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(en) A REPORT OF ACTIVISM AND SOLIDARITY

From "Action IWA" <action_iwa@hotmail.com>
Date Tue, 3 Jul 2001 16:18:06 -0400 (EDT)


 ________________________________________________
      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E
            http://www.ainfos.ca/
 ________________________________________________

A REPORT OF ACTIVISM AND SOLIDARITY

     The U.S. Section of the International Workers Association distributes 
this report to you!  The IWA, also known as the AIT, was founded in Berlin 
in 1922 by labor activists from many countries [including Emma Goldman and 
Alexander Berkman from the U.S.]  If you would like more information about 
the IWA, please communicate with the secretaries at 323 Fourth Street,
               Cloquet, Minnesota,
                 55720 - 2051

               Phone:  218.879.8628
               E-mail:  <aitminnesota@hotmail.com>

----------------------------------------------------------------------

     On Thursday, March 15, 2001, members of the IWA participated in a 
protest by hotel-workers in Duluth, Minnesota.  80 workers walked to the 
Holiday Center for an action that was too drone-like and too stiff.  The 
organizers seemed hesitant for the protest actually to be noticed by anyone. 
  Respectfully and with much concern, we suggested that the next event 
should be more lively!

     On Saturday, March 24, 2001, we received e-mails and phone-calls 
concerning right-wing death-squad activity in two workingclass barrios of 
the city of Barrancabermeja in Colombia.  In the middle of the night, we 
distributed mass e-mail ALERTS!  We urged immediate protest, against the 
"clearances" of the workingclass population.  To the amazement of some, we 
provided people with the actual cell-phone numbers of three murderous 
right-wing Colonels, allowing sensible activists to interrupt them in the 
midst of their destructive events.

     On Monday, March 26, 2001, Rolf Petter Larsen in Oslo, Norway, the 
general secretary of the International Workers Association, and other 
members of the AIT-Secretariat, supported our call for protests against the 
death-squads in Barrancabermeja.  They issued a statement to military and 
political authorities in Colombia, to "strongly denounce these harassments, 
crimes and kidnappings made by the paramilitaries and members of the army!"  
In defence of the workers of the barrios of "Boston" and Dunubio, Rolf 
indicated that the AIT-Secretariat "will spread this information to workers 
worldwide, to obtain justice and freedom - not violations against the people 
of Colombia!"

     Also on March 26, 2001, members of the AIT-Maine Collective, a group of 
the IWA, participated in a protest against the Bath Iron Works, the largest 
private employer in the state of Maine.  The Company had recently announced 
re-hirings of 385 workers, after major layoffs in December.  The protesters 
opposed the capricious and arbitrary behavior of the Company towards its 
employees, as well as the nature of some of its products [e.g., warships]!

     Patrick O'Neill, a member of the IWA, wrote:  "The machinists, welders, 
shipfitters, and preservation workers of this shipyard no longer notice 
their own discomforts, swollen hands and feet, painful joints, the cramps 
from unnatural postures, the stifling atmosphere.  And yet, day after day, 
the air of the Bath Iron Works becomes more and more difficult, with the 
heat and fumes from the equipment, and noxious chemicals of a suffocating 
place!  The air of this place would only be cleared away by a truly 
liberatory ventilation!  Without a breath of air in their lungs, they go on 
working."

     On Wednesday, March 28, 2001, Jim G. White and Bill Smith - of West 
Harlem - organized a protest at the TOURIST OFFICE OF SPAIN, located at 666 
Fifth Avenue in New York City.  They acted in support of Miguel García Plaza 
in Granada, Spain.  Miguel has been locked in a difficult struggle against 
the management of the Paradores Nacionales. Several times he has engaged in 
hunger-strikes against the injustice of the managers.  [The Bureaucracy at 
the Paradores is a haven for the old Fascists, the REAL Fascists, in Spain!]

     Also on March 28, 2001, the Duluth NEWS-TRIBUNE - on its Editorial 
page, page A10 - published a statement by Séamas Cain, a critique of the 
stalinist David Foster.

     Also on March 28, 2001, worldwide by fax and e-mail, we distributed a 
statement written by Staughton Lynd, in support of the hunger-striker in 
Granada, Spain:  "Dear Miguel García!  Greetings.  You don't know me.  I am 
a 71 year old activist in the United States. I am also a semi-retired 
lawyer.  I am familiar with the way workers in this country retain a faith 
in the courts and the justice system. 'If only I could get into court,' they 
say.  'Then everything would be all right.'  Well, you know better.  You 
have experienced the cruel way in which the courts beckon the worker to 
enter with promises of equal treatment, and then in the end brush the worker 
aside, with the back of the hand, because the judge and the employer are 
part of the same social set, and the worker is not.  Once the worker agrees 
to accept the verdict of the court and not to do anything else to disturb 
the funereal quiet of the court proceedings, then the worker has delivered 
himself over, tied hand in foot.  His or her awareness comes too late.  But, 
you are showing that there is another option.  You are showing that human 
dignity can be asserted in any circumstances, even the most oppressive.  You 
offer us a small example of what it means not to give up.  Thank you.  
Salud.  Abrazos.  Staughton Lynd."

     The April issue of NEWS AND LETTERS, published by a group of 
Marxist-Humanists in Chicago, Illinois, published the appeal by the U.S. 
Section of the IWA for Miguel García Plaza.  They called for a boycott of 
the Paradores Nacionales in Spain and a boycott of the agents of the 
Paradores in the U.S.

     On Monday, April 2, 2001, Dennis Schnurr was consecrated as the new 
Bishop of Duluth, Minnesota.  The previous Bishop, Roger Schwietz, had been 
exiled to Alaska within a few days of his appearance on the picket-line for 
the MEI/GSI strike on the eve of Christmas Eve, 1999. The See of Duluth 
remained vacant for over a year, a departure from normal church procedures.  
The new Bishop came to Duluth as the flexing young tiger of the Vatican.  
Because of his "expertise" in canon law and financial matters, he had become 
the National Administrator for the U.S. Bishops' Conference, and was an aide 
to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, D.C.

     It is quite unusual for the Vatican to send such an ambitious fellow - 
a veritable powerhouse of meddling and scorn - to a declining industrial 
backwater, except to teach us all a lesson!

     Because of Schnurr's direction of the National Bishops' Conference, 49 
Bishops traveled to Duluth to participate in the ceremonies.  So many people 
accompanied the hierarchs to the city that the event was NOT held in the 
Cathedral of Duluth.  It was held in the DECC - the Duluth Entertainment and 
Convention Center!  And the DECC was packed.

     Archbishop Harry Flynn, of the city of St. Paul, led the rite of 
ordination as principal consecrator.  Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Papal 
Nuncio, enthroned throughout the proceedings, witnessed the event as, one by 
one, every Bishop, Archbishop and Cardinal in attendance put his hands on 
Dennis Schnurr's head.  This was the first time in history that a Papal 
Nuncio had come to Minnesota!

     For his motto, Schnurr selected the Latin phrase:  "Quaerite Faciem 
Domini!  [Seek the Face of the Lord!]  Oddly enough for northeastern 
Minnesota, in a region with popular anti-monarchical traditions, Schnurr 
indicated that he honors the Grand Duchy of Baden and the Principality of 
Luxembourg.

     This was no ordinary consecration!  Schnurr was surrounded by 8 
Archbishops and 3 Cardinals.  Bishops from Canada, a Roman Bishop from 
Russia, and the Director of the Marian Shrine at Lourdes, France, attended 
these ceremonies.  Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Cardinal James Hickey, 
both of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Cardinal William Keeler of the 
Baltimore Archdiocese, and Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, the President of the 
National Bishops' Conference, blessed the young predator of the Vatican.

     After the conclusion of the rites of ordination, Schnurr spoke to the 
crowd.  Instead of a sermon, and with a cold emotionless voice, he recited 
the never-ending list of dignitaries in attendance.  Then he addressed the 
politicians in the Auditorium.  With subtle but unmistakeable reference to 
the MEI strike, he said that "in future they could expect that Catholics in 
the region will be good citizens." He made no other comments to the 
assembled people.

     Members of the IWA distributed a statement.  It was brief and simple.  
"We will NOT accept the restoration of social order!"

     Also on April 2, 2001, members of the AIT-California Collective, a 
group of the IWA, participated in a protest by ambulance workers at Hughson, 
California.  The workers, based in Oakland, were protesting the dismissal of 
a worker by the Hughson Ambulance Company, which operates throughout San 
Joaquin County, Stanislaus County, and the city of Stockton.  IWA members 
joined the picket-line, demanding justice for the ambulance workers.

     On Wednesday, April 4, 2001, worldwide by e-mail and fax, we 
distributed a Report of "A day of protests in France," written by Chloé 
DeArmond.  Chloé, a member of the IWA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, had just 
returned from a journey of solidarity to Montpelier in France.

     On Thursday, April 5, 2001, members of the IWA in the U.S. began to 
send faxes and e-mails of protest to the Management of the LEBENSHILFE in 
Bremen, Germany.  Indeed, some of our members participated in this protest 
who had never sent e-mails before in their lives!  We repeated our actions 
on April 6 and April 10, responding to an appeal for solidarity from the 
FAU, the German Section of the IWA.  Workers at the LEBENSHILFE are 
"handicapped."  We told these workers that their only "handicap" is that 
they work for LEBENSHILFE!

     On Friday, April 6, 2001, by e-mail and fax, we distributed a Report 
about "Betrayals of labor solidarity" in Minnesota, including the struggle 
by independent machinists against the bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO [who were 
prepared to scab against their strike-line].

     On Wednesday, April 11, 2001, Laverne Capan, Tom Gilliam, Séamas Cain 
and other members of the IWA attended a presentation in Duluth by José 
"Fernando" Rameriz, an oil-worker from Bogota, Colombia.  The Colombia 
Action Network sponsored Fernando's visit to Duluth, as a part of the 
struggle against the U.S. government's War on Colombia.  After Fernando had 
completed his remarks, and during the discussion by the audience, the 
translator and others described the actions by IWA members on March 24 and 
25.  Immediately, Fernando pushed through the crowd to give big bear-hug 
embraces to each of the IWA members!  [He did not embrace anyone else in the 
auditorium.]

     On Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13, 2001, the Secretariat of the 
U.S. Section of the IWA spoke with Matt Tyler as he prepared to travel to 
Québec for protests against global capitalism.

     On Monday, April 16, 2001, members of the AIT-California Collective, a 
group of the IWA, joined the strike-line of healthcare employees at the 
Summit Medical Center in Oakland, California.  2,300 workers were striking 
against SMC and eight other hospitals in the Bay Area owned by Sutter 
Health, Inc.  Picketers turned the streets around SMC into noisy scenes 
where strikers and security-guards faced-off.  The central issue in the 
strike was the "failure of Management to include employees in hospital 
decision-making"!

     Tom Carr, a member of the IWA, wrote:  "Oakland is the most 'Christian' 
city in California.  Its very slums are holy!  The 'spiritual' atmosphere 
which pervades them is ample compensation for the deprivation and the 
diseases that are there and the nourishment that is not there."

     Tom continued:  "You have no idea what labor in Oakland, which fights 
for the bare means of human support, is up against!"

     He concluded:  "During the strike against Sutter Health, Inc., the 
liberal politicians kept silent.  When they were up against something real 
for the first time in their lives they scurried back like rats to a hole.  
These cacklers about self-government had no word to say on the reality of 
work in their own city.  We have found out they were only liberal babblers!"

     On Thursday, April 19, 2001, Jeff Hilgert, the International Secretary 
for the IWA in the U.S., convened a meeting for a discussion of strategy in 
the city of Two Harbors, Minnesota.  Later that night, worldwide by e-mail 
and fax, we distributed a Report about the disaffiliation of the Carpenters' 
Union from the AFL-CIO.

     On Tuesday, April 24, 2001, members of the IWA participated in a 
symposium on "Minnesota Forests" at the campus of the Fond du Lac Tribal and 
Community College.  This is the only Tribal AND Community College in the 
U.S., operated by the Ojibwe [Anishinabe] people.  The symposium was 
organized for discussion and debate of the issues concerning the forests and 
forest-use.

     Decisions are being made about managing forest resources in Minnesota, 
decisions that affect all the people!  Regional commerce is inter-related 
with forest-use.  Businessmen want to have the only voice in how the forests 
are managed.  Today, as in 1901, forest-products industries constitute the 
largest sector of the economy in Minnesota.

     There was considerable debate at the symposium regarding the policy 
challenges from the forest-industries corporations.  IWA members, as one 
form of criticism of over-cutting by industry, supported the right of 
workers-in-the-woods to unionize!  IWA members commented on the divisive 
wedge between rural and urban communities and economies.  They also 
commented on the financial impact of the forest-products industries as well 
as issues of forest-health, sustainability, and worker productivity 
[speed-up].  Today, as in 1901, the principal source of worker deaths and 
injuries in the state of Minnesota connects to the industrial demands of the 
forest-industries corporations on workers in the mills and workers in the 
woods!

     We were opposed by Jack Rajala, a corporate logger from Grand Rapids, 
Minnesota:  "My opponents have gained a strong hand.  They are trying to 
shut down my access to the forests."  He continued:  "An organized minority 
has turned the tide of public sentiment against timber harvest on public 
lands, resulting in the significant cut-back of logging rights."

     The strength of the U.S. dollar and increasingly low-price competition 
by forest-industries companies in other nations [subsidized by their own 
governments] is having a negative effect on Minnesota forest-companies.  
They must operate in worldwide markets which threaten to undermine their own 
historic monopolies.

     On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 25, 2001, members of the IWA 
gathered with others to participate in a symposium on "Police Brutality and 
the Role of Police in Modern Society" at the campus of the University in 
Superior, Wisconsin.  However, the symposium did not occur.  Police Officer 
Mike Bodin and Hattie Crass [head of the SUFAC, the Segregated University 
Fees Allocations Council] forced the participants to leave the campus.

     Police Officer Bodin, agitated and upset, ranted about the 20 years he 
spent in the Navy "defending your freedom"!  He said our meeting was "an 
attempt to deny his right to free expression"!  He told us to "get out of 
the U.S. and go to a socialist country"!

     Hattie Crass patted Officer Bodin on the back, ordered us off campus, 
and demanded that we remove any flyers that were posted on campus.  "You 
have no right to hold such offensive meetings."  Crass said she holds "two 
positions of responsibility and leadership, and am therefore higher than the 
average person."  She denounced the "offensiveness and ruckus you are 
planning to infect the campus with"! Bodin continued to be very nervous.

     Later, Esra Doaramaci, Co-Director of "diversity" for the Student 
Senate at the University in Superior, said "the actions by Bodin and Crass 
were inappropriate, domineering, and not accomodating."  [Several of us, 
members of the IWA, were amongst the group that organized the first protests 
in the region against the Vietnam War in September of 1965.  The first 
protest occurred at the University in Superior, a disruption of activities 
by General Maxwell Taylor.  The environment of that campus, rigid and 
oppressive, has not changed much in all these years!]

     That same evening, April 25, 2001, we gathered for the symposium on 
"Police Brutality" at the University in Duluth.  Several policemen came to 
observe, but walked out.  The discussions continued without any 
interruption.

     On Thursday, April 26, 2001, members of the IWA-Missouri Collective, a 
group of the IWA, participated in a protest at the strike-line against the 
Big River Zinc Corporation in Sauget, Illinois.  The day before, the 260 
zinc workers had voted to accept a contract ending the month-long strike.  
However, George M. Obeldobel, the President of the Zinc Corporation, changed 
his mind.  He insisted that the contract did not include all of the items he 
had proposed and that the workers would not be allowed back on the job until 
those issues were resolved!  The protesters chanted against his cruel whims.

     On Monday, April 30, 2001, workers at JeffBoat, the United States' 
largest inland shipyard, located on the Ohio River in Jeffersonville, 
Indiana, began a wildcat strike. One of these barge-makers, a member of the 
IWA, asked for solidarity!  "It is a BEAUTIFUL wildcat, black and white 
together, women and men, gay and straight, spontaneous and collective, very 
diverse!"  On Thursday, May 3, 2001, worldwide by fax and e-mail, the U.S. 
Section of the IWA distributed an appeal for the rebel barge-makers.

     On May Day, 2001, Sam Differding, our brother, our comrade, our friend, 
our fellow-worker, announced his candidacy for the election of Director of 
District 11 of the Steelworkers' Union, against the stalinist David Foster.  
The struggle against Foster is indeed a struggle for freedom!

     Also on May Day, 2001, Tom Gilliam spoke at a protest rally in Civic 
Center Square in Duluth.  Tom, a Vietnam veteran, denounced the war in 
Colombia, manufactured by the American establishment.  That evening, he 
participated in a teach-in about the Colombian war at the St. Louis County 
Heritage and Arts Center, the main cultural center for the city of Duluth 
and St. Louis County.

     Also on May Day, 2001, the secretaries of the U.S. Section distributed 
in all regions of America a statement written by Rolf Petter Larsen in Oslo, 
Norway, the general secretary of the AIT/IWA: AGAINST GLOBAL CAPITALISM - 
WORKER SELF-EMANCIPATION.

     Rolf wrote: "Capitalist barbarism is everywhere, on all continents of 
the world."  He continued: "Capitalism is an automatic machine producing 
human and ecological misery."  However, "there are good signs of resistance 
against globalization as we have seen in Seattle and Prague, etc., but we 
should have no illusions about alliances containing organizations using the 
opportunity to rescue capitalism from itself - functioning as 
lightning-conductors against self-emancipatory struggles and initiatives."

     Rolf promised that "later in the year, the IWA will coordinate actions 
against the multinational Temporary Work Agencies - enterprises making 
profits from selling slave contracts"!

     Rolf Petter Larsen has become quite well-known in worker libertarian 
circles for one expression [included in the May Day statement]:  "You can't 
survive by eating the cheese in the mousetrap"!

     On Thursday, May 3, 2001, we received a message from a worker in 
Madrid, Spain, for the JeffBoat workers.  "To the workers on wildcat strike! 
  You can count on the solidarity of the workers' brotherhood in your fight. 
  Your fight is our fight.  Keep digging it until the victory!  Workers' 
justice and freedom can only be obtained by fighting all together.  Fight 
for the workers' dignity and all that they demand.  Freedom and solidarity!"

     On Friday, May 4, 2001, members of the AIT-Maine Collective, a group of 
the IWA, participated in a protest at Portland, Maine against the 
PRESS-HERALD and SUNDAY-TELEGRAM.  570 employees of these publications had 
just been informed by Management that "layoffs are unavoidable"!  IWA 
members protested in support of the workers.

     Also on May 4, 2001, with follow-up on May 9 and May 10, we received 
communications about the JeffBoat wildcat from the KRAS, the Russian Section 
of the IWA.  "We want to know how we in Russia can help this strike!"  They 
volunteered to send faxes of opposition and protest to the JeffBoat Company.

     On Monday, May 7, 2001, Rolf Petter Larsen in Oslo, Norway, general 
secretary of the AIT/IWA, phoned the office of Local 89 of the Teamsters' 
Union in Louisville, Kentucky.  He complained of the efforts by the 
Teamsters' bureaucracy to undermine the wildcat by the JeffBoat workers.  
One official, flustered and nervous, responded by saying that "As far as I 
know they are back to work now."  Rolf burned his ears!  [Blockaded on all 
sides by red-tape, sabotaged by lies and malice from union-officials, the 
wildcat lasted for seven days.]

     That evening, May 7, 2001, members of the IWA participated in a 
symposium on "Stalin and his Opposition" at the campus of the University in 
Duluth.  Alexis Pogorelskin described an academic perspective of the 
Stalinist era.  Members of the Communist Party defended the glitter of the 
lost imperial paradise of their hero, as if he had been some kind of 
Napoleon Bonaparte.  Tom Gilliam, the National Treasurer of the IWA in the 
U.S., spoke with enthusiasm of the poet Osip Mandelstam and other rebels who 
struggled against Stalin.  Members of the IWA criticized both the academic 
and communist "versions" of Stalin as the bulk of the audience agreed with 
us.

     On Tuesday, May 8, 2001, the Secretariat spoke by phone with two of the 
JeffBoat rebel barge-makers in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

     Also on May 8, 2001, the U.S. Section of the IWA circulated a 
description and appeal concerning the worker and student sit-in at Harvard 
University.

     On Friday, May 11, 2001, the Duluth NEWS-TRIBUNE published an interview 
with Sam Differding, announcing his candidacy against David Foster.  That 
evening, Jeff Hilgert and Tom Gilliam convened a strategy-meeting for IWA 
members at Cloquet, Minnesota.

     On Sunday, May 13, 2001, Robby Barnes and Sylvie Kashdan, libertarian 
activists in Seattle, Washington, agreed to help with the struggle against 
the stalinist David Foster.

     On Monday, May 14, 2001, the Secretariat spoke by phone for sixty 
minutes with Terry Tapp in Louisville, Kentucky.  Tapp, one of the JeffBoat 
workers, thanked members of the IWA for their solidarity during the wildcat. 
  The Secretariat assured Terry that the JeffBoat workers could count on IWA 
solidarity in future actions, with no strings attached!

     On Wednesday, May 23, 2001, worldwide by e-mail and fax, we circulated 
a double Report by Virginia Hyvarinen, an IWA member in Cambridge, 
Massachusetts.  Virginia, who had just returned from Spain, described 
intense worker protests in Madrid.  Simultaneously, she described her 
participation in the protests in Harvard Yard, in support of the Harvard 
sit-in.  Virginia compared the experience and the spectacle at Harvard with 
the experience and beauty in Madrid.

     That same evening, we distributed two additional Reports:  a statement 
by Laetitia Bordes describing her encounter with the political murderer John 
D. Negroponte, and a statement by Juan Arroyo describing the victory in the 
Los Angeles HOLLANDER strike.

     On Thursday, May 24, 2001, members of the IWA participated in a protest 
march and rally in support of hotel-workers in Duluth, Minnesota.  
Complaining that the last demonstration for hotel-workers was too quiet and 
too stiff, and much too passive, Tom Gilliam, Laverne Capan, Séamas Cain, 
and other members of the AIT-Minnesota Collective brought a number of 
noise-makers and musical instruments to enliven the event:  African drums, 
Japanese bells, a big valiha from Malagasy, clackers, flutes and whistles, 
tambourines, pots-and-pans, etc.  [The Trotskyists were dismayed by the idea 
of "noise" at a labor protest!]

     150 workers, who had gathered at the somnolent and ghoul-like statue of 
"Patriotism" in the Civic Center Square [a traditional site of protests in 
Duluth], marched around the downtown streets as the canyon of buildings 
reverberated the sounds from the IWA "orchestra." The protesters stopped in 
front of the Holiday Center, to draw attention to the blockaded 
contract-negotiations with the Duluth Holiday Inn.  The workers' contract 
with the hotel expired on April 1 and, as management is uninterested, a 
federal mediator has intervened. However, there was community outrage at 
reports that the workers - largely Blacks and Hispanics - have been exposed 
on occasion and without prior warning to toxic chemicals.

     As the 150 workers were approaching the main entry of the Holiday 
Center, Paul Stein, "an off-duty police officer in street clothes," who was 
inside the building, became alarmed by the noise from the IWA "orchestra" in 
front of the building.  Stein charged out the doors of the building and 
assaulted Alan Kearney.  Kearney, with a bullhorn in hand, and with his back 
to the doorway, had been leading the workers in a chant.  Kearney was pushed 
forward.  Later he said:  "I turned around and here was this guy in a 
Hawaiian shirt trying to grab me."

     Repeatedly, Stein attempted to seize the bullhorn.  A marcher close to 
the action shouted "He's got a knife!"  Other marchers stepped in, blocking 
Stein's path to Kearney.  Sam Differding was locked in a strange dance with 
Stein for some time.  Stein began to wrestle and grapple with several 
people.  In a somewhat laughable attempt at kung-fu, Stein attempted to 
throw a rather stocky man on his back to the ground.  He failed miserably.

     Stein did not identify himself as a police officer for some time. [We 
thought he was just a rightwing anti-labor eccentric.]  The marchers 
continued down Superior Street toward the Radisson Hotel, where the 
hotel-workers' contract was to expire on June 30th.  Stein continued trying 
to fight with Kearney and others, but marchers blocked his path.  Stein 
lashed out at everyone.

     At the corner of Superior Street and Fourth Avenue West, a Duluth 
police car pulled in front of marchers and officers arrested Kearney. He was 
charged with "obstruction of legal process."  He yelled out that the 
policeman trying to force him into the cop car had threatened that they 
would "beat the crap" out of him at the police-station.  Sixteen other squad 
cars, including units from Duluth police, the St. Louis County Sheriff's 
Department and the Minnesota State Patrol, converged on the protesters at 
the Radisson Hotel.  The cops formed a cordon around the protest.  Over and 
over again, the protesters chanted "Shame on you, shame on you!" at the 
police.  Séamas Cain pounded out the rhythm of the chant on the big valiha.  
Laverne Capan, with clackers, and Tom Gilliam, with Japanese bells, 
accompanied the roar of the crowd.  More police cars arrived at the 
intersection, responding to a dispatcher's report of "a small-scale riot"!

     [Additional descriptions of this incident will be found in the 
front-page article "Police, Labor Clash" in the Sunday, May 27, 2001 issue 
of the Duluth BUDGETEER-NEWS, Volume 70, Issue Number 42.  More 
documentation will be found in the Friday, May 25, 2001 issue of the Duluth 
NEWS-TRIBUNE, page two of the Local and State News Section.]

     On Friday, June 8, 2001, Jeff Hilgert spoke with workers at the Damiano 
Center in Duluth.

     On Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, 2001, Sam Differding and Jeff 
Hilgert traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to visit the strike-line of the Titan 
Tire workers.  Both Jeff and Sam were jolted by the revelation that most of 
these workers are not white Iowa corn-boys but immigrants from Laos, 
Cambodia, etc.  After more than three years of a difficult strike-lockout, 
after frequent media reports of the struggle, after endless press releases 
from both the Company and the USWA, it was not until Sam and Jeff were 
face-to-face with them that they realized just how invisible to the world 
they have been.  And yet, it is immigrant Asian workers in cornfield Iowa 
who have fought Titan Tire to a standstill.

     Yours for workers' freedom,

Séamas Cain, National Secretary of the IWA in the U.S.
   <seamascain@mymailstation.com>

Jeff Hilgert, International Secretary of the IWA in the U.S.
   <jhilgert@hotmail.com>

Tom Gilliam, National Treasurer of the IWA in the U.S.
   <tpgilliam@mymailstation.com>

Catherine McDonald, MidWest Regional delegate
   [Duluth, Minnesota]
   <aracrobert@aol.com>

Tom Carr, Western Regional delegate
   [Oakland, California]
   <ait-california@altavista.com>

Wade Rawluk, Northeast Regional delegate
   [Bronx, New York]
   <wrawluk2@cs.com>

Peter L. Freeman, Southern Regional delegate
   [West Liberty, West Virginia]
   <pfree500@msn.com>

The Working Group on Labor Organizing
   Rick Milanov, secretary
   <rick_milanov@hotmail.com>

The AIT-California Collective
   <ait-california@altavista.com>

The AIT-Maine Collective
   <ait_maine@yahoo.com>

The AIT-Minnesota Collective
   <aitminnesota@hotmail.com>

The IWA-Missouri Collective
   <iwa.missouri@visto.com>

The IWA North Dakota Collective
   <IWAnorthdakota@netscape.net>


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