Friday, May 02, 2008

A couple of things I found interesting on a Friday

The story didn't get much play in the media but 25,000 union port workers went on strike yesterday to protest the war in Iraq. The action shut down 29 ports across the entire West Coast.
"Longshore workers are standing-down on the job and standing up for America," said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath. "We're supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it's time to end the war in Iraq." ...

"Big foreign corporations that control global shipping aren't loyal or accountable to any country," said McEllrath. "For them it's all about making money. But longshore workers are different. We're loyal to America, and we won't stand by while our country, our troops, and our economy are destroyed by a war that's bankrupting us to the tune of 3 trillion dollars. It's time to stand up, and we're doing our part today."

Unlike the rest of the world May 1 is kind of overlooked in the US as far as labor days go but it seems like between things like this and the massive immigrants' rights march of a few years ago we're starting to see more of that. One of the major reasons that May 1 is known as International Workers' Day is due to the Haymarket Massacre around that time when several people died in the aftermath of a bombing and the resulting crackdown on Chicago workers protesting for an 8 hour work day. Grover Cleveland chose to set Labor Day in September to try to prevent people from commemorating the event.

And in environmental news the Kansas House failed to override Kathleen Sebelius' veto of the bill that would have allowed two massive coal power plants to be built by Holcomb. So, for a brief moment anyway, sanity reigns in Kansas as we are no longer trying to fight against all things rational.

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