Report on Antiwar Labor at RNC Protests
by Michael Letwin, NYCLAW Co-Convener
AUGUST 29 UFPJ MARCH
Amongst the half-million people who protested the RNC in New York City on August 9 included what may have been the largest labor antiwar contingent since 9/11.
The contingent included more than 1,000 people assembled behind a solid row of abor banners; labor was the second march contingent, immediately following veterans and military families — in which a number of trade unionists also arched. As in the past, PSC-CUNY/AFT Local 2334 had the single greatest presence, which the union estimated at 500 participants.
Other labor bodies included:
**1199ers for Peace & Justice
**AFM Local 1000
**AFSCME DC 37
**AFSCME DC 37, locals 375, 1930, 1549
**AFSCME DC 47
**AFSCME DC 1707
**BMWE, NY Lodge 3068
**CWA Local 1180
**Internet Labor Communications Association
**NJ Labor Against the War
**NWU/UAW Local 1981
**NY Taxi Workers Alliance
**NYC Teachers Against the War (UFT)
**Postal Workers Against the War
**Transit Workers Against the War (TWU Local 100)
**U.S. Labor Against the War
Labor officials participating in the overall event included Barbara Bowen (PSC-CUNY), Francis Curtis (AFSCME DC 1707), Bruce Raynor (HERE/UNITE), Brenda
Stokely (AFSCME DC 1707) and Roger Toussaint (TWU Local 100).
On Sunday afternoon, NYCLAW held an open house for labor marchers at AFSCME DC 1707.
In the weeks prior to the march, NYCLAW representatives on the UFPJ Steering Committee had advocated that the coalition should rescind its decision to
abandon the battle for a permitted rally in Central Park (which was done). NYCLAW also proposed replacement of the main slogan “Say No to the Bush Agenda”
with the more concrete demand to “End the Occupation of Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now” (which was not); the latter, however, was displayed on NYCLAW’s
lead banner and flyers <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2089>, and on those of the Vets/military families contingent.
Coverage of antiwar labor on August 29 (and several of the activities discussed below) includes the following:
Video: <rtsp://video.c-span.org/project/c04/c04082904_protest1.rm>, at 29:00, 31:00, 34:00.
OTHER RNC PROTESTS
On September 1, an estimated 40,000 of trade unionists turned out for a Labor Day anti-Bush rally sponsored by the New York City Central Labor Council. Every
rally speaker condemned the war against workers at home, but none mentioned the war abroad. Nonetheless, participating union members were quite receptive to
PSC-CUNY antiwar placards, NYCLAW flyers, and materials for the October 17 Million Worker March.
In addition to the above, NYCLAW prioritized participation in the Still We Rise <http://www.racialjustice911.org/regnyc.htm#8-30> and Poor People’s marches
<http://kwru.org/mfol/bushville8-30.htm> on August 30; and the Harlem antiwar march <http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/09/03/1457255 and
Vets/Military families vigil on September 2 <http://www.ny1.com/ny/TopStories/SubTopic/index.html?topicintid=1&subtopicintid\=1&contentintid=43001>.
NYCLAW also cosponsored a final RNC protest rally at Madison Square Garden during Bush’s acceptance speech, attended by thousands of people.
UPCOMING NYCLAW EVENTS
NYCLAW’s upcoming efforts include mobilization for the Million Worker March <http://www.millionworkermarch.org/>, and for a NYCLAW organizing conference on
To receive regular NYCLAW reports, send an e-mail message to: