Monthly Archives: June 2008

Labor for Palestine Pickets NYC Israel Celebration

On Thursday, June 5, some fifteen union members and other activists participated in an emergency picket line for more than two hours outside a “Celebration” of the “60th Anniversary of Israel” held at AFSCME District Council 37, the largest city workers’ union in New York.

The picket was sponsored by New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW). It was endorsed by Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY; Adalah-NY; New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine; Center for Constitutional Rights; Guyanese-American Workers United; and Not in Our Name-Toronto.

Protesters carried placards and banners proclaiming “Labor for Palestine,” “End DC 37 Support for Apartheid Israel,” “Israel is a Racist Slave-Labor State,” “Free Palestinian Workers from Israeli Apartheid,” “Support Palestinian Labor Against Zionist Racism” “Gaza is Today’s Warsaw Ghetto,” and “Free Palestine — From the River to the Sea.”

Despite its small size, the emergency picket achieved its purpose of showing that such protests in U.S. labor are both possible and necessary.

By ensuring that such events did not go unchallenged, it emboldened protesters and visibly demoralized those who came to “celebrate.” It was also an opportunity to distribute hundreds of the attached flyers to DC 37 staff and members — predominantly People of Color — many of whom were disturbed to learn of their union’s support for Israeli Apartheid.


Labor for Palestine: 60 Years of Racism & Apartheid Is Nothing for Labor to Celebrate

An Appeal to DC 37’s Membership

Please contact for more information about upcoming Labor for Palestine efforts in the U.S.

Background of Labor for Palestine

The June 5 picket built on more than six years of NYCLAW work against Israeli Apartheid.

April 20, 2002
NYCLAW helps ensure unified action, with full inclusion of Palestine, in the first national antiwar protest following 9/11, which takes place in Washington, D.C.

May 21, 2002
NYCLAW pickets the Midtown Manhattan appearance of Israeli Consul General Alon Pinkus before the AFL-CIO Israel Bonds National Labor Division.

December 2002
NYCLAW cosponsors U.S. tour by Palestinian trade unionists.

March 20, 2004
NYCLAW successfully fights for UFPJ to join with the ANSWER Coalition in unified New York City antiwar protest that includes Palestinian demands.

April 2004
NYCLAW and Al-Awda-NY initiate Labor for Palestine, which calls for: Palestinian national, democratic and labor rights throughout historic Palestine, including the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and land; An end to U.S. military and economic support for Israeli Apartheid; and Divestment of all labor investments in Israeli Apartheid.

October 7, 2004
NYCLAW helps organize “From Palestine to the US — Labor Fights Back” forum, at AFSCME District Council 1707 in New York City.

October 17, 2004
Labor for Palestine is announced from the platform of the Million Worker March in Washington, DC.

November 20, 2004
Labor for Palestine simultaneously presented at a NYCLAW’s “Resistance to Empire” conference held at AFSCME District Council 1707, and at Al-Awda’s West Coast Regional Conference in San Diego, where it “was given center stage as one of Al-Awda’s most critical campaigns for international justice.”

December 2004
Labor for Palestine issues founding statement.

December 2, 2004
NYCLAW proposes that U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW): (1) Condemn Israeli attacks on the rights of Palestinian labor; (2) Join a U.S. labor delegation to examine the conditions of Palestinian workers; (3) Organize a U.S. speaking for Palestinian trade unionists; and (4) Discuss joining LFP and the growing movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions. USLAW declines to do so.

July 23, 2005
Labor for Palestine conference in Chicago coincides with AFL-CIO convention.

August 11, 2006
NYCLAW statement denounces U.S. labor leaders’ support and/or silence about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

August 2007
NYCLAW participates in a two-week delegation of attorneys and activists to the ‘67 and ‘48 areas of Palestine.

March 23, 2008
NYCLAW statement on U.S. Labor and Gaza is endorsed by hundreds of activists around the world.

Labor for Palestine Protests AFSCME DC 37’s “Celebration” of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid

[Download formatted flyer: 65-new-lfp-flyer]

***Please forward widely and reply with additional organizational endorsements***

Labor for Palestine
Protests AFSCME DC 37’s “Celebration” of 60 Years of Israeli Racism and Apartheid

Emergency Picket
Thursday, June 5, 2008, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
125 Barclay Street (1/2/3/A/C to Chambers, E to WTC, R/W to City Hall)

South Africa Then — Palestine Now


*An End to the Occupation
*Palestinian Refugees’ Right to Return
*Elimination of Apartheid Throughout Historic Palestine & Equal Rights for All
*No More Labor Support for Israel
*U.S. Out of the Middle East


“We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the ‘Israel at 60’ celebrations wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights, and deepen our oppression.”
–171 Palestinian trade unions and other organizations, March 30, 2008


“As someone who lived in apartheid South Africa and who has visited Palestine I say with confidence that Israel is an apartheid state. In fact, I believe that some of Israel’s actions make the actions of South Africa’s apartheid regime appear pale by comparison.”
–Willie Madisha, President, Congress of South African Trade Unions, June 6, 2006


“We call on all South Africans to establish a strong, forceful and determined boycott and sanctions campaign against the Israeli apartheid state.”
–Congress of South African Trade Unions, July 10, 2006


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
–Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, November 1967

Sponsored by
New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)

Endorsed by (list in formation)
*Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition-NY
*New Jersey Solidarity – Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
*Center for Constitutional Rights
*Guyanese-American Workers United
*Not in Our Name-Toronto