National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) denounces the September 24 FBI raids

The following resolution was adopted by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) Executive Board in July 2011.


National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) denounces the September 24 FBI raids

July 2011

Whereas, on September 24, 2010, the FBI carried out coordinated raids on the homes and offices of anti-war and trade union activists in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan, during which agents confiscated computers, mailing lists, cell phones, passports, political literature, correspondence and children’s drawings; and served subpoenas to 14 people to testify before a federal grand jury about alleged material support for foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs); and

Whereas, 10 of the 14 people subpoenaed are union members with a long history of activism within their unions and their local labor communities; and

Whereas, from the Palmer Raids to J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO and recent government activities under the Patriot Act, the FBI and Department of Justice have long histories of exploiting public fears in order to disrupt trade union, civil rights and anti-war organizing; and

Whereas, on June 20, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States in Holder v Humanitarian Law Project upheld a provision of the Patriot Act that defines material support for FTOs so broadly as to include legitimate humanitarian work, journalism and international solidarity; and

Whereas, attacks by politicians in multiple states have sought to weaken or even abolish workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively, and have reinforced the importance of the solidarity shown by social movement groups to the labor movement; and

Whereas, complacency only leads to further outrages on a wider scale against more groups, while solidarity across a broad spectrum is our best defense and our best offense; and

Therefore, be it resolved that the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) denounces the September 24 FBI raids and the grand jury investigation of Midwest anti-war and trade union activists as dangerous assaults on free speech and free association; and

Be it further resolved, that NUHW calls on the Obama Administration to initiate an immediate, full, and transparent investigation into the circumstances, motivation, and propriety of the recent judicial and police intimidation of union members, anti-war, and international solidarity activists, and to review more broadly the propriety of federal surveillance of social movements and the use of expansive anti-terror laws to chill lawful dissent in the aftermath of 9/11; and

Be it finally resolved that NUHW participate in ongoing efforts to defend civil rights and civil liberties from government infringement.