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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Sunday, January 08, 2006 ::

    Carpenters Union 39th General Convention in Las Vegas, 2005 - Barring Free Speech: What You Didn't Hear About the Carpenters Convention
    Prior to the Convention, a UBC Executive Board Member came to debate Local 247's Free Speech Resolution. He denounced the Free Speech Resolution and proclaimed Local 247 as a bunch of 'dissidents.'

    According to Gene Lawhorn, we at 247 take pride in authoring the Free Speech Resolution, and in being labeled as dissidents. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, 'Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism.'

    To celebrate our cause, we had made 'Dam Dissidents Pins of 247 in support of Free Speech' and to show our pride at the Carpenters General Convention.

    The pins featured a wrecking ball, breaching a dam with water and salmon flowing through representing our desire for the free flow of ideas within the UBC. It further represents our desire to communicate, and to participate at the convention, and not as ornaments, mindless mannequins, or spectators.

    However, someone had apparently told McCarron that the dam represented the UBC and we at 247 were the wrecking ball trying to destroy the UBC! On the second day of the Convention it was made known that McCarron wanted to see our delegation at the podium during the lunch break. Floor whips were rounded up, and soon several surrounded us. I'm not sure if this was meant to intimate us, or maybe it was to keep other people away from hearing what was going on.

    At any rate, McCarron was all bent out of shape about the pins, and soon realized we were now wearing shirts bearing the same 'Dam Dissidents/Free Speech' message.

    McCarron said to our President of local 247, I'm going to keep visiting your local until you get your minds right.
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