[Marxism] Lubavitcher thuggery
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 28 12:40:04 MDT 2008
Initial news coverage of the Postville kosher meatpacking plant raid
focused on the barbaric treatment of the mostly Guatemalan workforce.
Immigration authorities charged them with falsifying social security
papers which carries a stiff prison term. The undocumented workers did
not understand that they were being charged with this felony and thought
that they were pleading guilty only to being in the U.S. “illegally”. It
was largely due to the efforts of Erik Camayd-Freixas, a court-appointed
translator that this injustice was exposed:
NY Times, July 13, 2008
The Shame of Postville, Iowa
Anyone who has doubts that this country is abusing and terrorizing
undocumented immigrant workers should read an essay by Erik
Camayd-Freixas, a professor and Spanish-language court interpreter who
witnessed the aftermath of a huge immigration workplace raid at a
meatpacking plant in Iowa.
The essay chillingly describes what Dr. Camayd-Freixas saw and heard as
he translated for some of the nearly 400 undocumented workers who were
seized by federal agents at the Agriprocessors kosher plant in Postville
Under the old way of doing things, the workers, nearly all Guatemalans,
would have been simply and swiftly deported. But in a twist of
Dickensian cruelty, more than 260 were charged as serious criminals for
using false Social Security numbers or residency papers, and most were
sentenced to five months in prison.
What is worse, Dr. Camayd-Freixas wrote, is that the system was clearly
rigged for the wholesale imposition of mass guilt. He said the
court-appointed lawyers had little time in the raids’ hectic aftermath
to meet with the workers, many of whom ended up waiving their rights and
seemed not to understand the complicated charges against them.
Within the last week, however, attention has shifted to still another
injustice. If the Guatemalans were now facing jail, that seemed to be
just a small step downwards from what they had to endure in their
prison-like workplace-like going from the frying pan into the fire.
Yesterday’s Times reports on the horrible treatment meted out by the
pious men running this torture chamber:
While federal prosecutors are primarily focusing on immigration charges,
they may also be looking into labor violations. Search warrant documents
filed in court before the raid, which was May 12, cited a report by an
anonymous immigrant who was sent to work in the plant by immigration
authorities as an undercover informant. The immigrant saw “a rabbi who
was calling employees derogatory names and throwing meat at employees.”
Jewish managers oversee the slaughtering and processing of meat at
Agriprocessors to ensure kosher standards.
In another episode, the informant said a floor supervisor had
blindfolded an immigrant with duct tape. “The floor supervisor then took
one of the meat hooks and hit the Guatemalan with it,” the informant
said, adding that the blow did not cause “serious injuries.”
Elmer L. said that he regularly worked 17 hours a day at the plant and
was paid $7.25 an hour. He said he was not paid overtime consistently.
“My work was very hard, because they didn’t give me my breaks, and I
wasn’t getting very much sleep,” he said. “They told us they were going
to call immigration if we complained.”
Elmer L. said that he was clearing cow innards from the slaughter floor
last Aug. 26 when a supervisor he described as a rabbi began yelling at
him, then kicked him from behind. The blow caused a freshly-sharpened
knife to fly up and cut his elbow.
He was sent to a hospital where doctors closed the laceration with eight
stitches. But he said that when he returned, his elbow still stinging,
to ask for some time off, his supervisor ordered him back to work.
The next day, as he was lifting a cow’s tongue, the stitches ruptured,
Elmer L. said, and the wound bled again. He said he was given a bandage
at the plant and sent back to work. The incident is confirmed in a
worker’s injury report filed on Aug. 31, 2007, by Agriprocessors with
the Iowa labor department.
The Postville meatpacking plant has been owned and operated since 1987
by Aaron Rubashkin and his family, members of the Lubavitcher sect. The
small Iowa town that is home to the plant has had an influx of Hasidic
families who work at the plant in managerial capacities. In Stephen G.
Bloom’s 1987 “Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America”, a
book I read a while back, you can find some fascinating background on
the Lubavitcher Hasidim who allowed Bloom, a non-observant Jew like
myself, to tell their story, that of their Christian neighbors, as well
as that of the plant workers who were mostly undocumented immigrants
from the former Soviet Union back then.
I strongly recommend Bloom’s book for anybody who is curious about one
of Judaism’s most recognizable ultra-orthodox sects. Unlike their rivals
in the Satmar sect, the Lubavitchers are rabid Zionists. I only know a
bit about the Satmars from having one as a neighbor when I was working
on my mother’s house upstate getting it ready for sale. The Satmars have
plenty of skeletons in their closets as well, but at least don’t shill
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