April 18, 2011

Capital District Area Labor Federation: Resolution Condemning FBI Raids on Trade Union, Anti-War and Solidarity Activists

*At its annual meeting on April 16, the Capital District Area Labor Federation passed the following resolution. The CDALF is the coalition of the 5 labor councils in the area around Albany, NY. It also includes other labor groups like CLUW and CBTU, etc. The resolution was adopted unanimously.*

Whereas on September 24, 2010, the FBI carried out coordinated raids on the homes and offices of anti-war and trade union activists in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan, during which agents confiscated computers, mailing lists, cell phones, passports, political literature, correspondence and children’s drawings; and served
subpoenas to 14 people to testify before a federal grand jury about alleged material support for foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs); and

Whereas from the Palmer Raids to J Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO, the FBI and Department of Justice have long histories of exploiting public fears in order to disrupt trade union, civil rights and anti-war organizing; and

Whereas four days prior to the September 24 raids, the Office of the Inspector General of the United States revealed that the FBI has systematically and illegally spied on political activists; that FBI director Robert Mueller lied to Congress about details of the surveillance; and that agents frequently confuse civil disobedience with “domestic terrorism”; and

Whereas on June 20, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Holder v Humanitarian Law Project to uphold a provision of the USA Patriot Act that defines material support for FTOs so broadly as to include legitimate humanitarian work, journalism and international solidarity; and

Whereas attacks by anti-worker politicians in various states have sought to remove the right to organize; and

Whereas recent rallies across the nation in support of the right to collectively bargain has reinforced the importance of the solidarity shown by social movement groups to the labor movement; and

Whereas complacency only leads to further outrages on a wider scale against more groups and that a unified approach of solidarity across a broad spectrum is our best defense as well as offense; and

Therefore be it resolved that the Capital District Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO denounces the September 24 FBI raids and grand jury investigation of Midwest anti-war and trade union activists as a dangerous assault on free speech and association; and

Be it further resolved that the Capital District Area Labor Federation call on Congressional Representatives Chris Gibson and Paul Tonko and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer to request full and transparent Congressional investigations of post-9/11 FBI surveillance of social movements and the use of expansive anti-terror laws to criminalize dissent; and

Be it finally resolved that the Capital District Area Labor Federation forward this resolution to CDALF’s associated affiliates, the NYSAFL-CIO and the National AFL-CIO urging these organizations to similarly condemn FBI and DOJ attempts to intimidate and disrupt grassroots social movements.