Bring the Troops Home, Repeal the Patriot Act, Says SF Labor Council

Tuesday August 05, 2003

Resolution of the San Francisco Labor Council 

Bring the troops home now—End the occupation of Iraq—Money for human needs, not war—Repeal the Patriot Act. 

Whereas, the people in Iraq want the US occupation to end, and the US soldiers in Iraq want to come home. We ask: Who is benefiting from this war, and who is paying the price?; and  

Whereas, every day, people are dying as a consequence of this illegal occupation—Every day human misery expands in the drive for world Empire and corporate globalization—Every day, jobs are lost and vital social programs that serve and protect working people are being looted and destroyed, as the Bush administration cynically manipulates the so-called “war on terrorism” to carry out the social transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top; and 

Whereas, the Bush administration lied to the people, to the Congress, and to the United Nations as it raced to wage war against Iraq. Now tens of thousands of Iraqis and many hundreds of GIs have been killed or maimed—by Rumsfeld’s count over 1,000 attacks on US forces since May 1. As the anger of the Iraqi people inevitably grows, the body count on both sides will sharply increase; and 

Whereas, as the anti-war movement predicted, the Iraqi people view US forces as colonial occupiers, not liberators. American soldiers are killing and being killed in a war that serves only the interests of U.S. oil monopolies and corporate elites—George W. Bush’s real constituents. Soldiers and their families are realizing that high government officials, mostly millionaires who shuttle between corporate boardrooms and government posts, are using U.S. troops as a private security detachment for the multinational corporations’ plunder of Iraq's oil riches; and 

Whereas, the Pentagon now admits they will have 150,000 troops in Iraq for the “foreseeable future,” at a cost of nearly $4 Billion a month—on top of the cost of maintaining US troops and bases in 130 other countries—and this rapid rise in the power and reach of the military is closely linked to the unprecedented assault on the civil rights, union rights, benefits (including veterans’ benefits), and living standards of working people going on right now in the United States; and 

Whereas, the Bush administration—which only came to power due to massive racist disenfranchisement and voting fraud—has used the excuse of their “endless war” to sponsor a wholesale assault on the Bill of Rights, institutionalize racial profiling, assume extraordinary powers for the Executive branch, and adopt new repressive laws like the Patriot Act; and 

Whereas, on October 25, 2003 the anti-war, civil rights, social justice and labor movements—joined in ever increasing numbers by family members of military personnel and veterans and international delegations—will march on Washington, D.C. to demand an immediate end to the US war and occupation in Iraq, repeal of the Patriot Act, and money for human needs, not for war; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, demands: 1) an immediate end to the US/British war and occupation in Iraq—Bring the Troops Home Now; 2) repeal of the Patriot Act and other repressive laws; 3) reordering of national priorities toward the human needs of our people. We need jobs and real security, not militarism and empire-building; and be it further 

RESOLVED: that the council endorse the October 25, 2003 International March on Washington, D.C. behind the banner: Bring the Troops Home Now-End the Occupation of Iraq-Repeal the Patriot Act-Money for Human Needs, not for War and Empire—and will urge affiliated unions, other labor councils, state federation and AFL-CIO to do the same. 

Adopted unanimously, July 28, 2003.