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News ::
New England Million Worker March organizing picks up
27 Sep 2004
As the Million Worker March fast approaches support is growing nationaly. Likewise in New England labor, student and community organizations are mobilizing in their own name to build this independent class-wide movement.
New England Million Worker March organizing picks up
Labor, students, community organizations on the move

By Bryan G. Pfeifer

NEW ENGLAND -- Million Worker March organizing in the Northeast is gaining momentum.

A well-attended New England regional MWM meeting took place in Roslindale, Massachusetts Sept. 25 at the Steelworkers Local 8751 Boston school bus drivers and monitors union, office.

Boston-area rank-and-file leaders from AFSCME, HERE-UNITE, USWA, IUE-CWA and the UAW reported on their respective local’s MWM activities as did organizers from the Stonewall Warrior's, Women's Fight Back Network, Western Massachusetts International Action Center and other community organizations.

John Parker, Co-Coordinator of the Los Angeles MWM Organizing Committee kicked off the meeting with an MWM national update.

Parker said national endorsements, constantly updated at the MWM website (, are rolling in.

They include Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Lucious Walker of Pastors for Peace, NCOBRA, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Queers for Peace and Justice, the 300,000-member Postal Workers Union, United for Peace and Justice, Latino Movement USA, the American Indian Movement, and the 125,000-member AFSCME District Council 37 in New York City.

The meeting erupted in applause when Josue Renaud of the New England Coalition for Human Rights in Haiti announced a MWM solidarity demo to take place in Port-au-Prince Oct. 17 and that Haitian President Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his party Fanmi Lavalas has endorsed the MWM.

Brother Renaud also described the arrests and imprisonment of various leaders of the Association of Haitian Workers (CTH) after a Sept. 3-6 progressive delegation from the U.S. to Haiti.“What happened there’s a message to be sent. We need to do something to support them and to let them know they’re not alone,” said Renaud.

After Renaud’s report Local 8751 president Steve Gillis motioned for those present to sign a letter denouncing the arrests and demanding their release and all those imprisoned after the Feb 29 U.S.-France coup. All present signed.

This writer reported on Western Massachusetts MWM activities.

UAW Local 2322, a 17-member amalgamated union with 3,700 members in Western Mass, allocated $500 towards transportation at its September 13 general membership meeting.

And at its September 21 general membership meeting the Graduate Employee Organization at UMass-Amherst, an amalgamated unit of 2322, unanimously endorsed an MWM resolution and committed $500 for transportation. GEO represents 2,500 graduate student-workers at UMass Amherst.

“….”GEO will encourage other union locals and members and working people generally to attend and/or participate in any way possible to support the reprioritization of federal spending to affirmative action programs, education, health care, housing and other social programs and to demand that politicians and the administration listen to the people who pay their salaries, rather than the voices of big business and the rich,” reads the resolution in part.

Youth and student organizers from Smith and Hampshire colleges in Western Massachusetts gave an update on activities there and at Mt. Holyoke College. The students are busy reaching out to students and workers on their campuses, booking transportation, leafleting and more.

Seth Price, an MWM youth/student organizer reported that one bus will be rolling out of South Eastern, Massachusetts near Bridgewater.

Farther north buses and other transportation will be rolling out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Augusta, Maine.

“I am having great success organizing marchers from mostly the peace community,” wrote Jamilla, an MWM organizer from Maine, in an email to this writer.

On Sept. 25 in Brattleboro, Vermont at a Liberty Union Party meeting attendees expressed interest in attending the MWM and snapped up March T-shirts and leaflets.

Despite all the efforts thus far, there’s lot’s of work to do in New England and nationally to build the MWM most notably outreach and fundraising, stressed the organizers at the regional meeting.

“We have to commit ourselves to do all we can to build this movement,” declared Maureen Skehan of the Women’s Fightback Network.

In New England call the MWM regional office at (617) 524-3507 or see for more information, to purchase MWM bus tickets, t-shirts or buttons online and to access outreach material.

See also the new websites and

Pfeifer is a Labor Studies graduate student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst , a GEO member and an organizer with the Western Mass MWM Organizing Committee.

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