On Saturday, I went to Hartford to attend a Rally to Save the American Dream in support of the workers in Wisconsin. The best part of the demonstration was singing Solidarity Forever. The events in Wisconsin seemed to have revived the labor movement, which has been quiescent for the last twenty years or so.
The past few months I have been wondering why there were no demonstrations in America over things like the failure to extend unemployment benefits to the 99ers, the war in Afghanistan, and the extension of the tax cuts for the rich.
Governor Walker’s naked power grab seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and people are finally responding. One of the signs at the demonstration Saturday said Unions Make Us Strong. I really believe that. What you win in struggle is much harder to take away.
In such an overtly capitalistic country as America there must be a counter veiling force. Because we no longer make anything, it is much harder to have a viable labor movement. The low paying service jobs at McDonald and Wal-Mart’s have seemed impervious to organizing. The country needs a strong, vital labor movement that will stand for social justice.
The title of this post is from Phil Ochs Links on the Chain, which explores the less than perfect record of mainstream unions toward people of color, women and gays. It also lays out the case for unions perfectly.
For more information about the Rally to Save the American Dream go to MoveOn.org