The following is a statement by the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT), the French trade union federation.
There have been many, many tragedies in the world in our time. Of course, the latest tragedy is the terrorist act which took place in New York and Washington, D.C. This tragedy shook the American people up to what the horrible loss of life can mean to our people and the nation as a whole.
Under the pervasive blanket of 'national security,' Congress and the White House House are hastily preparing to reinstitute a program of screening waterfront workers with background checks that go back as far as 10 years regarding such matters as arrests for drugs, petty crimes, or other 'improper activities.'
In reaction to Bush's war in Afghanistan a new U.S. peace movement has arisen. It is spontaneous, politically diverse, dispersed throughout the country and reflects the basic sentiments of the U.S. peace forces at this point.
The following is an excerpt from a report to the Communist Party's national committee, elected at its convention in July. The national committee met Oct. 20-21 in New York.
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Berkeley City Council voted Oct. 21 to call on the U.S. government to 'bring the bombing of Afghanistan to a conclusion as quickly as possible.' The vote was five in favor, with four abstentions.
OAKLAND, Calif. - In a rousing demonstration of affection and support for Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), 3,500 people gathered at Oakland's City Hall Oct. 21. The rally was in support of Lee's lone vote against granting unlimited power to President Bush to plunge the nation into war.
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Black Active Minds (BAM), a student organization at Buffalo State College, held a panel discussion here Oct. 10 entitled 'A Rumor of War: The Consequences of War for Blacks and America.'
In the weeks since the events of Sept. 11, the ranks of the unemployed have grown by nearly a half-million. Tens of thousands of airline workers have been joined by more thousands of laid-off workers in every sector of the economy from restaurants to factories and from 'temp' agencies to construction sites, in unemployment lines that grow longer each day.
New York City is facing an increase in unemployed workers stemming from the World Trade Center crisis. About 120,000 newly unemployed workers will, as a result, face losing health insurance since worker access to health insurance in our country is almost entirely dependent upon employers, either through labor negotiations or directly from the employer. These thousands will be added to the millions in the United States who are already living without health insurance.