Judy Atkins is a 60’s radical who joined the labor movement . My awakening began when I was in High School and some of my friends’ older brothers took part in civil rights summer. In college I was the leader of the anti-Vietnam war movement which engaged the majority of my classmates and challenged the college president on this and on the fact that our women’s college health clinic dispersed no birth control or sex education.
My friends and I left NYC for Western Mass, and eventually Vermont, and we became engaged in a Marxist study group, a support group for anti-war fugitives and a group that did not just oppose nuclear power but proposed public ownership and control of electric power generation.
From working in an unorganized machine shop in Brattleboro, I got a job at Miller’s Falls Tool Co. and became a member of UE Local 274. The company was owned by Ingersoll Rand and it was threatening to move the jobs to the South. Eventually IR succeeded in destroying MFToolCo. and I got a job at the Greenfield Public Library which was also part of UE Local 274. I was elected president of the local and then President of UE District 2 (now retired). I am a founding member of Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, and was a founding member of the Labor Party, as well as an active supporter of universal health care.
I believe the fight for socialism must come from fight for democracy, the experience of inclusive and participatory democracy - and the development of leadership through struggle