Labor's Growing Anger Fuels Its Antiwar Plan
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19 March 2005 --

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On the morning after a drenching storm that brought San Francisco 24% above normal rainfall, an extra quart for every gallon of water, thousands gathered in the Mission District to protest the war on Iraq. A.N.S.W.E.R (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and Labor Union organizers worked for weeks to assemble the antiwar rally and march on Civic Center. anticipating the second anniversary of the U.S. led invasion. People gather for the antiwar rally in
Delores Park

By the time the rally got underway at 11 AM, the weather lightened and even more people showed up to hear speakers invited by A.N.S.W.E.R. and the unions explain why the war is wrong, wasteful, brutal, and an attack on working people here at home.

Tim Paulson Tim Paulson, Director of the San Francisco Labor Council, and Sharon Cornu, Secretary/Treasurer of the Alameda County Labor Council welcomed members of many unions. Sharon Cornu Among those represented: Teamsters, Service Employees International Union members, Iron Workers, Plumbers, Brick Layers and Tile Setters, Teachers, Longshoremen, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Workers, Glaziers, Carpenters, Nurses, and Machinists. Unions brought organized cadres who paraded with signs and collected signatures of people who want to help organize workers in defending themselves against the injustice of this war.

Speakers explained the real cost of the Federal administration's attack on working people. 2.8 million manufacturing jobs have been lost under Bush Junior, jobs supplanted with low skilled, poor paying service jobs, WalMart jobs. The minimum wage, barely enough to maintain an urban family of four at the poverty line, hasn't been increased in 8 years. Labor Against the War in Iraq sign Investment monies have gone, not to capital renewal supporting industry nor to education and health care supporting workers, but to the military and to corporations close the administration, like Bechtel, Halliburton, and oil companies. The real cost, 1500 working class sons and daughters dead in Iraq, thousands more maimed and wounded. One in six come back from the war traumatized, unable to work because they're suffering the daemons of post traumatic stress.

The SF Labor Council has passed an antiwar resolution, calling for the immediate end to the war and to bring the troops home now. Jack Hammond, an International Longshoreman Union journalist said, "We intend to shut down the war machine." Unions will be organized so that labor, nationally and internationally, as an organized body, rather than as isolated units committing civil disobience and open to retaliation, will act to stop the shipment of war materials. Labor leaders explained that if workers do not organize on their own behalf to defend themselves from the deliterious effects of this war, no one else will do so. Labor will run its own political candidates opposed to the war, candidate who defend workers and worker rights. To this end, American unions are organizing to bring Iraqi unions into the fold of international labor organization and work together to stop the war.

Labor marches against the war


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