MADSA members have been busy, busy, busy for the past couple of weeks, so I’m posting a few photos to let you know what’s been happening.
First, we enjoyed a very interesting Socialist Dialogue on April 24 on the topic of “The Precariat: Work Without Predictability or Security,” a problem many in the audience recognized from first-hand experience. Education Committee Chair Ray Miklethun (far right) and moderator Steve Wise (second from right) introduced labor lawyer Debra Schwartz (second from left), who brilliantly summarized the state of workers’ legal rights in the U.S. and in Georgia by stating “they suck” and supplying specifics. Child care worker, Fight for 15 and Black Lives Matter activist Dawn O’Neal (third from left) followed by eloquently reviewing the Fight for $15 and a Union and other aspects of current workers’ struggles, and Teamster Local 728’s Organizing Director Ben Speight shared many insights on organizing in the current political climate and the importance of a strong labor movement. (Photo: Reid Freeman Jenkins)
The May Day/International Workers’ Day festival organized by Atlanta Jobs with Justice and other labor and community groups – the first such event aiming to bring together Atlanta’s progressive community on that historic date – drew a good crowd despite some showers. MADSA members staffed an information table and helped portray important U.S. labor leaders whose courage and persistence enabled many achievements we take for granted, such as the eight-hour day. (See Milt Tambor’s essay on the history of May Day in the Spring Equality newsletter, posted on this website.) In the photo (by Lorraine Fontana): Bob “Big Bill Haywood” Wolhueter, Adrian “Cesar Chavez” Bernal and Judy “Mother Jones” Wolhueter.
The night of May 3 was a special treat as we co-sponsored Amy Goodman’s talk and book signing that benefited community radio station WRFG. Amy and her collaborator Denis Moynihan lifted the spirits of a packed house at the First Iconium Baptist Church. Attendees included (left to right) Minnie Ruffin, Reid Jenkins and Barbara Joye. (Photo: Lorraine Fontana).
Finally, on May 5 several MADSA members joined Atlanta Jobs with Justice and the Communications Workers of America in a solidarity picket line supporting the CWA’s strike against Verizon, demanding a fair contract, in coordination with similar actions across the country.