Random Letters — 11-21-19


Lewis Wright Remembered

I’ve recently learned of the sudden death of Lewis Wright.  Lewis was a good friend of mine, and was my idea of a progressive longshoreman and Union brother.

I met Lewis when ILWU President Dave Arian sent a delegation to Mexico, to develop a relationship with Pacific Coast dockworkers.  I went along to help, and we became friends for the rest of our lives. Here’s a photo of what Lewis loved doing the most—traveling the world with his wife, making friends with other workers, and weaving a network of longshore solidarity.  And of course you had to eat and have a drink or two on the way.  The Wrights welcomed me into their home, a ranch in the wine-making valley north of Ensenada.  Together we tried to help that city’s longshoremen when they were devastated by privatization of the docks.  Lewis loved Mexico and Mexicans, and believed that we are all brothers and sisters despite that ugly wall.

Lewis was always in touch with the news of the day.  When I had a labor radio show on our community station in Berkeley, KPFA, Lewis called me from the cab of his crane in Long Beach, and we talked on the air about what it was like working on the docks and belonging to the ILWU.

He was a proselytizer for the credit union.  In his last year he got me to join, and I’m proud to be a member. He helped me get the resources for going to Iraq to meet longshoremen there, to put photographs of Iraqi dockworkers into ILWU union halls, and to bring over the workers themselves to meet ILWU members up and down the coast. His commitment to getting the voice of workers into the world is carried on by his daughter Pilar, and it guided his work with the Diane Middleton Foundation and the Harry Bridges Institute.

So here we are, eating and drinking and building solidarity with longshoremen in Salina Cruz, on the coast of Oaxaca, with some other ILWU brothers who are no longer with us — Doug Getschell (a fellow photographer), Norm Parks and Robert Osornio.  I remember you all, and especially Lewis, who made the world a much better place.  I am glad to be his friend.

In solidarity,

David Bacon, CWA Local 39521, Oakland

San Pedro High School Student Letters

Re: Avoiding Trump’s Twitter Trap

My name is Diana Aguilar and I attend San Pedro High School Olguin. I have just read an article called “Avoiding Trump’s Twitter Trap” by Paul Rosenberg from Random Length News [Aug. 8-21, 2019]

After reading the story I have encountered that Trump uses tweets to “expose” and put other people in danger. I have no experience with being accused by Trump. But I have witnessed Trump’s Twitter attacks from social media and I do agree that from the tweet Trump posted on July 31, 2019 about Don Lemon is putting the CNN reporter in danger.

There were many fascinating facts in the story, For example it gives many tips on how to avoid falling for Trump’s Twitter traps. One example Rosenberg suggests, “The media can stop Trump’s Twitter traps by simply suspending normal relations with the Trump government.” I personally 100 percent agree with Rosenberg because we keep giving Trump power by caring and interacting with what he says so what we can do is simply ignore him.

The story uses many forms of strong powerful words. For example there is a picture shown that shows Brian Stelter replying to Trump’s tweet saying, “the presidents hateful tweets make journalists less safe.” The words being used in that are extreme which is great. Reason being is because it shows how the tweet makes others feel. There could have been a better example of emotion for example the reporter being attacked by Trump could have been interviewed to ask how he felt about Trump’s tweet. If the interviewer would have been interviewed than it would show his point of view in the article which would make the article more interesting. Although I do believe this article is fantastic and that the community can stop these hateful tweets from Trump by reading this article and following the steps that Rosenberg recommended.

If we don’t read and follow these rules than many people would be accused of being “disrespectful” towards Trump and Trump’s followers will attack those people. After reading this article story I do believe that i’m going to start looking into more newspapers by RLn.

Diana Aguilar, San Pedro