At the New York City Labor Day Parade on September 10, one of our members, Ekim Kilic, a young Turkish national, approached someone who appeared to him to be a Union Marshal, and asked where he could find the National Writers Union group. The person told Ekim that the UAW/NWU contingent had already passed.
The individual then asked Ekim what he does for a living; Ekim told the person that he’s a journalist. The person then asked to see Ekim’s press card, which he didn’t have on him—although it was none of the guy’s business anyway. After a few more unnecessary questions, this “Marshal” waved over two cops, who then questioned Ekim and took down his contact information. After that, they all went their separate ways.
That evening, two cops showed up at Ekim’s apartment, one of them wearing the patch of the counter-terrorism division. They asked if they could take Ekim’s picture, take a picture of his passport picture, look at his FB page, and other ridiculous requests, to which he said “no.”
There’s no question that the reason this happened is because Ekim appears to be Middle Eastern or, more precisely, Muslim. This is racial profiling at its worst, and it’s unacceptable.
I raised this with Vinnie Alverez, president of New York City’s Central Labor Council (NYCCLC), and their staffer Brendan Griffith, who both expressed deep concern about the incident. They investigated and found that the CLC had no marshals in the area of the incident, and think that it was likely someone on Trump’s security, as this incident occurred in the vicinity of Trump Tower.
This is what immigrants and Muslims are up against today, here, and around the world. And this was before the recent bombings in NYC and New Jersey! This is the type of anti-Muslim hysteria that the Trump campaign has bet its fortunes on. We can answer this attack against one of our own, by working twice as hard to Dump Trump, and in the process, build a stronger union.