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THE EDITORS of FREEDOMWAYS warmly greet the brothers and sisters who assembled in Washington, D.C., for the Second Annual Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.
The delegates to this important assembly count among their ranks those who represent the basic class of our Movement-the class whose productive social labor creates the material means of our existence and whose numbers, when organized, can deliver some real power for the Afro-American community in the struggle for human rights.
As trade unionists, they come from a long line of everyday working people and heroes who are the real shapers of our history. Almost from the moment that we broke the chains of slavery in this country, there bagan to emerge among us men and women who took the leadership in organizing labor. Isaac Myers, a shipyard worker from Baltimore, convened the first convention of black trade unionists in 1865. The agony of Civil War had just been concluded a year earlier, and the great democratic task of Reconstruction lay ahead.
Getting free access to the ballot and political power, securing the distribution of land as the basis for economic security for the majority of our population, and establishing a public school system of quality education for all the children, were the general democratic tasks that coincided with Labor's task to organize and to build a nationwide trade union movement as a fighting weapon of the working people.
So it is today. The CBTU met at a time of the deepest constitutional and moral crisis that this society has faced since the Civil War.
It goes without saying that when government at the highest level of authority becomes so unrepresentative of the needs of the people that men, guilty of the crime of "breaking and entering"-that is, burglary-are organized into a super-cabinet to make decisions affecting the lives of more than two hundred million people, it is evident that society is in deep trouble. Yet, no one dedicated to the struggle for human rights and advanced democracy in our country should be alarmed by, or shrink from, the realities of Watergate. In their own way the Watergate revelations, with their demonstrated

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