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Rasmea Odeh at Detroit sentencing: ‘We will continue to struggle for our cause! We will liberate our Palestine!’

Thu, 2017-08-17 21:12

Detroit, MI - Palestinian American icon Rasmea Odeh made her final court appearance in Detroit on August 17. Odeh knew the sentence before she arrived. The defense and prosecution agreed to a sentence of removal from the U.S., and Judge Gerswhin Drain approved. Odeh was looking forward to making her public statement before the court.

Defense attorney Michael Deutsch spoke first, explaining how beloved and respected Rasmea Odeh is in Chicago, and all the good work with Palestinian immigrant women and their families. Deutsch explained, “This case should never have been brought.”

Then U.S. prosecutor Jonathan Tukel responded by talking about terrorism charges and that she was found guilty of fraud, but failing to mention Odeh’s successful appeal.

Finally Odeh was invited to speak. 150 Rasmea Odeh supporters who came to rally in pouring rain packed the courtroom and nearly filled the overflow room where they watched on large video monitors. Odeh addressed Judge Drain, saying her remarks were not directed at him personally, and she appreciated being allowed to tell her story.

In an effort to give context to why she was on trial, Odeh began to explain how her family, village, and people were forced at gunpoint from their homes and land, with many being shot and murdered by Zionists. “They turned us into a stranger in our own country. They pushed us into refugee camps in Palestine and other Arab countries.”

Judge Drain interrupted, saying the case is about false statements on applications, not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Not missing a beat, Odeh replied by looking over at prosecutor Tukel and saying, “I am not a terrorist. My people are not terrorists. I want to prove that we are not terrorists.”

She added, “The U.S. must be held responsible for their support and financing of Israeli crimes.”

Drain interrupts again, backhandedly threatening Odeh with contempt of court, and repeating what he said, but adding “I don’t want to hear any more about this Israel-Paki...Palestine.”

There were three interruptions by Judge Drain, but when Odeh finished, the overflow room clapped and cheered for her.

Odeh now must report to ICE and work out a plan with them. Fight Back! will follow and report on this as details are revealed. Odeh will spend no time in jail, Judge Drain released her bond, and she loses her citizenship prior to being deported.

As 150 people rallied outside the Detroit court, Rasmea Odeh spoke in Arabic, saying, “I am angry the judge did not let me tell my story. This is not a case about lying on a form. It is a case of being Palestinian and our work in the community. It is political.”

She finished saying, “The U.S. is a partner in the crimes of Israel. We will continue to struggle for our cause! We will liberate our Palestine!”

Celebran Fidel Castro y revolución cubana en Costa Rica

Thu, 2017-08-17 15:55

San José, Costa Rica - Con motivo de la celebración de los 91 años del nacimiento del Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz un grupo de organizaciones costarricenses se reunieron por la tarde el pasado 12 de agosto, en la sede del sindicato UNDECA, en el centro de la capital, San José. La actividad fue convocada por la Embajada de Cuba en Costa Rica y por el Comité Costarricense de Solidaridad con Cuba.

Se contó con una participación de 100 personas, entre los que se encontraban miembros de organizaciones amigas de Cuba, residentes cubanos y diplomáticos de las embajadas de Cuba, Venezuela y Bolivia.

La actividad contó con diferentes momentos, inicio con las palabras del coordinador del Comité Costarricense de Solidaridad con Cuba, compañero Bruno Coto, el cual dirigido un saludo a la revolución Cubana y su principal dirigente Fidel Castro Ruz. Posteriormente, el exdiputado Sergio Erick Ardón, en el discurso central de la actividad, se refirió a su experiencia y amistad con la revolución cubana. También dirigió unas palabras el señor Michel Ravelo, como representante de la Embajada de Cuba en Costa Rica, agradeciendo las muestras de solidaridad y compromiso con la revolución Cubana y contra el bloqueo económico a su país.

Como parte central de este acto, las compañeras Magda Solís y Ana Robles, ambas del Comité Costarricense de Solidaridad con Cuba, hicieron entrega de una placa que identificará a la Biblioteca Fidel Castro Ruz del Liceo de Poas, una institución pública rural de segunda enseñanza, que logró gracias a la iniciativa de su bibliotecario, Vladimir Murillo, que la biblioteca lleve el nombre del Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana.

Finalmente, la actividad concluyó como toda una fiesta, donde el pastel con velitas y el canto de “feliz cumpleaños Fidel”, unieron a todas y a todos los participantes compartiendo diferentes muestras de cariño y solidaridad entre los pueblos de América Latina.

Costa Rica celebrates Fidel Castro’s birthday and Cuban revolution

Thu, 2017-08-17 15:54

San José, Costa Rica - A group of organizations gathered at the office of the UNDECA union in the center of the capital San José on the evening of August 12 to celebrate Fidel Castro Ruz’s 91st birthday. The Cuban Embassy in Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Cuba organized the event.

100 people participated in the celebration. Among them were members of pro-Cuba organizations, Cubans who live in Costa Rica, and diplomats from Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.

The activity began with words from Bruno Coto, the coordinator of the Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, who saluted the Cuban revolution and its principal leader Fidel Castro Ruz. Then former Deputy Sergio Erick Ardón spoke, referring to his experiences and friendship with the Cuban revolution. Michel Ravelo also shared some words as representative of the Cuban embassy in Costa Rica, thanking people for their solidarity and commitment to the Cuban revolution and against the economic blockade of his country.

As part of the celebration, Magda Solís and Ana Robles, both members of the Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, presented a plaque for the Fidel Castro Ruz Library at the Liceo de Poas rural public secondary school. Due to the initiative of its librarian Vladimir Murillo, the library there will now be named after the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution.

Finally the activity ended with a party with cake and candles and singing “Happy birthday Fidel”, bringing together all the participants in showing affection and solidarity among all the peoples of Latin America.

Chicago protest in solidarity with Charlottesville: ‘Drive Trump from office!’

Wed, 2017-08-16 22:59

Chicago, IL — 1000 protesters gathered in Chicago to protest the murder of Heather Heyer and the injuring of 19 others by American Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12.

“Donald Trump is the commander in chief of white supremacist terrorism,” called out Frank Chapman at the start of the rally in Federal Plaza. “We call for driving Trump from office by a mass movement of the people.”

Chapman, field organizer of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, explained the demands of the protest. “We demand that the Department of Justice root out, arrest, indict, prosecute, and jail the leaders of this racist conspiracy against our democracy.”

“In Chicago, we have a problem with white supremacist attacks, but they come from the Chicago police,” said Nesreen Hasan of the Arab American Action Network in her speech. A popular chant during the march was, “Cops and Klan go hand in hand!”

The coalition behind the protest included Black Lives Matter, Assata’s Daughters, Arab American Action Network, Organized Communities Against Deportations, the Filipino youth group Anakbayan, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Farewell rally for Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian icon

Wed, 2017-08-16 22:28

Chicago, IL - A standing room only crowd of over 1200 people packed the International Union of Operating Engineers hall for the August 12 farewell event in honor of Palestinian liberation icon Rasmea Odeh. The hosts were those forces that had worked tirelessly on her behalf for four years: the Rasmea Defense Committee, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), and the Coalition to Protect People’s Rights.

Guests were energetically greeted by volunteers: two dozen Arab American, African American and Latino youth from the community in which Rasmea has organized for more than a decade. The emcees, Hatem Abudayyeh and Nesreen Hasan of USPCN, thanked and acknowledged each of the 50 local and national organizations that endorsed the event.

As the lights dimmed on stage, Nesreen introduced a special video by Tom Callahan. Photos of Rasmea at community events flashed across the projector screens to the soundtrack of a powerful poem in Arabic and English by Rania Salem about Rasmea and Palestinian liberation. The video also featured interviews with community organizers who worked closely with Rasmea, including Fatmah Tabally of the Arab American Action Network and Rosi Carrasco of Organized Communities Against Deportations.

Emcee Nesreen Hasan highlighted that one of Rasmea’s greatest accomplishments as a community organizer was founding the over 800-member Arab Women’s Committee (AWC). In Arabic, Maysoon Gharbieh gave a moving speech about her experience in the AWC, explaining how it provided both an environment where she was comfortable to share her struggles as an immigrant Arab woman and the skills to challenge the racist attacks against her community.

Between speakers, political hip-hop artists Rebel Diaz and Shadia Mansour electrified the crowd with songs that praised resistance to political repression, police crimes, and the U.S.-Israeli occupation. Local singing duo KoStar performed the poignant Chi City Goddamn Goddamn, about the infamous Chicago police murder of Laquan McDonald.

Meredith Aby of CSFR spoke passionately about the mass mobilization of hundreds of supporters to every one of Rasmea’s Detroit and Cincinnati court hearings in her fight against persecution by the U.S. Attorney. Aby emphasized the major victory brought by these mobilizations: Rasmea will not be forced to spend a single day in prison or immigration detention. The goal of the U.S. government was a minimum sentence of five to seven years. Rasmea's legal team was also brought on stage and honored with awards for its incredible defense work.

Rasmea Odeh: The case of a Palestinian hero

After living in this country for 20 years, Rasmea was charged in 2013 with an immigration violation that was always just a pretext to criminalize the Palestine liberation movement.

The U.S. government alleges Rasmea did not disclose her ‘conviction’ in Palestine by an Israeli military court over 48 years ago. She was captured in a mass arrest of 500 Palestinians, and found guilty based on a confession coerced through torture, including electric shock and sexual assault.

Rasmea testified about her torture at the United Nations when she was released in 1979. Her lead attorney Michael Deutsch of the People’s Law Office insisted, “It was well known that she was convicted...The U.S. Embassy knew it, the State Department knew it, and Immigration should have known it.”

Through the massive organized defense campaign to win justice for Rasmea, the U.S.-backed state of Israel has been put on trial, and its policy of torture and sexual assault is on permanent record in a U.S. court of law.

African American-Palestinian solidarity

The entire hall shook with thunderous applause as keynote speaker and former African American political prisoner, Dr. Angela Davis, took the stage. For many years, Davis has been a vocal supporter of the Palestine liberation movement against the U.S.-Israeli occupation. It was Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which was formed out of the struggle to free Angela Davis in the early 1970s, who raised Rasmea’s case to Davis.

Chapman was awarded for his commitment to African American-Palestinian solidarity, and he then introduced Davis to the stage. To a crowd of raised solidarity fists, Davis exclaimed, "Many of us are sad and angry that we could not achieve a complete victory in Rasmea’s case. As Fidel used to say, ‘We will turn a defeat into a victory!’”

Davis added that while Rasmea will be forced to leave her community by the U.S. government, her case has been raised to the national and international level, creating a base of mass support to resist future political attacks against the Palestinian and Arab American communities of Chicago and beyond.

As Rasmea graced the stage, she was greeted with a standing ovation and cheers for several minutes. She made a pledge of continued resistance, that no matter where she will go, she will always fight for Palestinian liberation.

The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging everyone to join us in Detroit on August 17 at 1:30 p.m., to show our love and support for Rasmea at her sentencing in Federal Court, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd. This will be her last court appearance and Rasmea is planning to make a statement.

1000 march in Minneapolis, oppose white supremacist attack in Charlottesville

Wed, 2017-08-16 10:39

Minneapolis, MN - More than 1000 people marched here August 14 to oppose white supremacy and honor the dead and injured in the aftermath of a white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. The lead banner of the march read, “Minnesota against white supremacy.” Several protesters carried poster-sized images of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old anti-racist murdered by a white supremacist in the August 12 attack.

The protest began with a rally outside of the Minnesota Republican Party office on Franklin Avenue, where speakers made the connection between the violent attacks by white supremacists and the racist policies and statements of Donald Trump.

The growing crowd then marched through the heavily Somali and East African immigrant neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside chanting, “When Muslims are under attack! What do we do? Stand up, fight back!” and “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

Many people came out in the streets to take pictures, wave, and join the march. One of Trump's last election campaign stops was in Minneapolis, where he specifically attacked Somali immigrants, claiming they pose a dangerous threat. Trump sent U.S. troops of the 101st Airborne Division to intervene in Somalia in April this year. In Minneapolis, the Somali community is the target of ongoing FBI and Department of Homeland Security surveillance and repression thru programs like Countering Violent Extremism (CVE).

Speakers pointed out some of the recent crimes committed locally by white supremacists. On August 5, in Bloomington, a first-ring suburb of the Twin Cities, the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center was bombed. In 2015, white supremacist Allen “Lance” Scarcella shot five African American men during a protest of the police murder of Jamar Clark. So far in 2017, right-wing racists have held at least three rallies at state capitol, which were drowned out by counter-protesters.

The large crowd then marched to downtown Minneapolis, stopping in front of the office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL). In a challenge to Democrats, the speaker there demanded a 'zero tolerance' policy on the open functioning of white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations in the U.S. and Minnesota.

Protesters then proceeded to the Hennepin County Jail and Minneapolis City Hall. Sheriff Richard Stanek, who has a history of racism, runs the jail. Stanek is currently under fire from Latino community activists for his active cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Sheriff Stanek is giving ICE full access to the county jail, leading to the deportation of large numbers of immigrants.

After the program ended, protesters nearby set fire to an effigy emblazoned with swastikas. They also raised an anti-fascist flag on a flagpole in front of the county jail.

Protester Linden Gawboy stated, “I was there to say that we are ready to fight against these loser white supremacists. We can’t be silent. We can’t hope them away, we can’t pray them away. We have to fight fire with fire.”

Many local groups turned out, including Communities United Against Police Brutality, Filipinx for Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice in MN (FIRM), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Anti-War Committee, The New North, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC), IWW General Defense Committee, AFSCME Local 2822, and the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar.

Thousands of Utahns at anti-racist rally in solidarity with Charlottesville

Tue, 2017-08-15 23:17

Salt Lake City, UT — In the wake of the brutal Nazi attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, Utahns gathered in downtown Salt Lake City. They condemned American fascists and racists, and called on people to fight back against the rise of right-wing terrorism and hate.

Moroni Benally, who organized the event with the Utah League of Native American Voters, told the crowd that he was saddened but not surprised by the events in Charlottesville, pointing out that people of color face attacks on their lives and communities almost daily. He asked the crowd to be “a bulwark against hate.”

After leading the crowd in a moment of silence, Banally finished by saying, “Take a stand against Nazism! Take a stand against fascism! We will not tolerate it! We will not allow it to exist!”

Over 2000 people attended the August 14 event, held at Washington Square, despite a threatening rainstorm. Demonstrators carried signs that read “White silence = white violence,” “Make Nazis afraid,” and “End white supremacy!”

A number of speakers took to the stage to point out the long history of white supremacy in the U.S.

“The policies and actions that the U.S. has employed to oppress, exploit and murder Black and brown people living inside its borders have always been one of the greatest inspirations to fascists in every corner of the world,” said Ian De Olivera, an organizer with Utah Against Police Brutality.

Speaker Brooks Bergman, with Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Utah, spoke to a recent incident where white supremacist posters were placed around the school’s student center. Bergman said that Students need to fight this type of provocation on their campuses.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes tried to address the crowd, but was shouted off the stage by protesters chanting, “We want justice!” Earlier in the day, Reyes had praised Trump’s hollow and belated statement on the Charlottesville attack. Reyes has also supported the racist movement to turn over sacred Native American lands in southern Utah to oil and gas developers.

A small number of right-wing types appeared, but were quickly chased off by the anti-racist demonstrators.

Other speakers included representatives from Racially Just Utah, Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue & Organizing Support, the Utah Women of Color Council, Equality Utah, as well as local activists and politicians.

Jacksonville rallies for Charlottesville

Tue, 2017-08-15 19:24

Jacksonville, FL — 200 people gathered at Memorial Park on August 13 in support of the victims of the right-wing attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. The call for an emergency rally came after reports from major news outlets about Nazis marching at the University of Virginia. The Nazi march the next day left Heather Heyer dead, and many others wounded.

“We saw white supremacy for what it really was on Saturday. This is not something that is brand new. This is something that has been growing for a while now. We would be foolish to respond to this violence with inaction,” read a statement by University of North Florida Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), delivered by Tony Alvarez.

The protesters at this event braved the rain and wind to stand in solidarity with the victims in Charlottesville. They chanted, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA,” and “No justice, no peace.” There were speakers from various local community organizations, then a candlelight vigil to remember Heather Heyer. Heyer was killed by white supremacist James Alex Fields, who drove his car through a crowd of progressive and leftist counter-demonstrators.

Protesters march at pretrial hearing of cop who killed Laquan McDonald

Tue, 2017-08-15 16:28

Chicago, IL - Over 100 protesters marched on the Cook County Court building for a pretrial hearing in the murder proceedings against Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke. Dash cam video showed Van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, 16 times.

The hearing resulted in a ruling by the judge that prosecutors can use statements by the Fraternal Order of the Police, the organization which represents the cops, which in turn came from Van Dyke. The protesters were demanding an end to the stalling tactics, and that the judge set a trial date. They called for Van Dyke to be convicted and imprisoned for the October 2014 brutal, racist murder of the 17-year-old teenager.

San José stands with Charlottesville

Tue, 2017-08-15 14:16

San José, CA — On August 13, more than 500 people rallied outside the San José City Hall in solidarity with the fight against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia. The candlelight rally honored Heather Heyer, who was killed by an American fascist from Ohio. San Jose activists spoke in solidarity with the 19 others injured when the fascist drove his car at high speed into people protesting the white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville.

Masao Suzuki of Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC) spoke of the rising resistance to Donald Trump and the white supremacists he emboldens. Suzuki led the crowd in a Japanese chant, “Ganbatte!” (Persevere in the struggle!).

The San Jose rally was organized by Women’s March – San José and STAND San José. It included speakers from Rise Up for Justice and Showing Up for Racial Justice. Reverend Jennifer Goto from People Acting in Community Together (PACTS) and Zahra Billoo of Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) also spoke of the fight against white supremacy.



Hundreds march in Milwaukee, stand with Charlottesville

Tue, 2017-08-15 00:27

Milwaukee, WI — Over 500 people marched through Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood to stand in solidarity with the wounded protesters in Charlottesville and to remember Heather Heyer, the young woman murdered by a Nazi. The rally was called by the local chapters of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

The crowd gathered in a park outside the Riverwest Public House, a bar co-op that is the go-to spot for the neighborhood’s left-wing community. Speaker after speaker condemned the violence from the fascists, and called for people to continue to rally against their rise.

Many connected this rise to the far-right policies and rhetoric of the Trump administration.

“Neo-Nazis have been emboldened by President Trump,” said Ny Khamo, a speaker for Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). “The leaders of the march were rich white, college-educated men who knew exactly what they were doing. We need to stand united against these vicious attacks. We’re not going anywhere when we are the ones who make this country run. We will fight for what’s ours.”

Other speakers connected to violence in Charlottesville to Milwaukee’s own history of fascist violence, particularly the murder of six Sikh worshipers by a neo-Nazi five years ago.

After the speeches, the rally turned into a march through the surrounding neighborhood. Their spirit was determined and boisterous as the marchers loudly chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” Everywhere you looked, neighbors were leaning out windows and standing in doorways, joining the chants and cheering the marchers on. Two men heckled the marchers, but it only made them chant louder.

The march ended back at the park where it started. Many stayed after spending time with each other and discussing the next steps forward.

Jacksonville rallies for Palestine, demands Israel stop bombing Gaza

Tue, 2017-08-15 00:19

Jacksonville, FL — Three dozen gathered in front of the Duval County Courthouse on August 11 in support of Palestine. The call for a protest came after reports began circulating on social media that Israel had bombed neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip on August 8. Israeli bombs targeted areas filled with Palestinian civilians and four were injured, one very seriously.

The emergency mobilization urged people to support the struggle for Palestinian liberation and an end to Zionist occupation. The crowd chanted,” From Ferguson to Palestine! Occupation is a crime!” and “Free! Free! Palestine!”

“We encourage folks to get involved with the first rally held by Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network. We offer space to make that possible,” said 19-year-old Sara Mahmoud, a local Palestine activist with Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC).

Mahmoud explained, “Based on current estimates, Gaza will be unlivable as early as 2018, and as late as 2020. Palestinians have been resisting ethnic cleansing and genocide since 1948, 70 years in 2018. It is time for people to get strategized in fighting Zionism, a heinous form of settler-colonialism.”

Michael Sampson, also with JCAC, said, “It’s important for us in Jacksonville to stand in solidarity with our friends and comrades organizing for liberation in Palestine. The struggle for police accountability in Jacksonville, and the struggle to end Israeli Apartheid and liberate Palestine are all part of a larger movement for a more just world.”

Members of several groups attended the rally, including Students for Justice for Palestine at UNF, Students for a Democratic Society at UNF, Take ‘Em Down Jax, the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition, and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC).

Tallahassee: 400 stand in solidarity with Charlottesville

Tue, 2017-08-15 00:14

Tallahassee, FL — On August 13, over 400 students and community members rallied on the steps of Tallahassee’s historic Old Capitol building in solidarity with the victims of white supremacist terror in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“On Saturday August 12, an anti-fascist protest in Charlottesville was attacked by neo-Nazis, murdering 32-year-old protester Heather Heyer and injuring 30 others. During the protest, the white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. accelerated his car into the crowd. This is a wake-up call; the far-right is dangerous and is carrying out violent terrorist attacks,” read a statement by Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

The protesters chanted in the rain, “Charlottesville means, we got to fight back!” and “No hate! No bigotry! End white supremacy!”

“It was important to show up tonight because these white supremacists already have the upper hand on us. They have organization, they have power, they have political structure. We need to show them their days are numbered. We need to show them we have a militant resistance to them,” said Maddie Hen, a member of SDS.

Protesters held signs reading, “From Charlottesville to Gaza, stop fascism,” “White silence is violence,” and “Punch Nazis.”

Satya Stark-Bejnar lead the protesters in song, It Could Have Been Me, But Instead It was You and Step by Step the Longest March. Bejnar then led a short moment of silence for Heather Heyer — the woman murdered by white supremacist James Alex Field Jr.

The crowd marched down College Avenue to the Francis Eppes statue on Florida State University campus. Katherine Draken explained, “The Francis Eppes statue is as much a symbol of racism as the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. Both honor people who upheld slavery and provide figureheads for white supremacists to rally around. We need to remove these symbols of hate and remember the victims of slavery and genocide, not the perpetrators.”

At the end of the protest, the organizers of the event urged protesters to continue the fight against white supremacy. A tradition of Tallahassee SDS, the rally ended with the quote by Assata Shakur that begins, “We have a duty to fight for our freedom.”

South Floridians rally for peace in Korea

Sun, 2017-08-13 17:41

Fort Lauderdale, FL - South Florida anti-war activists held protests in two locations on August 12. In Fort Lauderdale and North Miami Beach, protesters spoke out against the Trump administration’s threats toward the DPRK (north Korea).

The Fort Lauderdale protest was called for by POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism). 15 people gathered in front of the Federal Building holding a banner that read, “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation.” Some signs at the protest read, “Trump: We won’t fight your wars” and “World War III – shut it down!”

Henry Calway, an anti-war organizer from Boynton Beach, said after the protest, “It’s important for people in the imperialist countries to defend the sovereignty of oppressed peoples. Trump’s threats against the DPRK will be met with a wave of resistance at home and abroad. That’s what this demonstration was for.”

The organizers of the rallies in Fort Lauderdale and Miami agreed to hold a future event against possible war with the DPRK outside of Trump’s golf course and resort in Doral, Florida.


Freedom Road Socialist Organization condemns white supremacist attack in Charlottesville

Sat, 2017-08-12 20:09

Freedom Road Socialist Organization condemns the racist right-wing attack that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12.

Protesters opposing a white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally faced a vicious attack. As protesters gathered near a downtown mall in Charlottesville, a grey car drove at high speed into the crowd of activists, killing at least one and injuring at least 19 others.

This sickening crime is part of the rise in white supremacists since the election of Donald Trump. His presidency has emboldened forces like white nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK. The protesters in Charlottesville were correct to oppose these forces, and everyone who loves peace, freedom and equality should continue to oppose this racist and reactionary movement by whatever means fitting and necessary.

Across the country, organizers are calling for emergency actions to stand in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization calls upon the entire movement to support those in Charlottesville anyway they can. Those of us fighting for a better world must continue to oppose right-wing bigots and oppose white supremacists in whatever guise they take. All of our thoughts and concerns turn towards the people of Charlottesville as we continue the fight for peace and justice in an unjust world. The racists and reactionaries will pay for their crimes.


Minneapolis protest says ‘No U.S. war in Korea’

Sat, 2017-08-12 10:16

Minneapolis, MN - Over 40 people joined a Minneapolis protest on August 11 to speak out against the growing danger of a new U.S. war in Korea.

The protest, initiated by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) was organized with two days’ notice as the Trump administration escalated its war threats against north Korea.

A statement issued by organizers said in part, "This week President Trump and his administration have made serious threats of launching an attack on north Korea. We believe that time may be short to speak out against the danger of a new U.S. war. The voice of the people must intervene before the warmakers in Washington unleash a new war."

The statement went on to say, "For north Korea, years of massive U.S. military maneuvers can only be seen as a threat. North Korea (DPRK), through its rocket and military development programs, has been acting in response to U.S. military exercises on its border that simulate nuclear attacks and assassination campaigns. North Korea has said it is willing to stop testing missiles if the U.S. stops its military exercises. The U.S. must negotiate, not escalate!"

The protest was endorsed by Anti-War Committee, Mayday Books, St. Joan of Arc Peacemakers, St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace, Women Against Military Madness and others.

A number of anti-war protests have been called in cities around the country to speak out against the U.S. war moves.

Stephanie Taylor of the Anti-War Committee told the crowd, “We need to act now to oppose the demonization of north Korea and its leaders. Rationally defending your country against the U.S. who has been trying to destroy your country for decades is not crazy, it is sane. We need to push back against the U.S. being the world’s policemen and calling the shots on what other countries should be able to determine for themselves. North Korea hasn’t provoked this war.”

Alan Dale, a member of MPAC said, "The protest this afternoon is part of building a powerful anti-war response to the war moves of Trump and the Pentagon."

At the conclusion of the protest, future anti-war events were announced, including plans for a Minneapolis protest on Saturday, October 7 to mark 16 years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, under the call of “Stop Endless U.S. Wars.”

PFLP condemns EU court’s decision to keep Hamas on 'terror' list

Fri, 2017-08-11 16:16

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) condemned the decision of the European Court of Justice to keep the Hamas movement on the European Union’s “terrorist” list.

The Front emphasized that the Hamas movement is part of the Palestinian national liberation movement and like other Palestinian movements exercises its legitimate right to resist the occupation, as underlined by international law and conventions.

The Front added that the Zionist enemy is the main center of terrorism in the region and deserves the terror label as it continues to occupy Palestinian land and commit real war crimes against the Palestinian people on a constant basis.

North Korea says Trump talks a 'load of nonsense,' mulls missile test landing in waters near Guam

Thu, 2017-08-10 23:56

Washington D.C. – According to a report from the Korean Central News Agency, General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) released an August 9 statement condemning U.S. President Trump for letting “out a load of nonsense about ‘fire and fury,’ failing to grasp the ongoing grave situation.”

The statement also notes, “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”

According to the statement, the Korean People’s Army (KPA) is drawing up a plan to simultaneously fire off four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets into the ocean around the U.S.-occupied island of Guam, in order “to signal a crucial warning to the U.S.”

The statement continues, “The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi Prefectures of Japan. They will fly 3356.7 km for 1065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam.”

The leadership of the DPRK is expected to decide on the plan in mid-August.

Meanwhile in the U.S., protests against a war on Korea are being organized in a number of cities.

Anti-imperialists meet in Canada

Thu, 2017-08-10 23:42

Toronto, Canada - 290 anti-imperialist activists from 120 organizations and 21 countries attended the Solidarity and Fightback Conference sponsored by the International League for People’s Struggle - International Women’s Alliance Solidarity in Toronto August 4 - 7. The conference theme was “Building Resistance to US-led War, Militarism and Neofascism.”

A sizable number of participants were young, energetic Filipinos from the anti-imperialist organizations Gabriela and Akbayan.

The conference was opened by a video messages of greetings and support from Jose Sison, chairman of the International League for People’s Struggle (ILPS) and Leila Khaled, Palestinian liberation icon and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Panels featuring leaders of struggles against U.S. imperialism from the Philippines, Middle East, Congo, Mexico, Pakistan and across the world described the struggles in their countries and their movements’ resistance to it.

Margaret Kimberly of Black Agenda Report spoke at length about the Black liberation struggle. She talked about the importance of the campaigns for community control of police in Chicago and Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Nerissa Allegretti, of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, said, “I had the opportunity to join the workshop on Militarism and Counterinsurgency and listened to speakers Sarah Martin, Bill Doares, Rania Masri, Potri Ranka Manis and Padi Rex. It gave me a sharp picture of how counterinsurgency has consistently been a tool of maintaining imperialism in many forms; FBI raids and targeting of anti-war activists, using religion to divide the people, criminalization of liberation movements, and rape and kidnapping.”

A march to the U.S. consulate was held on August 6, the anniversary of the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Marchers chanted in Spanish, French, Tagalog and English. The march then went to and joined the public commemoration of that horrific war crime.

The last day of the conference, Wilmer Barrientos, the ambassador of Venezuela to Canada spoke. He debunked the widespread misinformation on the current political unrest in his country that is being propagated by Western media.

He went on to say, “What about Iraq, Syria and Libya? They [the U.S.] said, ‘Let’s liberate them.’ But do they live better than before? Many live on less than $1 a day. They want to impose this same intervention on Venezuela because we are a sovereign country that decides where our natural resources go.”

The conference ended with a call to action including all out for Rasmea Odeh in Chicago Saturday, August 12 for her going away party and in Detroit on Thursday, August 17 for her sentencing.

The next international ILPS conference will be in Mexico next summer.

Marianne Hamilton presente!

Thu, 2017-08-10 14:47

Minneapolis, MN - Marianne Hamilton, 97, a long time, highly respected, and much loved anti-war activist died Saturday August 5. Along with Polly Mann, Marianne founded Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) years ago. Polly recalls she was the model of how to do peace work, that “she was a light to all of us.”

Marianne was very active opponent of the U.S. war on Vietnam. She twice journeyed to north Vietnam during the war, dodging bombs by running into ditches and holding meetings with the people of the country. She traveled with a delegation that included David Dellinger, Cora Weiss, William Sloane Coffin and Richard Falk, as well as family members, who were to bring three American prisoners of war home. Polly Mann recalls that while there, she learned of the tiger cages used by the South Vietnamese and U.S. to hold Viet Cong prisoners of war. She helped bring worldwide attention to this despicable war crime.

Marianne successfully helped many draft resisters get to Canada, hiding them in her home and garage despite being watched by the FBI.

After the Vietnam War, Marianne traveled worldwide. She became WAMM’s international representative as she met with officials and peace and women’s groups, often organizing delegations to many war-torn areas of the world. Countries she visited include many in Asia and Central America, the Philippines, India and Yemen.

Marianne remained highly regarded in Vietnam and made many trips back to the country to visit friends including Madame Binh, the Vice President of Viet Nam who had negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference on behalf of the National Liberation Front.

She had a deep and clear understanding of U.S. intervention and opposed it in Yugoslavia, Tibet and Syria.

In October 2007 Marianne was honored by the Minnesota History Center in a festival of ten-minute films about Minnesota’s greatest generation. Marianne Hamilton: Voice of Peace, produced and directed by Kevin KcKeever, tells of the making of a peace activist. Marianne’s papers are housed at the Minnesota Historical Society under the category of Vietnam War Protests.

Alan Dale, member of Minnesota Peace Action Coalition said, “Marianne was a consistent, thoughtful and decent person. She had great courage to explore and face the world as it is and to work to change it.”

Karen Hanson, long-time friend said, “I admired Marianne from the first day I met her in WAMM. During the U.S./Contra war in Nicaragua, Marianne and I formed a Commission of Inquiry to go and investigate. We traveled in a van with eight women through Contra-infested territory to meet with the wives and families of Sandinista soldiers who had been killed. Marianne was always a step ahead. They worried the driver might be shot, so she sat next to the driver and watched how to drive the van in case something happened.”

Diana Johnstone, a Paris-based journalist writes, “I first met Marianne in 1970 when she vigorously joined our group of 30 independent Americans who went to Paris to meet the Vietnamese delegations to the peace talks, which were then bogged down by U.S. stalling. Our message to the Vietnamese and to the folks back in Minnesota was that we too supported peace and independence for the Vietnamese people. Marianne’s outgoing nature was very suited for such encounters, and this must have been a high point in her lifelong effort to promote world peace. It is such actions that make a good life, and Marianne had a long and very good life.

“Young people today who seek purpose in their lives should follow her example of working for peace by making friends with people the U.S. government wishes to brand as enemies. This is work for life itself, that goes on after all individual deaths.”

Marianne Hamilton presente!