Edie Fishman: Lifelong fighter for the working class

Baub Bidon wrote the poem, “Edie,” for Edie Fishman on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Bidon performed the poem (see below) at her party, which was attended by sixty people including elected officials, union leaders, Young Communist League and Communist Party comrades from Connecticut and New Jersey.

Edie was born on July 22, 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of immigrants. She joined the Young Communist League at age 14 during the height of the Great Depression. She remains an active member and leader of the Communist Party to this day. She was a “Rosie the Riveter,” working in the shipyard in Camden, New Jersey during WW II. Her recollections are represented in the Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park in California. She later completed her education and became a high school art teacher in New Jersey. She also received a congressional citation for her work with her students for peace. She received over 5,000 votes as a candidate for Freeholder. She and George, her husband of 67 years until his passing in 2009, moved to New Haven’s Wooster Square neighborhood in 1995. Edie carries on their lifelong commitment and contribution to equality, peace and social justice.


By Baub Bidon

Her sincere eyes smile at the rivers of

people holding hands to the union of one song


 we are the union, the mighty mighty union…

no justice!  no peace!

no justice!  no peace!

 Her peaceful feet marched out the belly of nineteen-twenty-one,

born to rally, she organized, helped to unionize for social change,

changing the conditions of yesterday,

to make our fight today a bit more easier,

she ought to know, how far her ripples in those puddles flowed

the storm in her sneakers shouted loud in New York

to end the war in Iraq, and bring the troops back

she…  did that

fighting for the rights of the working class

si se puede

and yes we did


You beautiful sun flower of a woman

Budding hope from your womb

Like tulips

Giving birth to revolution

You are the move in our movement

Humble enough to not want this poem to be about you

But the truth is… had there been an absence of you

There would be no Joelle,

no Weekly World,

no Amina Baraka at the Peoples Center,

no me passing a letter, to recite poetry

no New Haven YCL

no free 2 spit

your fight was worth the struggle

that makes this poem relevant

so sit back and enjoy the ride like freedom

like Selma’s passion

at a Montgomery speech

or the walk on Washington…

Like the sit ins

The boycotts

Brown versus the board of education

like Ruby Bridges escorted to her classroom

with police bodyguards

the first person of color integrated into the curriculum


justice for Sacco and Vanzetti

like free the Cuban 5

free Huey

free Mumia

and hands off Assata

sit back and enjoy your smile

…enjoy it like we do

pat yourself on the back

and continue,

to let that sun shine from your eyes

who we are… so we tell them

no justice, no peace

no racist police

let freedom ring, let freedom ring

thank God all mighty, we are free at last

Photo: Edie Fishman, left, with her daughter Joelle.



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.