This Labor Day, working people in McLean County will march through the city of Bloomington with the theme “We Are One.”
The Labor Day parade in Bloomington is the largest in Illinois and has a rich history that stretches back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, when well-known labor leaders spoke to tens of thousands of people.
This year, the theme “We Are One” comes from the labor protests that occurred across the country in solidarity with the Wisconsin worker revolt in Madison, Wisconsin. Public sector workers and student allies in Madison occupied the capitol for nearly a month in February and early March, after Governor Scott Walker fought to take away collective bargaining rights and pushed for a brutal austerity budget. The continuing labor fight back in Wisconsin has inspired people throughout the country and breathed much-needed life in social movements.
In BloNo, the Wisconsin Revolt inspired workers and students. Numerous contingents traveled to Madison in February to demonstrate their solidarity. Hundreds of local residents participated in a Solidarity rally in Sprinfield that brought thousands of people, called by BloNo MoveOn and Illinois labor unions.
The “We Are One” theme is both a reflection of the new spirit in the air and a call for revitalized, stronger social movements.
BloNo residents can participate directly in the Labor Day parade by marching with a community group or political organization. Many will be represented, lining up at 9:30 am where Front and Prairie Streets intersect, near downtown Bloomington.