No 73 Posted by fw, October 5, 2010
Following up on the previous post, Oct 2, 2010 – Will this be a watershed day for U.S. Progressives? an estimated 175,000 activists turned out for the One Nation Working Together rally in Washington DC. Although opinions on the success and significance of the rally diverge, two activist commentators, Shamus Cooke and Tim Gatto, agreed on one thing – October 2, 2010 was the day that labor realized it might be better to start a Labor Party and run its own candidates in U.S. elections.
Now there’s a bold vision whose time is long past due – for Canada as well as the U.S.
Here are the two key excerpts from Cooke’s and Gatto’s articles. To read the complete articles, just click on the hyperlinked titles.
Shamus Cooke, in his article, The Real Significance Of The One Nation Rally, writes:
“How are we to interpret the massive One Nation demonstration in Washington D.C. on October 2nd? Was this a rally to elect Democrats? A progressive movement hijacked by the Democratic Party? Or something else? . . . When the unions declare their independence by raising their demands in a unified and coordinated manner, as they are beginning to do, it will mean that a formal political independence is not far off. Once the demands are clearly articulated, it will become overwhelmingly obvious that the Democratic Party has no interest in pursuing them, and working people will be compelled to consider other alternatives. The labor movement might then address the issue of running their own candidates, as Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, indicated September 16 on the AFL-CIO blog. They will look back on October 2nd, 2010, as the inspiration for a new direction that labor initiated, the day that labor realized it could unite and energize working people on its own.”
Timothy V. Gatto, in his piece, We Need an Alternative to the Democrats and GOP, writes:
“After witnessing the One Nation Rally this week-end, I had my ‘Eureka!’ moment. As I gazed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looked at the crowd, I saw all the Union representatives in different colored union member’s shirts. I said to myself, this is your answer. . . . Since the corporations control the government it really makes no sense that the labor unions of this nation should support the Democratic Party. Ask yourself this simple question; why should unions support a political party that is in the control of corporate interests that the unions were designed to thwart in the first place? How can the unions get better pay and benefits for its workers when the political party they support is controlled by management? Does that make any sense? . . . . [T]he unions [should] start thinking about starting a labor party in the United States.”
About the authors:
Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action.
Tim is a former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America and a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina.