Statement of Andy Stern, President of SEIU
WASHINGTON DC--Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union, issued the following statement today regarding recent attempts of right wing extremists to silence working families by attacking progressive individuals and community organizations:
"This is a moment of profound change for this country--from kitchen tables to town halls to the floor of the Senate, this nation is engaged in a vigorous and heated debate about how we rebuild our economy, solve our national healthcare crisis and restore the American Dream.
"As has always happened when progressive change is in the air, the backlash gets fierce, ugly and anti-American. This time is no different. Right now, there is an insidious and coordinated effort on the part of the extreme right to target individuals and grassroots community groups as a way to silence the voices of women and men who have suffered the most under 8 years of right wing policies.
"These extremists will attempt to shut down and shout down anyone with a different point of view.
"Let's be clear who we are talking about--call them attack dogs, call them Teabaggers, call them Glenn Beck--these are the same folks who cheered the policies that crashed our economy. Who make up lies about death panels to try to kill healthcare reform. Who scream about democracy while denying workers a voice on the job. Who target anyone who poses a threat to a status quo that for too long has rewarded greedy CEOs while leaving people who work out in the cold.
"This is not the America we believe in.
"Their lies, their stunts and their smears will not silence us. Glenn Beck, FOX News and their pals have demonstrated that they don't care about what janitors, security officers, nurses, teachers, and other hardworking Americans go through each day trying to give their kids a better future. But make no mistake--these hardworking women and men will not be the next casualty of the cruel and cheap attempts of a loud and venomous minority to silence people who want to restore the American Dream.
"We are going to make sure healthcare is affordable and accessible for every man, woman and child in this country. We are going to demand transparency and accountability in the financial industry. We are going to create a fair and just path to citizenship. We are going to make sure workers get a voice on the job. And we will protect our democracy by calling out those extremists who would silence the voices of women and men who work each day."