- 1 Memorial to Coleman Young
- 2 Anti Iraq war meeting
- 3 Michigan Coalition for Human Rights
- 4 PWW gathering
- 5 Center for Labor Renewal
- 6 "Meltdown and Recovery in Detroit: The Economic Collapse and a People's Plan for Recovery"
- 7 US Social Forum National Planning Committee
- 8 Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee
- 9 References
Memorial to Coleman Young
Signatories to the memorial included Elena Herrada.
Anti Iraq war meeting
Almost 200 union activists filled United Auto Workers Local 600’s hall in Dearborn Michigan, to hear union leaders speak out against Bush’s war on Iraq. The panel included many leaders of union locals, leaders of the Michigan labor movement and leaders of international unions. It was moderated by Julie Hurwitz of the National Lawyers Guild.
Noel Beasley, international vice president of Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, linked organizing opposition to Bush’s war to building a more powerful union movement. Beasley urged members to remind co-workers that “this is a war that will put working men and women on the front lines to get killed” – and to kill Iraqi men and women. “The real issue is the economy. It’s Bush’s fault and we’ve got to put the focus where it belongs,” he said.
Al Benchich, president of UAW Local 909, stated bluntly “We won’t be able to stop [this war] unless labor raises its mighty voice to stop it.” Benchich also emphasized the significance of being able to dialogue with those who may differ, especially with veterans.
“We firmly stand in opposition to Bush’s smokescreen,” concurred Millie Hall, president of the Detroit Chapter of Coalition of Labor Union Women, “that will end up in our sons and daughters being brought home in body bags.”
Hurwitz outlined some significant consequences of the USA PATRIOT Act and its proposed sequel, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003. This law will broaden power of the authorities, reduce the ability of the public to oversea or challenge their power, redefine terrorism to include some action of union organizing, provide authorities with unprecedented power of domestic spying and wiretapping without judicial oversight, and define as terrorism any attempt to mobilize opposition to influence the government’s policies.
Following this chilling account, Mich. State AFL-CIO President Mark Gaffney added the Homeland Security Act stripped the collective bargaining rights of over 140,000 workers. “The drumbeat for war is a drumbeat for war on unions,” he said.
Elena Herrada, a cafeteria worker’s union leader, emphasized the drastic effects the Bush policies have had on Detroit’s public services.
“We have a moral obligation to speak out against this war,” UAW International Vice President Bob King stated. To succeed in building an effective movement, he said, “We have to engage others in dialogue and really try to understand where they are coming from.” Education is key. Disarmament “should be done through UN inspections,” he said. “It’s not a single war [the Bush administration] wants to lead,” King said, but a whole series of wars and actions to gain control of the Middle East’s resources. 
Michigan Coalition for Human Rights
People’s Weekly World fundraising events around the country 2007 showed the strength and vitality of the progressive movement.
In Detroit, friends of the PWW came together to honor Angelo Deitos, Ruth Goldman, Dave Moore, Quill Pettway, Carl Reinstein and Stella Reinstein and Ethel Schwartz, seven longtime heroes whose lives are part of the history of the city. Collectively the seven were involved in the Ford Hunger March, the organization of the UAW, the National Negro Labor Council, fought against segregation, repression and have led lives dedicated to the fight for peace.
Among those paying tribute were Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson; Mike Kerwin, a leader of the Michigan Labor History Society; Elena Herrada, the director of Southwest Detroit’s Centro Obrero; Steve Noffke from Local 600 UAW and Erica Smiley, the chair of the Young Communist League.
Center for Labor Renewal
"Meltdown and Recovery in Detroit: The Economic Collapse and a People's Plan for Recovery"
On May 23, 2009, together with The Nation magazine and other organizations, the Institute for Policy Studies helped convene a panel discussion on the effects of the economic crisis in Detroit. "Meltdown and Recovery in Detroit: The Economic Collapse and a People's Plan for Recovery" was an historic gathering of local Detroit activists and national progressive leaders, all offering their perspectives on what caused the economic crisis, how it was affecting Detroit, and what changes need to be made to recover from it.
Moderated by John Nichols and with Congressman John Conyers as keynote speaker, the panel featured Barbara Ehrenreich, Robert Pollin, Grace Lee Boggs, JoAnn Watson, Elena Herrada, and Dianne Feeley.
US Social Forum National Planning Committee
- Centro Obrero (Detroit, MI) Anchor organization - Elena Herrada, Julio Cesar Guerrero .
Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee
- Elena Herrada, a member of the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education.
- PWW March 1, 2003, page 16
- MCHR website, accessed Feb. 1, 2011
- http://www.peoplesworld.org/saluting-the-people-s-struggle-and-the-pww/ PW, Saluting the peoples struggle and the PWW by: Dan Margolis December 21 2007]
- Youtube, Meltdown and Recovery in Detroit Institute for Policy Studies , Uploaded on Jul 31, 2009
- Justice Alliance, who we are