Firefighters Slam Giuliani, Exclude Him from IAFF Bipartisan Debate

Brian Zick

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is hosting a bi-partisan Presidential Forum, and has invited all serious candidates from both political parties — except one: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Here's the explanation: Rest assured, our exclusion of Mayor Giuliani is not about any particular contractual or policy issue or disagreement, nor is it based on his unfriendly relationship with our New York City affiliates prior to 9/11 — which we will document and explain in additional correspondence later on during the campaign. In fact, we invited several candidates with whom we have had substantial disagreement on policy issues because we feel very strongly that our members have the right to hear from all candidates, not just those who tow the IAFF line.Regrettably, the situation with former Mayor Giuliani is very different. His actions post 9/11 rise to such an offensive and personal attack on our brother and sisterhood — and directly on our union — that the IAFF does not feel Rudy Giuliani deserves an audience of IAFF leaders and members at our own Presidential Forum.The disrespect that he exhibited to our 343 fallen FDNY brothers, their families and our New York City IAFF leadership in the wake of that tragic day has not been forgiven or forgotten. (…) Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time. There had been as many as 300 fire fighters at a time involved in search and recovery, but Giuliani cut that number to no more than 25 who could be there at once.In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giuliani also made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill.Our Local presidents at the time attempted to meet with the Mayor to stop this despicable treatment of those who perished, but he refused to even see them face-to-face.The scoop-and-dump continued. And when hundreds of family members of the fallen joined with our affiliate leadership and members to protest Giuliani's decision, he ordered senior officers of the New York Police Department to arrest 15 of our FDNY brothers, including a number of local elected IAFF leaders. via kos

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