Freedom Socialist newspaper — Letters to the editor

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UNFAIR TO LABOR

Boycott Whole Foods

Just to let you know that Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS) in Seattle has declared a boycott against Whole Foods, the Wal-Mart of organic/natural foods.

Their main supplier, United Natural Food, Inc. (UNFI), has spent the last year bargaining in bad faith with their Teamster employees at its warehouse in Auburn, Wash. Those workers struck for three days in early December to push negotiations forward. Upon returning to work, they were told 72 of them would be laid off. All 168 went back on strike. The ongoing strike has had significant financial impact on UNFI — deliveries are a week behind.

More responsible retailers like Puget Sound Consumers Co-op have made public statements urging UNFI to settle fairly with its Teamster employees. OWLS has taken action against Whole Foods to pressure them to do likewise.

UNFI is spending more money to break the strike than settle. Clearly UNFI, just like Whole Foods, wants a work force it can dominate. Like the rest of the 1 percent they are intent on denying workers their right to bargain effectively. Good unions winning good contracts protect workers’ rights and redistribute the wealth the 1 percent hordes.

Patrick Burns, Seattle


SUPERSTORM SANDY

Disabled and elderly at risk

Disabled and elderly at risk

I just want to share some thoughts you might want to consider when discussing the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster.

1) The elderly and disabled are particularly at risk with no power and heat and with no support and isolated in structures.

2) These people should be provided the empty hotel rooms that were available in this off-tourist season, in such places as the Waldorf Astoria, Plaza Hotel, etc. If the wealthy owners would not provide these rooms for free then the government could state imminent domain in crisis for these elderly and disabled to be treated decently.

If the U.S. government can arrange to send troops to Afghanistan and set up their housing there it seems the very same government could arrange to move elderly and disabled people much closer to these empty hotel rooms that are numerous and available!

3) The Sandy Storm is confirmation of climate changes that are caused directly by capitalist greed and refusal to make needed changes to stop more such storms and worse environmental disasters to come. This will cause the greatest harm to the poor and especially the elderly and disabled.

John O’Brien, Los Angeles


CALL TO END RACIAL HOSTILITIES

3 of San Quentin 6 declare solidarity

We strongly support the statement issued by the Pelican Bay Prison Short Corridor Collective calling for the end of racial and factional hostilities inside California prisons and in county jails.

We believe that this, along with our struggle for human rights, is a most righteous cause which will have a tremendous impact on changing the perception that the Security Housing Units (SHUs) house only the worst of the worst.

The truth is that the SHUs are filled with those who have transformed themselves into socially conscious men and women who desire to live more productive and constructive lives while working to bring an end to their tortuous living conditions.

These comrades who have issued the agreement to end hostilities demonstrate their commitment to changing not only their conditions but themselves. Furthermore, they seek to change how prisoners are treated and how prisons are currently run.

Ultimately, this is a peaceful movement to assert our humanity. Differences in race, sets and associations matter not. Each of us is ultimately responsible for maintaining and preserving our own self-respect. We hope that as comrades you will help lift each other up as you come to realize that the same oppressor oppresses us all!

We must unite to end long term isolation as punitive punishment! We support you in this movement and join your call.

Sundiata Tate, Bato Talamantez and Giappa Johnson, 3 of San Quentin 6


PRISONERS SPEAK

19 years in solitary

I am a class representative of the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement via the hunger strikes that took place last year in protest of the human rights abuses that we prisoners in the SHU have been subjected to for years.

As of August 2013 I will have been held in solitary confinement for 19 consecutive years. Hence, I’ve endured social, cultural, environmental, sensory and countless other deprivations that are designed to break my humanity!

A large factor in this is the lack of reading materials that are made non-accessible to us in solitary confinement. Please make sure my subscription is renewed. (Editor’s note: It was.)

I just had a new pamphlet published called Evidence of Corruption, genocide & New-Colonialism. It is free and available at: South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, C/O A. Rayson, PO Box 721, Homewood, Il 60430.

Kijana Tashiri Askari s/n Marcus Harrison #H54077, PO Box 7500, D3-122/SHU, Crescent City, CA 95531

Peace & Justice

I wanted to send a message of Peace & Justice. Let me also send positive and healthy New Year’s wishes to all of you.

Needless to say, keep on doing the important and good work all of you do. We need your voice and understanding, your organizing and effort.

Finally, let me send a thought from the 2012 political prisoner calendar, “Dream, Rise, Organize.”

Jaan Laaman 10372-016, USP Tucson, PO Box 24550 Tucson, AZ 85734


The FS welcomes your feedback, opinions, and resource info. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@socialism.com

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