Founding of Chicago Labor Against War

To the USLAW continuations committee:

I'm writing to inform you about Chicago Labor Against War, formed Jan. 25 at the UNITE hall. The group was formed following a local labor antiwar public meeting Jan. 10 and the participation of several of us in the USLAW founding conference here the following day. ChiLAW voted to endorse the USLAW statement as well as to affiliate. Given the importance of Chicago unions to the labor movement, we also voted to seek representation on the USLAW continuations committee.

Although we formalized our organization quite recently, we have been meeting regularly since December to both organize the public event as well as raise the profile of organized labor in the local antiwar movement. Our members have been instrumental in getting antiwar resolutions raised and passed in a number of locals, including Teamsters Local 705, SEIU Local 73 and the Chicago Teachers Union. The CTU resolution included funding to send a bus to the January 18 antiwar demonstration. On Feb. 4, Chicago Labor Against War members organized a discussion of the war at the Chicago Federation of Labor meeting. I have included the full report below.

In addition, I was able to publicize both our Chicago efforts and USLAW as a speaker on a panel at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil on "U.S. Voices Against War." Over 400 people, attended the meeting, which featured Kevin Danaher and Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, and South African poet and global justice activist Dennis Brutus, among others. The event was organized with the assistance of the World Social Forum media relations department and Ira Arlook of New Economy Communications.

Chicago Labor Against War is committed to building USLAW. Having a representative on the Continuations Committee will make our contribution more effective.

In solidarity,

Lee Sustar
Steering Committee, National Writers Union, Chicago
Founding member, USLAW
Last revised on February 07, 2003 by the Webmaster.