CHICAGO — The package of proposals adopted at the AFL-CIO Convention this week are the result of a remarkable process initiated last year by the federation’s constituency groups. The groups are: the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Coalition of Labor Union Women, and Pride at Work, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers.
Sally Potter wrote and directed a new film, “Yes.” The few moviegoers who had seen her earlier film, “Orlando,” about a woman/man who lives for centuries, knew they weren’t likely to have an ordinary film experience.
Miami Herald columnist Jim DeFede recently pointed out the all too blatant hypocrisy that swirls around the Bush administration’s “war on terror” and how it is conveniently forgotten when it comes to Cuba.
Wars are always easier to start than to finish, and Iraq-style wars in the name of fighting “international terrorism” have led to more terrorist attacks. The people of the United States and the world are less safe from both terrorists and the abuses of their own government, thanks to the Bush administration and its supporters.
The customer service representative for my credit card company is pro-life, but believes that Bush’s pro-corporate tax laws and free trade policies are destroying the U.S., starting with her own family and town.
Listening to the 28th National Convention of the Communist Party, USA, on the Internet inspired me to relive the rich and vibrant history of our party. Men and women such as Paul Robeson, Claudia Jones, W.E.B. DuBois, Benjamin Davis and Lucy Parsons have all had a great influence on me, as shining examples of political activism and revolutionary struggle. A comrade who has been a particular inspiration to me is Hosea Hudson. Although his legacy remains largely uncelebrated, his work as a Black union leader and Communist organizer was extremely important.
Political smears by right-wingers are nothing new. In the election of 1800, John Adams had a surrogate newspaper publisher write an article about “Dusky Sally,” the half-sister of Thomas Jefferson’s deceased wife, who was also one of the Jefferson family slaves. Jefferson succeeded in avoiding the issue, and his friends pointed out that it was merely about his personal life, not national security.
On Aug. 6 we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of a historic bill: the Voting Rights Act. It took years of struggle and sacrifice by the African American people, along with thousands of other democratic-minded people, many of them active in the labor and civil rights movements of that time.
The big business media has gotten the story on the AFL-CIO’s convention all wrong. Yes, four unions, SEIU, the Teamsters, Unite Here and the UFCW, decided to boycott the convention. Yes then SEIU and the Teamsters left the federation, with the other two unions likely to follow. And yes, this is a serious blow to labor unity and to the working class.
Sixty years ago, on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945, the world changed forever, with the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.