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Protesters want AFL-CIO to sever ties with National Endowment for Democracy - 03/10/06
By Jesse Russell, AFL-CIO EARLIER THIS WEEK PROTESTS were held in Washington, D.C. targeting the National Endowment for Democracy. Kim Scipes was one of the workers joining the march, he said the NED is focused on installing top-down elite democracies in other countries. The group accuses the NED of manipulating elections, creating political turmoil and funding counter-insurgency groups. The protesters marched from Congress to the headquarters for the AFL-CIO. Scipes says the AFL-CIOs Solidarity Center receives a major portion of its budget from the NED. When John Sweeney was elected President of the AFL, he changed the relationship between the solidarity center and the NED so the center would work for change through solidarity, not interference. It has since helped lift up banana farmers and Gap plant workers in countries ranging from Ecuador to Honduras. Scipes says reform is not enough:
[Scipes]: We do not want them having anything to do with the NED. They have subverted the democracy at the top level of the labor movement so they can continue this relationship. In fact, we think it is toxic and poisonous for the labor movement and we want it ended.


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