Sandy Berman responds to Elaine Harger


writes \"Reactions to E. Harger\'s
\"Response to Berman (6-5-01)

1. Elaine\'s remarks confirm what I stated in my 6-4-01
\"WWMD\" statement: That SRRT and PLG \"leaders\"
pressured Local 2 to cancel a Tuesday morning picket
line at the Marriott before and during the Coretta Scott
King Awards Breakfast.

2. Unmentioned is that Local 2 did cancel that
demonstration, not because of SRRT/PLG\'s persuasive
arguments, but rather due to the intolerable dissension
the \"leaders\" had produced among local
3. A \"low tolerance for differences\" is precisely what the
erstwhile \"leaders\" exhibited, making untrue
behind-the-back allegations and regaling persons who
disagreed with them with epithets like \"racist\" and
\"left-wing fanatic.\"

4. It\'s hard to imagine how else to characterize the effort
to withdraw a picket line--that is, other than in terms of
avoiding embarrassment to SRRT and the CSK Task
Force--when there is no evidence that the \"leaders\" or
CSKTF planned to urge the 700+ ticket holders to the
Tuesday event to not attend, to stay away, because of
the entire hotel\'s being boycotted. In short, it appears
that the picket removal was, in fact, a means to conduct
the event in the Marriott with the least possible
disturbance to attendees, SRRT, and the Task Force.
(Indeed, at one point a leaflet or flyer was
contemplated, presumably explaining the dicey
situation to breakfastgoers, but this would have been
included in their event packets and almost certainly
would not have encouraged them to leave the boycotted

5. Elaine says she suggested to the CSKTF chair to
hold the awards portion of the event \"at some other
location.\" It\'s not clear what she recommended
concerning the breakfast portion. Unmentioned is that I
(and others) at least three weeks ago explicitly urged
SRRT Coordinator Stoss and Elaine to pursue a
strategy that would not entail cancellation fees nor
derail the event itself: namely, that people with tickets
be asked to sacrifice their $40 in the interest of
honoring MLK Jr.\'s legacy, that the ceremonies and
speeches take place in a park or other venue (the SF
Mayor lately offered City Hall!), and that the food be
distributed to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and
perhaps hotel workers themselves. In sum, the CSK
activity should never have been granted a \"free pass\" to
bust the boycott. And there was no solid reason why
the event couldn\'t have happened elsewhere, in good
conscience and solidarity, albeit foregoing the \"eats.\"
Yes, ALA itself should never have contracted with the
Marriott for anything. But they did. And given that
context, it became the responsibility of affected units
like SRRT to act in a socially conscious,
boycott-supporting way. That didn\'t happen.

Sanford Berman
4400 Morningside Road
Edina, MN 55416

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