Bill Farris

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Bill Farris

Washington State CP

In May 1995 The Communist Party USA newspaper Peoples Weekly World published a May day supplement. Included was a page of greetings to Will Parry, sending "warmest greetings" for his 75th Birthday. Almost all of the more than 100 endorsers listed, were identified members or supporters of the Washington State Communist Party USA.

The list included Bill Farris[1].

Will Parry's 90th birthday

On April 24, 2010 the Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans, where Washington State Communist Party USA member Will Parry has spent the past 16 years writing newsletter articles on everything from saving Social Security to passing health care reform, threw a 90th birthday party that drew "half of progressive Seattle to sing his praises and served to remind Parry just how much times have changed."

At his birthday party, Will Parry picked up his guitar and led 400 union brothers and sisters, family, comrades, and friends in singing "Carry It On" ending, "No more tears, for we're still singing."

Sponsored by the Puget Sound Alliance of Retired Americans, the celebration resounded with songs, poetry, and heartfelt tributes. Parry together with his late wife, Louise, helped build the labor movement and the senior citizen movement in the Pacific Northwest. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Washington, he worked as a factory worker at Longview Fiber, a box factory organized by the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers.

Jeff Johnson, assistant to the president of the Washington State Labor Council spoke of Parry's affiliation with the Communist Party USA of Washington State, the Pension Union and the Washington Commonwealth Federation that "became so strong they elected a Communist to the legislature" during the 1940s.

Parry was targeted in the Red Scare of the 1950s, Johnson continued. "The Taft Hartley Act was passed and radicals were being purged from the labor movement. As Will said, 'They drove the radicals out and it took the starch out of the labor movement.'"

In recent years, the Washington Labor Council "honored him as a hero of the Washington State labor movement," Johnson concluded.

Bill Farris, president of AWPPW Local 817 at the corrugated box plant where Parry worked for many years, said, "He's an advocate for people who needed help, an advocate for the union. I've lost count of the number of picketlines I've walked with Will."[2]

References

  1. PWW May day Supplement May 6 1995
  2. People's World website: Hero of labor, Will Parry, celebrates 90th birthday, April 27, 2010 (accessed on April 28, 2010)