When: September 6th, 2013
Where: Cass Corridor Commons
4605 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48201
East Michigan Environmental Action Council, 5E, Heru, and the American Indian Health and Family Services invite you to the film screening of, Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience, on September 6th, 2013. The showing will take place in the D. Blair Theater of The Cass Corridor Commons.
Focusing on the lives and experiences of the Native/Indigenous community in the Midwest, Our Fires Still Burn is a one hour documentary that works to dispel the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the United States. The narrative that Native and Indigenous peoples no longer exist in the US has been perpetrated in many forms since the beginning of colonization in the US, with perhaps the most famous example being the book (and movie), The Last of the Mohicans. The narrative usually argues something along the lines that because Native peoples are now dead (or are actively dying), we need non-Native peoples to "save and recover" (read; loot) Native artifacts (very often including actual bones of human beings). Another strand of the narrative argues that names like Washington Red Skins are actually compliments that honor long dead tribes rather than the offensive insults that Native/Indigenous peoples say they are.
Our Fires Still Burns argues that the narrative that Native/Indigenous peoples are dead is harmful in that it invisibilizes and makes unnecessary the voices of the very much alive Native/Indigenous community. But as Our Fire Still Burns shows, Native and Indigenous peoples continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society.
The film viewing of Our Fires Still Burn will appeal to native and non-Native alike, and will be followed by a question and answer session featuring many of the people appearing in the film, as well as film director Audrey Geyer. Ms. Geyer is an independent video producer and director whose programs have been broadcasted locally and nationally on PBS. She is the founder and current executive director of Visions, an independent video production company local in Metro Detroit. Visions work focuses on creating documentaries that tell the stories of communities that are underrepresented in mainstream media.
As East Michigan Environmental Action Council co-director, Diana Copeland says, the most important thing to do right now in light of various attacks on marginalized communities in Detroit is to build community responses to those attacks, "Conversations that happen where we can begin to get to know each other are essential and will only make our communities stronger."
On September 13 and 14, UE and Unifor representatives participated in a series of meetings in Mexico City to facilitate continent-wide labor solidarity. UE was represented by General President Peter Knowlton and Director of International Strategies Kari Thompson, and the Unifor delegation consisted of Secretary General Bob Orr and Director of Human Rights and International Department Mohamad Alsadi.
The UE and Unifor leaders met with the UNT, a federation of independent unions in Mexico, during the UNT’s weekly meeting.
Later that day, the group took part in a meeting discussing strategic trinational solidarity, which included many members of the UNT and the Mexican Electrical Workers Union (SME). The conversation centered around NAFTA negotiations, but also covered other possible projects to raise working standards in all three countries. Raising wages for workers in Mexico is a top priority for all the parties.
The following day, the US and Canadian unionists spent time with the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT-Authentic Workers Front) at their offices. FAT leaders shared a report about the educational work they are doing for both their members and their surrounding communities on gender equity, ethics pertaining to human rights, and developing technological skills. Participants in FAT workshops learn not only the content but also how to share the information with coworkers and family members after they return home.
President Knowlton remarked, "These exchanges deepen our understanding of the challenges faced by the independent democratic union movement, especially in Mexico, and we should be optimistic about the movement's future. Strengthening our cross-border work and supporting each other allows us to better defend and improve the conditions of all workers across the continent — and defeat the divisiveness of corporate assaults on our living standards, like NAFTA."
UE General President Peter Knowlton and Local 506 Executive Board Member at Large Matt McCracken spoke at a press conference this morning opposing the continued offshoring of jobs by General Electric and other companies.
A particular focus of the press conference was offshoring by companies like GE that receive federal contracts. According to a recent report by Good Jobs Nation, General Electric rates #1 in offshoring jobs while receiving federal contract awards. GE has taken close to two billion dollars in federal money, while destroying 8,700 jobs through offshoring.
McCracken spoke about how when he started working at GE in Erie, there were over 15,000 jobs at the plant, “good livable wage jobs, that gave your family some hope of a better future.” He noted that since then, GE has moved profitable division after profitable division out of the plant. “All those jobs were moved away by big business for an extra nickel in profit, all aided and abetted by politicians like Donald Trump.”
McCracken continued by describing the current round of decision bargaining over GE’s latest transfer of work as an effort to break the union. But, he said, “this union won’t break!”
President Knowlton denounced the fact that while “GE has been awarded billions of dollars in federal contracts, it continues to pursue a strategy of destroying unions and driving down wages to improve profits and shareholder value.” He suggested that if President Trump were serious about following through on his commitment to manufacturing, “he needs to condition federal contracts on the unfettered freedom to organize and join a union, to enable workers to secure better pay for themselves, their families, and their community.”
Knowlton said that if President Trump were truly committed to working people, he would support a NAFTA renegotiation which encourages workers to organize and raises the standards of our communities throughout the continent. With that kind of NAFTA, corporations would have less ability to pit us and our communities against one another for the lowest wages.Creating Jobs and Living Wages
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told the press conference that “At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we need to rally working people across this country to demand a government that listens to the 99% and not just the donor class and the 1%.” He proposed that, in addition to ending offshoring, we need to go further and “create an economy and a government that creates jobs and living wages.”
Sanders then outlined several proposals to do so, all of them in line with UE Policy:
- Increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hour;
- Invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, creating 15 million good-paying jobs in the process;
- Make college tuition free, so that students can attend college regardless of their parents’ income;
- Decisively reject Republican bills which would throw tens of millions of Americans off of health insurance, and instead implement a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system which would guarantee health care to every resident of our country.
Other speakers at the press conference included CWA President Chris Shelton, Lori Wallach from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and several leaders of United Steelworkers Local 1999 in Indianapolis, whose members were famously promised by then-candidate Trump that he would save their jobs.Watch
Video of the press conference is available on Good Jobs Nation’s Facebook pageTake Action
Good Jobs Nation is calling on working people to sign this petition to urge President Trump to “pick up the pen” and stop corporations with lucrative federal contracts like General Electric from offshoring jobs with an executive order.
市議員李麗嫦在講話時更是情緒激動落淚，痛斥川普總統在當天赦免亞利桑那州涉種族歧視的警察阿帕歐(Joe Arpaio)。「我覺得抗爭已經不夠，我們還要做一些事情。」她表示自己正在籌畫一項彈劾川普的議案，縱使收到很多的仇恨郵件和電話也依然不懼怕。Links: World Journal - 華埠燭光禱告 悼維州死難者
集會反對右翼保守組織「愛國禱告者」（Patriot Prayer）本周六在Crissy Field的集會，各團體代表聯合不同背景的移民，互相對話，分享彼此的經歷和體會。大家紛紛譴責種族主義、白人至上主義，扼殺有色人種、少數族裔移民群體參與社會的機會。
猶太教代表Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb發言，猶太人、華人、各族裔都是一個大家庭。從納粹大屠殺的歷史，明白一定勇敢站出來，掃除各種種族主義，不應該建立墨西哥分隔牆、大量逮捕，抵制排斥移民的政策。
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U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced his single-payer healthcare bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2017, on Wednesday, September 13. Joined by nurse union leaders, doctors, parents, and many of the 16 Senate co-sponsors of the bill, Sanders proclaimed his intention to “guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All, single-payer health care program.”
"Sanders' Medicare for All bill is exactly what UE members have demanded for decades: a universal, single-payer healthcare system which guarantees coverage for all people," said UE Director of Organization Gene Elk. "We are ready to mobilize our members and communities to take on the health insurance industry, Wall Street, and the politicians who represent them, and to win healthcare as a right."
The Medicare For All Act of 2017 would establish a national health insurance program called the Universal Medicare Program. Under this legislation, every resident of the United States would receive health insurance through an expanded Medicare program with improved and comprehensive benefits. These benefits include hospital services, primary and preventive services, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment services, comprehensive reproductive health services, and dental health, audiology, and vision services.
At the 75th UE National Convention, held in August, delegates reaffirmed UE's long-standing commitment to universal, single-payer healthcare. They also reaffirmed UE’s support for the rights of all those seeking reproductive healthcare and for the right of all workers, regardless of immigration status, to healthcare.
For more information:
- Senator Sanders' Press Release
- Overview of the bill from the nonpartisan, noncorporate People's Policy Project
Also see UE Policy:
UE members took action on September 12 in solidarity with our union family from the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) in France.
UE members from around the country took photos while holding signs stating "Non à la loi travail XXL, solidarité avec les travailleurs français!" (No to the XXL labor law, solidarity with the French workers!). Local 506 members took photos while holding a lunch break rally telling General Electric to keep jobs in Erie.
In France, the CGT organized demonstrations and strikes in protest of proposed changes to their labor laws. These attacks on workers' rights are being pushed in a "fast track" process through their parliament that will give little time for the public to stop their implementation.
France has strong labor laws that provide for standards across a field of work, and these so-called "reforms" aim to roll that back by allowing bargaining at the company level. They would also make it easier to fire workers.
Almost half a million workers took part in the demonstrations and strikes in France, demanding a labor law that will bring social justice and progress, instead of attaches on workers. They were joined by youth refusing a life of precarious work, and retirees demanding a decent retirement.
President Donald Trump is sending public and private signals that he is ready to deal on legislation protecting young undocumented immigrants and won't demand funding for a border wall.
CJA EMERGENCY CALL WITH DIRECT UPDATES FROM ALLIES & MEMBERS AFFECTED BY HARVEY AND IRMA
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated communities from the Caribbean to the southern United States. Climate Justice Alliance is hosting a call at 8:00pm EST Wednesday evening to hear directly from our members and allies in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Haiti.
Find out ways you can support a frontline response that is inclusive of all communities in the recovery effort. Now is the time for all of us to pull together to advance a Just Transition and rebuild for resilience. JOIN US WEDNESDAY!
This call is open to CJA allies, members, and those seeking to help in a Just Transition recovery. The call is limited to 500 members so REGISTER NOW!
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security had planned nationwide raids to target 8,400 undocumented immigrants later this month, according to three law enforcement officials and an internal document that described the plan as "the largest operation of its kind in the history of ICE," an acronym for U.S.
Over 600 members of Locals 506 and 618 turned out on Labor Day to send a strong message to General Electric that they intend to fight to keep jobs in Erie.
The Labor Day rally was co-sponsored by the national pro-worker organization Good Jobs Nation. UE General President Peter Knowlton and Director of Organization Gene Elk both spoke about GE’s outrageous attack on the UE members and the Erie community. Local 506 President Scott Slawson denounced GE’s outrageous greed, noting that GE’s CEO makes more money in a day than UE members make in a year. Local 618 President Janet Grey spoke about the tragedy of one of her former co-workers, who passed away after the last layoff when the company ended his health care. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, a former member of Congress, recounted how GE lobbied her office for help securing government funding for GE projects, but has now turned a deaf ear on Erie.
The two UE locals began decision bargaining this week over GE’s announced intention to move close to 600 jobs out of the Erie plant. The UE bargaining committee has been pressing the company for the information that they need to develop proposals to keep international locomotive production and other work in Erie. However, meetings have been largely unproductive. GE has so far failed to provide UE with any information on the work that it proposes to transfer from Erie to vendors. Company representatives claimed that they have not yet identified the vendors and cannot provide UE with the cost information.
Local 506 President Scott Slawson questioned how GE could make a preliminary transfer decision without knowing whether contractors could perform the work cheaper than UE members. He charged that GE’s rush to transfer our work is really retaliation for UE’s successful legal battle to stop the movement of international evolution locomotives earlier this year. In support of this claim, UE filed NLRB charges on Monday against GE claiming that GE is bargaining in bad faith and acting in a retaliatory manner.UE-Unifor Solidarity Project
Last week UE and Unifor, the largest private sector union in Canada, signed a historic agreement during the UE Convention in Pittsburgh to share resources, organize some of the same employers, and fight attempts by companies like GE to transfer worker from our plants.
Like UE in Erie, Unifor members in Peterborough, Ontario are fighting GE’s attempt to transfer work out of their plant, in this case to Mexico, Brazil, and France. Less than two weeks ago, GE announced to Unifor members that the off-shore work transfers will lead to the permanent closure of the 100-year old Peterborough facility. UE and Unifor are now discussing plans to jointly fight GE’s work transfers in both countries.
NNIRR Executive Director Catherine Tactaquin spoke with Berkeley Pacific station KPFA's Mitch Jeserich on the morning of Sept. 5, 2017, soon after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Administration's decision to end the DACA program.
Listen to the program on KPFA's Letters and Politics show:
UE stands in full opposition to President Trump’s decision this week to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, and in solidarity with those taking action to resist it.
The DACA program provides eligible undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children — overwhelmingly working-class young people — temporary stay in the U.S., freedom from deportation, and the ability to work legally. It was introduced by President Obama in response to the unwillingness of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. DACA is not a comprehensive solution to the problems in our immigration system, but to repeal it will do lasting harm to many young people in our country and to our economic stability.
Beginning March 6, 2018, more than 800,000 young people who currently work and study and contribute to our nation will lose their DACA status, which means losing their jobs and their ability to work, drive, buy a home, or even open a bank account. Each day after that for the next 20 months more than 1,000 people will face that fate.
Many of the young people with DACA status are union members, and many more are the family of union members. Members of many UE locals have family members who will be harmed by the end of DACA. This is not just an attack on immigrant youth, but an attack on the labor movement and all working people.
Losing their protected status means that even more immigrants will be pushed into the shadows where they will be forced to work at lower wages, undercutting the wages and benefits of all working people. Combined with eliminating their ability to get mortgages and buy homes, this will likely drive down economic growth in the country and increase the likelihood of a recession.
As the resolution on immigrant rights passed unanimously by UE members in our 75th convention states:
“Immigrants have played a central role in our union since its inception. Employers and the politicians that represent them have always sought to exploit divisions between immigrant and U.S.-born workers, driving down wages and stripping away hard-won workers’ rights. Denying immigrant workers decent wages and conditions undermines the wages and conditions of all.
“All workers, regardless of immigration status, must have the right to form unions, to file complaints against unfair treatment without fear of reprisal, to receive unemployment, disability and workers’ compensation benefits, and to have access for themselves and their families to affordable housing, healthcare, education, and transportation.
“Trump’s actions and rhetoric have emboldened the most racist elements on the American right, and have increased fears of violence against immigrants. All of this needs to be resisted by the members of our union.”
Austerity, military intervention, and climate change — all the products of the pursuit of corporate profit — increasingly force working people around the world to leave their homes and relocate in order to survive. UE is committed to working with other labor, faith, and community groups to defend DACA, and to fight for legalization and against anti-immigrant laws and sentiment.
Director of Organization
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to the Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling it an “amnesty-first approach” and urging Congress to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections in six months.
White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.