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Popular Enforcement of International Law from Vietnam to Gaza

Unions Must Go Beyond Calling for a Cease-Fire in Gaza

By Jeff Schuhrke - Jacobin, February 13, 2024

Four months into Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza that has killed over twenty-eight thousand Palestinians, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) — the US labor federation whose member unions represent 12.5 million workers — issued a statement on February 8 urging a negotiated cease-fire to end the violence.

The move came after over two hundred US unions and labor bodies — including national unions like the United Electrical Workers (UE), American Postal Workers Union (APWU), United Auto Workers (UAW), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), National Nurses United (NNU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National Education Association (NEA), Communications Workers of America (CWA), and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — had already made cease-fire calls of their own. Many unions, especially at the local level, have also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian liberation movement.

With the backing of the AFL-CIO and the nation’s two largest unions (NEA and SEIU), support for a cease-fire is now the mainstream position of the American labor movement. Given US labor officialdom’s history of providing substantial political and material aid to the state of Israel — along with its frequent partnering with US empire (which I examine in my forthcoming book, Blue Collar Empire) — this is a remarkable development highlighting the power of rank-and-file organizing to push union leaders on critical issues, and signaling the possibility of building a more internationalist labor movement.

Now, the task for rank-and-file members who successfully organized to get their unions to issue cease-fire statements increasingly is to translate that commitment into concrete action to stop what the International Court of Justice considers Israel’s plausible acts of genocide. Across the US labor movement, networks of pro-Palestine workers are continuing to organize to get their unions to cut economic ties with Israel, put pressure on political candidates and elected officials, and interrupt the flow of union-made weapons and research to the Israeli military.

The United Auto Workers Strike and Building Worker Power for a Just Transition

Eco Socialism: The Only Way To Save Our World?

UAW Builds on Calls for Ceasefire, Christians Attacked in Gaza

By Union Jake and Adam Keller - Valley Labor Report, December 19, 2023

SEA CHANGE: UAW Signs on to Calls for Ceasefire

Retired Union Member Explains Why Veterans Should Want Peace

Civil Disobedience Action at APEC CEO Summit Demands “People and Planet over Profits” and Ceasefire in Gaza

By Patrick Nevada and Bev Tang - Rising Tide North America, November 15, 2023

Photos and videos for download here:

San Francisco, CA – Members of the No to APEC Coalition engaged in a civil disobedience action by blocking access to the site of the APEC CEO Summit at the Moscone West Convention Center in defiance of the hyper-militarized structures erected by the local and federal government. This action is the latest effort by the No to APEC Coalition during its months-long campaign to highlight the global and local harms of free trade and global free market agendas while demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The Speech Biden Won’t Give

By Dan Fischer - Promoting Enduring Peace, November 2023

Nov. 11. President Biden could prevent many further Palestinian and Israeli deaths by giving this speech insisting on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza along with a release of hostages. It would be widely popular among the two-thirds of eligible voters—including 80% of Democrats, 57% of independents, and 56% of Republicans—who favor a ceasefire. It’s unlikely that Biden will give such a speech, since he sees Israel as an enforcer for the U.S. and global elite. Thus, massacres will likely continue and the “genocide” designation could become less and less ambiguous. If there’s anything that might force Biden to stop the bloodshed, it’s the peaceful uprisings worldwide demanding mutual security and a swift transition to a democracy between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.

Good evening. Earlier this month, I was challenged by one Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg: “Mr. President, if you care about Jewish people, as a rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire right now.” I have been thinking about these words ever since.

When I ran for vice president in 2008 and for president in 2020, I promised to be a steadfast friend of the Israeli people. Being a good friend sometimes means stepping up to offer criticism. It means not enabling self-destructive behaviors. As true friends of the Israeli people, we Americans must demand an immediate end to the massacres of Palestinians, a mutual release of all Israeli and Palestinian hostages and prisoners, and a policy shift toward respecting universal human rights as guaranteed under international law.

It’s been nearly five weeks since October 7, and it’s estimated that more than 1,200 Israelis and 11,000 Palestinians are dead. The full death toll may be higher, with many Palestinian bodies lying under the rubble of destroyed and damaged homes, schools, hospitals, mosques, and marketplaces. It is clear that the vast majority of fatalities on each side were civilians. In Gaza, more than two-thirds of the dead are estimated to be women and children.

COP28, Migrant Justice, and Climate Justice: How do we talk about climate, migration and borders at COP28?

By staff - Climate Justice Coalition and The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, November 2023

The role of climate change in both forced displacement and wider migration is increasingly apparent, with climate impacts on people in marginalised communities becoming more severe and more people being forced to leave their homes, the majority of whom are moving within or between countries in the Global South. At the same time, countries and corporations in the Global North profit from the increased militarisation and proliferation of racist border policies. A militarised response to a heating world, in the form of walls, camps and drones, will only increase suffering and prolong the climate emergency. Climate action must include justice for all people everywhere.

With COP28 taking place in the UAE, from 30 November until 12 December 2023, civil society will be talking about climate and migration. This briefing note aims to guide communicators and campaigners on how migrant justice intersects, and how to talk about climate-linked mobility in a way that is justice aligned and does not stoke fears and insecurities.

Download a copy of this publication here (PDF).


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