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."
In recent weeks, the Trump administration’s cruel policy of separating children from their parents who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border dominated news headlines. Disturbing images and audio clips from processing centers and shelters housing children generated mass outrage among millions of people and numerous elected officials.
This week, the news has been dominated by horrifying scenes from the border of children being ripp
Trump's Answer to Separation of Children:
Keep the Whole Family in Prolonged Detention
WASHINGTON, DC - In the final hours before the House votes, 350 organizations from across the nation have come together to express their vehement opposition to the Ryan immigration bill, which fails to put an end to President Trump's family separation policy and also puts children and their parents in internment camps.
Top aides to President Donald Trump are planning additional crackdowns on immigration before the November midterms, despite a growing backlash over the administration’s move to separate migrant children from parents at the border.
On Monday, June 11, members of UE Local 228 participated in the Poor People's Campaign action at the New Hampshire state house in Concord to demand a living wage and a reversal of the assault on the rights of organized workers. The state of New Hampshire abolished its state minimum wage in 2011.
Local 228 members who attended the rally included Bill Ladd, President; Steve Gauthier, Steward; June Vermette, ret. Chief Steward; Beth Wheland, Chief Steward; and Nancy Zakupowsky.
UE members joined the Poor People's Campaign in occupying the Governor's Executive Council Chamber and holding a People's Hearing to allow New Hampshire citizens to air their grievances and demand redress.
Bill Ladd provided testimony to the People's Counsel in which he shared the UE's 75-year commitment to Single Payer for all and shared his local's successes in improving worker earnings substantially since the local first organized in October of 2016. Beth Wheland testified that going to work felt different now that unionized workers had created real power and had taken control of several aspects of their working lives.
At 5 p.m. state troopers entered the council chamber and instructed everyone to exit the premises as the building was now closed for the day. Ten people, including UE Field Organizer Zachary Knipe, remained seated and continued to take testimony for the hearing. They were arrested when they refused a second time to leave and were charged with a Class A misdemeanor for criminal trespassing.
SOUTHERN BORDER -- House Republicans will introduce two border militarization bills next week that would waste $25 billion on Trump's vanity wall and hire thousands of unaccountable border agents, while separating more kids from their parents and holding Dreamers hostage.
WASHINGTON — After frenzied late-night negotiations, Speaker Paul D.
Retired UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley joined the Poor People’s Campaign labor rights protest at the US Capitol and Supreme Court yesterday. Brother Kingsley was there as part of the legal team tasked with tracking arrests and getting demonstrators out of jail.
There were nearly 100 arrests for civil disobedience. Most arrestees were processed and released. Nine arrested in front of the Supreme Court spent the night in jail. Two of those arrested yesterday had addressed recent UE Conventions.
Rev. Dr. William Barber II, one of the national leaders of the Poor People's Campaign and a long-time ally of the UE, told the 2013 UE Convention, "We need to talk about what's right and what's just wrong. It's wrong to exploit workers, it's wrong to take voting rights away, it's wrong to hurt the sick, it's wrong to step on the poor."
Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler addressed UE's 2015 convention in Baltimore, telling delegates that the advance of working people has always been held back by the divisions of race and racism, and that "Black Likes Matter is a doorway to making all lives matter." He urged delegates to "Remember our history, remember what we've been through, remember what we're going through, remember why we're here and how we got here, don't give up, don't sit down, just continue to push forward until justice prevails, until justice is won."
The Supreme Court was an especially timely target, as the Court handed down a decision yesterday in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute that upheld racially discriminatory purging of voter rolls. The Court also recently decided a case, Murphy Oil, which vastly expands employers' ability to violate labor laws with impunity, and is considering a case, Janus v. AFSCME, which will potentially deal a blow to public sector workers' ability to organize strong unions.
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday that fear of domestic violence is not legal grounds for asylum in a closely watched immigration case that could have a broad effect on the asylum proc
An immigrant who was apprehended after attempting to cross the border died by suicide in a jail cell in Texas, according to authorities.
The UE General Executive Board met in Pittsburgh from June 5-8 to review the union’s work and finances. They heard reports on the union’s organizing work, deepening relationship with Unifor, and work building international links between GE workers. After an extensive review of the union’s finances, the board passed a budget to carry the union’s work forward.
Director of Organization Gene Elk gave the organizing report. He described UE’s organizing victory at the Lanterman Regional Center, and also how decisions by the Trump labor board have created setbacks to other organizing campaigns. Negotiations for a first contract continue at MTIL in Chicago, and preparation are underway for critical re-certification elections in Iowa, which will be held October 15-29 for eight bargaining units represented by Locals 893 and 896.
The board continued discussions of how best to reorganize the union’s regional structure in order to guarantee that all UE regions have full-time regional presidents and solidify the national union’s finances. Board members reported on the extensive discussions held on this topic at the three regional meetings in March and April. A GEB task force will meet in July to move this process forward and address questions raised at the regional meetings.
The GEB reviewed the progress made so far on the North American Solidarity Project, a joint project with Unifor. There was a lively discussion of the study group meeting held in Oakland on independent political action. Unifor and UE members rallied at GE’s shareholder meeting on April 25 outside of Pittsburgh, and in May Unifor hosted a meeting of the GE Global Trade Union Network. UE and Unifor have also launched a campaign website, GECommitToOurCommunities.org.
Local 506 President Scott Slawson and Dir. of Org. Elk gave an update on the sale of GE Transportation to Wabtec.
The board also discussed responses to the upcoming Janus decision, President Trump’s handling of NAFTA renegotiations, and the upcoming Medicare for All single-payer strategy conference, which will be held June 22-24 in Minneapolis.
The board condemned the recent escalation of repression against Palestinian protesters by the Israeli military, renewing UE’s call for a peace agreement negotiated on the basis of equality, democracy, and human rights, including Palestinian self-determination and the right of return for refugees. The statement also denounced a bill being proposed in the Senate, S. 720, which would curtail Americans’ First Amendment rights to engage in peaceful protest of Israel’s military policies.
The board also endorsed legislation introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii that would establish clear timelines for a just transition to renewable energy while protecting affected workers and communities. The “Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future” (OFF) Act “addresses our concerns as a union representing workers in the fossil fuel industry on wage and benefit protection, job training, and providing clear pathways for renewable energy workers to exercise their right to join and organize a union,” stated the GEB. They also urged the inclusion of provisions for public ownership of the energy industry, in line with UE policy.
Left to Right: Northeast Region President Elizabeth Jesdale, Northeast Region Secretary-Treasurer Kelly Robtoy, Local 208, Northeast Region GEB Representative Margaret Dabrowksi, Local 222, and National Trustee Autumn Martizez, Local 255. Robtoy and Dabrowski are the newest members of the GEB.
UE General Executive Board Condemns the Killing of Palestinian Protesters and Attack on First Amendment Rights
The UE General Executive Board, meeting in Pittsburgh from June 5-8, 2018, adopted the following statement condemning the killing of Palestinian protesters and attacks on the First Amendment rights of Americans to engage in peaceful protest of Israel's military policies.
As predicted, the Trump administration’s provocative relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem gave the far right-wing Israeli government the green light to escalate military repression of Palestinians. Palestinians have attempted to carry out non-violent protests against both the embassy move and the continuing blockade of Gaza during the last several weeks. Israeli soldiers have been directed to use rifles to kill and maim Palestinians who are protesting being forced to live in what has been called the world’s largest open-air prison, where 1.8 million Palestinians are crowded into a tiny enclave under continuous military and economic blockade by the Israeli government. So far over 110 Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded, including children, medical personnel, and journalists. Not a single Israeli soldier has been killed and there is only one unconfirmed report of a soldier wounded by “shrapnel.”
We renew our union’s consistent call for a peace agreement negotiated on the basis of equality, democracy, and human rights for the Palestinian and Israeli people, including Palestinian self determination and the right of return for refugees. Such a negotiated peace agreement is simply not possible under a barrage of bullets, drones, and tear gas.
We also note that in response to the repression they face from the Israeli government, many Palestinians have requested support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, a call supported by delegates to the last two UE conventions. Now a bill is being pushed in the U.S. Senate, S720, which would penalize Americans who participate in boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, if those boycotts were called for by international governmental organizations like the United Nations. As stated by the ACLU in response to this legislation, “Political boycotts are fully protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court made that clear when it recognized, in a landmark 1982 decision called NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, that the Constitution protected a 1960s boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi.”
As a union which has suffered grave government and business attacks for exercising our First Amendment rights, we denounce these efforts and support efforts to defeat this legislation.
We continue to call for peace for the peoples of Palestine and Israel and an end to the repressive apartheid policies of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people.Tags: UE Statements
UE General Executive Board Calls for Support of the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (OFF) Act, HR 3671, and the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act
The UE General Executive Board, meeting in Pittsburgh from June 5-8, 2018, adopted the following statement calling for support of the OFF Act, HR 3671, and the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act.
In 2017 the UE National Convention passed a resolution which:
- Actively urges the environmental movement to incorporate just transition into their platforms, and to push for solutions that curb the power of corporations rather than create market incentives;
- Demands that all environmental policies, including those targeting climate change, incorporate just transition for workers and communities affected;
- Seeks renewable alternatives to environmentally-destructive methods of energy production and distribution;
- Supports legislation mandating massive investments by state and federal governments and U.S. businesses to convert to a clean-energy economy and create millions of good jobs in the process;
- Reaffirms the solution UE proposed to the energy crisis in the 1970s: public ownership of the energy industry in order to end price gouging and preserve our environment.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has introduced the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (OFF) Act, HR 3671. This legislation contains the basic components of the above UE resolution and, in addition, calls for clear timelines for a just transition of our nation to renewable energy (80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035) while protecting affected workers and communities. It addresses our concerns on wage and benefit protection and job training for workers in the fossil fuel industry, as well as provides clear pathways for renewable energy workers to exercise their right to join and organize a union. It addresses the historic exclusion of communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities in the development and oversight of energy policy.
It does not, however, address the critical need for energy production and distribution to be in the hands of our communities through public ownership in order that this critical industry will be governed for the benefit of people – not profit. We encourage inclusion of these concepts into this legislation and any other legislation dealing with the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The UE General Executive Board endorses HR 3167 and the similar Senate legislation, the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act, of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), and Edward Markey (Mass.) and encourages UE locals and members to contact their representatives to secure their support and to sign on to these congressional bills.Tags: UE Statements