ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

May 27, 2016

FYI: Union officials suppress member support for Palestinian rights

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2016 11:59 AM
Subject: FYI: Union officials suppress member support for Palestinian rights

 

Important message from Palestine Legal (co-founded by Center for Constitutional Rights Board President Michael Ratner (1943-2016)), concerning escalating attempts to silence advocacy of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestinian rights, a campaign which echoes the divestment movement against apartheid South Africa. The same free speech debate has also long been an issue at our own workplace.

The particular case below involves “nullification” of a BDS resolution democratically adopted by the members of UAW 2865 (University of California graduate student workers) in 2014. Similar BDS resolutions have recently been adopted by the members of New York University Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110), University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), and Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

=============

Union officials suppress member support for BDS
May 25, 2016

UAW

CREDIT: CLYDE ROBINSON

As a growing number of local unions endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in solidarity with Palestinian workers, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Public Review Board last week affirmed a decision to nullify the BDS resolution adopted by members of Local 2865.

UAW Local 2865 – which represents over 14,000 graduate student workers at the University of California (UC) – voted by an overwhelming majority in December, 2014 to demand that their union and their employer, the UC, divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians. A few members who opposed the resolution engaged a union-busting corporate law firm to appeal the vote. In December 2015, the International UAW, which oversees Local 2865, nullified the vote – despite its own finding that the local conducted a fair and democratic election. The local union appealed, and last week, the union’s Public Review Board affirmed the nullification.

The new decision reasons that because the UAW International president signed a letter opposing BDS in 2007, UAW now holds a position against BDS, and subordinate membership groups cannot assert a different position. But this reasoning ignores the fact that the 2007 statement was signed without any record of discussion among the Executive Board, much less any debate among the UAW’s membership.

Rank and file member of Local 2865, Jennifer Mogannam, said, “This decision cannot erase the fact that increasing numbers of UAW members stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers. … Clearly, several thousand UAW members from coast to coast disagree with the president from 2007. The International union cannot just reach into a dusty file cabinet to shut down the growing number of members who want to discuss and change the union’s position on BDS.”

Liz Jackson, Palestine Legal staff attorney, commented, “The nullification reflects the national trend of suppression. People are voting by democratic majorities to support BDS. But when higher officials disagree – like state legislators, university administrators, and presidential candidates – they resort to shutting down debate from the top. This may work in the short term, but attempts to suppress speech cannot stop a sea change in public opinion.”

Popular support for BDS is growing as three more graduate student worker organizations adopted resolutions this spring. In April, the New York University Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose BDS against Israel.

Last week, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, representing over 9,000 graduate workers and students, also voted overwhelmingly in favor of adopting a BDS resolution.

See also:

Report on The Palestine Exception to Free Speech

Union Members Struggle for a Democratic Debate on Palestine: Statement from UAW 2865, GEO-UAW 2322, and GSOC-UAW 2110 Palestine Solidarity Caucuses on UAW 2865 BDS Vote Nullification

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FYI: Remembering 2004 Marden Awardee Bob Zuss on his 73st Birthday (May 28)

Filed under: 1199 Alliance,1994 Strike,ALAA History,Uncategorized,Zuss — nyclaw01 @ 10:15 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2016 10:15 AM
To: 1199 Members; CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL; 1199 Members; CIVIL BENEFITS CHAT GROUP; CIVIL BKLYN AGING ALL; CIVIL BNO ALL; CIVIL BRONX ALL; CIVIL CONSUMER LAW CHAT GROUP; CIVIL DAP CHAT GROUP; CIVIL EMPLOYMENT LAW ALL; JUVENILE ATTYS ALL; JUVENILE APPEALS ALL; CIVIL EXTERN ATTYS ALL; CIVIL FAMILY CHAT GROUP; CIVIL HCLO ALL; CIVIL HEALTH LAW ALL; CIVIL HOMELESS RIGHTS ALL; CIVIL HOUSING ADVOCATES CHAT GROUP; CIVIL IMMIGRATION ALL; CIVIL LAW REFORM ALL
Subject: FYI: Remembering 2004 Marden Awardee Bob Zuss on his 73st Birthday (May 28)

 

For the final twenty years of his life, Robert Zuss (1943-2006) was a public defender at The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn.

Zuss helped forge leadership within the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 (ALAA) that promoted bottom-up democratic decision-making; membership mobilization conducted jointly with support staff members of 1199SEIU; and racial, economic and social justice — at home and abroad.

More: http://bobzuss.wordpress.com/

Zuss

May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016: Brooklyn UAW Member Solidarity with Verizon Strike (Slideshow)

Filed under: Labor Solidarity,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 12:35 pm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Members of Legal Services Staff Association/UAW 2320 and Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325 join the Verizon strikers picket line.

Chants:
*CWA, CWA!
*No contract, no work!
*On strike, shut it down, New York is a union town!

Share on Facebook

#StandUp2Verizon #UAW #OneDayLonger

Legal Services Staff Association, NOLSW/UAW Local 2320
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW 2325

https://www.facebook.com/standuptoverizon/?fref=ts

May 12, 2016

FYI: Donate to the Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund

Filed under: Labor Solidarity,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 3:00 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Thu, May 12, 2016 at 3:00 PM
Subject: FYI: Donate to the Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund

Please forward widely!

StandUptoVerizon2

To donate, please click here.
Like on Facebook: Verizon Strike Solidarity

Being on strike is a hardship for every family. Some may have resources that they can turn to in these difficult times, but others will have extraordinary needs that they’ve been struggling to meet even before facing the hardship of being on strike.

Donations to the Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund will be used exclusively to assist striking families with special needs who are facing very difficult financial circumstances.

The strike is strong and the outpouring of support and the demonstrations of solidarity for striking workers is tremendous. Thank you for standing with us.

If you prefer to contribute by check, contributions should be sent to Verizon Striking Families Solidarity Fund, c/o CWA, 501 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC

FYI: Is the NYPD running a scab escort service? (Socialist Worker

Filed under: Labor Solidarity,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 12:37 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2016 12:37 PM
To: CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL; 1199 Members; CIVIL BENEFITS CHAT GROUP; CIVIL BKLYN AGING ALL; CIVIL BNO ALL; CIVIL BRONX ALL; CIVIL CONSUMER LAW CHAT GROUP; CIVIL DAP CHAT GROUP; CIVIL EMPLOYMENT LAW ALL; JUVENILE ATTYS ALL; JUVENILE APPEALS ALL; CIVIL EXTERN ATTYS ALL; CIVIL FAMILY CHAT GROUP; CIVIL HCLO ALL; CIVIL HEALTH LAW ALL; CIVIL HOMELESS RIGHTS ALL; CIVIL HOUSING ADVOCATES CHAT GROUP; CIVIL IMMIGRATION ALL; CIVIL LAW REFORM ALL
Subject: FYI: Is the NYPD running a scab escort service? (Socialist Worker)

REPORT

Is the NYPD running a scab escort service?

Lena Weinstein and Danny Katch report that cops in Queens decided to “protect and serve” Verizon scabs by driving them through a picket–literally–outside their hotel.

May 10, 2016

VerizonSW
A Verizon striker, injured by a New York City police officer driving a scab truck, is taken to the hospital

A MONDAY morning protest by striking Verizon workers to give an early “wake-up call” to scabs at their Queens hotel ended with a police hit-and-run on a picketer–and hundreds of workers angered that police had turned themselves into taxpayer-funded chauffeurs for a powerful corporation.

Verizon, which has posted profits of $39 billion over the past three years, provoked a strike with its 39,000 workers in the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) by demanding that workers accept the elimination of job security and forced two-month transfers to other states.

Since the strike began on April 13, the company has run an extensive scab operation, with out-of-state independent contractors attempting–and often painfully failing–to do the work of union technicians, electricians and customer service workers.

One of the most effective tactics for striking workers has been to confront the scabs–both on the job and in their hotels. Not wanting to deal with the disruptions of angry picketers, more than a dozen New York City hotels have kicked out their scab guests, and a number of chains have announced they won’t accept scabs at any of their hotels.

But when several hundred members of CWA Local 1106 and 1109 gathered on May 9 outside the City View Inn, they found an NYPD determined help Verizon scabs steal union members’ jobs.

After a several-hour-long standoff–which included scabs attempting to provoke picketers by screaming obscenities at them from the safety of police protection–cops escorted the replacement workers into police vans and unmarked company trucks (in an effort to hide its scabs, Verizon hasn’t put them in its normal white, red and black vehicles).

Then, to the amazement and disgust of the strikers, the cops got behind the wheels of the scab trucks and NYPD vans–and drove the scabs out of the hotel.

One police-driven vehicle hit a striker near the hotel gates and then sped off, leaving the injured worker on the ground–the vehicle clipped another car in its haste to get away from the scene. It took 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive and take the victim to the hospital.

Jose Collado of CWA Local 1106 described the chaotic scene. “There was a lot of shouting when the cops tried to move the scabs out. The cop panicked, and that’s when the union brother was knocked to the ground. And then they called in even more police for backup.”

Verizon workers were stunned and outraged at the actions of police. “This was a bad call on the part of the NYPD, putting NYPD officers behind the wheel like that,” said Mike Ciancarelli, president of CWA Local 1106.

One striker added: “Other people would have been arrested for hit-and-run if they’d done the same thing. I was never a fan of the police before, but this has opened the eyes of some people.”

Another CWA member said: “For them to drive scab tricks and assault us, it’s disgusting. It’s unbelievable that police would act as private security for Verizon–they’re supposed to be public servants.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

THE COPS’ actions are even more outrageous when you consider the many crimes of the corporation they are providing private security for.

Verizon is infamous for avoiding taxes. It paid negative 1.8 percent in federal taxes from 2008 to 2012–meaning this massively profitable corporation actually got money from the government rather than giving to it.

The company has increased the “digital divide” by not carrying out installation of broadband networks in working-class neighborhoods across New York City, causing Mayor Bill de Blasio to accuse the company of reneging on its franchise agreement with the city.

And now Verizon is trying to destroy the living standards of the workers who built the landline business that is the foundation for everything the company has achieved in wireless.

Gary Morgan of Local 1106 talked about the seriousness of Verizon bringing in so many replacement workers. While the company has its managers driving company trucks, the unmarked vehicles are different. “These are the real scabs,” he said, “the ones taking our jobs. The company has been preparing for this strike for years. They envision a future without the union.”

Collado and Morgan have been on picket lines against Verizon before. The company has changed since previous strikes, however, said Collado. Noting the smaller percentage of union members at Verizon today as compared to years past, he commented, “We don’t have the same leverage that we had before.”

Everyone on the picket line knows that the stakes are high. According to Ingrid Cuello, a field tech with 24 years on the job, and a shop steward and picket captain:

We’re trying to save our jobs. They’ve brought these scabs in from out of state, and we’ve been following the trucks around, and we can see they’re engaging in unsafe practices. The company would rather pay all of them more than give us what we’re asking for because they want to do away with the union.

That’s what makes confrontations like the one outside the City View Inn yesterday morning so important. Unions like the CWA got to where they are today with militant strikes that confronted scabs and stopped the company from getting its work done. Chasing scabs on their jobs and out of their hotels takes an important step in that direction by making the work of being a scab harder.

The tactic of targeting hotels began in the first week of the strike with members of CWA Local 1101 in Manhattan, and it’s been spreading across the New York City area. After yesterday’s incident, the question is whether strikers are going to have to confront cops scabbing for the company. Workers report that CWA District 1 has filed a formal complaint with Mayor de Blasio over the actions of police yesterday.

Far from being intimidated, workers in Queens reacted to the police scab escort service by being more determined than ever to take the fight right at Verizon. That militant spirit is going to be necessary to escalate the fight against a company that’s out for blood.

May 10, 2016

FYI: Gary Tyler’s Road Back to Freedom

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Tue, May 10, 2016 at 3:45 PM
Subject: FYI: Gary Tyler’s Road Back to Freedom

Gary Tyler

After a wrongful conviction in 1975, Gary Tyler spent 41 years behind bars – notwithstanding his innocence — notwithstanding that the 5th Circuit deemed his trial “fundamentally unfair” — notwithstanding that the Pardon Board three times recommended he be pardoned. Gary, who entered prison at age 16 under threat of the death penalty, is finally a free man at the age of 57. Gary never belonged in prison. Let’s support his transition back to life on the outside.

Please LIKE and SHARE on Facebook: Gary Tyler’s Road Back to Freedom

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Checks should be made payable to “Liberty Hill Foundation.” Please write “Back to Life Re-Entry Fund” on the memo line, and mail to:

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  1. DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD**

Use this link https://www.libertyhill.org/backtolifefund or call Rodrigo Guardado at Liberty Hill Foundation at (323) 556-7212. You can make a one-time donation or set up a monthly debit.

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May 4, 2016

ACLA MAY DAY THANK YOU!

From: Sampeur, Jane-Roberte
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 4:41 PM
To: CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL; 1199 Members; CIVIL BENEFITS CHAT GROUP; CIVIL BKLYN AGING ALL; CIVIL BNO ALL; CIVIL BRONX ALL; CIVIL CONSUMER LAW CHAT GROUP; CIVIL DAP CHAT GROUP; CIVIL EMPLOYMENT LAW ALL; JUVENILE ATTYS ALL; JUVENILE APPEALS ALL; CIVIL EXTERN ATTYS ALL; CIVIL FAMILY CHAT GROUP; CIVIL HCLO ALL; CIVIL HEALTH LAW ALL; CIVIL HOMELESS RIGHTS ALL; CIVIL HOUSING ADVOCATES CHAT GROUP; CIVIL IMMIGRATION ALL; CIVIL LAW REFORM ALL
Subject: ACLA MAY DAY THANK YOU!

Thanks to everyone who came out in support of fair treatment for our clients, justice for Akai Gurley and ending mass criminalization and state sanctioned violence against communities of color. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, see links below recapping Monday’s powerful protest.

To be continued…

http://www.hotindienews.com/2016/05/02/48358

https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/may-2-2016-acla-protest-for-akai-gurley/

FYI: 1pm Thursday: Verizon Strike Rally (Flyer attached)

Filed under: Labor Solidarity,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 1:12 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Wed, May 4, 2016 at 1:12 PM
Subject: FYI: 1pm Thursday: Verizon Strike Rally (Flyer attached)

Verizon

MARCH & RALLY FOR GOOD JOBS AT VERIZON

THU, MAY 5, 2016 AT 01:00 PM

40,000 men and women are still on strike at Verizon and Verizon Wireless determined to fight for as long as it takes to protect good jobs.

This strike is bigger than Verizon. It’s about protecting good, hometown jobs in this country. It’s about securing a brighter future for our families and our communities. It’s about standing up to a handful of rich and powerful interests to make sure the needs of working families are met.

That’s why it’s so important for all of us to stand with the working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless.

Join Verizon workers and their allies from across the City as they March & Rally for Good Jobs at Verizon & Verizon Wireless.

ASSEMBLE AT 1PM AT 140 WEST STREET, MARCH TO VERIZON WIRELESS AT 100 WALL STREET FOR A 2:30PM RALLY.

 

LOCATION:
Verizon
140 West Street
New York, NY 10007

Additional background:

This strike needs to be a line in the sand (Socialist Worker)
“If the 39,000 workers at Verizon win, it will be a victory for all workers facing relentless attacks on our living standards from Corporate America.”

May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016: ACLA Protest for Akai Gurley

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NYC public defenders and other unionized Legal Aid Society attorneys and support staff march and rally to demand justice for Akai Gurley, and to end the criminalization of Black and Brown people, from Legal Aid Society office at 111 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, to Kings County District Attorney’s office. Called by the Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA) caucus of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325.

Chants:
*Black Lives Matter, Justice for Akai!
*No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police!
*End Broken Windows, Fire Bratton now!
*Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!
*Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, shut it down, shut it down!
*Whose Streets? Our Streets!
*What Do We Want? Justice!
*Who’s the real criminal? NYPD!
*How do you spell racist? N-Y- P-D!

======
Statement from the Attorneys of Color Caucus of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys: https://www.facebook.com/AttorneysOfColorCaucus/posts/1028304417255636

Attorneys from Legal Aid: A YEAR IN JAIL FOR $2.75 and No Jail time for a murderer? #JusticeForAkaiGurley
http://www.hotindienews.com/2016/05/02/48358

https://twitter.com/hashtag/byeken

#BlackLivesMatter #AkaiGurley Attorneys of Color Caucus – ACLA

FYI: Black Lives Matter: Gary Tyler Finally Free After 41 Years at Angola Penitentiary

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 1:07 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2016 1:07 PM
To: CRIMINAL ATTYS ALL; 1199 Members; CIVIL BENEFITS CHAT GROUP; CIVIL BKLYN AGING ALL; CIVIL BNO ALL; CIVIL BRONX ALL; CIVIL CONSUMER LAW CHAT GROUP; CIVIL DAP CHAT GROUP; CIVIL EMPLOYMENT LAW ALL; JUVENILE ATTYS ALL; JUVENILE APPEALS ALL; CIVIL EXTERN ATTYS ALL; CIVIL FAMILY CHAT GROUP; CIVIL HCLO ALL; CIVIL HEALTH LAW ALL; CIVIL HOMELESS RIGHTS ALL; CIVIL HOUSING ADVOCATES CHAT GROUP; CIVIL IMMIGRATION ALL; CIVIL LAW REFORM ALL
Subject: FYI: Black Lives Matter: Gary Tyler Finally Free After 41 Years at Angola Penitentiary

GaryTyler

GARY TYLER: LOUISIANA PRISONER WALKS FREE AFTER 41 YEARS OF ‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL LIFE SENTENCE’ (Inquisitr)
“Although Tyler agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to get out of prison, there are numerous issues that arose from his case. Along with his attorneys and Louisiana Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activist Walter Collins, a group of supporters spent years gathering information to help get him out of jail.”
http://www.inquisitr.com/3051287/gary-tyler-louisiana-prisoner-walks-free-after-41-years-of-unconstitutional-life-sentence/#kB02EUOj1ByDqlwA.99

Background: Gary Tyler still sits in Angola prison: Three decades of injustice (International Socialist Review)
“To understand the case of Gary Tyler, we must go back to a largely forgotten episode in American politics-the battle over the desegregation of public schools in the 1970s, and the eruption of racist violence that occurred in reaction to it across the country.”
http://www.isreview.org/issues/49/garytyler.shtml

Background: The Case of Gary Tyler: Despite Witness Recantations and No Physical Evidence, Louisiana Prisoner Remains Jailed After 32 Years (DemocracyNow!)
“The case of Louisiana’s Gary Tyler has been called one of the great miscarriages of justice in the modern history of the United States. Tyler, an African American, has been jailed since he was 16 years old for a 1974 murder that many believe he did not commit. An all-white jury convicted him based entirely on the statements of four witnesses who later recanted their testimony. We speak with Tyler’s mother, Juanita, and his sister, Bobbie McCray. We’re also joined by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, who has been covering Tyler’s case. And we hear Tyler in his own words in an unaired interview from prison.”
http://www.democracynow.org/2007/3/1/the_case_of_gary_tyler_despite

Background: The Case of Gary Tyler, A Legal Lynching In Louisiana with Jared Feurer, Southern Regional Director, Amnesty International (Building Bridges)
“Summary:  49 year old political prisoner Gary Tyler, has been imprisoned since he was 17. Tyler, arrested during a white mob’s terror attack on black students being bused during school desegregation was wrongfully charged with the death of a white youth.”
http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=22078

More: http://freegarytyler.com/

 

 

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