March 27, 2009

Duluth Central Labor Body Supports the RNC 8

On March 12, delegates to the Duluth Central Labor Body, representing nearly 17,000 workers in the Duluth area, unanimously approved a resolution in solidarity with the RNC 8 (above) and calling for a repeal of the Minnesota Anti-Terrorism Act.

Duluth Central Labor Body Resolution in Support of the RNC 8
and Stating that the Anti-Terrorism Act Should be Repealed
Whereas, a free society is one in which people can organize collectively to improve their lives without fear of persecution by their government; and

Whereas, the labor movement has historically suffered state intimidation and repression in our efforts to organize working people, including the unconstitutional arrest of labor organizers and publishers of union papers under “criminal syndicalism” laws of the first half of the 20th century; and

Whereas, changes to the Minnesota criminal code under the so-called Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002 threaten political speech by defining acts that “further terrorism” so broadly as to encompass civil disobedience designed to “disrupt or interfere with the lawful exercise, operation, or conduct of government, lawful commerce, or the right of lawful assembly,” including strikes, blockades and other union actions to defend workers’ rights; and

Whereas, the first criminal charges under this law were filed by Ramsey County prosecutors in September of 2008 against organizers of Republican National Convention protests in St Paul (known as the "RNC 8"), with no evidence that the defendants committed any act of violence;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Duluth Central Labor Body stands in solidarity with the RNC 8 and goes on record as opposing the politically-motivated terrorism charges filed against them; and

Be it further resolved that the Duluth Central Labor Body goes on record as opposing 609.714 of the Minnesota criminal code (“CRIMES COMMITTED IN FURTHERANCE OF TERRORISM”) and calls on Minnesota state legislators to work for the repeal of this law;

Be it further resolved that the Duluth Central Labor Body urges that labor unions across Minnesota consider the implications of the RNC 8 case and the Minnesota Anti-Terrorism Act on their own organizing and to support the cause of repeal.

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