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People's Thanksgiving 2020: The rebellion, the defeat of Trump, and #StrikeForOurLives

By Joe Iosbaker |
December 6, 2020
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Chicago, IL - Over 500 people tuned in online to the annual People's Thanksgiving awards ceremony, December 5, held by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in Chicago. The event is a fundraiser for Fight Back! and brought in more than $3000.

Award recipients included Dian Palmer, president of SEIU Local 73; Doris Carroll, president of the Illinois Nurses Association; India Jackson of Good Kids/Mad City; Tanya Lozano of Centro Sin Fronteras; Regina Russell of the Chicago Alliance; and Alexis Grant of the Black Graduate Students Association at UIC.

Helping present the awards included Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of CTU; and Aislinn Pulley of Black Lives Matter-Chicago. Commenting on the victory of a strike this week by SEIU Health Care Illinois/Indiana at the Infinity nursing home chain, Davis Gates said their strike during the pandemic and economic crisis was made possible because Dian Palmer went first at UIC. Palmer was given the Sylvia Woods award, named after the Black woman trade unionist who led the Chicago committee to Free Angela Davis, and then the Chicago chapter of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

In presenting the Harry Haywood award to Regina Russell of the Chicago Alliance, Aislinn Pulley said, “In Harry Haywood’s speech in 1977, he said ‘We had seen that the Black liberation struggle would be, as it had always been, a spark, a catalyst pushing forward the whole working-class and people’s struggle in the U.S. Far from being simply a struggle for reforms, as the revisionists claimed.’”

Pulley continued, “We see this evidenced in the work of Regina and the Chicago Alliance this year, by taking a leading role in the movement for Black liberation, through calls for ‘Free them all,’ ‘CPAC now’ and an end to violent racist white supremacist violence.”