The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

A union rally against the war

Mar 3, 2003

On February 22, in Dearborn, Michigan, a Labor Against War rally was held at the UAW Local 600 hall.

About 250 people heard speakers from different unions oppose the coming war in Iraq. It was agreed that working people have a lot to lose, and nothing to gain, by the corporate drive toward war amid the oil fields.

The rally was important as a first public event in Michigan organized by union officials.

The rally also showed how little we can depend on nice statements by high union officials. In particular, in the UAW, three out of five of the national vice-presidents have issued statements against an Iraq war. Yet for the rally on the UAW's own turf – they made no attempt to bring people out, or even publicize it.

It's a shame, because a union hall packed to overflowing with workers against the war would have had its own special weight in the anti-war movement. It could have set an inspiring example for other unionists across the country.

But it's no surprise to any union member any more, when high officials don't put their money where their mouth is. It's why we have to take the responsibility.