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Archive for June, 2007

Saturday June 9, 2007 7:30 PM Community/Labor Solidarity Forum United Teachers Los Angeles

Sunday June 10, 2007; Arlington West

<> Saturday, June 9, 2007
Community Solidarity Forum
United Teachers Los Angeles
UTLA Headquarters

The community forum, hosted at UTLA headquarters, was the largest of the events on the Los Angeles leg of the Iraqi Labor Solidarity Tour. In addition to the featured speakers, the audience heard from Military Families Speak Out and Iraq Veterans Against the War. L.A. USLAW member and a retired member of UTLA, Emma Rosenthal read “Poem at the Break of War” which she wrote on the night the current war first broke out. The meeting ended, after a lengthy question and answer period, with LAUSLAW member, Lenny Potash, Exec. Bd. member AFSCME Retiree Chapter 36 leading the assembly in the chorus of Solidarity Forever.

Overall, the Los Angeles leg of the tour raised over $4000 towards labor organizing in Iraq.
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Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Omar Jubran (interpreter)
Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers , Omar Jubran (interpreter,)

Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Omar Jubran (interpreter)

Pat Aliso, Military Families Speak Out- O.C., Rosanna Cambron, Military Families Speak Out-L.A, Don White, CISPES and Committee to End Israeli Apartheid-SC, Marci Winograd, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Jabbar Magruder, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Cameron White, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Marci Winograd, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Cameron White, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Jabbar Magruder, Iraq Veterans Against the War.

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Abid Khalaf (interpreter), Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Omar Jubran (interpreter,) Emma Rosenthal, Café Intifada, L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Marcie Winograd, Progressive Democrats-Los Angeles. Photo by Tom McKenzie, Los Angeles U.S. Labor Against the War.

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Emma Rosenthal, Café Intifada, L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, photo by Tom McKenszie

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Don White makes the pitch (Don White, CISPES and Committee to End Israeli Apartheid-SC)

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Tom McKenzie, Los Angeles U.S. Labor Against the War, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Andy Griggs, U.S. Labor Against the War

Solidarity Forever led by Lenny Potash, Exec. Bd. member AFSCME Retiree Chapter 36, AFSCME Council 36-retired. L.A. U.S. Labor Against the War

Sunday, June 10, 2007
8:30 AM
Arlington West Visit
Arlington West, Santa Monica Beach, by the Pier

Every Sunday, on the beach on the north side of the pier, often starting as early as 3 am, Veterans Against the War set out crosses, stars of David and crescents to represent the U.S. military casualties of the war in Iraq. This display has been named, “Arlington West.” As Southern Californians come to the beach to play in the sand, swim, surf, sunbathe, walk on the pier and eat in the restaurants they are confronted with what has grown into a large monument, reminding us all, that while we play, we are a country at war, both here and at home, against the wills of the people of the United States and the people of Iraq.

As the project has grown, the vets have had to substitute red stars for every ten deaths. A sign at the walkway from the pier acknowledges that were the vets to set out crosses for the Iraqi dead, they would fill the entire beach.

Over time, visitors to the pier and to Arlington West have labeled the crosses with the names of loved ones killed in the adventures of empire. These personal tributes include flags, rosaries and other mementos for those who have died. The vets maintain these items in folders which are positioned in front of each cross then the items are removed and placed on each marker, collected at the end of the day and stored in the folders, in large plastic bins until the next Sunday.

The Iraqi Labor Solidarity Tour visited Arlington West at 8:30 in the morning and the set up was very much under way, but still very much in progress. Faleh and Hashmeya were able to meet with the vets, drape Casey Sheehan’s cross and help arrange crosses, crescents and stars in the sand.

This display and the labor of love and commitment is overwhelming. It is a growing monument to loss and grief and death; containing in the devotion of the vets, the vision of a very different future.

The love that goes into this weekly ritual, this enormous commitment, this devotion of illumination should be enough. This much work, one would think, would be sufficient to bring about a very different world.

Idris J. Al-Oboudi, (interpreter,) Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers speaking with volunteers and activists who assemble Arlington West every Sunday

Kathleen Hernandez, Veterans for Peace

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Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers and Jill Newman, Los Angeles artist and educator

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Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers and Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions installing crosses at Arlington West

Andy Griggs, US Labor Against the War, Kathleen Hernandez, Veterans for Peace, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Idris J. Al-Oboudi, (interpreter,) Abid Khalaf (interpreter)
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ALL PHOTOS: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved. Photos may not be used for purposes of defamation of individuals, ethnic, labor, gender, racial or religious groups.

Saturday, June 9, 2007
4 PM
California Teachers Association
Peace and Justice Caucus Forum
Bonaventure Hotel

Four times a year the California Teachers Association holds its State Council meeting where representatives from all over the state gather to make CTA policy. One of the most prominent caucuses, which is co-chaired by USLAW Steering Committee member Andy Griggs, is the Peace and Justice Caucus, which featured the two Iraqi labor leaders at a meeting open to all members of the State Council, as well as members of the community.

This event focused on labor and education issues and methods of greater international labor solidarity.

Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Mary Prophet, CTA Peace and Justice Co-Chair, introduces the speakers.

Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions speaking before the CTA Peace and Justice Caucus

Photo by Emma Rosentha: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

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Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Hamoud Salhi (interpreter,) Mary Prophet, CTA Peace and Justice Co-Chair, Andy Griggs, U.S. Labor Against the War

<><> Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

<>Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers

<>Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Jill Christianson of the NEA Office of International Relations

<> Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Hamoud Salhi (interpreter,) Linda Baughn, UTLA
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<><><> Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

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<>Bill Balderston, CTA Peace and Justice Caucus, CTA members, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Union Photo by Emma Rosenthal: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Hamoud Salhi (interpreter,) CTA member, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Kathy Lipscomb, U.S. LABOR AGAINST THE WAR

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ALL PHOTOS: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved. Photos may not be used for purposes of defamation of individuals, ethnic, labor, gender, racial or religious groups. )

Friday June 9, 2007
5 PM
Labor Reception
UCLA Downtown Labor Center

Labor and community activists and rank and file members had an opportunity to meet with and hear the two Iraqi labor leaders and gain greater insight into the impact of the war on the Iraqi people and the role of labor in the resistance to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Omar Jubran, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Andy Griggs, U.S. Labor Against the War

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Omar Jubran, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Andy Griggs, U.S. Labor Against the War

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Omar Jubran,(interpreter,) Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Pat Allen AFT Local 1521 Board Member, Andy Griggs, Labor Against the War, Victor Narro, UCLA Labor Center

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Omar Jubran (interpreter)

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hameed Saba (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Omar Jubran (interpreter)

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Lewis Hill, ILWU District Council, presents t-shirts and hats to Iraqi labor leaders, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Omar Jubran (interpreter,) Hameed Saba interpreter, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Solidarity Forever: L.A. Labor band lead by LA-U.S. Labor Against the War member, Lenny Potash, Exec. Bd. member AFSCME Retiree Chapter 36,

Photo by Mansoor Sabbagh ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers , Emma Rosenthal, Café Intifada, The We Project, L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions.

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Idris J. Al-Aboudi (interpreter,) Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Irena Varjabedian, L.A. activist, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Muffy Sunde (Communication Workers of America)

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 All Rights Reserved

Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Bob McCloskey (former Congressional Candidate,) Linda Tubach (UTLA) both are members of the L.A. Palestine Labor Solidarity Committee and serve on the Advisory Board of Cafe Intifada.

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(ALL PHOTOS: ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved. Photos may not be used for purposes of defamation of individuals, ethnic, labor, gender, racial or religious groups. )

Over the course of three days, Los Angeles community members and leaders had several opportunities to meet with two prominent Iraqi labor leaders: Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers and Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions. During this tour the both leaders addressed the need to end the occupation immediately because of its devasting impact on the people of Iraq and the necessity of self governance and self determination. Specific attention was given to the impact that the proposed oil law would have on the Iraqi economy and western efforts at privatizing Iraqi utilities and resources and the crisis in the electrical infrastructure after twenty years of U.S. intervention in Iraq.

A crack down by the Iraqi occupation government in response to a recent strike by Petroleum workers had resulted in the issuing of warrants for the arrests of three labor leaders, including Faleh Abood Umara, one of the speakers on the tour.

All the events provided opportunities for direct contact between the Los Angeles community and the featured labor leaders, who spoke and answered questions at all community and labor events.

The Los Angeles events were part of a larger, national tour, coordinated by U.S. Labor Against the War.

www.uslaboragainstwar.org

The Los Angeles events were organized by the Los Angeles chapter of U.S. Labor Against the War:

http://home.earthlink.net/~lauslaw
Friday, June 8, 2007

12 noon
Labor Luncheon
LA County Federation of Labor

This event, by invitation only, was extended to Los Angeles area labor leaders, providing an opportunity for greater coordination of solidarity and support for Iraqi labor, a greater understanding among labor leaders of the impact on the war on the Iraqi people and the role of labor in the struggle for greater popular empowerment.

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Lunch meeting at the County Federation of Labor

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
C.T. Sawabini (interpreter,) Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary Treasurer L.A. County Federation of Labor

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary Treasurer L.A. County Federation of Labor

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, C.T. Sawabini (interpreter,) Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions and Dave Campbell, Secretary Treasurer, United Steel Workers local 675

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rose

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Two Electrical Workers: Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers and Stan Stosel, IBEW Local 47

Photo by Emma Rosenthal ©2007 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Kathy Lipscomb, US Labor Against the War, Faleh Abood Umara, General Secretary Southern Oil Company Union, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, President Electrical Utility Workers Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers, Stan Stosel, IBEW Local 47, Andy Griggs, US Labor Against the War

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