Portland, Oregon: Unions demonstrate for a free Palestine

Members of the Oregon American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1790 hosted a Unions for a Free Palestine rally in front of the Pioneer Courthouse in downtown Portland, Oregon, Feb. 11, where nearly 100 people gathered in support. Protesters demanded a complete withdrawal of the Israeli state from Palestine, citing the undemocratic use of U.S. workers’ income taxes to fund the Zionist military occupation. 

Unions for a free Palestine. (Credit: WW photo Lyn Neeley)

In a series of speeches, demonstrators identified the material connection between anti-colonialist struggles and labor struggles. One health care worker from Local 88 explained that the deteriorating living conditions in the United States are inextricably linked with the increased militarization of the Western-backed settler-colonial project in Israel. 

The AFSCME Local 88 speaker drew parallels between her own patients, who cannot afford to treat their ailments because of the privatized health care system in the U.S., and the people of Palestine, who do not receive enough medical supplies for basic medical care. 

An educator from AFSCME Local 328 added that the lack of funding for U.S. public schools is related to the systemic attack on public education in Gaza. 

The event was attended by AFSCME Locals 88 and 328, the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Workers World Party.

Protesters asserted that their skills in medicine, education and manufacturing will not be used to increase the wealth of global capitalists and further exploit the Palestinian people or any other superexploited nations in the Global South without resistance.

Theresa from the AAPRP said, “The implementation of scientific socialism and the collective ownership of production is the only path to liberation for all workers and all colonized and imperialized peoples.”

 – Report by Portland, Oregon Workers World bureau

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