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11 Lab. Stud. J. 162 (1986-1987)
Shout Youngstown

handle is hein.journals/labstuj11 and id is 162 raw text is: 


Film Previews

Shout Youngstown!,  45 min., color, various video formats. Directed by
    Carold Greenwald  and Dorie  Krauss. Distributed by The Cinema
    Guild, 1697 Broadway, New York, N.Y  10019. Rental fee, $75; pur-
    chase, $395.

    Many  cities throughout the nation have faced corporate disinvest-
ment  and deindustrialization. Most have resigned themselves that plant
closings and the deterioration of their communities are somehow part of a
natural economic order. However, this was not the case in Youngstown.
The  story of Youngstown's struggle to save its steel mills-both its
achievements and disappointments-has  been dramatically told by Dorie
Krauss and Carold Greenwald in their documentary Shout Youngstown!.
    Using interviews combined with still photos and archival footage, set
to the original music of Si Kahn, the documentary outlines how com-
munity activists and local steelworkers overcame both individual inertia
and institutional resistance in order to gain acceptance of the principle of
community  ownership.
    In each successive plant closing, Krauss and Greenwald depict the
collective outrage and changing consciousness of a community scorned
by absentee corporate managers. Claims in the documentary by David
Roderick, president of U.S. Steel, that the mill closings were necessary
because of unavailability of capital, inadequate depreciation, or environ-
mental requirements seem vacuous when  juxtaposed against a historical
accounting by steelworkers of corporate neglect and malfeasance in oper-
ating the steel mills.
    Failing to accept the corporate justifications and inevitability of the
plant shutdown,  the documentary describes how the steelworkers
organized various coalitions, lawsuits, and even direct actions that had as
their focus community ownership. Yet each tactic met resistance in the
form of governmental or judicial decisions and succumbed to the politics
of postponement and evasion.
    While  unsuccessful in actually achieving community  ownership,
Youngstown's struggle was not vain. As workers in the documentary tes-
tify, messing around with free enterprise is at best a complicated propo-
sition, in which you cannot expect corporate America and its political
functionaries to roll over and accept community ownership on the scale
suggested in Youngstown. Nevertheless, Youngstown's fight against shut-
downs has advanced the thinking of other communities facing plant clos-


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