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Updated: 1 day 7 hours ago

New York stands with Ahed Tamimi

Mon, 2018-02-19 17:02

New York, NY - About 40 activists gathered outside the Israeli Consulate on the afternoon of Feb. 18, as a part of the national day of action in solidarity with the Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi.

On Dec. 19, 2017, when Ahed Tamimi was 16 years old, she was arrested by Israeli occupation troops in the middle of the night. The charges against her was that she had slapped an IDF soldier while attempting to defend herself, her family and her country. Along with Ahed, her mother, Nariman Tamimi, was arrested later that day when she went to ask about her daughter. On Jan. 11, Mohammad Tamimi (Ahed’s cousin) was arrested from his home. On Jan. 22, her brother, Osama Tamimi, was also arrested. With each arrest it becomes more clear that Israeli forces are targeting the militant and brave Tamimi family, who are known for leading protests in their hometown, Nabi Saleh.

Currently, all the Tamimis who have been arrested are still incarcerated. Ahed Tamimi is facing trial as she is one of the hundreds of Palestinian children detained and imprisoned in Israeli prisons.

The New York activists strove to ensure that passersby and attendees understood the importance of supporting Ahed Tamimi. While the pro-Palestine activists were chanting, they were faced with pro-Zionist forces - a smattering of members from the Jewish Defense League (JDL).

The JDL members were aggressive and confrontational, attempting to distract the pro-Palestine forces as they continued chanting and rallying. At one point, they began pointing out members of the crowd who had previously identified themselves as Jewish, calling them “Hitler” and saying, “I’m glad Hitler killed your family.”

Despite the JDL, the spirits and resolve to stand in solidarity with Ahed Tamimi and her family remained strong.

The protest was called for by the Samiound Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and attended by different organizations from the NY4Palestine coalition, such as NYC Students for Justice in Palestine.

Michela Martinazzi, from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression NY, was the chant leader and MC of the event and closed out the evening with a mic check, “I’m so happy to see all of you this evening. It’s important that we keep fighting for, celebrating, and emulating Ahed Tamimi’s example. We will not stop protesting until she is free. I will see you next time!”

Angry Chicano community protests LAPD killing of Christian Escobedo

Mon, 2018-02-19 08:59

Los Angeles, CA - Over 50 angry people protested in front of the Los Angeles Police Department Boyle Heights Hollenbeck police station, Feb. 17. Cardboard signs with slogans like, “Justice for Christian Escobedo,” “Stop police brutality,” “Stop killing our youth,” and “De-escalation not violence” were waved at the people driving by and at the LAPD.

Christian Escobedo was a 22-year-old who was walking home at about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 14. Escobedo was a loving and caring person who was always willing to help anyone. He graduated from El Sereno Middle School and Lincoln High School. Then he worked as an office furniture installer.

The LAPD claims Escobedo and another person were resting on the sidewalk behind a car, near his home in El Sereno. Someone reported the two resting to the LAPD, which responded sending officers to confront Escobedo, shooting him without provocation. They claim they saw a gun, the other person ran, and they feared for their lives. Escobedo died when LAPD shot him four times.

“We hear of the recent mass shooting in Florida,” says Dafne Jacobs of Centro CSO. “And we hear that the shooter killed 17, and he walked away without so much as a scratch. But Christian Escobedo didn’t kill anyone, and LAPD took his life.”

Since February 2016, eight young Chicanos - including two teens - have been killed by the LAPD Hollenbeck station. The East L.A. Sheriffs have killed two Chicano men during this same time. Centro CSO in Boyle Heights has been fighting back against almost every one of these killings. This protest was organized by Escobedo’s family, friends, all from the neighborhood of Happy Valley, as well as Centro CSO. The crowd demanded accountability of the officers involved in Escobedo’s killing.

Sarah Escobedo, sister of Christian, stated, “Today’s event went beautifully and I hope it helped in getting our message across to LAPD. We will not stand idly by while our youth like my brother are taken from us. We need answers, and we need then now.”

The protest was moderated by Emily Velazquez of Centro CSO, who stated “It’s interesting to note that even though Christian had worked for the LA Sheriff's Central jail as a custody assistant, he would end up a victim of police brutality. It goes to show you that on the streets, no one is safe from them.”

The family and Centro CSO will continue to build the fight against the officers and to bring the energy from the protests to the May Day march in Boyle Heights. An organizing meeting will take place Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m., at the Benjamin Franklin Library, 2200 E 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. All are welcome

Marquez is a Chicana member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Centro CSO.

Huge turnouts expected for Feb. 24 Working People's Day of Action

Sat, 2018-02-17 22:03

Minneapolis, MN – Trade unions and their supporters are mobilizing for the Feb. 24 Working People's Day of Action. A major outpouring for workers’ rights is expected in cities across the U.S.

Cherrene Horazuk, president of the Minnesota’s AFSCME Local 3800 states, “Our local is calling upon all of our members, their friends, family, and coworkers to attend the Working People's Day of Action on Feb. 24. We are rallying against the billionaires and their thinktanks and their anti-union lackeys in the halls of Congress, in the courts, and in our workplaces that are trying to roll back the gains our unions have made for the working class.”

Horazuk continued, “Unions have fought and won a good quality of life for working people. Our unions have won the pay and benefits that make it possible to care for our families, send our kids to school and retire with dignity. Our unions have won respect and equality in the workplace for all workers, regardless of race, gender, disability, immigrant status. Every benefit and protection that working people have in the workplace is a result of our unions waging fierce fights against the bosses, through standing together in the workplace and in our communities.”

“Big corporations and the wealthy elite are on a mission to destroy our unions and the gains we have won for the working class. Janus is just the latest in a decades-long campaign to weaken the labor movement. But they will never succeed in destroying our movement. As long as the working class is being exploited for the profits our labor creates, our unions will organize and fight back,” Horazuk concluded.

Below are times and locations for some of the protests:

St. Paul, MN: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 10:30 AM

State Capitol Rotunda

75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

St. Paul, MN 55155

 

Chicago, IL: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 12:00 PM

Daley Plaza

50 W Washington St

Chicago, IL 60602

 

Phoenix, AZ: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 10:00 AM

Cesar Chavez Plaza

201 W Washington St.

Phoenix, AZ 85003

 

Houston, TX: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 1:00 PM

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

500 Clay St.

Houston, TX 77002

 

Miami, FL: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 10:30 AM

Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd

Miami, FL 33132

 

Orlando, FL: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 11:30 AM

Orange County CTA

1020 Webster St.

Orlando, FL 32804​

 

Madison, WI: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 1:00 PM

Capitol Square, Downtown Madison

2 E Main St

Madison, WI 53703

 

Detroit, MI: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 10:30 AM

Northwest Activities Center

18100 Meyers Rd

Detroit, MI 48235

 

Washington, DC: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 10:00 AM

Freedom Plaza

14th St and Pennsylvania Ave

Washington, DC 20004

 

New York, NY: Working People's Day of Action

February 24, 2018 • 11:00 AM

Foley Square

111 Worth Street

New York, NY 10013

 

For other locations or updates go to http://www.itsaboutfreedom.org/

New People’s Army condemns Duterte’s misogynist statements

Fri, 2018-02-16 11:37

The Melito Glor Command-New People’s Army Southern Tagalog (MGC-NPA ST) strongly condemns President Duterte’s vulgar, unethical and immoral statement where he urged that female guerrillas “must be shot in their private parts once captured.”

According to Jaime “Ka Diego” Padilla, spokesperson of MGC – NPA ST, “His series of statements against women even before his statement regarding our female red fighters are irresponsible sexist remarks unbecoming of a leader.”

Duterte previously stated that he will allow his soldiers to repeatedly rape women during the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

Comrade Kathryn, a female red fighter of the MGC-NP ST, also condemned his statement, “He is a deranged president who is ignorant of women’s role in the society, further proving his incompetence in office.”

MGC-NP ST also expressed concern that more women in the countryside will be victims of sexual violence and abuses by the mercenary Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and other paramilitary groups in the conduct of their military operations.

Ka Diego said, “His statement gives further license to military, police and paramilitaries to conduct heinous crimes and sexual violations against militant Filipino women in the countryside in an attempt to suppress their revolutionary sentiments.”

Ka Diego explained that human rights violations and sexual abuses against women will continue under Duterte’s fascist and tyrannical rule and the rotten system in the country.

“Men and women alike should stand together to fight the atrocities of the U.S.-Duterte regime and forward their struggle to overthrow and end the fascist and tyrannical U.S.-Duterte regime,” Ka Diego concluded.

MGC-NP ST calls the Filipino people to unite and triumph the people’s democratic revolution and establish a people’s government that genuinely respects people’s social, economic and democratic rights.

Tampa demands sanctuary campus, clean DREAM Act

Tue, 2018-02-13 15:23

Tampa, FL - Student activists gathered Feb. 12 to demand the University of South Florida administration make USF a sanctuary campus and push local Representative Kathy Castor to support a Clean Dream Act in Congress. The event was hosted by Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and featured several speakers. Some of the topics addressed included why people immigrate here, Trump’s attacks on the undocumented and Muslim communities, and how to make USF a sanctuary campus. Students stopped to listen to speeches and join in the chanting.

SDS activist Will Blake spoke on why people leave their homelands. “In many cases, we are responsible for those immigrating. They are fleeing many of our invasions, they're fleeing our war on drugs, our assassinations, our coup d’etats.”

Tampa Bay SDS’s current campaign is to make USF a sanctuary campus. Tampa Bay SDS is specifically demanding: legal support for undocumented and Muslim students, non-cooperation with ICE and DHS, and a refusal to give out personal information to these government agencies.

Tampa Bay SDS will continue the fight for undocumented and Muslim students on campus and will be hosting another protest March 5; Trump’s deadline for DACA.

Protest: Visa denial to the WFTU General Secretary by the USA government

Tue, 2018-02-13 09:42

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

As World Federation of Trade Unions, we denounce the government of the USA which has denied granting to the WFTU General Secretary George Mavrikos an entry visa to the US.

The WFTU General Secretary has scheduled a visit to the USA for March 2018 to attend an event of the United Nations in New York, where he is a permanent representative of the WFTU, and to participate as main speaker in the annual trade union meeting of Trade Union Organizations members and friends of WFTU that will take place the same month in Los Angeles, USA.

We followed the procedure of ESTA but unfortunately the persistent answer from the competent USA state authorities was negative.

This position of the US Department of State is antidemocratic and aims at preventing the free trade union action and the strengthening of the militant trade union movement of the workers in the USA. At the same time, it is a deliberated discrimination against the WFTU and against its right to fulfill its role within the United Nations, a role that has possessed since 1945. The USA governments do not like the consistent anti-imperialist, anti-monopolist line of the WFTU, and they think that through antidemocratic prohibitions they will stop our internationalist action in favor of the peoples who struggle to decide on their own, in a free and democratic way, about their present and future. But they will never manage this, no matter how many anti-democratic, racist discriminations they make against the international militant trade union movement.

We also addressed the embassy of the USA in Athens without receiving a positive answer.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece was also informed, but the coalition government of SYRIZA and of far-rightist ANEL neither wants nor is able to assure the right of free movement of the citizens of Greece to the USA.

At the same time, trade union organizations in the USA sent a letter of protest to the US Secretary of State, Mr. Tillerson, but until today no solution has been found.

The answer of the USA competent authorities to all these legal actions we proceeded to so as to issue a visa, was that we should apply to be exempted from the “Terrorist Travel” System.

These actions are provocative and unacceptable. The WFTU is a massive, class oriented, international Trade Union Organization with 92 million members in 126 countries all over the world. Since its foundation, in October 1945 until today, its history is public and well known. It has never been servile towards imperialists or multinationals. Nor now will it sell its history.

At the same time, the prohibition of entry of the WFTU General Secretary into the USA points out one more question. How is possible for International Organizations to operate in the USA, since their government randomly sets out antidemocratic rules and arbitrary restrictions about visa issuing. We are awaiting with interest the position of the competent services of the United Nations on this subject, since the USA prohibit the entrance of the WFTU legal representative into the country where the United Nations Headquarters are located.

On the basis of this situation we ask a legal visa to be granted to the General Secretary of the WFTU and all these discriminations against WFTU cadres to stop.

We assure the workers of the USA that irrespectively of any difficulties and obstacles, the WFTU will stand by their side in their fair struggles. Internationalism and solidarity are the unbeatable weapons of workers and peoples.

THE SECRETARIAT

Opposition abandons negotiations in Venezuela

Fri, 2018-02-09 10:50

On Feb. 7, the Venezuelan government was to sign an “agreement of coexistence” with the reactionary opposition, after months of negotiations. At the last minute, the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) changed its mind and refused. According to Jorge Rodriguez, the chief negotiator for the government, the MUD’s change of heart came after their lead negotiator received a call from the Colombian government.

It is no coincidence that the opposition’s stunning reversal happened during Rex Tillerson’s tour of Latin America. In the past few days, the Secretary of State has made it clearer than ever that the U.S. is building an alliance of reaction (the so-called ‘Lima Group’) to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution and socialist Cuba. He even said that the U.S. would support a military coup in Venezuela, despite such an action going against U.S. and international law.

The U.S. monopoly capitalist class has long been frustrated by the freedom struggle of the Latin American peoples, led by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela. With the Trump administration, their imperialist dream of whipping Latin America back into shape are being carried out.

Off the coast line of Venezuela, U.S. naval ships and ExxonMobil exploration vehicles - Exxon paid off the government of Guyana to allow them to illegally explore for oil on Venezuelan territory - circle like vultures to prey on the Bolivarian republic. Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon, is not even pretending to act like the interests of his former employer and the U.S. government are separate.

All of this is happening in the midst of the worst economic crisis Venezuela has seen in decades. The imperialist blockade has meant that food, medicine and other necessary goods are not allowed into the country. At the same time, the Colombian government, a puppet of the U.S. State Department, has hinted that it will use the flow of Venezuelan migrants coming into the country seeking economic security as justification for military action.

The Venezuelan people, suffering under the weight of these attacks, are being punished for their belief that they can be free in the hemisphere that is supposed to belong to the U.S. ruling class.

Presidential elections are set for April 22. Nicolás Maduro will be the candidate of the United Socialist Party, the Somos Venezuela Movement, and a number of other political parties. The Communist Party is currently undergoing a process of deciding whether or not they will endorse his candidacy. The opposition, divided beyond repair and more politically isolated than ever, has yet to nominate a candidate. There is a real possibility that no candidate will be put forward by them, which would only confirm what seems obvious at this point: the U.S. ruling class will no longer rely on the reactionaries to beat the Bolivarian Revolution by electoral means.

These are dark days for a bright light in our hemisphere. We must fight the Trump administration, which seems set on a course for military intervention in Latin America. All progressive forces in the U.S. need to stand united behind the Bolivarian Revolution and its leadership in the days to come.

Colorado protest tells Senator Bennett ‘No Dream, no deal!’

Thu, 2018-02-08 21:07

Denver, CO - More than 50 people gathered in Denver’s Civic Center Park, Feb. 7, and marched to U.S. Senator Michael Bennett’s office. The protesters are frustrated over his lack of action to defend DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“We are here to hold Senator Bennett accountable for failing our communities,” said a leader of the Colorado People’s Alliance.

Another speaker shared a story about her mother being deported, “That’s why I’m here, for my mom and all the other families that are being torn apart.”

In front of the rally, an activist called Senator Bennett on the phone and challenged his empty promises to defend DACA. The crowd then let the senator know their views with loud chants of “Dream Act now!” and “Keep Dreamers, deport Trump!”

“It’s great to see the people standing up to the corrupt ruling class, and the willingness of the community to get out on the streets to confront the attacks of the Trump Regime,” said Shaine Carroll-Frey of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

 

St. Paul teachers strike set for Feb. 13

Thu, 2018-02-08 21:03

St Paul, MN - The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT) says that educators will strike beginning Feb. 13, if no settlement is reached in ongoing contract talks with the Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS).

“Our union’s executive board voted to set the Feb. 13 strike date,” said Erica Schatzlein, SPFT vice president and a teacher at Nokomis Montessori. “This is not an action we take lightly. As educators, we want to be in the classroom with our students. If leaders in Saint Paul Public Schools are unwilling to prioritize our students’ needs, teachers are going to stand up for our students.”

Schatzlein pointed to the district position on providing adequate services to students who are English Learners (EL) as an example of the SPPS’ unwillingness to address students’ needs. The union has called for more educators to work with EL students to bring the district into compliance with the Minnesota Department of Education.

Other unresolved issues at the bargaining table include wages and union proposals to lower class sizes, add staff to support students enrolled in special education programs and expand restorative practices.

The strike date announcement follows last week’s overwhelming vote by SPFT members to authorize a strike if a settlement has not been reached. Over 85% of SPFT members participating voted to strike. Members of all three of SPFT’s bargaining units will strike if an agreement is not reached.

Bargaining will continue through the end of the week between SPFT and SPPS with a state-appointed mediator. SPFT has also let the district know they are willing to continue meeting over the weekend.

Earlier this week, with the possibility of interruptions in the public school schedule looming, SPFT members began planning Safe Sites to serve students in the event schools are not available. The goal is to make sure that students have safe, warm, and appropriate alternatives if schools are closed.

Plans include identifying locations, arranging food for children at each site, arranging transportation, and assigning SPFT volunteers. In addition, subcommittees are putting together an array of activities for students and looking at how any medical issues will be addressed.

FRSO leader urges protests to confront Trump military parade

Wed, 2018-02-07 21:09

Minneapolis, MN - Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) Political Secretary Steff Yorek called for protests at President Trump’s proposed Washington, DC military parade. Speaking to Fight Back! on Feb. 7, Yorek stated, “Trump’s military parade cannot be separated from preparations for war on the Korean peninsula, and other places. At a time when the U.S. is waging wars around the world, there is no reason why those of us who support peace with justice should allow Trump’s display of military might in D.C. to go forward unimpeded.”

In addition to waging wars on Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places, the U.S. is in the midst of a massive military buildup targeting Russia and the People’s Republic of China.

“From the Philippines to Palestine, we need to be in the streets demanding ‘U.S. out’ and resisting new wars,” said Yorek. “We insist that resources be directed to addressing real problems that we are facing here at home, as opposed to defending and expanding Wall Street’s empire.”

Freedom Road Socialist Organization helped organized the march at the Republican National Convention where Trump was nominated, as well as the demonstrations at many of his campaign appearances.

Black Liberation and socialism celebrated in Chicago

Tue, 2018-02-06 14:24

Chicago, IL - 75 people gathered at a Black History Month event sponsored by Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), Feb. 3. They chanted, clapped and sang along to the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice as the program began.

Frank Chapman of FRSO set the stage with an assessment of the current crisis of capitalism, stating, “To say that the present administration is caught in the grip of political crisis that impedes its ability to govern in the face of the most massive uprising of the people seen in decades is about as revealing as saying that a zebra has stripes.”

Many in the crowd were members of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Jazmine Salas, who co-chairs the Stop Police Crimes committee of the Alliance together with Chapman, emceed the event. Despite the racist attacks of the Trump agenda, Chapman contrasted the impact of the movement in Chicago, such as the release of many victims of police torture and wrongful conviction in the same time period, stating, “Yet, in these troubled and trying times, we kept Rasmea Odeh from going to prison and have helped to free Black and Latino working class people who were sentenced to die in the dungeons of America.”

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union were present to cheer on Curtis Bynum, an organizer in the fight to save four public schools in the majority Black, South Side neighborhood of Englewood. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has targeted these schools to all be closed. Bynum spoke of the hope the CTU gained from the community hearings and student protests in recent weeks. But he added that, “The entire racist system is flawed. If we don’t change this system, we’re going to lose. But we’re going to continue to fight, and we will come out on top.”

Sharon Lake, a certified nurse’s aide from Veracare Nursing home in nearby Burbank, reported on their one-day strike held on the MLK holiday. “By taking action, we forced the employer back to the bargaining table, and we’re making progress now.”

Tyrone Williams of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression spoke about the need to keep pressure on the courts to win justice for Laquan McDonald, murdered by police officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014. Williams said, “When Van Dyke’s trial begins, we all have to rally at 26th and California at 8 a.m. to stop the system from letting that killer off easy.”

Chapman closed the event with a call for people to join FRSO to help build the fight today, and the long term struggle for socialism and Black liberation.

New York holds emergency action for Rafael Baylosis

Tue, 2018-02-06 12:16

New York, NY - 50 activists gathered for an emergency rally for Philippine activist for Rafael Baylosis in front of the Philippine consulate here, Feb. 5. Baylosis is the labor leader and consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, who was arrested on Jan. 31 on trumped-up charges. The arrest is in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHR-IHL), which the Philippine government is bound to by being a signatory of both.

The rally was organized by BAYAN USA, and included speeches from New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Committee to Stop FBI Repression NYC, Gabriela NY, Anakbayan NY, International Action Center, and Labor Against Racist Terror.

“The crackdown on BAYAN leaders is a sign of desperation, is a sign that Duterte’s popularity is falling,” said Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA. “His supporters are small in numbers, and therefore, he must unleash attacks on the people. He must intimidate the opposition, in order to keep the appearance of still being popular.”

Toward the end of the protest, protesters from NYC Shut It Down joined the rally from Grand Central, leading to a march to Times Square. The demonstartion ended with a chant made famous by Assata Shakur, to make the connection between repression of Philippine activists and African-Americans, in honor of Black History Month.

 

South Florida rallies for Ahed Tamimi and Palestine

Mon, 2018-02-05 09:53

Fort Lauderdale, FL- On Feb. 3, 30 members of the South Florida community gathered outside of the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale to protest the illegal and unjust imprisonment of 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi. The protest, which was called, “Free Ahed and ALL Child Prisoners,” focused not only on young Ms. Tamimi but also the 300-plus other child prisoners being held in Israeli occupation jails.

At the protest, activists held signs that read, “Free all children from occupation,” and “Stand up for Ahed and all of Palestine.” As they congregated along the sidewalk along the busy intersection at Broward Boulevard and SE 3rd street, the group shouted chants such as, “Jail Bibi, free Tamimi!” and “IDF, what do you say? How many kids you kill today?”

After about an hour of chanting and sign-waving, the group gathered to hear speeches from various organizations. Donna Nevel, a lead organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace, was one of those who addressed the crowd.

“We stand firmly with the Palestinian people and join them in their calls for justice, to live in their homes and on their land without constant violence and abuse at the hands of the Israeli government,” Nevel said. “We stand with Ahed Tamimi and her family and the people of her village, Nabi Saleh, who are courageously resisting injustice!”

Thousands of Palestinians remain in Israeli occupation prisons under phony charges or without having been formally charged with any crimes. In these prisons, they are often subjected to harsh conditions, threats against their families, and torture. It is in these same prisons that the Israeli Defense Forces lock up young Palestinian children for throwing rocks at armored tanks, attending protests, or simply being related to politically active people.

Young Palestinians standing up against the Israeli government and its soldiers are forming a new threat to the Israeli establishment. They are deciding to fight back against the U.S. insistence that Palestinians accept a fate doled out to them by imperialist U.S. and apartheid Israel. Ahed Tamimi is a symbol of the new resistance, born and raised under occupation, violence and war; refusing to accept anything but a totally free Palestine.

As the chants died down in Fort Lauderdale, the protesters reaffirmed their commitment to do their part as activists in the U.S, to combat U.S foreign policy that does harm to children and all others in Palestine and in countries throughout the world.

The protest was organized by a coalition of various groups including POWIR, Al-Awda South Florida, Jewish Voice for Peace South Florida, National Lawyers Guild Miami and Friends of Sabeel South Florida.

 

 

March on Super Bowl challenges police brutality and racism

Mon, 2018-02-05 09:45

Minneapolis, MN – Braving sub-zero temperatures, more than 500 people protesting police brutality, racism and corporate greed gathered in south Minneapolis at Peavey Park and marched U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of the Super Bowl, Feb. 4. Upon arriving at the stadium, hundreds of participants took a knee to show their opposition to racist police terror.

Loretta Van Pelt, of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar and Super Bowl Anti-Racist Anti-Corporation Coalition (SAAC) welcomed protest participants and underscored the need to resist the epidemic of police violence.

SAAC is made up of over 20 organizations fighting against police brutality and defending immigrant rights, indigenous rights, women rights, labor unions and students.

The organizations include: AFSCME 2822; AFSCME 3800; American Indian Movement; Anti-War Committee; Asamblea de Derechos Civiles; Black Lives Matter - MN; Black Lives Matter - Twin Cities; Black Saint Paul; Blue Lies Matter; Communities United Against Police Brutality; Filipinx for Immigrant rights and Racial justice in Minnesota; Freedom Road Socialist Organization - Twin Cities; Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee; MN Neighbors for Justice; Women's March Minnesota; Native Lives Matter; The New North; Rise Up Times; Students for a Democratic Society at the UMN; Showing Up for Racial Justice MN; Take A Knee Nation; Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar; Welfare Rights Committee, and Women Against Military Madness.

Survivor to activist

Sun, 2018-02-04 10:50

Jacksonville FL - With the emergence of the Me Too movement, there has been a solid wave of solidarity among survivors of sexual abuse which has ultimately created a positive momentum regarding an otherwise silent topic. The topic of sexual violence however, can oftentimes be very dangerous to discuss publicly. Coalition for Consent is a local group in Jacksonville that fights to educate people about consent and help survivors of sexual violence. CFC has hosted a variety of actions and events from rallies to workshops for survivors.

Jessica Pounds has been attending Coalition for Consent events. The events are a mix of classroom style and therapy style sessions to arm people with knowledge, resources and confidence to combat abuse. The classes are hosted by Coalition for Consent’s founder and Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) member Christina Kittle and the LGBTQ+ youth advocate from the Women’s Center of Jacksonville Sarah Humphreys. Knowing that she was part of this community, Pounds reached to Coalition for Consent for help.

Pounds, a local musician and youth facilitator for the national non-profit Girls Inc., publicly warned people about the man who raped her. Her attacker then responded to this by sending novel-length messages to the local art scene describing many of Jessica’s private moments within their relationship, without her consent, as his explanation of why she was “crazy” - a term famously and conveniently tagged onto people who are vocal about their sexual abuse. Jessica’s own inner strength, along with support from others, helped keep her fighting back.

“It was important to show that she isn’t alone in this,” Kittle explained. “So I thought one thing that could help would be building a care package with some gifts and encouraging words from the community.”

The impact of this gesture though, was more than the group could have ever anticipated. “I have all of those letters surrounding me. They have given me so much strength,” said Pound. “I left my partner who I learned was gaslighting me into silence, and just was not very supportive at all, as well as my ‘friends’ that were saying they understood ‘both sides of the story,’ because they really were just holding me down and hurting me, so yeah I felt alone. The community showed me that my fight meant something though, it helped so much - I ugly cried!” Gaslighting is manipulating someone into questioning their own sanity.

The Women’s Center of Jacksonville was able to help her legally get the bogus slander charges against her dismissed. Pounds was exhausted but decided to keep fighting for women’s liberation.

While her attacker denied the accusations out of one side of his mouth, he eventually admitted to violating consent, admitting Pounds was right about his crimes all along. This is a victory in the difficult world of consent work.

Jessica went a step further and became a permanent member of Jacksonville’s Coalition for Consent. “I want to fight. I want to keep fighting. I want to be the hammer that breaks to cycle of abuse and I want to help others be the hammer, too.”

Countdown to Super Bowl protest against police brutality, racism and corporate greed

Sat, 2018-02-03 22:24

Minneapolis, MN - On Feb. 4, Minneapolis will host a protest against racist police brutality and the sell-out of the city to greedy NFL owners and corporate sponsors. The demonstration, organized by the Super Bowl Anti-Racist Anti-Corporation Coalition (SAAC), will bring together more than 20 local community organizations, for a rally will start at Peavey Park (Franklin & Chicago Ave), at 3 p.m., to be followed by a march to U.S. Bank Stadium.

After a ceremony by the Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue danzantes, a brief rally with speakers and chanting will be followed by a march. Behind those marching on foot, many protesters will take to warm cars and tailgate to the stadium, where there will be a few speakers, and protesters will ‘take a knee’ under the slogans: “Justice for stolen lives, jail killer cops! End police violence! Economic justice for all, stop the attacks on workers! End the exploitation! Invest in people, not in corporations! Stop building playgrounds for billionaires! No racist USA, take a knee and fight-back! End racist oppression!”

Sunday’s SAAC march to US Bank Stadium is the culmination of a week-long fight to stand up the racist oppression and corporate greed represented by Super Bowl 52.

“Super Bowl 52 is a disaster for the people who live here,” says Loretta VanPelt, of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J). “This is the largest police force ever deployed in Minnesota, and the largest for any Super Bowl ever. None of this makes us safer. Community members from Black, brown and indigenous communities, from immigrant communities, we are much less safe! Millions are being thrown at so-called security measures, displacing homeless people from streets, shelters and even downtown hotels; our public transit has been turned over for exclusive use of Super Bowl ticket holders.”

When asked about claims that the Super Bowl will be good for the local economy, VanPelt responded, “The Host Committee estimates all this will bring in less than $30 million in tax revenue, but Minneapolis paid $150 million for the stadium they’re playing in, and the state contributed $348 million. Regular poor and working people are taking a big loss. But we’re not taking it lying down. We are fighting back.”

The Super Bowl Anti-Racist & Anti-Corporate Coalition (SAAC) includes over 20 participating organizations fighting against police brutality, defending immigrant’s rights, indigenous rights, women rights, labor unions and students. These include: AFSCME 2822; AFSCME 3800; American Indian Movement; Anti-War Committee; Asamblea de Derechos Civiles; Black Lives Matter - MN; Black Lives Matter - Twin Cities; Black Saint Paul; Blue Lies Matter; Communities United Against Police Brutality; Filipinx for Immigrant rights and Racial justice in Minnesota; Freedom Road Socialist Organization - Twin Cities; Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee; MN Neighbors for Justice; Women's March Minnesota; Native Lives Matter; The New North; Rise Up Times; Students for a Democratic Society at the UMN; Showing Up for Racial Justice MN; Take A Knee Nation; Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar; Welfare Rights Committee; and Women Against Military Madness

Read the Mao Zedong article on battle of Stalingrad

Sat, 2018-02-03 12:31

To mark the victory of the Soviet Union at Stalingrad, Fight Back News Service is reprinting the following article by Mao Zedong, that was first published October 12, 1942, in Liberation Daily.

The Turning point in World War 2

By Mao Zedong

The Battle of Stalingrad has been compared by the British and American press to the Battle of Verdun, and the "Red Verdun" is now famous all over the world. This comparison is not altogether appropriate. The Battle of Stalingrad is different in nature from the Battle of Verdun in World War I. But they have this in common-- now, as then, many people are misled by the German offensive into thinking that Germany can still win the war. In 1916 the German forces launched several attacks on the French fortress of Verdun, two years before World War I ended in the winter of 1918. The commander-in-chief at Verdun was the German Crown Prince and the forces thrown into the battle were the cream of the German army. The battle was of decisive significance. After the ferocious German assaults failed, the entire German-Austrian-Turkish-Bulgarian bloc had no future, and from then on its difficulties mounted, it was deserted by its followers, it disintegrated, and finally collapsed. But at the time, the Anglo-American-French bloc did not grasp this situation, believing that the German army was still very powerful, and they were unaware of their own approaching victory. Historically, all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct a last desperate struggle against the revolutionary forces, and some revolutionaries are apt to be deluded for a time by this phenomenon of outward strength but inner weakness, failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they themselves are approaching victory. The rise of the forces of fascism and the war of aggression they have been conducting for some years are precisely the expression of such a last desperate struggle; and in this present war the attack on Stalingrad is the expression of the last desperate struggle of fascism itself. At this turning point in history, too, many people in the world anti-fascist front have been deluded by the ferocious appearance of fascism and have failed to discern its essence. For forty-eight days there raged an unprecedentedly bitter battle, unparalleled in the history of mankind--from August 23, when the entire German force crossed the bend of the River Don and began the all-out attack on Stalingrad, through September 15, when some German units broke into the industrial district in the northwestern section of the city, and right up to October 9, when the Soviet Information Bureau announced that the Red Army had breached the German line of encirclement in that district. Ultimately this battle was won by the Soviet forces. During those forty-eight days, the news of each setback or triumph from that city gripped the hearts of countless millions of people, now bringing them anxiety, now stirring them to elation. This battle is not only the turning point of the Soviet-German war, or even of the present anti-fascist world war, it is the turning point in the history of all mankind. Throughout these forty-eight days, the people of the world watched Stalingrad with even greater concern than they watched Moscow last October.

Until his victory on the western front, Hitler seems to have been cautious. When he attacked Poland, when he attacked Norway, when he attacked Holland, Belgium, and France, and when he attacked the Balkans, he concentrated all his strength on one objective at a time, not daring to disperse his attention. After his victory on the western front, he became dizzy with success and attempted to defeat the Soviet Union in three months. He launched an offensive against this huge and powerful socialist country along the whole front stretching from Murmansk in the north to the Crimea in the south, and in so doing dispersed his forces. The failure of his Moscow campaign last October marked the end of the first stage of the Soviet-German war, and Hitler's first strategic plan failed. The Red Army halted the German offensive last year and launched a counteroffensive on all fronts in the winter, which constituted the second stage of the Soviet-German war, with Hitler turning to retreat and the defensive. In this period, after dismissing Brauchitsch, his commander-in-chief, and taking over the command himself, he decided to abandon the plan for an all-out offensive, combed Europe for all available forces and prepared a final offensive which, though limited to the southern front, would, he imagined, strike at the vitals of the Soviet Union. Because it was in the nature of a final offensive on which the fate of fascism hung, Hitler concentrated the greatest possible forces and even moved in part of his aircraft and tanks from the North African battle front. With the German attack on Kerch and Sevastopol in May this year, the war entered its third stage. Massing an army of over 1,500,000, which was supported by the bulk of his air and tank forces, Hitler launched an offensive of unprecedented fury on Stalingrad and the Caucasus. He endeavoured to capture these two objectives at great speed for the twofold purpose of cutting the Volga and seizing Baku, intending subsequently to drive against Moscow to the north and break through to the Persian Gulf in the south; at the same time he directed the Japanese fascists to mass their troops in Manchuria in preparation for an attack on Siberia after the fall of Stalingrad. Hitler vainly hoped to weaken the Soviet Union to such an extent that he would be able to release the main forces of the German army from the Soviet theatre of war for dealing with an Anglo-American attack on the western front, and for seizing the resources of the Near East and effecting a junction with the Japanese; at the same time this would allow the main forces of the Japanese to be released from the north and, with their rear secure, to move west against China and south against Britain and the United States. That was how Hitler reckoned on winning victory for the fascist camp. But how did things turn out in this stage? Hitler came up against the Soviet tactics which sealed his fate. The Soviet Union adopted the policy of first luring the enemy in deep and then putting up a stubborn resistance. In five months of fighting the German army has failed either to penetrate to the Caucasian oil-fields or to seize Stalingrad, so that Hitler has been forced to halt his troops before high mountains and outside an impregnable city, unable to advance and unable to retreat, suffering immense losses and getting into an impasse. October is already here and winter is approaching; soon the third stage of the war will end and the fourth stage will begin. Not one of Hitler's strategic plans of attack against the Soviet Union has succeeded. In this period, bearing in mind his failure in the summer of last year when his forces were divided, Hitler concentrated his strength on the southern front. But as he still wanted to achieve the twofold purpose of cutting the Volga in the east and seizing the Caucasus in the south at a single stroke, he again divided his forces. He did not recognize that his strength did not match his ambitions, and he is now doomed--"when the carrying pole is not secured at both ends, the loads slip off". As for the Soviet Union, the more she fights the stronger she grows. Stalin's brilliant strategic direction has completely gained the initiative and is everywhere drawing Hitler towards destruction. The fourth stage of the war, beginning this winter, will mark the approach of Hitler's doom.

Comparing Hitler's position in the first and third stages of the war, we can see that he is on the threshold of final defeat. Both at Stalingrad and in the Caucasus the Red Army has now in fact stopped the German offensive; Hitler is now nearing exhaustion, having failed in his attacks on Stalingrad and the Caucasus. The forces which he managed to assemble throughout the winter, from last December to May of this year, have already been used up. In less than a month winter will set in on the Soviet-German front, and Hitler will have to turn hastily to the defensive. The whole belt west and south of the Don is his most vulnerable area, and the Red Army will go over to the counter-offensive there. This winter, goaded on by the fear of his impending doom, Hitler will once again reorganize his forces. To meet the dangers on both the eastern and western fronts, he may perhaps be able to scrape together the remnants of his forces, equip them and form them into a few new divisions and, in addition, he will turn for help to his three fascist partners, Italy, Rumania and Hungary, and extort some more cannon-fodder from them. However, he will have to face the enormous losses of a winter campaign in the east and be ready to deal with the second front in the west, while Italy, Rumania and Hungary, becoming pessimistic as they see that it is all up with Hitler, will increasingly fall away from him. In short, after October 9 there is only one road open to Hitler, the road to extinction.

The Red Army's defence of Stalingrad in these forty-eight days has a certain similarity to the defence of Moscow last year. That is to say, Hitler's plan for this year has been foiled just as was his plan for last year. The difference, however, is that, although the Soviet people followed up their defence of Moscow with a winter counter-offensive, they had yet to face the summer offensive of the German army this year, partly because Germany and her European accomplices still had some fight left in them and partly because Britain and the United States delayed the opening of the second front. But now, following the battle for the defence of Stalingrad, the situation will be totally different from that of last year. On the one hand, the Soviet Union will launch a second winter counteroffensive on a vast scale, Britain and the United States will no longer be able to delay the opening of the second front (though the exact date cannot yet be foretold), and the people of Europe will be ready to rise up in response. On the other hand, Germany and her European accomplices no longer have the strength to mount large-scale offensives, and Hitler will have no alternative but to change his whole line of policy to the strategic defensive. Once Hitler is compelled to go over to the strategic defensive, the fate of fascism is as good as sealed. From its birth, a fascist state like Hitler's builds its political and military life on taking the offensive, and once its offensive stops its very life stops too. The Battle of Stalingrad will stop the offensive of fascism and is therefore a decisive battle. It is decisive for the whole world war.

There are three powerful foes confronting Hitler, the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States, and the people in the German-occupied territories. On the eastern front stands the Red Army, firm as a rock, whose counter-offensives will continue through the whole of the second winter and beyond; it is this force which will decide the outcome of the whole war and the destiny of mankind. On the western front, even if Britain and the United States continue their policy of looking on and stalling, the second front will eventually be opened, when the time comes to belabour the slain tiger. Then there is the internal front against Hitler, the great uprising of the people which is brewing in Germany, in France and in other parts of Europe; they will respond with a third front the moment the Soviet Union launches an all-out counter-offensive and the guns roar on the second front. Thus, an attack from three fronts will converge on Hitler--such is the great historical process that will follow the Battle of Stalingrad.

Napoleon's political life ended at Waterloo, but the decisive turning point was his defeat at Moscow. Hitler today is treading Napoleon's road, and it is the Battle of Stalingrad that has sealed his doom.

These developments will have a direct impact on the Far East. The coming year will not be propitious for Japanese fascism either. As time goes on its headaches will grow, until it descends into its grave.

All those who take a pessimistic view of the world situation should change their point of view.

NDFP strongly condemns illegal arrest of NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis and companion

Fri, 2018-02-02 15:24

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Feb. 1 statement from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines condemns in the strongest terms the illegal arrest and detention of NDFP Consultant Rafael Baylosis.

Rafael Baylosis was arrested yesterday by the CIDG-NCR in Katipunan Road, Quezon City. He is a Member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Group on Political and Constitutional Reforms. He and his companion, Jun, are now illegally detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

This illegal arrest and detention of NDFP Consultant Rafael Baylosis is a flagrant violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG, 1995). President Duterte must be held accountable for this trampling upon a valid peace agreement that assures all consultants and those participating in peace negotiations immunity from surveillance, harassment, search, arrest, detention, prosecution and interrogation or any other similar punitive action.

The NDFP demands the immediate and unconditional release of NDFP Consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion, Jun.

While in detention, Rafael Baylosis and his companion have the right to consult with their lawyers, be visited by their families, doctors, and friends.

The NDFP calls on all peace-loving people and organizations to mount a strong campaign demanding the immediate release of Rafael Baylosis and his companion Jun. They should also demand that President Duterte respect and implement the JASIG, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL, 1998) and other binding peace agreements.

President Duterte must not be allowed to kill and destroy the peace negotiations.

Luis G. Jalandoni
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee

New York rallies for Ahed Tamimi’s birthday

Fri, 2018-02-02 12:12

New York, NY — Approximately 100 people gathered in Penn Station during rush hour, Jan. 30, to demand justice for Ahed Tamimi. The action was called by the NY4Palestine coalition.

The rally was part of a national day of action, called to not only celebrate Tamimi’s 17th birthday, but to stand in solidarity with her on the first day on trial. Tamimi was arrested in December for slapping an Israel Defense Forces soldier who had just shot her cousin with a rubber bullet. Tamimi’s case has become emblematic of the Palestinian liberation movement because it shows a courage of a young girl standing up to fully armed soldiers.

People throughout the world have been standing in solidarity with Tamimi and her family.

In Penn Station, protesters gathered to hear speeches and chant for Tamimi’s case. A prominent chant throughout the night was, “Free, free Palestine! Free Ahed, now!”

Jessica Schwartz, from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, spoke about how Israeli prisons hold hundreds of prisoners, including children, without due process.

The rally ended with the crowd singing Happy Birthday to Ahed.

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