Bill Simons

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Bill Simons

DC demo

April 15, 1978 — In one of the most militant and massive demonstrations held anywhere in the United States since the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, over 35,000 people, the majority Black, Asian and Latin youth, came to Washington, D.C., to voice their total opposition to the racist Bakke case now pending before the Nixon-packed U.S. Supreme Court.

Chanting “We won’t go back, send Bakke back,” the angry voices of thousands of youth from the oppressed communities demanding the overturn of the notorious Bakke decision, an end to racism and upholding of affirmative action programs were undoubtedly heard in the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court and the White House.

“We say no to racism, we say no to sexism, we say no to Bakke, we say no to Carter!” With these words Jimmy Garrett, co-chairperson of the Washington, D.C., National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision, greeted the marchers as they gathered at the steps of the Capitol where the final rally was held.

Hilda Mason of the Washington, D.C., City Council opened up the rally by voicing the feelings of everyone present at today’s historic march. “Today we are marching, we are marching for justice. We are marching to stop the oppression against minorities, against the denied, against the have-nots.”

Bill Simons, president of the Washington Teachers Union and secretary of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, denounced the Bakke decision as a racist offensive against affirmative action. He added, “We will continue to march until we get what we were promised—equality and justice for all.”

Antonio Rodriguez of CASA-General Brotherhood of Workers, a Mexican workers’ organization based in California, said, “There is no greater proof that the people make history, make social change, than today here in Washington, D.C. We say that affirmative action, we say that special admission programs are the only concrete ways toward those goals when they talk about equality in the abstract.”[1]

Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus

For groups and organizations seeking radical social change within the Democratic Party, the National Convention of 1980 had at least one historic first - formation of a Socialist Caucus of delegates. Organized by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and by the Democratic Agenda which was DSOC's cadre and supporters within the Democratic Party and was based in DSOC' s New York office and at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. Some 31 delegates and alternates from twelve states and Democrats Abroad attended the Socialist Caucus.

As a preliminary to the convention's Socialist Caucus meeting, , indeed as a "building event" and as a continued show of support for Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the Democratic Agenda sponsored a convention rally at New York's Town Hall. The speakers included Herman Badillo, Julian Bond, Fran Bennick, Harry Britt, Cesar Chavez, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI}, Douglas Fraser, Murray Finley, Michael Harrington, Terry Herndon, Ruth Jordan, Ruth Messinger, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem and William Winpisinger.

DSOC works within the Democratic Party, said Harrington, because of the party's relationships with organized workers, blacks, feminists, environmentalists and other "progressive groups."

The Socialist Caucus circulated a list of convention delegates who were caucus members, including;[2]