Rallies against the GOP healthcare bill are planned at the Capitol today andtomorrow in what's being called a “People’s Filibuster”. The Senate plan, crafted in secret by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will make millions of working people pay more for less healthcare, tax workplace plans, and give massive tax breaks to the rich. It would also take away health care from millions of working people, and drastically cut Medicaid. The rallies start as early as 8a this morning and run all day at the U.S. Capitol. You can also click here to sign a petition telling the Senate to oppose the GOP health care bill.
"Whenever there has been movements or resistance, there have always been arts and music," Carlos Jimenez, the executive director of the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO, told the record crowd of over 200 artists, activists, and musicians who attended last Saturday night’s Power of Song concert at the Great Labor Arts Exchange (GLAE). The event, part celebration, part conference and training, has been held annually for nearly four decades at what is now the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. In addition to the music, GLAE featured multiple panels and workshops including "Out at Work," a panel about the LGBT community's experience in the workplace and "Building a Vocal Community," Ysaye Barnwell’s workshop focusing on African-American spirituals. The 2017 Arts Exchange culminated with an unprecedented concert of nearly a dozen choral groups from across North America coming together to sing "Solidarity Forever," which John Paul Wright, a labor singer, organizer and Locomotive Engineers union member, called an "unforgettable moment." Exhausted but exuberant, Arts Exchange organizer Elise Bryant, Executive Director of the Labor Heritage Foundation, said afterward that "Never have so many social justice activists, and laborers come together in one place to celebrate the importance of arts and music and the spoken word in support of the labor movement."
- Mack Miller; photos by Matt Losak; check out more photos here.
"No matter how often the Washington Post’s official and self-serving account of the 1976 pressmen’s strike is regurgitated, it remains a fabrication worthy of Donald Trump," writes Fred Solowey. "Michael Rosenwald’s recent articleon the occasion of what would have been Post publisher Katharine Graham’s 100th birthday continues this inglorious tradition. Graham had decided on the priority of profit-maximization and that meant that its most militant union—Pressmen’s Local 6—had to be neutralized and its good contract gutted. Graham not only got cooperation from the government to help it beat the strikers by waiving air-space restrictions (helicopters being used to usher in scabs as well as printing plates), but Graham got additional, virtually unprecedented—and blatantly improper--help in another way: a grand jury was convened and over 100 strikers were subpoenaed during the months after the strike began with the aim of destroying solidarity and unity among the strikers. An employer actually seeking resolution in a labor dispute would never have used its power that way. Though it has largely been forgotten, it was this strike that really set the stage for the better-known PATCO strike in 1981, which also used scab permanent replacement workers and which many have seen as a turning point in U.S. labor relations. Graham and her crew beat Ronald Reagan to the punch by several years."
- Solowey is a long-time union editor and member of UAW 1981, and former co-chair of the Local 6 Legal Defense Committee. photo by Pete Schmick, Courtesy DC Public Library, Star Collection, © Washington Post; click here for Craig Simpson's report on the strike
“ ‘Has access to’ does not mean that they are guaranteed health care. I have access to buying a $10 million home. I don’t have the money to do that.”