Trade unionists of Vermont, USA, support anti Iraq war strike

This video from Scotland is about

Rose Gentle, Military Families Against the War, speaking in Edinburgh May Day Event.

From the trade union federation of Vermont state in the USA:

For Release April 23, 2008

Contact Persons:

David Van Deusen
District Vice President of the Vermont AFL-CIO
(802) 522-5812

Traven Leyshon
President of the Washington-Orange-Lamoille Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO
(802) 522-3484


Montpelier, VT — The Executive Board of the Vermont AFL-CIO, representing thousands of workers in countless sectors across Vermont, have unanimously passed an historic resolution expressing their “unequivocal” support for the first US labor strike against the war in Iraq. The strike, being organized by the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), will seek to shutdown all west coast ports for a period of 24 hours on May 1st 2008. The Vermont AFL-CIO is the first state labor federation to publicly back the Longshoremen; other state federations are expected to follow.

The resolution, among other things, calls the war in Iraq “immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary”, states that the vast majority of working Vermonters oppose the war, and contends that the war will only be brought to an end by “the direct actions of working people.” Many other Vermont labor unions and organizations, including the Vermont Workers’ Center, have also made official statements condemning the war.

The resolution also calls on working Vermonters to “discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008.”

“Workers in Vermont and all across this nation are against this war. We have already demanded that the government end it, but they have consistently failed to heed our words. Therefore working people are beginning to take concrete steps to make our resistance known. If the war does not immediately end we, the unions and working people of Vermont, will also be compelled to take appropriate action,” said David Van Deusen, District Vice President of the Washington-Lamoille-Orange region AFL-CIO.

Traven Leyshon, President of the Washington-Orange-Lamoille Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, said, “Vermont labor has long called for an end to this war. The untold billions being spent on the war could instead be used to address our domestic needs. It is working people who pay the cost of the war – in some cases with our lives, but always with our sacrifices.”

Vermont AFL-CIO Resolution In Solidarity With Longshoremen’s West Coast Strike Against War

April, 2008

Whereas the war in Iraq is immoral, unwanted, and unnecessary,

Whereas this unjust war is opposed by the great majority of Americans & Vermonters, the bulk of organized labor, and by thousands of enlisted military personal,

Whereas this unjust war has already resulted in over 4000 American dead (including a disproportionate number of brave Vermonters), and tens of thousands of service men & woman being wounded,

Whereas this unjust war has further resulted in untold number of Iraqi deaths,

Whereas the Federal Government has not made any constructive moves towards the ending of this war and the full removal of US troops, and instead has taken the course of escalation and indefinite occupation,

Whereas the government of Vermont, and especially Governor Jim Douglas, have failed to find ways to bring Vermont National Guard troops home from Iraq,

Whereas this war will only be brought to an end by the direct actions of working people,

Therefore, Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO continues to stand in firm opposition to this war, and unequivocally supports the decision of the Longshore Caucus of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) to shutdown the west coast ports for a period of 24 hours, beginning on May 1st, 2008, as a means of resistance.

Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO stands in full solidarity with the New York Metro National Association of Letter Carriers who have resolved to conduct two minute periods of silence on May 1st, 2008, at 1PM, 5PM & 9PM in protest of the war and in support of the Longshoremen.

Let It Be Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO encourages all Vermont workers to stand in solidarity with the historic actions being taken by the Longshoremen & other labor unions to end this war.

Let It Be Further Resolved that the Vermont AFL-CIO calls for all Vermont workers to discuss the actions of the Longshoremen, to wear anti-war buttons, and to take various actions of their own design and choosing in their workplace on May 1st, 2008 as a means of resistance against this unjust war.

3 thoughts on “Trade unionists of Vermont, USA, support anti Iraq war strike

  1. April 23, 2008

    Robert McEllrath, ILWU President
    1188 Franklin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    (415) 775-0533
    (415) 775-1302 FAX

    Dear Brother McEllrath:

    New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) salutes the ILWU’s Pacific Coast May Day Shutdown to Stop the War in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    From the beginning, Bush & Co. have sought to justify this war for oil and empire with phony claims about “fighting terrorism,” finding”weapons of mass destruction,” and spreading “democracy.” Despite overwhelming rejection of its policies at the polls, the administration has steadily escalated its war in the Middle East.

    This has meant not only ordering thousands more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, but also arming and financing Israel’s war on Lebanon and its increasingly brutal slow-genocide of the Palestinians, launching a proxy invasion of Somalia, bombing Pakistan, and threatening to attack Iran.

    As in all such wars, ordinary working people pay the price. In Iraq and Afghanistan, this war has killed more than a million people, caused more than 50,000 G.I. casualties, promoted civil war, cost at least $1.2 trillion and pushed the economy into crisis — with no end in sight.

    At home, the administration continues to attack civil liberties, the Arab-Muslim community, undocumented immigrants, Katrina refugees, people of color and labor.

    Yet this is a bipartisan war. Congressional Democrats — including senators Clinton and Obama — have given Bush every penny he has asked for. They have refused to filibuster war spending (which requires only 41 Senate votes) and won’t even promise to get out by the end of the next presidential term in 2013. At most, they call for “redeployment” to maintain U.S. control of the region.

    A generation ago, a war ended when Vietnamese resistance and the Black freedom movement ignited a grassroots working class mutiny in the military, auto plants, ghettos and barrios, against what Martin Luther King Jr. accurately called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today . . . my own government.”

    It will take a similar mutiny to end this war. The ILWU has a proud tradition of work stoppages to protest South African apartheid and U.S. death squads in Central America. Your May Day action shows how workers — both in and out of uniform — have the collective power to end this war, bring the troops home now, and get the U.S. out of the Middle East.

    Issued by NYCLAW Co-Conveners
    (Other affiliations listed for identification only):

    Larry Adams
    Former President, NPMHU Local 300

    Michael Letwin
    Former President, UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys

    Brenda Stokely
    Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; N.E. Regional Coordinator, Million Worker March Movement


    Cindy Sheehan Letter in Support of ILWU Action on May 1

    Dear Brothers and Sisters of the ILWU,

    On behalf of myself and my congressional campaign, and in memory of my son Casey, I want to thank you for the principled and dignified action that you are taking on May 1st.

    The exemplary resolution passed by your Longshore Caucus, and your decision to stop work on the West Coast docks on May 1, 2008 points the way for all of us who struggle to end the disastrous war and occupation of Iraq. This illegal and immoral war has been forced on us by the Republican administration, and has been funded enthusiastically by both the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress. The Democratic Party, under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, continues a policy of full cooperation with and financial support for the Bush administration’s war. While many Democrats will utter words that are critical of the highly unpopular war, their party simply will not use its political power to take any action to stop the carnage.

    The ILWU has shown that it is an independent workers’ union, morally superior to the Democratic Party in every respect. Once again, the Longshoremen of the West Coast are demonstrating that it is possible to oppose the war-mongering corporate politicians, and prevent them from dividing and conquering the movements of the workers and peoples. You Longshoremen have kept this powerful and noble tradition alive on their waterfront since the 1930s.

    I want you to know that there is a congressional candidate in the Bay Area who supports you and your heroism. I thank you for refusing to load scrap iron for the Japanese invasion of China in the 30s. I thank you for your refusal to load bombs for the fascist dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1978. I thank you for your support of the Charleston Five, the Liverpool Dockers, the Longshoremen of Australia, of Chile, and all the other workers of the world with whom you stand in solidarity.

    I thank you for your heroic stop-work actions in defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Black labor journalist falsely accused of killing a police officer. I thank you for honoring the US Labor Against The War picket line against SSA on the Docks of Oakland in both 2003 and 2007.

    I am offended by the arrogance, the chauvinism, and the sneering spitefulness that has been shown towards you by the Pacific Maritime Association and its member companies. If these employers had any sense of honor, they would be proud to cooperate with you on May 1st, and would eagerly join in your struggle to oppose this horrific war. My sympathy goes out to any workers who must negotiate the terms of their work against such cold and heartless war profiteers as the ones you bravely face in every contract negotiation. Their willful intransigence in the face of your principles should be enough to convince every honest elected official that your employers are bitter opponent of the people, and threats to the public good.

    I will stand with you on May 1st in San Francisco and Oakland, and I encourage people everywhere to take up your call to resist the war. I will be with you on the picket line. I pledge to do whatever I can to aid and assist you in your noble effort, both on May 1st and in the days and weeks that follow.

    An injury to one is an injury to all, and an injury to Longshoremen is an injury to me.

    In Solidarity,

    Cindy Sheehan

    May Day protest
    WHEN: 10:30 a.m., May 1, followed by a rally at noon.
    WHERE: Longshore Union Hall, corner of Mason and Beach (near Fisherman’s Wharf).
    WHAT: March to a rally at Justin Herman Plaza along the Embarcadero.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION: and or call (415) 776-8100.



    From the Troops Out Now Coalition

    ON MAYDAY 2008



    WORLD EVENTS have made May Day 2008 a turning point. AT NO OTHER TIME in our lives has it been more critical to march together and work together.

    WE NOW FACE AN ECONOMIC CRISIS the likes of which we have not seen in our lifetimes that is throwing millions out of their homes, jobs and making it more difficult to get healthcare, an education or even gas and food.

    A WAR AGAINST IMMIGRANTS whose true intent is to render millions of workers powerless, and have working people fighting each other when they should be standing together.

    AN ILLEGAL COLONIAL WAR that is destroying lives as well as creating a fortune of wealth, making the economic crises far worse.

    A SURGE OF RACISM that has immigrant families living in fear that their homes and work places could be raided at any moment.
    – That makes more police executions of Black youth inevitable.
    – That has become the biggest factor in the presidential elections.

    MORE THAN EVER, economic and social justice, peace and the eradication of racism, imperialism, poverty, inequality, exploitation, sexism, homophobia, and the future of our planet has never been more dependent on our solidarity.

    OUR CAPACITY TO TRANSFORM–through struggle–a world beset by economic crises and war, into a world where people come before profits is profoundly dependent on forging the level of solidarity that May Day, International Workers Day, has historically always been about–OUR SURVIVAL IS DEPENDENT ON SOLIDARITY.

    SPREAD THE WORD, coming together on May Day is a declaration that we will not be divided, we will fight back and we will survive.



    MARCH FOR THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS AND POOR PEOPLE EVERYWHERE and for their right to organize and fight

    And in solidarity with those in the labor movement, like the International Long Shore Workers Union on the West Coast – that will be walking off the Job on May 1 to protest the war.

    While the Banks are bailed out

    And for the right to healthcare


    MARCH TO FIGHT RACISM AND REPRESSION from New Orleans to the Mexican Border


  3. Pingback: Support Sudanese anti-dictatorship fighters | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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