Home About CDSA New Ground Events Debs Dinner Links Join DSA Audio Email us

 
Your contribution is appreciated
but, because of our advocacy work,
not tax deductible.

New Ground 76

May - June, 2001

Contents

  • Chicago Anti-FTAA Action by Bob Roman
  • A Rough Ride for the FTAA by Bill Dixon
  • May Day 2001 by Harold Taggart
  • Debs Dinner 2001: A DSA Choral Event by Ron Baiman
  • Side Bar- A Word from the Invisible Man
  • Side Bar- Ode to DSA
  • Other News compiled by Bob Roman
  • DSA National Director
    CDSA Annual Convention


    Chicago Anti-FTAA Action

    By Bob Roman

    While demonstrators at Quebec City besieged the barbarians within the gates, Chicago's anti-FTAA demonstration was a peaceful affair on the city's southwest side. Below gliding sliding aircraft descending toward Midway Airport, at 48th and Western the Henderson Spring plant was the immediate object of protest. A profitable and productive facility, the company is nonetheless closing the plant and moving the production out of the country, some to Canada, most to Mexico. As such, it is a living parable of the consequences of "free" trade. While the theme of the demonstration was a funeral for the death of good jobs in the U.S., it was a largely festive affair albeit with a very real undercurrent of anger.

    Nearly 1000 demonstrators gathered upon the wide strip of park separating the lanes of Western Avenue. Some were Steelworkers bussed in from Milwaukee, Decatur, Gary and elsewhere. Most were from Chicago. The demonstration brought together a wide variety of labor and left organizations. Much of the credit for organizing the march belongs to Chicago Jobs with Justice, the Steelworkers (USWA) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Chicago DSA had endorsed the march and sent out a 5,000 piece postcard mailing to publicize it. I counted dozens DSA and YDS members (including two UofC YDS who were performing with the nerd-chic "Radical Cheerleaders") there, and I'm sure I missed others.

    The protest began with a rally in front of the Henderson plant. Among the many speakers, including some who discussed the situation at the Henderson plant, there were several worthy of special note. One was USWA District 7 Director Jack Parton, who is retiring. In the course of his introduction to Leo Girard, he touched on themes of class, privilege and unionism that brought to mind Jack Metzgar's book Striking Steel.

    Leo Girard is the new President of the Steelworkers, George Becker having retired at the end of February. He began his speech by denouncing the police, demanding that they leave, and the speech mostly got hotter from there. The end his speech captures much of its overall tone and message:

    "a system that has to spray people with manure [Davos, Switzerland], a system that has to build ten foot high walled fences, a system that allows corporations to pay a million dollars to separate themselves from the rest so they can negotiate a trade deal in secret is a system that will fail and cannot be sustained in the long run. It's up to us to make sure it fails.

    "Let me close by saying the reason that these global trade agreements will protect investment rights but not workers' rights, the reason that those global trade agreements will protect the rights of corporations against the rights of workers, the reason they'll protect the rights of corporations against the environment, the reason they'll protect the rights of corporations against our rights is because of who was in the room bargaining those rights. It's about who gets in the room, writes the rules. Sisters and brothers, we have to be prepared that when this system destructs. And it will self-destruct, and we will help it to self-destruct. We have to prepare to be in the room. We have to be prepared to have a global trade agreement that raises living standards, that takes care of the environment, that takes care of women, that takes care of minorities, that takes care of workers, takes care of the next future generation. There's little kids out here. And that's what this is about. I want my kid and my grandkid to have the same shot in life that I had. No less. Sisters and brothers, in solidarity, arms linked together, taking to the streets and kicking some ass, we'll win. Thank you."

    The USWA has a long tradition of militant, good mostly leadership. Now they have someone both militant and radical, which is not surprising as Girard is a Canadian export with ties to the Canadian New Democratic Party.

    The AFSC's Kelly Vaughn also deserves mention as a sort of oral side bar. She popped up periodically throughout the program with facts and factoids concerning corporate globalization and its consequences: a nice feature.

    After the rally, the demonstration began a long "funeral march" up Western Avenue to McKinley Park. The parkway was something of an obstacle course for the banners and the puppets. Low branches grabbed from above. Standing puddles of water and mud grabbed from below. Large dog turds presented their own unique hazards. But it was largely a pleasant stroll through a quiet neighborhood with only passing traffic as audience.

    McKinley Park is a small gem of a park not far from the 35th Street Orange Line station, across the street from the old Spiegel catalog warehouse complex. Here the participants were fed and watered, and it is here the event began to disperse. It had been a long afternoon under the sun; some of the Steelworkers had a long way home.

    Which is too bad; there were still some good speakers and some good entertainment to be heard. Among the entertainment was a clever bit of popular theater on the race to the bottom. It was done in the style of a musical comedy. Among the speakers was AFSCME Council 31 Director Henry Bayer. He gave a passionate denunciation of the hypocrisy of our elected officials who chase after Boeing's 500 executive level jobs while thousands of well paid jobs leave the city and the country. Instead of chasing Boeing, they should have been here with us.

    I should add that the sound system at McKinley Park was provided courtesy of Teamsters Joint Council 25.

    In many ways the Chicago Anti-FTAA demonstration was a great event with music, Radical Cheerleaders, puppets, flags, banners, even speakers who were informative. Certainly the organizers of the event seemed pleased, especially as turnout was nearly twice what they had been hoping.

    But if Henderson Spring is a living parable of the consequences of corporate globalization, Chicago's Anti-FTAA demonstration was a living parable of the current state of labor and the left. Let no one doubt it: the left is resurgent. But the bitter truth is that the demonstration was a whole order of magnitude smaller than what it should have been at a minimum. Certainly if, in 1981, we could bring out 5,000 to protest a Reagan visit to Chicago, 10,000 should not have been unreasonable for this demonstration.

    Washed by morning rains, warm and sunny, it was a beautiful day for a demonstration.

    Some people did two.


    A Rough Ride for the FTAA

    By Bill Dixon

    It was a rough ride at the Summit of the Americas meeting last April, where representatives from thirty-four countries met to start deliberations over the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). While one wind blew from up the streets as protesters mixed it up with Quebecois cops, a bigger storm brewed at the negotiating table, unnoticed by most of the activists, politicians, and media alike.

    No question, the anti-globalization movement rallied impressively in Quebec. In the face of a hostile and heavy-handed police presence and a scrutinizing, spectacle-hungry press, activists displayed a shrewd combination of disciplined restraint and audacious, inspired trouble-making. Both participants and supporters should take heart that this latest round of the Seattle movement didn't fizzle into scripted routine or backfire into crazed ugliness. Instead, the Quebec actions managed to once again produce some sharply drawn symbolism for a sympathetic public as well as a healthy dose of disruption for business-as-usual at multiple levels of power, which is exactly what smart protest movements do.

    Attendees certainly took notice while demonstrators raised holy hell in the streets, just as they had in Seattle. Unlike Seattle, however, the street-heat in Quebec completely failed to make an impact on the talks. Hopefully, that fact won't be lost on the fair trade movement, now at the zenith of its influence and visibility, as it seeks concrete leverage to go along with its colorful hype.

    But this time, alas, for all the impact they had on the inside, the Quebec demonstrations may as well have been held in Fiji. At the Seattle World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in 1999, the cause of international labor rights and environmental standards, along with dissent from the general neo-liberal model of growth and trade, had at least a few advocates, among them at times President Clinton, who even expressed support for the protests more than once during his speech there. The Seattle demonstrations were pointed to as a warning by many WTO delegations, who urged that globalization be recognized as a political problem as well as an economic one. In Quebec, by contrast, labor and environmental issues had no credible representation inside, unless of course you count the weirdly garbled musings of President Bush.

    During the 2000 presidential campaign, candidate Bush, like his father before him, took the standard Republican line opposing any linkage between trade and labor and environmental standards. But once in Quebec, Bush clumsily and inexplicably reversed himself, declaring out of the blue that his support for the FTAA was conditional on "a stronger commitment to protecting our environment and improving labor standards." Later, trying to defuse the mounting criticism and confusion provoked at home and abroad by Bush's remarks, US trade representative Robert Zoellick reversed the Administration's position once again. He said standards should be advanced through voluntary "incentives" rather than through trade sanctions although he did not indicate how such incentives might work. A month later, the Administration remains murky on the issue, more so than Clinton ever was. The Clintonites at least clearly supported the principle of linkage even though they did little to make it a reality and sometimes acted to undermine it, as with the recent trade deal with China.

    The Administration's ambivalence may be simple ineptitude, or it may be an inept feint. Once negotiated, the FTAA will face a hard fight for ratification in the US. Bush has said he will try to obtain fast-track, or as he calls it "trade promotion," authority from Congress by the end of the year, which would give him the power to negotiate FTAA and send it to Congress for an up or down vote without amendment. With Congress split and the public hostile to fast-track authority in the first place, Bush needs the rhetorical cover of labor and environmental standards to protect him from what is sure to be a vigorous attack from House Democrats, who nixed fast-track authority for Clinton a few years ago.

    Real or not, the Bush position on enforceable social standards means trouble for the FTAA negotiations. Leaders in many countries, especially poorer ones, are convinced that any talk of labor and environmental standards is just a phony rationale for US protectionism. Of course, given the enormous role exports and foreign investment play in US economic growth, there is in reality no serious constituency in the US for "protectionism" as such. Polls suggest that most people in the US want "fairness" and not hegemony in trade policy, which means that the public does in fact want trade but won't support policies that seem to lead to "a race to the bottom." Unfortunately, the nuances of this political reality don't seem to be widely appreciated among the leadership in the developing world. Obviously, this leaves FTAA talks in a politically precarious position.

    Another surprising turn in the Quebec talks came with the drafting of a US-sponsored "democracy clause," which would suspend FTAA membership in the event of an "interruption of democratic order." This is another bit of rhetorical window-dressing for the Bush team. It is also a diplomatic coup against FTAA membership for Cuba as well as a blunt warning to President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whose populism and support for Columbia's guerrilla movement have earned him the permanent antagonism of the Bush Administration. The clause is clearly intended to address "constitutional crises," like election fraud or military takeover, rather than, say, ongoing human rights abuses by paramilitaries or low-intensity civil warfare as in Columbia or Peru. The suspicion among many countries is that the "democracy clause" will likely mean only what the US wants it to mean, which has furthered the perception internationally that the FTAA is a merely a US scheme rather than a good faith effort at multilateralism.

    The FTAA is set to be completed for ratification in 2005, which leaves the fair-trade movement with time enough to enter and seize the debate over what will for better or worse be an historic agreement for the more than eight hundred million people living in the Western Hemisphere. The ambiguity of the current negotiations at this early stage, particularly combined with the Bush Administration's open bumbling, should be recognized for the powerful opportunity it is. The door is open for an alternative agenda, for a genuinely progressive international movement for fair trade, including equitable, sustainable growth, and real protections for human rights, indigenous rights, union rights, and the environment. FTAA? We have a better idea. How about a One Big Democracy Clause instead?


    May Day 2001

    By Harold Taggart

    Approximately 500 activists rallied in Chicago to celebrate May Day and commemorate the sacrifices of the May Day Martyrs. Predominantly young, white and radical, they exuded energy and determination. All other segments of society that are victims of capitalism were represented.

    The rally began at the intersection of Jackson and LaSalle Streets where big government rests nestled in the bosom of big commodities houses and big financial institutions. The theme for May Day 2001 was "Mobilization for Global Justice and to Oppose Global Capitalism".

    Speakers chastised the greed and cruelty of the capitalist system. They reminded everyone that nearly all advances for workers began in the streets and outside the law. Over the decades, workers won the eight-hour workday, 40-hour workweek, workplace safety, child labor laws, pensions and retirement and numerous other benefits. The millionaires and merchants (M$Ms) fought those gains tooth and nail. Now, under the guise of globalization, the M$Ms are poised to roll back all those gains. When they claim they will bring American prosperity and democracy to the rest of the world, they have in mind an America after the rollbacks or America before the New Deal.

    May Day 2001 was the second year that May 1st activities in Chicago were coordinated by the Chicago May Day Coalition. The Coalition is comprised of diverse groups ranging from faith-based and labor to Marxist and anarchist. CDSA plays a prominent role in the Coalition. Many DSA members participated in the May Day march. YDS was well represented and even families such as Ron Baiman and his daughter participated.

    Fired up by the speakers, the marchers, led by a giant grotesque corporate octopus and mocking Radical Cheerleaders, moved up LaSalle Street toward City Hall and the State of Illinois building.

    The police were present in large numbers. They appeared about 30 minutes before the scheduled rally time and set up barricades in front of the Chicago Board of Trade building. A line of police took positions along the front of the CBOT building to ensure that traders inside could practice their criminal, inhumane activities in a safe environment protected by the representatives of law and order.

    The police commander approached the organizers. "Good day Sister Dorothy," he said to one of the organizers, a nun, who is associated with the Eighth Day Center for Justice and is no stranger to the police or their jails.

    The commander asked for confirmation of the route. Then he walked away. His actions were consistent with the approach adopted by the city of Chicago in dealing with protesters since the violent anti-WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. It's called the Chicago Model. The police appear in full force without riot gear, but accommodate the marchers even when their petty laws are being violated. For instance, the police have been enforcing masking laws, but didn't do so on May Day. The police halted traffic at the intersections. The police commander also said they delayed a bridge opening for boat passage at Michigan Avenue until the marchers had crossed.

    On the way to City Hall, there was a stop at LaSalle Bank. A speaker from Jubilee Chicago discussed the role of LaSalle bank as a participant in World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that suffocate indigenous people and enrich transnational corporations. The World Bank and IMF policies stress privatization of everything including drinking water as happened in one disastrous case in Bolivia.

    The main stop of the day was at the State of Illinois Plaza. Located across the street from City Hall, it was the ideal place to draw attention to the shortcomings of all local governmental institutions. In 1886, it was those institutions, obediently following the commands of the M$Ms, that framed eight labor and community leaders, then, on November 11, 1887, lynched four of them.

    The next stop was McDonald's. The scheduled target was at Dearborn and Randolph. However, a premier opening was scheduled for the flagship McDonalds at Wabash, just south of Randolph. The flagship store is experimenting with new products and is considering competing with Starbucks according to a spokesman for an anti-McDonalds group.

    The noisy group urged employees at the Dearborn and Randolph store to walk out. Then the protesters moved on to the flagship store led by a Ronald McDonald dummy suspended from a rope like a piñata. Ronald McDonald carried a sign proclaiming Corporate Greed Stinks. So does sweatshops, low wages, pollution, cutbacks (to name a few). In front of the Wabash McDonalds, protesters whacked Ronald until he unwillingly surrendered some candy he had been hoarding.

    Meanwhile, patrons in McDonalds had not been tipped off that they were about to be visited by a protest group. They stood still not knowing what to expect. The demise of Ronald provided entertainment they had not paid for nor expected.

    The first stop on Michigan Avenue was the Colombian Consulate. Here a speaker explained that the drug war and Plan Colombia were smoke screens hiding the real objectives. As usual the U.S. government is there doing the bidding of transnational corporations. Colombia has a lot of coal and oil resources and fertile soil for coffee growers. The international corporations see huge profits and will run over any people, environment and endangered species that stand in their way.

    Three stops were made along sweatshop row. The first was The Gap. Located directly across the street from the Colombian Consulate, it was the first target in this section. Some confusion resulted when marchers at the front of the line gathered near the corner leaving no room for those at the end of the line who ended up stranded in the middle of Michigan Avenue. Impatient Snooties blasted their horns. Marchers enjoyed the attention and progressed patiently. By the time everyone had crossed, about 15 people had blockaded the entrance to The Gap. About 10 police waded through the crowd and confronted the lockdown but took no action.

    The Gap blockade ended when marchers proceeded north to Niketown, the favorite sweatshop target. Over the years, numerous activists have been arrested there, and several in the crowd were under court order to stay away from it. Niketown can rest assured that we will be back again and again.

    After Niketown, the marchers visited the Disney Store. It is not a target as often as Niketown is. That doesn't mean Disney, the family entertainment company, is any more enlightened. It fact, it isn't. Disney exploits and bilks the children in its sweatshops such the ones in Haiti where it got a deal from the government to waive the minimum wage of $.33 per hour. Disney pays Haitian children $.11 per hour to make toys such as the Pocahontas and Lion King dolls. Then Disney robs the piggy banks of American children when it sells those products for several dollars.

    The final destination was the Northwest corner of Hubbard and Dearborn where a temporary gallows was built in 1887 behind the old courthouse to lynch the May Day Martyrs. This was the last chance for the Black Bloc and other direct action groups to "take the streets" as they had wanted to do for the entire parade. At the intersection of Grand and Dearborn, they made their move. The police quickly rounded them up and herded them back onto the sidewalk. One attempted arrest was foiled when a couple police officers tried to restrain one unruly activist. His friends rescued him and the police pursued the incident no further. There were no arrests that day. One activist was kicked by a horse but no other injuries were reported.

    The old courthouse has been turned into office condominiums. So marchers stopped in the alley where the temporary gallows were constructed in 1887. The lynching took place on Nov 11, 1887. It was a public spectacle with seats for numerous spectators. On May Day 2001, the spectators were the condominium owners. Nearly every window on the north side of the building framed one or more persons who, undoubtedly, like most Americans, remain oblivious to the grotesque side of their history and the barbarism their government is capable of.

    A member of the anarchist community to which the Martyrs claimed affiliation spoke eloquently about the heroes of workers' rights and individual dignity. Nov. 11, 1887 is commonly known as Black Friday.

    Alma Washington was the second speaker. Dressed in period attire, she did her moving impersonation of Lucy Parsons, the wife of Albert Parsons, one of the men hanged at that site. Lucy Parsons was a brilliant, fiery and eloquent orator in her own right. Alma has made a personal pledge that as long as she is capable, she will make the march every year up Michigan Avenue as the May Day Martyrs and 85,000 others did on May 1st 1886.

    The primary mission of the march this year was educational. Shamefully, few Americans know the true history of May Day and the May Day Martyrs. Our leaders would prefer that their barbaric actions in the past be hidden. Only a few hundred people participated in Chicago. Many were afraid to take the day off, or even worse that their employers would see them participating in a Constitutionally guaranteed action and punish them. May Day is the world's second most celebrated day after New Years.

    In other countries, things were much different. Those interested in learning about what happened world wide or seeing a gallery of pictures of the various May Day activities in Chicago are advised to start at http://www.chicago.indymedia.org.

    The M$Ms have elaborate plans to return to the dominance they wielded in 1886. The time line appears to be about 2005. At that time, globalization, privatization and non-unionization will rule the world. The U.S. is the leader of this juggernaut. Judging from the lack of interest in celebrating the day that symbolizes individual liberty, justice, dignity and equality, few U.S. citizens will object to the New World Order of Globalization.


    Debs Dinner 2001: A DSA Choral Event

    By Ron Baiman

    The 43rd annual 2001 Debs-Thomas-Harrington dinner was held on Firday night, May 4 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza Chicago. The honorees were Henry Bayer, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 31, and Kim Bobo Executive Director of the National Interfaith Center for Worker Justice. Carole Travis served as moderator. Jackie Kendall and Carl Sheir presented the awards to Bobo and Bayer, respectively. The keynote speaker was Illinois State Senator Miguel del Valle.

    The event, which has become one of the highlights of the left social calendar in Chicago, was very well attended. Thanks largely to Carl Shier's inspiration, reputation, and never flagging efforts, and to Bob Roman's numerous hours of work and astute organizing and management skills, the dinner has become the central outreach and fundraising event for Chicago DSA. A success means that we have the resources to continue for another year. A failure means that we're strapped for funds for a year. So far, the left in Chicago has consistently supported the dinner and, by implication, Chicago DSA.

    Every dinner has a different character and this one was no exception. The 2001 dinner was more humorous and musical than many others, perhaps reflecting an effort to maintain our spirits in the current depressing political climate.

    Carole Travis's opened the event by setting the tone of our times, and of the evening, with several jokes including: "What's the difference between Bush and Mussolini? Mussolini was elected."

    Jackie Kendall then presented the award to Kim Bobo by reading the citation which commended her "for a life built around the moral issue of justice; not justice as charity but justice as a way for people to win for themselves the dignity, respect, and material means due any human being."

    Kendall noted that Bobo was born and raised in southeast Ohio and during her first year of College attended "David Lipsen College" in Tennessee, an extremely conservative Christian college judging from their very strict dress code and code of conduct which Jackie read parts of. This, surmised Kendall, must have turned her into the radical activist that she later became after leaving Lipsen for Barnard College in New York City. Aside from her 15 years at the Midwest Academy, as director of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, Bobo is now known for her "Labor in the Pulpit" program which reached 150 cities in the last Labor day.

    Kim Bobo accepted the award and then, to her credit, and true to her reputation as a brilliant and multifaceted organizer and musician, used the occasion to organize for DSA by leading us all in a song about DSA (see side bar).

    Aside from her excellent singing (which, I'm sorry to say, quite noticeably stood out in comparison to the crowd's) the substance of Bobo's message was that religions organizations are a pervasive part of American social life. Over 50% of people attend weekly religious services and most religious social justice agenda's are more or less compatible with that of DSA.

    After another Travis joke: "An ancient Republican proverb: Teach a man to light a fire and he will be warm forever, but throw him into the fire and he will never again complain about the cold.", Carole introduced Alex Mikulich.

    Mikulich, who teaches theology and social justice at Loyola University, then gave a serious and thoughtful talk on the need to imagine a better world of affordable housing, health care, jobs with a living wage, etc. and invited all to join DSA's Religion and Socialism Commission.

    Carl Shier then recognized "the invisible" Bob Roman for his work on the dinner, but as usual Bob was nowhere to be seen inside the hall. This has become something of a ritual at these dinners, undoubtedly leading many to wonder if "Bob Roman" actually exits, or if he is some kind of an invisible socialist saint a.k.a. Joe Hill, Elijah, or St. Nick. Let me take this occasion to assure readers that "Bob Roman" does exist, and though his visage may be similar to at least two of the aforementioned characters, he's a flesh and blood human and a mainstay of Chicago DSA, who, though he's definitely up for sainthood in "socialist heaven", is thankfully still organizing on earth or at least in Chicago.

    After the perennial "Bob Roman" ritual, Carl introduced Henry Bayer as an outstanding labor leader who heads a bargaining committee of 250-275 people which has negotiated good contracts with impressive ratification results. He noted that Bayer's "On the Move" column in the AFSCME paper is widely read in the labor movement, and that AFSCME Council 31 is particularly known for organizing the unorganized and for its 100% record of producing first contracts after wining representation elections. He also highlighted Council 31's record of support for Citizen Action, Council of Senior Citizens, and many other community organizations.

    Henry Bayer's citation noted that "During a time when the law restricts the rights of workers to organize, for public employees to have won such rights and then used them, has helped and inspired the entire labor movement. You have been in the first ranks of that struggle."

    Henry Bayer gave a very humble presentation, thanking the staff and the membership of Council 31, and particularly his young organizers, profusely. He stated that though some believed he must have known Norman Thomas, this was not true, though he was proud to have been a friend of Michael Harrington's. He reiterated his belief, and that of Harrington, that the labor movement was the cornerstone of social progress and noted that we, like Mike, have to be "long distance runners."

    Miguel DeValle was then introduced by Carole Travis as a politician who has ceaselessly works for progressive social change for over 15 years in the state senate - now as assistant minority leader. She also noted that as a "technophobe" he's a real person who also, however, has heroic attributes - like running 6-7 miles a day.

    DeValle commented on the shallowness of Bush's efforts to appeal to Hispanics by celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the White House with his nephew in Spanish, while Republicans ignore the most basic real needs of Hispanic workers. He then focused on the problems of day laborers in Chicago, noting that they typically have low wages, no benefits, and no job security, and that 47% of them are Latino. He reported on a hunger strike now going on against "Windy City" which supplies day laborers to McCormick Place and the Merchandise Mart.

    DeValle noted that Ryan's executive orders on affirmative action were meaningless when only 3% of state employees are Hispanic, and that the fight for rights for the undocumented is everyone's fight, as if they can be denied fundamental rights so can we all. After praising the work of Congresswomen Schakowsky who was in attendance, he turned to her to chastise House minority leader Gephart for sending a fundraising appeal that had no Hispanics in its cover picture.

    DeValle's talk was, true to form, energetic and upbeat. He ended with a plea to "Look inside yourself and ask what steps am I taking to build coalitions?" - noting that we have wonderful opportunities if we can move in that direction.

    After a long evening, "Solidarity Forever" was a little weak and off key though not for lack of effort. It may have served to remind us all that, as Henry Bayer noted, in this period especially, we all have to be "long distance runners"!

     

    A Word from the Invisible Man

    It's true that effusive praise makes me acutely uncomfortable. But I'm rarely in the banquet hall because there are tasks that must be attended to even during the event. I might have heard my cue even so, but I had departed momentarily for much the same reason as Edgar Lee Master's Enoch Dunlap left the caucus room.

    I'm told that Carl Shier sang my praises after being similarly praised in an introduction by Carole Travis. And he should be praised as he helped start the Dinner back in 1958 and made it part of his life's work that it continue. But Carl is correct. This event doesn't happen by itself and takes more than just Carl and me to do it, as Enoch Dunlap would agree.

    In particular, I'd like to thank Will Kelley, who not only stuffed many envelopes but also served as a "maitre d'" at the event. Without Steve Culen, Lori Scafaro and Lou Pardo, the Dinner would not have been as good. Harold Taggart and Gene Birmingham (the John Henry of office work) not only stuffed a myriad envelopes but also helped get shipments to the post office. Thanks also to Jonathan Birnbaum for many stuffed envelopes; Kathy Devine and John Chavez-Pedersen, among others, for their good advice; and Gretchen Seifert-Gram for a really good set of photos; Mark Lickerman as well as Ken Okamoto, Joan Axthelm, Andy Martin and others from YDS for their help setting up. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone. --Bob Roman

     

    Ode to DSA

    Chorus:

    DSA - That's what we say.

    DSA - We lead the way.

    Verses:

    1) D that stands for the small D - democrats.

    Challenging government by just the fat cats.

    2) That S it stands for Socialist - yes it does.

    Just say the old S word and it will cause a buzz.

    3) Now as for the A, for America it stands.

    We claim eco justice throughout the lands.

    4) We honor both the youth and revered elders too.

    Joining all races, in all that we do.

    5) No one can doubt that Bush is harming us all.

    We must organize and fight for his fall,

    6) Who else unites the left a too fussy breed.

    Urging us to act in all our word, faith and deed.

    7) Congrats to my Friend, and Colleague Henry Bayer.

    You're known to all as honest, thoughtful, and fair.

    8) Thank you says Bobo, she's not worthy or so smart.

    Nonetheless she thanks you from the bottom of her heart.


    Other News

    Compiled by Bob Roman

    National Director

    Horace Small has resigned as DSA's National Director. Frank Llewellyn has been appointed Interim National Director.

    CDSA Annual Convention

    will take place on Saturday, June 23. Save the date! The agenda will include the regular election of male Co-Chair and Secretary, adoption of a budget, and making plans. For information, call 773.384.0327 or email chiildsa@chicagodsa.org.


     Add yourself to the Chicago DSA mailing list (snail mail and email).

     Back to top.