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Twin Cities FRSO International Workers Day celebration

By staff |
April 29, 2012
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Mark Froemke, president of the Western Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO speaki
Mark Froemke, president of the Western Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO speaking on locked out at American Crystal Sugar. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Anh Pham of the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression urges support for Car
Anh Pham of the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression urges support for Carlos Montes.

Minneapolis, MN – About 90 people gathered here, April 28, for a May Day program and dinner organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Speakers included prominent trade unionists and representatives of low-income, Occupy, student, anti-war and immigrant rights organizations.

Mick Kelly, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization stated, “In past years, we in Freedom Road Socialist Organization have organized events like this to celebrate May Day - International Workers Day - sometimes on May 1 sometimes not. The basic point is this: all year long we fight for the things we need, for the most basic measure of justice. Why not take out one day and celebrate the struggles we waged, the fights we have won and look forward to the day that society is organized to serve us, not a handful of rich folks, the capitalist class.”

Mark Froemke, president of the Western Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO and a 30-year worker at American Crystal Sugar, talked about the heroic struggle that is being waged by the 1300 locked-out workers at American Crystal Sugar. People in attendance contributed funds to assist that fight.

Cherrene Horazuk, a leader of AFSCME 3800, spoke about the fight against ‘right to work’ laws and other battles of Minnesota labor this past year. Ebony Harris, of the Welfare Rights Committee said that the low income people were successful in pushing back against many attacks during this legislative session, including an attempt to put a three-year lifetime limit on public assistance.

Jennie Eisert and Harry Schmidt of the Anti-war Committee talked about the need to oppose imperialism and march on the NATO Summit in Chicago, May 20. “At the NATO Summit we will stand up to the war makers,” said Eisert.

Anh Pham of the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression talked about the struggle to beat back FBI and grand jury repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists, emphasizing the case of veteran Chicano leader Carlos Montes. “Carlos Montes is facing prison for his activism. His trial has been set for May 15. We demand the Los Angeles District Attorney drop the trumped up charges.”

A highlight of the evening was a video message from Montes to the event, saluting the struggles under way in Minnesota and urging participation in the upcoming May 1 immigrant rights march. A member of the Minnesota Immigrants Rights Action Committee also called on people to join the May Day march for legalization, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.

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