In a press release yesterday, the AFL-CIO Executive Council issues a statement callin for “Social and Economic Justice for People of Color.” The AFL-CIO is the latest in a long line of organizations calling for an end to “Stand Your Ground” laws in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial. Florida’s stand your ground law was not used in the Zimmerman trial yet it has become a hot button issue for those who feel that Zimmerman should have been convicted.
The labor movement gains its strength from our common belief that all people have intrinsic value and deserve dignity as their birthright, and that people of every race, religion, color and sexual orientation deserve access to the “American Dream.”
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The Trayvon Martin case is a painful wake-up call that much work remains to be done in the march toward opportunity and justice for all. President Obama recently noted that we all need to do some soul-searching and start a conversation about race in America in families and churches and workplaces. As we re-dedicate ourselves to continue this march, along with our allies, we will heed the President’s call to begin conversations about race with our leadership, members and staff to ensure that this tragedy leads to real action and tangible change.
The AFL-CIO will be deliberate in our commitment to advancing a full dialogue regarding racial disparities and violence in all our communities.
We shall encourage our national affiliates and our state and local bodies to participate fully in a dialogue with our partners and allies and work diligently to support policies at the federal, state and local level that eliminate discrimination, profiling and violence and to denounce Stand Your Ground laws that are advanced by the anti-worker, pro-voter suppression American Legislative Exchange Council.
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