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  • Labor, 240 Progressive Groups Push For A Democracy Of, By, And For The People
    Posted On: Mar 30, 2016

    By JoAnne Powers, March 31, 2016

    Labor unions are uniting with a broad coalition of other groups for a three-day Democracy Awakening event in Washington, D.C. April 16th-18th. The stated goal of the event is "to create a democracy of, by and for the people." About 300 members of the Communication Workers of America will be travelling to the event from across the East Coast. CWA Spokeswoman Candice Johnson explains why protecting our democracy is important to organized labor:

    [Candice Johnson]: “For any group, whether it’s a union, whether it’s an environmental group, whether it’s a consumer group… we realize we’re not going to accomplish our own issues unless we work together and achieve a real reform of our democracy…the excessive, extreme amount of money in politics, the lack of true voting rights…in fact, the suppression of voting rights for lower income people, coummunities of color, all these issues tie together, and they prevent us from accomplishing anything on Capitol Hill. At the minimum, we want to have a hearing on restoring the voting rights act that the Supreme Court gutted a few years back. We want to have a hearing on President Obama’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, bills that could limit the obscene amount of money in politics.”

    Over 240 progressive organizations from across the nation have signed on to the event, and American Postal Workers Union Vice President Debby Szeredy says that unions recognize the need to work together with other groups to create change:

    [Debby Szeredy]: “…the communities, other organizations, and not just union movement, so we’re trying to network with everybody and be able to stand strong on these issues. There’s been talk that there’s going to be a political revolution and we hope that people will see, with our activities in April and throughout the year that people are deciding to stand up and fight back. We’re hoping that all of this networking with all of the organizations across the country are going to be able to have a voice that’s loud enough that Congress is going to make some changes…and that people who are running for office, they better do what they are supposed to do, which is to represent the people.”

    Although the three-day event will include workshops, teach-ins and rallies, the most important actions, says CWA’s Johnson, will be on Monday the 18th:

    [Candice Johnson]: “The day of mass civil disobedience, of nonviolent direct action, to really engage the public, to engage members of congress about why we need to fix our democracy. We will have a number of people, including our president and other leaders who will be engaging in civil disobedience on the 18th.”

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