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Making the Empire WorkLabor and United States Imperialism$
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Daniel E. Bender and Jana K. Lipman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479871254

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479871254.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Secret Soldiers’ Union

The Secret Soldiers’ Union

Labor and Soldier Politics in the Philippine Scout Mutiny of 1924

(p.85) 3 The Secret Soldiers’ Union
Making the Empire Work

Christopher Capozzola

NYU Press

This chapter presents the strike of Secret Soldiers' Union—a group of 380 Filipino soldiers and scouts—at Fort McKinley. The group protested disparities in wages between white and Filipino soldiers, as well as the indignity of a raid on their barracks the night before by military police. This movement sheds light on the complex history of collective labor action in the U.S. empire. In particular, their actions can be conceived in three ways: as a mutiny by colonial soldiers in a world of empires and imperial armies, as a strike by workers in postwar Manila, and as a form of soldier politics embedded in U.S. political culture. Taken together, the three perspectives demonstrate the dependence of the interwar U.S. military on Filipino labor, and the centrality of labor politics to the ongoing contest over the terms of colonial rule.

Keywords:   Secret Soldiers' Union, Fort McKinley, mutiny, colonial soldiers, soldier politics

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