On the first day of the bus tour, USW president Leo Gerard was joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, actor Danny Glover, the angriest mayor in the U.S., Virg Bernero of Lansing, and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, among others.
The Rev. Jackson drew cheers as he remarked that somehow we've given billions to the "banksters," yet somehow we're still hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs and homes each month. He called for a moratorium on foreclosures and plant closings, and I'm with him.
Bernero is tired of Wall Street describing his father, a retired auto worker, as a legacy cost. His father is a human being, a senior citizen, who worked hard every day of his life and returned home exhausted from an honest day's work. Now, however, Wall Street thinks it's fine to reduce him to a sub-human term and cheat him out of the retirement benefits he earned.
Bernero's father made things, real things that could be touched, held in the hand - not derivatives, not figments of the imagination that turned out to have less than no value at all.
Now Wall Street and GM must be made to understand that Main Street isn't going to take it anymore. We're not going to continue allowing corporate America to outsource the American dream. Bernero said it right: "This is America's fight."
CAIR Michigan 2010 Banquet
The 2010 Michigan CAIR gala, was held on March 31, with about "1,000 attendees including many powerful audience members from the business, media, and political community". Present at this year’s fundraiser was Nihad Awad, who founded CAIR and set it up as a not-for-profit franchise operation of sorts, with now branch offices across the country to advocate for Muslims.
- But the real jewels in the crown of the 2010 CAIR Michigan fundraiser were the civil rights workers who for sixty years have been deeply involved at their own personal peril with the struggle for civil rights in the USA.
Jesse Jackson , the keynote speaker, was one of those. But there was also Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14), whom Jackson described as “perhaps the only man who was ever endorsed by Martin Luther King.” There was Rep. John Dingell (D-MI-15). There were many others, including the strong gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero (currently Lansing’s mayor).
Arab American Political Action Committee
Over 10,000 Detroiters marched down Washington Boulevard from the UAW-Ford National Programs Center to Grand Circus Park on Saturday, August 28th 2010, to demand "jobs, peace, and justice". The march was organized by United Auto Workers (UAW) President Bob King and Operation PUSH founder and director Reverend Jesse Jackson. It commemorated the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington.
The dais at Grand Circus Park was "teeming with dignitaries—politicians, clergy of every denomination, and union leaders". Among the elected officials present were Representatives John Conyers, Jr., John Dingell, Maxine Waters, Marcy Kaptur and Senator Debbie Stabenow. Michigan Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Virg Bernero briefly addressed the audience and committed himself to placing the interests of Main Street over those of Wall Street. Among the union leaders who spoke were UAW President Bob King, newly-elected President of the Service Employees International Union Mary Kay Henry, Farm Laborers Organizing Committee President Baldemar Velasquez, and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 25 President Al Garrett.
National Organization of Women
- [, HuffPohttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/leo-w-gerard/gm-to-american-workers-pa_b_202686.html, GM to American Workers: Pay for Your Own Execution, Leo Gerard, May 12, 2009]
- [http://muslimmedianetwork.com/mmn/?p=6000 The Muslim Observer, CAIR Michigan’s Watershed Annual Banquet, April 1, 2010 by TMO By Adil James
- AAPAC website, Oct. 26, 2010 (accessed on Feb. 15, 2011)
- Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America DDDSA newsletter, September 2010 Volume 11, Issue 5
- Justice 4 Michigan: Women for Virg, July 12, 2010 (accessed on Feb. 17, 2011)