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Session:         Page of 592

could go right down the line, with Victor Reuther, with a number of people in the UAW, with a number of people in the Amalgamated, like my relations with Joyce Miller, Tom Herriman, Murray Finley, were very, very close at that time. You could multiply it all over the place. It was helpful to the union, and later it was helpful to me on “Bread and Roses.”

Q:

Two more questions, at least. Did you or did those of you who built the labor wing of the antiwar movement conceive of it primarily as a way of challenging Meany within the labor movement? Or were you primarily concerned with adding your names to the antiwar movement?

Foner:

We were primarily concerned with the issue on what to do to try to stop the war. That was the major concern. We did not want to have a head-on fight with George Meany, because we could not possibly win. That was never in our minds. However, we were concerned about what all of us agreed was a dangerous move in the AFL-CIO under Meany's leadership, not only on the war, but on other issues. So that we wanted to try to make a stand someplace and develop relationships around it. Later on, it led to other things inside the AFL-CIO.

Q:

To what extent did you involve the rank and file in these activities, and to what extent were you involved in educating and reaching out to rank-and-file members about the antiwar issues?

Foner:

To a very small extent. Let me explain. Because it was Labor Leadership Assembly for Peace, in those unions, which were very few, which were led by people where the position was good, this was an added factor. But one thing we wanted to make clear from the very beginning, we were not interested in going over the heads of union leaders and going into their unions, because that would have destroyed us right from the beginning. Therefore, we could not reach the broad masses of workers except in a very general sense. We could not do it. There were people who were working with rank and file in various unions that were not part of this, whom I would meet with privately, and to tell them what we were doing and to see how we could help them or they could help us. They usually wanted to be involved, be on our mailing lists, get our materials, that kind of thing, but we did not want to be regarded as going over the heads of the unions.

Q:

What was the political position of the Labor Leadership for Peace?





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