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AFL-CIO Now

Laughter and Activism Work Together in Portland

Work—and laughter—does connect us all and that couldn’t have been more true than Sunday night in Portland, Ore., when the comedians of Laughter Works Comedy tour took the stage before a full house at the Helium Club.

The show was part of a three-day event organized by the Oregon AFL-CIO and Laughing Liberally to showcase strategies for infusing activism with comedy. And the reviews are in—courtesy of Facebook:

  • Fabulous all the way around. They made some great comments about big money and issues, not just easy-target Republicans. Unions are for everyone, work joins us all. A terrific (and terrifically funny) night.
    Shawn Sorenson.
  • It couldn’t have been smarter or funnier. The best comedy show I have ever attended.
    Julane Grant.
  • Thank you for hilarious show. I didn’t stop laughing for 2 hours. My experience was super-fantastic!!!!xoxo
    Biba Mustafic.

The national and local comedians also conducted workshops yesterday for union and community activists and organizers on blending humor into the fight for social justice. The workshops continue today.

Last night, area union members and others were at Jimmy Mak’s jazz club and other downtown businesses, where they handed out thank you cards for the stagehands, ticket takers, wait staff, hotel workers and others who make the Portland Jazz festival run smoothly.

This evening at rush hour, the comedians will join union members and area activists in a demonstration supporting Portland cab drivers, many of whom make less than minimum wage while pulling 10-12 hour shifts to make ends meet and receiving very limited services and benefits from cab companies. Learn more here.

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