Fwd: Re: [Marxism] ILWU leadership and Clarence Thomas???

jak barns fukdetrn at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 12 13:39:52 MDT 2004

Several points. James Spinosa is the International President of the ILWU, who was reelected for a second three year term in 2003. Spinosa, is the most politically conservative International President in ILWU history. All previous presidents, including Spinosa's predecessor, 2 term president Brian McWilliams, considered themselves socialists of some sort. Spinosa is a "moderate", in reality a conservative Democrat in the mode of Clinton, Gore and Kerry.
At the first International Executive Board meeting after Sep. 11, 2001, Spinosa instituted opening the meeting with the "pledge of allegience", which oldtimers in the union tell me is unprecedented.
At the last International convention, last year, he tried, unsuccessfully to water down a resolution that was passed by the delegates oppossing both the US war and occupation of Iraq.
Clarence Thomas, former Secretary-Treasurer of Longshore Local 10 is considerably to the left of Spinosa, and much more militant. Thomas particicpated in a union fact finding mission to Iraq and met with represenatives from both labor federations, and the Union of the Unemployed, which included members of the Communist Party and Workers Communist Party of Iraq. Thomas also played an active role in the defense of the Charleston 5, and defense of the demonstrators at the Port of Oakland, April 7, 2003, when the cops without provocation fired into a peaceful demonstration with rubber pullets, tear gas, and other so-called "non-leathal weaponry.-jb
Jon Flanders <jonathan.flanders at verizon.net> wrote: 
Subject: Re: [Marxism] ILWU leadership and Clarence Thomas???
From: Jon Flanders 
To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 21:42:04 -0400

> This explanation makes sense. It seems that the "fear of isolation"
> prevented the ILWU from "fully" opposing the shipment of war material. In
> order to avoid a confrontation with the administration, they had to offer
> concessions. Has this anything to do with the upper ranks of the union as
> well? I mean, was the decision to continue shipping a matter of realism or
> ideology?

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