Saturday, November 14, 2015

Commentary: Suppressing Democracy at the UFT: Raw Video Plus Roseanne Letter to Mulgrew

Some people may be surprised by what happened on Thursday when the UFT changed the rules about distribution of lit and some of us made a stand. I've been through this with them for 40 years. I used to put my stuff on their table at times and they tried all kinds of ways to remove it. I would find hundreds in the garbage. I once caught a Queens borough office Unity hack pretend to put her papers down on my stack and them lift it off the table -- she is one of the swines of the earth.
How about this one for lit distribution?

Of course they also made poor Greg Lundahl sand outside with the Unity lit to be "fair" while they had 3 tables of their stuff, branded as official UFT Lit but as we know just another part of the Unity propaganda machine.

Fact is as I point out below in my response to Roseanne McCosh, we should all have a space for people to pick up lit on the way in so we can deal with the so-called "egress problem" they claim there is. Until Thursday I had pretty much my own table on the side -- out of the way where most people won't get the stuff - but at least the Weingarten ruling in 1999 in response to my raising a point of order on how they can conduct business when the DA rules require resos longer than 3 lines to be handed out to everyone -- and by the way that itself was a ruling designed to squeeze the opposition from raising stuff off the cuff. I started doing Ed Notes as my response to that rule.

But when I was a delegate I had to take part in the meetings and since so many people came in late I needed a space to leave my stuff. Then they started tossing my stuff in the garbage and I threw a fit them, even challenging one of the goons to get past me -- until Tom Pappas broke it up and Randi in essence sort of ruled in my favor -- but at that time Randi and Unity were sort of courting me.

I believe people in the opposition have been too wussy about lit distribution at meetings by telling people they don't have the right. I used to demand that right and stood my ground - even at district rep meetings - and every CL in my district used to get my lit at every meeting. DR may not have been happy but my view is he was there to serve me not me him. (Not long after Randi made the position appointed instead of elected -- and I think I actually had a shot at giving someone a run if they had an election in 2002.)

It was suggested that all my scribbling on the video I released (Video: Taking a Stand Against UFT/Unity Attempt to Ban Lit Distribution in Lobby of 52 Broadway) took away some of the impact. So here is the raw video for anyone interested:

MORE Makes a Stand As UFT Unity Tries to Bar Us From Distributing in Lobby from MORE-UFT/GEM on Vimeo. and the embed code at the end of this post.

Here is Roseanne's letter - and I don't need an apology - I need my distribution table back and it should be with all the other stuff they give out.

I just saw the video of your Unity goons attacking and attempting to silence Norm Scott in the lobby of 52 Broadway.  I will be forwarding the video link to the UFT members in my school.  Real cowardly thuggish employees you have... going after a 70 year old man like that.  Egress situation?  Bullshit!  Unity's scared and angry because you can't control the message coming from those who oppose your decision making.  Instead of open debate you seek to silence opposition by trying to intimidate them.   How fascist of you.  I'm surprised you didn't threaten to punch him in the face like you did with those who oppose common core.  But then again, talking tough from a podium while surrounded by people ordered to protect you is quite different than participating in an actual street fight with someone who punches back.  You and that big young goon who tried to put his hands on Norm should apologize to him.
Cc:  PS 8 chapter leader, PS 8 delegate and Norm ScottRoseanne McCosh PS 8X

My response:
You had to remind me I'm 70?  The uft used to use their own unity goons in the old days. Now they use poor security guards who are just doing their jobs but this guy didn't have a clue. The other guard is a very nice guy and I've dealt with him a number of times and is courteous and respectful. We chatted afterwards as I explained the background for my behaving the way he did. Fact is almost 20 years ago I raise this issue at a del ass as a point of order - how can people who want to attend the meeting distribute info especially motions that da rules require to be distributed in advance so people read them and know what they will be voting on can get to do so if we can't put them on the table? So Randi ruled that non official uft lit would go on a separate table and until this meeting whenever I asked for that table they gave me one but off to the side purposely so most people won't see it - but I lived with it as long as I could be in the lobby. In fact if the uft wants to separate other lit from official all they have to do is add one table next to the official ones and clearly label it as non. Uft. But note they won't do that which exposes the real purpose of this ruling. I also object to the ruling that we can't give stuff out in outside borough offices because the space is rented. And then try to suppress people from handing out stuff inside the meetings I rooms payed for with our dues. Also unacceptable. One day I will go to one of these borough meetings and raise the same hell and film it. Unity is trying to hold onto its monopoly on communicating with members. Our younger active oppositionists have not been aggressive enough in this issue. I insisted on handing out my stuff at district rep meetings. It's time to refuse to take no for an answer. Go call the cops. They'll laugh just like they did back in the old days when we handed stuff outside a meeting on the old Lexington hotel and Florence Fidel called them. They identify with rank and file and told her to take a hike - and took one of my leaflets. 


  1. What you show in the video reminds me of the Republican convention in NYC some years ago when they wouldn't let protesters stand nearer than two blocks away and prevented press, candidates, and attendees from even seeing that protesters were there.
    I never thought I'd be comparing the UFT to the Republican Party. Sad day in Gotham.
    Bravo for your loud unionist best New York City voice telling it like it was.

  2. All part of the story of our lazy stupid apathetic membership. We have a very decent CL, Unity affiliated, but asking a lot of questions. It is so pitiful to watch the DR come into the building and toss the CL under a truck, even right in front of members. The UFT leadership is trying to push the CL out with taunts and challenges from the friend of a highly placed UFT official. Said UFT friend, is a handsomely paid ($15,000 to 20,000 a year) shill for a principal who buys loyalty with DOE cash. When it came time to pick SLT people, our stupid beyond belief staff voted for this person. You can tell someone not to step off he curb in front of a speeding car, but when they deliberately choose to ignore you, they sort of deserve what they get.

  3. Thanks to Unity , ATRs have no voice. I want to commend you for defending our right to challenge and oppose the caucus that thrives on silencing its members. If they defended their members like they defend the Unity Oath, thousands of senior teachers (ATRs) wouldn't be scrambling around the boroughs every week facing abusive principals while in fear of losing their livelihood. It's nice to see that you won't back down when Unity tries to bully you into silence.


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