They thought… that’s why they didn’t want it to happen because it’s too unbelievable.
Daniel: Yeah, I mean, I’m thinking just, like, the risk they took then, right? So they take over this military ship, right? Like you say it’s– Like, it says “10,000 tons of napalm.”
Pelle: (in Norwegian) That’s a lot.
Daniel: Yeah, and it’s on its way to Vietnam, uh, that’s kind of one of the– If you like the
wars that, you know, it’s kind of well-known for–
Daniel: Yeah, and its use or the US use of napalm. It’s been used other places, but… But it’s
particularly well-known there.
Daniel: And how uh, how destructive it was.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) It’s one of the most well-known wars.
Daniel: Yeah, so they took over the ship. You know, that’s kind of a risk, you know, they risked being like court martialed. Maybe even, like I’m assuming, like sentenced to death as well. Could be like the– the punishment.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) Yes, because it was legal… it’s still legal to be sentenced to death in America now.
Daniel: Yeah, there are some states in the US that have that.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) Yes, and here it was all of them, almost. Yes, it was all of them at that time. So they took a huge risk doing it. It was very brave. That they dared to do it.
Daniel: That’s right. Actually, um, Working Class History have a podcast on this.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) About this?
Daniel: Yeah, if you look closely in the book, you can see there’s a little reference. Um, which I listened to, uh, a while back. It was really interesting. And yeah, obviously, it took some planning as well so the two who– who carried this out, you know, took a long time. They were very careful in how they… how they did this. And they had like a pretty good plan in place. Um, yeah, very kind of very dangerous, but um… Also incredible, you know. Thinking about like putting out… in a way, out of action all those… all that… all that napalm. Because we’ve talked a little bit about napalm, right?
(Pelle verbally indicates yes with a sound.)
Daniel: Um, yeah. Um, I can’t remember what connection it was in, but when maybe… when we’ve talked about Vietnam before.
Pelle: Yeah, yeah… (in Norwegian) How deadly napalm is. How it’s such an incredibly bad way to die. It’s very painful.
Daniel: Yeah. Oh yeah, I mean it’s like a, um… It’s like they call it like a petrochemical. It’s like… It’s like petrol or gasoline, right?
Daniel: But it burns like at a much higher temperature and uh… Like, so it destroys a lot more, and it’s also, I think, like kind of… like sticky, if you can describe it in that way. So it sticks to things when it burns them. And of course that includes people, right? Uh, and other animals. So it’s it’s just really…
Pelle: (in Norwegian) So it’s not just people who die, there’s lots of animals lives that are completely wiped
Daniel: Yeah. I mean, a lot of this was, like, dropped in. Like, I think in, like uh… forest or jungle areas.
Daniel: Yeah so like, yeah, you destroy, like, huge parts of the… of the landscape, essentially, with this with these… with these bombs.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) Maybe we should move on to March 14 2018?
Daniel: Yeah good idea. So yeah, March 14th, 2018. It says here: “Marielle Franco, a bisexual Afro-Brazilian socialist and feminist was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro. Raised in a favela (or shanty town) in the city, she began work at the age of eleven, and later raised a daughter as a single mother working for the minimum wage, before being elected to the city council in 2016. The day before her murder, she had spoken out against extrajudicial killings by police and paramilitaries. The bullets that killed her had been purchased by the federal police. The minister of public security claimed that the bullets were stolen from a post office, but this lie was retracted when the post office publicly stated it was untrue. At the time of writing, four suspects have been arrested for the murder, all with ties to state security forces, and two of them with links to the family of right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro. Another suspect, a former police officer, was shot and killed by police in February 2020, as they were attempting to arrest him.”
Daniel: So yeah, this takes place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Pelle: (in Norwegian) Yes, in 2018, not so long ago.
Daniel: That’s right, yeah.
Pelle: Is it exactly four years ago?
Daniel: Exactly four years ago, yeah. Um…
Pelle: On this day?
Daniel: A really tragic story of somebody who I think was very well liked in, uh, the city by a lot of people, particularly in the area where she came from… these these shanty towns in and around the city, um… So yeah. And then of course, being killed shortly after speaking out against, you know, the kinds of, like, crimes that are committed by… by uh… by the state police, the federal police. We’ve also… we’ve talked about this one before because I remember we we talked a little bit about this… this about the bullets.
Daniel: You remember that?
Pelle: Yeah. (in Norwegian) That those that were used were shot by some people who aren’t the police. But–
Daniel: Or maybe. We don’t know, right?
Pelle: (in Norwegian) We don’t know, but the ammo itself was from
the police, who maybe they stole it from, we don’t know, from the post office.
Daniel: Okay, so, remember the thing that you once asked me about this one was… you said, “Well, of course the post office would say that they weren’t stolen,” and I thought like… I thought it would be different to you because my first response was like… well, no, if they were stole– if they were stolen, okay, that would be fine, but here the post office says no, this is a lie.
Daniel: You kind of had this interesting point which is maybe not that relevant here to the… to the, uh, entry. But…
Pelle: They probably have… (in Norwegian) Yes, they have to say that in a way.
Daniel: Yeah. Why do you think they have to…
Pelle: (in Norwegian) So they don’t look bad. So people don’t think they have poor security, that people can just take things, simply.
Daniel: Yeah, I mean, I think here what’s especially kind of tragic with this is, you know, like somebody who’s clearly, like, very much kind of engaged in politics– local politics trying to make things better, right? And you know, basically that… You know, she’s she’s risking her life for doing it. And of course, she ends up losing her life– or being murdered, right? Because of taking a stand and because of trying to make things better. Yeah.
Daniel: Okay, well, that’s– Those are the two entries for today, right? March 14th. Um, I guess we’ll, uh read– go through March 15th tomorrow.
Pelle: Yeah. There was some long ones today.
Daniel: Yeah. They were.