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Pastor and Detroit NAACP leader gives rousing address

Anthony: Collective action is 'our trump card'

Rev. Wendell Anthony

Unionists in the Detroit metropolitan area know that the Rev. Wendell Anthony, pastor of Fellowship Chapel, is a true friend of labor. He has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with organized labor in support of collective bargaining and in opposition to laws such as the one that has put the Detroit school system under the control of an emergency financial manager.

In a rousing address to the convention, Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP, urged delegates not to be discouraged by the harsh criticism of those who don’t share their vision of an America where the needs of children and the most vulnerable are a priority. “You have come too far to turn back now,” he said.

Labor and its community allies must not forget that “collective action is our trump card,” Anthony said. Unions like the AFT, AFSCME, the UAW and SEIU are at their strongest when they join together “as a herd” and take on those who would end collective bargaining or suppress voting rights.

He called for using that same collective action to ensure that the nation’s budget priorities reflect the needs of ordinary Americans, especially children. “Children are the future of our nation. Our budgets should reflect that.”

“It is impossible to serve the academic needs of students without addressing their basic need for health and safety,” added Anthony, who argued for a holistic approach to caring for our children. [photo by Michael Campbell/video by Matthew Jones and Brett Sherman]

July 28, 2012