In its world tour, American author Jonathan Melrod, husband of actress and beauty queen Maria Isabel Lopez, brought with him the compelling history of labor movement in the United States especially during the 1960s.
In the book “Fighting Times,” Melrod chronicled his challenging journey from a student bystander on mass movement in the industrial era of Milwaukee to a young activist and a charismatic labor leader who had weathered odds and eventually championed the aspirations of the working classes in various sectors of American society, particularly the black Americans and eco-ethnic communities.
“It was a difficult times but I had to endure and be firm of my convictions,” said Jonathan who had encountered violent experiences along the way of liberating the workers from the chain of capitalist oppression.
During the book launch Sunday afternoon at Popular Bookstore in Tomas Morato Avenue, Maria Isabel together with her children, actress Mara Lopez and Ken Yokohama by former husband Hiroshi Yokohama, were picture perfect supportive extended family to Melrod.
Present during the launch were Julie Po, owner of Popular Bookstore, Prof. Roland Simbulan, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Chairperson Elmer Labog and a host of book lovers, progressives and common toilers.
Simbulan said that “Fighting Times” is a testament to the universal battle of workers for equality and dignity of labor.
Meanwhile, Labog shared that he and Jon (Melrod’s pet name) had parallel experiences in labor situations although on separate socio-cultural landscapes. “I also had worked in a car factory where I fought for workers’ rights as Jonathan had militantly upheld the rights of car company’s workers in the US,” quipped Elmer.
During the launch, winners of the arts contest on labor rights were announced by Lopez.
“I am with Jonathan in his fight for equality among workers in the world,” said Maribel who is also a worker as an actress.