The 480-member union adopted the resolution on a 70-20 vote.
The union resolution also lambastes the president on other issues, including:
• "Entering into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, based upon fabricated and erroneous information."
• "Approval of the use of torture ... in the interrogation of suspected terrorists."
• "The current political climate, which allows suppression, attack and even criminalization of dissent."
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY EMPLOYEES OF AFSCME LOCAL 2083 PASS RESOLUTION CALLING FOR PRESIDENT BUSH'S IMMEDIATE REMOVAL OR RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - AFSCME Local 2083, the union of Seattle Public Library employees, has added their voice to the increasing public calls for censure, impeachment, and even the resignation of George W. Bush.
The Resolution (text follows) was passed in a vote by the general membership on April 7, 2006 and will be introduced at the American Library Association Annual Conference this week in New Orleans (June 22-28).
"As Library workers, we are concerned with this administration's moves to invade our patron's privacy with the USA PATRIOT ACT as well as the stifling political climate that restricts intellectual freedom. But it goes deeper than that," said Marty Hendley, a Librarian and union member who helped introduce the resolution, "The Bush Administration is operating outside the rule of law. They lie, they spy, they torture, it's exposed, and they politely inform us that they stand by their words and will do it again. At what point did this become acceptable to the American people? More people, more professions, need to stand up and tell Bush to step down."
The Resolution will also be introduced to International AFSCME at its next national convention in Chicago (August 6-10).
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
P.O. Box 2306
Seattle, Washington 98111
Adopted April 7, 2006
RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE ACTIONS OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND CALLING FOR HIS IMMEDIATE REMOVAL OR RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE
WHEREAS, Democracy is a core value that defines, informs, and guides our professional practice and is the base on which rests the foundation of modern librarianship; and
WHEREAS, The American Library Association affirms the responsibility of the leaders of the United States to protect and preserve the freedoms that are the foundation of our democracy; (ALA Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Public Library Users); and
WHEREAS, The actions of the current President, George W. Bush, have violated that responsibility in unprecedented ways that threaten the very foundation and form of a Democratic government. Those actions, many of which are indictably criminal, are as follows:
1. Entering into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, based upon fabricated and erroneous information;
2. Funding military operations in Iraq with billions of dollars, while cutting funding for human services in the US and failing to provide adequate aid for survivors of Hurricane Katrina;
3. Crafting of policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions in the USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56) and PATRIOT ACT II and related executive orders, regulations and actions which threaten fundamental rights and liberties by:
a) expanding the authority of federal agents to conduct so-called "sneak and peek" or "black bag" searches, in which the subject of the search warrant is unaware that his property has been searched, thereby increasing the likelihood that the activities of library users, including their use of computers to browse the Web or access e-mail, may be under government surveillance without their knowledge or consent
b) granting law enforcement and intelligence agencies broad access to personal medical, financial, library and education records with little if any judicial oversight;
c) permitting the FBI to conduct surveillance of religious services, internet chat rooms, political demonstrations, and other public meetings of any kind without having any evidence that a crime has been or may be committed;
d) diminishing personal privacy by removing important checks on government surveillance authority;
e) reducing the accountability of government to the public by increasing government secrecy;
f) granting expansive new immigration powers to the Attorney General which are subject to abuse, particularly with regard to immigrants from Arab, Muslim and South Asian countries.
g) expanding the definition of "terrorism" in a manner that threatens the constitutionally protected rights of Americans, and
4. Approval of the use of torture (including practices such as hooding, shackling, drugging, sleep deprivation, etc.) in the interrogation of suspected terrorists or their suspected accomplices in his "war on terror."
5. Illegal detainment of so called "enemy combatants" and others who are jailed on the merest suspicion, refusing them legal counsel and either holding them indefinitely or secretly deporting them.
6. Authorization of warrantless electronic surveillance of people within the United States, including U.S. citizens, by the National Security Agency (NSA).
7. Promoting policies that erode the division of Church and State.
8. Openly asserting executive power in attempts to override the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Judicial system, thus ignoring the system of checks and balances fundamental to democratic government.
WHEREAS, Librarians are among the preeminent defenders of intellectual freedom and government openness in the US; and
WHEREAS, Intellectual freedom, our primary value as librarians, is seriously violated by the current political climate which allows for suppression, attack and even criminalization of dissent; and
WHEREAS, The Library Bill of Rights states that Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas; and
WHEREAS, The broad social responsibilities of the American Library Association are, in part, defined in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society, and the willingness of the ALA to take a position on current critical issues with the relationship to libraries and library service set forth in the position statement (ALA Policy Manual, 1.1);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That President George W. Bush, as the head of the administration that is leading the US in its current political direction, should immediately step down from the office of the President of the United States, whether by resignation or impeachment; and,
RESOLVED, That AFSCME Local 2083 calls on the administration and Congress to immediately fund badly needed human services, including the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, rather than continuing to spend billions on the war in Iraq; and,
RESOLVED, That AFSCME Local 2083 support growing movements, including the organized efforts of the group World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime, calling on President Bush to step down, whether by resignation or impeachment; and,
RESOLVED, That AFSCME Local 2083 will introduce this resolution at the AFSCME International Convention; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Attorney General of the United States, to Members of both Houses of Congress, to the library community, and to others as appropriate.
Dated April 7, 2006
AFSCME Local 2083