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Political? On what? On the war? It was a broadly based
position. It was negotiation and to stop the bombing. It always moved
in a direction that could accomplish the broadest base, and we did not
want to be go to Hanoi, that kind of thing, to avoid that. Although
David and Hal Gibbons and Abe Fineglass went to Hanoi.
You were also involved in non-labor activities. I remember you
telling me about working with Cora Weiss and people like that.
Yes. The broad coalition on the antiwar movement, the Fifth
Avenue parade, that kind of thing. Norma Becker, that kind of thing.
Is there anything about those experiences that stands out, that
Meetings that lasted long into the night, that were very, very
difficult. With friends. Always very, very difficult things. We were
always being called in as the mediators. We were the safe people who
could be listened to. We could always move it in a direction where it
would be okay.
By the way, this relationship continued and continues up to the
present day, like the June 12th campaign started in our headquarters.
That is to say, we were approached. Cora came to me and said, “Look,
we're working on this thing. We'd like you to be labor person on the
committee.” I said, “Good.” They were getting different kind of
elements in it, different strands. I couldn't devote time to it, and we
asked Bob Muehlenkamp, and Bob played a very, very important role
in that thing, very important role. We then used that.
We wanted to develop a New York City thing, and I said to Bob, “Way
to do it, got to go to Victor Gotbaum. He'll do it if he's the chairman.”
We went to Al Bilik, an AFSCME vice-president. I talked to him first
and he said, “I'll take it up with Victor,” and then Al said, “Victor would
like to meet with you.” So Bob and I went to meet with Victor and
Victor wanted to be asked. “What do you got in mind?” kind of thing.
Victor ran a luncheon in preparation for the June 12th thing for the
New York City, and all his credit cards. All kinds of unions were there,
and what they turned out is a different matter, but D.C. 37 turned out.
We, in 1199, because it was in the period of our big internal difficulty,
Doris did not want to get involved in it and raised big trouble inside
the union that I was keeping her out and wouldn't let her speak.
Finally, I called her and said, “You can speak at the rally,” she said she
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