Union organizers

My partner, Carol, found a video online showing a lunch-time protest staged by local unions two months ago outside City Hall here in New Bedford. The city wants to tear down the Cliftex building, a historic mill building on the waterfront. Local unions want the mill building renovated for housing and buisnesses — the renovation will provide union jobs, whereas if the building gets torn down we’ll be lucky to get a parking lot, or a big-box retail store providing minimum wages jobs.

In any case, I went and stood with the union people, and I was impressed with the quietly effective way they made the protest happen. No chanting, no screaming. They talked to passers-by, they distributed flyers to passing motorists, they button-holed people coming and going from City Hall, they were politely articulate about why the city should save the building.

During that lunch hour, they reached a lot of people. They did it without the street theatre that usually characterizes demonstrations done by leftists since the 1960’s. They did it without polarizing opposition, as most leftists today seem to do. The emphasis was on making face-to-face connections with as many people as possible.

Link, if you want to watch the video.