“We’ll raise several thousand dollars,” Lance Cohn said of the 19th Annual People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo Banquet in Illinois, of which he is a principal organizer. Cohn said that the banquet, which will be held in a Greek restaurant, has attracted a wide audience. “We have more elected officials coming this time than before. The mood is going to be upbeat.
“We’re coming off of a celebration,” Cohn added, “and people will be a lot more generous knowing that the PWW was an important part of this drive to change Congress.”
The Chicago banquet, to be held Dec. 3, will feature living wage and peace resolutions sponsor city Alderman Freddrenna Lyle as the keynote speaker, and will honor immigrant rights activist Elvira Arellano, union activists Bea and Frank Lumpkin, disability rights group ADAPT, the March 10th immigrant rights coalition and AFSCME workers who are fighting to organize Resurrection Hospital — all familiar to PWW readers.
PWW friends in Chicago are not the only ones organizing events. That same weekend, friends and supporters of the People’s Weekly World will host banquets and forums across the country, celebrating the November victory, uniting for upcoming struggles, honoring activists and organizations and raising money for the PWW. It’s the PWW’s Super Sunday.
• In New York City, Rep. Major Owens will be honored at the annual “Better World Awards” for his years of progressive struggle in Congress. Also being honored is Betty Smith, president of International Publishers and longtime fighter for peace and democracy. Elena Mora, chair of the N.Y. State Communist Party, will discuss the recent election results.
• In Oakland, the featured speaker will be Navy war resister Pablo Paredes. Joining him on the platform will be Kenneth Hayes, recent high school graduate and anti-youth-violence activist. Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the anti-nuclear-weapons organization Western States Legal Foundation; Lester Rodney, sports editor for the PWW’s predecessor paper, The Daily Worker; the Blue Diamond Workers Organizing Committee; the Campaign against Unjust Immigration Laws; and the Coalition for Justice for Immigrants are all being honored.
• In New Haven, Conn., three progressive Connecticut leaders will be honored at an annual reception whose theme this year is “Carry the People’s Election Victory Forward!” Merilee Milstein, former Northeast regional deputy director of the AFL-CIO; Roger Vann, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut; and the Rev. Emilio Hernandez, community organizer with Connecticut Center for a New Economy, will be recognized for their years of work for social justice.
• In Philadelphia, Libero Della Piana, national organizing director for the Communist Party USA, will be the featured speaker. Honorees include Dr. Walter Tsou, former president of the American Public Health Association.
This weekend follows on several recent successes. Baltimore PWW friends organized a showing of the antiwar film “Sir, No Sir,” raising over $1,100. In New York, a silent auction was held, which brought $4,000 to the drive.
Washington, D.C., readers will launch a Friends of the PWW with a public meeting on Dec. 9.
dmargolis @ pww.org