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News :: Labor & Class

Workers In The (Local) South

A timely re-post of an article about the southern labor movement and the economic foundations of right-wing power in 'red-state america'.

This week GW Bush, the most hated man in the world, won a slim re-election this week through the savvy use of gay-bashing referendum votes in pivotal swing states. Since then, progressives and radicals have been confronting painful truths about cultural divides in the United States. Crafting a strategy to re-identify 'moral issues' as civil rights and social justice for all people, and then using it to organize mass movements for social change, is now a life-or-death challenge for the left. Either we do this, or we lose everything. The news and debate on websites like the Richmond IMC are particularly important in this context--- the problem of 'organizing the south' is more crucial now than ever before.

As we grapple with these issues, I'm posting an article written for the last issue of Left Turn magazine. It's about the southern labor movement. Hopefully it can shed a little light on the economic foundations that right-wing power in 'red-state america' rest on. It mentions a struggling union of city workers in Richmond which is, unfortunately, no longer active. However, the Richmond Coalition for a Living Wage remains active, and has done amazing work making space for temp workers, day laborers and their allies to organize each other and fight for economic human rights. RCLW deserves more active support from Richmond-area progressives and radicals in thsi endeavor; maybe GW Bush will light a fire under our butts to work more with temp workers in attacking the structures of economic apartheid in Virginia that help thugs like Bush hold power over this empire.


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