September - October, 2006
Heavily Recuited Schools
Big Box Folds
Association for Union Democracy
Box Ordinance Votes
108.1 - 09.30.2006
0. DSA News
8th Annual Matthew Shepard March
Oak Park Peace Fair
Crime and Punishment Redux
3. Democratic Socialism
Nonsense on Stilts: Michael Albert's
4. Upcoming Events of Interest
108.2 - 10.07.2006
0. DSA News
The 1976 Thomas Debs Dinner
The NLRB Outlaws Unions
Democracy Now on WBEZ?
Voting for Liberty
2. Democratic Socialism
Max Shachtman: Socialism as Radical
Vistas on Socialism
Marxism at Your Fingertips
3. Upcoming Events of Interest
108.3 - 10.25.2006
0. DSA News
Web Site Additions: the 1975 and 1974 Thomas Debs Dinners
DSA Anti-Racism Commission: Race, the Democratic Party, and Electoral
DSA International Commission: The Future of Europe
Vote Early and Vote Often Against
Big Box Ballots and Other Measures
Make Hastert Responsible
2. Democratic Socialism
October is Co-Op Month
Worker Owners and Unions: Why Can't We Just Get Along?
3. Upcoming Events of Interest
108.4 - 11.02.2006
0. DSA News
"Democratic Left" Fall,
9 Candidates and the Death Penalty
CINTAS Attacks Immigrant Workers
2. Upcoming Events of Interest
State of Working America:
Class War By Any Other
by Tom Broderick
Uncle Byron turned 80 on August 20th
and we celebrated. Several years ago, he retired from teaching
elementary school at PS 161M in Harlem with a pension that has
allowed him to live a satisfying life. That pension was negotiated
by his union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT).
The demand to be treated with dignity
and respect compelled workers to organize. They wanted better
and safer working conditions. They wanted "eight hours for
work, eight hours for rest and eight hours for what we will."
They wanted health care and pensions. They wanted the weekend
off and paid vacations. As the demands for dignity and respect
continue, so do the attacks against them.
Violence against the labor movement
has been a constant. Private thugs (the Pinkertons e.g.),
vigilantes (the early years of the American Legion e.g.),
Police Departments, State Militias (precursors to the National
Guard), the National Guard and the U.S. Military have been used
to assault workers who tried to organize and improve their lives.
The international holiday, May Day, had its origins in the 1886
Chicago police riot that ended a rally for the eight hour day.
Our present Labor Day started in New York state but became a
federally mandated holiday after Grover Cleveland, in 1894, used
troops to crush Eugene V. Debs' American Railway Union strike
against the Pullman Company in Chicago.
If, here in the States at the start
of the 21st Century, physical violence against union members
has become the exception, it is also true that overt hostility
to workers exercising their rights to organize is no relic of
history. The tools today are legal restrictions and intimidation,
legal and illegal.
Former President Reagan destroyed the
Air Traffic Controllers' union (PATCO), who had endorsed his
election. The crushing of PATCO was a shock to the modern American
labor movement; it was "the day the strike died". The
U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Communication Workers
of America v. Beck in 1988 (during the term of the actually
elected President Bush) that declared that workers who choose
not to join unions but receive the benefits from unions at their
work-sites can opt out of their agency fees
being used for lobbying and political activities. Corporations
on the other hand are not required to get permission from every
shareholder when they engage in lobbying.
Workers seeking to organize face a sophisticated,
well-practiced system of intimidation and indoctrination. From
"captive audience" meetings by management, to Orwellian
surveillance, to the firing of union activists, to threats to
close or relocate, employees wishing to organize face a daunting
task. A 2005 study by the University of Illinois' Center for
Urban Economic Development found that among employers faced with
an organizing campaign, 30% fired workers when they engaged in
union activities; 49% threatened to close or relocate all or
part of the business if workers elected to form a union; 82%
used consultants to design and coordinate the anti-union campaign. It doesn't matter that some of these
activities are starkly illegal. Complaining to the National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB), even during the Clinton years, was a
dubious prospect that might delay the representation election,
take years for remedy if successful, and would generally result
in trivial (and tax deductible) penalties for the employer.
It doesn't help that this history is
nearly invisible in public education. The histories of women,
African-Americans and Hispanics have become elective courses
in some high school history departments. The one in my community,
Oak Park River Forest High School, is no exception. Labor history
appears to enter the classroom solely at the discretion of individual
teachers. However, after more than a year of discussion, the
department is considering a program, provided free of charge
by Chicago's DePaul University: the Regina V. Polk High
School Union Program.
The DePaul University program has the
additional advantage of providing students with an intimate exposure
to the institution of collective bargaining through actual role-playing.
This provides an opportunity to learn how the "rules of
the game" can intimately affect the ability of workers to
stand up for their rights.
This is something the rich have known
all along. How else could former Democratic President Clinton
have butchered workers with the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA)? This trade package benefits certain types of corporations.
It should be no surprise that Kate Bronfenbrenner, in a study
of the effect of NAFTA on organizing in the States, found that
from 1993 to 1995, half the employers overall faced with organizing
campaigns threatened to close or move their business but that
the percentage rose to 62 for relatively mobile industries such
as manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation.
NAFTA also destroys the lives of small
farmers and their families in Mexico. No small cultural/economic
crime committed against rural Mexican communities is the trashing
of the land reforms won during the Mexican Revolution. Ejidos,
communally owned lands, are being supplanted by private ownership.
This is cultural imperialism. It also forces rural Mexicans to
migrate to the cities and to the United States.
NAFTA along with the Central American
Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have not simply harmed people in
Mexico. Throughout the Americas, many who have to work for a
living have been dealt, or face, a job death sentence.
As manufacturing jobs were eliminated
in the United States and Canada, Mexico began opening free trade
zone manufacturing areas primarily along their northern border.
Mexican laborers women and men looking for steady employment
left their homes and migrated to these foreign owned sweatshops.
The wheel turned and many of these factories have been shut down
as corporations with a myopic view of profit found Chinese and
Vietnamese sweat cheaper and facile. Labor actions are now on
the rise in both of these countries.
As these factories closed, many of the
job deprived crossed into this country. Rather than creating
good jobs, NAFTA and CAFTA have produced dislocation and unemployment
across the Americas. What we call the "middle class"
is shrinking, while the wealthy lustily enjoy greater wealth.
These trade agreements have trashed the quality of life of those
who work to survive in this hemisphere.
Policy Institute (EPI) issued a briefing report (Issue Brief
#214) in July, 2005 showing jobs gained and jobs lost in the
United States, between 1993 (When NAFTA went into effect) and
2004. In the United States, 941,459 were gained and 1,956,750
were lost. That's a net loss of more than 1,000,000 jobs. Most
of the jobs lost were in the better paying manufacturing sector.
One particular NAFTA provision that
rubs me raw grants corporations the right to sue sovereign governments
for interfering with their ability to maximize profit. Corporations
over all! NAFTA and CAFTA grow and codify corporate rights.
Workers, communities and the environment suffer because other
than as public relations stunts, they have no plus value on corporate
"It will be a bitter pill for
many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that
big business can have more." Business Week, October 12,
Britain's former Prime Minister, Margaret
Thatcher, famously dismissed human rights when she announced
"There Is No Alternative" (TINA) to the Neo-Liberal
free market. To the contrary, "it is the Right of the People
to alter or abolish it (any form of government), and to institute
new Government . . . organizing its powers in such form, as to
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." There are alternatives. Other countries
have implemented, or are implementing them. We need to engage
in dialogue about democratic socialism.
Also as part of Clinton's corporate
love affair, companies were allowed to set up and control "quality
of work panels." These involved "cooperation"
between labor and management. Corporations liked them because
management controlled them. The Village Board of Oak Park, Illinois,
issued a proclamation on May Day this year that called for cooperation
between workers and management. Workers of Oak Park, bring your
own analgesic and be prepared to self-administer.
The current White House administration,
fronted by former Governor of Texas, George W. Bush is waging
a monumental war against all who are not rich. His first "Executive"
Order disrupted reporting procedures for unions, causing them
to spend more time completing paperwork. Bureaucracy as weapon.
Now Bush's NLRB may deny hundreds of
thousands (perhaps millions) of workers labor law protection.
There are a group of cases pending before the NLRB collectively
known as Kentucky River. The focus is on supervision and/or
training. If a worker exercises any supervisory or training duty
as part of their job, they may lose all rights to union membership.
What established worker has not helped train and/or monitor new
Not content with bludgeoning workers,
this class whore has ushered in an unbelievable redistribution
The 2001 Income Tax Cut:
Average cut for people making under $50,000 per year $425.00
Average cut for people making $1,000,000 per year $59,216.00
Average cut for people making more than $10,000,000 per year $521,905.00
The 2003 Tax Cuts for Capital Gains and Dividends:
Average cut for people making under $50,000 per year $10.00
Average cut for people making $1,000,000 per year $25,450.00
Average cut for people making more than $10,000,000 per year $497,463.00
The 2006 Extension of Tax Cuts for Capital Gains and Dividends:
Average cut for people making under $50,000 per year $3.00
Average cut for people making $1,000,000 per year $59,972.00
Lowdown, Vol. 8, No. 7]
"This is an impressive crowd
the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the
elite. I call you my base." George Bush addressing big
contributors, quoted in 'Up Front,' Robert McNatt, Business Week,
November 6, 2000.
Bush and his band of greedy thieves
continue to push for a permanent repeal of the Estate Tax. This
tax applies to estates valued at $1 million or more. The richest
5% of Americans pay 99% of this tax. If the Estate Tax is terminated
by our (?) Federal Representatives, the very richest American
taxpayers could loot the public Treasury of $1 trillion in just
Eighteen of America's wealthiest families
have funded a campaign to gain permanent repeal of the estate
tax. Success would profit them $71.6 billion. Though not members
of the wealthiest 18, the Bush clan would be able to avoid paying
taxes on $6.2 million and the Cheney family could sidestep $61
million in taxes.
"A new substantial body of research
finds that at least 45% of parents' advantage in income is passed
along to their children, and perhaps as much as 60%." Wall
Street Journal, May 13, 2005.
It's going to take a strong, dynamic
and democratic labor movement, joined by community organizations,
to stop this dedicated assault on these quality of life issues.
Even today, unions have more muscle power than most community
organizations, but it will require all of us working in concert
to redefine the concept of good governance.
This country has the highest poverty
rate among developed nations and the greatest number of billionaires
in the world. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) is an organization of twenty rich, industrialized nations.
The United States of America is one of them.
In the State of Working America,
2004/2005, issued by EPI, this country had the highest overall
poverty rate (17.0%) of the 17 OECD countries where data was
available. We had the highest child poverty rate (21.9%) and
the second-highest elderly poverty rate (24.7%). Those suffering
poverty over three years was the most persistent in this country.
We also had the highest permanent poverty rate (14.5%) among
the OECD countries. This longevity record indicates that poverty
has a permanence that exposes the lie of "boot-strap"
economics. Our country is the OECD member with the lowest social
expenditures and the highest child poverty rate. Yachts are rising
on a tide that is drowning so many.
For reference, the 2006 U.S. Dept. of
Health & Human Services poverty guidelines for the 48 contiguous
Household of 1 $9,800 or less per year
Household of 2 $13,200 or less per year
Household of 3 $16,600 or less per year
Household of 4 $20,000 or less per year
Household of 5 $23,400 or less per year
According to Kate Maehr, Executive Director
of the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), of 39% of households
receiving food from the GCFD, there is at least one employed
adult. The GCFD serves approximately 165,00 children (those under
18) annually. This represents 33% of people seeking relief through
Al Brislain, Senior VP of Member Services
of America's Second Harvest (A2H) says that nationally, over
25 million distinct individuals/families receive food assistance
from A2H annually. The largest group receiving this assistance
is the single parent household. They represent over 42% of aid
recipients. Households with at least one working adult represent
36% of aid recipients.
Federal school breakfast and lunch programs
are supposed to feed America's poor children. Our poor
children. During the school year, these programs generally work.
However, during holidays and summer recess, these meals vanish.
The American poor have to figure out how to supply two additional
meals per child every day.
On the other hand, the Forbes
magazine 2006 listing of "The World's Richest People"
shows twelve of the world's 25 wealthiest billionaires live in
these United States. Five of them are Waltons, heirs to the predator
Wal-Mart. Second place is a tie among the United Kingdom, France
and Germany with two billionaires each.
lists 793 Billionaires in the 2006 survey. Of these, 364 reside
in this country. Not quite half the global elite, but we have
an astounding lead over second place Germany with 45 and third
place Russia with 32. If this is supposed to show that capitalism
works, then it's apparent that successful capitalism must be
judged by the amount of disparity and suffering it creates and
Two economists at the Federal Reserve
Bank of Chicago issued a report
that indicates "economic mobility fell sharply during the
1980s and failed to revert, perhaps continued to decline in the
1990s." The tax-cut bills of this silver spoon office holder
have benefited the wealthy far and above the rest of us.
Forbes.com responds to this disparity:
"This trend of rising income inequality should be carefully
monitored. A widening gap between rich and poor could have several
pernicious effects on the U.S. economy." One worry: "A
widening income gap could increase the likelihood of political
action favoring the labor movement."
An indication supporting this fear is
the growing movement by states and cities to increase the minimum
wage. The federal minimum wage is $5.15/hour. Based on 40 hours
of work each week for 52 weeks, this is an annual income of $10,712.00.
It has been $5.15/hour since 1997. The wage is stagnant, while
the cost of living has risen.
This is the second longest time span
without an increase in the minimum wage in this country's history.
About 7.3 million Americans work for the minimum wage. 72% of
these workers are adults. 60% of them are women. Many of these
are single mothers. Another 8.2 million workers are paid up to
a dollar more per hour.
"You work three jobs? . . . Uniquely
American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you are doing
that." George W. Bush to a divorced mother of three,
Eighteen states, Illinois among them,
have enacted minimum wages higher than the poverty sustaining
federal law. Three cities have successfully done the same: Santa
Fe, NM, San Francisco, CA and the District of Columbia. Four
cities in Wisconsin passed higher minimum wages, only to have
them repealed by lawsuits. Subsequently, Wisconsin passed a statewide
increase to the minimum wage.
Social justice and democracy are not
served by the biased economic system we have been cajoled to
accept as the norm. Home rule communities and all states have
the ability to fight poverty by raising the minimum wage. When
raised, there is a spillover effect that increases the pay of
those already earning more the minimum wage. This is the tide
that will raise boats.
The "have-mores" and their
spokespeople don't like to use the phrase "class war"
except to pejoratively attack those who challenge their greed
and power. Nonetheless, these "have-mores" are thoroughly
committed to enhancing and protecting their plutocracy.
That makes this class war and even Uncle
Byron is a casualty. He's in the black hole of his reformed Medicare
health coverage. The popular term is donut hole, but there's
nothing pastry-like about it. His prescription drug co-pay went
from 25% to 60%. This is punishment for aging. It's also punishment
for not continuing to labor.
However convincing the lies, this planet,
and the life on it are not commodities.
1. Agency fees are paid to
unions by employees who work in union work environments but choose
not to join the union. These fees are permitted because even
non-union employees benefit from the collective bargaining agreements
that unions negotiate with employers. They also benefit from
grievance procedures that unions provide.
2. Chirag Mehta and Nik Theodore,
the Right to Organize: Employer Behavior During Union Representation
Campaigns," Center for Urban Economic Development University
of Illinois at Chicago, December, 2005.
3. For information on this
program, contact the DePaul
Labor Education Center: 312 363 5823.
4. Kate Bronfenbrenner, "We'll
Close! Plant Closing, Plant Closing Threats, Union Organizing,
and NAFTA", Cornell University, 1997.
5. Declaration of Independence,
United States of America, In Congress, July 4, 1776.
Aaronson and Bhashkar Mazumder, "Intergenerational Economic
Mobility in the U.S., 1940 to 2000," Federal Reserve
Bank of Chicago, Working Paper, 2005-12, November, 2005.
Thanks to Larry Spivack, President
of the Board, Illinois Labor History Society and Bob Breving
of the Regina V. Polk High School Union Program for their thoughts.
by Libby Frank
As of this writing, 2,660 American soldiers
and over 40,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the Iraq
war; a war that was initiated by our government for oil and empire
and sold to the American people with fear.
And on the home front, the military
continues to have problems filling their quotas for young men
and women to fight this war of aggression. It's a tough sell.
We have an all-volunteer army during a time of war. Military
recruiters feel tremendous pressure to do whatever they can to
meet recruiting goals.
By now most people have heard stories
about recruiting irregularities: the young autistic man that
enlisted (The Oregonian, May 7, 2006); the young Colorado
student that was shown by the army recruiter how to fake a drug
test and a high school diploma (CBS News, May 2, 2005).
The situation has gotten so bad in fact that the army suspended
all recruiting on May 20 of last year and used the day for intensive
'ethics' training. In August of this year the Government Accounting
Office released a report stating that allegations of wrongdoing
by U.S. military recruiters jumped by 50 percent from 2004 to
2005, and criminal violations such as sexual harassment and falsifying
documents more than doubled. The Government Accountability Office,
Congress' investigative agency, said the full extent of violations
by military recruiters is unknown because the Defense Department
does not have an oversight system. Allegations of recruiter wrongdoing
increased to 6,600 cases in fiscal year 2005 from 4,400 in fiscal
2004 and substantiated cases rose to almost 630 cases from 400.
Given this background, progressives
have stepped forward to 'counter' military recruitment. In the
Chicago area, a movement started over three years ago continues
to grow. The counter-recruitment movement includes countless
community peace and justice groups, churches, faith-based organizations,
high school clubs and college organizations. We protest the recruiters'
presence on campus and at local festivals (e.g. Taste
of Chicago). We set up tables on college campuses and talk to
students about the military. We go to high schools in the city
and suburbs and set up a table near the cafeteria during lunch
and talk to students. We go into the classroom and facilitate
sessions on truth in recruitment, the realities of military life,
selective service and larger issues of war and peace. We go to
the area high schools and distribute forms that allow young people
to 'opt out' of having the recruiters call them at home. We provide
counseling on how to become a conscientious objector. Although
our work is obviously part of a larger anti-war strategy our
immediate goal is to educate young people about the military
and to get them to THINK about their decision.
Most of these organizations work through
a coalition, the Chicagoland Coalition Opposed to Militarization
of Youth (CCOMY). This year CCOMY along with the American Friends
Service Committee and other coalition members launched the 'Adopt
a School' program. AFSC compiled a list of the most heavily recruited
schools in the Chicago area (see sidebar). The statistics were
compiled from the National Priorities database and are for last
Our goal this year was to get all the
schools listed below adopted. That
didn't quite happen but a number of schools have been adopted
by community groups.
I have been in three inner city high
schools and about eight suburban high schools. There are always
people that thank us for being there. (We do get some hostile
reaction as well, but less than you might think). In many cases
the school administration does not feel comfortable with the
presence of the military recruiters because they know how vulnerable
and impressionable young people are, particularly if they have
few options. But there is very little they can do.
I believe this is some of the most important
anti-war work being done in the country right now and I encourage
everyone to get involved. If you would like to join our 'army'
of peace recruiters, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or, for more information and other opportunities, see the Resources sidebar below.
1. Lane Tech High School (JROTC)
2. Schurz High School (JROTC)
3. St. Patrick High School
4. Hyde Park Career Academy (JROTC)
5. Chicago Vocational Career Academy
6. Prosser Career Academy (JROTC)
7. Brother Rice High School
8. Von Steuben High School
9. Bogan High School
10. Aurora West High School
11. Bradley-Bourbonnais High School
12. Curie High School
13. Elgin High School
14. Glenbard North High School
15. Kelly High School
16. Lake Central High School
17. Morton East High School
18. Morton West High School
19. Naperville Central High School
20. Naperville North High School
21. Romeoville High School
22. Thornton Frac. South High School
23. Warren TWP High School
24. Orr High School
25. Carliss High School
26. Harlan Comm. Academy
27. Washington High School
28. Gage Park High School (JROTC)
29. Hubbard High School (JROTC)
30. Kelvyn Park High School (JROTC)
31. Lake View High School (JROTC)
32. Roosevelt High School (JROTC)
33. Wells Comm. Academy High School
34. Foreman High School (JROTC)
· Chicagoland Coalition
Opposed to Militarization of Youth
· Northwest Suburban Peace
& Education Project
· American Friends Service
· Center on Conscience
· The Project on Youth
and Non-Military Opportunities
· Volunteers for Peace
· Vietnam Veterans Against
· Military Families Speak
· PeaceRoots Alliance
Conscience Objector Information
compiled by Bob Roman
Park Coalition for Peace and Justice's 2nd Annual Peace Fair
was held on Saturday, September 9, at Scoville Park in Oak Park.
Several hundred people passed through the park that afternoon
despite unseasonably cool weather that threatened rain. This
was fewer than the premier fair last year, and there were fewer
exhibitors, but it is hard to say if that is of any consequence.
The entertainment was every bit as good
as last year, however. First up was singer, song-writer Bucky
Halker, Chicago's answer to Billy Bragg. Another act worthy of
note was "Organic Funk", a kit-bashed collection of
student musicians from the local Oak Park River Forest High School;
they were spectacularly good. Other performers included Mike
Levin and Donald Neale, Too Much Fun, Dave Martin, Nina Corwin,
Local elected public officials delivered
"messages of peace" as well. This was the occasion
of the only sour note at the event. The local Green Party, one
of the sponsors of this year's fair, complained that Richard
Whitney was not allowed to speak. The principle being that the
stage was not intended to be an electoral venue. This is fair
enough except that allowing any elected official near a platform
within a few months of their election, as a practical matter,
obviates the intent. Incidentally, Bill
Scheuer's campaign, Melissa Bean's independent opponent,
was also at the fair. His petitions were not challenged and he
will be on the ballot against this member of the "CAFTA
Chicago DSA was among the sponsors and
had a booth. It was a productive afternoon. We distributed most
of our literature and, more to the point, to an audience that
was not particularly familiar with DSA or with democratic socialism.
Video from this weekend's Peace Fair
in Oak Park can now be viewed online at http://www.atcenternetwork.com/?p=253
Big Box Folds
As we go to press, the Chicago City
Council has failed to override the Mayor's veto of the "Big
Box Living Wage" Ordinance. The supporters of the Ordinance
held together remarkably well, suffering only two defections
(see sidebar left). The Mayor was
particularly effective at playing the race card: why should employers
such as Wal-Mart be discouraged from coming into black communities
when it's "all right" for them to be in the (white)
suburbs? Areas of Chicago that suffered from the insurrections
of the 1960s have notoriously lacked commercial development even
to this day, and homeowners there especially feel the absence.
Supporters have vowed to reintroduce
the ordinance. There is also likely to be a move to place an
advisory referendum regarding the ordinance on the ballot in
next February's municipal elections, either through the petition
process or by council action. Making this a major issue in the
election would likely be a decisive step in the development of
the labor movement as an independent force in Chicago politics.
Association for Union Democracy
Chicago DSA's Ed Sadlowski will be among
the speakers at the Association for Union Democracy's conference
in New York City. Entitled "Confronting Corruption in Labor
Unions: Rank and file insurgency? Government intervention? Internal
reform? Assessing a half-century of effort", other speakers
will include James Jacobs, Edwin Stier, Robert Fitch, Barbara
Harvey, and more. The conference is co-sponsored by the Center
for Urban Research, Graduate Center, CUNY, and by WBAI's "Building
Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report." It will be
held at the CUNY Graduate Center on Saturday, October 14. Registration
is $15. For more call 718.564.1114 or go to http://www.uniondemocracy.org.
You can also register online at that web site.
The 21st Annual Mother Jones Dinner
will be held at 6 PM on Saturday, October 28 this year at a new
location, the Knights of Columbus Hall in Springfield, Illinois.
The speaker will be United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) President
Cecil Roberts. Entertainers will be Bucky Halker and Chris Vallillo.
Tickets are $25 each and may be obtained from the Mother Jones
Foundation, PO Box 20412, Springfield, Illinois 62708-0412. For
more information, call Mettie Funk at 217.652.0481 or Terry Reed
at 217.789.6495 or Jack Dyer at 217.789.7000. As usual, the Dinner
will be followed, on Sunday, October 30, by a memorial ceremony
at the Mother Jones Monument in the Union Miners Cemetery in
Mt. Olive, Illinois.
This year the Dinner will be preceded
on Saturday by a dedication ceremony for a monument commemorating
the "Battle of Virden". The Battle of Virden took place
in 1898 during a strike against the Chicago Virden Coal Company.
That company was one of a few holdouts in the wake of a six month
strike against coal companies in Illinois; the newly organized
UMWA had negotiated improved conditions but Chicago Virden was
having none of it. An armed confrontation involving company goons,
a trainload of strike breakers, and the miners, resulted in several
dead on both sides, dozens of miners wounded, and train continuing
on to Springfield with its load of strike breakers (see http://www.kentlaw.edu/ilhs/sanjuan.htm
The ceremony will begin at 11:30 AM in the Virden City Park on
the Square in Virden. For more information, call John Alexander
at 217.965.5443 or email email@example.com.
The 5th anniversary of the World Trade
Center atrocity was observed, here in the States, with our country's
trade mark combination of political and commercial opportunism,
mawkish sentimentality, titillation, and genuine grief and fear.
It is a complicated mixture, impossible to judge without also
committing some degree of injustice. Instead, I thought it worth
revisiting the resolution passed that day by the Chicago DSA
Chicago DSA condemns this act of mass
murder directed at the World Trade Center, civil aviation and
the Pentagon. It leaves us sickened, dismayed, outraged. These
bombing are hardly a political act; they do have political consequences
and it's hard to imagine many of them being good.
It's hard to imagine how this tragedy
will move the Middle East toward peace rather than a hardening
of positions and passions. It's hard to imagine how this will
not result in further restrictions on civil liberties. It's hard
to imagine that there will not be economic consequences.
We are not accustomed, in the United
States, to being victims. There will be talk of war. Certainly
the organizers of these acts should be brought to justice. In
considering justice, and in considering future U.S. foreign policy,
we should not forget these acts, but we should also not forget
that the easiest lesson learned from hate is not love but how
to hate; the easiest lesson learned from oppression is not freedom
but how to dominate; the easiest lesson learned from exploitation
is not fairness but how to steal.
--the Chicago DSA Executive
Committee, September 11, 2001.
Passing the "Big Box" Living Wage Ordinance and Whether
to Override the Mayor's Veto
1 Manuel Flores*
4 Toni Preckwinkle
6 Freddrenna Lyle
8 Todd Stroger
9 Anthony Beale
10 John Pope
12 George Cardenas**
13 Frank Olivo
14 Edward Burke
15 Theodore Thomas
16 Shirley Coleman**
17 Latasha Thomas
18 Thomas Murphy
19 Virginia Rugai
22 Ricardo Munoz
23 Michael Zalewski
24 Michael Chandler
25 Daniel Solis**
26 Billy Ocasio
27 Walter Burnett, Jr.
28 Ed Smith
30 Ariel Reboyras
31 Regner "Ray" Suarez
32 Theodore Matlak
33 Richard Mell
35 Rey Colon
36 William Banks
38 Thomas Allen
39 Margaret Laurino
40 Patrick O'Connor
41 Brian Doherty
45 Patrick Levar
47 Eugene Schulter
48 Mary Ann Smith
49 Joseph Moore
2 Madeline Haithcock
3 Dorothy Tillman
5 Leslie Hairston
7 Bill Beavers
11 James Balcer
20 Arenda Troutman
21 Howard Brookins
29 Ike Carothers
34 Carrie Austin
37 Emma Mitts
42 Burton Natarus
43 Vi Daley
44 Tom Tunney
50 Bernie Stone
46 Helen Shiller**
* ABSENT during override vote
** Voted AGAINST override