WNY Unions Join With Area Community Groups To Send A ‘Strong Message’ To Congressman Collins During ‘Resist Trump’ Event: “Stop Using Fear And Hate To Distract Us From ‘Real Threats’ To Working Families”
(WILLIAMSVILLE, NEW YORK) – U.S. Congressman Chris Collins drew the ire of nearly 100 area Union Members and representatives of several Community Groups on Tuesday (February 7th), who gathered outside his Suburban Buffalo Congressional Office to deliver a “strong message:” “Stop using fear and hate to distract us from the ‘real threats’ to Working Families.”
Under the banner of “Reject Trump’s Unconstitutional Muslim Ban!,” they gathered outside Collins’ 27th District Congressional office on Wherle Drive in Williamsville to speak before walking in to formally register their complaints against the Congressman’s stance in the wake of President Trump’s controversial ban of Muslim Immigrants that has currently been derailed in the Federal Courts (pictured above/Photo Courtesy of Buffalo AFL-CIO Labor Council President John Mudie).
Collins’ constituents, including a number of Union Representatives, called on the Western New York Congressman to “stop using fear and hate to distract us from the ‘real threats’ to Working Families, such as wage theft and insider trading.”
“As a Collins’ constituent, I am ‘against the ban and the building of a wall on the Mexican border,’” Tom Roulley, a Lewiston resident who serves as the Political Legislative Committee Chairman for the Western New York Communications Workers of America (CWA) Council and who spoke at the event, told WNYLaborToday.com. “We are citizens and constituents of Congressman Collins who ‘have the right to speak up and say that this is wrong.’ Today’s gathering ‘was not just with Labor Unions.’ It was ‘very diverse’ and ‘we came together’ to let the Congressman know we will ‘hold him accountable.’ We will ‘not let up on this issue and he needs to listen to us or he will be targeted (in his re-election bid).”
“We ‘have to learn from history,’” Roulley told Your On-Line Labor Newspaper. “There were Japanese internment camps in our country during a time when elected leaders ‘used fear to justify doing so.’ Now, ‘it’s the same thing’ - a ‘fear’ of ‘Muslims.’ Banning ‘all’ Muslims and ‘building a wall will not make us safer.’”
Representatives from several community groups, including the Western New York Peace Center, were joined by officials from several Unions, including the CWA, the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), to name just a few. In addition, CWA District 1 Area Director Deb Hayes was in attendance and spoke at the rally. And CWA Buffalo AFL-CIO Labor Council President John Mudie, who also serves as Executive Vice President of CWA Local 1122, was also there.
Tuesday’s event in Williamsville was the fourth action taken over the past seven days by outraged constituents at Collins’ Congressional Offices located across the District. Earlier Tuesday, another group delivered the same message outside his Geneseo office in Livingston County in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State.
On January 28th, hundreds of permanent legal residents were denied entry to the United States and were separated from their families without warning. After thousands rallied at airports around the country, including the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, Collins issued a statement in support of Trump’s Muslim ban, describing the crisis had some "very, very minor bumps" and confused "some official in some airport" with the Department of Homeland Security spokesperson who said the ban included Green Card Holders in an official statement.
Collins has continued to support the ban even as many of his Republican colleagues have opposed it and the federal judiciary has moved to stop it on constitutional grounds, those speaking at the event said.
In addition, they pointed out Congressman Collins is a representative of a community where thousands of refugees have already been resettled in the last decade and that many of his constituents are Immigrants or descendants of Immigrants.