Sunday, December 07, 2008

Warms My Heart

I'm one of those people who worries we Americans have become too fat and happy. Sure, it's tought to be happy in times like now, what with record unemployment, and a year-long recession. But in a general sense, you get what I mean...maybe. When I read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" I wondered where all those people are now. Where are the fighters? Where are the people fighting the establishment and power?

Well, it turns out they may just be in Chicago. And no, I'm not talking about President-elect Barrack Obama either.

CHICAGO - Workers who got three days' notice that their factory was shutting its doors have occupied the building and say they won't go home without assurances they'll get severance and vacation pay.

About 250 union workers occupied the Republic Windows and Doors plant in shifts Saturday while union leaders outside criticized a Wall Street bailout they say is leaving laborers behind.


During the two-day peaceful takeover, workers have been shoveling snow and cleaning the building, Fried said.

"We're doing something we haven't done since the 1930s, so we're trying to make it work," she said, referring to a tactic most famously used in 1936-37 by General Motors factory workers in Flint, Mich., to help unionize the U.S. auto industry.

Maybe we have some fight left in us. Maybe we can fight back before things get so bad and the chasm between the haves and the have-nots grows wider, before returning to days seen in Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle."

I love those people in Chicago.


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