Monthly Archives: October 2004

Cynthia McKinney: Live in BK (GNN TV)

Cynthia McKinney: Live in BK
Fri, 22 Oct 2004 05:27:07 -0500

Bring The Troops Home Now!

On a hot night in the late summer of 2003, a small but well-known church in Brooklyn is packed to the rafters with people of all colors, religions and political affiliations. Despite their obvious cultural and social differences, tonight they are gathered together, as people have in places of worship all throughout history, to find comfort and courage in a time of strife

The event, organized by International ANSWER, is billed as a kick-off for a national campaign to ‘Bring The Troops Home Now!’, which will culminate in a Mass March on Washington on October 25. Scheduled to speak are some of the more articulate and passionate voices in the anti-war movement on the East Coast, including civil rights attorney Ron Kuby, labor leader Brenda Stokely, and long time human rights leader (and minister of the House of the Lord Church) Rev. Herbert Daughtry.

But everyone knows who the real draw is – a woman up from Atlanta who understands more than anyone the price that is to be paid when elected officials speak out against the vastly entrenched, politically enfranchised military industrial complex. This crowd have come to see the former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia, Cynthia McKinney.

A heroine of the GNN core, McKinney is best known for being one of the first, if not the first, national elected official to openly question the Bush Administration’s handling of 9/11, as well as the troubling links between elements in the President’s inner circle (including his father) and Saudi Arabia – a country increasingly implicated as a major funder of anti-American terror. For her efforts, McKinney was labeled a “conspiracy nut” and “unpatriotic.” After brutal misrepresentation and ridicule by the mainstream press, and a massive financial and organizational effort on the part of the GOP, McKinney paid the ultimate political price: she was defeated in the August 2002 Democratic primary.

Ironically, a year later, the very same issues she raised are beginning to be brought to the fore thanks to mainstream journalists like The Iron Triangle author Dan Briody, ex-CIA operative Robert Baer, presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Graham – even economic gurus like Jeffrey Sachs.

Proving the eternality of that adage about things that do not kill you…, Cynthia McKinney wears the proud face of a vigilant crusader and speaks in the voice of a fearless servant of the public interest.

When she rises to speak, the crowd lifts to their feet and cheers. And they are not to be disappointed. Covering a spectrum of controversial issues – from Dyncorp’s involvement in military smallpox vaccines to a Halliburton subsidary’s (no-bid) contract to supply food and other support to the troops in Iraq – McKinney drops more knowledge in her ten-minute speech than Fox News Channel does in an entire news cycle. Her passionate appeal on behalf of U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrates the nature of true patriotism and respect for those who have pledged to defend the United States.

GNN is proud to present Cynthia McKinney’s Brooklyn address, in its entirety, for both high (45 M) and low (19 M) bandwidth streams.

MWM: A First Gathering of Militants for Labor and Peace (IndyMedia)


MWM: A First Gathering of Militants for Labor and Peace
author: gk

As a first gathering of the Million Worker March in DC, numbers fell short, but enthusiasm on earth crackled with determination

The sun shined brightly amidst trees with leaves of red at the Lincoln Center in Washington DC for the Million Worker March, Sunday Oct. 17. I first heard it was forthcoming during the Boston DNC protests. It was conceived earlier this year by co-chair Trent Willis of the ILW whose local endorsed it unanimously. They said it couldn’t be done! But it happened!

Tabling was rampant featuring bumperstickers, flyers, buttons, and handmade jewelry. Groups for labor and anti-war were numerous and I was in a feverish pitch to be with my people! The MWM was an all-day rally. Some speakers were Dick Gregory, Danny Glover and a real dynamo, Brenda Stokely, who spoke of “blood, sweat, and tears” to pull together. We must not take the plans and trash them when we return. We must work in the communities to take back our voice because neither of the 2 parties will do it for us.

The AFL-CIO contributed nothing for the event. They give all labor’s money to the Democrat Party.

Some buses were stopped by the DC police and were not allowed in. It was unclear how many, although some were let through, but not all of them. Court orders were obtained to release them. Therefore, there were people coming to the MWM who did not make it. Also, one woman got arrested for carrying a sign through the Vietnam Wall Memorial. The Nat’l Lawyers’ Guild assisted her, and she intends to fight it for first ammendment rights.

Dick Gregory said, “Fear and God don’t occupy the same space.” A Workers’ Party spokeman said alternatives to the war are “prison, military or McDonald’s.” Last year 5,000 people died on the job. Glover said “True democrats believe in democracy. We have older bodies, but our minds are young. We stand here in a movement to insure justice. They say the economy is growing, but paychecks are stuck in mid’evil’ times.”

A Haitian woman, prominent for her work, risked her life to travel to DC. She spoke against the puppet president the U.S. installed and said the U.S. Army is killing their people every day since the takeover, February 29, ’04. Other voices were from Mumia Abu Jamal on death row (a tape), labor organizers from Japan, and representatives of the Int’l Writers’ Movement who talked on the myth of the free press. Journalists are “muzzled.” More journalists have been killed in the Iraq War than all the U.S. wars combined. They are “dying to tell the story.”

Working people descended upon the capital and spirits soared for a day. There is much work to do, fighting privitization, shipping of our jobs overseas, and receiving p-nuts for pay. We must not sit on our “duffs” until the next MWM.

Antiwar 4 the Million Worker March — DC Oct. 17, 2004

Antiwar 4 the Million Worker March — DC Oct. 17, 2004

“Get on the bus” for the Million Worker March, Oct. 17, 2004, Washington, D.C.!

The struggle of working people and the struggle against the war are the same struggle!

*Bring the troops home now! End the occupation of Iraq!
*Organize a local “AntiWar 4 the Million Worker March” committee now!

Dear Activists and Organizers,

This fall in Washington, D.C., you will have a timely and historic opportunity to unite the anti-war movement with an unprecedented and vitally necessary mass march of working people speaking for themselves. This is a rare opportunity that serious anti-war activists can’t afford to pass up.

Some of the strongest voices and most active groups in the labor movement, together with the active support and participation of organizations representing every progressive movement and cause, will be “getting on the bus to D.C. on Sunday, October 17, for the MILLION WORKER MARCH. A sea of workers from every industry, from every union and every place where workers want a union, from every part of the country, will be streaming into the capital to demand things like jobs, a living wage and workers’ rights.

They will also express their anger over the senseless dying that is going on every day in Iraq and elsewhere, and their desire that it end now. Why? Because it is working families who bear the burden, it is their loved ones who are sent off to fight and die–and it is their, our, the workers’ money that is stolen to pay for war and occupation.

What makes the Million Worker March unique is that the event’s principal organizers want to make the anti-war movement’s demand to “End the Occupation of Iraq, and Bring the Troops Home Now central to the march’s message and the goals.


* We are asking anti-war activists to set up local “Anti-war 4 the Million Worker March committees. Start meeting, planning, and reserving buses to go to Washington on October 17. Anti-war coalitions and groups need to let us know ASAP if their group can be listed as an “Anti-war 4 Million Worker March committee in their locality or region.

We encourage activists to form committees in their unions, schools, work places, churches and communities. It is our hope that “Anti-war 4 MWM” committees will complement the labor union and community-based organizing that is going on across the country for Oct. 17.

We urge you to start now, before the Republican National Convention protests in NYC. Please get back to us so that we can send you information and resources that will be helpful to your organizing.
* Add your name, title and endorsement as a signer to this urgent call.
* Set up an Anti-War 4 the Million Worker March committee
* Send this email to your friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
* Commit to sending a bus from your city, town or region.

CONTACT US AT <>39 W. 14th Street #206 NYC, NY 10011 phone (212) 633.633.6646

The call for a Million Worker March came from one of the most well-known labor organizations in the country, famous for its long history of militancy, boldness and courage in defense of working people–Local 10 of the International Longshore Workers Union in San Francisco. Over the past few months this call has rolled across the country, picking up the support of scores of labor unions, labor activists and leaders including:

The Coalition Of Black Trade Unionists; Bill Lucy, Secretary-Treasurer, AFSCME; the National Education Association; Transportation Workers Union Local 100 (NY); AFSCME District Council 707 (NY); South Carolina AFL-CIO; Farm Labor Organizing Committee; AFSCME District Council 92 (MD); D.C. Labor Against The War; International ANSWER; actor Danny Glover; American Indian Movement; ILWU Local 34; Troy and Albany Labor Council (NY); National Immigration Solidarity Network; New York City Labor Against the War; Global Women’s Strike; Teamsters Black Caucus; comedian Dick Gregory; Myra Shone and Ralph Schoenman, Taking Aim, Pacifica; National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 3825; Howard Wallace, co-founder, Pride at Work; Jim Houghton, Director, Harlem Fight Back; Justice 4 Homeless, SF; United Steel Workers of America Local 751; International Action Center; former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Nellie Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council; Howard Zinn, historian; Noam Chomsky, linguist;AFSCME Local 95, Local 205, Local 215,Local 89,Loca167,Local 1881, Local 1930; ILWU Entire West Coast division; CUE Local 3; and many more.

Working people are coming to Washington, D.C. on Oct. 17 because whether their concern is about jobs, or decent wages, or layoffs, or union busting, or the battle to protect our pensions and Social Security and to make health care a universal right instead of a privilege for the wealthy–with all we face, we had better raise our own voices and act in our own interests instead of relying on the next president, whoever that will be.

And most important, the time for us to speak in our own voice is not after people vote in November, but before. The Million Worker March on Oct. 17 is about the people telling the president, the candidates, the politicians and the corporate elite who are the real power behind the election campaigns and the politicians to “Shut up! and listen to us for a change.

Let’s make sure that after many of us march in NYC against the Republican convention, Nov. 2 isn’t the only important date this fall. We urge all of you to work to make the Oct. 17 Million Worker March in D.C. the next major event for the entire anti-war movement. If we rise to this challenge, we will put the next president and Congress on notice that we will accept no excuses for prolonging the occupation of Iraq and wasting lives and precious resources that should go toward satisfying people’s needs like housing and schools. Moreover, we will have helped to forge a critical alliance between the grass roots of the labor movement and the anti-war movement that would represent a whole new level of unity, potential and power.

Does this sound like something worth working for? Does this sound like something you’ve been waiting for? You can help make it happen.

In solidarity,

Clarence Thomas, Co-Chair, Million Workers March Organizing Committee, ILWU Local 10

Brenda Stokely, President, District Council 1707 AFSCME, Co-chair, NYC Labor Against the War

Chris Silvera, Secretary-Treasurer, Local 808 IBT, President National Teamsters Black Caucus

Ralph Shoenman, Communications Coordinator, Million Worker March

Larry Holmes, International Action Center, Steering Committee ANSWER

Sharon Black, Washington/Baltimore Coordinator, Million Worker March

Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

Get on the bus:

* To bring the troops home now!
* For money & for jobs not war!
* For a living wage!
* Against layoffs, union busting, & for workers’ rights!
* For the rights of immigrant workers!
* Because young people need jobs not jails!
* To end the occupation of iraq!
* To defend civil rights!
* Because working people need to speak in their own voice!

Get On The Bus Oct. 17 For The Million Worker March

NYCLAW Speech at Million Worker March, D.C.

NYCLAW Speech at Million Worker March, D.C.

[The following messsage from New York City Labor Against the War was presented at the October 17 Million Worker March by Michael Letwin, NYCLAW co-convener, and former president of UAW Local 2325/Association of Legal Aid Attorneys.]


Ever since 9/11, New York City Labor Against the War has resisted the exploitation of our suffering at Ground Zero as a cynical pretext for the war of terror, conquest and empire waged by both the Bush administration and Democratic politicians on working people abroad and at home.

So we are proud to participate in the Million Worker March initiated by Clarence Thomas of ILWU Local 10, and proud that one of the march’s co-chairs is Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME DC 1707, and a co-convener of NYCLAW.

Now the Million Worker March may not have support of AFL-CIO or John Kerry. But it is part of a much greater power: worldwide resistance to empire.

We have seen that resistance as ordinary Iraqis in Falluja, Najaf and Sadr City fight a brutal U.S. occupation of bombing and torture that has left tens of thousands of Iraqis and G.I.s dead and maimed.

We have seen resistance in Jenin, Ramallah and Jabaliya, where, like David against Goliath, Palestinians armed with rocks oppose tanks, Apache helicopters and F-16s — provided through U.S. tax dollars and union pension funds — in order to end Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and for right to return to their homes throughout historic Palestine.

We have seen resistance as the largest mass protests in history have taken place across the globe.

We have seen it in the establishment of U.S. Labor Against the War and in the growing number of unions — including AFSCME, APWU, CWA, MHU, and SEIU — that have gone on record against the war in Iraq.

We have seen it in the work of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

And we certainly saw it last Wednesday when, after nearly 1,100 G.I. deaths, an entire platoon of the 343rd Quartermaster Company from Rock Hill, South Carolina, refused to carry out orders for a suicidal convoy in Iraq — a courageous act that foreshadows the kind of G.I. revolt which crippled the U.S. war machine in Vietnam. We send these G.I.s a special salute.

In other words, the Million Worker March is part of a growing worldwide movement that will:

**End U.S. occupation of Iraq and Bring the Troops Home Now.

**End imperial wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Colombia, Korea, Haiti, Puerto Rico — and everywhere else.

**Fight against the war being waged at home against workers, immigrants, civil rights and civil liberties.

Let’s let all the G.I.s know that we want them home now!

Thank you.

Million Worker March to Address Labor Issues Ignored By Both Major Candidates

Thursday, October 14th, 2004
Million Worker March to Address Labor Issues Ignored By Both Major Candidates

We speak with Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME District Council 1707 and an organizer of this weekend’s Million Worker March in Washington DC about the grassroots labor movement, the election, unions and much more. [includes rush transcript]

* Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME District Council 1707 in New York City. She’s an organizer of the Million Worker March and a Co-Convener of New York Labor Against the War.

AMY GOODMAN: Our guests are Maria Hinojosa of CNN and Latino, U.S.A., and she’ll be talking about immigration, but first we wanted to turn to Brenda Stokely, who is one of the key organizers of this weekend’s Million Worker March in Washington, D.C. Can you respond to the candidates on labor and talk about how you’re organizing?

BRENDA STOKELY: Well, we are — this is definitely a rank and file grassroots organizing movement. It’s — I’m almost 60, and I haven’t seen anything like this since the 1960s in terms of the response. We’re having difficulty even responding to people. We were organizing the buses. We all got commitments for those who could provide buses to provide seats, but now we have to come up with whole buses. Danny Glover has been very instrumental in helping us do this, as well as other people, because we are responding to immigrant groups which have no money and we’re providing whole buses for them to get there. We were responding to shelters that have no money; these are displaced workers.

Unfortunately, none of the internationals with the exception of two international unions have come forward to support; as a matter of fact, they have done everything to undermine this particular effort. The only two international — now there’s three — has been N.E.A., and the postal workers, A.P.W.U., and now the building maintenance and railroad workers, that have recently endorsed.

I.L.W.U., Local 10 out of San Francisco which we fondly refer to as the anti-apartheid local because they’re the ones who shut down the whole West Coast and refused to unload cargo from South Africa during the anti-apartheid movement. This call came from them. It came from their local. Their own international is not supporting it. And what they’re trying to do is gear everybody and lock everybody’s hands to the Democratic Party and to Kerry and not independently provide a space for workers to express their own concern and their own agenda.

This is a beginning of a movement to mobilize people, as Howard Zinn was talking about, the kind of movement that’s needed. Well, this movement is being built right before our eyes. It raises — it poses a lot of questions, both within the anti-war movement and also within organized labor as to why they would actively not — not in terms of unconsciously but actively oppose such a movement of rank and file members.

Why they’re not — this movement includes people that are not in unions. As we all know, less than 12 people of people are in unions. So we’re appealing to people that are unorganized as well as people that are organized. And the response is unbelievable. People — their view is, why hasn’t this happened before?

One person even said to me, an old-time retired fireman in Harlem — we were postering — he said, “You know, labor should have had something during the R.N.C.” I said, “Dear, labor did have something during the R.N.C. on September 1.” He said, “I didn’t know anything about it.” I said, “Because one, they excluded people that were not in unions. They excluded retirees. And they excluded the key issues that were relating to workers.”

So we think our demands are very important for national health care for all, for workers’ rights, because workers are being battered whether they’re in unions or not. And they talk about the increase of numbers of people in new jobs. Those jobs are mainly temporary jobs, part-time jobs, per diem jobs, fee for service jobs, have no benefits, no union representation. These are not the kind of jobs. We are talking about jobs with a living wage, not a minimum wage. We are talking about housing issues. All of the issues that face working communities every single day.

JUAN GONZALEZ: I’d also like to ask for Brenda, people who want to attend the Million Worker March, how can they contact the organizers and get more information?

BRENDA STOKELY: Well, in New York City they can call 212-219-0022, extension 5185. We have buses in every borough. And so we welcome people to come and get a seat and go down with us.

AMY GOODMAN: People around the country are coming?

BRENDA STOKELY: Yes, around the country. And also we’re going to have — an important aspect of the march is that they’re going to be organizing tents so that people will not just be rallying, but they will also leave with an agenda and a plan and connect to national activities, and campaigns. So, we invite everybody to come and participate.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Brenda Stokely, I want to thank you very much. We’ll have links on our website at Brenda Stokely is president of AFSCME, District Council 1707 in New York City, one of the key organizers of the Million Worker March this weekend in Washington, D.C

From Palestine to the US – Labor Fights Back!

JOIN US in NYC on Thursday, October 7 for a teach-in:
From Palestine to the US – Labor Fights Back!
Thursday, October 7, 2004
6:30 PM District Council 1707
75 Varick St.
14th Floor NYC (just north of Canal St., the A, E, C, 1 and 9 trains all stop at Canal)

Join Al-Awda and the New York Committee to Defend Palestine for an informative, exciting teach-in about labor organizing in Palestine and in solidarity with Palestine! Labor, Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists will discuss the history, present and future of Palestinian workers’ organizing, the much-needed alliance between Palestinian workers and the US labor movement, and organizing for the upcoming Million Worker March in Washington DC on Sunday October 17, at this teach-in on Thursday, October 7 at DC1707 headquarters in NYC!

For far too long, while Palestinian workers have been organizing and struggling for freedom, and while workers in the US have been combatting job losses, exploitation, racism, cutbacks and repression, the US labor movement has opted to invest in apartheid in Palestine, buying over $5 billion in “Israel Bonds” and funding the further oppression of Palestinian workers.

Now, it is time for unity between workers in Palestine and the US! Join us on October 7 to learn more and find out how you can become involved!

For more information: