Vigil adresses unemployment tonight

By Faith Healy

Students and DeKalb residents can observe or participate in peace vigils supporting employment in the U.S every Friday in September.

The event, titled “Vigils for Jobs Not Wars: Money for Building Up America Not Destroying Foreign Countries,” will be held at Memorial Park from 5 to 6 p.m.

According to a press release, these vigils focus on the issues of jobs and unemployment and give students a chance to make a stand for America to create more jobs. The vigils were organized by Dan Kenney, co-coordinator of Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, but the idea came from the Student Committee of the DeKalb Administration Network.

At the previous two vigils, participants held up signs and performed a vigil to help bring awareness to people about what they can do to help with the job situation.

“The vigil is to remind people that they can do something about it by writing letters to their legislation,” Kenney said. “There are several bills stuck in legislation right now that could help create more jobs if people would just act.”

After the vigils, people gather in a circle to listen to speakers discuss the main issue of jobs and unemployment. At tonight’s vigil, associate History professor Rose Feurer will speak on the history of labor and its relevance to the current working condition of America.

Feurer said she chose to speak in order to make people aware of the toll the war had on the economy in DeKalb.

“People need to connect the dots, to understand that the U.S. wars helped create the economic stagnation we are experiencing,” Feurer said.

On Sept. 23, Mary Shesgreen , coordinator of Northern Illinois Jobs with Justice, will speak at the vigil about local efforts made in Illinois to organize and to convince policy makers that they should change their priorities in order to focus on the issue of living wage for the unemployed and the under-employed.

Dave Rathke, an organizer for the Illinois Education Association, will speak at the final vigil on Sept. 30 about the attacks on public sector unions.