T.O. Weekly 51: No U.S. War Against Russia! NATO Out NOW!

The ORGANIZER Weekly Newsletter: Special Antiwar Issue

Issue No. 51 – February 5, 2022

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• No to the U.S. War in Ukraine! NATO Out NOW!– Statement of the OCRFI

• Interview with Jim Lafferty: “NO U.S. War Against Russia!”

• Statement by Russian Political Activist Andrei Kalinkin

• The Continuing Shame of Guantanamo – by Jim Lafferty

• Statement by Danny Glover: “End the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba! End the U.S. Economic Warfare Against Cuba!”

• Call for World Conference Against War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor (antiwar excerpts), and Initial List of U.S. Endorsers (Paris, October 2022)

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No to the U.S. War in Ukraine! NATO Out NOW!

(Statement of the Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International, OCRFI)

The year 2022 is beginning with a march to war in the heart of Europe.

On both sides of the Russia-Ukraine border, huge military resources are being amassed that could shortly lead to a confrontation between the United States and Russia, two great powers with nuclear weapons.

The main culprit in this military escalation – unprecedented on the continent since 1945 – is imperialism, and particularly U.S. imperialism.

It is the Biden administration which, continuing the line of all the previous administrations, is pushing for the eastward enlargement of its military alliance, NATO, and has given the green light to the possibility of Ukraine becoming a member.

It is the Biden administration that, in line with all previous administrations, has approved an unprecedented US$768.2 billion military budget, with complete consensus between Democrats and Republicans. It is successive U.S. administrations that have delivered US$2.7 billion in military aid to the Ukrainian government since 2014.

It is the Biden administration that is using the threat of a “Russian invasion” of Ukraine to justify the build-up of troops and military equipment in Ukraine and Eastern European countries. Many workers remember the Bush administration’s lie about so-called “weapons of mass destruction” to justify its invasion of Iraq.

It is the Biden administration that – like all the previous ones – is laying claim for U.S. imperialism and Wall Street to dominate all continents by every means possible, today against Russia, tomorrow against China.

Condemning U.S. imperialism’s responsibility in this march to war does not mean in any way giving political support to Putin’s regime. This regime was born out of the decomposition of the bureaucracy after the collapse of the Soviet Union, constituting a mafia layer of oligarchs enriched by the plundering of state property, and has inserted itself into the capitalist world market while defending its own interests.

Workers around the world will note the hypocrisy of the U.S. and EU governments that are now raising the threat of a “Russian invasion of Ukraine.” Those same governments had no problem with Putin’s regime sending troops to crush the workers’ revolt in Kazakhstan in early January, thereby protecting the interests of the big U.S. and European multinationals.

Biden’s policy, in line with Trump’s, has reduced the European Union and its main members to the only role it recognizes: that of Washington’s auxiliaries. Johnson, like Macron, immediately bowed down. But Biden’s march to war has caused the German bourgeoisie to express reservations. And this is because German imperialism has the most economic and commercial interests in Russia, and therefore the most to lose in a confrontation with it.

The working class and peoples of the world have no interest in this war. As the call for a World Conference Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International (Paris, October 2022) by 601 labor activists from 57 countries states: “All the military interventions of imperialism, carried out in the name of “democracy”, have resulted in bloody chaos, with the dislocation of entire nations. The peoples of the world want peace.” The tragic experience of the peoples of Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Syria and several countries of sub-Saharan Africa that have been subjected to imperialist interference and interventions is there to remind us of this.

The legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people for sovereignty will not be met under the boot of NATO, any more than they were under the yoke of Stalinism.

The workers of Ukraine, Russia and Eastern Europe have no interest in this war.

Nor do the tens of thousands of refugees parked on the European Union’s eastern borders, whose plight would be made even worse by a war in the region.

Nor do the workers of the United States, Canada or those of France, Britain, Germany, Spain or Italy; they know that such a war would be a new pretext for trying to impose new measures against the working class, and for trying to impose a “sacred union” with the governments that just recently poured trillions of dollars and euros into the pockets of the capitalists.

In the United States, in particular, the labor organizations cannot in any way support Biden’s militarist policy, which once again makes it urgent for the trade union movement to break with the Democratic Party, one of the twin parties of the bourgeoisie.

In every country of Europe, the organizations that claim to stand for the workers must refuse any “sacred union” and any support for their governments engaged in this march to war.

The Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International (OCRFI) declares itself

·      Against the Biden-Macron-Johnson war!

·      For the immediate withdrawal of all NATO troops from Ukraine and Eastern Europe! 

·      For the withdrawal of NATO from the countries that are members of it, and for its dissolution!

·      For the immediate confiscation of military budgets and their allocation to hospitals, schools and employment!  

·      For the independence of labor organizations from warmongering governments!

·      No support whatsoever for the warmongering governments!

The OCRFI calls for a redoubling of efforts for the success of the World Conference Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International (Paris, October 2022).

–      January 27, 2022      

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Interview with Jim Lafferty: “NO U.S. War Against Russia!”

[Note: Following is an interview with Jim Lafferty, executive director emeritus of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles. He was one of the national coordinators of the largest anti-Vietnam War coalition: the National Peace Action Coalition. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of Labor and Community for an Independent Party (LCIP). The interview was conducted on February 3 by Alan Benjamin, member of the editorial board of The Organizer.]

Question: Why should people in the United States oppose the buildup and increasing threat of war in Ukraine?

Lafferty: That’s the key question everybody should be asking themselves. I need to provide some context before I answer that question directly. We are told every day that our country is not currently at war, but this, of course, is a fiction perpetuated by the corporate media to hide what the U.S. is really doing across the globe.

The truth is that the U.S. has military bases in 140 countries at this time, and in many of these countries some form of military action is actually engaged. Yet this low-intensity warfare is not reported.

I also think one needs a little bit of history. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Gorbachev reached an agreement with the United States that the U.S. would not seek to grab up former Soviet states and countries in the Warsaw Pact and bring them into NATO. In addition, the United States would not take advantage of the situation to arm more heavily than it already was the territories and states surrounding the Soviet Union.

But that’s now what happened. NATO dragged in at least seven of the Warsaw Pact nations, many of them armed with nuclear weapons. All this was contrary to that agreement.

The U.S. wars and interventions have had a devastating effect on working-class people not only here at home, but throughout the world. Monies that should be spent for all of our domestic needs iares going to the arms manufacturers. There’s great profit to be made in the making of weapons of war.

The so-called “defense” budget – in reality a war budget – is massive to the extreme.

And the U.S. administrations – whether Democratic or Republican — continue to use any excuse they can to be on a permanent war footing and thereby justify these outrageous, immoral expenditures — again, all resources and monies that should be going to secure life and welfare for workers and oppressed communities in the U.S. and around the world.

Question: What can we do to stop this impending war against Russia?

Lafferty: We need to build mass antiwar movements. But we have to keep in mind that we havea different situation today than what existed during the Vietnam War, when our troops were returning home in body bags by the thousands.

The U.S. military has found a way to conduct these wars with so-called volunteer armies: the armies of the poor, the armies of the disenfranchised. You don’t have a draft – thank goodness — but you don’t have it. And therefore, you have so many other issues that are front and center in the minds of the American people — from low wages, the COVID pandemic, mounting inflation, lack of housing, and so much more.

In addition, as we speak, though there is increased U.S. weaponry being sent to Ukraine, the U.S. government is not talking about putting U.S. soldiers directly into conflict. This makes it more difficult for the American people to understand what is going on. All they hear in the mainstream media is how Russia is this terrible aggressive nation that we must stop it before it suddenly takes over Toledo, Ohio, or some other place.

All this makes it hard to form the kind of an organized, united-front mass movement that proved so successful in the past. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. We don’t know what’s going to happen next week. The situation on the ground could change rapidly. There is also much more availability of information via the internet now than there once was.

This coming weekend [Feb. 5 and 6] there will be antiwar actions all across the country sponsored by the ANSWER coalition, Code Pink, UNAC, Black Alliance for Peace and hundreds of other organizations. This is the beginning of a new antiwar movement. I urge your readers to get out in the streets to say, NO U.S. War Against Russia!

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Statement by Russian Political Activist Andrei Kalinkin

The world is on the brink of a new imperialist war. One of the points where these rival bourgeois interests clash is the conflict between Ukraine and the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

It is in this context that the confrontation between Russia and NATO has intensified. Both sides are building up large military forces in the conflict zone and launching economic, diplomatic and propaganda attacks against each other.

As Russian Communists, our first duty is to oppose the imperialist tendencies of our own government. We do not support the dictatorship of big capital in our country. The oligarchic regime of Vladimir Putin is doing what every reactionary regime has always done: invoke an external threat to systematically attack the social and political rights of the workers.

But this does not mean any benevolence towards the NATO imperialists. First of all, because 30 years ago capitalism was restored in Russia at the cost of destroying whole sections of the economy. Today, our country is a semi-peripheral country, a “raw material reserve” of the West, economically and technologically weaker than NATO. The governments of the United States and Europe therefore bear a heavy responsibility for the escalation.

Secondly, on the other side of the always hypothetical “front line,” the interests of the workers are attacked in exactly the same way as at home. Instead of these attacks being carried out in the name of “Russian renaissance” and “Russian peace,” they are carried out in the name of “democratic values” (democracy for the rich) and “defense of Ukraine” (i.e., defense of Ukrainian oligarchs, Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists and Western investments).

The only way out of the confrontation between Donetsk and Kiev, between Moscow and Brussels, between Beijing and Washington, etc., in the interest of the workers and broad masses of people in Russia and the world, is not to side with one of these imaginary banners (waved by equally disgusting bands), but to be on our own side: against the war for a new Zimmerwald; against world Capital for a Workers’ International; against the “market economy” for the Universal Republic of Councils!

Andrei Kalinkin is a member of the Russian Group of OCRFI supporters

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The Continuing Shame of Guantanamo

By Jim Lafferty

(excerpted with the author’s permission from the LA Progressive. It was posted to its website on January 11, 2022)

Thirty-nine suspects remain in the United States’ prison on Guantanamo Bay, or “GITMO” as it’s commonly known. And nobody can reasonably predict when, if ever, they will be freed. Or be afforded a trial with any measure of due process. In 2008, the Supreme Court, in Boumediene-v-Bush, held that the GITMO prisoners’ access to federal court was not only a statutory right, but that the prisoners also had the right in federal court to bring a writ of habeas corpus. But it left open the question of what rights, by filing such a writ, did they actually have? Did they, most critically, have the right to “due process of law” in their trials?

That question was answered and answered in the negative, in the case of Al Hela-v-Trump, a case out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where most GITMO cases are decided. It ruled that GITMO prisoners have no right to due process. Period. And, of course, there is no reason to think today’s Supreme Court will overturn that decision.

Once a front-page story, the U.S. prison on Guantanamo Bay is seldom in the news these days or, apparently, on the minds of the American people. It should be. The history and ongoing operation of GITMO exposes the lie behind our claim to be a nation governed by the rule of law. Condemned by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and many other such groups, it is a permanent stain on the character of the American people.

GITMO began taking in suspected enemy combatants from al-Qaeda in 2002. At the height of its operation, close to 800 “suspects” from many different Muslim nations were held there, under tortuous conditions, without any due process of law. The youngest was 13 years old! In fact, 21 of the detainees were children. Dozens of detainees were subjected to barbaric forms of torture. Many committed suicides. Over 500 were convicted in sham federal court trials, and others in illegitimate military tribunals. Many, if not most suspects, clearly bore no responsibility for combat operations in the Muslim nations where we were waging war, and, in some cases, are still waging war.

I feel the same way about this shameful chapter of American history as does Linda Greenhouse, the brilliant NPR reporter on the rulings of the Supreme Court. Greenhouse wrote: “I’ve come to think of Guantanamo, born in fear and sustained through political cynicism and public indifference, as a mirror of ourselves during these opening decades of the current century, trapped no less than our 39 remaining ‘forever’ prisoners with no obvious end to their imprisonment.”

And I would add, as well, that there is no obvious end to the U.S. imperialism carried out by both U.S. capitalist parties when in power, and who are both responsible for the shame of GITMO. And in recent days the Congress and courts have poured more acid into the moral wounds in the operation of GITMO, by further restricting the rights of the detainees. And, as recent disclosures have revealed, right from the start the supposedly confidential conversations between lawyers and detainees were in violation of a most basic principle of due process, listened to by the very U.S. government officials who were prosecuting the detainees.

GITMO is, of course, a consequence of our wars in the Middle East; wars for those countries’ oil, and for geopolitical gain. Over the many years of these wars, U.S. presidents have repeatedly claimed we are not at war with Islam. Well, tell that to the families of the millions of dead and wounded Muslims our bombing and invasion of Iraq caused; tell it to the thousands of Muslims forbidden to enter America through travel bans; tell it to the countless numbers of Muslim citizens and residents of America who’ve been discriminated against at work or in public; tell it to the Muslim children attacked on their way to school and called “terrorists;” tell it to the Muslim worshipers whose mosques have been infiltrated by government agents.

All U.S. governing administrations love to preach about their concerns for human rights abroad. They even have the audacity to claim they invade other countries to bring human rights and democracy to those countries. Many Americans, including some liberals, supported the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, seeing it as an opportunity to bring democracy and human rights to those countries. That was an obvious lie. They were invaded only for geopolitical advantage and for the rich resources those countries contain.

Then, too, American history is filled with countless examples of our elitist and racist nation looking down on the cultures of the countries we invade, as we all the while falsely proclaimed our desire to bring human rights to those countries.

Make no mistake about it. It is because the men and children held in Guantanamo were and are Muslim and people of color, seen to be of an inferior culture to the white, western culture of America, that has allowed America to continue holding those still in Guantanamo under tortuous and brutal conditions, with no end in sight to their imprisonment…or to our immorality and shame.

I urge all who read this to contact their congressional representatives, demanding freedom for all those still being held at GITMO; and demanding that our government return them to their country of origin, or to any other suitable country who will take them. And demanding, as well, that GITMO be permanently closed. Only by keeping the American people aware of this shameful story, and then mobilizing ourselves to bring sufficient pressure on our government to finally close GITMO, will we have finally gone some distance towards lessening this grossly immoral and political blight on this nation, and on ourselves as citizens of this nation.

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Jim Lafferty is the Executive Director Emeritus of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles; and the host of The Lawyers Guild Show on KPFK.

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Statement by Danny Glover: “End the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba! End the U.S. Economic Warfare Against Cuba!”

Imagine a country developing and producing its own Covid-19 vaccines, enough to cover its entire population, but being unable to inoculate everyone because of a syringe shortage….

Because of the 60-year U.S. embargo, which punishes civilians during a pandemic, Cuba is facing a shortage of millions of syringes. This reality is a consequence of what amounts to U.S. economic warfare, which makes it extremely difficult for Cuba to acquire medicine, equipment, and supplies from vendors or transportation companies that do business in or with the U.S.

Syringes are in short supply internationally, so no company wants to be bogged down navigating the complicated banking and licensing demands the U.S. government places on transactions with Cuba…If human rights are to be a core pillar of U.S. policy, as a White House spokesperson recently declared, then the embargo must end. It is a policy that indiscriminately targets and harms civilians. It is a systematic violation of human rights on a massive scale.

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Call for Open World Conference (Paris, October 2022) 

[Note: Following are brief antiwar excerpts; the full call for the Open World Conference – with the full list of the 601 endorsers – is posted at www.socialistorganizer.org.]

In November 2016, 360 delegates from 42 countries who had gathered in Mumbai at an Open World Conference formed the “International Workers’ Committee Against War, Exploitation and Precarious Labor, For a Workers’ International.” Over the past five years, unprecedented developments have shaken the world.

For us, this confirms that a Workers’ International is more than ever a necessity. We, 601 militant activists from 57 countries, call for the preparation in all countries of the Open World Conference (Paris, October 2022).

Imperialism has multiplied military conflicts and is preparing war against China

After devastating Afghanistan, with a debacle of an evacuation, US imperialism is reorganising its forces to prepare for new wars. Deadly conflicts are multiplying in Africa. Iran is under threat. The military encirclement of China, with the formation of the new US-Australia- Great Britain (AUKUS) military alliance, threatens peace. Biden wants the Chinese market to be completely open to the multinationals. The Chinese working people have every right to be able to organize freely to defend their demands and to defend China.

All the military interventions of imperialism, which are carried out in the name of “democracy,” have resulted in bloody chaos, with the dislocation of whole nations. The peoples of the world want peace.

The international struggle for peace and the fight to prevent war will be on the agenda of our World Conference. …

The root of all the ills

The root of all the ills from which humanity suffers is the capitalist system — a system of exploitation based on the private ownership of the means of production. The class struggle remains the driving force of history.

It is not inevitable that barbarism will prevail: the political resources for a positive outcome are to be found in the workers’ movement.

By acting against war, so that the workers are in their factories and workplaces and not in deadly conflicts, the workers’ movement is a factor of peace.

By fighting for its right to exist, so that workers can freely organize themselves in trade unions and parties and constitute the necessary fighting bodies for united and effective struggle in the forms they themselves choose, the workers’ movement defends democracy.

By fighting for equal rights and for the liberation of all humanity, the workers’ movement contributes to the liberation of women from the double oppression of which they are victims.

By fighting against the stranglehold of the multinationals, against the debt that strangles the peoples, the workers’ movement takes the lead in the struggle for the right to a sovereign nation.

By fighting to put an end to the law of profit and capitalist plunder, the workers’ movement is defending humanity and its environment, which are similarly under threat.No one can claim to provide an answer to climate disruption, natural disasters and threats to the environment without putting an end to this capitalist system, which is ready to sacrifice everything to guarantee the profits of a few, and whose practices lead to catastrophe.

By fighting to defend the collective rights of the working class, to defend the systems of social protection systems, the workers’ movement is defending the right to a job, which produces all wealth.

By fighting to put an end to the capitalist system, for socialism, the workers’ movement is the bearer of hope and the future for humanity.

It is on the basis of these founding principles of the workers’ movement, whose burning relevance we affirm, that we, the undersigned working-class activists from different traditions, call for an Open World Conference for a Workers’ International, against war, exploitation and precarious labor, to be held in Paris in October. It will be preceded by the International Conference in Defense of the Rights of Working Women.


I endorse this appeal

[   ]  I am interested in participating in the International Conference in Defense of the Rights of Working Women.

[   ]  I am interested in participating in the Open World Conference for a Workers’ International, against war, exploitation and precarious labor.

[   ]  I ask to be informed about the financial conditions of participation. (This international workers’ conference is independent of any State and government. It will be financed only by financial campaigns addressed to the workers and workers’ organizations in each country and on an international scale.)

Last name, first name:


Title (for id. Only):


Contact information (email):

[   ]  I endorse in my own name only (title and organization listed for identification only)

[   ]  I endorse in the name of my organization.

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 Initial List of US Endorsers

Nancy Wohlforth

Secretary-Treasurer Emerita

Office and Professional Employees Union (OPEIU)

Washington, DC

Ajamu Baraka

National Organizer

Black Alliance for Peace

New York, NY

Clarence Thomas

Past Secretary Treasurer

International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 retired

Oakland, CA

Kali Akuno


Cooperation Jackson,

Jackson, MS

Donna Dewitt

President Emeritus

South Carolina AFL-CIO

Orangeburg, SC

Berthony Dupont


Haiti Liberté

Brooklyn, NY


Haiti Liberté

Brooklyn, NY

Colia Lafayette Clark

Veteran Civil Rights Organizer

Harlem, NY

Chris Silvera


Teamsters Local 808

Long Island City, NY

International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

 Philadelphia,  PA


Suzanne W. Ross

International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

New York, NY

Katharine Harer

Co-Vice President/Organizer, AFT 1493

San Mateo Community College Fed of Teachers

San Mateo, CA

Gabriel Prawl

Past President

International Longshore and Warehouse Union local 52 and

President of the Seattle chapter of

A. Philip Randolph Institute

Seattle, WA

Gene Bruskin

National Writers Union


Khalid Raheem


New Afrikan Independence Party

Pittsburgh, PA


New Afrikan Workers Union (NAWU)

Pittsburgh, PA

Desiree Rojas


Sacramento (CA) chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFL-CIO, Change to Win


Sacramento (CA) chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFL-CIO, Change to Win

Nnamdi Lumumba


Ujima Peoples Progress Party

Baltimore, MD


Ujima Peoples Progress Party

Baltimore, MD

Monadel Herzallah

Member, United Educators of San Francisco

Fairfield, CA

Julian Kunnie

Member, Black Alliance for Peace; Free Mumia Movement; First Nations Enforcement Agency

Tucson, AZ

Ivonne Heinze Balcazar

Member, California Faculty Association

Carson, CA

Sandy Eaton

Retiree, Massachusetts Nurses Association

Quincy, MA

Sean McMahon


Pangea Legal Services,

Berkeley, CA

New Abolitionist Movement

Brooklyn, N.Y.


Betty Davis

New Abolitionist Movement

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Eduardo Rosario


NYC Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)

New York City, NY

Mícheál Madden

IATSE Local 16 delegate to SF Labor Council

San Francisco, CA

Lita Blanc

Past president

United Educators of San Francisco (UESF)

San Francisco, CA

Connie White                                                                      

Labor and Community for Independent Party (LCIP)-Los Angeles; and Labor Party Advocate            

Long Beach, CA

Karina Rodriguez

Political activist

Sacramento, CA

Dan Kaplan

Executive Secretary, retired

AFT Local 1493

Berkeley, CA

Millie Phillips

Member, Steering Committee

Labor Fightback Network

Oakland, CA

Katherine Black

AFSCME retiree; CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women)

Philadelphia, PA

Alan Benjamin

Steering Committee

International Workers Committee (IWC)

San Francisco, CA

Coral Wheeler

Rank-and-file member

California Faculty Association (Cal Poly Pomona campus)

Los Angeles, CA

Mya Shone

National Organizing Committee

Socialist Organizer

Vallejo, CA

Ralph Schoenman

National Organizing Committee

Socialist Organizer

Vallejo, CA

E.J. Esperanza

Immigrant rights activist

San Jose, CA

Cliff Conner

Historian, author of Tragedy of American Science

New York, NY

Michael Steven Smith

Law and Disorder Radio, cohost

New York, NY

David Walters

IBEW 1235 Retired

Pacifica, CA

David Keil


Massachusetts Teachers Association

Natick, MA

Michael Carano

Teamsters Local # 348, retired

Tallmadge, OH

Jim Lafferty

Executive Director Emeritus,

National Lawyers Guild

Los Angeles, CA

Allan Fisher

Past President, Retired

AFT Local 2121

San Francisco, CA

Rodger Scott, Ph.D.

Past President AFT Local 2121

Current Delegate to the SF Labor Council

San Francisco, CA

Michael Harer

Political activist, retired

Pacifica, CA

Anne Aames

Political activist                                                                      

Kingston, NY

Tamara Dumay

Political activist

Wingdale, NY

Carole Hyams

 Political activist

Pleasant Hill, CA

Susan Holland

Political activist

Ulster Park, NY

Kim Guptill

Political activist

San Jose, CA

Don Bryant

Labor and Community for an Independent Party,

Labor Fightback Network, National Association of Letter Carriers retired

and community organizer

Cleveland, OH

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