DC Labor Says Farewell to Nelson Mandela

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DC Labor Says Farewell to Nelson Mandela(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)"When the bay area longshoremen refused to unload cargo from South African ships to protest apartheid, that's when we knew that we would see victory in our lifetime," said South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool (far left) at Monday night's labor memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Some 120 labor activists, leaders and supporters turned out despite inclement weather to celebrate Mandela's life and underline the connection of the American labor movement to the struggle against apartheid. Living Faith Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Edwin Jones' invocation thanked God "for giving us Mandela and ensuring that he lives through all of us continuing the work" while Bill Lucy, CBTU president emeritus (second from left) -- and former AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer recounted some of his experiences -- some humorous, all moving -- meeting Mandela. Metro Washington Labor Council president Jos Williams (to right of US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with mic) noted that "two greats -- Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela -- now face each other across Massachusetts Avenue, adding that Churchill's famous dictum, "In war, resolution; In Defeat, Defiance; In Victory, Magnanimity; In Peace, Good will" speaks to the life, struggles, victories and lessons of Nelson Mandela as well. The DC Labor Chorus provided uplifting music including South Africa's anthem and closing with Solidarity Forever. - report/photo by Kathleen McKirchy


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