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2006 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner

The 48th Annual Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner was held on Friday evening, April 28, at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, just across the Chicago River from the Loop. It was held on the eve of a major anti-war demonstration in New York City that drew some 350,000 participants. A few days later, on May 1st, there were demonstrations across the nation in support of immigrant rights. The march and rally in Chicago was estimated to have drawn nearly a half-million participants.

The honorees at the 2006 Dinner were particularly appropriate. Henry Tamarin was the President of UNITE HERE Local 1. Representing workers in the hospitality industry, particularly hotels, immigrants made up much of his membership, and in fact Local 1 had a sizable delegation in the May 1st march. For the first time, the Dinner honored an organization: U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW). USLAW was one of the initiators of the April 29th anti-war march in New York City. And the Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris was the Executive Director of the Community Renewal Society, a civil rights organization with roots going back to the 19th Century in Chicago, and was a co-chair of Chicago Jobs with Justice, a Labor-Community organization active in supporting the organization of low-wage workers and in support of peace.

The featured speaker was John Nichols, a radical journalist whose work appeared regularly in The Nation and Wisconsin's Capitol Times. He turned out to be a really fine speaker as well. To see the advertising flyer, click here. The Dinner Program Book is below. For an article describing the event, see New Ground 106.

Photos by Tom Broderick.


Program Book


dinner participants

The 2006 Dinner was smaller than average for the past several years but still pretty well attended. This is a bit less than half the room.


dinner participants ii

 A shot of the (largely) UNITE HERE part of the room. The Dinner has always been very much a social event in addition to being political in addition to being business.


dinner participants iii

Another room shot.


dinner participants iv

Three past Dinner honorees are in this shot. Mollie West is the woman in red with glasses. Vicky Starr is to the far left in a wheel chair. Next to her is Bill Adelman.


dinner participants v

Gene Birmingham

Reverend Eugene Birmingham welcomes attendees to the 48th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner. Gene Birmingham was Secretary of Chicago DSA, and this was his second time serving as Master of Ceremonies.


Jane Ramsey

Jane Ramsey (at the podium), Executive Director of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, presents the Debs - Thomas - Harrington award to Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris (seated, left) while Gene Birmingham looks on.


Morris Award


Calvin Morris

Calvin Morris accepts the Debs - Thomas - Harrington award.


Lynn Talbott

 Lynn Talbott (at the podium), an International Vice President of UNITE HERE, presents the Debs - Thomas - Harrington award to U.S. Labor Against the War. Maria Guillen, a Regional Vice President of SEIU Local 790 and a co-convenor of USLAW (seated), will accept the award.


USLAW Award


Maria Guillen

Maria Guillen accepts the Debs - Thomas - Harrington award.


Tamarin, Wilhelm, Birmingham

Henry Tamarin (left) and John Wilhelm (right) look on as Gene Birmingham introduces John Wilhelm.


John Wilhelm

At the podium, John Wilhelm, President of UNITE HERE's Hospitality Division, presents the Debs - Thomas - Harrington award to Henry Tamarin.


Tamarin Award


Henry Tamarin

Henry Tamarin accepts the Debs - Thomas - Harrington award.


John Nichols

John Nichols gives the Debs - Thomas - Harrington address.


Solidarity Forever

And at the end, we all sing "Solidarity Forever". The tall fellow in the striped tie is GOPDSA co-chair Ron Baiman.


honorees and speaker

From left to right: Henry Tamarin, John Nichols, Calvin Morris, Maria Guillen.


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