Monthly Archives: December 2001

NYC Anti-War Rally Sunday 12/16 (NY Transfer News)

Reminder: NYC Anti-war Rally Sunday 12/16

Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn’t Fit

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(Apologies for duplicate posts)

Reminder: Come Out This Sunday, December 16, for
Rally and March for Peace and Justice!!!

Join Our Call for Peace and Justice


During this holiday season, we march for Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward All.


Sunday, December 16, 2001 – 1:00 pm

At the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Rockefeller Plaza (off 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues)

New York Coalition for Peace and Justice  212-228-0450  –
(The coalition that organized the October 7 mass anti-war march and rally.)



During this first holiday season since the horrible events of September 11, a war is raging in Afghanistan. Throughout this country people are celebrating the spirit of the season, while here in New York we enter these holidays still mourning the loss of thousands of lives. At the same time, one of the poorest nations on earth, Afghanistan has been all but destroyed by decades of warfare and weeks of constant bombing and intense fighting. As winter begins millions of Afghan people face starvation and an ongoing war.

Instead of seeking diplomatic measures to decrease terror in the world, the United States government has mobilized the largest, most powerful military force in history and unleashed it on the people of Afghanistan. In the planning for a new government, the women of Afghanistan are still kept out of the process.  And in Washington there is talk of military actions against other countries around the world. We must raise our voices to stop this ever-expanding war now!


Since 9-11, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization Service has rounded up thousands of Arab Americans and Muslims. They have been detained without trials, hearings or legal advice as a result of racial profiling, not because there is any evidence of wrong-doing.

On November 13, in an unconstitutional action described by the New York Times as a “travesty of justice,” President George W. Bush issued an executive order permitting the trial by military tribunal of non-U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism. Military tribunals are held in secret, without juries, and with none of the protections
(limited as they might be) that the Constitution gives to all residents of this country. If a president can annul the rights of some with the stroke of a pen, what is to stop him from suspending the rights of all of us?


Paralleling the official actions of many law enforcement and other government agencies, some people have become suspicious of their own neighbors – cab drivers, students, gas station attendants, doctors, storekeepers, journalists – merely on the basis of their nationality or religion. Reports have come in from around the country of assaults against people believed to be Arab or Muslim, in some instances going as far as murder.

In a city of people who have come from around the world, we cannot allow anti-immigrant attitudes and actions to go unchecked. We must uphold our cherished values of diversity and respect for all. We must say no to racist attacks.


As Washington prepares for new military actions in other nations, as the threat to our civil liberties deepens every day, and as racial profiling and racist assaults go unchallenged we must make our voices heard. Please help us build for December 16. Contact us to find out how you can help:

212-228-0450  –

New York Coalition for Peace and Justice


List of Confirmed Speakers at 12-16 Rally (others TBA)

Suzanne Adely, Palestinian-American activist, Al Awda
Afseneh, New York Students Against the War
Nellie Bailey, tenant organizer, Harlem Tenants Council
Charles Barron, City Council member (D-Brooklyn)
Reverend Billy, performance artist
Dave Cline, Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Bharavi Desai, New York Taxi Workers Alliance
Rabbi Michael Feinberg
Pat Humphreys, folk singer
Father Paul Mayer
Dennis O’Neil, Legislative Director, NY Metro Area Postal Union (APWU)
Michael Ratner, staff attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
Carlos Rovira, Vieques Support Committee
Brenda Stokely, President, Local 215, AFSCME
The Welfare Poets


Press Release December 14, 2001

For immediate release December 14, 2001

For additional information, contact: Jane Hirschmann at 212-222-6721 or Tristin Adie at 718-826-4833

Holiday Rally Calls for an End to War and the Defense of Civil Liberties

WHAT: Major antiwar, anti-racism and pro-civil-liberties demonstration

WHO: The New York Coalition for Peace and Justice (NYCPJ)

WHERE: Rockefeller Center near the Christmas tree, New York City, followed by a march to Times Square and back.

WHEN: 1:00 pm on Sunday, December 16, 2001

On Sunday, December 16th, as holiday shoppers assemble in Rockefeller Center, an alliance of New Yorkers from many organizations, the New York Coalition for Peace and Justice (NYCPJ), will evoke the cherished values of the season — brotherhood and goodwill — by leading a demonstration against the war and for a world of economic and political justice and peace.

Speakers will include a relative of one of the victims of the September 11th disaster, who will condemn the actions being taken by the government in those victims’ names. Also appearing will be acclaimed hip-hop artist Michael Franti; the activist-entertainer the Reverend Billy and the Welfare Poets; Brenda Stokely, Vice President of Local 215 (Social Service Employees) of D.C. 1707 of AFSCME; Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council and other distinguished guests.

During this first holiday season since the horrible events of September 11th, we still mourn the loss of thousands of American lives. Meanwhile, instead of seeking legal and diplomatic solutions to terrorism, the US government has unleashed the most powerful force in history against the people of Afghanistan. As winter begins, millions of Afghans face starvation. In Washington actions are being taken that will lead to military aggression against Iraq and other countries around the world. We are raising our voices to stop this ever-expanding war!

Since 9/11, the Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization Service has rounded up thousands of Arab Americans and Muslims. These people have been detained without trials, hearings or legal advice as a result of racial profiling. In almost all these cases, there has been no evidence or even suspicion of terrorist activity. And in an unconstitutional action described by The New York Times as a “travesty of justice,” President Bush has issued an executive order permitting the trial by military tribunal of non-US citizens. If a president can annul the rights of non-citizens, what is to stop him from suspending the rights of all of us?

As Washington prepares for new military actions against other nations, as the threat to our civil liberties deepens every day, and as racial profiling and racist assaults go unchallenged, we must — and will — make our voices heard. –John Riley

The War and Labor: Is the Bush “War on Terrorism” in the Interests of Working People?

The War and Labor
Is the Bush “War on Terrorism” in the interests of working people?


Michael Letwin
President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 (affiliation for ID only) and Co-Convenor of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)

Friday, Dec. 14, 7 PM at Channing Hall Unitarian Universalist Society
405 Washington Ave., Albany

Michael will report on:

**Ground-Zero NYC: trauma, layoffs, health and safety, “austerity,” and reconstruction.

**War profiteering, backlash against civil liberties and immigrants, media spin.

**Different labor responses to the war, from the AFL-CIO to NYCLAW’s written statement, endorsed by more than 700 trade unionists, and labor antiwar committees in D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere.

**International labor response, including his participation in the 100,000-strong November 18 London antiwar protest.


Capital District Labor Committee for Peace and Justice
Capital District Lawyers for Peace
Social Responsibilities Council of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
For more information:

The War on Our Rights: Attacks on Civil Liberties and Immigrant Rights Since Sept. 11

[Download formatted flyer:civil-liberties-flyer-2]

Workers’ Forum

*Secret military courts taking the place of trials by a jury of peers
*Government eavesdropping on protected attorney-client conversations
*Thousands of immigrants being locked up without evidence they have done anything wrong
*Laws requiring you to carry a “National ID” card

New laws presented as “anti-terrorist” are making it easier to arrest, jail, and execute immigrants, people of color, and poor and working people of all colors without cause.

Come hear from labor leaders, immigrants rights organizers, and civil rights lawyers on the impact of new “anti-terror” policies on our communities. And join a discussion of what we can do to protect, win back, and guarantee our rights.

Speakers: Nancy Chang, Center for Constitutional Rights; Abdeen Jabara, Arab-American Anti-Defamation Committee; Ray Laforest, DC 1707 /AFSCME and NYC Labor Against the War; New York Taxi Workers Alliance member (TBA)

Wednesday, December 12, 6:00 PM District Council 1707, 14th Floor, Auditorium 75 Varick St. (1 Hudson Sq.) (1, 9 or A, C, E to Canal)

Sponsored by New York City Labor Against the War
Cosponsored by DC 1707/AFSCME/AFL-CIO, the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance, and the Center for Constitutional Rights

For more information: (212) 388-3793.

Labor Takes a Stand for Justice (People’s Weekly World)

Labor takes a stand for justice
Author: Judith Le Blanc
People’s Weekly World Newspaper, 12/01/01 00:00

Union forces seek points of unity

On Sept. 11 thousands said goodbye to their families and went to work. Thousands died that day, including 600 union members. Thousands continue to labor at Ground Zero, recovering the remains of the victims and clearing the smoldering rubble. Some 700,000 have lost their livelihoods as a result of the events of Sept. 11.

The labor and people’s movements face a recovery that is full of complicated questions. The search for solutions goes on in a world changed forever by acts of terrorism. The struggle to recover stretches from Ground Zero in New York City to Capitol Hill, which has become a second “Ground Zero” for working families.

Trade unionists across the country are grappling with the need to unify the labor movement to counter the right-wing Congressional agenda, while at the same time finding the ways to speak out for justice, economic and civil rights, and peace.

Amber Amundsen lost her husband, Craig, in the terrorist act at the Pentagon. “My anguish is compounded exponentially by fear that his death will be used to justify new violence against other innocent victims.”

Craig Amundsen, a 28-year-old father of two, proudly drove to work every day with a “Visualize World Peace” bumper sticker on his car. Amber is now on a peace walk that began in Washington, D.C. and is scheduled to end in New York City Dec. 2.

“I am not comforted by Afghani women losing their husbands,” she told the World. “Will it truly feel better to be a part of more [women] losing their family members?”

The expanding war is one aspect of a many-sided crisis. Labor activists organizing Peace and Justice Committees believe that finding the points of unity in the labor movement is the key to a unified response to the right-wing agenda, including the war.

Michael Letwin, president of United Auto Workers Local 2325 – Association of Legal Aid Attorneys and one of the co-convenors of the NYC Labor Committee Against the War, described the committee’s two-tiered approach toward working from points of unity. First, he said, the committee serves as a gathering point for those who oppose the war.

“At the same time, we want to work with people who don’t necessarily agree with us on the war, but who oppose the assault on civil liberties and the war profiteering that is going on,” he said. “We want to find common ground. That is why we are having a forum focusing on the attack against civil liberties. We think that issues are inherently connected to the war. We want to work with people on civil liberties, racism, immigrant rights, the economic fallout, regardless of their disagreement on the war itself.”

The NYC Labor Committee Against the War circulated a statement as a response to losing several hundred union brothers and sisters at Ground Zero with the aim of promoting a dialogue about both issues affecting working families at home and the meaning of the war in Afghanistan. They now have more than 700 signatures, and 13 area union local presidents and three union bodies have endorsed the statement.

Letwin said it is “a small but growing informal labor anti-war network, which includes local committees in San Francisco, Sacramento, Washington D.C., New York City and Albany, N.Y., as well as international contacts in the UK, France, Belgium, Canada and Spain.”

Labor’s response to racial profiling and attacks on the Arab community has been a point of unity for labor and community groups. The Sacramento Central Labor Council has opposed the use of the tragedy of Sept. 11 to bust unions and limit the Constitutional freedoms of residents of the United States by passing a resolution Oct. 16 calling for the defense of civil liberties.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council, meeting Nov. 8, said in a statement, “We can defend an open society only by extending justice, spreading democracy, empowering working people and defending human rights.”

Labor and the people’s movements are finding the ways to challenge the policy of an administration that now is taking the people’s concerns for security at home as a basis to extend its military operations to countries beyond Afghanistan. Though their statement comes out strongly in support of military force to fight terrorism, the executive council statement also called for other action, “Never has the call for global justice been more vital. The AFL-CIO will redouble our efforts to ensure that this nation and nations across the world address a global justice agenda that for too long has been ignored.”

The San Francisco Labor Council also responded to this aspect of the Sept. 11 crisis by passing a resolution on Sept. 24 that said, “No one, in this country or any other, should suffer the fate of the victims in these attacks. We demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice … The tragic attacks of Sept. 11 should be treated as a heinous crime rather than an act of war.”

The statement continued, “As we mourn this tremendous loss of life, we declare our resistance to efforts to use this tragedy to engage in military actions that can lead only to more carnage and senseless loss of life.”

Though public opinion remains strong for the Bush administration’s war effort, many don’t like the idea of going off to war. “People don’t have short memories,” said Brenda Stokely, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 215. “They remember the Persian Gulf. The people who went were working people.”

Stokley, who got the executive boards of both her local and AFSCME District Council 1707 to endorse the NYC Labor Committee Against the War statement, noted that the human toll and the search to end the cycle of violence that Sept. 11 set in motion is often ignored in the media.

“A lot of these people are not polled, these voices are not in newspapers or on TV,” she said. “We in the labor movement have a commitment to get their voices heard. In my union we actually talked about what it really means to go to war. We would be the ones to carry the weight. Whose children will be coming back in body bags?”

For one widow, the solution to the complex problems does not include Bush’s expanding war. “Our national leaders must listen to the families of the victims to bring justice without violence,” said Amundsen. “I urge them to take up this challenge and respond to our nation’s and my personal tragedy with a new beginning that gives us hope for a peaceful global community.”

The author can be reached at