So says Dave Barlow about Turnout; he is a board member of International Association of Firefighters Local 2068, the Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics.
I should say here that I am also a member of 42 years and a former president of the local, as well.
Dave’s feelings are “personal”, he even says so, the first indication that things have gone awry.
Leaders must keep their personal feelings apart from their professional actions.
Or so we would hope.
Dave’s ploy will be to censor Turnout because it is a blog, it’s not clear if I will be banned entirely from the Facebook page.
Someone should tell Dave that history is full of accounts of over-zealous people who thought they could win by banning free expression, Hitler, Stalin and Pinochet come to mind.
They all lost and so will Dave.
Dave also says, “It’s about getting rid of bullies!!”, which apparently includes anyone with a view different from his.
I’ve been called most names, many twice, but never a bully.
As a life-long union advocate I have been consistently drawn to support the underdog. Many local members can attest to that fact. Human rights transcend, or should transcend personal feelings-if it’s right, it’s right.
But the absolute worst reason to censor union members is because it plays right into the hands of management.
They can come along and say “we are going to censor the Union because you do the same to your own members.”
And they would be right.
There goes union information posted or discussed in the firehouse and union representation too, and the Local made it possible.
If the Local is truly democratic, or at least aspires to be, Dave and people like him should be told to calm down and learn to respect the fundamental rights of others.
Turnout won’t go away from censorship but the Local will be weakened as a result.
The Local is stronger because of free expression of ideas.