Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Person you should meet today: Nozad Ismail 

From my friends at UK's Labour Friends of Iraq (proving, once again, that you can be left of center but still committed to building democracy in Iraq):

"We are appealing to the international labour movement to help avert the assassination of a trade union leader, 40 year old Nozad Ismail who is the President of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions in Kirkuk.

"Nozad has already survived two assassination attempts this year at the hands of the so-called 'resistance'. He receives daily death threats. The only weapon we have to help Nozad is publicity. We aim to make the cost of murdering him too high by publicising his case and demanding the resistance stop intimidating him and threatening his life. There is no single authority upon which we can place demands or focus pressure. The people who wish to kill Nozad don't organise openly. This appeal is, therefore, different from cases where someone has been imprisoned but is no less urgent."
Check it out and sign the petition if you're that way inclined. Hadi Saleh, the International Secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), Ali Hassan Abd of the IFTU's Oil and Gas Union, and Ahmed Adris Abbas of the Transport and Communication Workers Union have already met their deaths at the hands of the "resistance".

This got me thinking, though: here I am, a right-wing Australian blogger, one of them dreaded neo-cons, dare I say it, and I'm campaigning for an Iraqi trade union leader (not that this is all that unprecedented; after all, the Western right, including neo-cons, were strong supporters of Lech Walesa and the Solidarity trade union movement in communist Poland).

But what about Australian Labor Party? I've had a quick check and I can't find any speeches any of the Australian champions of the working class have made in Parliament about Iraqi trade union movement. Where's solidarity, brothers? Workers of the world unite, except those liberated by the United States and the Coalition of the Willing? You have nothing to lose but your chains, or if you're in Iraq, also your life, in which case we don't give a stuff because it might play into the hands of the Americans?

Jeff Jarvis wrote not all that long ago, "Democracy isn't a right-or-left thing, folks. It's a right-and-left thing, remember?"

Sadly, many don't.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?