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The American Federation of Teachers and the CIA

Susan Notes:

In 1977, George Schmidt wrote this chronicle of the connections between the American labor movement and the CIA with an emphasis on the American Federation of Teachers. This bit from a new introduction seems as relative today as it did then.

In order to make people do what they want, any ruling class first has to make people think that a certain way of viewing the world is the only way. . . .

[T]he class collaborationism of many trade union leaders is part of that process of subordinating people across the planet to the global reign of unbridled capital. [emphasis added]The saga of the American Federation of Teachers and its subordination to the agendas of America's corporate leaders continues today in the union's reluctance to support militant trade union organizing throughout the United States and, especially, in those nations were working people are most clearly the victims of globalization.

The American Federation of Teachers today is also the main union supporting the corporate drive--led by those we call the "Testocracy"--to subordinate the desires of the majority of people for democratic public schools to the agenda of the ruling class. Just as during the Cold War, we are presented with "accountability" for the majority of people while those who run things are only accountable to themselves.

Then the victims of globalization beset by AFT/CIA corporate goals were "them"--off in South America. Today, it's us. Witness AFT thuggery in Los Angeles.

by George N. Schmidt

Chapter One: Cooperating Around the World

Direct links between the 430,000 member American Federation of Teachers(AFT) and the United States Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) have been forged and strengthened since the election of New York's Albert Shanker as AFT national president in 1974. Prior to that time, a number of national union staff members had developed relations with the intelligence agency through the union's variousinternational affairs programs. Additionally, Shanker's home local in New York, the huge Local 2(United Federation of Teachers) had served as a base for CIA related labor activities through the AFTuntil Shanker himself assumed the national presidency. It was not until Shanker's faction (theProgressive Caucus) took national power, however, that the weight of the teachers union became a full partner in government/CIA international affairs.The AFT's CIA connections are carried out through three foundations sponsored by the AFLâ€"CIO, the largest multinational corporations and the United States government's Agency for International Development, AID. The oldest of the foundations, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), works in the Latin American nations. The African American Labor Committee (AALC)operates in Africa, while the Asian American Free Labor Institute (AAFLI) works in the non-communist nations of Asia. AFT/CIA connections are also carried out through the International Trade Secretariat for teachers unions, the International Federation of Free Teachers Unions (IFFTU). The IFFTU is one of 16 International Trade Secretariats(OR ITS's). A number of these predate the cold war and function as multinational unions in the face of the transnational corporations, while a smaller numberâ€"particularly those founded after World War II--either cooperate with the U.S. intelligence or were actually established by the CIA itself in cooperation with the AFL and later, the AFL-CIO. . . .

Continue reading at the url below.

— George N. Schmidt
Grassroots Education Movement (NYC)


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