In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of effort to remember our collective history that came to public notice with the racial uprising of July 1964. This effort is incredibly important, as the history of people's movements demanding and winning change is essential to this day. The history of FIGHT taking on one of the largest and most powerful corporations of it's day to demand racial and economic justice is an incredible social justice victory in the history of this city.
What I find saddening however, is that there seems to be a collective amnesia about the history of many in the white community actively organized to support the demands of FIGHT, forming the organization Friends of FIGHT.
What is particularly alarming about this collective amnesia is that Friends of FIGHT continues to exist, as Metro Justice, a multi-racial community organization dedicated to social, economic, and racial justice to this day. There seems to be a convenience in forgetting Metro Justice, an organization of 900 members that continues to be a thorn in the side of current power players demanding genuine justice through people's movements.
Our 7-point program for Economic Justice (http://bit.ly/MJ7Points) call for justice in the fields of healthcare, education, and jobs to this day. We have recognized for 49 years the continued need for movements of everyday people to demand genuine justice in these fields. We continue to fight for genuine universal healthcare in New York State. We are working towards equitable education funding and restorative justice in our schools to end the school to prison pipeline. We are part of the nationwide Fight for 15, demanding a living wage and union with fast food workers in the city.
The multi-racial community fight for social, economic, and racial justice continues in Rochester, in part through Metro Justice (www.MetroJustice.org) who vividly remember our history as Friends of FIGHT.
Mr. Popper raises some fantastic points here. We don't live in a nation that is poor. We live in one of the wealthiest moments that this country has ever seen. Massive concentrations of wealth exist in very few hands. We don't have a resource problem, we have a distribution problem. Unions are the major way to ensure that wealth is distributed more fairly to working people - who are essential to the creation of that wealth in the first place. If we continue to legislate away workers ability to organize, then we shouldn't be surprised by the growing rates of poverty in our community.
Unions actually worked incredibly well for Detroit. Detroit had nearly 50 years of constant prosperity. What didn't work well for Detroit was free trade deals that aided tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs to move out of country and GM and Ford constantly demanding concession after concession.
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