Anti-War Rally Draws Thousands

Music and Politics

Volume CVII, No. 12December, 2007

Julia Smith

As announced in the last issue, Local 802 participated in a march and rally against the Iraq War at the end of October. A band hired by Local 802 received great reviews from fellow unionists for their performance at the opening of the rally, which was sponsored by U.S. Labor Against the War. Despite strong and persistent rain, a small but significant contingent of Local 802 members took out their umbrellas and joined together to enjoy our Local 802 band and participate in the anti-war action. Since the demonstration, we have continued to work with USLAW. We’ll keep you posted, or contact me at (212) 245-4802, ext. 176.

NO WAR! Local 802 members, musicians and supporters marched with thousands of others in an anti-war march in October. Photos by Walter Karling.

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Throughout November, the Congestion Mitigation Commission, which was created by the New York State Legislature in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed congestion pricing plan, solicited public input on the mayor’s plan.

For those who haven’t been following the story in the newspapers, the mayor proposed a congestion fee of $8 for cars and $21 for trucks entering Manhattan south of 86th Street on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Drivers who use toll crossings to enter or exit the zone would be charged the difference between the toll and the congestion fee. The fee for drivers traveling within the zone would be $4 for cars, and $5.50 for trucks. The revenue from the congestion pricing fee would fund greater investment in public transportation systems.

We recognize that many of our members would be affected by this fee.

For Local 802 members who play large and bulky instruments and therefore can’t switch to public transportation, this fee would be particularly onerous.

Local 802 submitted testimony to the commission that applauded the mayor for his efforts to proactively address the environmental and economic challenges facing New York City, but urged him to consider a special exemption for certain workers including many of our members, for whom driving is unavoidable.

If you would like a copy of our testimony, please feel free to contact me at (212) 245-4802, ext 176.