Chicago Radicals Feast At People’s Dinner

'Justice Kids' display the banner they made for the People's Dinner at Trinity Episcopal Church in Chicago, IL, December 1, 2012. The banner was adorned with slogans like 'Support Our Schools, Don't Close Them!' and 'Unions Yes, Wars No!'

‘Justice Kids’ display the banner they made for the People’s Dinner at Trinity Episcopal Church in Chicago, IL, December 1, 2012. The banner was adorned with slogans like ‘Support Our Schools, Don’t Close Them!’ and ‘Unions Yes, Wars No!’

Last Saturday, hundreds of Chicago-area activists gathered at Trinity Episcopal Church to celebrate the 20th annual People’s Dinner. As food flowed abundantly and spirits ran high, organizers from the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, the Anti-War Committee, the National Lawyer’s Guild, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, CODEPINK, and many other organizations reflected on a year’s worth of struggle, and expressed high hopes for the year to come. Highlighting 2012’s most memorable victories, awards were given to Chicago Teachers Union organizer and strike captain Sarah Chambers, Pat Hunt of the Coalition Against Nato/G8 War & Poverty Agenda, Magda Castenada of the Committee Against Political Repression, and the Joliet-based Warehouse Workers for Justice. “Since I was a little boy, I have always had the seed of resistance in my heart,” said Honduran community organizer and political refugee Santos Cruz, as he accepted an award on behalf of his people’s struggle against the U.S.-backed military dictatorship of Porfirio Lobo. “It inspires me very much to see so many people, in one place, united in struggle for a better world.”

The People’s Dinner was started by the newspaper Fight Back! in 1992, as an alternative to Thanksgiving and its association with the violent conquest of the Americas. “The purpose of this dinner”, announced United Electrical Workers (UE) organizer J. Burger to the assembly, “is to give voice to and remember the struggles of the past year. We borrow from those who came before us. Sometimes we’ve had defeats, and sometimes we’ve had steps forward.”

As event organizer Joe Iosbaker succinctly stated- “the leaders we are honoring, coming from the protest movements, [and] union struggles and victories…these are what we’re giving thanks for.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Chicago Radicals Feast At People’s Dinner

  1. Thanks for this article. A small correction, the People’s Thanksgiving event started in 1992, the same year we protested the 500 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus and the genocide, enslavement, exploitation, and oppression wrought upon the peoples of the Americas, Africa, and elsewhere. We celebrate the struggles of the working people and the oppressed against the criminal class of rich bosses who own this Empire. We will topple them before long!

  2. Rosario Osorio

    Me, a radical??? For some reason I think this word is emotionally charged with a negative connotation: crazy, extreme, fanatical, rabid, subversive….I’d rather be called a progressive.

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