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News ::
SEIU launches massive strike (english)
02 Oct 2002
Modified: 09 Oct 2002
The Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) local 615 lauched
one of the largest labor actions in recent Boston history on Monday,
September 30. Twelve hundred janitors from about fifteen buildings
did not attend work that evening, going on strike instead. The
following night, more janitors struck and the union plans to continue
escalating until up to 11,000 janitors are on strike throughout
Greater Boston. (article 2)
Today, I marched with the janitors from Old West Church near
Government Center to Post Office Square, and back to Old West Church.
The march was lively, exuberant, and festive, almost carnival-like.
The first thing I noticed was the sea of purple and yellow, the colors of the SEIU: on the janitors' shirts, on their pickets, and on their banners. As the march started about five o'clock, it felt more like a wandering action throughout the city, with contingents of janitors heading from picket site to stand-out to picket site, 1 Beacon St. now, 60 State St. the next moment. Everywhere you looked, you saw purple and yellow, and heard "Huelga! Huelga!" Huelga (strike), because almost all of the janitors speak Spanish or Portuguese as their first language. Maybe one of the 400-500 janitors I spoke with or listened to was speaking English without an
accent--most didn't speak English at all.

Eventually, the rally congealed on Congress St., where about five
hundred of us took to the street and headed off on a long trip on foot through Boston. That was when it really started feeling festive. Many of the janitors carried aluminum soda cans filled with coins or pebbles to rattle and make lots of noise; some took the signs off their pickets and beat them like drums with the picket itself, others blew into whistles. There were people on bullhorns trying to lead the janitors in chants: "El
pueblo unido jamas sera vencido" (The people united will never be
defeated), "Que queremos? Justicia! Cuando? Ahora!" (What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!), and the always popular "Si se puede!" (Yes we can!), but as different janitors followed different chants, the chants melded into a bazaar of words: "Si! Justicia! Jamas sera vencido!" It felt as if a voice which is rarely heard in public in Boston--that of the Latino immigrant working in a literal shit job--was coming out so fast and so hard that it could barely keep up with itself.

Somewhere along the way we joined with another large strand of the
march, and suddenly, I found that we were about 1,000 to 1,200 strong. As we walked through the narrow streets of downtown Boston, the voices echoed off the walls powerfully, with police sirens (motorcycle cops pushing to the front of the march to direct traffic) and car horns punctuating the noise. The loudest car horns and the largest applause for them by far came from the package deliverers--UPS, FedEx, and the USPS.

When we got back to Old West Church, I found a Spanish-language
translator to help me with an interview--the teenage daughters of a
janitor, and got in one interview: Luz, a janitor at International
Place, who said simply that the strike made her happy, and she knew
they were going to win. After that, all the janitors went inside the
church to receive their instructions for tomorrow, when they'll do
it all again.

Comments

Good! (english)
03 Oct 2002
But is there any reason why wage-slaves should ever return to their masters?

Especially wage-slaves imported from bankster-raped Third-World countries to clean the toilets of guilty white progre$$ives (and their so-called opposition)?

Rather than falling for that old divide & conquer ploy, why not open your own independent treasuries backed by human time and renewable energy rather than the Federal Reserve Corporation's hypothicated debt and terrorism?

http://treasurynet.org

http://egroups.com/group/Time-Energy-Accounting
See also:
egroups.com/group/jpchance
thats amazing but.... (english)
09 Oct 2002
why were they marching?