Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Labor Movement

I went to the WI solidarity rally today @ the MA Statehouse. I remember my father saying that strikes and rallies gave him a stomach ache, especially when he was shop steward for the URW @ General Tire. Back then strikes occupied that perilous terrain between energetic non-violence and outright fisticuffs (or worse). Today I wonder if we have the energy for such vigorous defense of our rights.

In MA we can be both smug and complacent at the same time. There was an ok turn out but the crowd was quiet and at the end, when the band struck up Solidarity Forever no one sang, probably because most younger folks didn't know the words. When a song leader finally chimed in she was two octaves too high and off key. Maybe handing out song sheets and instructions on when to cheer and how to chant in unison?

I'm happy the protester in Wisconsin, young and old, have found the courage to endure extended digestive upset. I hope the rest of us find the ovaries to join them.

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