|Arise member Ruben Santiago|
|Central Labor Council President Rick Brown|
Yesterday's Springfield rally in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers was big by our city's standards-- I'd estimate more than 400 people. I stood at the steps of City Hall with other Arise members as speaker after speaker explained why the Wisconsin fight was also our fight.
Friend and Arise member Holly Patterson couldn't get to the rally until about quarter after four. She stood behind me for a while, and then asked me a question.
|Bank Tenant Association member Candia Pink|
"No, there's been a woman."
"A white woman?"
And sure enough, as the rally progressed, every single speaker was white, and only two women among more than a dozen men. The only speaker of color was City Council President Jose Tosado, who is running for mayor this year. (Mayor Sarno spoke later in the rally.) I left a little after 5 pm., when the speakers got repetitive and I felt the rally was close to winding down, so I can't tell you for sure that no people of color spoke after that-- but if they did, they were certainly not given top billing.
|Council President Jose Tosado, JwJ Coordinator Jon Weissman, SEA President Tim Collins|
What the organized labor movement is likely to look like in the coming years, I don't know. I can only hope it finds a way to embrace the rest of us. Solidarity has to be a two-way street to flourish.