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Sunday May 19th 2019

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Raise Your Voice: A worker’s proud moment

By PETER MOLENAAR

Peter Molenaar

Circulating within the ranks of organized labor is a sign-on statement with the caption: “Union Members Stand United with Rep. Ilhan Omar.”

It reads:

“Rep. Ilhan Omar is a fighter for working people who upholds her time as a union member with pride and continues to stand with unions, with working people, and with all who are oppressed.

“Just a couple months into her first term as one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, Rep. Omar faces unprecedented attacks. Her statements and intentions are being purposely twisted in cynical and disingenuous ways to try to discredit and isolate her.

“As union members we understand the importance of solidarity when our union siblings are under attack. The biggest enemies of working people and unions, like Donald Trump and his followers – who themselves are guilty of enabling violent antisemitism and white supremacy – are stoking the attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar.

“We unequivocally stand with Ilhan Omar against the Islamophobic smears being leveled at her for her outspoken views.

“We denounce the despicable efforts of Republicans to label her a terrorist or connect her to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“We call on our fellow union members, on our unions, and on elected officials to stand with Ilhan against Republican efforts to pit Jews and Muslims against each other.”

Several hundred names down the list is found the identification: shop committee/steward (now retired) Teamsters Local 970. 35 years within the bowels of Smith Foundry, near Cedar Ave. on 28th St., are now more meaningful than a million iron castings. My name appears among the “siblings,” the union brothers and sisters who have Ilhan Omar’s back.

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