Scenes from an uprising: Chicago We Are One (Video)

CHICAGO – On April 9, nearly 10,000 trade unionists and their supporters poured into Daley Plaza downtown. They came by bus from other Illinois towns and they came in feeder marches from around the city.

This city’s “We Are One” rally was one of over 1,200 events that took place during the week of April 4, in commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The mood was festive and militant at the same time. Bill Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, gave a moving speech. He linked the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike where Dr. King was killed and the growing fight back against ultra-right corporate attacks on unions and public workers.

Chicago We R 1 4-9-11 from Scott Marshall on Vimeo.


Photo: Scott Marshall/PW


Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott Marshall is a vice chair of the Communist Party and chair of its Labor Commission. Scott grew up in Virginia where he first became active in the civil rights movement in high school, working on voter registration and anti-Klan projects in rural Southern Virginia and Tennessee. He was also active against the war in Vietnam.

Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s.

Scott has worked for the Communist Party since 1987 when he became the district organizer for the party in Illinois, a post he held until he was elected chair of the National Labor Commission in 1997. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.