50 Years Later, Machinists March for Voting Rights in Selma

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IAM General Vice Presidents Mark Blondin and Diane Babineaux, second and third from right, respectively, march with over 200 IAM members and thousands of others at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Selma to Montgomery march. (Photo: Bill Burke/Page One Photography)

selma2One newspaper referred to Selma, AL as a tiny town on the outskirts of nowhere, but for 72 hours this week, Selma rose to its full height as the living, breathing center of the civil rights universe. With more than 60,000 marchers converging on the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge, the world was once again given images from the same place marchers were being clubbed, gassed and trampled in 1965.

selma3selma1Fifty years after Bloody Sunday, hundreds of IAM members and their families joined civil, human and workers’ rights activists to commemorate the sacrifice of those who risked their lives to end Jim Crow-era policies preventing millions of African Americans from voting. Their bravery captivated a nation, and led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act later that year.US-HISTORY-POLITICS-RIGHTS-RACISM

“All that history met on this bridge,” President Obama said at the commemoration. He was joined by the likes of Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who nearly died at the hands of Alabama State Troopers when he led marchers over the same bridge 50 years ago.

But Obama made clear that the fight is far from over. There are newly-enacted voter-ID laws, early voting restrictions, unfair redistricting and a recent Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act.

“Right now, in 2015, 50 years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote,” said Obama. “As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood, so much sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, the Voting Rights Act stands weakened, its future subject to political rancor.”

IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux was joined by a contingent of Machinists Union members carrying signs proclaiming “Voter Rights are Human Rights.”

“It’s an awe-inspiring experience to be amongst the civil rights icons who risked their lives to march across this bridge 50 years ago. They did it for us, and we’re here to recognize that sacrifice,” said IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux. “What makes me hopeful is the amount of young people here who weren’t even alive in the 1960s. The torch is being passed to a generation that is ready to fight back against modern-day affronts to voting rights. The future is in good hands.”

“We had nearly 200 IAM members and their families come from all over the country to mark this momentous anniversary in our country’s history,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “They came here because one of our most sacred American freedoms – the right to vote – is under attack once again. The IAM stands on the right side of history, and we stand for the right of everyone to have their voices heard.”

source: http://www.goiam.org/index.php/imail/latest/14139-50-years-later-machinists-march-for-voting-rights-in-selma

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fight for 15

The 15th of the month is fast approaching. Support one of the many Fight for $15 events happening around the province. This month’s theme is minimum wage and poverty reduction.

Please circulate the following list of events.

 

Vancouver

Sunday, March 15th

Noon – Grandview Park at Charles and Commercial Drive

Join us at Grandview Park for music, contests and information about the Minimum Wage Campaign. We will be collecting petition signatures and speaking with park goers about the need for a significant and immediate increase to BC’s minimum wage. Volunteers needed.

RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/1597709420441551/

For more information contact Denise Moffatt at dmoffatt@bcfed.ca.

 

New Westminster

Sunday, March 15th

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Minimum Wage Open House

Unifor Hall 326 – 12th Street, New Westminster

Please join us for the Fight for $15 Open House in New Westminster. Come out and learn about the Campaign, share ideas, and join together to build a strong movement for fair wages. The Open House will start with a brief introduction on the Fight for $15 Campaign in BC, followed by a panel of three speakers who will share their experiences in low wage work. They’ll also talk about what the Fight for $15 means to them. We’ll then break into small groups to share our stories and ideas and talk about how we can build the Fight for $15 Campaign in BC. Light snacks will be provided.

Sign up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1542926092626300/

For more information contact Nadia Santoro at n_san3@hotmail.com (and see attached).

 

Sechelt

Sunday, March 15th

1:00 pm 700 Park Rd at the Community Centre

Something a little different this time, a leisurely stroll through the upper Gibson’s retail district. We will be collecting signatures, handing out cards and talking about the issues. This time, we are thrilled to announce our very own Premier Christy Clark, who will be on hand to tell us all about the needs of working people. Please come out and join us and Christy for an afternoon of fun and factoids from our leading light in the Provincial Legislature.

Sign up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1559598464322452/

 

Nanaimo

Sunday, March 15th

11:00 am Maffeo Sutton Park, 10 Comox Rd, Nanaimo

A rally will be held to support the call for a $15 minimum wage. Speakers will include Irene Lanzinger, BCFED President. Come out and support Nanaimo’s first minimum wage event!

For more information contact Lucy Oxman at lucyoxman614@gmail.com.

 

Penticton

Sunday, March 15th

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join the South Okanagan Labour Council for a Burma Shave supporting the Fight for $15.

Meet up across from the Penticton Museum in the grassy triangle. There is parking across the street in the Shatford Centre or Penticton High School parking lot. Check out the location on Google Maps. https://goo.gl/maps/3uwKM.

For more info contact the South Okanagan Labour Council at info@soblc.ca.

 

Victoria

Please note this event is on Monday, March 16th

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Meet outside the Convention Center behind the Empress Hotel or join leafletters in various locations in the downtown core.

Join BCTF convention delegates as they circulate in the downtown core and hand out wallet cards and collect petition signatures.

For more information contact Jack MacDermot at jmacdermot@bctf.ca (and see attached).

 

Please join us for the Fight for $15 open house in New West! Come out and learn about the Campaign, share ideas, and join together to build a strong movement for fair wages. Where

 Unifor Western Region Office

326 12th St, New Westminster

When

 Sunday, March 15th from

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Transit Information

 The 112 bus stops at 12th Street and 4th Avenue, in front of the Unifor Western Region Office

 If you’re coming via Skytrain/bus, you can catch the 112 bus at either the New West Station or Edmonds Station

 

Please join us for the Fight for $15 open house in New West! Come out and learn about the Campaign, share ideas, and join together to build a strong movement for fair wages. Where

 Unifor Western Region Office

326 12th St, New Westminster

When

 Sunday, March 15th from

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Transit Information

 The 112 bus stops at 12th Street and 4th Avenue, in front of the Unifor Western Region Office

 If you’re coming via Skytrain/bus, you can catch the 112 bus at either the New West Station or Edmonds Station

 

 

Please join us for the Fight for $15 open house in New West! Come out and learn about the Campaign, share ideas, and join together to build a strong movement for fair wages. Where

 Unifor Western Region Office

326 12th St, New Westminster

When

 Sunday, March 15th from

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Transit Information

 The 112 Bus stops at 12th Street and 4th Avenue, in front of the Unifor Western Region Office

 If you’re coming via Skytrain/bus, you can catch the 112 bus at either the New West Station or Edmonds Station

 

 

Teachers Hit the Street to Fight For $15

Place: Downtown Victoria

Time: Monday March 16, 12:30-1:00 PM

Who: BCTF AGM delegates and anyone else who wants to show support for the BC Federation of Labour’s Fight for 15 minimum wage campaign.

Why: It’s time for hard-working people to be lifted out of poverty, not kept there by low wages!fight for 15

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Lochlan, Son of Machinist Member Jason Murray, Makes A Difference For The Poor And Homeless

For the third year, Lochlan has led the “Hungry Tummies” food drive, helping out the poor and homeless in Langley. The first year netted 140 kilos of food. In 2013 that haul increased to 230 kilos.

This December 2014 saw Lochlan collecting 280 kilos of food plus a donation of $750 from LL692 and LL11 to buy more food.

This year, Lochlan upped the ante, hoping to collect 600 pounds by day’s end.
The Langley Advance carried a feature on the Food Drive quoting Lochlan “A few years ago I just got to feeling that I should help people who don’t have much money and need food. The first time, we just got a bunch of food from our house and brought it to a food place, and from then on we were collecting food from people.”

food-driveThe paper continued that Lochlan’s dad Jason, who works for Belterra, said he’s “super proud” of his son, who came up with this plan when he was four years old and hosted his first event when he was five. “Just the fact that he’s thinking of other people beyond himself is pretty awesome,” Jason said. “He came up with the idea and we just got behind him.”

District Lodge 250 salutes this young man for thinking of his community and finding a material way to help.

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A National Program for Affordable Child Care: It’s About Time

Daycare-sm

Who: Canadian families

What: Tom Mulcair and Canada’s New Democrats have proposed a national program to provide all Canadian parents with quality child care at a cost of no more than $15 a day.

Why:

  • Almost 70% of Canadian mothers with children under 5 are working, but there are only regulated, quality spaces for about 20% of those children.
  • Even when spaces are available, families are forced to pay $40-$60 per day or more – making the cost of good care a problem for low and middle-income families.
  • The Harper Government’s “Universal Child Care Benefit” has cost over $2 billion a year without making child care more accessible or affordable.
  • Available, affordable and high quality child care is essential to our children’s future.  It provides major economic benefits, particularly helping low and middle-income families.  It will pay for itself, in both the short and the long-run, by boosting to employment and incomes.
  • Quebec has shown that it can be done, with its $7 a day child care program.

Where: In our workplaces and our communities, telling our co-workers, our friends and neighbours why we need to elect an NDP government that will bring affordable, quality child care to all Canadians.

When:  Between now and the 2015 federal election.

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