An extremely successful meeting was held last night to raise funds
for the Southern California grocery strikers. In Los Angeles, a group
called Los Angeles Strike Solidarity Organization (LASSO) was
organized and has been very active. One of the young people who was
instrumental in building that group has been in the bay area and
decided to try to put together something similar - the Bay Area
Strike Solidarity Organization (BASSO). Operating under this name,
three people (this young guy, a member of another left group and one
person from LMV) met to put together a meeting to raise money for the
strikers. With some help from a very few others, a meeting of some
75 people was built.
Some ten or more strikers came, and four of them were among the
featured speakers (along with two others). They spoke on how they are
fighting against the "WalMartization" of America and described the
importance of what they are fighting. They explained how working at
these grocery stores has not meant being wealthy by any means, but it
has provided them with a decent, economically secure life up until
now. They spoke on the hardships they have faced. One woman explained
how she had to move to a small, one bedroom apartment with her two
daughters. A man in his mid-forties broke down in tears describing
how his son, who is in college, asked if he would have to drop out to
help the family. Another striker explained that he and his girlfriend
are now sleeping in his car.
The first speaker talked about the general importance of the strike
and also attacked the Democratic Party. The last speaker (from
Labor's Militant Voice) stressed the willingness of the US working
class to struggle and sacrifice and linked this with some ideas on
how to carry the strike forward. As he spoke, several of the strikers
were nodding in agreement.
At the end, a fantastic collection was held, with over $2,000
raised! Not only that, but in individual conversations afterwards,
some ideas were discussed for how to carry on with this effort. A
young student at UC Berkeley committed herself to organizing a
similar meeting there. A UPS workers committed himself to doing a
work place collection.
Help build strike solidarity in your area. Strikers may be able to travel as speakers. Contact email@example.com if you want to help.