Glass-Steagall Dominates Labor Rally's Press Conference in Philadelphia
August 11, 2012 • 9:25AM

LaRouche's platform to save the United States dominated the pre-rally press conference held today by the union organizers of the Aug. 11 "Workers Stand for America" Philadephia rally, according to a second-hand report.

With about 25-30 people in attendance — partly press, partly area labor leaders — LaRouche representative Tony Esposito asked the first question, centered on Glass-Steagall, NAWAPA XXI, and the credit system: Would the rally take up the fight for Glass-Steagall, and a jobs program based on it? Such as NAWAPA, a super-TVA-type program, which would create jobs through credit, versus the current bailout policies? Tony was able to expand a bit more on FDR, the NAWAPA, and the credit system. There was rapt attention in the room.

The press conference moderator, Jim Spellane of the IBEW, responded that FDR had a bill of rights, and that "We're expanding on it." The rally will organize a broader context of support for labor's agenda, not specific legislation, he said. That concluded the press conference.

Various media asked Tony more specifics: What about Sandy Weill? And other questions about the financial crisis. Tony also spoke to key Philadelphia area labor leaders, some of whom were very positive, others less so.

The Rally press release announces that 20,000 workers are expected. Speakers include AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and others.

This rally was announced approximately a month ago, when The National Journal, among others, reported the planned rally, and the story behind it: that IBEW President Ed Hill and others had organized the rally, after requesting, and holding, a meeting, with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to express labor's anger at the selection of anti-union Charlotte, North Carolina as the site of the Democratic National Convention. Hill, wrote National Journal, reported that in their meeting, Schultz made no response to labor's complaints, nor any offer to address the problems in any way. After National Journal's story appeared, with the report that labor would not attend the Charlotte convention, and further confirmation that labor would not contribute millions to it, as it had in 2008, Schultz arranged an emergency meeting that day with Trumka and Hill, got invited to address the Aug. 11 rally, and is attempting to get labor back in its straightjacket. There is a huge war in the labor movement over what the character of this event will be.