Petition Rally

This morning’s labor action in front of the Emporium building was a success buoyed by our brethren from the Democratic Socialists of America, Jobs with Justice and the Knoxville/Oak Ridge Central Labor Council.

Eli Stanfield with the United Campus Workers and Jobs with Justice, and Katy Myers of UCW came and stood out in the cold with us, 

Sam Alexander (head of the Knoxville/Oak Ridge Central Labor Council and General Chairman for the BMWED—IBT)) and his daughter Emily (honorary member of our Local 546) stood with us. 

Barbara Hickey, David Linge, Jim Sessions, and his daughter Lee Sessions, from the Knoxville chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America were encouraging passing cars to honk.

KSO musicians Bill Pierce, Edward Pulgar, Rachel Loseke, Cindy Hicks, Steve Benne, and Stacy Nickell taped up our petitions and generally stayed warm.

Camera crews from WATE and WVLT interviewed us, and we were able to greet Rachel Ford and Mary Sue Greiner on their way into the office.

It is powerful and fun to have the activists there with us. While for many musicians, myself included, protests and rallies are a bit scary, for our brothers and sisters in the CLC, DSA, and JWJ, they are part of the landscape.

This morning Sam Alexander told me that he’d been arrested in D.C. and pepper-sprayed in Chicago (I think). His daughter Emily said that she’d been elbowed in the face somewhere else (although she thought the elbow was probably friendly fire). Then they laughed about it.

Eli Stanfield made me think by asking where our center of power was… I’m still thinking.


After the protest Edward, Stacy, Cindy, and I spent an hour and a half taking our petitions into businesses on Gay St. and Union Avenue. The shop owners and their employees were very patient with us. They listened and took our petitions. We’ll be back.

In all, it was a good day.