PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Event: PPRC Friday Rally and March
Date: Friday, March 7th, 2003
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square Contacts: William Seaman
Portland Labor for Peace and Justice hosts Friday Rally, PPRC Joins
Organized Labor's March on the Portland Business Alliance.
The PPRC's weekly rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday, March 7th, at 5:00 p.m., will be hosted by Portland Labor for Peace and Justice, a local organization formed to give voice to organized labor's opposition to war. "In these times when our schools are closing, and many people have no access to decent health care, spending billions of dollars on an unjust war is something that just doesn't makes sense to workers here at home," said Peter Parks, an organizer with Portland Labor for Peace and Justice. Parks is a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 8, the Powell's Books employees union, an endorser of the recent historic peace marches that have taken place in Portland over the past several months.
Longtime labor activist, Laurie King, said she was heartened by the recent AFL-CIO executive council vote against war. Representing 65 unions, the executive council resolution stated that President Bush had not made the case for an attack on Iraq without broad support of US allies. "It's working class kids that will be asked to fight and die in this war, but it's only this nations' wealthiest politicians and CEO's who will benefit from this war," said King. King believed that the AFL-CIO vote, along with many previous resolutions adopted by other unions, signals greater involvement by organized labor in the peace movement.
The destination for the Friday rally and march will be the offices of the Portland Business Alliance, the local business organization that appeared to play a key role in defeating the Portland City Council's resolution against war. Local peace and justice organizers cited reports that the PBA successfully lobbied City Council member Jim Francesconi to cast the deciding vote against the resolution. Labor activists also pointed to the PBA's requiring a teachers' health care benefit cut as a condition for PBA support for an increased business tax. They also cited PBA's support for harassing protestors and street performers, and their advocacy for an ice skating rink at Pioneer Courthouse Square, as anti-Free Speech and as inconsistent with the values of the community.