Dallas marchers stress climate and wage justice

DALLAS — Accumulated rain during the weekend of Nov. 27 made 2015 the wettest year ever in North Texas, but rain and cold didn’t keep activists from hitting the streets for justice. On Black Friday, we marched from the City Place Target to the Uptown Walmart to add our voices and actions to the nationwide “Fight for $15!”

North Texas Jobs with Justice, as always, organized the Black Friday event. Walmart workers were joined by the Dallas AFL-CIO, Texas Organizing Project, and even the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. Speakers explained the significance of the fight for better wages and pointed out that progress is being made. Dallas is among the many cities now requiring higher wages, even for the city’s many contract employees. The group sang “The Walmart Song,” which was written locally. 

They also praised fired Walmart worker Colby Harris because national news sources had just revealed that Walmart intelligence sources, including contract investigators from giant military contractor Lockheed Martin, were targeting the young activist. In documents captured by the National Labor Relations Board, Walmart was complaining that he had given “over 45 media interviews” on behalf of Walmart workers. The next day, on KNON radio, Harris gave his 46th.

Some may have thought that the long period of rain and cold might have caused organizers to cancel the climate change rally and march scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 29 but they were wrong. If anything, the miserable weather brought out even more climate-conscious activists!

Local groups and the Sierra Club spoke on environmental issues. A representative of the Communications Workers of America connected the climate fight to labor’s battle to stop Congress and President Obama from effecting a new unfair trade proposal. 

The Common Ground Street Choir led the singing of “The Climate Song” and “We Shall Not be Moved” before the whole group marched across the Singleton Bridge, which spans the swollen Trinity River below.

Photo: Jim Lane/PW