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LABOR MUST MAKE DEFENSE OF BLACK LIVES ITS OWN IMPERATIVE

By: 
King Downing and Frances Madeson

Black trade unionists across the U.S. are calling on the labor movement to defend Black Lives Matter protesters and to fight racism in their own ranks. The attacks by police and increasingly violent armed racist militias evoke the memory of many such violent incidents against Black people in earlier periods, from slavery to segregation to the civil rights era.  Some local unions have started to stand up to militias in much the same way as they have against police brutality — the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 has passed resolutions and marched against police violence and fascism. They were prepared to counter-protest  the Patriot Prayer in San Francisco in August 2017, but the far-right group backed down.