To see the red and black IWW banners, flags and balloons flying above the gathering of Wobblies on October 17 at the base of the Lincoln Memorial, you'd think you had stepped back in time. Considering the efforts undertaken by bosses and the state to crush the Industrial Workers of the World in the first half of the twentieth century, this was perhaps the largest showing of Wobs in 70 years. |
Close to 100 Wobblies joined several thousand other workers, students and activists for the Million Worker March in Washington, DC as an organized contingent. The rally and march itself was initiated by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, or ILWU. While the overall turn-out for the rally itself was disappointing, numbering perhaps 5,000 or less due to a de facto ban by the AFL-CIO leadership, police interference with union buses and internal labor coalition shortfalls, it was inspiring to meet, sing and march in a large and visible presence.
MWM: A First Gathering of Militants for Labor and PeaceThe sun shined brightly amidst trees with leaves of red at the Lincoln Center in Washington DC for the Million Worker March, Sunday Oct. 17. I first heard it was forthcoming during the Boston DNC protests. It was conceived earlier this year by co-chair Trent Willis of the ILW whose local endorsed it unanimously. They said it couldn't be done! But it happened!
Tabling was rampant featuring bumperstickers, flyers, buttons, and handmade jewelry. Groups for labor and anti-war were numerous and I was in a feverish pitch to be with my people! The MWM was an all-day rally. Some speakers were Dick Gregory, Danny Glover and a real dynamo, Brenda Stokely, who spoke of "blood, sweat, and tears" to pull together. We must not take the plans and trash them when we return. We must work in the communities to take back our voice because neither of the 2 parties will do it for us.
The AFL-CIO contributed nothing for the event. They give all labor's money to the Democrat Party.
more: [ Pictures of MWM | Million Workers March Audio & Video (DC Indymedia) | Million Worker March website | Industrial Workers of the World website ]