Musicians to Support Labor and Protest Bush

Volume CIV, No. 9September, 2004

Mike Ishii

“Stop Bush! Take Back America!” is the message that thousands of workers and unionists will spread at a protest and rally on Sept. 1.

The rally, which starts at 4 p.m., also coincides with the tail end of the Republican National Convention.

It takes place on Eighth Avenue, stretching south from 30th Street. See box for details on where to meet.

The focus of the rally will be to draw attention to the anti-labor policies of the Bush administration and to show a massive display of solidarity and opposition to George W. Bush as the country focuses on New York City during the Republican Convention.

The Central Labor Council, which annually sponsors the Labor Day parade, decided this year to focus its efforts instead on a rally and protest.


The event is slated as the kickoff to the largest national labor mobilization in history in order to defeat George W. Bush in the upcoming elections. Union activists will be launching neighborhood and workplace campaigns across the country with particular efforts in the 17 key swing states beginning Sept. 1.

On the evening of Sept. 2, when George Bush accepts the Republican nomination at Madison Square Garden, over 25,000 trade unionist volunteers in the 17 swing states will go door to door to over a million homes reaching out to American voters with a pro-labor message, explaining to voters the damages done to the American working family under the current administration. The grassroots campaign will continue through the election.

The Sept. 1 rally will feature celebrities, and a host of community and labor activists from across the nation and will also include live music by members of Local 802.

Last September, at the 2003 Labor Day parade, Local 802 was invited to lead off the parade. In addition, 802 fielded a marching ensemble of hundreds of Broadway musicians who walked in solidarity with other members of the Coalition of Broadway Unions Guild (COBUG).

Local 802 is a central activist in the planning of the rally and is mobilizing to turn out its members. The CLC expects upwards of 100,000 union members — representing over 200 unions — to attend the rally. Organizers are stressing that the event will be family friendly and are encouraging all members to bring their families.

The Police Department has expressly forbidden any placards with wooden, metal or plastic poles. 802 will be providing placards with cardboard poles for its members. The police have also requested that people not bring backpacks or shoulder bags into the rally.