Talk:Solidarity Center

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I was sad to see that the quality of this article had so deteriorated since I last looked at it a few years back. There is not even a pretense of NPOV with an opening paragraph stating that ACILS is largely "engaged in 'labor imperialism' ". Not "critics alleging", not "some observers believing" not even "independent researchers claiming"- just a statement made as if an objective fact. Worse the research quoted is from the researcher who apparently believes his or her research to be a matter of objective fact. On the talk page this researcher backs up his or her credentials with the claim of being a former Marine Sergeant. I really would like to spend the time improve this article but I just don't have the energy at the moment to get into a revert war with this Kim Scipes.

So instead I will ask Kim Scipes: Please read other wikipedia articles on controversial subjects and find a way to incorporate your research into the article so that it does not appear as position of the article but rather a position of a researcher. Wikidia articles are not personal thesis statements so if you want to incorporate your personal research into an article (which is bit touchy to start with) please find a way to do so so the article as a whole presents an overall picture of this institute. This would include the viewpoint of the org itself, viewpoints of its allies, veiwpoints of its critics, viewpoints of other observers. If you are indeed a university level professor. It is fine to have a POV and that POV can be presented in the article. But it cannot be the POV of the article. Please look at other quality articles in wikipedia. Joel s (talk) 06:29, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

NPOV WATCH!![edit]

The following writer claims the article is "blatantly POV." As one who has done the most writing on the AFL-CIO's foreign policy program over the past 17 years, I would agree: I have a "point of view," and it guides my writing: I am against imperialism in all forms, and against all oppression. As I (and a number of other writers) have documented, again and again, the leadership of the AFL-CIO has been carrying out a foreign policy program out of sight, behind the backs, and against the interests of workers in the US and around the world--and done everything possible to keep US union members from learning about these activities, and have even corrupted what democratic processes that exist within the national labor movement to do so.

Don't take my word for this--read the literature on AFL-CIO foreign operations and make up your own mind. The largest bibliography of material on this subject--including many articles on both sides of the debate, and with many articles downloadable from the Internet--is on my "Contemporary Labor Issues" web site at .

My work is carefully documented, and often has extended references. The three most important articles I have written are each on-line (and listed in the above bibliography), but I would like to draw people's attention to them:

-- "AFL-CIO in Venezuela: Deja Vu All Over Again." Labor Notes, April 1994. On-line at . (This details the AFL-CIO's "Solidarity Center's" work in helping to lay the groundwork in Venezuela for the 2002 attempted coup against democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez.)

-- "Labor Imperialism Redux? The AFL-CIO's Foreign Policy Since 1995." Monthly Review, May 2005. On-line at .

-- "An Unholy Alliance: The AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela." Z Net, July 2005. On-line at . (This especially provides information on the involvement of the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center as one of four "core institutes"--along with the international wing of the Democratic Party, the international wing of the Republican Party, and the international wing of the US Chamber of Commerce--of the National Endowment for Democracy, a misnamed project started by the Reagan Administration to do the work overtly that the CIA had previously done covertly.)

For more information on the AFL-CIO's Foreign Policy Program, I suggest you check out the Worker to Worker Solidarity Committee's web site at .

And, for the record, in case any one considers me an ideologue, please note that I am a former Sergeant in the US Marine Corps (serving 1969-73, although staying in the States all four years), and am a current member of the National Writers Union, affiliated to the United Auto Workers and the AFL-CIO. (I have also been a member of the Graphic Communications Union, AFL-CIO; the National Education Association; and the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.) I currently teach sociology for one of the regional campuses of Purdue University.

Kim Scipes, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Sociology Purdue University North Central 1410 S. US Hwy 421 Westville, IN 46391 E-mail:


Haiti Info[edit]

The Solidarity Center had a puff piece up here earlier on its work in Haiti. A new article gets to the bottom of their activities in Haiti. This was published by a mainstream labor publication, one of the largest in the United States- Labor Notes. See

Link is now dead.RevelationDirect (talk) 00:34, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Assuming good faith/ talk pages[edit]

Dear Dr: I am assuming good faith in that you accidentally deleted my comments, however "page history" is a very useful tool. So... Dr. Scipes, if I may, my orginal arguements followed by a brief rebuttal. Please remember that the talk page, as well as the article itself are not your exclusive right. Posting on wikipedia does not allow you to have hold control over the words you donate. Additionally, I apologize for my intital exicitement/ bold words of my orginal comments, but I am just a recent undergrad, so I haven't completely absorbed the concept of colligellity. My orginal words:

== My orginal arguements== (hold on a moment, will post shortly) V. Joe 21:24, 7 June 2006 (UTC) This article is blatantly POV. -“Despised by Iraqi workers?” Cite. Even if you cite it, is POV -“Hugo Chavez democratically elected government?? Bullspit. Chavez stole the vote and has been arresting members of the opposition. Again, POV. -The CTV in fact led a damaging strike aimed at overthrowing the Chavez government, after recvieving money and training from the Solidarity Center. Again, cite.. I think the CTV, related to the French Confederation Generale du Travail is highly unlikely to rise up in support of a clearly American-led coup. Again the author (so) of this article haven’t provided any support for this argument. If the center gave $$ to the CTV to raise it, I expect proof. I also expect proof that it was indeed an anti-government/ anti-Chavez initiative. For the record, I applaud anti-Chavez efforts but I’d like proof. I’m therefore attaching a neutrality tag on this article. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about this item to understand the fact, but words like despised are clearly POV.


All of the sources under: articles are all highly left-wing and POV. If it is really part of a “Bushite conspiracy, wouldn’t Time, Newsweek, etc want to publish it. Has anything been done by the right-wing press either? This article needs balance. Thanks [User:Valentinejoesmith|V. Joe]] 21:37, 4 June 2006 (UTC) A repost: V. Joe 21:45, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I was going to add {fact} templates to unverified claims, but there are too many to do so. Instead, I added {sources} to the top. The links provided (which are way too POV to be the only sources) need to be linked as references to specific statements. More balanced links should be found. --Tjss(Talk) 21:49, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

A brief rebuttal[edit]

As I stated when I wrote my objection, I don't really have "a dog in this fight" when it concerns Union activity or the AFL-CIO. However, I also don't think the article should stand "as is." Words like despised, whatever the Doctor's qualifications do not have a place under wikipedia: NPOV. Further, the evidence you offer is merely a resubmission of what you have already posted previously. I still don't feel that Chavez's government was really Democratic or that. This writer: well, M. le Docteur, I have a wiki-name, and I use it. I don't use my real name, and that is my privledge. Do you treat your students in a like manner? You are indeed against imperialism and oppression, well, so am I and virtually everyone else. I am also agaisnt incest, racism, cancer and political assasination. I am also agaisnt indifferent wikipedia articles. Therefore, I suggest that you consider writing about something that interests you, but that isn't a part of your job. Cheers, and thank you for your time. V. Joe 21:45, 7 June 2006 (UTC)


I replaced soapbox/blog/rant with past "official" posting from the organization itself. If you are a critic of the organization, you should not be erasing their contribution and replacing it with your own POV. This action goes against the spirit of Wikipedia. This website is not a soapbox for your views. Create your own website for that. Poccs 04:00, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the "official" posting is particularly valid either without balance. It seems to me that critical examination and editing is exactly within the spirit of Wikipedia.--Bookandcoffee 04:34, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

As it stands the article is objective which is one of the primary goals of Wikipedia: content "containing notable verifiable knowledge." If someone needs information for a research project then the article, in its current form, is a valid source. I'm not saying it shouldn't be edited but rather that this is a better framework to build on. You can't argue with the content unless you believe the organization is lying and if you feel that's the case it's probably because you're a critic. The most beneficial course of action would be to provide researchers with a heading containing various criticisms. Instead, the former article was primarily written by one of the organization's most vocal critics and violated 3 fundamental Wikipedia rules: Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought, a soapbox, or a blog. The past article was the most thoroughly biased entry in hundreds if not thousands of Wikipedia articles that I have researched. Poccs 05:19, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm afraid that I disagree. It has been my experience that "official" and "objective" are two things that you rarely find together. It is a bit naive to say that you "can't argue with the content unless you believe the organization is lying." Things are never that simple. The ACILS wants to project a good view of itself - who doesn't? I don't fault them for that - but this article isn't (just) about what the ACILS says it does, it's about what Wikipedia say the ACILS does. (That sounds a bit ominous doesn't it... jeez :) Hopefully a number of interested editors work from outside sources, and eventually reach a semblance of the truth; including an honest assessment of the criticisms, and critics. I would contend that editing toward that goal, rather than reverting (a process which is almost inevitably temporary) would be a better course.--Bookandcoffee 06:56, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Revert from Solidarity Center's self-description[edit]

Poccs, it's not legal for Wikipedia to post things from other websites. It's a copyright violation for Wikipedia to do so (and all material on Wiki must be licensed under the [GFDL]). If you have problems with the article as it stands, you are welcome to edit it, dispute facts, etc, but quoting the organization's own description is not kosher. (It's not encyclopedic either.) Katsam 10:17, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Revolutionary ideologues[edit]

"An AFL-CIO employee labeled these workers as "revolutionary ideologoues" (Monthly Review/2005)."

The AFL-CIO has thousands of employees. Was this person a local organizer or John Sweeney? Furthermore, whoever this person is, it must be shown that such a quote is reflective of a significant group or faction, unless that person is not a significant leader themselves. --Tjss(Talk) 17:09, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

What's needed[edit]

This article has been taken over by people critical of the Solidarity Center. A decent article (one that is useful to a significant portion of society) would include a history of the Solidarity Center, a summary or its stated goals, and other stuff that doesn't immediately paint the topic as a front for the CIA. --Tjss(Talk) 17:14, 28 August 2006 (UTC)


I think this article should be started over. It was orginally written by someone with a clear bias, whatever his qualifications. When writing an enclopedia article, one does not say that Hitler was evil, one simply gives his deeds and lets the reader draw his own conclusion. Additionally, if you are writing an article about, say, the Britsh Empire 1910-1930, you had better interview both Winston Churchill and Eamon De Valera if you want balance. I think this should be started over, written at first as a stub, and then slowly expanded using both the ACLU Solidarity website, critical sources, and State Department press releases about it. Otherwise, you are going to continue to get left-wing rants... and right-wing rants that attempt to refute them. (Which will convince no one, being slogans shouted back and forth. I also think the "Haiti" section of this article has been taken over by Aristide partisans, who is both a defrocked priest and a failed president/dictator/whatever who blames the US for his departure. V. Joe 19:06, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay. I don't think we're allowed to replace the current text until we have something better. Let's start a subpage here. --Tjss(Talk) 03:41, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
New Draft

Wow this really shows bias above. Aristide was not a dictator he was democratically elected. Shows you what type of people want to dominate the dialouge here. Blame hte US for his departure? He was kidnapped by US marines. How is that his fault?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) .

Wow, yourself[edit]

Aristide was (maybe) democratically elected for a (limited) term of office, which he then proceded to exceed vastly. He then thumbed his nose at world opinion and was deposed by the Haitians themselves... after he which he fled to the United States. After a time, he returned to Haiti, became the President (again) and "surprise!" began to violate both human rights and to steal from the very poor people of Haiti. At the bequest of a multilateral agreement, the United States and France sent troops to restore order. The United States claims to have protected Aristide and allowed him to seek the protection of the U.S. Marines, which then took him back to the U.S. on a C-130 cargo aircraft. He was treated as a V.I.P. and only later, after talking with foes of the Bush Adminstistration, decided to claim to be kidnapped, something like 2 weeks after he was sent on his way.

Other problems with your POV[edit]

When the US wants to "capture" or "kidnap" or whatever you want to call it. They don't use Marines. They use Delta Force which is an Army project when they need to capture enemey VIPs. Most famously, the Delta Force was used in Somalia in an attempt to capture Mohammed Farah Aidid and in Columbia to kill/capture a drug lord (see Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden). If the US is really serious about killing somebody (i.e. Bin Laden) they use cruise missles. They certainly don't realease somebody like Aidid or Pablo, and if Aristide was so no dangerous he'd still be in jail. If Aristide was really that much of a bad guy, he'd either be on trial for crimes agaisnt humanity or we'd have handed him over the Haitan opposition that deposed him or to the French, where he would have quietly (and immediately) suffered a fatal heart attack


I don't think I dominate the article. I haven't actually edited it much, although I have made my views known on the talk page. I do not think that the ACILS is as important as people are trying to make it and I also do not believe that it is a CIA front. Ideally, I'd like to see a much shorter, much more factual article that is little longer than a stub. Cheers V. Joe 15:05, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


I have reverted to version by trini-socialist, which will surely get my membership in the "vast right wing conspiracy" revoked. And I was enjoying the hot tub at the Club. Darn. I have reverted to this version to eliminate both right and left-wing rants that were attached. Incidentally, it isn't very polite to make lots of large changes without concurance in a discussion. Since neither the right-wing anoy. partisan nor the left-wing anoy. partisan bothered to discuss their edits... I just reverted. Cheers V. Joe 15:17, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

state department haitian elite opposition propaganda[edit]

Arisitde was not deposed by the Haitian masses. See Giant marches right before his ouster by poor that supported his government. Polls showed in 2002 Aristide had massive overwhelmingly support. It was a 4 year embargo, an elite opposition which received over 100 million dollars each year from USAID, EU, CIDA, and NED which destabilized his democratically elected government. Death squad rebels with help of Pentagon and Dominican military then invaded Haiti. This is well documented. In 1991 he was overthrown by the Haitian military and the Haitian people demanded his return. Upon his return the Clinton administration attempted to force him to privatize but he refused. With the founding of Fanmi Lavalas in 1997 on the line of opposing privatizations the US government and others saw aristide as the #1` threat in Haiti. Arisitdes government had corruption like every other government in Haiti but the difference was that the elected government actually spent money on school , medicine, and improving the rights of workers. This is also well documented. The Solidarity Center, like so many other "democratizatin" and aid organizations, dependent on Government money ignored the persecution of pro-aristide workers following the coup. Over 10,000 people fired in an attempt to privatize civil enterprises. The statements above are refletions of the anti-aristide propaganda in the media which been constant since the early 1990's when doctored CIA reports claimed he was insane and spent time in a Canadian mental hospital. This was repeated by NC Senator Jesse Helms and later proved false. Have you ever been to Haiti? Have you ever seen the protests of hundreds of thousands of people demanding democracy to then be shot in the back by US and Canadian trained police? This is not a left wing conspiracy it is fact told from the ground.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) .

sarcastic "Wow yourself" poster above is sadly confused[edit]

Arisitde was elected in 1990 to carry out five years. He was elected again 2000 to carry out five years. In total he should have served out 10 years. But targeted by two Haitain military coups he only served for barely five years. Arisitde was no dictator. He was overwhelmingly elected with vote monitors approving his elections. Get your facts straight history buff.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) .

Prove it[edit]

If I am "sadly confused"... prove that Aristide is anything but a thug. Even if he were democratically elected, it does not excuse his actions... nor does it prove that he was deposed by US Marines. My knowledge of Haiti, BTW, is confined to its impact on the History of France and the United States as well. But to quote myself, in a different environment (when addressing a hardcore socialist) "To what motivation would the United States and France have a profit in deposing Aristide? There is no oil, nor any other resource of possible profit, except for the poor people, who don't have enough money to buy anything, anyway. There isn't even guano worth mining anymore... and you can get sugar cane from Hawaii or La Reunion." Ask yourself that question before deciding it was a war for oil or imperialism or whatever."

If Aristide is such a "good guy"... why does he continually ally himself with "bad guys" like Chavez and Castro? If he wanted anything but power for himself he'd ask for foreign aid from those same rich countries he insults. Surely, no one can argue that the United States, France, Canada or Luxembourg wouldn't be a more profitable source of foreign aid. If he is concerned about "American influence", he could get it from the French or the Canadians, etc.

That said, my other root problem with Aristide is that socialism, especially Liberation-style socialism equals dead people. Lots of dead people. Anarchy would be better for the Haitans, who until now, whose only succor has been the Catholic church. Torquemada and Beria make very poor bedfellows. Of course, I may have answered my own question about why America would intervene... but why France?

Also, since when does the Canadian governent support the U.S in anything? Or are you refering to something that occured in Canada and the States? I have scant sympathy with rioters for any cause.

Also, you haven't cited why anyone of the "bad guys" (the U.S., Canada and the Dominician Republic) would have any reason to intervene in Haiti?

Why is privitazation a bad thing? It seems to have done wonders in Estonia, Latvia, etc.

(notice: I signed my own name)16:24, 25 September 2006 (UTC) V. Joe 16:27, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Haiti is important for USA out of strategic concerns as a territory in the Carribean, not for its natural resources. It is also important for ideological reasons. The USA does not want another socialist island in the Carribean or the spread of any form of socialism in this hemisphere at all. Haiti going socialist is like another slave revolt all over again, in a region which is supposed to be USA's corporate plantation/colony/sweatshop. It is bad enough that Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia are there and we know the USA is doing its best to break them too...Canada and France's motivation for intervening is the same as anywhere else, they are fellow (subordinate) NATO members and when it comes to sticking it to third world countries in the name of corporate imperialism, they usually agree more than disagree. Their biggest disagreements are not over legitimacy or justice, but over competing business interests (Iraq, Iran etc) in which case they just refrain from acting. The Dominincan Republic by the way, is just a fancy name for Puerto Rico 2.
You mentioned begging for foreign aid. Did you think this aid comes like rain from heaven without any conditions? You must be 14 years old, if not younger. Governmental foreign aid is given to poor countries in exchange for these poor countries allowing themselves to be controlled by the aid-donating gov. Truly NG NGO's are often too small and have too little budget to make that much of a difference. Foreign investments? Well in Haiti that would entail sweatshops and investors are really just the government's corporate face (or is it the other way around, the government is the corporation's 'official' face?)...Approaching Cuba, Aristide shows a desire for achieving some form of self-sufficiency and economical independence for Haiti, albeit under a rather totalitarian form of government. But approaching Venezuela on the other hand, might have been Aristide's way of reaching out to a fellow democratic, independent country in the region, resisting US imperialism and ruled by a government upheld by its working class and poor majority and which could help its fellow Haiti with oil in times of need (under embargo of USA). With such dangerous ideas, no wonder USA had to act fast...You say Liberation style socialism equals dead people? Oh so the masses of people who died under the US-supported Duvalier dictators, they are actually not dead, they are just under a voodoo spell? Interesting...

Privatization in Estonia and Latvia made the two countries defacto colonies of the Russian Maffia and both countries had basically become the best place to go in Europe for cheap whores, drugs and smuggled/"hot" merchandise in the 1990s. Very generous aid from the European Union ultimately resulted in the two countries coming into the EU's fold in 2004 and this has made both countries a little more presentable. Still, they have big problems with organized crime and poverty. The EU has no plan to give Haiti this kind of government aid, privatization in Haiti will result in the country being largely foreign owned

and its people largely foreign employed cheap labourers with no rights even to their own land and natural resources. This is neocolonialism in a nutshell. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:50, 6 January 2007 (UTC).

--Estonia is not a de facto colony for Russian criminals. Give it up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

rice and clothing[edit]

Aristide doubled the minimum wage. The leaders of the group of 184 were sweatshop owners who were opposed to the raise in wages. Aristide also subsidized rice so the poor could eat. Some of the main financial backers of the paramilitary rebels were involved in the food distribution trade between miami and haiti. The republicans have hated arisitde since 1990 when he was first elected. Go to Haiti and meet with poor people. You will find that Lavalas is still the largest and most popular party even after 10,000 have been killed by the interim dictatorship of Latortue. Why does the Solidarity Center not investigate the persecution and murder of Lavalas workers? Is it because it does not fit within "U.S. Strategic interests?" I think so. Haitians want food, clothing, and shelter. They wanted a democratic government. They don't care about your political ideology and western ideas being imposed upon them.


Rice & Clothing[edit]

Pascal... I don't think going to Haiti is a good idea... especially as a "Yank" with minnimal French. I would NEVER be so impolite as to discuss domestic politics in a foreign country, its both impolite and somewhat unhealthy. That includes England, France and Germany, but also includes less civillized places like Russia, Mexico or ESPECIALLY Haiti. If Haiti is such a grand place, why is it the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere? Sure, it doesn't have the natural wealth of Cananda, the United States or Brazil... but neither does Aruba or Jamaica... It has something to do WITH GOVERNMENT. 'Nuff said.

Aruba is a Dutch colony and Jamaica isn't doing that great.

"United States Strategic intrests"=[edit]

Why, this Yank asks... is the United States not supposed to advance its strategic influence? Isn't that one of the things that any government is supposed to advance? V. Joe 18:43, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Unsigned comments[edit]

The user making unsigned comments needs to get an account, and then read the policies regarding Wikipedia content. I have needed to rephrase or remove many references to the coup in Haiti across several articles. That is not because I do not agree that there was a coup--there most certainly was--but Wikipedia is not a place for polemics and political writing. It is an encyclopedia. Furthermore, personal expertise is not a justifiable reason for including things. No original research is allowed. Independent sources (not the various left-wing blogs and magazines) need to be cited for inclusion here. --Tjss(Talk) 18:14, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Some resources[edit]

I don't want to step into the bonfire already roaring here, but there are a number of mainstream resources which outline the history of the ACILS and its predecessors. Here are some:

  • Carew, Anthony. "The American Labor Movement in Fizzland: The Free Trade Union Committee and the CIA - Central Intelligence Agency." Labor History. 39:1 (February 1998). (An excllent piece which relies almost exclusively on original documents in AFL-CIO archives.)
  • Cox, Robert. "Labor and Hegemony." International Organization. 31:3 (Summer 1977). (One of the initial exposes of the FTUC—an ACLIS predecessor.)
  • Douglas, William A. and Godson, Roy S. "Labor and Hegemony: A Critique." International Organization. 34:1 (Winter 1980). (Good critique of Cox's article, although later research would undercut most of Douglas and Godson's arguments.)
  • Foner, Philip S. U.S. Labor and the Vietnam War. New York City: International Publishers, 1989. ISBN 0717806723 (Excellent book about the AFL-CIO's manipulation of domestic public opinion, inside and outside the labor movement, largely on behalf of anti-communist and CIA goals)
  • Frutiger, Dean. "AFL-CIO China Policy: Labor's New Step Forward or the Cold War Revisited?" Labor Studies Journal. 27:3 (Fall 2002).
  • Kelber, Harry. "AFL-CIO's Dark Past: AFL is Funded for Covert Activity by CIA." Labor Educator. November 15, 2004.
  • Kelber, Harry. "AFL-CIO's Dark Past: Meany Hired Ex-Communist To Run International Affairs." Labor Educator. November 8, 2004.
  • Kelber, Harry. "AFL-CIO's Dark Past: U.S. Labor Secretly Intervened in Europe." Labor Educator. November 22, 2004.
  • Kelber, Harry. "Do Solidarity Center’s Covert Operations Help American Labor on Global Problems?" Labor Educator. December 13, 2004.
  • Kelber, Harry. "Kirkland Built A Secret Global Empire With U.S. Funds to Control Foreign Labor." Labor Educator. December 6, 2004.
  • Kelber, Harry. "U.S. Labor Reps. Conspired to Overthrow Elected Governments in Latin America." Labor Educator. November 29, 2004.
  • Sims, Beth. Workers of the World Undermined: American Labor's Role in U.S. Foreign Policy. Boston: South End Press, 1991. ISBN 0896084299
I would caution on using Kelber as a primary source. The Labor Educator is a newspaper, not a research journal, and Kelber has a distinct point of view he is pushing. Personally, I would not rely on Kelber as my only source for a fact; I would also seek back-up (Kelber got his information from somewhere!).
The Sims book is useful, although dated (nearly 15 years old). The book does not rely on much original-document research, and South End Press is not without bias. Nevertheless, the Sims book is useful as a source of information from other countries, non-U.S. labor unions, etc. I would think the Sims book is useful for putting things in context, as a finding-aid for non-original-document sources, for information which would not appear in Carew's, Cox's or Kelber's pieces (e.g., non-U.S. sources), and so on.
Foner's book is very well done. Foner has a bias, but he works very hard to adopt a neutral viewpoint in the work. And, as he does in all his books, Foner documents everything five or six times over! It's no surprise that labor leaders try to influence the opinions of union members (duh!), but there is much useful information on labor's overseas activites in this work, too.
Finally, biographies of AFSCME and its president in the 1960s, Jerry Wurf, discuss how entangled AFSCME was with FTUC/ASLIC. Such works may also contain useful information. (For example, when Wurf took over as president of AFSCME, he found that a number of AFSCME staff were in fact agents of the CIA and FBI--undercover as labor staff, but fully funded by the intelligence community and doing only intelligence work.) - Tim1965 00:36, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Biased Article, 1 year and counting[edit]

The ACILS article is an embarrassment to Wikipedia.

Good critical analysis of Venezuela and Haiti[edit]

ACILS has obviously been a tool of the state department in these countries. It would be good to have more information on their work in other countries though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Updated Material, with extensive resources[edit]

Having not checked this page for a while, I went back, added and cleaned up some of the sections--I added a number of citations, including several things I have written, with links to the original article so people can see the argument and extensive documentation. Note that two of my references have appeared in peer-reviewed academic articles.

By the way, to clarify: I did not rewrite the entire article--I didn't touch the Haiti section at all (which I did not write initially)--and I left a lot of the original material as it was.

I am troubled by some of the comments on this "Talk" page--one person, in particular, seems quite willing to believe that Hugo Chavez was not democratically elected in Venezuela. You don't have to like Chavez or his policies, but let's not distort facts. And the facts are that Chavez was democratically elected in 1998, 2000, and 2006, in elections certified clean by multitudes of international observers. Not only that, but when Constitutional changes were voted on by the people (as required by the Chavez inspired 1999 Constitution), and Chavez' proposals were defeated, Chavez accepted the results. So, just because the mainstream media in the United States has a real attack attitude toward anything that Chavez does--and you can really see their bias when comparing their coverage of Venezuela with that of Pakistan under Pervez Musharaf (sp?)--I don't think it's appropriate either their reporting nor their style herein.

The problem with ACILS is that the AFL-CIO (and the NED, of which ACILS is one of four core "institutes"--along with the international wing of the Republican Party (headed by John McCain), the international wing of the Democratic Party (headed by Madeleine Albright) and the international wing of the Chamber of Commerce, whose head I do not know) don't want people to know about their operations. Read Stanley Gacek's work, and see responses by Robert Collier, Steve Ellner and Lee Sustar: they point out, again and again, that Gacek's work might not live up to the highest standards of veracity. In fact, in my peer-reviewed 2007 article, I seriously consider Gacek's point of view and reject it.

Kimscipes (talk) 05:49, 21 December 2007 (UTC)Kim Scipes

Above contributor - as long as you continue to hijack the ACILS Wikipedia entry the neutrality and factual accuracy of the article will be disputed. (Comment by User talk:, an editor in the DC metro.)

KimScipes, how old are you and when do you plan to check out? After that, maybe this page can be posted with some legitimate content. What kind of a person writes an article and then uses other articles he wrote as documentation of the veracity of his comments? I'm glad to see that most of the people commenting on your postings look on them as a sad joke.Observant Guest (talk) 08:04, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

History Section[edit]

This organization/department was formed in 1997 but the History section is discussing the AFL's (not the AFL-CIO's) involvement in WWI and the Spanish-American War. There might very well be a need for an article called Foreign Policy of United States trade unions or something similar. This content is not relevant to this article, however.RevelationDirect (talk) 07:11, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Also removed stuff about Reagan, the Cuban revolution and WWII. No objection to the content, it's just not on point for this article.RevelationDirect (talk) 19:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Should we delete the Further Reading section?[edit]

One of the main problems with this article is that the citations rely almost entirely on one author (Kim Scipes). Following that problem, we have a list of further readings where 7 of the 9 entries are from one author which may just pile onto the single-sourced nature of the article. I'm used to this section having 2 or 3 general reference works on the topic. Any thoughts here? Somebody see value in this? Somebody have a different expectation of what the goal of a Further Reading section should be?RevelationDirect (talk) 19:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Hearing no objection, I'm removing this. Here is the list at issue:
  • Diana Barahona, 2005, Venezuela's National Workers Union" Counterpunch, October 25 [1]
  • Kim Scipes, 2000, “It’s Time to Come Clean: Open the AFL-CIO Archives on International Labor Operations.” Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer: 4-25. [Posted on-line in English by LabourNet Germany at .]
  • Kim Scipes, 2004, “AFL-CIO in Venezuela: Déjà vu All Over Again.” Labor Notes, April: 5. On-line at l
  • Kim Scipes, 2005, "Labor Imperialism Redux? The AFL-CIO's Foreign Policy Since 1999" Monthly Review, May [2]
  • Kim Scipes, 2005, "Unholy Alliance: The AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy in Venezuela" Z Net, July 10 [3]
  • Kim Scipes, 2006, "Worker-to-Worker Solidarity Committee to AFL-CIO: Cut All Ties with NED" [4]
  • Kim Scipes, 2007, "The AFL-CIO Foreign Policy Program and the 2002 Coup in Venezuela: Was the AFL-CIO Involved?" Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences, Vol. X: 133-147. [An earlier version of this peer-reviewed article is on-line at .]
  • Lee Sustar, 2005. “Revolution and Counter-revolution in Venezuela: Assessing the Role of the AFL-CIO” and “Lee Sustar Responds to Stan Gacek.” New Labor Forum, Vol. 14, No. 3, Fall: 97-108. On-line at .
  • Kim Scipes, "Contemporary Labor Issues" Bibliography—most extensive listing of references on AFL-CIO foreign operations. On-line at
RevelationDirect (talk) 08:30, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Working through the long list of Multiple Issues at the beginning of the article[edit]

Okay, let's start knocking these out starting with the less contentious ones:

  • Self Published Sources: Going through all the sources, I only found one item that looked like it was from a blog and I removed it. This link is self-published I guess but it's a link to a bibliography of published work so I left it. If anyone feels strongly, just remove that. I'm removing this issue.RevelationDirect (talk) 03:04, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Worldwide View: This category refers to articles that has different meanings in different places, like Middle school. ACILS means the same thing in Cuba and Hong Kong and Detroit. I think this tag was incorrectly placed because of the balance issues between the US-based organization and third world critics, but that's covered under the Balance issue. I'm removing this issue.RevelationDirect (talk) 03:04, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Factual Accuracy: This tag is intended for articles that lack citations for claims or which have claims that lack any sources. While this article does have a significant problem with over-reliance on one source, factual accuracy isn't the right tag for that.RevelationDirect (talk) 17:17, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Peacock & Weasel Words: I didn't actually see any Peacock words but the weasel ones were everywhere. Now we still have a bunch of unsourced claims, but that's addressed in a separate tag.RevelationDirect (talk) 18:48, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Essay or Personal Reflection: Actually, it read more like a messed up travelogue! Removed extensive extraneous text and fluff from crticism, Haiti and Venezuela sections while leaving underlying critiques of organization in place. It still needs more copy editing to tighten up but that's covered under the General Cleanup tag.RevelationDirect (talk) 18:53, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Material Not Appropriate for an Encyclopedia: This group is kind of a catch all but "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information" was certainly an apt critique of this article. I have removed a ton of indiscriminate information about the history of American labor foreign relations before this organization was founded and irrelevant background info on Venezuela and Haiti.RevelationDirect (talk) 18:59, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Neutrality: Controversial topics will obviously include viewpoints from different sides. The Criticism section (with all its problems) is clearly labeled and presents that side. Now there is a need for more space dedicated to how he AFL-CIO and ACILS view themselves but that's covered under the Unbalanced tag. (Disclosure: I remain baffled by WPs semantically silly claim of NPOV so take this analysis with a grain of salt.)RevelationDirect (talk) 19:32, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Original Research: The articles problem is with the author of original research published elsewhere coming here and trying to make that the only voice on the subject for a Wikipedia article. That is an absolue problem, no doubt. But this tag is meant for people who try and publish their original research for the firt time here not those who publish it elsewhere and then repost it here.RevelationDirect (talk) 19:32, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Citations: This article had too few citations and the few presently were overwhelmingly from Kim Scipes and Labor Notes. There are now 20 citations. Only 2 are from Ms. Scipes and 1 from Labor Notes now. 3 are from ACILS itself but these all represent organizational info. Two links go to 3rd World Traveler but one of these is a reprint from a magazine. I'm removing the tags about additional references and over-reliance on a single source.RevelationDirect (talk) 06:38, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Remaining Issues[edit]

While I've removed most of the tags on this deficient article, most of the works still remains with the two that are left. It needs the following:

  • A Programs section to show what the organization generally does to provide balance with the criticism section.
  • General cleanup to make itmore readable and flow better.RevelationDirect (talk) 19:37, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Conflict of Interest Noticeboard[edit]

Please note a new discussion at the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard.

I have removed or edited sections that have violated the NPOV, reliability, BLP, COI policies of Wikipedia, in my humble opinion.

Sincerely,  Kiefer.Wolfowitz 02:04, 13 June 2011 (UTC)