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Berkeley teachers oppose the war

November 9, 2001 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

I am a teacher in Berkeley, Calif., and a member of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT). On October 18, those of us on the executive board of the BFT approved a resolution opposing the U.S. response to the tragic events of September 11. The statement was adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on October 24.

In part, it states: "We reject the idea that entire nations should be punished for the actions of a few. Bombing raids and military strikes will only fuel an endless cycle of revenge that can only bring the deaths of more innocent civilians, both here and around the world.

"We urge all people, particularly members of the labor family, to stand united against prejudice, hatred and intolerance wherever it arises. We call upon all in our communities to join us in immediately confronting any anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh or other anti-immigrant hate speech or acts of violence.

"We strongly oppose efforts to curtail the rights of immigrants and refugees, including expulsion of suspect foreign nationals without due process. We must not allow those who oppose our goals to use a national crisis as an excuse to assault our civil and economic rights.

"Our greatest memorial to our fallen sisters and brothers will be a world of peace, justice, tolerance and understanding, underscored by the solidarity of working people."

Union members were encouraged by the Berkeley City Council, which approved a similar resolution and has not retracted it--in spite of economic boycotts of city businesses.

I will make the entire text available to Socialist Worker for any union member who would like to propose a similar resolution. Our united voices are crucial to the growing movement for peace.

In Solidarity,
Jean Whittlesey, Berkeley, Calif.

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