Labor and community activists in Connecticut will be challenging the aggressive policies of the Bush administration at an emergency peace and justice conference March 2. The theme is “Bush & Company’s World Domination: How Do We Stop It? – Our Challenge: Peace, Justice and Security After Sept. 11.”

George Springer, Northeast regional director of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, a panelist at the conference, told the World, “One of the casualities of Sept. 11 is the system of checks and balances. It’s as though we are going to fight the war on terrorism by surrendering our civil liberties, our debate and silencing a large portion of American public … And with an administration that seems dedicated to further the interests of a few at the expense of the many.”

The conference, to be held in New Haven, will include panels on a wide range of topics.The discussion will revolve around the need for unity and united action of all sectors of society so seriously impacted by the Bush doctrine.

In discussing the importance of the conference Springer said, “Labor and community are both at risk right now. The millionaires in Congress that represent us are not doing their job. We need to speak up to say what we [the government] are doing is wrong. The events of Sept.11 are tragic. What we’ve inflicted on the Afghanistan people is also tragic. And posing ourselves as the policeman, judge and prosecutor of the world is not helpful to anybody. … We [in labor] need to speak up … together our voices are very powerful.”

The opening keynote will be delivered by The Rev. Samuel Ross-Lee, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in New Haven, who delivered a strong call to action for peace in his Martin Luther King Day sermon to a large gathering of civil rights, labor and peace activists.

Along with discussions of U.S. foreign and military policy, panels will address the impact of the Bush administration policy of aggression on the ability of local communities to provide for the people, and the threat to civil liberties and civil rights.

Another conference panelist, Michael Boyle, chief steward of Hotel and Resturant Employees union Local 34, said, “It’s been an eyeopener for our membership to see the vast numbers of layoffs since Sept. 11 and how the aggressive attacks on Afghanistan have brought no relief for the people in our country who are facing unemployment. It’s making people more critical and less likely to accept the idea that we need to be on a war footing.”

The conference organizers will be working on organizing a large contingent from Connecticut to the April 20 March on Washington to stop the war at home and abroad. “The State of the Union was a clear signal that the Bush administration plans to cut all social needs. It is imperative that the peace movement mobilize its allies on the struggle on both fronts,” said Al Marder, chair of the City of New Haven Peace Commission, one of the sponsoring organizations.

The conference is convened and organized by the September 11 Coalition for Peace and Justice. Co-sponsors include: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; American Friends Service Committee; City of New Haven Peace Commission; Middle East Crisis Committee; Promoting Enduring Peace; The Connecticut Coalition for Peace and Justice; Peace Action of Stamford/Greenwich; Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, CT; Guilford Peace Alliance; CT Communist Party, USA; Interfaith Cooperative Ministries; Greater New Haven Peace Council; CT Peace Coalition/New Haven; New England War Resisters League; Al-Awda CT.


Fred Gaboury
Fred Gaboury

Fred Gaboury was a member of the Editorial Board of the print edition of  People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo and wrote frequently on economic, labor and political issues. Gaboury died in 2004. Here is a small selection of Fred’s significant writings: Eight days in May Birmingham and the struggle for civil rights; Remembering the Rev. James Orange; Memphis 1968: We remember; June 19, 1953: The murder of the Rosenbergs; World Bank and International Monetary Fund strangle economies of Third World countries