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Twin Cities FRSO celebrates International Workers Day 2018

By staff |
May 2, 2018
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Jess Sundin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Jess Sundin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization. (Fight Back! News / Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - Over 125 people gathered together for the Twin Cities Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s annual International Worker’s Day program, April 28. The night started with dinner and conversation. Childcare was provided.

Event Emcee Tracy Molm invited attendees to become an FRSO Twin Cities general members. This May 1 marks the first-year anniversary of the revived general membership program, which has seen much success. In fact, many new general members were in attendance celebrating International Workers Day.

The “Year in Struggle” slideshow was full of highlights from the big fights of the past year. Also, an “In Memoriam” slideshow featured both international, national, and local working-class fighters such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Dennis Banks, and Tyrone Rashad Williams who passed away during this past year.

Jess Sundin, a leader of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, told the crowd, “One of the most important weapons that workers have against the bosses is the power to strike. Russian revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin said strikes, ‘teach the workers to unite; they show [us] that [we] can struggle against the capitalists only when [we] are united; strikes teach the workers to think of the struggle of the whole working class against the whole class of factory owners and against the arbitrary, police government. This is the reason that socialists call strikes ‘a school of war,’ a school in which the workers learn to make war on their enemies for the liberation of the whole people, of all who labor, from the yoke of government officials and from the yoke of capital.’”

Sundin continued, “This year has seen some of the most incredible worker mobilizations: Tens of thousands of school teachers on strike,” “And teachers are giving us the answers we need to pass this test, we better study up. These big fights are happening in red states where public unions are already denied the protections Janus wants to take from the rest of us. Teachers are not waiting for Democrats to save them. And they’re not letting union leaders accept quick easy deals. They are demanding real raises, and they’re not taking no for answer. That’s what it’s going to take for labor to survive Janus and Republican-led attacks on unions. Let’s hear it for the teachers!”

Brad Sigal of AFSCME 3800 gave a boisterous speech: “We must defend the rights of workers to join together in unions, to fight for our interests together! And we will do that. The most important way is to be like the teachers - taking collective action and striking even though their states have laws saying they can’t. They can't take away our rights if we don't let them! And we also need to make sure the politicians from both parties know that if they try to bring the anti-union politics of Wisconsin and Iowa to Minnesota - we will stop them. Like the teachers are teaching us, when the working class takes action, we can change everything!”

The program also included: Angel Buechner of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, along with leaders of the anti-war, student, and immigrant rights movements.

A highlight of the program included video salutations from striking workers across the country, including teachers, miners and others.

The night concluded with the singing of The Internationale.

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