ACTION REPORT: Sept 3 Mass Picke (fwd)

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Sep 11 11:32:25 MDT 1995

Louis: Bryan A. Alexander's post below contains just the type of information
that needs to be included in our own version of "Iskra". Let us think of an
appropriate name for such a newspaper. One ultraleft, sectarian outfit, whose
name I can't recall (I'm getting old) actually call their newspaper "Spark";
at least they have the intelligence not to call it "Iskra".

Here's a challenge to List members. What would be a good name for a
socialist weekly in the U.S. (or your own country, for that matter)? I
know Scott already has a name for such a newspaper: "Daily World". But
for the rest of us ragtag petty-bourgeois elements, what would our
newspaper be called?

I like the "Liberator" myself. Ties to Douglass, without all the
Marxist-Leninese connotations. What sayest thou?

On Thu, 7 Sep 1995, Bryan A. Alexander wrote:

> Greetings! Mike and I wanted to get out a report to everyone about Saturday's
> incredible mass picket line in Sterling Heights. The first version came out
> pretty long, so we tried to provide an alternative short version. Well, we can't
> get it too short, because so much happened. So take your pick, read either one
> or none at all! There is some repetition between them, but hey, we're just
> starting to get organized. Enjoy......
> >From Ann Arbor to Sterling Heights, Sept. 02, 1995.  The
> beginning of a successful effort to build a coalition in
> support of the striking News workers?  About 20 local (Ann
> Arbor) activists and unionists journeyed to the first mass
> rally in Sterling Heights.  Some of us have never
> paricipated in labor/class politics, others have been
> involved for some time.  But all of us were hopeful,
> excited, and full of passion for justice. Arriving in buses
> from a nearby union hall, the first sight of the plant
> indicated the deep political divisions this strike involves.
> On the median of Mound Rd., 100, and later about 300 cops
> from 21 communities, full-riot, full-assault decor.  In the
> driveway of Gate 1 at the plant, 250 picketers.  The bus
> passes the scene to the rally point at UAW Local 228.  By
> 5:00 p.m. the crowd at Local 228 could not be held back.
> News of an attempt by the cops to break the line with pepper
> gass and arrests reached us in the midst of speeches by top-
> union politicos.  We wanted to move.  The union leaders
> could not continue their campaigns.  We marched, and the
> crowd grew as busses continued to arrive.  1000 to 2000, to
> around 3000 people.   Workers waiting at the plant watched
> with excitement and hope as a contingent of 2000 people
> marched for them, their struggle, our future.   A deep sense
> of awe, of collective strength flowed through the 3 large
> contingents of people at each of the 3 gates to the plant.
> For the first several hours energy flowed vigorously through
> us.  Several incidents: a young man arrested for running
> down Mound Rd. with a flag; a driver to a van who brought
> drinks to some supporters, arrested; running through a stop
> sign that didn't exist, arrested....   These kept us alive,
> standing and picketing.  Late through the night, this wore
> on many, and a rudimentary encampment was formed on the
> grassy areas of either side of the driveway.  People, some
> shivering, wrapped themselves in bags and shared blankets.
> Spontaneous surges of chants and songs-of-solidarity seemed
> to have an organization of their own, picking up tired
> workers and supporters, some sleeping in the grass nearby,
> or even on the curbs,  with shots of adrenalin and song we
> could stand, our pickets in hand, through the night.    At
> 3:00 am our blood flowed, uncertainty...  The cops began a
> move, as did the company trucks.  At Gate 3, a company van
> was sent hurtling at 35-40 mph into a gate barricaded and
> locked by the activists there.  To the company's dismay, the
> barricade held, the van crashed, and the company goons
> commandeered two other Free Press/News vans and sealed the
> gate off from INSIDE!  Shortly after, Gate 1 opened and two
> diesel trucks full of cargo of bleeding capital moved
> towards a large crowd, 500-800.  Rather than splitting, the
> people said, "NO!  Backup!!!"   More than words were used to
> convince the drivers, who quickly learned that moving from
> 2nd gear to reverse was difficult and noisy.  The trucks
> were repelled and the paper delayed for about 14 hours.
> Excitement and determination, some hope mixed with a vision
> of justice, well-organized pickets, and some flexibility in
> tactical responses to unexpected company/cop strategies made
> this an incredible, and successful experience for all
> involved. We need more of these if this attack on working
> people is to be defeated. Stay tuned and see you next
> Saturday!
> Peace, Justice, and Solidarity,
> Mike Dreiling and Alec Meiklejohn

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