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Speech by FRSO leader Fernando Figueroa at ‘Stop Trump’ rally

By Freedom Road Socialist Organization |
July 23, 2016
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Fernando Figueroa (first on left), of Freedom Road Socialist Organization at press conference proceeding July 18 anti Trump protest. (FightBack!News/Elizabeth Kramer)

Fight Back News Service is circulating the text of a speech by a leader of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Fernando Figueroa, which was delivered shortly before the July 18 march on the RNC in Cleveland, OH.

My name is Fernando Figueroa, and I am a proud member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. I became a revolutionary in 2008 while organizing students to defeat John McCain. I honed my theory and practice as an organizer during the 2012 March on the RNC in Tampa, Florida, where we said no to Mitt Romney. Today I am a rank-and- file Teamster active in the trade union movement, and I’m standing with you all to stop Trump and the system he represents.

History has shown us that there’s only one response capable of stopping bigots and billionaires like Donald Trump. The mass political movement we’re forming today as we march on the RNC is a firm step forward for poor and oppressed people. This is true not only in the U.S., but for people all over the world. This mass movement has the 1% and all of their backwards supporters terrified – as evidenced by the police they’ve sent to welcome us to Cleveland.

The 1% that rule this country are terrified of us, and they should be. Their system of protecting the rich and powerful at the expense of working and oppressed peoples is coming to an end. The age we’re living in is like a pathetic giant, lashing out as the working class and oppressed nations of Black and Chicano people organize. We’re organizing because we believe a better world is possible, a just society where people’s needs are taken care of and capitalist greed is abolished. By uniting today to stop Trump, we are delivering a blow to the 1% and their pathetic giant.

My friends, the road ahead of us is long and treacherous. It is fraught with attempts by the enemy to frighten and discourage us, but by uniting activists and supporters from across movements, across the country and across the world, we will overcome the obstacles that lay before us, like Donald Trump.

Our mass movement is growing by leaps and bounds as we build the fight of oppressed nationalities fighting for justice and an end to police crimes. Our movement grows as we build the struggle of queer people and women, and the fight for equality and liberation. It grows when we demonstrate solidarity with people oppressed by our government in places like Colombia, the Philippines and Palestine. It grows when we struggle to protect the environment and ensure everybody receives a good education and healthcare. The working class will realize it is the most powerful force ever created, and it will rise up to smash the political parties of the 1% including the Republicans and their figurehead, Donald Trump.

Victory is ours if we choose to work for it. This year, we are going to stop Trump, and it’s up to us to bring the lessons we learn here today back to our communities and workplaces.

There’s nobody I am happier to call my comrades than all of you assembled here today. The Freedom Road Socialist Organization is proud to stand among so many veteran and rising organizers. Together we will scale the wall that tyranny, backwardness and hatred are building to keep us from political and economic power. I’ll see you on the other side.

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