[imc-st.louis] Obituaries: St. Louis American
Fitzdon at aol.com
Fitzdon at aol.com
Thu Jul 19 12:57:38 PDT 2007
Obituaries: St. Louis American
Green Party Chair Willie Marshall passes at 65
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 6:19 PM CDT
Willie Marshall passed while asleep early July 14, 2007 after a long bout of
lung and heart problems. He was chair of both the Missouri Green Party and St.
Louis Green Party Central Committee. Born in 1941, Willie Marshall was 65
“More than anyone else, Willie Marshall was responsible for bringing a black
perspective to the Green Party,” said party activist Barbara Chicherio.
A military veteran and retired postal worker, Marshall was an outspoken
critic of the war in Iraq. He appeared on Green Time TV and spoke at Black and
Green Wednesday programs insisting that black people should not be wounded and
killed in a war for oil profits. Marshall also participated in national events as
a member of the National Committee of the Green Party USA.
“He often told us of his personal experiences as a victim of racism,
especially while in the military in 1959 and 1960,” said Chicherio. “But there was
never bitterness in what he said. He always pointed out injustice and what
needed to be done. That’s why he was so effective at changing the Green Party from
almost all white to a group where blacks are a majority at most meetings.”
In 2004, Marshall was elected Outreach Coordinator for the Green Party of St.
Louis. That year, he won 10 percent of the vote as Green Party candidate for
Public Administrator. The next year he was the Green Party nominee for Mayor
and won 21 percent of the vote against Democrat Francis G. Slay. That was the
highest vote that any Green Party candidate, including Ralph Nader, has ever
received in the city of St. Louis.
Since 2005, Marshall worked with Greens on childhood lead poisoning
prevention. He went to meetings called by the Greens, Health & Environmental Justice
and Lead Safe St. Louis. He was highly critical of approaches by the City of St.
Louis, charging that it was not targeting areas where the most children were
Marshall founded the New Generation Solidarity Consumers Union. Strongly
influenced by struggles such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he felt such a tool
should be a permanent part of organizing. He said, “A consumers union can
leverage economic sanctions to get justice.”
Working for justice was Willie Marshall’s life.
Funeral services will be Saturday, July 21 at 11 a.m. at the Muhammad
Academy, 3625 N. Garrison, a block east of Natural Bridge and Grand. He will be
buried the following day next to his mother's grave in Centralia, Illinois.
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