What is Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, doing in Poland?

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten has been traveling across Poland, including towns on the Ukrainian border, in recent days. Weingarten tweeted about his exploits, which were also reported by CBS News and Politics .

“Weingarten landed on the Polish-Ukrainian border on Sunday as the first American labor official to visit the conflict-torn region,” he added. Politics reported on Monday, in an article titled “Organized labor hits the ground in Ukraine”.

The AFT president described her trip as a humanitarian mission at the invitation of the Polish teachers’ union ZNP to distribute money and educational materials to help children of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion. The trip would also serve as a “fact-finding mission to help understand how we continue to support and help children, teachers and communities whose lives have been completely torn apart,” Weingarten said. Politics reported, “Weingarten will notify the Biden administration, as well as the AFL-CIO and others after he returns to the United States.”

In a CBS News interview recorded from inside a van as she returned from the border town of Medyka on Tuesday, Weingarten said, “We met with aid agencies, mayors and teachers,” adding, ” we do what we can as Americans. to help refugees.

Its tone then quickly shifted, however, to the unsubstantiated allegations of Russian atrocities and “war crimes” that the Biden administration is producing to torpedo any peace talks and justify the escalation of the proxy war between the United States and NATO.

“Yesterday, one of the children said to me: ‘Did you hear what happened in Bucha?’ A Ukrainian child, and with terror on her face at the atrocities that happened to her, to the people in Ukraine.

The AFT chairman traveled to the Polish-Ukrainian border not as a humanitarian but as a longtime US State Department agent. Its purpose was not to aid refugees but to promote the war propaganda of the Biden administration and the geopolitical interests of US imperialism.

Statement after statement in his weekly column in the New York Times and other outlets, Weingarten repeated Biden’s lies about an “unprovoked” Russian invasion. The US-NATO arming of Ukraine and right-wing paramilitary forces, according to the AFT chairman, represents the defense of “democracy” and “self-determination” against “an oppressive and autocratic dictator who seeks to establish Russian military hegemony and dominance in Russia”. Eastern Europe”, as she wrote in a Times hours after the February 24 invasion.

Of course, Weingarten says nothing about NATO’s 800-mile eastward expansion since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 and the military encirclement of Russia, which prompted Putin to his desperate and reactionary invasion. . As a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and former board member with the late Madeleine Albright of the State Department-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI) think tank, Weingarten has long supported this anti- Russian.

On April 4, Weingarten tweeted a photo of herself with US Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski taken at the US Embassy in Warsaw. The ambassador is the son of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former US national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and a Cold War anti-Communist who helped shape both sides’ aggressive foreign and military policy against the USSR then Russia.

(left) Mark Brzezinski, US Ambassador to Poland, and (right) Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union. Mark is the son of Zbigniew Brzezinski. (Twitter.com/rweingarten, April 4, 2022)

The elder Brzezinski was the architect of the plan to arm Islamic fundamentalist insurgents in Afghanistan to embroil the Soviet Union in an interminable occupation, which would inflict unsustainable military casualties and destabilize the USSR. The current US-NATO proxy war is based on the same playbook, using US-armed ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi paramilitary forces like the Azov Battalion. The latter are described by Weingarten as “Ukrainian freedom fighters”.

In a March 20 Times column, Weingarten notes, “In 2014, I went to Ukraine on a solidarity mission with other union leaders shortly after dozens of protesters were shot and killed there during a pro-democracy uprising. The uprising overthrew the Russian-backed Ukrainian president and ushered in a new era of freedom and democracy that the Ukrainian people have long desired.

CBS News interview on Tuesday (Twitter @rweingarten)

The main purpose of his 2014 trip was to put a “democratic” veneer on the Western-backed coup, which relied on neo-Nazi shock troops from the Svoboda Party and Right Sector to install an anti- Russian. In his public tweets at the time, Weingarten called any discussion of Ukrainian “fascist” protesters “Russian propaganda”.

In a display of utter cynicism, Weingarten and other representatives of teachers’ unions in Europe visited the Babi Yar memorial, where between 100,000 and 150,000 people were murdered by the Nazis, including tens of thousands of Jews and Soviet prisoners of war.

At the time, writes the WSWS, the forces Weingarten traveled to Ukraine to support “are the political descendants of those who helped carry out this horrible crime. The Svoboda party, which was the main political force in the protests that toppled [former Ukrainian president] Yanukovych was originally called the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) and its members wore swastika-style insignia. He was forced to change his name because his open association with fascism complicated US efforts to integrate him into the “Orange Revolution” of 2004-2005.

Of note, in this week’s tweets from Poland, Weingarten includes the hashtag, #SlavaUkraini or “Glory to Ukraine!” The slogan was first used by Ukrainian nationalists in the 1930s, notably anti-Semitic and Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and his Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which proceeded to the mass extermination of Jews, Poles and leftists.

Like Biden, Weingarten presents the US-NATO war against Russia as a twilight struggle of “freedom” against “autocracy”. But the Polish regime, which is part of this so-called democratic front, is led by the far-right nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party. He completely banned abortion, criminalized exposure of Polish complicity in the Holocaust, and scapegoated immigrants, especially refugees fleeing US wars in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Polish government is also known for persecuting the LGBT community. It’s something Weingarten neglected to mention in his tweet from Poland on Tuesday denouncing similar actions by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: “Let’s show DeSantis and the forces behind this bill that the American people will not tolerate this.” Show your support for LGBTQIA+ teachers now.

It should also be noted that Weingarten’s trip was organized by the Polish teachers’ union. The ZNP, along with AFL-CIO-backed Solidarnosc and other unions, betrayed and ended a powerful 17-day nationwide strike by 300,000 educators in 2019 against the PiS government, which pays teachers salaries of misery from 1,800 to 3,000 zlotys (470 USD). US$780) a month, forcing many to take on second jobs to make ends meet.

For many decades, the AFL-CIO union federation has funded and promoted far-right and fascist forces against left-wing and communist unions around the world. The AFT’s longtime former chairman, Albert Shanker, was a particularly rabid anti-Communist who supported the Vietnam War and the CIA’s subversion campaigns.

Organizations such as the Inter-American Regional Organization of Workers (ORIT) and the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), the predecessors of the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, functioned as labor fronts for the coups. State organized by the CIA in Guatemala (1954), British Guiana (1963), Brazil (1964), the Dominican Republic (1965) and Chile (1973). Solidarity Center was a conduit for National Endowment for Democracy money to right-wing unions active in the failed attempt to overthrow Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2002.

Weingarten, who earns more than half a million dollars, is a hated figure among American educators who have seen her betray strike after strike, collaborate with school privatizers like Bill Gates, and force teachers and students in schools infected with COVID-19 as part of Biden’s policy of prioritizing profit over human life. Now, after the pandemic has claimed the lives of 1 million people in the United States, the AFT president is backing a reckless conflict with nuclear-armed Russia.

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