Hepburn’s labor solidarity

The recent death of Katharine Hepburn reminded me of her solidarity with striking Box Tree Restaurant workers on Manhattan’s East 49th Street back in the 1990s. I found the following on the internet:

“On strike Christmas helper: It was a chilly evening just before Christmas in Manhattan, 1992.

Katherine Hepburn was passing by the The Box Tree restaurant, several doors down from her townhouse. Waiters and busboys were picketing outside.

The actress stopped at the police barricade and asked an organizer, “Aren’t you cold?” “Yeah a little,” he admitted. “Well,” said Ms. Hepburn, “why don’t you come to my house to warm up? If any of you have to go to the bathroom or you just want to warm up, come to my house.”

[The organizer] declined the invitation, but thanked her all the same. At that the actress raised her fist, exclaimed, “You beat them!” then continued down the street. Within the hour she sent her housekeeper back to the Box Tree, with two boxes of Christmas chocolates for [the organizer] and the picketers, and another invitation to use her bathroom if they needed to.”

Well, the strikers, who were mostly of Mexican descent, did beat the Box Tree bosses six years later with the help of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union, other AFL-CIO members, and the solidarity of people like Katharine Hepburn. A number of World articles on the strike by the late Roy Rydell also advanced this struggle towards victory.

Rich GiovanoniCamden NJ

Likes the calendar

I received my copy of the PWW today and noticed on page 14 “August in History.” That is a great idea! You might want to think about making a calendar using the dates important to the working class. I am sure it would be a great seller and fundraiser for the PWW. Also noticed the sub rate went up. It still is the best paper going today even at double the price!

A North Carolina via e-mail

Investigate Bush lies

This summer several of us Chicanas and Chicanos, who were active in the anti-Vietnam War efforts in our communities decades ago, have been working together to try to build Latino support for a thorough investigation of intelligence abuses about Iraq.

When MoveOn took up the issue supporting Rep. Henry Waxman’s proposal, H.R. 2625, we began working to get as many Latino co-sponsors as possible as well as other representatives with large Latino constituencies. There are now 110 co-sponsors of bill, including at 13 Latinos representatives.

We are concerned that a disproportionate number of our youth are in the most vulnerable assignments in the armed services. We are incensed at the stereotype about people of color carrying concealed weapons being applied on a global scale. We believe if we do not exercise our democracy it will atrophy. Our goal is to get at least 218 co-sponsors in the House and 51 in the Senate.

Call your congressional representative after Labor Day, when Congress returns from its recess: (800) 839-5276. Si Se Puede.

Rosalio MunozLos Angeles CA.

Simple and pithy

When Clinton lied, people sighed.

When Bush lied, people died.

Bill AppelhansChicago IL

Reader on Kucinich candidacy

Thank you so much for producing such a high quality paper. Nowhere else have I found such an inclusive and comprehensive publication which addresses the issues that really matter for the people of the world.

If possible, I would like for the PWW/NM to take greater notice of presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

I and many others I have spoken with believe that he is the one who will speak for us all and will speak out against the administration in the most comprehensive manner. I notice him from time to time in the paper, but since the corporate mainstream media refuses to give him any standing. We must!

Thankfully and graciously yours,

Chris KarnesTacoma WA

Editor’s note: We have had several responses to the articles by Erwin Marquit on socialist market economies. Excerpts from these letters, along with a response by the author, will be printed in a future People Before Profits column.