The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner:
The Woman They Could Not Silence and The Railway Men

Nov 27, 2023

Book: The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore, 2021

This book follows Elizabeth Packard’s years and years of struggle to make her voice heard. In 1860, at the beginning of the Civil War, Elizabeth, a minister’s wife and mother, stood in the way of her husband receiving much-needed financial backing. They had both been against slavery and were abolitionists. However, the minister was being paid to change his stance to come out for slavery. Instead of following her husband’s lead, Elizabeth fought him at home and in their church. She was independent and determined. He felt he had to get rid of her. Elizabeth was committed to Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville.

This book exposes the fact that Elizabeth’s treatment was not a fluke. She was one of many women locked up in inhuman, miserable, and even tortuous conditions while completely rational.

Film: The Railway Men, directed by Shiv Rawail, 2023, a four-part miniseries on Netflix

In December 1984, a gas leak, known as the biggest industrial incident in global history, occurred in Bhopal, India, at a Union Carbide India Limited factory. The miniseries is a fictionalized version of the actual events. It shows how the gas leak killed 15,000 people, how the company had short-shrifted the factory of all safety precautions, and how the politicians wanted to cover up the events and protect the company bosses.

This film shows how greedy companies and their lackey politicians threaten our very existence and that only workers have the power and the will to move the world forward.