George Roberts

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Skip Roberts


George (Skip) Roberts is Assistant Director of Government Affairs at Service Employees International Union. He is a Vietnam veteran and a long time member of Democratic Socialists of America.

Education

Georgetown University.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Circa 1970 Skip Roberts, was working out of the New York office of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.[1]

FTA Tour

Skip Roberts went with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland on their FTA {Fuck the Army} tour of military bases (actually at coffeehouses and other such centers, not the bases per se). By this time Roberts He was getting disillusioned with the violent orientation of fake Vietnam vet Al Hubbard and his supporters.[2]

Roberts tried to force out Al Hubbard by making a motion that all the old leaders resign and let new people in. He lost by two votes and began to withdraw from VVAW to look for work in the labor movement.[3]

Dewey Canyon

Skip Roberts, a Marine Vietnam veteran who had organized for Eugene McCarthy in 1968 - created "Operation Dewey Canyon IV".[4]

A committed trade unionist whose grandfather had organized the steelworkers in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Roberts was not opposed to violent confrontation when necessary, but he felt that such tactics could be successful only when large numbers of people combined to voice their desire for change - the most basic tenet of collective bargaining.[5]

Assassination plot rejected

On March 19 2004 Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts retreated from his earlier steadfast denials that he attended a meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which a plan to assassinate U.S. Senators was debated.

The reversal came as new evidence, including reports from FBI informants, emerged that contradicted Mr. Kerry’s previous statements about the gathering, which was held in Kansas City, Mo. in November 1971.

“If there are valid FBI surveillance reports from credible sources that place some of those disagreements in Kansas City, we accept that historical footnote in the account of his work to end the difficult and divisive war,” the statement said.

It did not address the murder plot, though as recently as Wednesday a top aide to Mr. Kerry said that the Massachusetts senator and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee was “absolutely certain” he was not present when the assassination plan, known as the “Phoenix Project,” was discussed.

The New York Sun first reported that other anti-war activists placed Mr. Kerry at the Kansas City meeting. A total of six people said publicly that they remember seeing Mr. Kerry there. Participants say the plot was voted down, and several say they remember Mr. Kerry speaking and voting against it.

A historian and expert on activism against the Vietnam War, Gerald Nicosia, provided the Sun with minutes of the meeting.

Mr. Nicosia also read quotes from FBI surveillance documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as he was preparing his 2001 book, “Home to War.”

“My evidence is incontrovertible.He was there,” Mr. Nicosia said in an interview yesterday. “There’s no way that five or six agents saw his ghost there,” said the historian, who lives in Marin County, north of San Francisco.

Mr. Nicosia said that the records show Mr. Kerry resigned from the group on the third day of the meeting, following discussion of the assassination plan and an argument between Mr. Kerry and another VVAW national coordinator, Al Hubbard.

Reading from an FBI informant report, Mr. Nicosia said, “John Kerry at a national Vietnam Veterans Against the War meeting appeared and announced to those present that he resigned for personal reasons but said he would be able to speak for VVAW” at future events.Another document “describes a conversation actually a confrontation between John Kerry and Hubbard that was taking place on one of the days of that meeting,” Mr. Nicosia added.

Mr. Nicosia said it is clear that Mr. Kerry and the others resigned because of the extreme actions the group was considering.

“It’s kind of unmistakable to see a pattern. All four of them were out the door, bingo, the morning after” the socalled Phoenix plot was discussed, the author said.

The minutes, prepared at the group’s national office in New York, recount the actions taken by Vietnam Veterans Against the War’s “emergency steering committee” during the four-day meeting, which ran from November 12 to 15, 1971. The minutes indicate that at the end of the day on Saturday, November 13, discussion turned to “national actions and other things.” The meeting is reported to have adjourned at 10 p.m. and resumed at 11 a.m. Sunday. The document goes on to say that the group passed a motion to hold a “national action… in 3 to 5 different sites.”The next entry in the minutes is, “John Kerry, Scott Moore, Mike Oliver and Skip Roberts resigned as national coordinators.”[6]

AFSCME

Skip Roberts was an Area Director, for AFSCME, December 1972 — August 1978, where he oversaw organizing and political efforts in the 6 state Rocky Mountains Region.[7]

National Education Association

Roberts was a field rep. for the National Education Association, from 1980 — 1987.[8]

Congessional aide

Roberts is a former aide to the late Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, and Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii.[9]

Roberts was an Administrative Assistant in the office of Congressman Abercrombie from January 1991 — October 1993.[10]

VVA Foundation

Roberts was Executive Director, of the non profit VVA Foundation, from February 1987 — November 1989.[11]

Socialist International

In 1988, Democratic Socialists of America NEC member Skip Roberts and organizational director Patrick Lacefield were DSA delegates to the Socialist International meeting in Caracas, Venezuela.[12]

In November 1989 the Democratic Socialists of America, delegation to the Socialist International Council meeting in Geneva consisted of [13]

Skip Roberts (2).jpg

Led by Bogdan Denitch, DSA's permanent representative to the Socialist International, the Democratic Socialists of America delegation to the October 1990 Socialist International meeting in New York, included DSA Honorary Chair, Cornel West, Pat Belcon, a DSA NPC member, Motl Zelmanowicz, a "DSAer active in the Jewish Labor Bund", Jo-Ann Mort, a DSA NPC member, Jack Sheinkman, president of ACTWU, NYC Commissioner of Finance, Carol O'Cleireacain, Terri Burgess, chair of the DSA youth Section, Skip Roberts, Chair of DSA's Socialist International Committee, welcomed the Council to the United States on behalf of Democratic Socialists of America.[14]

The Democratic Socialists of America, delegation to the XXII Congress of the Socialist International, São Paulo 27-29 October 2003 included[15];

The Democratic Socialists of America,delegation to the Socialist International Council meeting in Madrid on 7-8 February 2004, hosted by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE, on the main theme of "How do we build upon the Social Democratic vision for a more secure world?" consisted of[16];

DSA participated in the observer delegation from the Socialist International to the Mexican elections in early July 2006. DSA National Director Frank Llewellyn led the delegation, which included Skip Roberts (Washington, DC), Daniel Reynolds (Miami) and Michael Lettieri (Washington, DC). Michael Lettieri also represented the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA)[17].

We participated in this delegation because of the extraordinary importance that political developments in Mexico hold for the United States and because of DSA's very close relationship with the PRD--the only significant party representing genuine social democratic change in Mexico.

US delegates to the Socialist International 13th Congress, Athens, Greece June 30th 2008 included Carol Browner, a delegation from Democratic Socialists of America; Frank Llewellyn, Corey Walker, George Roberts, David Duhalde and Alejandro Duhalde plus another DSA member Andrew Hammer attending with the International League of Religious Socialists, former New American Movement radical Jeremy Rifkin representing the Foundation on Economic Trends and Puerto Rican Independence Party, Ruben Berrios Martinez and Maria Jose Cisneros[18].

At the Meeting of the Council of the Socialist International, United Nations, New York, 21-22 June 2010, delegates included Puerto Rican Independence Party members Ruben Berrios Martinez and Fernando Martin Garcia and from Democratic Socialists of America, Frank Llewellyn, Joseph Schwartz, David Sasha Duhalde-Wine, George D. Roberts, Luis Alejandro Duhalde.

Participants included representatives of the Socialist Party of Albania, MPLA (Angola), Bulgarian Socialist Party, Socialist Party of Chile, Sandinista National Liberation Front (Nicaragua), Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, Democratic Left Alliance (Poland), African National Congress (South Africa), Movement for Socialism (Venezuela) Observer parties included Polisario (Western Sahara) Consultative parties present included Fatah (Palestine), All-Nation Social Democratic Party (Kazakhstan).[19]

SEIU

Skip Roberts joined the Legislative staff of SEIU in 1997 and by 2010 was Assistant Director of Government Affairs for the union.[20]

Reaching out to Republicans

In September 2008 Skip Roberts was assistant director for the Service Employees International Union.

In the Twin Cities, in early September "as he has entered elevators and receptions and talked to GOP delegates about where he works, the Vietnam veteran often finds himself getting a strange look from his fellow Republicans."

"You are a member of the SEIU? Are you here to protest?" his interlocutors ask, Roberts recounted in an interview with Convention Daily. "People don't quite know how to deal with us."

What people forget is that although the powerful union is heavily Democratic and has endorsed Democratic nominee Barack Obama for president, about 25 percent of the 2 million members are registered Republicans, and their voice matters, said Roberts. The Connecticut native was hired three years ago by SEIU President Andy Stern to help bolster the SEIU's voice among Republicans and help the union find common ground with the party on economic security issues.

"It's important to leverage our support" on both sides of the aisle, said Roberts.[21]

Mocking Republicans

When asked by The American Prospect , "What Else Should the Federal Government Nationalize?" , Roberts replied;

"The Republican National Committee. It's a natural under lemon socialism; we're only taking over those enterprises with a failed business model."[22]

2011 YDS Winter Conference

TheirCrisisFLYER Color Final6.jpg

On the weekend of March 18th-20th, 2011, the Young Democratic Socialists held their annual Winter outreach conference "Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession". Cornel West "will be the featured speaker on Saturday the 19th, and we will also host John Nichols, Bertha Lewis, Mark Engler, and Dan Cantor from the Working Families Party.

Other listed speakers included Komozi Woodard, Corey Walker, Fabricio Rodriguez, Christian Parenti, Stephanie Fairyington, Christine Kelly, Sheila Collins, Billy Wharton, Liz Shuler, Martin Weinstein, Michelle O'Brien, Skip Roberts, Joseph Schwartz.

Panels on race, the environment, organizing, and other topics will allow participants to learn from and communicate with fellow activists on some of the most important domestic and international issues. The event is perfect for both newcomers to Democratic Socialism/YDS, as well as activist veterans.

Add your name to the list here and you'll be notified when online registration goes live. Invite all your friends!

Location, Bayard Rustin High School 351 W 18th St New York, NY 10011.[23]

References

  1. "Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans's Movement" by Gerald Nicosia, page 72
  2. "Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans's Movement" by Gerald Nicosia, page 212
  3. "Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans's Movement" by Gerald Nicosia, page 216
  4. "Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans's Movement" by Gerald Nicosia, page 150
  5. "Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans's Movement" by Gerald Nicosia, page 151
  6. KERRY RETREATS FROM HIS DENIAL ON VIETNAM MEET - Evidence Puts Him At Kansas Parley New York Sun ^ | Mar 19, 2004 | JOSH GERSTEIN
  7. [1] Linkeldin bio, accessed July 19, 2010
  8. [2] Linkeldin bio, accessed July 19, 2010
  9. http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0908/090308nj2.htm
  10. [3] Linkeldin bio, accessed July 19, 2010
  11. [4] Linkeldin bio, accessed July 19, 2010
  12. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1988, page 7
  13. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1990, page 11
  14. Democratic Left, November/december 1990, page 7
  15. http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticlePageID=813
  16. http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=448
  17. http://www.dsausa.org/NewsFromDSA/2006/26jul2006.htm
  18. http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=1915&ArticlePageID=1269&ModuleID=18
  19. [5] List of participants, SI website, accessed July 13, 2010
  20. [6] Linkeldin bio, accessed July 19, 2010
  21. http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0908/090308nj2.htm
  22. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=up_front_may09
  23. YDS website, Spring Conference, Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession, accessed Feb. 23, 2011