Resolution Against the War, Attacks on Civil Liberties and Cuts in Public Services

AFSCME L. 304

AFSCME Local 304
May 23, 2002

Resolution Against the War, Attacks on Civil Liberties and Cuts in Public Services

WHEREAS, President Bush's ever-expanding "war on terrorism" has been cynically used to justify a $48 billion hike in next year's military budget, bringing it to $383 billion, in addition to the $15 billion bailout of the airline industry and $25 billion in tax refunds for corporate America; and

WHEREAS, Congress is forcing AFSCME members and other working and poor people to pay for this war drive and subsidize corporate profits by raiding the Social Security Trust Fund and cutting funding for economically distressed states and vital government programs such as subsidies for low income housing and services to the homeless and the youth; and

WHEREAS, the billions spent on armaments, domestic repression and bailouts could be better used to provide re-training programs and jobs to the 800,000 workers across the nation who lost their jobs after September 11th, and to plug the $50 billion deficit in state and local budgets that has resulted in a major loss of union jobs and cuts in essential socials services such as fully staffed libraries, education, quality public transportation with reliable access services to the disabled, providing clean water and air, healthcare and treatment for the mentally ill; and

WHEREAS, in the aftermath of September 11th over 1,000 immigrants were imprisoned in detention centers, thousands of airport workers (many of them immigrants of color) were fired simply because they were not citizens, and Muslims, people of Middle Eastern descent and other immigrants suffered increased violence sparked by racial profiling by the INS and FBI; and

WHEREAS, the federal "USA PATRIOT" anti-terrorism act and similar state measures undermine labor's right to organize and fight anti-immigrant attacks and other union-busting tactics by expanding the government's ability to detain non-citizens based on mere suspicion, to conduct telephone and internet surveillance and secret searches, and to define people engaged in political protest as "domestic terrorists;" and

WHEREAS, the national AFL-CIO's uncritical support for this profit-driven war has derailed labor opposition to increased military expenditures, corporate subsidies and government spying and provided political cover for Democrats to jump on the anti-terrorism bandwagon;

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO's support for the war has led to the callous withholding of solidarity from labor's working class and poor allies in other countries who are suffering and dying as a result of this conflict;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFSCME expand its efforts to defend civil liberties by taking the following actions and urging the AFL-CIO to do the same:

1) campaigning for the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act and defeat of similar "anti-terrorism" measures in state legislatures; and

2) pressuring local and state law enforcement to refuse to cooperate with FBI spying on political, union, and anti-globalism activists or comply with INS harassment of Arabs and other immigrants and people of color in the U.S.; and

3) demanding the immediate release of the hundreds of Middle Eastern, Arab and other immigrants who are still being detained without due process and/or legal justification;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that AFSCME oppose the U.S. government's open-ended "war on terrorism" and participate in rallies, marches and other activities to pressure President Bush and Congress to stop the war and redirect money from corporate handouts and the military budget to assist laid-off workers, restore and expand public services, and promote global justice by providing humanitarian and economic aid--administered by unions--to our brothers and sisters in other countries; and that AFSMCE urge the AFL-CIO to do the same.

Approved on May 23, 2002 in Seattle, Washington by AFSCME Local 304 for submission to the AFSCME International Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 24-28, 2002.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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