Always on the lookout for wedge issues to divide us, President Bush waded in on the side of “English only,” proclaiming it is wrong to sing the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — After two months of struggle, including picket lines, demonstrations and a three-week hunger strike, striking janitors at the University of Miami have won the right to unionize through the method of their choice, a card check process.
DETROIT — A clarion call for unity was sounded at a Labor Summit on Affirmative Action and Segregation here April 28. Conference-goers heard the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and local civil rights and labor leaders urge the civil rights movement, labor and their allies to turn out the vote in November to defeat the Bush agenda.
As Medicaid waivers begin to expire, Katrina evacuees who need health care are growing ever more desperate. This short-term coverage began expiring on Jan. 31. All Medicaid waivers will have expired by June 1, leaving thousands of displaced citizens without health care coverage.
SAN FRANCISCO — The labor movement, the faith community, a broad spectrum of immigrant rights organizations and just plain folks joined in a river of 15,000 marchers that flooded city streets from the Mission District’s Dolores Park to the downtown federal building April 23. Observers called it the largest such demonstration in the city to date.
NEW YORK — Throngs of supporters gathered around Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint as he led a huge April 24 march over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan jail where he began serving a 10-day sentence.
CHICAGO — In the city of May Day’s birth, labor unions pledged to support the May 1 immigrant rights rally here. WithHaymarket Square as a backdrop, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Dennis Gannon, told reporters, “Immigrants’ rights are workers’ rights.”
The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance March 29 that forbids police and other city employees from participating in the witch-hunt against undocumented immigrants that has been whipped up by the Republican far right.
To see thousands of immigrants and their supporters marching, rallying and standing up for their rights is inspiring. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) was correct when she called immigration the civil rights issue of our time.
Though winter rains are finally ending, managers of California’s many dams and aging, sometimes dilapidated levees expect the system will face serious challenges into the summer.