ILA Local 1422 Organizing Labor Day Weekend “Charleston’s Days of Grace, Love’s Work Is Justice” Saturday and Sunday, September 5 & 6, 2015; ILA President Harold Daggett Urges Full Participation In March, Rally & Conference
NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (August 12, 2015) Following up on plans first announced by International Longshoremen’s Association Vice President Kenneth Riley at the union’s convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico in July, the ILA Charleston local Riley leads as President (ILA Local 1422) has announced plans for a Labor Day Weekend March, Rally and Conference named “Charleston’s Days of Grace” in the South Carolina city where innocent African-Americans lost their lives in two separate and tragic events in April and June. ILA International President Harold J. Daggett is urging the entire ILA membership to fully support “Charleston’s Days of Grace” in any way they can.
“Guns inflicted the fatal wounds of April and June, but racism, poverty and the politics of rancor and discord have long inflicted grave wounds on the State’s poor and most vulnerable people,” announced ILA Local 1422. “This Labor Day, people of faith and conscience will come together in Charleston to remember our fallen friends and to reflect on the racism and hatred that lay at the root of their deaths, as well as the violence that tears away at the fabric of our communities.”
Charleston’s Days of Grace comes as the result of two violent and racist acts that occurred earlier this year. In April, Walter Scott, an unarmed African-American was gunned down by a white North Charleston police officer. In June, nine members of the Emanuel AME Church were murdered by Dylann Storm Roof, who the New York Times described as “a 21-year-old white man with an unsettled personal life and a recent history of anti-black views.”
Both violent acts touched the ILA deeply and personally. Walter Scott had relatives who were members of the ILA and two of the nine church victims were relatives of ILA Local 1422 member Tyrone Saunders, including his youngest son.
“As Ken Riley told our ILA delegates at our International Convention in July, we cannot simply mourn the dead and talk about reform – we must act and these Days of Grace is a powerful demonstration of action,” said ILA President Daggett.
President Barack Obama, a close friend of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of AME Church and another victim of the June massacre inside his church, said in his eulogy for of the Pastor: “It would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again.”
ILA Local 1422 sees the “Days of Grace” as a means to further the moral principles of Rev. Pinckney including an end to discriminatory policing; expanded voting rights; a living wage and union rights for all working people; affordable healthcare and Medicaid expansion; quality education as a basic human right; and an end to gun violence.
ILA Local 1422 have established a web site for Days of Grace: www.daysofgracecharleston.org. The Saturday, Sept. 5th March and Rally will take place in Downtown Charleston at locations to be determined and the location of the two-day conference, Sept. 5 and 6th, will also be determined at a later time.
Download the Charleston Days of Grace flier.