A Super Bowl of Struggle? The NFLPA’s Demaurice Smith on Opposing Indiana’s ‘Right to Work’ Agenda January 30, 2012Posted by rogerhollander in Indiana, Labor, Sports.
Tags: anti-union, dave zirinon, demaurice smith, indiana, labor, labor law, labour, nfl, nflpa, organized labor, players association, professional football, professional sports, right to work, roger hollander, super bowl, unions, workers rights
add a comment
Roger’s note: given the outrageous and obscene salaries that some elite athletes make, it might be tempting to dismiss the concerns of sports professional from a labor point of view. This would be an error. The vast majority do not make those multi million dollar salaries, and even if the average player is well paid in comparison with other classes of workers, the same issues are involved with respect to working conditions, benefits, etc. And one should not forget the physical beating that professional athletes take and pay for the rest of their lives. In other words, the principle of worker rights is most definitely in play with respect to professional sports. The NFLPA executive director put it most succinctly: “First and foremost, it’s important that our young men understand that they are just like every man and woman in America who works for a living. The minute that any sports player believes for whatever reason that they are outside the management-labor paradigm, I guarantee you that the minute you start thinking that way is the day you will start to lose ground.”
DeMaurice Smith: First and foremost, it’s important that our young men understand that they are just like every man and woman in America who works for a living. The minute that any sports player believes for whatever reason that they are outside the management-labor paradigm, I guarantee you that the minute you start thinking that way is the day you will start to lose ground. Our guys get their fingers broken, their backs broken, their heads concussed and their knees torn up because they actually put their hands into the ground and work for a living, and I would much rather have them understand and appreciate and frankly embrace the beauty of what it is to work and provide for their family.
[On this issue] we are in lock-step with organized labor. I’m proud to sit on the executive council of the AFL-CIO. Why? Because we share all the same issues that the American people share. We want decent wages. We want a fair pension. We want to be taken care of when we get hurt. We want a decent and safe working environment. So when you look at proposed legislation in a place like Indiana that wants to call it something like “Right to Work,” I mean, let’s just put the hammer on the nail. It’s untrue. This bill has nothing to do with a “right to work.” If folks in Indiana and that great legislature want to pass a bill that really is something called “Right to Work,” have a constitutional amendment that guarantees every citizen a job, that’s a “right to work.” What this is instead is a right to ensure that ordinary working citizens can’t get together as a team, can’t organize, can’t stand together and can’t fight management on an even playing field. From a sports union, our union, our men and their families understand the power of management and understand how much power management can wield over an individual person. So don’t call it a “right to work.” If you want to have an intelligent discussion about what the bill is, call it what it is. Call it an anti-organizing bill. Fine. If that’s what the people want to do in order to put a bill out there, let’s cast a vote on whether or not ordinary workers can get together and represent themselves, and let’s have a real referendum.
DZ: What would you say to someone who says, ‘Well, people who support this type of right to work legislation, they are just doing it to protect unions. They don’t care about the majority of workers who aren’t in unions”?
DS: Well take a look over the last 100 years. I used to say that we have forgotten a lot of the lessons from organized labor over the last 100 years, but I’m now convinced that we never learned them. Whether your talking about fire escapes outside of buildings or sprinkler systems inside of buildings, fair wages for a days work, laws that prevent child labor, things that led to the abolishing of sweatshops in America, let alone management contributing to healthcare plans or a decent pension… all those things over the last 100 years were not gifts from management. Someone in a corporate suite didn’t decide one day that they would bestow that wonderful right upon a working person. The way those rights were achieved was through the collective will of a group of workers who stood together and said, ‘This is what we believe is fair, and we are all going to stand together and demand that those things be provided to us. We’ll do it as a collective group. You may be able to pick off one of us or two of us or five of us, but you will not be able to pick off all of us.’ When you look at legislation that is designed to tear apart that ability to work as a team… that is not just anti-union. That is anti–working man and woman, and that’s why we weighed in on this one.
DZ: When you put out a statement like this, does it also goes out to every player so they’re aware of this campaign?
DS: It goes out to the players, the board, and the executive committee, and here in this case, we actually reached out to former Indianapolis Colts, former players who went to college in Indiana, and those players who live in Indiana, and asked them if they’d want to sign on. So we have a very impressive list of players. Rex Grossman is a local player who signed on. Jeff George, former quarterback for [among other teams] the Indianapolis Colts, also signed on. I’m proud of our guys who signed off on this because I do think that they appreciate and understand that in the same way that those things that we were talking about things that have been changes for good for ordinary workers in America, there isn’t a player in the National Football League who shouldn’t understand that every benefit that we have in the collective bargaining agreement is one that was negotiated by a collective of players standing together. Coming out of this lockout, perhaps it was the first time some of our young men understood what the collective bargaining agreement is all about. [Author’s note: De Smith said after the interview that Tim Tebow was behind the NFLPA 100 percent during the lockout. Given some of my own critiques of Tebow’s politics, I felt obliged to include that nugget.]
DZ: The news this week was that this bill was rammed through committee, so it is advancing through the Indiana State House. Has there been any talk about what else the NFLPA might do? Any follow up to the statement that you put out?
DS: I wrote an op-ed that has been placed in the main Indianapolis newspaper. If the issue is still percolating by the time of Super Bowl, I can promise you that the players of the National Football League and their union will be up front about what we think about this and why. Look, we have players who played in Indianapolis obviously, but I made no secret coming into this fight that the lockout, organized and implemented by a group of owners, was not only designed to hurt players but all of the people who work in and around our stadium: the hospitality network, the network of restaurants, bars, all of those things that are connected and touch our business were affected by the lockout that we frankly did not want to happen. So there is never going to be a day where players are going to divorce themselves from the ordinary people who work around their sports, and we’re sure as heck not going to divorce ourselves from the fans who dig our game.
DZ: If the legislation is still percolating, there will be people who will be doing legal, nonviolent protests around the Super Bowl game to try to leverage the spotlight of the Super Bowl to raise the issue for a national audience, and I know that they’re getting various union endorsements to do so. Is that something the NFLPA would support, the idea of a demonstration, a legal, nonviolent demonstration outside the Super Bowl?
DS: Yeah, possibly. We’ve been on picket lines in Indianapolis already with hotel workers who were basically pushed to the point of breaking on the hotel rooms that they had to clean because they were not union workers. We’ve been on picket lines in Boston and San Antonio. So, the idea of participating in a legal protest is something that we’ve done before.
We’ll have to see what is going to go on when we’re there, but issues like this are incredibly important to us. If we can be in a position just to make sure that we raise the level of the debate to the point where it is a fair and balanced discussion about the issues, I think that is something that our players can help do. Obviously, players have a very high profile, and I think its important for them to take on issues which are important to them and be in a position to talk about them, raise the level of consciousness about them.
If we do one thing by making this statement, and it is raising the level of the debate, and to have real people ask real questions about it, we’ve served our purpose.
UK Unions Plot a Winter of Discontent as They Ballot More Than a Million Workers for Biggest General Strike Since 1926 September 14, 2011Posted by rogerhollander in Britain, Europe, Revolution.
Tags: anna edwards, britain, civil disobedience, dave prentis, david cameron, england, general strike, labor, labour, organized labor, roger hollander, uk strike, unions, unison
add a comment
Millions of workers including police, firefighters, health workers, teachers and prison officers could strike over bitter pension row Unions describe potential walk-out as ‘unprecedented’ in scale and ‘the biggest fight of our lives’ Unison says they will be ‘vilified’ for striking but urges members to ‘stay strong’
A ‘winter of discontent’ looks imminent as Unison, the country’s biggest public sector workers’ union, gave formal notice today that its 1.1 million members will be balloted for industrial action in the bitter row over pensions.
A crowd of protesters made their feelings clear in London as marches take place across the country, sparked by a proposed increase in the retirement age for public sector workers and paying more into their pensions The Government face the threat of the biggest outbreak of industrial action since the 1926 General Strike after unions served notice of ballots over the row which will see workers pay an extra 3.2 per cent in pension contributions.
Unison’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, said 9,000 separate employer groups would be involved in the action, describing the ballot as ‘unprecedented’ in scale.
He blamed the Government for the ballot decision, which could see workers in school, hospitals, police and voluntary sectors, join the move.
He said: ‘A ballot unprecedented in scale will cover over a million workers in health, local government, schools, further education, police, the voluntary sector and the environment and private sector.
‘It’s a decision we don’t take lightly and the stakes are high, higher than ever before, but now is the time to make our stand.
‘It will be hard, we’ll be vilified, attacked, set against each other, but we must stay strong and united.’
The union was joined by Unite and the Fire Brigades Union, who all gave notice of ballots in the worsening row over pensions and launched angry attacks against the Government.
Mr Prentis announced to the TUC Congress in London that unions were involved in the ‘fight of our lives’ over the Government’s controversial reforms of pensions, which will see workers pay an extra 3.2 per cent in contributions.
He said Unison would work with the GMB and Unite, which could mean the country grinding to a halt if millions of the members decide to strike together.
His announcement was met with a standing ovation as delegates applauded the move, which brings the prospect of a winter of strikes closer.
Mr Prentis accused the Government of an ‘unprecedented’ attack on workers with its ‘audacious and devious’ pension reforms.
Mr Prentis said that exhaustive talks had not worked for the unions: ‘We’ve been patient, we’ve co-operated, but there comes a time when we say enough is enough because, if we don’t, they’ll be back for more.
Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary of Unite, told the conference: ‘When the coalition came to power we knew we faced the fight of our lives, we knew they would seek to weaken and divide us.
‘While we will never walk away from talks, neither can we sit on our hands. We will support days of action and tactical selective action.’
The Fire Brigades Union’s ballot of its 43,000 members raises the threat of a walkout without ‘Green Goddess’ military cover.
Firefighters last took national strike action in 2003, when Green Goddesses were used as emergency cover, but the ageing military vehicles have since been taken out of service.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, which has already announced fresh industrial action in November, said today’s moves showed that opposition was growing to the Government’s ‘raid’ on public sector pensions.
‘Following the hugely successful strike by civil servants, teachers and lecturers in June, there is a clear momentum behind our campaign that ministers cannot ignore, and they must now enter into serious and open negotiations.
‘We will now join our colleagues from across the public sector to discuss the nuts and bolts of this fightback, which we fully expect will mean industrial action on a scale not seen for many years.’
Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association, which is not allowed to take industrial action, warned that his members would defy the law if no deal was reached on pensions.
Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB, announced that his union’s 250,000 public sector members will also be balloted for strikes, warning that industrial action could last for months.
‘We are not talking about a day – we are talking about something that is long and hard and dirty, running through the winter, into next year and following the legislative programme right into the summer.’
The dispute will involve hospital and ambulance workers, meals-on-wheels staff, refuse collectors and cemetery workers, he said.
Mr Strutton said recent talks over pension reform had been held between Government ministers and local authority leaders, with unions ‘not even in the room’.
Public sector unions will meet later today to discuss co-ordinated action ahead of more talks with the Government planned for next week.
Joining them, workers at four British Sugar plants are to be balloted on industrial action in a dispute over pay and the ‘soaring cost of living’.
Unite said 250 members based in the East of England will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of strikes after rejecting a 3.5 per cent pay offer.
The union said it was seeking a pay deal equal to RPI inflation, currently running at 5.2 per cent, plus 0.5 per cent for the year to next April.
Regional officer Mick Doherty said: ‘Our members are being hit very hard by the soaring cost of living.
‘British Sugar is a very profitable company and despite its complaints that the sugar beet crop was hit by last winter’s bad weather, it is well able to afford a decent pay rise.’
The Government hit back at the ‘disappointing’ strikes, saying they had tried to reach a negotiation with unions.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s official spokesman described the calls for strike ballots as ‘disappointing’, and slammed the industrial action would be irresponsible at a time of economic difficulty.
‘Our view is that the best way forward is to continue with talks and we have always been very clear that we should try to have a constructive dialogue with the unions,’ said the spokesman.
‘Clearly, it is disappointing that there have been calls for industrial action, particularly as the talks are still ongoing.
‘On pensions, we have been very clear about the need for reform, but we have also been making the point that even after these reforms come through, public sector pensions will still be amongst the very best available.’
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, answering questions after a speech in London, said: ‘It is very regrettable that they are rushing to announce days of strikes when the discussions are still ongoing.
‘It would lovely to wave a magic wand and say we have discovered pots of gold, and the ageing population is not ageing, and, hallelujah, pension funds are entirely sustainable.
‘We entered into these discussions in good faith and we will continue to do so.”
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who is leading negotiations for the Government, told BBC News: ‘I think the public will be really fed up if they see industrial action damaging the economy, damaging their ability to get to work and earn their own living when (they) may be paying more towards public sector pensions than they are towards their own.
‘We want this to be a proper settlement so that we know that public sector workers are going to be able to enjoy these good pensions – better pension schemes than are available almost anywhere else – but that’s on a sustainable basis.
‘I don’t want governments to be coming back in five or 10 years’ time and saying ‘We need to have another go at this because it wasn’t sorted out properly in 2011’.
‘I think the unions need to think about the effect on the public and the effect on the economy and on their own members.
‘Their own members want to be going to work, they don’t want to be giving up a day’s pay, or more than that, at a time when we are all of us working under major constraints.’
Increasingly militant transport union leaders joined in with the walkout threats, warning they were planning the ‘biggest campaign’ of civil disobedience in Britain’s history.
They plan to disrupt public services and block motorways as well as declaring they are ready to ‘go to prison’ in protest at proposed changes to pensions.
In a bid to persuade them to stop striking and wrecking the Games, transport bosses have offered hefty bonuses to railway workers amid fears the militant RMT union could wreck the Games with strikes.
Train drivers will pocket up to £1,800 simply for turning up for work during the London Olympics next summer.
Last night, MPs condemned the payments as a ‘bribe’ and accused the unions of holding the public to ransom.
Astonishingly, the Daily Mail understands that the £1,800 bonus deal with Tube drivers does not even include a no-strike clause.
The glaring omission leaves them free to pocket the cash and still cause mass disruption with industrial action.
A senior source connected with the talks said: ‘The drivers could have demanded fur coats for the wives or football season tickets for the men if they wanted.
‘It’s an amazing deal but one which the Tube had to do. There was no alternative.’
Union sources revealed a battle plan has been devised, mapping out ‘blocks’ of strikes running in ‘target areas’ for two to three days at a time.
One union leader said to expect scenes reminiscent of the 1978 ‘winter of discontent’ when rubbish filled the streets.
Another, unnamed, told the BBC: ‘In some areas there will be two or three days. In other areas it will be continuous. In other areas it will be a rolling programme.’
Tags: California, california hospitals, california strike, democratic unions, executive salaries, healthcare workers, hospital management, kaiser permanente, labor, labor unions, labour, mark brenner, nuhw, organized labor, patient care, roger hollander, salinas california, salinas valley memorial, seiu, workers rights
add a comment
Hundreds of workers at a central California hospital return to work today, after a two-day lockout that provoked a complaint from the state labor board.
Workers at the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, two hours south of San Francisco, were locked out after taking to picket lines on Tuesday.
The daylong strike—the first ever in the hospital’s 58-year history—was called by members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) after stalled negotiations with hospital management.
The union, which represents techs, professionals, and service workers in the hospital, is fighting plans to cut more than 100 direct-care positions and trim pension and health care benefits for new hires.
The labor board’s complaint says the Salinas lockout was illegal retaliation for striking. A decision is expected within a month—and could net workers back pay for the days they were locked out.
It’s the third short strike this year by NUHW, which was founded in 2009 after SEIU placed its third-largest local, the dissident United Healthcare Workers-West, into trusteeship, prompting members and leaders to establish the breakaway union.
The struggles are a critical part of the union’s development, as NUHW members work against intense opposition from employers and their former union to secure first contracts for its 10,000 members statewide.
“We’ve never operated in the red,” said Ester Fierros-Nuñez, the Salinas union chairperson. “But now top administrators are treating this hospital, and the community, like their personal ATM.”
Hospital executives have been under close scrutiny after the union uncovered a deal which provided the recently departed CEO more than $5 million in pension and severance on top of the $150,000 a year he collects from the state pension plan.
Outrage over this taxpayer-funded golden parachute has spurred a state audit of the hospital’s finances. According to Fierros-Nuñez, six additional executives have the same kind of deal, which allows recipients to bypass IRS tax shelter rules by funneling money through multiple pensions.
“It’s like Enron,” she said. “They want to cut folks at the bottom so they can pay more to people at the top.”
NUHW has also criticized the hospital’s decision to spend $12 million on outside consultants, most notably Wellspring Partners, a Chicago-based firm. The consulting company, under prior ownership, was involved in the takeover and closure of St. Vincent’s hospital in New York City.
In St. Vincent’s bankruptcy proceedings, it emerged that the consultants had billed the hospital for everything from groceries and dry cleaning to opera tickets and club memberships. Union activists worry that Wellspring is milking their hospital as well.
LEAN AND MEAN
The biggest concern voiced on Tuesday’s picket line was for the hospital’s patients.
According to Debbie Prader, a 38-year licensed vocational nurse at the hospital, staff cuts that started a year and a half ago have sent workloads skyrocketing.
Previously, Prader typically worked her entire shift on a single floor, with an average of 10 patients. Now she’s covering two or three floors, and caring for up to 19 patients.
“They’re dismantling the whole hospital,” Prader said. “There’s no way to give good care in these conditions.”
Lily Garner, a 30-year medical transcriptionist at the hospital whose sister is currently a patient, said she’s seen the impact first hand. Basic help, like bathroom assistance, is lacking, she said.
“The people making all the decisions aren’t in contact with patients,” said Linda Vallez, a certified nursing assistant for 31 years at the hospital. “All they see is numbers on a spreadsheet.”
Salinas Valley Memorial is just the latest example of a profitable hospital looking to take advantage of the recession and lower staffing standards.
The same drive for concessions led 2,500 NUHW members in Southern California to launch their second one-day strike at Kaiser Permanente facilities on May 18. The health care giant made more than $1 billion in profits last year but is pushing for layoffs and major pension and health benefit takeaways.
“Kaiser executives are making more money than ever and are giving themselves huge raises, but they refuse to provide nurses with the staff we need to take care of our patients properly,” said Roxana Valadez, a pediatric nurse in Los Angeles. “And now, they’re not just keeping us understaffed, they also want to cut our benefits. Kaiser is becoming a worse and worse place to provide patient care.”
NUHW’S NEXT STEPS
The fights at Kaiser and Salinas hold the promise of stabilizing NUHW’s financial future, if they can win the union a first contract—and dues checkoff. (The union is hand-collecting dues in the meantime). Tight resources have hampered the union’s expansion, leading it to withdraw from numerous elections in recent months.
But even more important, the struggles are defining NUHW’s identity independent of SEIU.
There is no question the union will continue to run and win elections in SEIU bargaining units across the state, and extend their reach into non-union hospitals and nursing homes. NUHW’s recent victory in three of the four California Pacific Medical Center facilities in San Francisco is the latest example of its enduring appeal.
But the union’s most important challenge right now is to make good on its founding promise—that workers can build a democratic union willing to stand up and fight.
This task is doubly difficult when unions everywhere are ducking for cover, and when taking concessions is the norm. SEIU’s California leaders have agreed to health care cost-shifting and pension takeaways at health care facilities, giving management yet more reason to take a hard line against NUHW.
For NUHW’s members, there is no going back to the union they once had. And workers from Santa Rosa to San Diego have demonstrated they’re ready to build something new, and hopefully better, in its place.
Obama’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Politics April 15, 2009Posted by rogerhollander in Barack Obama, Uncategorized.
Tags: afghanistan ecalation, Afghanistan War, bailout, Barack Obama, health insurance industry, healthcare reform, iraq escalation, Iraq war, larry pinkney, obama politics, obama racism, organized labor, pakistan escalation, racism, roger hollander, Saudi Arabian “King” Abdullah, single payer, us empire, Wall Street
add a comment
www.blackcommentator.com, April 9, 2009
Rarely had so many been hoodwinked by so few, until the installation of Barack Obama as the head of the U.S. Empire. The fact is that Barack Obama is not the fulfillment of anything but the nightmare of continuing 21st Century U.S. Empire.
Recently, even as it appeared that Barack Obama nearly broke his back, bending over in unnecessary and overly subservient obeisance to the current Saudi Arabian “King” Abdullah, economic and conditions for everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow peoples right here in this nation have continued to significantly worsen on a daily basis.
There is an enormous difference between sovereign Heads of State exhibiting simple diplomatic respect towards each other and needlessly prostrating oneself. The symbolism of Obama’s over done and unnecessary prostration to “King” Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is telling, chilling, and deeply troubling. It is noteworthy that notwithstanding its own hypocrisy, the United States of America was brought into existence as a result of fighting a protracted and bloody war for “freedom” against a King and other monarchs and tyrants of the period. If indeed there is to be any prostration on the part of Barack Obama towards anyone then let it be (in both word and deed) to the everyday, ordinary Black, Brown, Red, White, and Yellow peoples of ‘America’ and the world, not Wall Street barons, banksters, kings or other such monarchs.
By now even some of the politically deaf, dumb, and blind of this land should be able to see that other than misleading rhetoric, no “change” of any real substance, is in the making. In fact, and to the contrary, Obama is busy pandering to the very same Wall Street institutions to whom his predecessors gave unceasing political and economic homage and loyalty. Nothing has changed substantively or systemically.
1. On the matters of Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama is in reality widening these wars not ending them. Moreover, his political and military destabilization policy towards Pakistan is short sighted, wrong, hypocritical and enormously dangerous for that entire region of the world. These wars are being continued by Barack Obama, while the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are butchered, not to mention the ongoing deaths of U.S. men and women in uniform who remain the canon fodder for the U.S. Empire’s war machine. In this regard also, nothing has substantively or systemically changed under Barack Obama.
2. Notwithstanding Obama’s endless rhetoric, on the matter of the absolutely criminal financial bail-out of the Wall Street barons and banksters, inclusive of the avaricious insurance companies, Barack Obama has demonstrated repeatedly that he is deep in the pocket of Wall Street, not the people. Expect no systemic change from him for it will not be forthcoming.
3. On the matter of his attempting to bully and boycott the United Nations Conference on Racism, Obama is both wrong and hypocritical. Obama’s actions in this regard have made it quite clear that he opposes serious and systemic compensation / reparations for the descendants of the trans Atlantic slave trade, though no one should be surprised by this since he serves the interests of furthering and maintaining U.S. Empire and is himself, despite his slight pigmentation, the descendant of slave holders not slaves. What better way to maintain racism and other forms of economic exploitation than to have a Barack Obama as its de facto point man?!
4. On the matter of universal single payer health care, Obama and his minions offer the deliberately misleading rhetoric of so-called “affordable health care” which is not Universal single payer health care and still serves the financial interests first and foremost of the bloated and blood sucking insurance companies and their Wall Street accomplices. Universal single payer health care for everyday people is, and must be treated as, a human right, not some capitalist market commodity from which money is to be made or profit gained. On this matter of health care Obama and both the Democrat and Republican Parties (i.e. the Republicrats) are hustling the peoples of this nation.
5. Despite his misleading rhetoric to the contrary, Obama has set out to break the back of organized labor in a way that would have made Ronald Reagan green with envy. Again, this should come as no surprise as back in 2008, Obama made his strong “admiration” for the late Ronald Reagan known. This is the same anti-union Ronald Reagan who is remembered for, among other things, despising poor and working class people and for having utilized the military to neutralize the legitimate organizing / labor rights and aspirations of U.S. civilian air traffic controllers, etc.
One should not be surprised at being bitten by the proverbial snake.
Future columns of Keeping It Real will delve into various details pertaining to the above points and much, much more.
It must be reiterated that Barack Obama is not the fulfillment of anything but the nightmare of continuing 21st Century U.S. Empire. This can and must be changed only by we the people collectively organizing, not by politicians who in reality serve the interests of the Wall Street / Military / Prison industry’s elite.
The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde politics and policies of Barack Obama are not acceptable.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.