Free Julian Assange NOW!

Last week UNAC hosted an important webinar on the case of Julian Assange.  The webinar was viewed by hundreds on the Zoom platform, and many hundreds more through the livestream on Facebook.

You can now view the webinar on YouTube by clicking here.

It is through the work of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks that we in the antiwar movement learned about the Collatoral Murder video which was classified by the US so the people of the world would not learn about war crimes the US was committing in Iraq.  This video was played at the founding conference of UNAC and introduced and explained by Ethan McCord who was a soldier at the massacre in Iraq, that the video is about.  Through that experience, Ethan McCord started questioning the war and later became a vocal opponent of the war and ended up speaking at the UNAC conference.

Assange is being prosecuted for telling the truth.  If this is allowed, any journalist will be able to be prosecuted by the US.  We in the antiwar movement will also not be safe.  We must free Julian Assange.


Set Leonard Peltier free now

Often during powwows and other Indigenous gatherings, it is common to hear elders pray for those who are incarcerated. Elders seem to have a higher level of wisdom that makes us think about people who we may not normally think about—or even pray for—on a regular basis.

During these difficult days of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, last week I began to think about Leonard Peltier being in isolation at the U.S. Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida.

He is there for his 1977 conviction in connection with a shootout with U.S. government forces, where two FBI agents and one young American Indian lost their lives on June 25, 1975 at a private residence at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Peltier, a tribal citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, has been behind bars over 44 years. Now 75-years-old, he is said to be wearing a mask during the pandemic. He is in the vulnerable age group and in poor health. He has chronic heart problems and diabetes.

To many American Indians, Peltier is a symbol of an oppressive federal system that confines Native people to a dismal place in American Indian society. He is a political prisoner that we may only think about if we happen to see a bumper sticker on the back of a vehicle that simply reads “FREE Leonard Peltier.”

The pandemic made me think about Peltier this past week, but my favoring his release did not begin with the COVID-19 crisis.

Notable legal experts, including former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, say Peltier was not given a fair trial by the U.S. government.

“I think I can explain beyond serious doubt, that Leonard Peltier has committed no crime whatsoever. But if he had been guilty of firing a gun that killed an FBI Agent, it was in defense of not just his people but the integrity of humanity from domination and exploitation,” stated former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. “You have to remember no witness really said they saw Leonard take aim at anybody. No witness said they heard him shoot at the time he could have killed an agent. There was no evidence that he did it, except fabricated, circumstantial evidence, overwhelmingly misused, concealed and perverted.”

Even federal Judge Gerald Heaney, who presided over an appeal hearing, has said the FBI utilized improper tactics to convict Peltier. He suggests the FBI was equally responsible for the shoot-out.

Three years ago, former Iowa United States Attorney James Reynolds wrote a  letter to President Obama to support clemency for Peltier. In 1977, Reynolds led the federal government’s prosecution in Peltier’s trial. Reynolds said then that President Obama should grant Peltier’s Clemency Petition “as being in the best interests of justice considering the totality of all matters involved.”

Through the years, the FBI has adamantly opposed the release of Peltier. While the deaths of their two agents at Oglala were tragic by all human standards, the deaths of hundreds of innocent American Indians who died during the 1970s, known as the “Reign of Terror” on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, are equally tragic.

While the vast majority of Americans agree the FBI serves a vital service to this nation, it should be acknowledged that the agency is operated by human beings who from time to time make mistakes. Quite clearly, there is enough evidence that the FBI made mistakes in its determination to find Peltier guilty.

Many American Indians and others around the world view Peltier as a political prisoner. Through the years, Peltier’s supporters have included the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Bishop Desmond Tutu, among other prominent names. For many years, the National Congress of American Indians and Amnesty International have called for Peltier’s release from prison.

Peltier’s continued imprisonment is a continued miscarriage of justice by the federal government.

On Friday, The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system, released staggering numbers that report 9,437 prisoners across the country have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus and there have been 131 COVID-19 deaths among prisoners.

Given all of the circumstances surrounding Peltier’s conviction, his prolonged imprisonment, and the potential risk he faces from the virus, he should be set free immediately.


May 3 Chicago May Day Live Online

Join us for to virtually celebrate International Workers Day, with talks from leaders of workers struggles in Chicago! The forum will be streamed from the FRSO Chicago page via Facebook Live.
RSVP on the facebook event here:
The COVID-19 crisis has hit the United States working class especially hard due to the lack of universal healthcare, absence of worker protections like sick time and paid leave, dismissal of the seriousness of the pandemic by the government, the underfunding of public health infrastructure, and a rush to get people ‘back to work’ – all of which stem from the U.S. ruling class prioritizing of profits over people. The U.S. has over 1 million cases and 55,000 deaths (at the time of this writing). Over 25 million workers are jobless. The pandemic has triggered profound political and economic crises, and the major classes in U.S. society are struggling to defend their basic interests. The rich have responded by pumping trillions into the big banks, bailing out industry, and pushing for a return to ‘business as usual’, including ‘astro-turfing’ (organizing and funding) right-wing protests. The working class has responded with fights across all industries still operating for healthcare, sick leave, virus protection on the job, hazard pay, and more. A new organizing wave to establish unions at previously non-union workplaces like Amazon, Whole Foods, and others. In celebrating International Workers Day, we look to the past great working class struggles to learn and build the struggles of today. Long live International Workers Day!

Tell Congress: During This Pandemic, Support Our Public Postal Service

The coronavirus crisis is stretching the Postal Service to the breaking point. Without urgent financial support, the USPS will run out of money in a few months, freeing up the agency to be sold off to private corporations.

We need your help. Can you contact your representatives and demand Congress support the Postal Service?

The Postal Service is a vital lifeline and the only source of communication for millions of Americans during this crisis. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin lobbied against financial support for the USPS in the $2 trillion stimulus package, and the Postal Service was left out in the cold.

The next stimulus bill could be the last chance we have to save the public Postal Service before it is privatized. To keep our public Postal Service, we need to act and we need to act now.

If you have already sent these emails and want to further support the Postal Service, please call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and demand that he support the US Postal Service! You can call him at (202) 224-2541.

Support PEF Relief Fund For Nurses!

We are living in unprecedented times. PEF healthcare professionals need your help! Our 15,000+ nurses and healthcare professionals, many on the front line fighting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, are putting their lives and the safety of their families at risk.

PEF has been providing hotel rooms for these heroes to help minimize the danger to their families and to offer relief to those nurses who are just too tired to drive home after their long shift. PEF is also making investments in personal protective equipment, including N95 masks and surgical masks to make sure our members are safe.

At this time, we need your generosity to continue this valuable program so we can help as many nurses as possible for as long as we can.

Click here to donate!

April 29, 2020: Join Virtual Picket Line for ASARCO Workers

Log on at: United Steelworkers

Even a global pandemic, quarantine and social distancing can’t stop our solidarity with our striking ASARCO siblings. Join our virtual picket line TOMORROW at noon EST. Click the interested box and we’ll notify you when we go live! #1u #OneDayLonger

COVID-19 has shut down almost everything, including some picket lines. But it hasn’t shut down our solidarity with the hundreds of our siblings that have been on an unfair labor practice strike against global mining giant ASARCO. Check out their story and join the virtual picket line! DONATE: #OneDayLonger #1u #USWUnity

COVID-19 Information & Resources from the United Steelworkers


Info & Reporting:

USW Social Media Sites – Follow for the latest most up-to-date info: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram

USW Web Site –– Corona Virus Resources: (health and safety fact sheets and more)

Canadian COVID-19 Resource Page:

Report a Workplace Health and Safety Issue Related to COVID-19:

Food Banks and Community Resources for COVID-19:

Veterans – Resources for COVID-19:

Mental Health and Substance abuse:

State and Job Loss Resources:


Media (videos +  podcast):

Message from President Conway: To Workers Everywhere: Thank You:

Podcast, “Mobilizing America: Manufacturing During Crisis”:

USW Live: Coronavirus laws and you:

From our education department: USW Webinar on Families First Coronavirus Response Act:

From our education department: The Family Medical Leave Act in the Time of COVID-19:

COVID-19: A Webinar for USW Health Care Workers:

American Roots, American Heroes: Maine clothing maker now making medical supplies:


Articles/Info Alerts:

Rapid Response: Information on emergency legislative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic:


Take Action:

Join our Solidarity Forever virtual sing-along!:

Demand PPE for our Healthcare Workers:

COVID-19 Action Call: PPE Donations from USW Locals Needed:

ASARCO Pledge your solidarity with striking Asarco workers!:

UnionPlus/Free College

Free College – Yes, it’s really free!:

Union Plus Hardship Info:

Election Resources

2020 Census info:

States are taking measures to ensure voters’ rights amidst COVID pandemic, visit the Department of Elections website for information on voting:

USW Voices:

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Demand PPE for our Healthcare Workers

Our hard-working healthcare employees, our members and all essential workers, have a right to the  personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies they need as they work on the frontlines of this deadly pandemic.

That’s why we’re calling on the governments in Wisconsin and Minnesota to do whatever they can to ensure healthcare and other essential workers have the PPE necessary to keep them safe, including increasing production.

Add your name to our letter demanding that lawmakers in Minnesota and Wisconsin support  all efforts that ensure healthcare workers are the states’ top priority to be in receipt of the required PPE that the CDC recommends is to be worn by all healthcare personnel during this pandemic.

While all essential employees have the right to protect themselves from COVID-19, it is a certainty, simply because of the nature of their work, that healthcare workers are directly exposed to COVID-19 at a higher rate and larger scale than others. That is why we need our lawmakers to ensure our healthcare workers get the PPE they need.

We will personally deliver these letters to legislators in both states on behalf of our healthcare members and all frontline workers.


April 30, 2020: Palestinian Workers Webinar


Samia Al-Botmeh, Assistant Professor in Labour Economics and the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at Birzeit University in Palestine
Abed Dari, Field Coordinator, Palestinian Workers Department, Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline
Mariela Kohon, Senior International Officer TUC

Palestinian workers are facing the constant pressures of living and working under the Israeli military control of the occupation and siege.

Covid-19 is presenting them with a new set of deadly challenges. This includes Israel’s almost complete closing off of the West Bank, affecting the survival of the 70,000 West Bank Palestinians who work in Israel.

Join us to hear how the current global health crisis is affecting Palestinian workers, and what we can do in solidarity, for justice and equality.