Sunday, November 6, 2011

Labor Joins Occupy Detroit In Solidarity March

I joined a march through Detroit today, along with several labor unions, and the protesters from Occupy Detroit. (see: Unions rally with Occupy Detroit) It was the first time I did a march. It felt a little surreal to chant the slogans I had heard so many times on LiveStream. It was like stepping through the fourth wall. But it felt good. And it felt sad, too -- so many good people, hard-working people, the people who build and maintain our society are on their knees, brought low by a regressive tax system, and offshoring of jobs under the spectre of free trade, which is anything but free. Free-trade cost Detroit its prosperity. Free-trade, offshoring, and bad tax policy cost the United states its broad, inclusive prosperity. That and corrupt government bought by incompetent, criminally venal corporate management.

Things will change, though. They have to. Folks are getting up off their knees, and they are angry. The question is, how much worse will the economy and the environment get before the country -- the entire country -- stands up and boots corporations and corrupt politicians out of our government.

Here's some pics:

The labor march -- union members, occupiers, sympathetic citizens -- arrives at Grand Circus Park, Detroit

Marchers gather at the base of the Hazen Pingree statue to hear speeches from labor leaders and occupiers.

Occupier Art

Sandwiches prepared by volunteers and given to anyone who was hungry.

A quote from Hazen Pingree, a visionary, progressive, four-term Detroit mayor and twice Michigan governor. He was one of the first to warn against unfettered corporate influence in the public sphere. A plaque on  a statue of Pingree in Grand Circus Park, where the occupiers are camped reads: “The citizens of Michigan erect this monument to the cherished memory of Hazen S. Pingree. A gallant soldier, an enterprising and successful citizen, four times elected mayor of Detroit, twice governor of Michigan. He was the first to warn the people of the great danger threatened by powerful private corporations. And the first to awake to the great inequalities in taxation and to initiate steps for reform. The idol of the people. He died June 18, MDCCCI, aged 60 years.”

Signs left behind by marchers, and preserved near the fountain.

The campsite.

"Comfort" -- protesters provide food, blankets & clothing to homeless as well as occupiers.

"This is what peaceful revolution looks like."

Chalked on the fountain: "Superman never made any money saving the world from Solomon Grundy"

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