- Date published:
10:00 am, December 28th, 2021 - 2 comments
Categories: community democracy, uncategorized, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:
What Starts off in Support of Alabama’s Miners turns into a homily from Beau on the power of getting community change going when and only when you have the organisational power to pull it off month after month after month.
In this little 7 minute clip is an essence of positive change in any community in 2022: if it isn’t a union it’s going to be something strongly resembling a union. Something that can organise food parcels for multiple months, with membership drives and exterior fundraising, with enough capacity to sustain whole families right through the really hard months including Christmas presents for children, rallies where people know to turn up on time and get the right messages out, lawn signs for miles and miles, a power of organisational resilience that compels those in power to come back to the table and reconsider their position.
No specific crisis is mentioned, nor party, nor ideology, nor any specific solution.
It’s more usual for Beau of Alabama to turn his attention to some Democratic quirk or Republican hypocrisy, in his deep rolling southwestern drawl.
It’s a very old lesson, one that Jesus or Gandhi or Martin Luther King or Desmond Tutu could have given. But it’s given freshness from a very non-urban American from his basement, building simply on many such smaller actions he’s done with others.
This time it’s a straight lesson not necessarily in how to win, but in how to give a community the very best chance to win against those in power.
Can’t think of a better reflection for 2022.
I watched it. Heart-warming stuff in the sense that he talks about how the whole community supports the striking Alabama miners, & how well-organised they were logistically to feed & clothe striking miners & their families (& I'd guess maybe other community members dependent on miners' spending).
But that's one thing, in a small community where possibly the majority of the workforce works for one company. I dunno how long they held out, or if the strike's still going.
It's one thing to feed & clothe striking miners & their families, & to give them Xmas prezzies, quite another to pay their utility bills & mortgages, which Beau didn't mention.
I don't know what lessons there are for NZ in that clip. Our food banks throughout the country report that they've never been busier, but this is across entire city & town communities, not just one striking workforce. I suspect on the whole NZ employers are far less likely to drag out lockouts or strikes than some US ones.
Strikes seem to be quite short in this country. I imagine because there's better workplace relations legislation providing for arbitration & negotiation if the parties can't agree.
(AI threw up Beau on a recent op-ed by several generals concerned about some US military personnel mutinying if their choice of candidate for US president isn't voted in, so I watched that one too. He made some good points, downplaying this as a real & present threat; but – something to watch & keep an eye on, he reckoned.)
Straight talkin dude nice speech totally agree about solidarity we could all achieve so much with a bit or a lot of solidarity