on Behalf of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
[Note by Labor
Standard: We are posting,
belatedly, the Jan. 27 speech by antiwar labor leader Fred Mason because
it is one of the significant indications of a deepening and broadening of
sentiment in the
[Note by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW): Fred Mason, USLAW Co-Convenor and President of the Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO, was one of two labor speakers to address the massive rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 27, 2007. He spoke, not just for USLAW and the labor contingent of nearly 2,000, but also spoke on behalf of John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO. This represents a huge breakthrough for the labor antiwar movement—not just in registering the AFL-CIO’s opposition to the war, but in doing so through organized labor’s leading antiwar organization, USLAW.]
Statement of Fred D. Mason, Jr.
Co-Convenor, U S Labor Against War (USLAW)
January 27, 2007
There should be no peace rally at this time without significant labor participation.
Is organized labor on the Mall? [Cheers in response.]
Are there union members on the Mall? [Cheers.]
Sisters and Brothers, I bring you greetings today on behalf of President John Sweeney and the millions of working men and women of the AFL-CIO.
I love this country and I give honor, respect, and thanks to my fellow Americans who proudly serve in our military and provide all of us with a strong national defense.
I stand here today because I believe that President Bush is leading our country in the wrong direction.
Nowhere is this misdirection more
evident than in his approach to
The American public spoke loudly in the November elections: removing from office many of those who shared President Bush’s wrong approach.
The new Congress—many of whom we helped to elect—has a responsibility to the American people to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq and bring our troops home now.
Today thousands of union members from all over the country have joined with others to urge our legislators to demonstrate resolve and responsibility and resist the bullying of President Bush.
The American people, most of whom
are working men and women, do not want a “surge” in the violence and deadly
risk to their loved ones, associated with the President’s approach to
Our democracy provides us the
opportunity to express the people’s will in electoral processes. However, when
there are questions as to whether those elected are heeding the people’s will,
we have a responsibility to speak with a louder voice and we do that in the
streets and communities of
We call on our national leaders to
stop funding efforts directed towards war, death, and destruction, and redirect
those resources to building
End the War—Bring Our Troops Home!