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San Francisco Labor Council Calls for End to U.S. Intervention in Ukraine

[This is from a union activist and member of the San Francisco Labor Council, received on May 19]

Dear unionists and labor activists,

I thought you might be interested in the message below regarding U.S. intervention in Ukraine, which I received this morning from the chairperson of the Ohio State Labor Party. Please also note the resolution adopted unanimously by the San Francisco Labor Council that follows the OSLP statement. The SFLC resolution calls for an end to U.S. intervention in Ukraine.

It would be very important for labor bodies across the country, particularly unions affiliated with USLAW, to take a stand against the growing U.S. intervention in Ukraine.

As many of you may know, this intervention has involved funding and fomenting a coup against a democratically elected government (whatever one may think of that government), earmarking millions upon millions of our tax dollars toward this end, and now sending U.S. mercenaries to the region. According to the May 4 issue of the German newspaper Bild, more than 400 U.S. operatives of Academi (ex-Blackwater) were seen organizing the massacre of civilians in Eastern Ukraine—a report that has not been contradicted by U.S. officials.

The Wall Street Journal and other news media have published polls showing that the overwhelming majority of the American people are opposed to the continued—let alone expanded—U.S. military intervention the world over; they want our tax dollars to create jobs and provide vitally needed social services here at home.

So let’s get our unions and labor councils to pass resolutions against U.S. intervention in Ukraine, and let's join—and where possible get our unions to join—the demonstrations called by UNAC, ANSWER, UFPJ, Code Pink and other antiwar groups around this central demand: End U.S. Intervention in Ukraine Now!

In solidarity,
Alan Benjamin
Labor activist
San Francisco, CA


To: U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) Co-Convenors and the rest of the USLAW Steering Committee
From: Ohio State Labor Party (OSLP)
Subject: Ukraine

Greetings:

The last paragraph of the statement on Ukraine adopted by the USLAW Steering Committee on April 2, 2014 notes, “USLAW officers and Steering Committee will continue to follow developments in the Ukraine and will issue additional statements or calls to action as circumstances require.”

As an affiliate of USLAW, the OSLP emphatically believes that an additional statement should be issued now by USLAW that would contain the following points:

First, a clear-cut and unambiguous call for the U.S. government to end its intervention in Ukraine.

Second, the U.S. working class has no stake or interest in intervening in Ukraine in support of the Kiev regime.

Third, the regime in Kiev that Washington is supporting with funds, intelligence and other forms of aid is anti-working class to the core and is strongly influenced by the Svoboda Party and other fascist and neo-Nazi formations.

Fourth, the billions of dollars that the U.S. is providing to bolster the Kiev regime should go instead for jobs, infrastructure, extension of unemployment compensation, food stamps, education, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other essential safety net programs at home.

Five, that Washington should stop such provocative actions as deploying U.S. destroyers in the Black Sea, supporting NATO troop deployments eastward, stationing jets and missile bases in eight countries encircling Russia and scheduling U.S./NATO war games in the region.

Sixth, all the polls show the U.S. public’s overwhelming opposition to U.S. intervention in Ukraine.

Seventh, the U.S. antiwar movement is united in opposing U.S. intervention in Ukraine, the latest example being the resolution unanimously adopted on May 12, 2014 by the San Francisco Labor Council, one of USLAW’s major affiliates. This resolution is being sent to the national AFL-CIO calling upon it to circulate the resolution widely throughout the labor movement. (The resolution is re-printed below.)

Eight, USLAW should call upon the labor movement to educate, organize and mobilize to end U.S. intervention in Ukraine.

Most of these points were not addressed by USLAW’s earlier statement. We believe it is high time that they be addressed now.

Jerry Gordon
Chair, OSLP

[The above statement was unanimously adopted by the OSLP Executive Board on May 18, 2014.]

cc: Donna Dewitt, Dennis Serrette, Alan Benjamin, OSLP Executive Board


Resolution on Ukraine and Russia

(adopted unanimously by the Delegates Meeting of the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, on Monday, May 12, 2014)

Whereas the United States and other Western countries have intervened in the internal affairs of Ukraine, and behind the uprising are millions of dollars of our tax money used in the covert campaign to destabilize and topple the democratically elected former regime, and

Whereas this money comes from the federal budget where it competes directly with funds for human needs programs that directly benefit education and other services and public sector employees as well as students and their families, and

Whereas the Western Powers have historically attempted encirclement and the weakening of Russia by incorporating Eastern European countries into NATO, and

Whereas intervention by Western powers and threats of war are contrary to the interests of the Ukrainian, Russian, and American people and undermine peace and stability in the region, and

Whereas the new Ukrainian government, backed by the United States and European powers, has a fascist-minded element that threatens much of the population, and recalls racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views that go against our fundamental values, and

Whereas fascist movements historically have sought to destroy the organized labor movement, and

Whereas the region is now a tinder box easily ignited, and

Whereas war in Europe will have horrific consequences to the world economy, to the human race and the planet, and

Whereas a peace oriented, productive economy serves not only the needs of all faculty and students, union members and all workers, but also all strata of society, except war-profiteers and the super-rich,

Therefore be it Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council urges the U.S. government to use diplomacy with Russia and Ukraine to work out a peaceful resolution of the brewing conflict, one that respects the sovereignty, democratic right to self-determination, and security of all the peoples of Eastern Europe, and

Be it Further Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council urge the U.S. government to stop all military aid to the new Ukraine government, and

Be it Finally Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council will send copies of this resolution to Bay Area Congressional Representatives, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain, Senator Mitch McConnell, President Barack Obama, and the national AFL-CIO.

Submitted by Allan Fisher, AFT 2121