Labor Committee for Peace and Justice in the Middle East

jonathan flanders jon_flanders at compuserve.com
Thu Sep 27 14:28:18 MDT 2001


We are seeking labor support for this statement.

If you wish to endorse, please email your support to:

 labor_peace at yahoo.com

 Jon Flanders


Statement of the Labor Committee for Peace and Justice in the Middle East


We all share the grief and sorrow felt by the victims and families of the
World Trade Center tragedy.

For us in the trade union movement our sadness is compounded by the
realization that a new hazard has come into our working lives, the fear of
terrorist attacks.

So many of us already face death, injuries, toxic hazards and disease as
part of our working environment.

On top of all that we must now endure the likelihood of a long economic
downturn combined with the threat of a lengthy ground war in in Central
Asia and perhaps the Middle East, putting our sons and daughters (and
ourselves) in harms way.

President Bush and the media have called for a "new war" against terrorism.
As part of this war, the government claims we must give up some of our hard
won freedoms.

Without a doubt, not only civil liberties will suffer. The cost of war will
be used to justify attacks on worker's rights, the right to strike, the
right to organize and our right to economic security, symbolized by Social
Security.

In the face of this grim reality, some of us as concerned trade unionists
and organizers for the rights of working people wish to propose a different
course.

We propose a new US foreign policy, a policy based on Peace and Justice for
the people of the Middle East and the world.

We must recognize that the US cannot continue, for example, in its
one-sided support for Israel. We must support self-determination for the
Palestinian people, and see that the historic wrong done to them is finally
righted.

We must resist the temptation to scape-goat Middle Eastern and Asian
immigrants to the US. We must defend their rights to live and work here
without fear of retribution for the acts of a few.

We can no longer afford a US foreign policy that treats the people of the
Third World as simply pawns, whose resources and labor are just commodities
to be exploited for the multi-national corporations.

Therefore, we the undersigned propose to organize a Labor Committee for
Peace and Justice in the Middle East, whose goal will be to educate and
organize in the labor movement for a new US foreign policy, one that treats
ALL people with dignity and respect.
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