Communist Party of Missouri-Kansas District

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Communist Party of Missouri-Kansas Districtis an affiliate of the Communist Party USA.

1993 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The third annual Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Award was held May 1, 1993. Honorees were;

A special award went to Elliott Waxman, Peoples Weekly World manager in St.Louis for over 40 years.

Keynote speaker was Jarvis Tyner of the Communist Party USA.

James Hughes, Friends of the Peoples Weekly World, was also present.[1]

1996 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The 1996 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Award was held in May at the Herman Park Community center.

Honorees were

Speakers were Communist Party USA official Jarvis Tyner and Bernie Hayes, a former talk show host, now a columnist with the St. Louis American.[2]

1997 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The 1997 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Award was held April 26. Honorees were;

Keynote speaker was Southern California Communist Party USA leader Evelina Alarcon, who spoke in support of the Martinez Jobs Bill.[3]

2004 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

Nearly 100 union members, community leaders, student activists and others attended the Missouri/Kansas Friends of the People’s Weekly World 12th Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast in St. Louis April 24, 2004.

Roberta Wood, labor editor of the People’s Weekly World, was the keynote speaker at the breakfast.

“Hershel Walker really was a working class hero,” she said. “In the next six months we are going to need a lot of working class heroes” to defeat Bush in November, she added.

Former State Rep. John L. Bowman, a member of the United Auto Workers and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists who was once again running for state representative, said, “I am one of the many people who have benefited from the life of Hershel Walker.”

“Peace and Justice Awardees” included Harriet Weaver, a member of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 and the CBTU, who help lead the strike/lockout against 94 St. Louis-area grocery stores last fall; Mary Watkins, who helped win the release of J.B. Johnson, who was wrongfully convicted of robbery and murder in 1970 and spent 13 years in prison; and the Washington University Student Worker Alliance, which has started a campus- and community-wide campaign to force Washington University to pay all campus employees a living wage and to adhere to an ethical code of conduct. [4]

2005 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The 2005 Missouri/Kansas Friends of the Peoples Weekly World annual awards breakfast drew more than 130 trade unionists, activists, and religious leaders to the Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast on April 30. The event, then in its 13th year, honors Hershel Walker, a life-long peace and justice advocate who joined the Young Communist League USA in 1930 and spent the rest of his life in the Communist Party USA. Walker was killed in a car accident in 1990 while on his way to deliver petitions for the campaign to save 4,000 jobs at Chrysler Plant #1 in Fenton, Mo.

2005 award recipients included state Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford (D-St. Louis), Progressive Vote organizer Margarida Jorge, and the registered nurses of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 655.

The keynote speaker was Keren Wheeler, editor of Dynamic, the YCL magazine, and the event included remarks from Student Worker Alliance member Danielle Christmas. The SWA had recently won a living wage for Washington University campus service staff after a 19-day sit-in. Christmas thankedd the World for its coverage and support. “This truly was a community victory,” she said.

The Missouri Legislature had recently passed HB 539, which eliminates Medicaid services for up to 130,000 state residents.

After receiving her award, Mott Oxford, who opposed the bill, apologized for the Legislature’s action and vowed to do everything in her power to fight implementation of the cuts.

The breakfast also recognized the lifelong contributions of John Pappademos, who had recently celebrated his 55th year in the CPUSA. Pappademos received a standing ovation from the packed union hall. Members of SEIU Local 2000, AFSCME Local 2730, CBTU, and UFCW Local 655 were among those who attended, along with state Rep. John L. Bowman and 22nd Ward Committee members Jay Ozier and Fay Davis. The event raised more than $4,000 for the World’s 2005 fund drive and local activities.[5]

2006 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The Missouri/Kansas Friends of the People’s Weekly World held their 14th annual Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast in St. Louis Missouri April 29 2006, "educating listeners about Venezuela and raising $3,000 for the PWW fund drive in the process."

Shelby Richardson, a leader of the Illinois district of the Communist Party, was the keynote speaker at the event, which drew over 100 union members, community activists and students. Richardson, who had recently attended the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, spoke about his experiences there.

Awardees included Joan Suarez, a leader in the St. Louis area Jobs with Justice and chair of their Workers’ Rights Board and Immigrants Rights Action Task Force; PROMO, a Missouri-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization; and Quincy Boyd, president of AFSCME Local 2730.

Ward 4 Committeeperson James Clayborne spoke to the attendees about efforts to honor Walker in his ward, where Walker lived until his death. Clayborne said he was working with ward residents to list Hershel Walker and other well-known African American leaders from the city’s north side on a memorial plaque and to rename a street after him.

State Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, 22nd Ward Committeepersons Jay Ozier and Fay Davis, Ward 3 Alderwoman Shirley Davis, newly elected school board member Peter Downs and Ward 19 Committeeperson Jesse Todd also attended. .[6]

2010 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The Missouri Communist Party USA's Friends of the People’s World hosted their 18th annual ‘Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast’ Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the CWA Local 6300 Union Hall, 2258 Grissom Drive (in the Westport area), St. Louis.

Newspaper Guild International President Bernie Lunzer was the main speaker for the event.

The honorees were:

The awards honor the memory of late Communist Party USA member Hershel Walker, a Missouri labor and civil rights activist, who died in 1990 at the age of 81. Walker’s life – which spanned 60 years of activism – ended tragically when hit by a car on his way to deliver petitions to save 4,000 jobs at the Chrysler Plant.[7]

Known attendees included Communist Party USA affiliates, Tony Pecinovsky, Jim Wilkerson, Zenobia Thompson, Lew Moye, Glenn Burleigh, Julie Terbrock, John Bowman, Joe Thomas, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Democratic Socialists of America member Joan Suarez, plus Mahrya Monson, Don Giljum, Jessica Pace, Jason Kennedy, Jennifer Rafanan, Solveig Paulson, Dr. Greg Miday, Roosevelt Stewart, Michael Vossler, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Richard Von Glahn, Shannon Duffy and State Rep. James Morris. [8]

2011 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

"We are going to take back what they stole from us," Robin Acree, executive director of Mexico, Missouri, based GRO-Grassroots Organizing told union members, community activist, faith and political leaders here at the 19th annual Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast.

The annual breakfast is organized in honor of Hershel Walker, a lifelong member of the Communist Party USA, trade union leader and community activist, who was tragically killed in a car-wreck in 1991. Walker was on his way to deliver petitions to help save 4,000 jobs at the local Chrysler plant when a drunk-driver struck his car.

The annual breakfast is organized in honor of Hershel Walker, a lifelong member of the Communist Party USA, trade union leader and community activist, who was tragically killed in a car-wreck in 1991. Walker was on his way to deliver petitions to help save 4,000 jobs at the local Chrysler plant when a drunk-driver struck his car.

"We have to be united," Acree continued. "Faith, labor, community, we have to get organized."

2011 Breakfast awardees included Shannon Duffy, business manager of the St. Louis Newspaper Guild; Bernie Hayes, WGNU radio talk-show host and author of The Death of Black Radio; and John Ebeling, first vice president of the Greater St. Louis Central Labor Council, vice president of the Communications Workers of America Local 6300.

The breakfast, held on Saturday, July 9, is usually held in early May, as close to May 1 as possible. However, this year, organizers wanted to hold the event closer to July 4. As Tony Pecinovsky, Missouri / Kansas People's World Bureau Chief, said, "We need to reclaim July 4 from the right wing. We are the real patriots. We want to make our country better."

The Breakfast was attended by members of the St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Communications Workers of America Local 6300, the CWA city council, St. Louis Jobs with Justice, the American Postal Workers' Union, Workers' United, the St. Louis Newspaper Guild, GRO-Grassroots Organizing and other organizations.

Towards the end of her remarks, Agree added, "If you got, give it! This is a fundraiser." The 19th Annual Hershel Walker Awards Breakfast raised over $7,000 for the People's World.[9]

2012 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

The MO/KS People’s World hosted the 22nd Annual Hershel Walker ‘Peace & Justice’ Awards Breakfast on Saturday, May 3rd, at the CWA (Communications Workers’ Union of America) Local 6300 union hall, 2258 Grissom Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146.

President and Charter member of the Volusia/Flagler, Florida Central Labor Council, Stacy Stepanovich,keynoted the Breakfast. Founded in 2009, the Volusia/Flagler CLC has grown from 5,000 to 32,000 union members under Stacy’s leadership.

Stacy is currently a member of the United Auto Workers Local 2278, but got her start in labor as a teacher, where she served as steward and political director for the American Federation of Teachers Local 1605.

As a six year member of the Florida AFL-CIO Executive Board, Stacy helped to develop and lead a training program designed to help union members run for office. In 2012, under her leadership the Volusia/Flagler CLC elected six union members to local office. And Stacy is aggressively recruiting union members to run for office in 2014.

Stacy talked about the importance of the 2014 mid-term elections to organized labor and labor’s role in identifying and running trade unionists for local office. She will also talk about the impact of so-called ‘Right-to-Work’ in Florida and what we can expect if ‘Right-to-Work’ is passed here.

2012's Awardees included:

This year we’re introducing a new Award – the Lifetime Commitment Award, which will be presented to Lew Moye, in recognition of his lifetime of commitment to workers’ rights, social and economic and justice.[10]

2013 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

Over 120 union leaders, community, student, faith, and LGBT activists, attended the 21st Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace & Justice' Awards Breakfast, May 4 at the Communications Workers of America Local 6300 union hall.

They came to celebrate the work of St. Louis area activists, and to hear metro-Detroit AFL-CIO central labor council president, Chris Michalakis, talk about the impact of so-called 'Right-to-Work' legislation in Michigan and what we can expect if RTW passes the republican controlled legislature here.

Michalakis attacked the influence of money in politics, especially in the Republican Party, and highlighted the role of its far-right corporate funders in forcing 'Right-to-Work' onto Michigan workers.

He said, "Corporate types and CEOs don't make contributions. They make investments."

"For years, the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, the Waltons - here in Missouri you have a guy by the name of Rex Sinquefield - have been putting in obscene amounts of money to create organizations like the Tea Party, Americans For Prosperity, the Republican Governors Association, etc."

"And they have been funding all of these organizations not out of the kindness of their hearts," Michalakis said, "but because they expect a return on their investment."

The Missouri legislature is currently debating so-called 'Right-to-Work' legislation, paycheck deception and attacks on prevailing wage laws. Fortunately, Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, has vowed to veto these and other anti-worker bills if they make it to his desk.

Michalakis summed-up his remarks, "The Right Wing celebrated when Michigan fell and became a 'Right-to-Work' state. I want to make them regret that that happened."

Michalakis also talked about the struggles for LGBT and immigrant rights. He emphasized the role of the labor movement in championing movements that expand democracy and protect hard-won rights in the workplace, like domestic partner benefits.

2013 'Peace & Justice' Awardees were:

  • Holly Roe, a leader in the Missouri State Workers' Union, CWA 6355
  • Andrew Shaughnessy, the St. Louis area PROMO organizer; PROMO is a statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights organization
  • Tishaura Jones, St. Louis City Treasurer and former State Representative
  • Garry Elliot, business manager for the 8,000 member-strong Eastern Missouri Laborers' District Council

Members of CWA, the Service Employees International Union, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Operating Engineers' International Union , the United Auto Workers, Jobs with Justice, the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates Coalition, Young Activists United-St. Louis , the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition, and the Laborers International Union, among many, many other organizations attended the Breakfast.[11]

2015 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards


On Saturday, May 2, 2015, the Missouri/Kansas Friends of the People's World hosted the 23rd Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace and Justice' Awards breakfast to recognize outstanding leaders and activists, and their work towards creating a more just and equitable society.

A diverse crowd of 120 union, community, peace and faith leaders joined together at 9:30 a.m., at the Communication Workers of America, Local 6300, union hall for a morning filled with conversations and solidarity.

"This is an awards ceremony for activists," said Nicholas James, a Service Employees International Union collective bargaining rep. "This is amazing. Usually, only famous people get awards. That we take the time to recognize the everyday, ordinary people struggling to change our world is what makes this Awards Breakfast so special."

At 10:00 am, Holly Roe, a community activist and CWA Local 6355 shop steward, welcomed everyone. She gave special thanks to Rebecca Bolte for making the breakfast program booklets; Missouri State Reps. Tommie Pierson, Karla May and Sharon Pace; and the granddaughters of Hershel Walker, Ms. Evette Shannon and Ms. Trina Albright, who brought photos, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia related to Hershel Walker's life as a Communist Party, union and community activist.

"I love the spirit in this room," asserted Rev. Scott Marks, founder of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy and New Haven Rising, as he took the stage to deliver the keynote address amid applause.

"I am truly honored and excited to be here today. This is such a great, diverse crowd. We're all here, leaders from community, union and faith organizations. Give yourselves a round of applause." He continued, "This is what America truly looks like."

Speaking on a wide range of topics, from community organizing to the recent tragedy in Baltimore, recounting the civil rights movement of the past, and drawing lessons from history to strengthen the current fight for social justice, Rev. Marks shared years of wisdom and experience with the eager and captivated audience.

"Now this is the type of speech that everyone needs to hear," commented Brittany Scott, a fast food worker and member of the local "Fight for $15 and a Union" campaign.

"We have come too far to stop now," Marks continued, "and when you see young people get out into the streets remember that they do so because they have to. It has been 47 years since we've seen this type of activism. Baltimore and Ferguson - we cannot let these injustices continue."

Rev. Marks closing remarks came as the room rose chanting energized by this radical preacher's spirit and the fights yet to be won.

At 11:15 a.m. Roe took to the stage and began the awards presentation ceremony.

Receiving the 2015 Hershel Walker 'Peace and Justice' Awards were:

  • Rep. Tommie Pierson (D-69), pastor at Greater Saint Marks Church (in Ferguson), and retired United Auto Workers Union member.

In a beautiful moment of remembrance, Mark Esters, recounted the amazing life and work of James Raines. A tireless advocate for the working class and a gifted people's reporter, James touched the lives of thousands through his impressive career fighting for a better world. Esters presented his family with the 'Peace and Justice' award as well as a Missouri House Resolution submitted by State Rep. Clem Smith honouring Raines' life, work, and dedication to public service. James is survived by his wife, Wendy, daughter, Emmaline; and parents, Jim and Sue.

As this year's breakfast came to a close, Rasheen Aldridge, director of Young Activists United-St. Louis and the youngest member of the Ferguson Commission, delivered the closing remarks.

He thankedd everyone for attending and said, "In order to win we must become stronger. We have to support each other. We have to build a powerful labor-community based movement for change."

As friends said their farewells, it was eassy to see written on each of their faces the powerful movement chant: "United we stand, divided we fall."

Members of the Service Employees International Union, local 1 and Health Care, the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the St. Louis Organizing Committee for "$15 and a Union," Missouri Health Care for All, Jobs with Justice, the International Union of Operating Engineers, local 148, the Communication Workers' Union of America locals 6300 and 6355, the St. Louis Workers' Education Society, the Laborers' Local 110, Missourians for Alternative to the Death Penalty, Young Activists United-St. Louis, among many others attended the Awards Breakfast.

In all, over $8,000 was raised for the People's World.[12]

2016 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards


24th Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace & Justice' Awards Breakfast. Hosted by St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.

Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 9:30 AM - 11:30 PM CDT

Painters District Council No 2, 2501 59th St, St. Louis 63110

Please come to our activist awards ceremony!

Friends - we are happy to announce the 24th Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace & Justice' Awards Breakfast recipients and keynote speaker. This year's Awardees are:

The keynote is: Tiffany Dena Loftin, the AFL-CIO's Civil, Human and Women's Rights Department Program Coordinator.

Prior to her work with the AFL-CIO, Dena Loftin served as the president of the United States Student Association (USSA), the oldest and largest student organization in the United States.

She also worked for the American Federation of Teachers and the Energy Action Coalition. Last year she was nominated to serve on President Obama's Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for African Americans.

The People's World ( will host the 24th Annual Hershel Walker 'Peace & Justice' Awards Breakfast on Saturday, May 14th, at the Painters' District Council 58 union hall. [13]

Invited on Facebook



2017 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

A diverse crowd of 170 gathered at the Painter’s Union District Council 58 hall to honor five labor and community leaders receiving the Hershel Walker ‘Peace and Justice’ Awards Breakfast May 13, 2017.

The annual awards breakfast was commissioned to commemorate the extraordinary life of St. Louis trade unionist and civil rights leader Hershel Walker, who dedicated over 60 years to the labor, peace, and justice movements.

At the union hall, Shuron Jones, Mistress of Ceremonies, and Nikki Battreal of the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society welcomed union members, community activists, and elected officials to the event, as the crowd made their way back to their tables for the keynote speaker’s opening remarks.

Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine, served as the keynote and congratulated the awardees’s for their commitment to the labor movement and creating a just and equitable society for all working people.

“Radically changing things would mean taking away the source of capitalists’ power: the private ownership of property and there’s something about the socialist vision, no matter how distant and far fetch it seems today, that gave the workers’ movement power. The idea that workers create wealth and have knowledge made the terms very clear: they need us, we can do without them.”

Jacobin magazine has become one of the top “left” publications in the U.S. with over one million monthly readers, and joins the People’s World’s long and proud tradition of covering workers’ rights, jobs, equality, and other working class issues.

This year’s Hershel Walker ‘Peace and Justice’ awardees were:

Cara Spencer: Alderwoman of the 20th Ward and director of the Consumer Council of Missouri, a non-profit advocating for consumers over corporate profits. Cara has passed the toughest legislation regulating payday lenders in the country and focuses her efforts on vacancy, affordable-housing, and community safety.

Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr.: Democratic representative for the city’s 78th legislative district in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected to his first two-year term in November 2016. Bruce is a small-business owner, was appointed Police Community Liaison by the St. Louis police chief, and founded 28 to life, a local youth violence prevention organization.

Richard Von Glahn: Policy director for Missouri Jobs with Justice, Richard first got involved in the labor movement while a student at Washington University-St. Louis by helping to establish the Student Worker Alliance at the university. The students living wage campaign eventually secured over $2 million in salary increases for university support staff.

Ed Finkelstein: Publisher of the St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune, one of the few remaining weekly labor newspapers in the country. Ed joined the Labor Tribune when he was 14 years old. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in 1959 he served six years as an information officer with the Strategic Air Command in Wyoming and England. In 1970, Ed took over management of the Tribune and restored its aggressiveness and coverage of local and national labor news.

Jay Ozier: President and founding member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-St Louis Chapter. Jay is a member of the Carpenters Union local 92, and for decades has been a champion for human, labor, and civil rights.

The awards ceremony was hosted by the Missouri/Kansas People’s World and the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society.

Members of the Service Employees International Union, Healthcare MO/KS; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-St. Louis Chapter; IUOE local 148; Laborers’ Local 110; Labor Tribune; SMART Local 36; Painters’ District Council 58; Jobs with Justice; Missourians against the Death Penalty; and Show me $15 attended the breakfast along with: State Representative’s : Peter Merideth (D-80th District), Clem Smith (D-85th District), Cora Faith Walker (D-74th District); 9th Ward Alderman Dan Guenther; 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green; 20th Ward Committeewoman Wendy Campbell; 8th Ward Committeewoman Annie Rice; 14th Ward Committeewoman Madeline Buthod; and many others.[14]

2018 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

St. Louis Democratic Socialists of America, May 13 2018.


Thank you to the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society for a wonderful event at yesterday's Hershel Walker Peace & Justice Breakfast!

And congratulations to Cathy Sherwin, Peter Merideth, Kevin FitzGerald, and the wonderful, brave, & VICTORIOUS striking Christian Care Home workers of SEIU Healthcare Missouri Kansas!

The St. Louis Workers’ Education Society and Missouri People’s World is happy to announce the 26th Annual Hershel Walker ‘Peace & Justice’ Awards Breakfast, to be held Saturday, May 12th.

The keynote speaker is Keona Ervin, author of “Gateway to Equality: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis.”

Ervin is Assistant Professor of African-American History and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Black Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

The 2018 Hershel Walker Awardees are:

2019 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards

Missouri Women in Trades (MoWIT), an organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women to enter and succeed in the construction and building trades, has been honored with a 2019 Hershel Walker Peace & Justice Award.

The award ceremony, sponsored by the St. Louis Workers' Education Society (WES), honors local Labor and community leaders for their work in creating a more just and equitable society. Walker was a St. Louis trade unionist and human and civil rights leader committed to the struggle for peace and justice.

About 35 people attended the May 25 event, which was held at WES headquarters, 2929 S. Jefferson Ave., in St. Louis. After the ceremony, guests were treated to a preview of the new St. Louis Mother Jones exhibit at WES headquarters.

MoWIT President Beth Barton was unable to attend the May 25 ceremony, but told the Labor Tribune in an interview that the organization was honored to receive the prestigious award.

Board members Renee Renn, a Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 apprentice, and Angela Donahue, a construction inspector with the Missouri Department of Transportation, accepted the honor on behalf of the group.

WES President Tony Pecinovsky said he learned about MoWIT when the organization asked if it could make WES headquarters its home. He said MoWIT’s goals closely align with WES’ mission, which is to provide a warm, welcoming safe space where everybody is welcome.

Also honored with 2019 Hershel Walker Peace & Justice awards at the May 25 ceremony were:

  • Michael Yates, former Operating Engineers Local 148 president, treasurer and business representative. Additionally, Yates has served on the executive board of the North County Labor Club for nearly 20 years and is currently the club’s treasurer.
  • Cori Bush, an activist and a community organizer who is running for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 election for the U.S. Congressional First District seat currently occupied by U.S. Representative William “Lacy” Clay.[16]

Historian Rosemary Feurer, author of "Radical Unionism in the Mid-West, 1900-1950," will be our keynote. She will speak on labor's need to reclaim its radical heritage, the fight for ongoing worker education - particularly labor history - and the importance of making bold demands that set a broader working class agenda.

Feurer is also the director of the Mother Jones Heritage Project.

“Working-class Media and Democracy, 2004”

Local community leader Zenobia Thompson welcomed 80 labor and community activists to a Friday evening People’s Weekly World forum, “Working-class media and democracy,” held in St. Louis Oct. 15. 2004.

Panelists included Terrie Albano, editor of the People’s Weekly World, Kevin Madden, reporter for the St. Louis Labor Tribune, and Jay Swoboda, founder of What’s Up magazine.

Albano spoke about the corporate control of mainstream media, media consolidation, embedded journalists, grassroots media as an organizing tool and the PWW’s role in the larger movement to defeat George W. Bush on Nov. 2. She also highlighted many of the struggles the PWW and its predecessors have been involved in since its founding 80 years ago.

Madden, a 30-year veteran reporter, spoke about the Labor Tribune’s role in the St. Louis labor community. He related how the Labor Tribune published a statement from local labor leaders encouraging Rep. Dick Gephardt to vote against NAFTA. Gephardt had originally intended to support NAFTA, but changed his mind, said Madden.

Swoboda spoke of the difficulties of running a nonprofit, advocacy magazine that fights for homeless people’s rights, provides information on homeless shelters and is used as a source of transitional income for many homeless people in the St. Louis area. He also stressed the importance of registering homeless people to vote and making sure that they have a ride to the polls on Election Day.

Guest speaker candidate for state Rep. John Bowman thankedd the PWW for its coverage of his winning campaign during the Missouri primary. He added, “I subscribe to the PWW because it is a good tool for union members like myself to get real and complete information about what is happening to working people across this country. I encourage everyone here to subscribe to the PWW!”

The forum, held at the Postal Workers Union hall, raised $3,000 for the People’s Weekly World.

Members of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, UNITE-HERE, Missouri Progressive-Vote Coalition and Show Me Equality, were among those who attended.

Working Class Media & Democracy' forum, 2012

"The topic of immigrant rights is not always the easiest topic to talk about, but what it comes down to is this: If we are going to advance the rights of all workers we must not let immigration be a wedge to pit worker against worker," Natalie Patrick-Knox told labor, community, and student activists at the 9th Annual People's World 'Working Class Media & Democracy' forum, in St. Louis Missouri.

Patrick-Knox, the national Immigration and Workers' Rights campaign coordinator for Jobs with Justice, was the keynote speaker at the Media Forum, which addressed issues of immigrant rights within the context of media rhetoric.

She said, "immigration reform policy falls under three pillars: legalization, enforcement and future flow."

Legalization is the process of allowing U.S. unauthorized or temporary workers to become legal permanent residents and ultimately U.S. citizens.

Enforcement deals with federal immigration policy, "which we know to be problematic since it is enforcing policy that doesn't work," Patrick-Knox added.

And future flow, or future immigration, "involves looking at the processes that new immigrants can use, and necessitates a review of our current visa system."

Patrick-Knox then spoke about the framing of the immigration debate in the mainstream media.

She said, "The debate of these frames has played out most publicly with the movement to get rid of the I-word - Illegal," which effectively paints immigrants as criminals.

"The criminal framing is a dangerous falsehood," Patrick-Knox added, "which has increased in recent years. Immigration law is in fact civil law and immigrants are only criminals in the same way U.S. citizens are criminals - by breaking criminal law."

She also said, "The word legalization also tends to play into the legal vs. illegal dichotomy. So we need other ways to talk about what we mean, and many immigrant rights groups have started saying 'Roadmap to Citizenship' instead."

Patrick-Knox urged Media Forum participants to "be conscious of the words that we use and make sure that we are not playing into anti-immigrant sentiment."

The 9th Annual People's World 'Working Class Media & Democracy' Forum was co-sponsored by the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.

Juan Montana, a MIRA leader and SEIU organizer, had recently used his photography in a series of Service Employees' International Union rally's and pickets attempting to put a human face on a work force considered largely "invisible."

Montana and Tony Pecinovsky also appeared on the Bernie Hayes' Urban Forum radio show the Friday before the Media Forum. Click here to listen to the interview dealing with media democracy and immigrant rights.

Nearly $7,000 was raised for the People's World at two events, which was supported by the Service Employees International Union, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Laborers' Union, the Communication Workers' Union, Jobs with Justice, Missourians' for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, St. Louis Stonewall Democrats, and a number of other organizations.[17]

Working Class Media & Democracy' forum, 2013

The MO/KS People’s World ( hosted the 10th Annual ‘Working Class Media & Democracy’ forum on Saturday, December 7th, 2013.

This year’s Media Forum will be a panel discussion featuring: