FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   CONTACT: 202-785-0266
12 AUGUST 2009
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Union Town Hall Violence Toward Concerned Citizens Condemned
Labor enters town-hall debates to push left-wing healthcare agenda

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Alliance for Worker Freedom (AWF), an organization established in 2003 to combat anti-worker legislation and promote free and open labor markets, condemns the recent acts of violence committed by organized labor that occurred during town-hall healthcare debates.

Town hall style public forums across the country ended in violence last week:

    • In St. Louis, Missouri six were arrested for assault, resisting arrest, or suspicion of committing peace disturbances. At the same town-hall meeting, a black conservative activist was hospitalized and subjected to racial slurs.

    • In Tampa, Florida a fistfight broke out after constituents were barred from entering their town-hall meeting by union workers.

    • Looking to circumvent violence, police in Memphis, Tennessee were called to breakup several yelling matches.

AWF Executive Director Brian Johnson reprimands such violence. “Americans are nervous about healthcare legislation which could change how Americans receive care and end up costing taxpayers trillions of dollars,” says Johnson. “Healthcare is an extremely personal issue; constituents should be encouraged to argue without fear of violence.”

Johnson says his organization respects the average voting citizen’s right to question their government; a key tenant of American democracy. AWF remains concerned that third party labor organizations are attempting to control the healthcare discussion by sending crowds of union employees to town-halls, which the President of AFL-CIO refers to as “battlegrounds.”

“Labor unions have always tried to shape legislation using millions of workers dues,” says Johnson. “The real losers here are the rank-and-file union members whose dues are being used for political activism they might not even agree with.”

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