Santiago and Mahmoud, our brothers

April 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm (Human rights, Jim D, socialism)

The following is from Eric Lee at Labourstart, and I have nothing further to add:

“In unions in different countries, we call each other by different names. Some unions use the word ‘comrade’ , others use ‘colleague’. And many use the terms ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ to describe fellow union members.

“Are we simply using these words because we always have, or do they still have any real meaning?

“I ask the question because in the last few days one of our brothers has been brutally tortured and murdered, and another one, an innocent man, jailed.

“In Mexico, Santiago Rafael Cruz, a 29-year-old union organizer from the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, AFL-CIO) was brutally tortured and murdered. Santiago was a successful organizer in the USA who moved down to Mexico to run the union’s office there. His activities aroused the hostility of those who fear the growth of trade unionism among farm workers, and generated attacks in the media, threats of deportation, robberies and intimidation, culminating in this terrible crime.

“Santiago has a family in Mexico, a mother, father, sisters and brothers. But his family is much larger than that; it includes all of us. We must grieve together with his family, and we must fight together with them as one large family to ensure that the Mexican government prosecutes those responsible, and ensures the safety of union activists in that country.

“Please take a moment to send off your message today:

“About the same time that union-hating murderers were ending the life of this courageous young man in Mexico, on the other side of the world Iranian security forces lured union activist Mahmoud Salehi into the local prosecutor’s office on the pretext of discussing plans for this year’s May Day celebrations. Salehi, a former president of the bakery workers’ union in the city of Saqez, was then arrested and put in jail for a year with a three year suspended sentence on top of that. His crime was that in 2004 he organized a May Day demonstration.

“Tell the Iranian authorities to release Mahmoud Salehi now, and to drop all charges. Send off your message by clicking here:

“I doubt very much if Santiago and Mahmoud ever met – and yet they are brothers. One now languishing in an Iranian prison, the other in a Mexican grave.

“If these two men were not just fellow trade union members but actually your brothers, the sons of your mothers and fathers, how would you react? I know you wouldn’t be silent – you would be up in arms and the whole world would know your anger and pain.

“Please pass this message on. Let’s tell the Mexican and Iranian governments that we in the international trade union movement are a single family, and we will not tolerate our brothers and sisters being tortured, jailed or murdered anywhere in the world.

“Eric Lee”.


  1. bastard.logic said,

    Brothers From Different Mothers

    by matttbastard
    Via Jim D @ Shiraz Socialist:
    “In unions in different countries, we call each other by different names. Some unions use the word ‘comrade’ , others use ‘colleague’. And many use the terms ‘brother’ and ’sister’ to desc…

  2. Renegade Eye said,

    I signed.

  3. resistor said,

    The same Eric Lee who supported the bombing of Lebanon? He’s no comrade.

  4. voltaires_priest said,

    So you’re going to not support murdered and victimised trades unionists, because Eric Lee wrote the article and you don’t like him? Some comrade you are.

  5. johng said,

    Are the Lebanese victims of Israeli aggression not brothers and comrades? You post articles by people who support them being bombed? I wonder how sincere mr Lee is about those brothers in Mexico and Iran. He probably found them on google.

  6. Jim Denham said,

    John G: there is an issue about Lebanon, which should be discussed: but does that mean you withold support from these two comrades? You don’t understand the a-b-c of working class solidarity.

  7. voltaires_priest said,


    Hey, guess what? It’s possible to oppose the war in the Lebanon AND support victmised and murdered trades unionists, their comrades and families. Even if Eric Lee was the one who wrote an article about them.

    Wowzas, hey?

  8. Will said,

    The comments here by the Student Placard Wavers are duly noted.

    Not that I’m surprised.

    Long Live Israel!

  9. resistor said,

    Eric Lee is a disgusting hypocrite

    Here he repeats Zionist lies about the occupations of Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.

    The Left should have nothing to do with him or others who share his views.

  10. voltairespriest said,

    Ok whatever… but I ask again, what does that have to do with the victmised trades unionists of whom he speaks?

  11. Jim Denham said,

    John Game and “Resistor” are, simply idiots…or scabs.

  12. johng said,

    Yeah and its perfectly possible to support trade unionists without joining hands with those who are only interested in bashing the anti-war left and spend most of their time supporting carpet bombing the working class. I mean are you stupid or something?

  13. Clive said,

    So, what – if a resolution supporting trade unionists came up at, say, your union branch, you would vote for or against it depending on who the mover was? I mean, are you stupid or something ? Or can you actually make up your mind according to, like, the issue?

  14. voltaires_priest said,

    Obviously in John’s view it invalidates the cause at hand if he doesn’t like the person raising it. Such is his commitment to socialist politics.

  15. Clive said,

    I believe that’s wot’s called internationalism. The international labour movement? Who cares. It’s much more important I HATE ERIC FUCKING LEE.

  16. Will said,

    Game’s whole modu operandi is to deal in illusions rather than truth, a blinkered idiot, a freak, a fool, a dogmatist, who, in the war that’s going on between Enlightenment and magik, between this-worldliness and otherworldliness, is very much on the side of deranged anti-humanism – is it any wonder that he appears more and more to be rolling ever backwards to his natural home, i.e. the one where other occultists reside?

  17. voltairespriest said,

    I take it from that you won’t be inviting him for beer and barbecue on your birthday then?

  18. Will said,


    I might use him as kindling for the barbie tho’!*

    *(not a death threat Gameboy — a fucking joke you self-referential fuckwitted twat).

  19. voltairespriest said,


    I like that – that might stick! 😀

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