Sunday, September 30, 2012

Laborers, activists, politicians join Gardner on march for jobs - Chicago Sun-Times

Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell reported on the march along Western Ave this afternoon:
About 1,000 people joined Ed Gardner for his march for jobs Sunday afternoon, in a protest calling for more African Americans on construction jobs.

The march began on Western Avenue between 92nd and 95th streets. Marchers included laborers, politicians, Congressmen, civil rights leaders and community activists.

Gardner, 87, is the founder of the iconic Soft Sheen Hair Products, Inc. and the Black-on-Black Love Campaign. Last week, he was driving west of Halsted on 95th Street and noticed that the streets were being torn up.
And if you haven't already she also wrote about Gardner's new crusade in today's paper:
There is a big difference between agitating for jobs and a shakedown.

What Ed Gardner, the founder of the iconic Soft Sheen hair products, did when he stood in the path of a concrete truck on the South Side and shut down a construction site at 92nd and Western last week, is agitation.

But the intimidating tactics by a group of men at a construction site on the West Side, which allegedly involved threatening the crew and demanding cash to go away, is a shakedown.

If reputable leaders in the African-American community don’t stand up and support Gardner in his effort to do things the right way, then nothing will change in the fight for more black construction jobs.

“Every time we have mobilized and brought attention to this issue over the last 40 years, somehow the powers that be are able to pick off some black people,” said Conrad Worrill, director of the Jacob Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University and an expert in black history.

‘We go back to sleep’

“A few contractors get some contracts and hire a few blacks and we go back to sleep.”
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