2,500 Arab Workers Demand UAW Dump Israel Bonds (Workers’ Power)

Download in PDF format: 1973.12.07- 2500 Arab Workers Demand (Workers’ Power)

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2.500

UAW

A Detroit B’nai B’rith dinner

to supportlsriet bonds turned

into a vic:tory for Detroit’s Am»

community w’*’ a picket line

Qlled by the Detroit ArabAmerican

Co«ciMting Co~

mittee turned out mout 2500

demomt,.ton at Cobo Hall.

The picket line was called

to protest the banquet, which

presented UAW President Leon~

ard Woodcock (a major $Uppor·

ter of Israel’s war bonds drive)

with a “Humanitarian of the

Year” award.

The central demand was that

the UAW end all purchases of

Israel bonds, which finance the

seizure of Arab lands at the

expense of UAW members.

The mass protest drew al·

most iU entire strength from the

Arab community. The demonstrators,

mostly young and many

of whom are auto workers in

Detroit Olrysler and Ford plants,

formed a spirited and well-or·

ganized picket line around the

entranc8$.

The attending celebrities-

Workers I »emand

Israel Bonds

businessmen. auto executives

and UAW bureaucrats-had to

slip around the back to honor

Woodcock for his pro-Zionist

stand.

Wooci:ock ‘s “humsnitllriMJism”

was aptly svmmarized by

a spokf!SmM) for the Arab

demonstrators: “Thl! UAWs

invntmt~nt in Israeli bonds is

regsrd«J by the UAWslsr~

Ara,b membership liS blsck work·

en would f’tlglrd investment in

South Afric..

()rglnizen were effective in

pointing odt tta.t South Africa

is vim..lly the onty remaining

African regime that still

rMintlins friendly relations

with 1 …. , end appal~ for

black wcwken’ support on this

t.sis.

The late evening TV news

broadcasts, as usual, drastically

underestimated the size of the

anti-Woodcock demonstration.

They also ignored a much more

important fact: the turnout of

Arab worken Me l•ge enough

to force tht1 fisnt Dodfltl ,.in

plant (where many Arab work·

ers a~ employed) to shut down

for Mmost the MJtire shih.

Even if the media iWlored it.

this is the central lesson to be

learned from the success of this

demonstration. Uke other work·

ers, Arab workers-whe •e su~

jected to harassment, d iscrimination

and heavy intimidation in

the plants-have the power to

stop production when they organize

to fight for their demands.

Until now, Arab workers have

been severely restricted by the

fear of deporUtion, or what

would happen to their relatives,

should they be fired for any kind

of militant activity.

· As a result, Arabs hav.e not

organized cwcuses to fight for

their own needs, and most have

not played a rote in rank and file

actionagainst Woodcock’s

policies.

If the IUCCtJSS of this dt!monstntion

cJ.ngtl$ this around, it

will!» 11 turning point both for

h Arab p«Jp/tl of Detroit snd

for all auto workers trying to

organize a movement against

the UAW bvrsucracy.

A •oup called the Arab

Workers Caucus, which was instrumental

in bril9ng Anlb

worbn to the demorabation,

c:.rried sip denouncing the

whole ‘”Woodcodc Team” and

led the chant ”We Shut O.ry·

sJer Down” in Arabic.

Also seen for a few momenu

early in the demonstration was

Joe Davis. an opportunist UAW .

local 3 (Dodge Main) offiCill

who is angling to ride to power •n the next election against the

corrupt admin istratton of

current President Andy Hardy.

Davis evidently felt that

showing up on the picket line

would be good for his campaiW’I

for Black and Arab worken’

support. He disaP.PUred, however,

as–soon as Jfts token ~

pearance was cOmpleted-befoTe

any Woodcock or Hardy supporters

attending the dinner

were likety to spot him.

PAGE 10 DECEMBER 7 • 20. 1973 WORKERS” POWER , \

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