Economic Justice

Demonstrators parade down Broadway during a May Day march in New York, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Activists in New York City converged on Union Square before a march downtown towards City Hall as they protested for better working conditions, immigration reform and other social issues. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

On May 1st, 2013, I had the pleasure of marching with you from Union Square to City Hall in New York City. It was an honor, a privilege, to stand with you. The demands for the legalization of all undocumented citizens, education and healthcare for all, a future free of nuclear danger, an end to homelessness and the abolition of poverty were backed by a righteous strength and fearlessness that I have never seen in my life. It is truly admirable. We owe it to ourselves to celebrate.

Malcolm X. (Source: 52en.com)

In part two of my series, A Better Tomorrow, I  would like to discuss Malcolm X’s speech, "The Ballot or the Bullet", and its historical impact.

Before we begin, I would like to thank my readers for following my series A Better Tomorrow. I have been encouraged by the feedback that I received from supporters and readers who have been following my series. As my series continues, I hope there will be more enthusiasm.

Let’s begin our discussion:

Students and parents from Lafayette School marched to their alderman's office on March 21. Lafayette is one of a staggering 54 Chicago schools slated for closure—the most ever in a single year in a U.S. city. Photo: Bill Healy, Chicago Public Media. (Source: labornotes.org)

The battle for Chicago’s schools is raging. The April 24th School Board Meeting in Chicago was a hotbed of competing interests, and nothing seems likely to cool down any time soon. As of Wednesday’s meeting, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) intends to close 54 schools, co-locate six, and send eleven more through a “turnaround” process in which they will massively reorganize students, teachers, and resources.

Last week, Indyreader published the first hour of the Baltimore City Council Labor Committee Hearing on the Hyatt labor peace resolution held last Thursday, March 14, 2013. Part II highlights testimonies during the second hour of the hearing. Among those who testified were Unite Here Local 7 organizer Tracy Lingo, Hyatt workers Mike Jones, Regina Davis and Baker Best, Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic priest Fr. Ty Hullinger, Baltimore NAACP President Tessa Aston-Hill, community activist Duane Davis, and LIUNA Local 33 member James Commander.

At the Parkview Recreation Center in West Baltimore, on Thursday evening, April 18, 2013, the Rev. Dr. Minister Paris J. Evans served as the host and one of the speakers at the “CODE RED” community-based outreach meeting. The program was mainly focused on addressing the issues of “poverty, the crime rate . . . and reducing homicides in targeted areas, while assisting the crime victims.”

Members of The United Workers and their supporters march through the streets of Baltimore. Photo source: www.nesri.org

An obstacle for the left is the difficulty in organizing due to the splintered causes. After all, what do LGBTQ rights have to do with immigration, or low wages, or Healthcare? I think the answer is human dignity. Those ideas—humanism, dignity, a life free from slavery, formal or mental—illuminate a common ground for the Left that has been splintered and muted. There are signs of a pulse of a larger Human Rights movement here in Maryland.

Photo by: Hyatt Hurts. Source: Indyreader.org

On Thursday, March 14, 2013, the Baltimore City Council Labor Committee approved a resolution calling on the Hyatt Regency Baltimore to sign a labor peace agreement. According to lead sponsor, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, the Hyatt has repeatedly intervened in lawful union organizing activities and has been subcontracting temp-agency workers in violation of direct hiring requirements stipulated in their lease agreement with the City of Baltimore. This video presents excerpts from the first hour of the labor committee hearing.

Demonstration organized by Unite Here, Local 7 and allies at BWI. Photo by Bill Hughes.

Members of Unite Here, Local 7, and their Social Justice allies, staged a demonstration on Wednesday afternoon, April 3, 2013, at BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport. It took place at the departure terminal of Southwest Airlines. The workers are fighting AirMall, USA, the company placed in charge of concessions at the airport by the State of Maryland. The union is demanding improved wages, benefits and working conditions for their members. Since the State hires AirMall, USA, Governor Martin O’Malley has a potentially important role to play in resolving this dispute.

Pages

Subscribe to Economic Justice