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Activists plan struggle for jobs

Published Apr 22, 2010 8:31 PM

Raleigh, N.C. — On April 11, Black Workers For Justice hosted an activists’ brunch here featuring a presentation by Larry Holmes, a leader of the Bail Out the People Movement from New York.

Holmes motivated the upcoming May 8 Jobs rally and strategizing meeting in Washington, D.C. A main purpose for the D.C. action is to help ignite a national grassroots movement to demand a new government-sponsored Works Progress Administration jobs program for the 30 million people currently unemployed and underemployed. BOPM is putting a big emphasis on bringing unemployed people to the May 8 action to show that they are not invisible in the midst of this devastating economic crisis.

The May 8 initiative is timed to coincide with the historic signing of the WPA on May 6, 1935. This legislation created more than 8 million jobs financed by the federal government. It followed a tumultuous period of labor struggles in response to the Great Depression.

Ajamu Dillahunt from BWFJ opened the discussion with a report on a local mass campaign involving BWFJ, statewide people’s assemblies, the People’s Empowerment Movement and others in support of a “Jobs for America” bill demanding 1 million jobs. The discussion ended on a high note as Angaza Laughinghouse, president of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, UE Local 150, announced the union’s endorsement of the May 8 mobilization.