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Editor's Note 

Union Blues

Longtime Tucson Weekly columnist Tom Danehy takes us back 100 years this week, to an ugly chapter in Arizona history: The day that well over a thousand miners were rounded up by gunpoint in Bisbee, forced onto a train and sent off to New Mexico because they wouldn't denounce their labor union, which was fighting unsafe conditions in local mines. As Tom writes: "Around 11 a.m. a train from the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad rolled into town, pulling 23 cattle cars. To hammer home their point ever further, the cars had not been cleaned. Many of the cattle cars had a layer of manure several inches thick on the floor. Again at gunpoint, the miners were ordered into the cars. Once all the cars were loaded, the train left Bisbee, heading east. Despite temperatures in the mid-90s, the minders had not been given any food or water during the ordeal."

It's a chilling story, and the town of Bisbee hasn't forgotten what happened on July 12, 1917. As Margaret Regan tells us in this week's Arts section, a whole slew of artists, scholars and others are, over the next 10 days or so, doing shows, making movies, presenting talks and lots more to highlight the shameful affair. And, as Regan reminds us, "the mile-high city of Bisbee is always cooler than Tucson." Think about daytrip to expose yourself to a history of injustice.

Speaking of injustice: The U.S. Senate is planning on moving forward with that healthcare reform legislation next week. Oh, did I say healthcare reform? I meant that tax-cut bill masquerading as healthcare reform, because all this package is designed to do is kick a bunch of poor people off Medicaid, make it even harder and more expensive to get decent insurance if your employer doesn't have it and eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions. TW intern Eddie Celaya looks at how the legislation would block low-income women from using Planned Parenthood in the Currents section.

Elsewhere in the book: Bob Grimm tells you why you ought to see Baby Driver; Mark Whittaker tells you why you should have a bite of sushi at downtown's MiAn; Eric Swedlund encourages you to dive into some blues, rock and soul at Hotel Congress; and our calendar is full of ways to still have fun in this blistering heat.

One final note before you dig in: I took a few days off this week, so the Skinny will be back next week. My thanks to the incredible crew here at Tucson Local Media who made a getaway possible.

Thanks for reading!

— Jim Nintzel jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com

More by Jim Nintzel

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