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[Excerpt] In what direction will all these pressures—the Reagan challenge, employer hostility, and rank-and-file sentiment for a fight—push trade union leadership? One road—a few simple steps from the Mall site of September's impressive Solidarity Day rally—leads east to Capitol Hill, to a position of renewed strength and influence in the Democratic Party and in Congress. From there, the route is familiar: save the Davis-Bacon Act, fight tight money, salvage social programs without cutting military spending, and elect the likes of Walter Mondale, Ted Kennedy, or John Glenn as President in 1984.

Another road leads north and west and south, toward a position of real strength in poor, working-class, and middle-class neighborhoods around the country. The same alliance of labor, minority, and community forces that built Solidarity Day can turn that single event into an enduring movement for political action at the grassroots level.


Suggested Citation
Compa, L. (1982). Hard choices: Porkchops or politics? Organizing or merchandising? Confrontation or accommodation? [Electronic version]. The Progressive, 46(1), 26-30.

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