Final NYC Labor Statement
Below is the finished NYC Labor Antiwar statement, which was reworked following Sunday night’s meeting of the antiwar coalition labor outreach subcommittee. (Note, however, that the statement is being issued by its signers, not by the coalition).
The deadline to appear as an initial signer is this Sunday; please circulate to other potential signers, both elected officers or rank- and-file members, ASAP. PLEASE INDICATE IF YOUR UNION POSITION SHOULD BE MARKED “FOR IDENTIFICATION ONLY.” (Please note that the published statement may undergo minor nonsubstantive changes).
The labor subcommittee also agreed on the following:
1. October 7 NYC March and Rally. Mobilize union members to march behind a labor banner ($165 was collected at the meeting), and ensure that labor is adequately represented among the speakers.
2. Speakers Bureau. Create a list of unionists to speak at various events.
3. Interim coordinators. Ray LaForest and Michael Letwin.
4. Next meeting. Weds., Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m., at the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325, 568 Broadway 702A (N/R to Prince, F/S to Broadway-Lafayette, 6 to Spring).
NEW YORK CITY LABOR STATEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 11 September 27, 2001
September 11 has brought indescribable suffering to New York City’s working people. We have lost friends, family members and coworkers of all colors, nationalities and religions–a thousand of them union members. An estimated one hundred thousand New Yorkers will lose their jobs.
We condemn this crime against humanity and mourn those who perished. We are proud of the rescuers and the outpouring of labor support for victims’ families. We want justice for the dead and safety for the living.
And we believe that George Bush’s war is not the answer.
No one should suffer what we experienced on September 11. Yet war will inevitably harm countless innocent civilians, strengthen American alliances with brutal dictatorships and deepen global poverty–just as the United States and its allies have already inflicted widespread suffering on innocent people in such places as Iraq, Sudan, Israel and the Occupied Territories, the former Yugoslavia and Latin America.
War will also take a heavy toll on us. For Americans in uniform–the overwhelming number of whom are workers and people of color–it will be another Vietnam. It will generate further terror in this country against Arabs, Muslims, South Asians, people of color and immigrants, and erode our civil liberties. It will redirect billions to the military and corporate executives, while draining such essential domestic programs as education, health care and the social security trust.
War will play into the hands of religious fanatics–from Osama bin Laden to Jerry Falwell–and provoke further terrorism in major urban centers like New York.
Therefore, the undersigned New York City metro-area trade unionists believe a just and effective response to September 11 demands:
**NO WAR. It is wrong to punish any nation or people for the crimes of individuals–peace requires global social and economic justice.
**JUSTICE, NOT VENGEANCE. An independent international tribunal to impartially investigate, apprehend and try those responsible for the September 11 attack.
**OPPOSITION TO RACISM & DEFENSE OF CIVIL LIBERTIES. Stop terror, racial profiling and legal restrictions against people of color and immigrants, and defend democratic rights.
**AID FOR THE NEEDY, NOT THE GREEDY. Government aid for the victims’ families and displaced workers–not the wealthy. Rebuild New York City with union labor, union pay, and with special concern for new threats to worker health and safety.
Name: Union/Position (indicate if “for identification only”):