Labor: Hundreds of thousands speak as one

Hundreds of Thousands of Students, Teachers, Clergy, Community Members and Union Members Proclaim "We Are One" on Anniversary of King Assassination
April 04, 2011

(Washington, April 4) Today and continuing through the week, hundreds of thousands of working people across the United States are coming together to honor the anniversary of Dr. King's death with a call for the right of all workers to collectively bargain for a middle class life, the right to a voice in the political process and respect for work and working America.

In over a thousand grassroots events in all fifty states, working families and their allies in the civil rights, religious, and progressive communities will commemorate the legacy of Dr. King, who was assassinated while supporting striking AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis. Participants will voice their opposition to the dramatic assault by politicians and their corporate backers on the rights of working people, students, immigrants, and middle-class America.

"What started in Wisconsin has spread to every state across the country as working people stand together to say 'enough.' The immense activity this week is a direct result of the backlash provoked by overreaching governors and state legislatures. Working people's energy and commitment to coming together will continue until the priorities of many of our politicians are realigned to create jobs rather than undermine the middle class," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Events are being tracked at Civil rights, religious, and progressive organizations like the NAACP, Sierra Club,, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as well as student and campus groups and others are planning a myriad of events to declare: "We are one." Workers, students, retirees, churches, colleges and universities are embracing creative collective action throughout the day.

A sampling of events include:

·         College students and professors are hosting over 175 teach-ins across the country:;

·         Local congregations in Michigan, Maine, and Colorado are hosting interfaith services, candlelight vigils, and rallies;

·         International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) members in all California ports have committed to fly the Wisconsin flag in their port and it's spread to the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast. Longshoremen in the ports of Charleston, Savannah, Ft. Lauderdale, Mobile, Philadelphia, Bayonne, and others will be flying Wisconsin flags;

Community and union members are hosting book talks and film showings of At the River I Stand;

·         Workers across the country will reach out to their co-workers through informal leafleting in their workplaces at over 250 worksites;

·         In Raleigh, people will gather for a 15 minute silent vigil to symbolize the silencing of working people's voices.

·         In Syracuse, people will stand at 40 intersections to talk to people in their cars about what's happening at a state level;

·         On Saturday April 9, thousands of union members and community members will rally in Downtown Chicago and in Manhattan's Times Square;

·         And in both Wisconsin and Ohio, over 20 events in each state will be held in communities across the state to continue to fight against the assaults on workers' rights.

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