Aida and the Amici Opera Company

My friends at the Amici Opera Company will perform the opera Aida, by Giuseppi Verdi, on Sunday September 13 at 3:00 PM, and Saturday September 19, at 4:00 PM, at the Redeemer United Methodist Church, 1128 Cottman Avenue, in Philadelphia. It is the story of Aida, an Ethiopian princess enslaved in Egypt; an Egyptian general, Ramades, is in love with her, but he must choose between his love of Aida and his loyalty to the king of Egypt, and the king’s daughter, Amneris, is in love with Ramades, but he does not return her love. When you come to the show, please wear your mask; hand sanitizer will be available.

I urge everyone to support their locally-based arts venues and performances; the arts are for everyone.

Labor Day Rally in Philadelphia

A rally to support sanitation workers in Philadelphia will take place at Dilworth Park, on the west side of City Hall in Philadelphia, starting at 10:00 Am, on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. 2020. This rally is on conjunction with union affiliate with District Council 33 on AFSCME. The rally will call for personal protective equipment (PPE), hazard pay, and no layoffs.

In this situation, where we are faced with a stupid, treasonous, and corrupt “president;” a movement of fanatical, gun-tooting fascists; a pandemic our government doesn’t believe exists; and rampant economic disaster, workers must band together to stand up for ourselves, our neighbors, and our nation. As we continue to practice social distancing and hand-washing,let us continue to show our numbers and our strength.

And, on November 3, get out to VOTE. The vote is our superpower, and don’t let ANY one take it from you.

Woman Holding Mop

Philly Queer March for Black Lives

I have just come from the Philly Queer March for Black Lives. The fight for the rights of one group is intersected with the fight for the rights of other groups; the same forces are arrayed against them. Here are some photos I took at the opening rally, at Love Park:

I have a flag fetish, they’re creative symbols of a nation or cause, like this one:
…and this one…
…and this, the new LGBTQ flag.
A sentiment shared by everyone.
The group Socialist Alternative setting up shop.
The crowd building up.

Philly Queer March for Black Lives

The Philly Queer March for Black Lives, a demonstration of the LGBTQ community’s solidarity with the African-American community, will take place at Love Park in Philadelphia, 15th Street and JFK Boulevard, from 1:30-4:00 PM, on Sunday, June 21, 2020.

This march is to honor the intersection between the African-American and LGBTQ communities, and to remember the struggles, and the interconnection, of the two movements.

Sponsors of the march include:

Liberty City LGBTQ Democratic Club, https://www.libertycity.org/

Galaei, https://www.galaei.org/

Mazzoni Center, https://www.mazzonicenter.org/

Attic Youth Center, https://www.atticyouthcenter.org/

Mosaic Medical, https://www.mosaicmedicalcenter.org/

William Way LGBTQ Community Center, https://www.waygay.org/

Penn LGBT Center, https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/lgbtc/

Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association, https://www.philalgbtqbar.org/

ACT UP Philadelphia, http://www.actupphilly.org/

Philadelphia Family Pride, https://www.philadelphiafamilypride.org/

Philadelphia Dyke March, http://phillydykemarch.com/

Philadelphia Black Pride, http://phillyblackpride.org/

Participants are encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

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Independent Bookshops in Philadelphia

Stores are starting to open up slowly in Philadelphia, although we must remain cautious about the COVID-19 still around. I believe in supporting small, independent stores over the big chains, particularly small bookstores, which are great for supporting new writers and poets, and are closer to the community. Here are a sample of locally based bookstores in Philadelphia, please check them out:

A Novel Idea on Passyunk, 1726 E. Passyunk Avenue, https://anovelideaphilly.com/

Head House Books, 619 South 2nd Street, https://www.headhousebooks.com/

Harriet’s Bookshop, 258 E. Girard Avenue, https://www.harriettsbookshop.com/

Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Lane (West Mount Airy), https://www.bigbluemarblebooks.com/

Joseph Fox Bookshop, 1724 Sansom Street, https://www.foxbookshop.com/

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

COVID-19, it’s getting real.

Today, March 16, 2020, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney ordered the shutdown of “non-essential” businesses in the city, as of 5:00 PM. Not affected will be gas stations, banks, post offices, day care centers, laundromats, dry cleaners, and groceries will be open; non-essential” government services will be closed; restaurants will only have take-out service and deliveries; no sit-down service. Courts will only hear non-emergency cases for the rest of the month. https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/philadelphia-shutdown-coronavirus-20200316.html

https://billypenn.com/2020/03/16/heres-what-can-stay-open-as-philly-shuts-down-all-non-essential-businesses/

This is in response to the corona virus pandemic sweeping the world; local and state governments have stepped up to prevent further cases, which would overwhelm the health care system currently dealing with the virus. Soon after, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered a statewide shutdown of all non-essential businesses. https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/03/pennsylvania-gov-tom-wolf-to-order-statewide-shutdown-over-coronavirus.html

Like many, I’m trying to cope with the situation; a lot of my favorite spots will be closed until-at least-the end of the month-but what about after?

The only things we can do right now is listen to the advice of the medical professionals-such basic stuff as washing your hands, not getting near people if they don’t feel comfortable, and staying home if they don’t have to go out.

It’s important to understand that we as a nation have been through some difficulties before in our history, and banding together and being for one another have seen us through the tough times; we will overcome this problem.

APRI Awards Banquet

On Friday, September 13, 2019, I joined other trade unionists in celebrating the annual Awards Banquet of the Philadelphia chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. (I’m the recording Secretary of the Philadelphia chapter.) The honorees were:

Martin Williams Jr., of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers;

Linda Fields, Special Assistant, LIUNA Local 135;

George Piasecki III, President of the Delaware County (PA) AFL-CIO;

and Vernon Woodall, LIUNA Local 135.

Joining me to honor these Labor leaders were other labor leaders, Stewards and other people dedicated to upgrading the lives of their fellow working people. These are working-class people finding empowerment in banding together to help other workers find their power. I would encourage you to find your power in banding together with other workers in a union.

Labor Day in Philadelphia

Yesterday I proudly took part in the 32nd Annual Tri-State Labor Day Parade and Family Celebration, on Monday, September 2. We assembled at the Sheet Metal workers hall, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard.

Getting ready to march in OUR parade…
…honoring our history and our solidarity.
Sounds from the Avalon String Band.
John Greer, chair of the parade’s organizing committee, opening the program.
Amanda Hammock, AKA Rosie the Riveter, striking a pose for freedom.
The wrench, uh, torch passing to a new generation of Rosies.
The working people of Philadelphia, the stars of the show.

 

Philly For Change, July 3, 2019

I hope you can join me for the next meeting at Philly for Change, at Tattooed Mom, 5th and South streets in Philadelphia, tomorrow, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Speaking there will be Rochelle Bilal, candidate for Sheriff; Tracey Gordon, candidate for Register of Wills; and Dave Scholnick, speaking on on gun violence. We will also discuss the refinery fire in South Philadelphia, and the 2020 election. See you there!

Salute To Labor

I was present at the Philadelphia Public Record‘s Salute To Labor, honoring a number of fine Labor leaders, some I know personally, at the Philadelphia Joint Board, 22 South 22nd Street, on Friday, June 20, 2019.

Nicole Fuller, Director of PHILAPOSH, Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health, one of the honorees. (Full disclosure, I’m on the PHILAPOSH board.)
On the left is Ken Washington, Laborers District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity, one of the honorees.
Jonathan Saidel, former City Controller of Philadelphia, master of ceremonies.
Daniel Grace, Teamsters Local 830, one of the honorees.
Keven Boyle, Ironworkers Local 401, one of the honorees.
City Council-member Janie Blackwell and Pat Eiding, President of Philadelphia AFL-CIO.
Todd Farally, Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, one of the honorees.