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Session:         Page of 592

Foner:

I remember we had a demonstration. We had a rally downtown in response to the hardhat thing. Remember, when the hardhats went wild, that organized thing?

Q:

I remember.

Foner:

I remember Victor Goldbaum was there and Victor spoke, Ossie, and I remember Fritz Weaver, the actor. I got him. I don't know how I got him. It turned out that later on that he was--because his brother, Robert Weaver, is a painter, an artist, whose work is in “Images of Labor.” I didn't realize it. Of course, Fritz Weaver's a very decent guy. But I'm going far afield.

Q:

No, no. I want to discuss this further, because, obviously--well, I wouldn't say obviously--it's not clear exactly what the lasting impact of that kind of antiwar activity was within the foreign policy outlook of the labor movement.

Foner:

Later on, much later on, there was a national conference organized in St. Louis, Labor for Peace, that involved Harold Gibbons and a number of teamsters. Gibbons got the head of the Midwest Conference.

Q:

Bobby Holmes.

Foner:

Bobby Holmes came.

Q:

Who was a fink and a thug.

Foner:

I know. I know, I know, but they came to it. I remember spending the night before in St. Louis at the teamster's, going around. Jake McCarthy was at that time the editor of the St. Louis Teamster, and he was my contact on the Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace in the Midwest. He was a very good reporter. He later ended up as a columnist on the St. Louis Post Dispatch. But he was a very decent guy and he took me around the St. Louis Teamster. They had a lot of showplace stuff there. Gibbons was interested in this thing and Gibbons ran into trouble later. Gibbons went to Vietnam with David Livingston and Abe Feinglad of the fur workers. But the Labor for Peace thing was much broader. Jerry Wurf came and spoke there. But it was toward the end already. By that time, everybody was moving, and it was then fashionable.

Q:

Why do you think the labor movement was so conservative for so long on the question of the war?





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