Anti-War Resolution

Adopted by Professional Staff Congress-CUNY June 2002

RESOLUTION OPPOSING EXPANSION OF US MILITARY CAMPAIGNS IN A PERMANENT AND UNCONDITIONAL "WAR ON TERROR"

Whereas, we write as New Yorkers, as unionists and as people who have dedicated their professional lives to open discussion of complex questions; and

Whereas, our location in New York means that we have felt and continue to feel the effects-ranging from minor dislocations to profound grief-of the murderous attacks of September 11th, and that we take seriously the danger of future attacks; and

Whereas, the members of the Professional Staff Congress were among the many people who responded magnificently to the catastrophe and who suffered terrible loss that day: eight of our members died in the attack, as did numerous family members and friends, at least 30 of our students and 161 alumni of the City University of New York; and

Whereas, President Bush, in his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address stated that "our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun," and Vice President Dick Cheney has said it is possible that the war might be expanded to "forty or fifty other countries," possibly lasting "fifty years or more"; and

Whereas, President Bush, speaking in Germany on May 23, 2002, called the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein "a threat to all civilization" and appealed to German legislators for help "in waging a wider war on terrorism," (The New York Times, 5/23/02); and

Whereas, with military spending already accounting for nearly one-fifth of the total federal budget and over half of all Congressional discretionary spending, President Bush's proposed military budget of $396 billion, coupled with current tax policy, will create austerity for working people and disinvestment in education, health care, environmental safety and other human needs; and

Whereas, the Bush Administration has sharply limited civil liberties and access to information since September 11th: Freedom of Information Act policies have been revised to restrict access for journalists, scholars and others; Congress passed the USA-PATRIOT Act, which permits breakage and entry without court orders, expansion of wiretaps, imprisonment of suspected terrorists without trial, and secret military tribunals; and

Whereas, public discussion in the United States of the way to create domestic security has been narrowly focused on war, neglecting issues that contribute to domestic insecurity such as US foreign policy, the consequences of globalization, inequities in the distribution of wealth, and others; and

Whereas, modern weapons mean that heavy loss of civilian life is now an intrinsic part of war, not an accidental consequence: according to the United Nations Conference on Children, 90% of war casualties are now civilian, as opposed to 5% during World War I; and

Whereas, we as a union have engaged in a two-month period of discussion on the position the PSC should take on the current military policy of the US government, using chapter meetings, the Delegate Assembly, chapter newsletters, the union newspaper and the website to conduct a vigorous and democratic debate; and

Whereas, members expressed many different points of view in the discussion, but consistently raised three themes: condemnation of the terrorist attacks, concern about security and the domestic consequences of war, and opposition to expansion of war; therefore

Be it resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress reaffirm the resolutions it passed unanimously on September 20, 2001, which condemned the terrorist attacks of September 11th , extended sympathy to those grieving for people they loved, and offered solidarity with fellow workers in a time of mourning; and

Be it further resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress oppose the unconditional expansion of military campaigns by the United States as a substitute for a strategy in response to September 11th that would genuinely protect collective security and individual freedom, in a manner consistent with our Constitutional principles; and

Be it further resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress call for a broad public discussion of how to create real and lasting security that goes beyond war as the only solution, considering such issues as US foreign policy, the consequences of globalization, and inequities in the distribution of wealth; and

Be it further resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress oppose the federal funding priorities that cannot be separated from a commitment to expanded war and permanent militarization: austerity for labor and disinvestment in education, health care, environmental safety and other human needs; and

Be it further resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress oppose the curtailment of civil, human and immigrant rights and of academic freedom for both students and faculty that is also directly related to expansion of war and permanent militarization; and

Be it further resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress continue the union discussion begun this spring on war and related issues at chapter and university-wide meetings during the 2002-03 academic year, for such a discussion will strengthen us as a union, deepening our practice of democracy and participating in the richest tradition of unionism; and

Be it further resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress bring this or a similar resolution to the labor, academic and community groups with which it is affiliated, calling on them to take the lead in proposing an agenda that frees all people from terror and promotes peace through justice.

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