Tlaib joins with UAW’s Fain and others to call for Gaza ceasefire ⋆

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) on Thursday joined with United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain in Washington, D.C., in calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the war in Gaza.

Joined in front of the Capitol building by fellow progressives, U.S. Representatives Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Tlaib spoke of her family’s connection to the labor movement and its commitment to social justice.

“I’m a proud daughter of a UAW worker, and I know my Yaba (father), if he was here, he would be so proud,” she said. “The UAW taught him he deserved human dignity, even though he only had a fourth-grade education, even though he was Palestinian, even though he was Muslim. On that assembly line, he was equal to every single human being on that line. Who did that for him? The United Auto Workers did that for him.”

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) speaking at Ceasefire Now rally in Washington D.C. 12/14/23

Tlaib, along with Bush, introduced a Ceasefire Now Resolution on Oct. 16.

“Why aren’t over 18,000 Palestinians killed enough for my colleagues to say the words, ‘Ceasefire now’? Why aren’t over 7,000 children killed enough for my colleagues to call for a lasting ceasefire for an end to this war? The American people are demanding to be heard saying, ‘We choose life over death.’”

Tlaib said that while President Joe Biden has called himself the most pro-union president in American history, he is “ignoring the voices of working people across the country who are demanding human dignity, not only for their own families, but for families in Gaza and around the world.”

Biden helped negotiate a temporary ceasefire last month, but it broke down amid negotiations to free more female Israeli hostages. Fighting between Israel and Hamas has since begun again.

Fain, fresh off the ratification of historic contracts with General Motors, Ford and Stellantis, called Tlaib and Bush “a couple of the most badass representatives in Congress,” and said the UAW stood with them in a call for a ceasefire. 

“This is a product of our belief in humanity that innocent civilians must be protected,” said Fain. “We cannot bomb our way to peace. The only path forward to build peace and social justice is through a ceasefire.”

Fain said the UAW takes pride in its history of standing up for justice both at home and around the globe while also speaking up for both civil rights and human rights.

“The world has seen enough slaughter and devastation,” he said. “Peace is the only path forward. While we call for a ceasefire, we also condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Arab racism, all of which are growing in our nation at this moment and must be stopped.”

“As union members, we know we must fight for all workers and suffering people around the world. We must fight for humanity. That means we must restore people’s basic rights and allow water, food, fuel, humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. We must also call for the release of all hostages.”

The Associated Press reports that the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says more than 18,700 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli military response to the Oct. 7 surprise terrorist attack.

The Hamas militants killed as many as 1,400 people, mostly civilians. They also took about 240 people hostage, approximately 100 of whom were released during a week-long truce that ended on Dec. 1. However, Israel said earlier this week they believe at least 19 hostages have died while in captivity. Eight Americans are also among those still being held in Gaza.

On Tuesday, the United Nations passed a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire amid warnings about a deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The U.S. and Israel were among only 10 nations that voted against the measure, saying it would only benefit Hamas. 

Biden, however, has warned Israel it is losing international support because of its “indiscriminate” bombing of civilians.

UAW President Shawn Fain speaking at Ceasefire Now rally in Washington D.C. 12/14/23

That was a message Fain echoed.

“It’s what the global community is currently standing together for at the United Nations,” he said. “It’s what the majority of nations called for. And right here in America, it’s what the majority of American citizens want.”

Other union officials also spoke at the Thursday rally, including those from the American Postal Workers Union and United Electrical Workers, who said the labor movement was solidly behind the call for a permanent ceasefire.

Tlaib ended her remarks thanking the coalition of union members and others who supported their effort, including an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor and peace activist she met in front of the White House. 

“We paused a moment, and she was holding a sign saying, ‘Not in our name.’ I’m so grateful for each and every one of your voices in this movement to save lives. And I’m proud to stand alongside you all. So today we raise our collective voice to say, ‘Enough is enough. Ceasefire now.’”

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authored by Jon King
First published at https%3A%2F%2Fmichiganadvance.com%2F2023%2F12%2F14%2Ftlaib-joins-with-uaws-fain-and-others-to-call-for-gaza-ceasefire%2F

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