South Central Michigan Greens to clean up Marshall during labor history walk
MARSHALL, Mi – The South Central Michigan Greens local will celebrate Labor Day in Marshall with a Labor History Walk starting across from the VFW Hall on East Michigan Avenue at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 12.
Local co-founder John Anthony La Pietra of Marshall will lead the walk between two American Labor Landmarks. The route also links several other sites of special significance in this election year thrown into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO: The public at large; sponsored by South Central Michigan Greens local;
WHAT: Labor History Walk;
WHEN: Starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 12;
WHERE: Starting at the intersection of Michigan Avenue, East Drive, and East Mansion Street in Marshall -- across from the VFW Hall; through downtown and to the current site of the J. C. "Yankee" Thompson House, 633 West Hanover Street. (Weather and other circumstances permitting, there will be a lunch or coffee meeting afterward -- on the way back to the starting point. The location will be decided by all participants.);
- WHY: To celebrate Marshall's historic connections to labor and Labor Day, honor the 99% of people who are essential to our communities, and help clean up the town.
The walk starts at the site of the founding of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, one of the first labor unions in the US, in 1863. Nearby stands a monument to the 1847 Crosswhite Incident -- in which townspeople protected an escaped slave and his family from agents of his former owners.
Walkers will proceed to and through downtown, cleaning up as they go. The route runs to the Post Office, the Marshall District Library and the Farmers' Market, and the Marshall Peace Park before ending at the place where union founder J. C. "Yankee" Thompson's home now stands at 633 West Hanover Street.
Weather and other circumstances permitting, local Greens hope to have a lunch or coffee meeting afterward, somewhere on the way back toward the VFW Hall. The location will be decided by all participants.
Participants should bring masks to wear in public places. If enough people attend, the walk may proceed on both sides of the street or spaced out in shifts, as necessary.
"Michigan has a total of fifteen entries in the Inventory of American Labor Landmarks, and two of them are right here in Marshall," notes La Pietra, who has been making the walk for almost 20 years and gave this edition its theme: "The People Are 99% Essential".
"By walking this walk, we honor what Labor Day is all about, and the grassroots people who won us this holiday. Without their essential efforts, our workplaces would be even less safe, the workdays and -weeks of those who still have jobs would be even longer.
"It is now up to us to walk together on the path they showed us -- to support each other and our communities, our lives and our livelihoods -- to win back political power for the People."
The South Central Michigan Greens local serves Calhoun, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties. La Pietra is running for State Representative in the 63rd District, which includes parts of Calhoun and Kalamazoo Counties. A map of the district can be seen here:
Anyone in the area who is interested in discussing the Green Party's values, platform, and candidates is welcome to take part. For more details and news about the SCMiG local, please visit its Facebook page:
For more information about the Green Party of Michigan, its candidates, its platform, and its values, please visit: