Which Side Are You On?

Harlan County, Kentucky wasn’t called Bloody Harlan for nothing. In the 1930s, coal miners and the management that oppressed them were in bitter opposition about workers’ rights and standards of living. There were riots. There were murders. Forty years later, miners and coal companies still didn’t get along. In 1973, 180 miners held a year-long strike against the Brookside Mine and Prep Plant. Scabs were called in. Picket lines formed. The wives of miners kept the strike from fading. Representatives of the coal company started showing up with guns. People died. Funerals helped rally the cause. The documentary Harlan County, U.S.A. captures it all from the workers’ points of view.