SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Labor Council passed a strongly worded resolution condemning the destruction of the headquarters of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) in Nablus, Palestine, by Israeli F-16 fighter planes.

The resolution, adopted Feb. 25 and introduced by a delegate from the Laborers Union, was referred to the council’s March 4 meeting, where President Josie Mooney promised action.

Similar protests were sent to Israeli government leaders by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, whose general secretary, Guy Ryder, said, “I received the news of this devastating attack with utter disbelief. The ability of the trade unions to undertake their legitimate work freely is a crucial component of peace building. Sunday’s attack can only set back the process.”

Protests were also lodged by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers Union and by the Congress of South African Trade Unions, which demanded appropriate compensation to the PGFTU for the damage to its property.

At the same time, a resolution condemning U.S. support of the Colombian military and paramilitary forces was approved unanimously by the South Bay Labor Council Feb. 25 in San Jose.

That resolution called on Congress to deny new funds for the Colombian military and called upon President Bush to stop present funding until the military ceases all ties to the AUC (paramilitary force) “in actual practice at every command level.”

The resolution noted that 500 U.S. military advisers are presently in Colombia and that U.S. aid to Plan Colombia amounts to $1.5 million a day. The South Bay Labor Council resolution opposes Bush’s request for an additional $98 million to protect an oil company pipeline because, it said, such a move “will escalate the so-called war on drugs into a counter-insurgency intervention, not unlike the steps which led to the Vietnam War.”

The resolution concluded by urging the AFL-CIO to continue “its praiseworthy initiative” of offering relief and sanctuary to Colombian trade unionists threatened by paramilitary death squads. It called for support for demonstrations of solidarity with the people of Colombia, such as teach-ins, lobbying, vigils and marches, such as one in Washington, D.C. on April 19-22 and the July 22 demonstration at Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. in support of a lawsuit against Coke brought by the United Steelworkers of America.

Copies of the Colombia resolution are available by calling the South Bay Labor Council at (408)366-3790 or by e-mail at www.atwork.org.

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