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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Bill Bronston and Friends: The Role of Workers in the Struggle

Produced by Dr. David Goode

Produced in 2005
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Bill Bronston MD: Everything was minimized in terms of the maximal center of our effort to just survive the insanity and the horror, the violence that was being wreaked on us. You know, the killing of the spirit that came from the place. Believe me, I mean, the struggle there with the workers. The workers saved us. The workers saved us because there was a point in that struggle where the administration called a strike. The administration organized all the workers in the place in order to oppose the parents who they blamed as wanting to fire all the workers under the thesis that the workers were the problem.

And so they, the administration brought all the workers from all the wards, all at one time. They didn't care who the hell was left back on the wards. They brought everybody to the auditorium. And they put all the churchmen up there. And they put three or four of their key worker women voices up there to denounce what was going on, to denounce the parents and to denounce us because… And the FBI was involved, as well, working with the local congressman to discredit us and red-bait us, which is why we had to get on the Dick Cavett Show to blow that stuff away.

It was a very complicated struggle, but by that time we had the strength to do that. but the important part was that the administration tried to use the most radical organizing tactic of moving the workers. They took them in buses and sent them to Albany to go complain to the governor at the time. It was absolutely brilliant, brilliant to be able to turn people against each other and to make sure that there was no parent-worker alliance. They could not allow the commonality of motherhood to ever recognize itself.

So the situation was extremely, extremely explosive. We… They knew we knew what the big secret was. The big secret was big money, big money, and [unintelligible] patronage, big time. So they had built up a defense against that thing that just went back forever. That separated workers from parents, it separated black from white, that separated rich from poor, that separated normal from not normal.

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