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"They want a stranglehold over us"

October 25, 2002 | Page 10

BILLY ROBINSON is the former president of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2036 in Henderson, Ky., which represented more than 400 workers locked out by the parts maker Accuride in March 1998.

Earlier this year, the UAW cut off strike benefits to the workers and dissolved Local 2036. Billy sent this statement of solidarity to the New York City Labor Against War conference, held October 19.

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I ENLISTED into the Marine Corps in 1964 and went to Vietnam in May 1965. I got back to the States in June 1966. I came home and went AWOL. They would come and get me and put me in the brig.

After about the fourth time AWOL, they gave me two years in the brig at Camp Pendleton. Then they told me I could get it suspended if I would do another tour, so in February 1968, I went back to Vietnam. I got some shrapnel in July, went to a Tokyo hospital and was sent home and discharged in 1969.

I am sorry that I could not attend in person to see the support and solidarity we must all strive to gather against this terrible injustice. The Bush crew are trying to half-truth their way to making another war that only the few will benefit from--namely the Bushites.

To those of you who were in the Gulf War, you know that there are still thousands of questions that have never been answered and most probably never will be. Most went thinking, "This is necessary, and I must go to make a difference." A difference for who?

To all who suffered and made it through the jungles of Southeast Asia, only to see all your beliefs shattered, to come home to people who looked at you in ways that are horrible to even think about, and with your mind filled with the images that words cannot express. You all have, as I have, asked many times: Why?

The groundwork is being laid every day, by those who are supposed to be leaders of freedom, to undermine everything that is free. The work is underway to get rid of any security in our homes, security in our jobs--all in the name of national security. But it all is for the benefit of a select few. How many humans must be sacrificed to sate their appetites?

They only use what information supports their cause, with a stranglehold on the rest of us to agree in the name of freedom. What about those whose freedom they intend to take, and where will it stop?

My belief is not until they have absolute control of Main Street, USA, and every working person in this country--and we are again in the sweatshops of those select few.

My hope is that we have seen enough of the treachery of the likes of Bush and his cronies. We must have solidarity, or all that we have experienced will be for nothing.

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