Palestine and Union Power: What’s next for Labor Internationalism?

Original online here.

Watch panelists Jackson Potter (Chicago Teachers Union Vice President), Carl Rosen (United Electric General President), Jessie Kelly (UAW 160) Sophia Gurulé (UAW 2325), James Carr (Starbucks Workers United Regional Organizer & Rank-and-file worker) and Daphna Thier (NYC-DSA, Emergency Workers Organizing Committee), for their vital discussion on union power, the fight for a ceasefire, and international solidarity. On February 8th, the AFL-CIO issued a statement calling for a “negotiated cease-fire in Gaza.” In doing so, they joined the UAW, NEA, SEIU, and over 200 unions, representing over 10 million American workers seeking the same thing. The US Labor Movement’s de facto and unconditioned solidarity with Israel is beginning to break down. The labor movement has a unique social power to influence the economy and the political system. If one of the current puzzles of the ceasefire movement is how to build power now and in the future to truly reshape American foreign policy, the labor movement is a central piece of that puzzle. The more workers and their unions join in the fight—at their workplaces, through political engagement, and on the streets—the more likely it is that the tide can be turned. What is next for this unprecedented change in the relationship between American labor and American power? What kinds of strategies and tactics should labor consider to make its voice heard? Are there lessons from the past that can be applied today? How do I, as an ordinary working person, get involved in action?


Follow along using the transcript.

0:00my name is DNA I am a New York City DSA member I have been part of the Palestine

0:07organizing committee and for my day job I work at the emergency workplace organizing

0:13committee thank you love to hear it um and I’m really

0:20excited for this event because I think well I think all of us kind of have seen a shift in how the labor movement has

0:30responded to the genocide in Gaza compared to many years of Labor movement

0:36that didn’t really touch the question of Palestine things have definitely shifted and not in no small part because of

0:43people like everyone here in the room uh being a part of that labor movement and

0:49making those differences so um but we invited a few

0:55speakers here today and we’re we’re still missing one that will be here

1:01shortly um but uh in the meantime I’ll introduce I’ll introduce folks and um so

1:10I have first of all um Carl Rosen who is

1:16uh on Zoom calling in from Chicago at the moment I believe um and Carl is the

1:23general president of United Electrical and radio machine workers here we go I

1:30got that out um sorry about that and then we also have Jackson Potter who’s

1:36the vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union we have James Carr over

1:42here to my right who’s a regional organizer here in New York City for Starbucks Workers United and also

1:47Starbucks Barista yeah I work there um and we have Jesse Kelly who’s a

1:54skills trades Auto worker and a member of UAW and hopefully in a moment we’ll

2:01also have uh sopia gurule who is a lawyer at the Bronx Defenders and also a

2:06member of UW um so I

2:12think as we’re we’re waiting for Sophia to get here I’ll just say that we have

2:18an ongoing campaign that you can always call your Congress person again this

2:24week we had a whole bunch of clergy member sending emails to Congress people

2:32um so if you go to newk to socialist ncasa you can um you can find that link

2:40and take action again um you can also join a phone bank no money no money for

2:46massacres solidarity phone bank I’ll put that in the chat as well

2:52um okay has a little one next to it and then finally uh if you’re not yet signed

2:58up to the New York City DSA mailing list you can do that here and find out about

3:05more things that we’re doing okay um so once again nice to see

3:13everybody I’m gonna start and I’m gonna basically ask first of all for us to go around a little bit for uh through all

3:20the different speakers just to get a sense of the basics so each one of you

3:25I’m hoping will tell us about your union who do you represent um you know how many members and how do

3:33decisions get made in your union some of those uh Basics and um I see I’ll start

3:41with Jackson and then Carl um and then

3:47Jesse hey everybody yeah um with the Chicago Teachers Union we have about

3:5330,000 members education workers ranges from clinicians to par

4:00professionals clerks teacher assistants and Educators in K through 12 and

4:08prek and typically we have monthly meetings during the school year for the

4:1310 months at schools in session and those meetings will start the first week

4:19of the month with an exec board meeting where you know major business will be considered items for action and that’s a

4:26group of about 50 functional vice presidents from these different job categories and then that’ll be followed

4:33a week later by a house of delegates meeting which has proportional representation from each of our schools

4:40both in the charter division uh and the the private sector that we represent and

4:46in the big contract with Chicago public schools and that’s where official positions are voted up or down and um

4:54where you know we adopted the ceasefire resolution that we’ll talk about later uh Carl from from UEI hi thanks and uh

5:01thanks for putting this together today uh and uh solidarity to everyone here um

5:07so uh UI uh currently uh our number of people we represented is in a tremendous

5:13flux for really good reasons we have been organizing so much the last couple years I can’t honestly tell you exactly

5:19how many we represent currently but we’re probably in some in the 40, range

5:25uh historically we were the Union for people who made Electrical uh Parts uh and our name uh and also some in the

5:31machine industry uh most of that industry has left this country long

5:36ago um see of us uh Imperial foreign policy that made the rest of the world

5:42safe to move us manufacturing jobs overseas um so we have greatly Diversified we still have folks in our

5:49original uh core in people you know uh who make

5:54locomotives in erania which had a big strike this past year uh but we’re in

6:00all kinds of other areas public sector service sector government subcontractors um other Private Industry

6:06not for profit and you know lately uh doing a lot of organizing

6:12amongst graduate workers uh which is an exess for this

6:18organizing work around solidarity uh with Palestinians too and I’m sure we’ll get into that at at some point uh in

6:25terms of our decision making at a national level we have a National Convention every two years uh that’s

6:31made up entire delegates locals across the country it’s not uh you know not

6:36staff um uh as delegates there it’s people who are working full-time in

6:42workplaces uh they they set policy for the coming two-year period um and we

6:49have had uh for the last uh close to a decade now uh for a long time we had a

6:56on the Middle East but on for the last decade we’ve had a position that uh you know had had a sharp critique of the

7:02direction the Israeli government has gone um and supported BDS for that reason um and we just reup that uh

7:11policy in September by a vote of our delegates uh at the convention that then

7:17created the possibility because that was the policy of our Union it was already calling for you know ending military aid

7:23and all the uh that you know would not to be uh the

7:29killing of people in Gaza uh making use of largely us supplied weapons that it

7:36was very easy for us to um as officers and within the confines of that policy

7:41we’d already adopted as a union uh uh issue the statement jointly with UFCW

7:483000 has become the signon uh statement uh demanding a ceasefire it’s the broadest

7:54expression movement there’s uh thousands of individual work signed on to it and

8:00it’s I think helped Inspire uh many other National unions to take a position

8:06also definitely and hopefully we get into some more of that in the next question too um Jesse did you want to

8:14tell us a little bit about U UAW yeah um so I’m a member of UAW um so we

8:20represent workers in the United States um Puerto Rico and Canada we have

8:26roughly 400,000 active workers right in 600,000 retirees um we have workers in

8:32multiple sectors of the economy including manufacturing colleges universities hospitals and nonprofit

8:38organizations um so much like Carl was saying we Diversified um from our original Roots um we’re actually one of

8:45the two main unions that represent workers who are manufacturing workers um that are using and creating um I’m sorry

8:52that are creating weapons that are being used against the Palestinian people right now so um it’s very important that

8:58we also call for a ceasefire and that we do this work around that uh but we’re a

9:03member leg Union um there was a long and and very uh hard fight recently for one

9:09Member One vote but we were able to achieve that after Decades of corruption inside of the UAW and now we have one

9:15Member One vote um much like Carl’s Union we elect delegates only we have

9:20constitutional conventions every four years so we’re able to elect delegates at a local level and send them to

9:26Detroit um once every four years they also get an opportunity to send amendments um at the Constitutional

9:32Convention and those delegates will set the tone for the next four years inside of the UAW and um rewrite or write new

9:39language into our Constitution which is how we operate and run the UAW uh this

9:45obviously does not stop the need for Rank and file pressure um in in the time

9:50in between of those conventions as things are happening in society and things are happening inside of our Union

9:56so uh we’re very fortunate enough to have like these off groups um one of the off groups is unite all workers for

10:02democracy or uwd which I’m a member of it’s a very Grassroots movement inside

10:07of the UAW and it was created to create a more democratic and accountable Union um they were the main ones fighting for

10:14the one Member One vote and were very successful and ran a reform slate in the last election um so that’s kind of just

10:21an over an overg guu of the UAW cool um did you feel did you have

10:27anything to add to that if if not um I’ll just go very quickly about our particular local since Jesse just gave a

10:34really good breakdown of the UAW at large I’m with the Association of Legal a attorneys UAW Local 2325 we consist of

10:40about 3,000 Legal Services Workers throughout New York City about 30 different shops and in terms of our

10:46Democratic processes we have a Joint Council which consists of delegates um throughout the entire local as well as

10:52The Amalgamated Council which is the leadership including the chapter chairs as well as constitutional officers and

10:58in terms of how we make decisions we make them democratically we put up votes um at the Joint Council as well as at

11:03The Amalgamated Council and I can talk a little bit more later about how we pass a resolution doing that cool okay James

11:11Starbucks Workers United yes I am a Starbucks worker um with Starbucks

11:17Workers United um which is now we have as of today like 403

11:25stores I think um and we are obviously you know organized with

11:33Workers United which became its own Union in 2009 from its predecessor Unite

11:38Here we represent you know service workers garment workers manufacturing shipping a

11:44lot of different things also um and we are affiliated under seciu also and

11:52we’re a new campaign you know it’s been like two and a half years we still have a contract and the decision

12:00in our Union are made it it depends what the decision is who makes it um our workers were

12:08responsible for organizing the whole campaign and writing the contracts

12:15and um crafting escalation strategy and strike strategy but there’s definitely a

12:24lot of rooms we are left out of when it comes to a

12:30national strategy and legal um with Workers United and SEIU

12:36so we are learning how to deal with that

12:43okay um okay well so that will kind of lead us into this next question that hopefully people can can talk to about

12:50what has actually organizing for ceasefire resolutions looked like um

12:56what have you been doing within your union some of the positive moments of of uh of the organizing over the last year

13:03and I think maybe Carl we’ll start with you since UI was one of the first major unions to to call for ceasefire and um

13:11maybe you can talk about what it took to get to that and um and also like what some of that work that you started

13:18to um allude to in your first answer about bringing in more unions into that

13:25into resolution um for for ceasefire sure yes as I was indicating

13:33you know we we’ve had a long history on on this issue um and in fact labor notes

13:40just uh uh published an article uh that kind of lays out some of that history so

13:46if folks are interested they can look on it look at it and and that history is

13:51there because of our history uh with the kind of the through line from the 1930s and the original positions of of the C

13:59IO unions uh which included being independent on issues of uh of foreign

14:04policy and and a big piece of uh the McCarthy era of driving the uh uh

14:10progressives out of the labor movement driving the left out of Labor movement was to have a labor movement that wouldn’t challenge um the Imperial

14:17interests of of the Us corporate class basically um

14:22and so that’s what we had for the next uh many decades uh leading to all kinds of debacles including or tragedies you

14:29know Terrible Things war crimes Etc whether you’re talking about Vietnam or

14:35many other Wars that we entered into um but uh what was uh that started to break

14:42down uh somewhat where most of labor would right away be on board with with the you know kind of the bipartisan

14:48consensus of of uh us carrying out Wars in corporate interest um with the Iraq

14:55War um and it was in part because there was a republican Administration EMP power uh but we put together a

15:02broad-based uh move under the name US Labor against the war um that eventually

15:08was able to move the AFL CIO to take a statement as a whole against the War uh it took about three years um a lot of

15:18dead people unfortunately during that time a lot of but it it was an important

15:23development and uh you know as the war wound down uh and frankly I would say is

15:29you know once the Democratic president came in in 2008 you know the labor movement kind of sat back a little bit

15:35on and and so that organization uh eventually uh essentially withered away

15:40uh but some of the folks were still around and uh that helped get this off

15:46to the ground off the ground a little bit faster this time um and so some of us who had been

15:52involved you know kind of reached out to each other thought about how do we how do we lift something up quickly we don’t want to try and build a whole

15:57organization that’s going to take a while how how do we just get something out on the web uh it was suggested that

16:02UE just put a statement out there and and try and get people to sign on I said

16:08look uh it shouldn’t be just UE we should you know have some some other other uh Union also uh you know so it’s

16:15it’s not just an organization that’s not inside the aflci amongst other things um

16:22and uh so we did a little uh checking around and uh with some assistance from some friends uh made contact with UFCW

16:293000 uh a fairly independent-minded very large local out in the state of

16:34Washington and uh and it you know kind of that talked back and forth along with

16:40some of the other folks who used to be involved in US Labor against the war some folks from labor notes and we came up with uh a fairly you know broad

16:46statement that we thought know most unions of of Goodwill could sign on to

16:52if not immediately eventually and got it out there and it really it snowballed uh to the point that you know a uh uh an

16:59overwhelming majority of US Labor movement US Labor members are now in

17:06unions that have endorsed that statement or something very close to it um and uh

17:12and that led the aflci to actually issue a statement too which and what’s

17:18incredibly important about this is not only that uh you know we’re making an

17:24attempt to to write a wrong that’s going on right now and it’s just critical we ought to be doing that

17:29uh but that we’re doing this with a democratic Administration uh which is unheard of now part of it is I think

17:37because unions are recognizing what great damage Biden is doing to his own

17:43reelection at this point uh and so they’re they’re willing to intervene uh for that reason also but it’s also

17:51there’s a good section of of the labor movement uh that that recognizes uh that

17:57uh uh this is just a terrible thing that Israel is doing to the people of Gaza right now and obviously there’s been a

18:03lot of rank and file involvement helping move uh the union leaderships um and

18:09what’s also been interesting uh is you know the report back from every National

18:14Union Leader we’ve been in touch with and we’ve we’ve kind of Coes folks now uh a section of the national unions that

18:20have signed on to this and some of the big locals also into something called the the national uh labor Network for

18:26ceasefire uh and that’s a website labor for ceasefire dorg um where you can sign

18:31on to the original petition uh but what we’re hearing consistently is they’re getting little or no push back within

18:38their own ranks once the national Union signs on to something uh so they’re getting a push to sign on and no push

18:44against it because this is a a pretty clear-cut issue at this point thanks Carl

18:52um I I’m going to I’m going to ask actually now uh James about Starbucks

18:58workers United because things got pretty heated there also very quickly in the

19:04first few days really released a statement in solidarity with Palestinians um and the company sued you

19:11at that point and there was you know a counter suing but I guess I wonder like

19:18it would I feel like there was a time where it would have been okay uh the

19:24Starbucks is uh saying they’re in support of uh Israel and somehow that’s okay but I’m not sure it worked in their

19:30benefit this time and I guess I wonder do you think in some degree it it might have even strengthened the union because

19:38it seems like now I’m looking we’re fast forward a few months and you’ve forced

19:43this extremely anti-union company to sit down to

19:49negotiate um in good faith for a contract for I think is it like 10,000

19:55workers now in a 390 some store across 43 States I mean this is a kind of new a

20:03new moment for Starbucks Workers United and um and also even uh negotiated a

20:11process for unionization and other stores so I think I guess I wonder is there a relationship between your

20:17International solidarity and some of the the success or The Leverage that you you

20:22have right now yes everything that everyone’s been hearing in the news about Starbucks agreeing to negotiate

20:28with us is because of Palestine um and

20:33um yeah we tweeted like immediately after October 7th we’re like solidary in Palestine on Twitter and then our like

20:40leadership it’s important to say like they they don’t want us to say that our Union leadership you know they they

20:46didn’t want that and then Starbucks sued us so it was kind of like bad situation

20:53for a second but then um people saw

20:59that they doxed us and that they sued us and that they were doing this and so on top of the boycott that Starbucks was

21:05already undergoing because of the union busting and like their numbers started to go into a bit of a freef fall

21:11recently because of the boycott for Palestine on top of the boycott for the

21:17Union Bus thing and so um that was where we broke them was

21:24because of Palestine um but it should also be said that you

21:31know like [Music] um the the

21:37fty that H Workers United and seu have shown

21:42to Israel um the falty that SEIU and

21:47Workers United have shown to Israel you

21:53know it’s hard to imagine that they weren’t kind of a gast also at our

21:58support for Palestine as was Starbucks and I think Starbucks and

22:04SEIU I think found a little Zionist solidarity

22:12in uh being surprised at the workers for supporting

22:18Palestine and um they were kind of urgent to hash out

22:24a bit of an agreement so that we could work towards a contract so that there would be a contract but so that also

22:30necessarily there would be a deescalation in the campaign so that there would be no more workers talking

22:36about Palestine so in a way Palestine got us leverage over Starbucks but it also got

22:43us leverage over our own Union just a situation no one should ever have to be in but that’s what we did and that’s how

22:51it’s going right now and it’s better to be honest about that um so yeah pal Gaza

22:59is responsible for our contract that we’re going to get um it’s all because of

23:04Palestine yeah yeah um yeah and uh and sciu has called uh

23:12since for ceasefire so yeah on the 22nd yes uh on the 22nd seciu uh Mary Kay

23:20issued a ceasefire statement it didn’t have the word Israel in it but uh well for sure I think can say

23:28that Rank and file organizing has done a lot to shift things in the in the labor

23:34movement um I and so I want to actually talk to now the folks from UAW because I

23:41think you know the UAW coming out and support of ceasefire felt like I don’t

23:47know to me a watershed moment um you know in the ceasefire movement so I

23:52guess how does that change happen you know I think uh Jesse mentioned before the reform the hard fought reform within

24:00the union and I’m wondering how that impacted the Union’s position on Gaza

24:06and its willingness to lead on that question and what are some of the challenges nonetheless in organizing for

24:12ceasefire within such a large and diverse Union or any other backlash um

24:17that you face and I think for you Sophia in particular if you could speak to the attack of the government on your local

24:25um that would be great and I don’t know if if you want to go first and Jesse or does that work

24:30Jesse Yeah okay um yeah I really want to emphasize the point that you just made

24:37that it really is Rank and file Le um and that there is a lot of challenges that come not just within the actual

24:45employers or even within the union um but also within Union leadership and I

24:50think it’s important to be transparent about that um you know in terms of how

24:55folks have been organizing for Palestine within the UAW there’s hundreds of workers within UAW labor for Palestine

25:00there’s also labor for Palestine which has existed for 20 years um and the growing labor for Palestine national

25:06network which includes Rank and file caucuses and rank and file workers from different parts of the country who are trying to unite specifically under

25:13certain demands specifically demands pertaining to the Palestinian trade unions because the Palestinian trade

25:18unions did put out a call um to stop arming Israel and to stop complicity

25:24with Israel back in October so a lot of the rank and file organizing within the

25:29UAW was related to that call specifically um because as labor we

25:35should not be Crossing these types of picket lines um and I think Starbucks workers like really because y’all were

25:41some of the first people to to speak out also understands that in terms of the

25:46attacks on my specific local I mean it’s been pretty non-stop since October I

25:51mentioned that I’m from 2325 I’m also from the Bronx Defenders Union which is part of that chapter and we did a statement back in October 20th

25:59and about a week after we did that statement we had petitions to defund our organization we had cease and assist

26:04letters even before we even voted on it from our employer we had uh the New York Post editorial board come after us we

26:11then had the New York Times come after us um we had members of our own 2325

26:17wide Union sue us um to try to stop the vote before we even were able to finish the vote that was about a month of

26:24litigation and then at the end of January the same committee that’s been investigating the same Congressional

26:29committee that’s been investigating different universities led by representative Virginia Fox um sent our

26:35local a letter for a congressional inquiry into anti-Semitism and that led to a

26:42congressional subpoena uh and this committee actually trying to get our meeting minutes and other documentation

26:48that really has no you know why are you looking into that so I say that because

26:54all of this really has been because of rank and file workers and I think Rank and file workers need to understand that

27:00we have tremendous power to influence um foreign policy as well as US policy as

27:05well as us politicians Beyond just our own Union leadership and the only way through do through all of that and

27:11through all the intimidation is to actually do it collectively and to have shared principles that ground you in

27:16these really tough moments because at least for our local it has been very challenging but we continue to persist

27:23because it’s really nothing in comparison to the struggle for Palestinian Liberation within Palestine

27:28and it’s honestly an honor to be part of that struggle and to be fighting against um Western complicity with Zionism in

27:34the United States because we do have such a critical role in the violence that’s been going on for decades in in

27:41Palestine and specifically you know the deaths of at least 30,000

27:47people yeah Jesse did you want to add anything yeah absolutely I just want to like really back up you know Sophia’s

27:54statement and saying that this was very inside of the UAW very very um Rank and file LED and it was incredible to watch

28:01and um you know even our leadership when they did put out a statement for a ceasefire uh credited the rank and file

28:07I think that maybe we should have like leaned into that a little bit more but it was really they started the ball

28:13rolling right they put it on the top of the priority list for the UAW and I think that that was very very important

28:19we were just coming off of one of like the biggest most publicized strikes um by striking all the big three Auto

28:25Workers at the same exact time and really we we were really trying to like realign our priorities um as a union and

28:33this push that came out to stand in in solidarity with palestin was so important and it was orchestrated in

28:38such a beautiful way by the rank and file that it really did like push them to make a statement and make a statement

28:44at a really important time um kind of like you know leading the way for other unions which I thought was important um

28:52and at the time for me uh it felt like almost like this unconditional support

28:57for what was happening and um backing this unconditional backing of what Israel’s actions um and so to see a

29:04union come out and you know stop that unconditional support I think really did a ripple effect through the media and

29:11through the rest of the nation to say maybe there’s like a little bit more to look at here so I really really appreciated that um so we were we were

29:19kind of Lucky in the UAW in the terms of like being one of the first ones to do it but it actually left us in a harder

29:26position because the real thing isn’t the statement the statement is great and it leads the way but the tough question

29:32is what do you do after the statement right so we were able to kind of get there first and um like start this work

29:39a little bit early but that is the harder question I think that you know right now it’s now easy to kind of make

29:46this generalized ceasefire statement and then um now it’s what do you do and for

29:51us it’s been frustrating because we got that early on but it doesn’t seem like there’s much action so again we have to

29:57keep going with Rank and file movement to push our leaders to actually act on that now thank you um can I ask Jesse just a

30:06real quick followup on that because I think for me when I saw what happened in

30:12UAW was like oh wow clearly this started with a grad student movement within UAW

30:19that like uh picked up the question of democracy there was the reform movement

30:25like all of these things had this domino effect but you work in auto and I just wonder like how has it been how’s the

30:31question of Palestine on the Auto Workers of Auto Workers yeah um I’m glad you you brought

30:38attention to that because I think it’s super unfair and um I do believe that

30:43like our highered brothers and sisters really like educated the other sectors in the Union on why this is important

30:50and why it should matter to all of us and it should matter to the workingclass people um as a whole and like I commend

30:56them for that and I think that that’s amazing and that’s what you know what makes the UAW so strong and unique is

31:02that we have all these different sectors and all these people working together to better each other and we really do like go off of each other’s Synergy but they

31:09weaponized that against us in the media and they said that it wasn’t Auto Workers didn’t care right or that we

31:15didn’t understand um and that we were only going with what the highered people inside of the Union wanted and I think

31:21that’s unfair to everybody because that’s not the case I mean just because they were the ones that were maybe the

31:27most vocal the beginning does not mean that we don’t care or that we can’t educate ourselves and stand in solidarity with people um so it was a

31:34really frustrating thing to see played out and I just want to say to like everybody here that like we are strong

31:40because we are so diverse and that’s where we get all of our strength but we should not be deci divisive inside of

31:46our Union and we should not let the media be divisive of us because we really do all Stand

31:53Together wow thank you um so not last but not least Jackson I I guess for you

32:01um I’m wondering both what that looked like the process of the resolution but also you know one thing I I’ve always

32:08thought about core is that you really LED with your relationship to the community and I guess um I’m curious to

32:15hear how has that how has that played out in this question is is the is this

32:21something that the community also feels strongly about or has there been any tensions there um yeah go ahead

32:30yeah I’d say like historically our relationships with the Arab American Action Network uh Kenwood Oakland Community

32:38organization uh Brighton Park neighborhood Council so black and brown or LED

32:44organizations uh helped inform our position in solidarity um and it’s been a tough

32:53trajectory for us uh I I went on a delegation with educator unionists from

33:00England in 2016 and brought back a lot of information to our Union where we

33:06attempted to pass a resolution in solidarity with people in Gaza Palestinian folks um against a

33:13bombardment back then and we were uh internally leaking information

33:21because we had people that were apologists for the occupation within our

33:27staff there were some Zionist members uh who were also leaking to um pro-

33:34occupation organizations like APAC Jewish United Fund ADL and that led to

33:40legislative and funding threats and kind of derailed our internal process as we were seeking that solidarity years ago

33:49and so I I do want to mention that as Democratic organizations we are subject

33:54to a lot of the internal and external pressures that and we don’t pick our members so

34:00it’s really important to lay the foundation and groundwork for respectful debate for strategic orientation

34:08political education and dialogue to preserve and strengthen our solidarity awareness and action that will allow us

34:14to move forward after key decisions are made so that it’s not just lip service

34:20superficial or divisive um and so in November of 23 actually inspired by Alex

34:26Han of in these times who notified myself Stacy Davis Gates of the uee

34:32letter um we were able to be strategic and work with you know myself as a

34:39Jewish labor leader with other Jewish leaders in our organization with Muslim

34:45um allies and U Muslim members we were able to come up with a strategy to really

34:54prevent the kind of external pressure that we face previously and it was really strategic

35:00and useful to have the UE letter uh because it allowed for us to represent a

35:08good Mass line strategy and message at this critical time which unified an anti-war stance in our Union we’ve seen

35:16across the country um in a way that we haven’t seen in a generation um because in a letter that the uee drafted uh you

35:24can’t amend it it’s either a yes or no question so was immune to some of the maximalist arguments we had seen

35:30previously that often divide or confuse some of the middle forces in the union

35:36people who don’t have strong opinions on questions like BDS or apartheid or

35:41genocide but do generally support human rights and find it abhorent that their

35:47government would provide weapons and funding to rain down bombs on children

35:53and unarmed civilians in Gaza or the West Bank and so that was a unifying

35:59method by which we were able to get overwhelming support um and I think it

36:05has set the stage for us to do many other things so for ex example we were able to support

36:10jvp at a sit in at the Israeli uh consulate we were able to uh assemble

36:17some of the labor forces in Chicago to help uh get passed the ceasefire

36:23resolution in the city council and become the third largest the the largest city in the country to have passed that

36:29resolution so I think um you know some of those considerations are really important as people consider Ways and

36:35Means get their own unions more mobilized and aligned um and certainly what happens moving forward is critical

36:41as well I keep doing that I don’t know why

36:49I keep forgetting um so used to unmuting myself I actually there is a a question in the

36:55chat that I don’t know if you wanted to respond to Jackson but um you know did you see any push back from the national

37:03Union or um yeah was that was that an issue I think since you know we went out

37:10on strike against the wishes of uh both um our local labor official Dom and our

37:17national leadership and were successful in 2012 despite you know the the kind of

37:24fears that the sky was falling uh that that has not happened since then and

37:29we’ve had the ability to maintain our independence and autonomy on such questions I will say I think us taking

37:36the position we did um pushed the AFT

37:41and the AFL to take the positions they did and our own State Federation of teachers I I don’t think their

37:47statements are as strong as I would have preferred but never in a million years did I think that would ever happen

37:53either so I think we have to like really consider this moment as being a historic one um and my good friend Lois weiner

37:59who’s on the call good great comrade you know has pointed out if you look at the Shanker institutes you know map of

38:06democracy they list Israel as a free state and Gaza and West Bank as unfree

38:13uh get your head around that contradiction you know take some time and think about that one but clearly

38:18there’s still lots of those issues that we need to sort out in our

38:25movement um Okay so so sorry in advance so people know we did start late so

38:31they’re we’re running a a little bit behind but I I want to give an opportunity to the speakers to really

38:37speak so we might go a little bit over uh in order to get to the audience uh Q&A but that’s why I wanted to take a

38:43question real quick there um so so we brought this up before uh I think maybe

38:50it was Jesse who said this but or someone said that well okay the resolutions are are nice but how do do

38:57you actually move into action now um and I do have that is my my my big question

39:05to you so what are the some of the next steps for uh for labor in Palestine and

39:11you know what can unions do to organize their members and is it is it divestment is

39:17that the next big step and what would would it look like to run a Campa a divestment campaign um you know in US

39:25Labor on a bigger scale um and then you know maybe big picture if you’re willing to also just

39:32say why you think that’s even important for labor to do that what’s the relationship between Palestinian

39:38Liberation we you’ve you’ve touched on it in different points uh throughout the question so far but like why is that a

39:44relevant question to American workers um yeah who I who should start I

39:51don’t know go ahead well I’ll just briefly say our Starbucks ranking file

39:57has been working with Palestinian youth movement a lot and we’ve been getting

40:04together with tons of other Union leadership like Rank and file from around the city which is something we

40:09realized until we started doing that because of Palestine we we we don’t do that we’re not talking with other unions

40:17and in the same way that like all our Starbucks stores used to be separated and and uncommunicative like that’s how

40:23we are with other unions and it’s took this apparently

40:29happening to get us in no room together so it’s like now we are in a room with

40:34each other every week we have like the undocumented campaign in Michigan for example like that’s the kind of Leverage

40:40you can get y sorry un did I say undocumented I have this I have this uh

40:47I have this border bill on the brain sorry uh the uh yeah the uncommitted

40:52vote like that is the kind of thing you can do together when unions members are talking to each other other and that

41:00that uncommitted vote May do a lot for lifting The Siege so that’s like an

41:06example of how you can help change policy just by communicating with other workers and not just your own Union

41:15yeah yeah um I kind of view it in three buckets one is what you were speaking to

41:20in terms of pressuring political leaders um through things like the uncommitted campaign in Michigan um a lot of

41:27different states and I know that there’s one that’s more or less the same in New York state that’s coming up as well I

41:33think it’s also supporting politicians who do take really strong stances in support of Palestinian Liberation but I

41:40think beyond that it’s the divestment campaigns and there’s a number of divestment campaigns that are happening in New York like the New York City

41:46workers for Palestine dc37 as well as Beyond just divestment

41:51like actually stopping the manufacturing the research as well as the transport of

41:57weapons to Israel like Point Blank period And I think that’s never really going to happen by Union leadership by

42:03itself um I think there’s a lot of reasons why that is not something that Union leadership would want to pursue um

42:10but I think Rank and file workers particularly in neww for Palestine are really committed to that organizing work

42:16um because the Palestinian trade unions have been quite clear that that is really how we can stop what’s happening

42:23in Palestine um I think it makes to focus on electoralism to to some extent

42:29in the way that we were just talking about but really I am kind of Blown Away by how people still do want to put a lot

42:36of like focus on politicians because I think for example President Biden has shown that he has no interest in

42:42stopping the violence in Gaza and the only way to actually force them to do it

42:48is by the workers taking control of the means of production of these weapons and

42:54that will really be kind of the that’s the only pathway forward that I see and that I think a lot of rank and file workers throughout the United States see

43:01so I would encourage folks to join these types of coalitions like you were just talking about and getting into spaces

43:07with other unions who are committed to doing that work and joining different Le Palestine caucuses or groups that are

43:12forming in different parts of the country but I really think that is um most important because I don’t know how

43:19else we’re going to stop the violence

43:25otherwise um and any anyone next on from our Zoom

43:32speakers go ahead Carl yeah I I look the the fastest way

43:39to help the people in Gaza is to get the bombs to stop dropping on them and to

43:45get the um massive humanitarian Aid in uh that requires a

43:53change and it’s our government that has the ability to change the policy of the

43:59Israeli government and that’s why it’s Our obligation to get our government to change its policy so I I I really think

44:06most of our Focus uh needs to be on the Biden Administration not because we expect that Biden is going to White wake

44:13up one day and see the light and you know you know change his whole worldview

44:18but because the pressure of the American people can make them change just as has been done historically that’s how the

44:24Vietnam War stopped um eventually I mean I I grew up in a uh in a white

44:29workingclass conservative area of Chicago in the 1960s and it was when the people in that

44:36those neighborhoods in the early 1970s started to join the massive demonstrations against the war that the

44:44war came to an end because those were the folks who were who were the troops in the war largely and African-American

44:50communities too obviously um um we’ve

44:55we’ve got to make that it is clear that Biden’s electoral is not going to support him if he continues this uh this

45:03war um and or supporting this war now I will say this he’s actually changed his

45:09messaging very clearly over the last several weeks hasn’t changed the policy

45:15but they recognize that they’ve got to at least change the messaging it’s not nearly sufficient and people are still

45:21seeing on a daily basis the horror that’s coming out of Gaza due to you know the US supported is policy there so

45:28I I do think the the what unions need to do is start getting their members

45:36actively involved in the protests that are going on in most cities on a regular

45:41basis and so one of the things the National Labor Network for ceasefires just done uh NNU actually took the lead

45:48on doing is we’ve printed up banners um and placers so that uh as demonstrations

45:55get called in different cities we can get people out there marching under labor banners we should be putting

46:01together labor contingents in these marches um show that there’s a a big

46:08action of the of the labor movement uh that is is calling for a uh a complete

46:15cessation of the violence and and the bringing in of humanitarian Aid um and

46:21and uh we need to um uh we need to also think about how we

46:29tie in internationally with other unions uh as usual the rest of the labor

46:34movement around the world is well ahead of the US Labor movement on this uh the mention of trying to stop the provision

46:41of of uh uh Weaponry to Israel uh that is at this point the main demand of

46:47unions elsewhere in the world they they didn’t take any time coming to a ceasefire demand uh they’re organizing

46:53now focuses on on that next step and uh again uh US government policy is

47:00important in that uh it it certainly would be helpful um it you know for

47:06actions to take place like have in the past have actually disrupted uh the ability of weapons to get shipped

47:12overseas I mean the the West Coast Longshore International Longshore Longshore Workers Union um in the in the

47:1860s and 70s certainly played a role in that on the west coast trying to

47:23disrupt continued uh uh mil AR aggression in in Vietnam so uh you know

47:31the the political situation is a little bit different now uh than it was then um

47:37but uh I think those are things that we can think about as a labor movement but this the starting point right now is

47:42getting our members out and I think the reality is while we’ve had a good number of resolutions passed um I I don’t think

47:51we’ve done near enough work amongst our memberships of of any Union of really educating folks and having the

47:57discussion that’s needed so that people understand why it’s an important issue to them um and there there’s actually a

48:05uh a webinar that we did from a labor point of view in fact uh the president

48:10of UAW Sean Fain was one of the people on that uh Jackson Potter uh was key at

48:15putting it together um but we had several other people it was a very very good webinar that can kind of be a basic

48:22introduction uh for members uh to start to understand why and IT addresses issues like why does this matter to the

48:28labor movement and you can find that at at the uh labor for ceasefire dorg

48:33website and I would encourage you to make use of it thanks Carl

48:40Jackson yeah I agree uh with Carl’s assessment I will say on divestment

48:47strategies like our pension trustees with the Chicago teacher pension fund are elected Rank and file

48:52Representatives so when we talk about Union leadership you know there’s a lot of leaders in our organizations that do

48:59incredible work and uh they have divested from the armaments industry hedge funds and fossil fuels and so I

49:06don’t think divestment is a bad strategy U but it is also very technical and a

49:11multifaceted new terrain and we haven’t yet to Carl’s Point fully Consolidated

49:17the power of this moment and the unity and Alignment we’ve built across 9

49:23million workers represented by their unions that have signed on to ceasefire fire resolutions and so I think it’s

49:31critical to test that unity and see if we can do like what Carl’s saying can we

49:37do a National Labor March for ceasefire uh can we take arrests as a labor

49:42movement demanding a permanent and immediate ceasefire um I think we’re

49:48witnessing and experiencing the first real cracks in the hegemonic control that Zionist forces have had on the U us

49:56foreign policy regime and we need to take full advantage if UAW can force the

50:03first sitting president in US history to march on a picket line for a strike then

50:09we certainly sure as hell should be able to get this president to uh you know put in place a ceasefire immediately if he

50:16wants any chance of getting reelected so I think this is a key opportunity for us

50:22to continue to move on the alignment and practice we’ve built

50:29great Jesse what are your thoughts yeah I mean it’s such a multi-layered um

50:34question so I want to just make sure that like I hit all of them um to me

50:39this is like a super super like easy thing to correlate to anybody and make it everybody’s fight by just simply

50:46saying that like it no one is free while other people are oppressed right I mean

50:51that’s it it’s just bottom line that if there is oppression happening in this world um we have an obligation to fight

50:58against that because that’s what we do inside of unions is we fight against the oppression and the exploitation of of

51:04people um in our case it’s of workers and um we see this happening so it’s

51:09just this really easy bond to immediately make and make it everybody’s fight um which we’ve been able to do I

51:16think um on a grand scheme which I think is awesome but for me I completely agree

51:21with everybody when they say it’s education um divestment is important and divestment is something that we have a

51:28history of inside of the UAW so to me like that’s another easy thing that we can accomplish because in 1974 uh Rank

51:36and file members actually all got together and pushed for a huge divestment um campaign at our

51:42constitutional convention and won and and we you know were able to um get tons

51:48hundreds and thousands of dollars out of Israeli bonds um at that time and that’s something we’re going to have to do again but we have all of this history

51:54that we can just repeat to make sure that we were able to do that but the real thing is education um as I

52:01mentioned earlier the UAW is in a particularly um you know conundrum

52:06because we also represent weapons manufacturing workers and those workers

52:12don’t wake up every single morning and say like I can’t wait to go to work today and make bombs that are going to

52:17kill children that that’s not where they’re at right they have to dissociate with themselves and they have to say I

52:22have to do this because I have to go and I have to provide my family with a roof over their head and food on the table um

52:28so they just are completely disassociating with what their labor is being used for um so what we need to do

52:35really the only answer to me is the empowerment of workers and and making sure that those workers feel empowered

52:41enough to ask for a conversion program um for a just transition to make sure that their labor isn’t going to these

52:47this horrendous acts against humanity and genocide um and they should feel empowered enough that they don’t have to

52:54give up their livelihood to fight this fight and they don’t have to choose between their job and being able to

53:00support their family or feeling moral about the things that they’re doing um and I think it’s our job to make sure

53:06that they can fight um for a just transition and you know like this idea

53:11of a war economy to a peace economy and it was something that Walter Ruther actually was working on right before his

53:17death inside of the UAW to fight the war of Vietnam um and he was trying to work on this and what a conversion program

53:23would look like and how much better those workers would feel if they went every day and they they created products

53:29um that sustained our society and helped with our infrastructure and they could feel good and they could have pride in

53:34the things that they’re doing and pride in like what their manufacturing and their labor power is going for um so me

53:41to me that’s the answer is that we have to empower these workers and once we Empower these workers and show them that

53:46they have all of the Power and they can demand something like this I think that they will and if they stopped if they

53:52stopped using their labor it all stops and that’s that easy they just need to know that they can um and I think that’s

53:59our job right now is to educate them on that amazing thank you so much um I feel

54:07like so much of what you all are saying right now is uh laying such a a powerful

54:13vision for what a more political labor movement can really look like um so this

54:20is a sort of uh you know specific question and and

54:26and feel free you know whoever wants to respond can but we’re in this what feels

54:32like a pretty much a rock and a hard place with this election coming up

54:37because we have this genocidal Maniac in uh Power right now and the other option

54:43is a you know a sociopath so what um you know what is I guess the the role of

54:51Labor right now um obviously Biden has been good for

54:59within the nlrb in particular uh someone mentioned that he marched marched on a picket

55:04line um so is this a is this a contradiction for labor or you know what

55:10are you weighing when you’re thinking about Labor’s role in The Selection cycle um and we can we can start with

55:16our inperson folks or I if if you feel ready or I can ask someone from the

55:25zoom I’ll start okay try to keep it brief

55:30I um I think that Joe

55:37Biden uh goes up to bat for white workers

55:42um but his treatment of Palestinians and of you know Asylum seeking

55:49migrants it’s just the white supremacy you don’t care about any other workers

55:55except workers so but I mean Trump’s going to try to get the anal like he’s going to

56:02try to get unions banned so I don’t know what to do that’s what I’ll

56:08say it’s a white supremacy or unions getting banned so it’s tough tough

56:17yeah yeah um we can’t endorse Joe Biden as this wages on like as unions we can’t

56:23do it I know that the O already did it I’m speaking as rank ofile worker someone from UAW lab for Palestine where

56:29tons of workers um opposed that um endorsement precisely because of the

56:35fact that we had just taken a ceasefire resolution um like a month before I

56:40think it was a mistake to do that um I think there’s a reason why Shan Fain was

56:48at the State of the Union which is that Biden knows that he needs labor to win and so if we have that much power I

56:55don’t understand why we wouldn’t be wielding it as labor to stop the genocide and to stop the settler

57:01occupation in apartheid regime which is Israel um I don’t think we need to just

57:08be focusing on you know getting going to protests and all of that type of stuff I

57:14think we really need to be thinking quite seriously about how we change us Society through Labor because I think

57:20the fact that we’re even put into position where we have two white supremacists to your point running for office and we’re expected to choose

57:25between one or the other um shows how actually undemocratic our society is um

57:32so I think we really need to take seriously like how do we really Force these people to act how do we actually

57:38stop the bombing ourselves and how do we make them be responsive to us rather than us just going out and campaigning

57:43for them and then like hoping for the best because clearly things are not good right now um I think we also need to

57:49think about Democratic processes Beyond just Federal elections I think we can think about it within our own unions to

57:55appoint Jesse was brought up earlier about one Member One vote um that really did change and make a significant impact

58:01within the UAW and I think unions are democratic institutions or should be Democratic institutions by which we can

58:08actually push those substantive material changes Beyond just you know endorsing

58:13him and then going to the state of the union and calling it a win because I don’t know why we consider Joe Biden to

58:18be the most pro-union president when just because he went to a photo op on a picket line when just two years ago he

58:26passed a bill to break up the railro Railroad Strike um and then three months later there was a railroad environmental

58:33disaster which was directly tied to some of the demands that the workers had been fighting for that he opposed so I think

58:40we really need to think about our role is just workers and think collectively and think about our own Collective power

58:46rather than trying to offload that power into certain you know candidates um the

58:51candidates will do whatever they want to do unless we force them to do something differently

58:57thank you um so I’ll I’ll give it to um Jesse and then

59:09Jackson yeah um so thank you for bringing up that point I mean that’s completely correct he he did impose a

59:16contract on Railroad Strikers or people that wanted to strike that were railroad workers he imposed a contract on them

59:22which feels like the most like anti-union thing that somebody could do um is by saying like you don’t have the

59:28right to withhold your labor when that is the biggest power that we have inside of unions is the right to withhold our labor so it was extremely frustrating

59:34being a union member at that time um and I just want to highlight that over and over and over again because these

59:42politicians work for us and when he came to a line I get that that’s important and I I get where it was like awesome

59:49that the UAW had so much power um through their strike action that it was able to persuade the president of the

59:56United States to come to a strike line that’s never happened but I want to be clear here like it was the pressure of the rank and file workers and the

1:00:02sacrifice that those that those striking workers did and the fact that it was going to hurt the economy that forced

1:00:07him to come and it helped him a lot more than it helped the UAW to show up on

1:00:13that line it really really did so I I don’t want to make it seem like you know like oh the UAW won because Joe Biden

1:00:20came on the line no Joe Biden won votes because he came on the line it helped him it was a self-serving move um I am

1:00:27just so sick of living in a society where it’s the lesser of two evils or where it’s even like a just argument to

1:00:33say to somebody just plug your nose and check a box in November because it’s going to be better than what it could be

1:00:39right and we’ve just been operating in this Society for so long out of fear and it’s you’re never voting for somebody

1:00:45you’re voting against somebody else and why is it like that it just should not be like that and I think unions and

1:00:50labor and the working class of you know of the United States can change that if they just try if

1:00:56collectively work together in in solidarity with one another and have that communication we can change that we

1:01:02can make a working party we can scare them so that these two-party systems that isn’t working anymore actually

1:01:08produces politicians that are working for us that will be accountable to us and I get that we can’t do that right

1:01:14now but that is what we need to do in the future and that’s what we need to be like focusing on um I I wish that we

1:01:21wouldn’t have endorsed anybody inside of the UAW I wish that we would have withheld our Endor endorsement until

1:01:26some more of our demands were met um and I just I get really upset because even

1:01:32if we were going to endorse him which we did um this unconditional support and this like propaganda machine that is now

1:01:39happening off of that endorsement is very very frustrating as a UAW member because I get that we might be in a

1:01:45position where we have to do this in November I totally understand that but we Cann not act like this is the best

1:01:52thing that’s ever happened to the union that he’s running for president it’s not and I mean every day you can go on to

1:01:58online and you can see you know these videos and these pictures of like children Palestinian children that are

1:02:05starved to death or they’re shaking because they had so much trauma and to expect like the American people to

1:02:12either not make that correlation that what they do in November is going to going to support that um or the fact

1:02:19that like it feels like our politicians are putting their own aspirations and their own egos above other people’s

1:02:25lives is just infuriating and it it’s gonna eventually turn on them because this lesser of two evils eventually it’s

1:02:32just going to be the worst one right because everybody is so upset and they feel like why are they going to

1:02:37participate in a system that’s not participating for

1:02:43them thanks Jesse uh Jackson did you w to add to

1:02:48that yeah I mean I might just offer that I do think as leftists and socialists we

1:02:54have to consider united front politics when there are such

1:03:00drastic choices in front of us and on the horizon that have you know tremendous impact you know Maga the Maga

1:03:08block dominates the Republican party it’s now a white supremacist um party both domestically

1:03:16and internationally that makes it qualitatively different I think than what we see on the Democratic side where

1:03:22actually we have some forces that have supported ceasefire that have supported labor that have supported public

1:03:28education they want to dismantle all of that on the Maga side um and they want to put people as my union president

1:03:35Stacy Davis Gates has said back on plantations so I I think we need to be a little more Discerning about the fascism

1:03:43that is on the horizon in this country and what it could mean the foreign policy establishment has always been

1:03:50United in a bipartisan way on the question of Israel um we’re finally starting to see cracks in that Unity um

1:03:57and I think we’re going to need to break them apart and mobilize and we need to talk to people when we’re knocking doors

1:04:03not about Biden it’s not about him it’s about us workers as protagonists we’re

1:04:08on the Move we’re making these new possibilities clear for people we’re

1:04:13trying to raise National Health Care we’re trying to raise stop paying for our tax dollars to Israel bombing

1:04:21children I think these are the opportunities we need to really be talking about um the people as

1:04:26protagonists not some Tobit politician but how do we coales our block to fight

1:04:32fascism and defeat the right and unify the left I think that’s got to be our

1:04:39plan thanks Jackson uh yeah go ahead Carl yeah I uh UI comes at this from a

1:04:49uh perspective than most unions in this country because we almost never endorse

1:04:54uh in the uh in the presidential race uh because we think the two-party system is

1:05:02uh you know one where we need a party for working people instead uh the bosses have two parties we need one of our own

1:05:09uh having said that I I also agree with Jackson that obviously there are there are a variety of forces within the

1:05:14Democratic party some of which uh stand up for us very strongly and that get

1:05:19into place there and so you know it as opposed to the Republican party at this point which is entirely

1:05:26um but that that doesn’t mean UI is going to make a decision to endorse Joe

1:05:31Biden this year um we will be having a discussion about this at our general Executive Board in uh in June uh we’re

1:05:40going to inform that by discussions that are going to take place at our Regional Council meetings with local elected

1:05:45delegates in April um what we’ve done in most elections in the past is uh issued

1:05:52a statement uh that basically analyzes the Plus and minuses of of going one way or the other and uh and sometimes give

1:06:01some advice saying you know uh to to you know minimize the damage that we take

1:06:06and live to another day uh it might be better to vote for this candidate versus

1:06:11that candidate very different than an endorsement endorsements um in

1:06:18some trying to sound like this perect person is perfect and um the reality is

1:06:25those that Joe Biden has done some very good things for labor and uh you know he’s called the most Pro labor president

1:06:32uh in part because he’s done some good things in part because the bar was awfully damn low uh because of the

1:06:37president’s before him and I will also say a lot of that is the fault of the labor movement um even this you know

1:06:44what was just discussed here like I couldn’t agree more that no US president

1:06:49who wants to be considered Pro labor President should be you know stopping anybody from having the right to strike

1:06:55on the other hand there is no doubt that some of the heads of the rail unions wanted him to take the action that he

1:07:02did they did not want to take their members out on strike uh for a variety of reasons that have to do with just the

1:07:08conservative nature of of uh Union leadership in this country particularly in craft unions which is what most of

1:07:14the rail unions are and uh and uh you know having to do with people being afraid of their own members too uh and

1:07:21it’s it’s been a longtime problem in the labor movement and uh you know and we can go back to you know we should have a

1:07:27labor party in this country there was an effort to try to push that um in the in the’ 40s that got you know destroyed by

1:07:35the McCarthy era uh there was another E effort to put it together in the 90s that my union was very my union was

1:07:41involved both times um and uh you know we couldn’t get major sections of the

1:07:46labor movement on board despite the fact that we were staring at Bill Clinton as you know the best that the Democratic

1:07:52party could produce at that point who probably did more Dam movement than any

1:07:57other president about other than Ronald Reagan uh so yeah labor labor has to take

1:08:05responsibility for where these things stand but our members and the working class are going to have to live under

1:08:11whoever becomes president uh at the end of this year and that’s a that’s something that we really have to

1:08:17contemplate uh within the union movement thank you thank you so much to

1:08:22all of our speakers those who came on Zoom those came in

1:08:28person um I think these are excited times for the for the labor movement um

1:08:34I do want to also say that oftentimes for at least for me personally in these

1:08:39moments in these spaces I can feel really excited and then of course we go home and we’re feeling devastated by

1:08:45what’s happening and ultimately that’s what we’re here for we’re here for a very serious fight it means that there’s

1:08:51going to be a lot of challenges it means that there’s going to be a lot of um arguments about how best to go about

1:08:58it but I think ultimately what we’re doing here is trying to free Palestine so thank you all for coming thanks for

1:09:05being here with us and um for we’ll see you all soon

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