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The PWW is like no other newspaper in the world. Powerful on world news coverage, along with beautifully written, thoughtful readers’ reactions to topics as diverse as smoking. This publication, always personal, always meaningful, always unexpected every week.

A readerEly NV

Celebrating a life in labor
April 24 was a night for affirmation of labor’s heritage and future – all in honor of Moe Foner. Foner was a seminal part of labor in New York; to many he was its very heart.

Moe and his brothers Philip, Henry, and Jack were among the preeminent organizers and historians of people’s culture.

Though Moe passed away in January, his associates in the larger movement, and in particular at my own union, 1199/SEIU, where Moe was an official since 1952, wanted to offer a celebration of his life.

Moe was not only an important part of 1199, he founded its Bread and Roses Cultural Program, which organized the tribute, Celebrate Moe!

Celebrate Moe! occurred at NYC’s historic Town Hall, which was filled to capacity for this special evening.

The Royal Bannah Band, a reggae band of 1199ers from Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital in Brooklyn warmed up the audience with songs of conscience and justice such as Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up.”

The evening’s emcee was actor Ossie Davis. Harry Belafonte, a long-term friend of Moe and 1199, took the stage to thunderous applause.

Other speakers included Moe’s bother Henry, UFW founder Dolores Huerta, Bill Serrin of the NY Times, Dennis Rivera and many others from the movement.

A film about Moe’s life was screened and performers offered two songs from a musical Moe wrote about hospital workers, Take Care.

The finale included a chorus that sang “Bread and Roses” and then the gospel number, “May the Work That I Have Done Speak for Me.”

We need exhilarating experiences like this one to remember where we’ve been and where we need to go.
John PietaroNew York NY

Imperfect author
Many readers will remember the book The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. It was a sensitive portrayal of commercial fisherpeople and the dangers they face.

Junger was recently a guest lecturer at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., where he spoke mostly from and about his new book, Fire. Here he unabashedly presented a pro-imperialist view, particularly of the USA variety, in support of the war in Afghanistan.

He heaped praise on the mujahidin, the very people who were pulling school teachers out of their buildings and killing them in the 1980s.

Junger feels that the U.S. military should stay in Afghanistan for five to 10 years or more. In so many words, he said we’re (U.S.) number one so who can do the job better! This man should be met with protests where ever he pedals this endless war position.
Nick Bartvia e-mail

Stop the execution
The following letter was faxed to South Carolina Gov. Hodges, through the moratorium campaign: www.moratoriumcampaign.org:

I strongly urge you to grant executive clemency to Richard Charles Johnson – who is scheduled to be executed on May 3.

There is strong evidence that Mr. Johnson is not guilty of the crime for which he has been sentenced to die. South Carolina can not afford to take the chance of executing an innocent man.

Mr. Johnson was sentenced to death solely on the basis of the testimony of two co-defendants who walked out of jail the day after they testified, and a career jailhouse snitch with a history of testifying falsely against inmates.

Mr. Johnson had no history of violence before this crime and has none since. In fact, his prison record does not contain one single disciplinary incident in the 16 years he has been on death row.

I ask that you grant Mr. Johnson’s request for clemency because there are serious questions about his guilt and because he poses no threat to those in or outside the prison walls.

This type of cases underscores the need for South Carolina to conduct a comprehensive bipartisan review of the application of the death penalty here before we continue to use it.
Michelle LarabyDeKalb IL

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