Labour Day 2019

One of the biggest crowds in years, a sign of the times, the Doug Ford/Trump/neoliberal times. Even the Bolsheviks have a booth.This is how bad it has got and in front of me a horde of young people with socialist tee shirts.They  look revved up and ready to go. They will join the veteran socialists, serious cats “all out against Ford.”

It took an hour for the Catholic Teachers  flag to appear, so numerous were the unions walking and on flatbed trucks.

There was old Toronto represented by the wiling bagpipes. Connie Smythe and the 48th Highlanders opening night of the NHL season. A fleeting memory.

Then there were the  steel bands from the Caribbean and the Funkmaster with a James Brown riff getting us ready for another Labour Day.

Here they come. The Power workers, the guys who climb the poles whom the million dollar bosses at Hydro can’t do without, the Boilermakers, the Carpenters, the Stagehands and IATSI and ACTRA, the men and women who produce so much needed culture which ennobles and defines us, the TTC workers, the underpaid and exploited Hotel workers, the more militant CUPE and CUPW postal workers, the Steelworkers and the recently unionized couriers, and  look over there a group of Danes offering solidarity and at last an increased number of  teachers, public and separate walking together.We all have I am sure the great Toronto Labour Council’s motto on the back of our shirts…I guess we are REDS for the day..and look here comes the Premier

Organize, Educate, Resist!

Absent once again from the Catholic Teachers— everybody from headquarters, the high salaried ‘leaders’ who have forgotten to lead, forgotten about the necessity of downward mobility for any serious disciple. What a blown opportunity.

Pete Seeger, where are you when we need you?

When will they ever learn?

No matter, a joyous turnout of younger teachers.

Here comes a truck blasting music, the guitar intro I recognize, Billy Bragg

There is power in a factory, power in the land Power in the hands of a worker

But it all amounts to nothing if together we don’t stand There is power in a Union

The Union forever defending our rights

There is power in a Union

and a distinctly bad Ford Day

Now the politicos do not miss a chance to get out among the people…Trudeau in Hamilton and Jagmeet Singh in Toronto. Where’s Andrew Scheer? MIA attending a tailgate party in Hamilton at the annual game. Talk about a guy out of touch. Tory and labour=chalk and cheese.

We turn the corner at Dufferin to head south to the Ex and theres a real politician, Andrew Cash running to reclaim his federal seat in Davenport

Ted, Andrew, Don, David and Christiane Schmidt

.and what is another Neil McNeil student city councillor Paul Ainslie doing here? Solidarity forever

All I could think about on this beautiful September day of solidarity was what Rabbi Heschel felt when he walked in Selma in 1965

I thought that my legys were praying.