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Labor Opposition to the FBI Raids and Grand Jury Grows

By staff |
October 20, 2010
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Minneapolis, MN - A growing number of trade unions are taking a stand against the recent FBI raids and grand jury witch hunt against anti-war, international solidarity and labor activists. Ten of the 14 people subpoenaed are trade unionists who have been active members of AFSCME, SEIU, Teamsters, and Education MN. They’ve been on the front lines and picket lines supporting their sisters and brothers during strikes, contract campaigns and workplace struggles. They have been vocal supporters of workers’ rights around the globe and they’re now under attack for speaking out against U.S. foreign policy. But in the spirit of “an injury to one is an injury to all,” the labor movement is coming to their defense.

On Oct. 1, the convention of AFSCME Council 5, representing 46,000 public employees in Minnesota, unanimously passed a resolution objecting to the recent FBI raids in Minneapolis and Chicago. On Oct. 14, delegates to the Duluth Central Labor Body (DCLB) unanimously adopted a similar resolution and “resolved that the DCLB forward this resolution to Midwest-area labor councils and the AFL-CIO and urge these organizations to similarly condemn FBI and DOJ attempts to intimidate and disrupt grassroots social movements.” Likewise, the San Francisco Central Labor Council delegates meeting voted on Sept. 27 to denounce the raids and “participate in the ongoing movement to defend our civil rights and civil liberties from FBI infringement.”

Chicago Teamsters Local 705 passed a resolution on Oct. 17 condemning the raids and noted that among those subpoenaed were, “Teamster Brother Mick Kelly from Minneapolis, as well as our Brother Joe Iosbaker, Chief Steward of SEIU Local 73, who has walked our ambulatory picket lines for the ‘Pain Ice Strike’ at University of Illinois-Chicago.”

On Oct. 18, the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council unanimously passed a resolution brought forward by the San Jose, California Local 6157 of the American Federation of Teachers. The resolution says the raids “mark a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, which began with 9/11 and the USA Patriot Act.”

Cherrene Horazuk, chief steward of AFSCME 3800, stated, “The labor movement has been on the frontlines of fighting for freedom of speech and freedom to assemble. Our sisters and brothers, including four members of AFSCME 3800, are under attack for speaking out against U.S. government policy abroad and we need to take a stand against these attacks. Our local is calling on all unions and labor activists to demand an end to this witch hunt.”

Please send your labor resolutions to [email protected]. For more information, see www.stopfbi.net.

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