22 June

'I will never forget a photograph of flames, fire, shooting right out of the water in downtown Cleveland. It was the summer of 1969 and the Cuyahoga River was burning.'

June 22, 2009 · 1 min read

So spoke the US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Carol Browner after the Cuyahoga River went up in flames on 22 June 1969. The fire, which reached the height of a five-storey building, was only the latest – and most widely publicised – of a series of fires resulting from the debris, oil and other pollution on the river. It led Randy Newman to pen his song ‘Burn on, big river’ and prompted legislation to deal with the scandal of pollution in US waterways.

‘The Cuyahoga will live in infamy as the only river that was ever declared a fire hazard.’

Congressman Louis Stokes

‘It was strictly a run of the mill fire.’

William E Barry, chief of Cleveland Fire Department


The Socialist Olympics of 1936

Radical workers’ sporting organisations and the 1936 People’s Olympiad illustrate the role of sport in fighting oppression, writes Uma Arruga i López.

Review – You’re History: The Twelve Strangest Women in Music

Lesley Chow argues for a new kind of music criticism that re-evaluates women musicians and "meaningless" music, writes Rhian E Jones

Lying through their legacy-speak

Olympic ‘legacy’ has greased the path for enormous, upward transfer of wealth to the global propertied classes, writes Jules Boykoff


SWexit: What are exit schemes for sex workers missing?

If earning money is a fundamental reason for entering the sex industry, it is also essential to leaving it, writes Marin Scarlett.

Failure to deliver

Major financial institutions have cited Deliveroo’s employment practices for its disastrous public share launch. Alice Martin and Tom Powdrill look at what went wrong and what it might mean for workers’ rights

Power on the picket line: remembering the Burnsall Strike

Almost 30 years on, Sarbjit Johal recalls supporting the strike, which consisted of mostly Punjabi women workers

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