Jamie Glazov at FrontPage Magazine interviews Brigitte Gabriel today, and she tells us something we didn’t know. Her group, ACT! for America, was behind the deluge of phone calls that hit the Tyson plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee, when they tried to pacify their Somali employees by substituting a Muslim holiday for Labor Day. (Our posts on the issue are here.) Here’s the story:
Tyson Foods in Tennessee had caved to Muslim employees demands through the union to replace Labor Day as a holiday by the Islamic holy day of Eid el-Fitr. We were outraged that an American corporation would cave to such a demand. Labor Day Holiday is a part of the fabric of America. We sent out an email action alert to our members explaining the situation and giving them the telephone number of Tyson’s customer service department. Hundreds of people from around the country contacted Tyson. In few hours they shot down their phone lines.
In addition to notifying members to call Tyson, she used her media contacts:
We also have many producers of top TV news show who are subscribers to our action alerts. They aired the story to millions exposing Tyson’s decision. Because of the massive pressure on Tyson, three days later the company announced it had renegotiated the contract, restored Labor Day, and removed Eid al-Fitr as a paid holiday for all employees after next year.
What a great achievement, and a very meaningful one:
This is the power of an organized mass movement. We knew that this issue was very important because two major players were watching Tyson’s reaction: The Islamic Lobby and other American corporations. We wanted to send a message that the American public is alive and well and ready to take action. Americans are not going to lay down and play dead.
The main point of the interview is to show that an activist organization like hers is needed, and what it can accomplish. She says:
There are many fine organizations that have been researching and publishing information on this, some for many years. And that education and information is essential to our long-term prospects for victory. But it’s not sufficient. Education must be followed by organized action. I traveled the nation and abroad the last few years speaking about Islamic terrorism and realized that once people became educated, they were asking what can I do? Give me something to do because I want to make a difference.
We’ve got some activists who comment here and email us: journalists who write the truth, citizens who write letters and post comments in their local newspapers that educate others and those who write to their elected representatives, even people who are working in the belly of the beast — the volags and government agencies — who give us important information. All of your actions make a difference.
We previously posted on Brigitte Gabriel here.