Forwarded from Ernie Tate
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jun 12 13:42:15 MDT 2001
Socialist Action Hall, and SA Public Forums, 517 College Street, Room 234,
Toronto, Ontario M6G 4A2, June 5, 2001.
Dear Sisters and brothers,
On the evening of Friday, June 1, 2001, an outrageous act of physical
disruption was carried out by some officials of the United Food and
Commercial Workers Union at the Socialist Action Public Forum in Toronto.
The topic of the forum was "The Fight for Democracy in the United Food and
Commercial Workers Union". The featured speaker was Steve Guiliano, a
member of UFCW Local 1000A and REAP (Research, Education and Advocacy
People), a reform caucus within that union.
Socialist Action, which sponsored the forum, is an organization of
socialists and social justice activists who work in the unions and the New
Democratic Party to promote socialist ideas.
At least 3 full-time officials of the UFCW, including Local 1000A President
Kevin Corporan and Local 1000A Staff Rep. Roland Lapins, accompanied by six
supporters, aggressively disrupted the meeting by usurping the Chair,
shouting down speakers, threatening violence, and refusing to leave the
meeting room when requested to do so by the chair, thus preventing the
audience from hearing the views of participants and forcing us to adjourn
the meeting early.
There has never been a disruption of this kind at any of our forums over
the many years we have held them. This kind of hooligan behaviour is alien
to the workers' movement in Canada and is a blow to our democratic
traditions. It sets a terrible precedent.
We ask all bodies of the union movement to denounce these tactics by these
UFCW officials which prevented a REAP member and other workers from fully
expressing their views, and prevented other folks from hearing what those
view are. We look forward to your response to this information.
Dan Lovell, chairperson at the Toronto SA Forum on June 1, 2001, and Youth
for Socialist Action federal organizer
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