Revolt on Goose Island
The Chicago Factory Takeover, and What it Says About the Economic Crisis
“I think they’re absolutely right . . what’s happening to them is reflective of what’s happening across this economy.”—Barack Obama on the workers at Republic Windows & Doors
December 5, 2008: It wasn’t supposed to work like this. Days after getting a $45 billion bailout from the U.S. government, Bank of America shut down a line of credit that kept Chicago’s Republic Windows & Doors factory operating. The bosses, who knew what was coming, had been sneaking machinery out in the middle of the night. They closed the factory and sent the workers home. Then something surprising happened: Republic’s workers occupied the factory and refused to leave.
Kari Lydersen, an award-winning Washington Post reporter, tells the story of the factory takeover, elegantly transforming the workers’ story into a parable of labor activism for the 21st century, one that concludes with a surprising and little-reported victory.
THE LIVE BOOK: Revolt on Goose Island grew out of the “live book” series hosted by MobyLives, the Melville House blog. For the series Kari Lydersen tracked unfolding events in the Republic Story and reported daily on the takeover. Click here for all posts from that series. The story of the Live Book was covered here, here, and here.
> Kari discusses the book with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now!