US labour unions lead protest at AIPAC's New York office
Some of the largest American labour unions led a protest this week in front of the New York office of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to call for a ceasefire on Thursday, amid growing global discontent over US military support for Israel's war on Gaza.
Protesters held signs with the names of top federally-elected New York state politicians along with the amount that they have received from the Israel lobby group.
The demonstrators highlighted AIPAC funding to senators Kristin Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, as well as Representative Hakeem Jeffries, who have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from AIPAC. Other signs read "Workers Demand Ceasefire Now" and "Free Palestine" as they chanted in front of AIPAC's downtown New York City office.
The unions leading the demonstration were the United Auto Workers, the American Postal Workers Union, as well as the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers. They were joined by Adalah Justice Project, American Muslims for Palestine NY/NJ Jewish Voice for Peace-NY, New York Communities for Change, the New York Working Families Party, and the New York City Democratic Socialists of America.
"For many years, we've stayed out of the conflict or unquestionably supported the state of Israel. Now, with people dying in this war, it's time to reconsider that," Brandon Mancilla, Region 9A director for the UAW, which includes New York, New England and Puerto Rico, told The New Arab.
He emphasised that as a labour movement, they should be standing with all vulnerable groups, including Palestinians. He also noted that many auto union workers are Arabs from Michigan, an important swing state for the presidential election, and that the UAW hasn't yet endorsed a candidate for US president. He said, "Biden really fumbled his response to the war."