Letters to the editor

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Paraeducators strike.

When the Port Angeles school district in Washington claimed poverty and tried to low-ball paraeducators’ raises, the union went to work. The PAPEA (Port Angeles Paraeducator Association) called on the community and local teachers for support — and they got it. When PAPEA walked out in April, the teachers refused to cross the strike line. Parents and others came out in support and the school district caved after five days. An agreement was reached that addressed several of the major concerns. PAPEA showed the power of solidarity!


JULIAN ASSANGE

Basic human rights have been violated

In response to the short article entitled “The extradition of Assange is really about a free press” [Vol. 43, No. 2] — Yes, the significance of his case concerns the freedom of journalists to publish and protect their sources and is essential to any free society and democracies. But unfortunately, the movement to protect Assange has shifted away from highlighting the many violations of his basic human rights to that of focusing on protecting journalists and the free press.

However, just as consequential is the right of an individual to be safe against arbitrary detention, indeed illegal imprisonment, and the right to a fair and speedy trial.

Julian Assange has been afforded none of the rights which democratic countries are known for, nor the international rights that the countries which persecute and prosecute him are bound by.

The threat of his extradition to the U.S. is just as much about basic human rights as it is about free speech or a free press. The focus of basic human rights should be put back into the narrative of Julian Assange’s case.

Priscilla Felia, New York City, New York


PRISONER WRITES

Thank you

Please extend my gratitude to the sponsors who finance my free subscription.

Know that your work is appreciated.

Reese, Angola, Louisiana


LABOR PARTY

Needs a feminist twist

Maxine Reigel’s “Women hospitality workers take the lead” [Vol. 45, No. 2] underscores the potential and urgent need for a U.S. feminist labor party. Independent of the twin party cheerleaders for the owning class, it would provide a voice for workers, independents, feminists, and leftists.

Why a feminist labor party? Because women, especially women of color, are the leadership of organized labor today. Because they face many levels of discrimination, they bring the working class together.

The HERE immigrant women-led hotel workers strike is one prime example. The November 2023 National CLUW Convention [Vol. 45, No. 1] led by Black women is another. It was a first-rate lesson in democracy and the power of labor organized across local, council, and state lines.

AFL-CIO national leadership could use it as a model for the urgently needed national reproductive justice conference. If successful, workers gathered there might consider whether or not a feminist labor party would be in their best interest.

Mary Ann Curtis, Naperville, Illinois


FARM WORKERS

Good article

Megan Cornish presented a very good summary of the long and hard-fought struggle of farm workers to have what other workers have had for decades — overtime wages [“Hard-won overtime pay for farm workers faces pushback from growers,” Vol. 43, No. 2].

There is also the matter of the H-2A “guest workers” who are replacing local farm workers. What is needed is immigration reform which includes a path to citizenship. And also the farm workers, like all workers, need a strong, worker-led labor union!

Roger Yockey, Yakima, Washington


The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions

Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@socialism.com.

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