Oct 8 th rally - Romero, Huey and other families speak to ATU rally
To: The Executive Board and Membership of ATU 1555
Attn: Chris Finn, ATU 1555 Recording Secretary,
STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! UNION POWER! UNION POWER! UNION POWER!
could forget that scene, the afternoon-evening of August 1st, 2013.
Emanating from a 1,000 strong rally and march of BART workers and their
supporters, these chants rocked BART headquarters!! The workers felt
their power then. But due to the inaction of the bureaucratic and
reformist leadership, due to the lack of a delegated, rank and file
Strike Committee that meets daily, this sense of power we all shared has
been allowed to dissipate into inactivity. We are watching a prime
fighter become disabled from fighting. Labor, Black & Brown (LBB)
believes also that “An Injury To One, Is An Injury To All”, and were
honored to have the ILWU Local 10 come to Vallejo and make that real.
brings us to this point in history involves Jared Huey, 16 years old,
who was murdered by the Vallejo Police on June 20, 2012, and Mario
Romero, 22 years old. Mario was murdered by the Vallejo Police on
September 2nd, 2012. As you are aware, the families of these two
youths are fighting for justice, have united with other Bay Area
families, and have been seeking the active support of the union
movement. On February 26, 2013, the ILWU Local 10 responded to the
call for assistance by Cynthia Mitchel, mother of Mario Romero, and Mike
Huey, father of Jared Huey. A “Labor – Community Press Conference” was
convened on the steps of Vallejo City Hall. Those present included 15
ILWU Local 10 members, the Black Riders Liberation Party (BRLP),
Labor Black & Brown (LBB), members and supporters of the Romero
and Huey families and the family of Guy Jarreau, (killed by Vallejo
Police, December 12, 2010). A spirited press conference was convened,
and afterwards, an impromptu, orderly and disciplined shut down of the
Vallejo City Council meeting took place. (See ILWU – Vallejo 2-26-13 on
LBB noted at the ILWU Local 10 Executive Board on Feb
12, 2013, that there is “…the need for a rank and file United Front
consisting of labor, workers organizations in general, with the Black
and Brown community organizations and the youth.” This need has not
gone away, but has become more urgent today, as illustrated by the
events around the current BART negotiations/strike.
& Brown has been providing advice to the families in Vallejo, as
well as the folks in Stockton (James Rivera – murdered July 27, 2010)
and Manteca (Ernest Duenez – murdered June 8, 2011). Specifically, we
advise them to seek out the unions or groups of workers – especially
those engaged in active struggles – for a joint united battle against
our common enemy, this capitalist system. LBB understands that when
the power of the labor movement is joined by Brown and Black Power in
the class struggle, ALL of that power is increased, exponentially.
This will become apparent when community protests against police
violence are joined by militant contingents of workers, union and
non-union, perhaps even developing towards joint labor, Black and Brown
defense guards. When we organize and witness workers’ picket lines
bolstered by mass community support, we will begin witnessing that power
– labor, Black and Brown power. The power of the masses who are
conscious and united for the class-struggle. This is what we have in
mind when we suggest that the BART unions engage in and join the fight
against Police, La Migra/ICE terror, and supporting the community with
Union Power just as the BART workers want and need the community to
That 1,000-strong August 1st BART rally –
march?? When we arrived at BART headquarters, remember when those
chants went up?? For about 5 minutes!!! : STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE!
STRIKE!.... UNION POWER! UNION POWER! UNION POWER! UNION POWER! ! !
! . . . . In your mind’s eye, add about 1,000 or more Brown and Black
people from the community, mad about Oscar Grant, mad about Ernest
Duenez, mad about Mario Romero and Jared Huey, mad about the service
cuts, the lack of opportunity, the latest “immigration” atrocities and
the many other attacks and indignities our communities are suffering. . .
. We start determining what is possible.
When Cynthia Mitchel
and Mike Huey came down from Vallejo to the 1,000 strong August 1st BART
Union rally, Chris Finn, ATU 1555 recording secretary and main union
organizer for the function, told Cynthia, Mike and LBB that there wasn’t
enough time to fit them into the speakers schedule. Wow! They came
all the way from Vallejo to share their trials, tribulations, pain, and
to express their thanks for the very able assistance we got from the
ILWU Local 10. On a basic level, is this solidarity? …An embarrassing
political blunder? …A bureaucracy?
The workers movement
should be about honesty and learning from our mistakes. So we contrast
this unfortunate incident with our meeting and action with the ILWU
Local 10 and stress that fighters in the workers’ movement should
learn more useful political habits, like the ability to change plans
when a unique opportunity presents itself. Chris, you are a likable
enough guy, I don’t get it, you behaving like bureaucratic habit. “Not
enough time” ?? The Unions -- the ATU 1555, SEIU 1021 & AFSCME 3993
were the shot callers for when or what time the march left city hall
(Oscar Grant Plaza) for the BART Headquarters. I am certain, that those
good union folks, assembled that afternoon, would gladly abide a three
or four minute non-delay to hear Cynthia and Mike describe the goings on
in Vallejo and explain their efforts to join with other families
victimized by police murders, in what should become a nation-wide
Anyway, what Vallejo has to report, that rally of
union workers needed to hear. The stone-walling by city officials. The
harassment by the Vallejo Police. The surveillance. The
intimidation. That cabal of the Vallejo establishment trying to
isolating the resistance of these good people. Race-hating Nazis
nibbling around the edges….
Union workers need to hear from the
parents of James Rivera, murdered July 22nd, 2010 and their call for a
“General Strike in Stockton, May 31 (2012). The mainstream media
wouldn’t cover it. Why would our union allies shunt away families who
desire and actively seek united action with the unions?
ATU Local 1555 not to turn away from, or censor out the battles
occurring in the outlying areas of the Bay. These working class
families have been, pretty much by themselves, working against the
formidable powers of police departments and this system they protect.
From Stockton, Manteca, Vallejo, Oakland, and also Southern California,
“victims” of police killings are becoming intransigent resistors. The
unions need to do some aggressive outreach and actual, factual
solidarity -- it will be an outreach that will be very welcome. And
perhaps, for the unions and for us all, an answer to Wisconsin.
These families, from Manteca, Stockton, Vallejo (and anywhere else)
should be welcomed to the speakers platform to tell their stories.
Labor Black & Brown would like to speak and educate about Political
Strikes (like ILWU Local 10 on Oct. 23rd, 2010) and workers defense
guards (like UAW Local 6 in 1975). In our opinion Union Outreach and
Support Rallies work best with the grass roots from the communities and
union rank and file speaking from an OPEN MIKE. We need less officials
speaking and more ideas from the people!
Please communicate with us to discuss any aspect of what we have addressed
In Solidarity, Charles DuBois for Labor, Black & Brown
When they shoot us down – We shut them down!
For More OCT. 23rds! Unions, Organize Political Strikes against Police Murderers.
Victory to the BART Workers and Their Unions!
Rank and File delegated Strike Committee that meets daily, to assess
and co-ordinate strategy and political tactics. Convene these meetings
before October 10th.
Organize mass union-community picket lines to inform and inspire union