Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. es Philippines President Marcos Jr: ‘Not welcome’ at UN <p>New York City - On Tuesday, September 20, progressive forces in New York City rallied against the inclusion in the United Nations General Assembly of far-right incoming president of the Philippines, Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte.</p> <p>The protest began outside the Philippine Mission in Manhattan before marching to the United Nations building in time for Marcos Jr.’s speech. The protest was organized by the Northeast Coalition to Advance Genuine Democracy in the Philippines. The rally outside of the Philippine Mission included speeches from allied organizations, as well as poetry, songs and theatrical performances interpreting the democratic demands of the Filipino people.</p> <p>The rally also marked the 50-year anniversary of the 1972 declaration of martial law in the Philippines, under Marcos Sr.&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the next 14 years of the Marcos dictatorship, at least 34,000 people were tortured and more than 3000 were murdered by the state under the guise of fighting radicalism. Under outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, more than 30,000 Filipinos have been killed during the “war on drugs.” The organizers of today’s rally fiercely rejected the legitimacy of the incoming Marcos-Duterte government and tied it to the legacies of Marcos Sr. and ex-President Duterte.&nbsp;</p> <p>Speakers included survivors of the martial law period under the Marcos dictatorship, along with representatives of Anakbayan USA, the Palestinian Youth Movement, BAYAN USA, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Kalikasan, the Malaya Movement USA, New York Boricua Resistance, and Migrante USA, among others.</p> Marcos Jr. Filipinas Philippines Thu, 22 Sep 2022 20:08:05 +0000 Fight Back 9940 at Tampa Bay teachers share horrendous working conditions, demand their contract is ratified <p>Tampa, FL - Members of the Hillsborough County teachers union packed the school board meeting, September 20, to demand a better contract that takes teachers' needs for a livable salary into account. A sea of the union's red shirts confronted the board members and the county's superintendent, who with faux concern, offered nothing but the platitude that he "heard" teachers’ concerns.&nbsp;</p> <p>The crisis could not have been clearer to anyone with eyes and ears, as union members shared stories not just of having to work second jobs for pennies, but unsafe conditions for students. One teacher said that because of understaffing due to a lack of funding, students were left without school counselors, wandering the campus, vaping in bathrooms, fighting and wandering off campus. Teachers emphasized to the school board that it was impossible to be pro-student and anti-teacher. School officials even suggested a plan to train high school students in technical repair and assign them to repair district computers and electronics, owing to a lack of adequate staff.</p> <p>Eager to pretend that the crisis is over, public officials promulgated a story in the local press claiming the school staffing crisis was over. Several teachers referenced this absurd bald-faced lie, and how outrageous it is to ask teachers to disbelieve their own experiences working at severely understaffed schools.&nbsp;</p> <p>Teacher’s demands are reasonable, with the same costs as district proposal. Teachers need a competitive wage that precludes them from having to work two or more jobs, sometimes working 21 or more hours additionally; adequate staffing that allows students to be monitored and kept safe; and working conditions that allow for learning, with often classrooms of 40-plus students and in sweltering temperatures over 90 degrees F in classrooms at times.&nbsp;</p> <p>All this occurs in the backdrop of Florida siphoning over $1 billion this coming fiscal year from public education toward private school vouchers. Dismantling public education has long been a project of reactionaries in government like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who would like an educational system that is not unionized, and which allows greater latitude to discriminate and for racist, homophobic curricula.&nbsp;</p> <p>The increase in private school vouchers has outpaced increases in public school funding, and the aid comes directly from state and local aid to schools, meaning that districts are more reliant on local funding, contributing to the crisis.&nbsp;</p> <p>Residents of Tampa Bay have already been fighting for rent controls and housing aid, a people’s budget that prioritizes people not profit, but, much like Tampa city council, school officials and the school board are all too ready to throw up their hands and claim that there’s nothing they can do to adequately fund the needs of those they supposedly serve.&nbsp;</p> <p>Teachers deserve their contract proposals met, better conditions, and respect for their years of service. With the deterioration of conditions in the school system and no sign of a slowdown in the explosion of rent costs, the need for a united front that challenges the status quo has never been clearer.&nbsp;</p> teachers Teachers Unions union Thu, 22 Sep 2022 19:41:22 +0000 Fight Back 9939 at UW-Milwaukee SDS rallies to make Milwaukee an abortion sanctuary <p>Milwaukee, WI – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at UW-Milwaukee rallied on September 15 to make Milwaukee an abortion sanctuary. The demonstration was in response to the national SDS day of action call. Approximately 40 students and community members met in UWM’s Spaights Plaza at 4 p.m.</p> <p>The overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 22 had devastating effects all over the U.S. In the state of Wisconsin, statute 940.04 makes assisting in and getting an abortion a felony with the exception of "critical life saving" situations. Articles about a Wisconsin woman who was denied care after an incomplete abortion, because she “wasn’t dying yet,” went viral in the beginning of September.</p> <p>“We do not have access to safe and legal abortions in Milwaukee,” Haley McNeill of Reproductive Justice Action- Milwaukee said to echoes of “Shame!” from the audience. “We know that abortion bans disproportionally affect the most vulnerable groups in our society. The impoverished, the oppressed, and the trans community.”</p> <p>SDS and RJAM have been working together since the summer with demands to repeal Wisconsin statute 940.04 and to make abortions safe and legal statewide, including pushing the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to pass an amendment to a resolution which would decriminalize those seeking and those providing abortions in Milwaukee.</p> <p>Members of SDS and American Federation of Teachers Local 3535 and RAM spoke at the rally.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> abortion Abortion Rights reproductive rights Wed, 21 Sep 2022 00:44:10 +0000 Fight Back 9938 at Tallahassee SDS marches for women's and reproductive rights <p>Tallahassee, FL – On September 7, Florida State University Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a march in defense of women’s and reproductive rights, following the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. More than 40 students attended the march from the Legacy Fountain to the Integration Statue, accompanied by chants like “We won’t go back! We will fight back!”</p> <p>FSU SDS joined organizations across the country for a National Day of Action to defend reproductive rights and resist attacks on bodily autonomy. People across the country recognize the necessity to continue the struggle for reproductive rights with boots on the ground action, even though the decision was overturned nearly two months ago.</p> <p>FSU SDS treasurer Zeke Greenwood said, “This is an important time for students and members of the community to come together to organize and fight for what we need, because conservatives are continuing their attacks on bodily autonomy for women, trans and non-binary people.”</p> <p>The overturning of Roe v Wade is just one of many recent attacks against reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. Florida, like many other states, was already in the process of restricting abortion access before the Supreme Court decision. On April 14, Governor DeSantis signed HB5 into law, which bans abortions after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. On September 16, West Virginia became the latest state to restrict abortion, completely banning the procedure in all but a few cases.</p> <p>Alex Carson, from the Tallahassee Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) stated, “Almost two-thirds of abortions are obtained by African American, Chicano and other oppressed nationality women. Removing the right to abortion would worsen national oppression in the United States.” He continued, “The right to abortion access, like all the other rights working people in the U.S. have, was won through mass struggle. Only mass struggle will save it.”</p> <p>SDS was joined by several local and student organizations, including the Tallahassee Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Florida State Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA), FSU Generation Action, FSU Graduate Assistants United, and the FSU College Democrats.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo abortion Abortion Rights Tallahassee SDS Movimiento Estudiantil Tue, 20 Sep 2022 03:34:34 +0000 Fight Back 9936 at Denver protest demands: ‘Indict mass shooters in uniform’ <p>Denver, CO - About 30 people marched to District Attorney Beth McCann’s office on September 12 to demand the indictment of the police officers involved in the July 17 shooting in downtown Denver. The coalition, led by the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee (DACAC), also demanded that charges against Jordan Waddy, a 21-year-old Black man and one of the victims of the shooting, be dropped; an investigation independent of the police department to be conducted; the end of Denver Police Department’s participation in the Pentagon 1033 Program; and community control of the police. </p> <p>The event began at the Colorado State Capitol with folks gathering to make signs saying things like “Black lives matter” and “Money for housing, not police.” People discussed the recent police mass shooting in Denver. The rally started at 4 p.m. with a welcome and chants, “Cops and Klan go hand in hand!” No justice no peace!” and “Hands up don’t shoot!” as folks marched down Colfax Avenue to DA McCann’s office.</p> <p>The crowd heard speeches from the different groups in the coalition as well as the families of police crimes victims. Ivette Mendez is the sister of Alexis Mendez-Perez, a 16-year-old Chicano who was shot and killed as he fled from off-duty Colorado corrections officer Desmond Manning on April 23, 2020. While Manning was fired from the Colorado Department of Corrections, criminal charges were never filed against him, and the Mendez family was forced to file a wrongful death lawsuit in 2020 in search of some kind of accountability.</p> <p>Police officers perpetrated the July 17 shooting of Jordan Waddy on the corner of 20th and Larimer as people were exiting a bar late at night. According to Denver Police Department, Waddy pointed a gun at an officer, but bodycam footage contradicts this narrative, showing that Waddy threw his gun on the ground and put his hands up. Police fired into the crowd anyway, injuring seven, including Waddy, who continued to hold his hands up even after being shot. Despite being the victim in this scenario, Waddy was charged by DA McCann with three counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and one count of third-degree assault. DPD is using these charges to justify their mass shooting. </p> <p>As DACAC chair, Jonce Palmer, notes, “T is no perfect victim, and DPD is trying to use Waddy as a scapegoat to claim the shooting was necessary. There is no time where it is necessary to shoot bystanders in a crowd. DPD are the ones who escalated the situation.”</p> <p>The coalition was joined by Denver Students for a Democratic Society, Colorado Young Communist League, We The People 303, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.</p> <p>DACAC, which is working for community control of police, will continue organizing for the DPD mass shooters in uniform to be held accountable for their racist attack.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee (DACAC) Sistema de injusticia Mon, 19 Sep 2022 23:39:09 +0000 Fight Back 9935 at Minnesota Abortion Action Coalition demands no state funding for ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ <p>Saint Paul, MN - On September 16, the newly formed Minnesota Abortion Action Coalition (MNAAC) held its second action outside of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s residence. MNAAC demanded that state officials put an end to state funding for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and other manipulative, anti-abortion organizations throughout the state. Since 2005, the state of Minnesota has spent $3.4 million per year on CPCs.</p> <p>CPCs are “clinics” that claim to offer medical services for pregnant individuals, yet they rarely have any trained medical professionals on staff. CPCs offer misleading or simply false medical information regarding birth control, sexual health and abortion – while using religiously-charged propaganda to manipulate vulnerable individuals out of having an abortion. In Minnesota, crisis pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics 11 to 1, a major discrepancy, especially considering Minnesota’s new role as a “sanctuary state” for out-of-state people looking for safe reproductive medical services since the overturning of Roe v Wade.</p> <p>Despite rainy weather, about 40 Minnesota residents stood outside Walz’s home holding signs that read, “Fund abortion not fake clinics” and “Say no to state funds for crisis pregnancy centers.” Emcee Olivia Crull began the rally by chanting, “When abortion rights are under attack, what do we do?” The crowd enthusiastically answered, “Stand up, fight back!” Cars driving by honked in support as speeches began.</p> <p>MNAAC invited speakers from across Twin Cities movements to speak. Katherine Gould from Climate Justice Committee spoke about the way climate justice intersects with the many other progressive movements in the Twin Cities. She illustrated the ways that oppressed nationality, immigrant and working-class individuals bear the brunt of climate change, due to environmental racism and class oppression. Environmental problems cause significantly higher health problems in these populations, and this makes healthcare in general, including reproductive healthcare, so critical to these oppressed groups.</p> <p>Celia Nimz, a representative of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, brought up the fact that, as one of the few states in the Midwest that still protects abortion access, Minnesota should be pushing funds into expanding reproductive access in the state. Nimz stated, “Crisis pregnancy centers are at the center of this, as they take state funding that should go to abortion.”</p> <p>Linden Gawboy of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark, Ren Wischmann from Students for a Democratic Society, and David Gilbert Pederson of Minnesota Workers United also spoke in support of an end to state funding for CPCs. In addition to the groups speaking, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) also endorsed this rally.</p> <p>Ashley Taylor-Gougé of the Anti-War Committee declared, “Anti-war outrage ended the draft in 1973, and the Supreme Court made the Roe v. Wade decision that same year. We did not win those battles peacefully, and we didn't win them with just one action. Without boots on the ground, there would have been no pressure to make real change. When our lives are on the line, we must fight.”</p> <p>MNAAC’s next public event will be new members meeting on Wednesday, September 28 at 5:30 p.m. at 4200 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. At that meeting, MNAAC members will plan future protests and actions for abortion rights.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Abortion Rights Minnesota Abortion Action Coalition (MNAAC) Mon, 19 Sep 2022 03:33:36 +0000 Fight Back 9934 at Red Theory: What is neo-colonialism? <p>In the previous two articles in this series, we’ve discussed imperialism, or monopoly capitalism, which Lenin called “the last stage of capitalism.” We explained how imperialism and monopoly capitalism are synonymous, the laws of motion inherent in capitalism that lead to imperialism, how imperialism means war, and how imperialism has affected the national question. In our last article, we talked about how and why the contradiction between imperialism and the national liberation movements is the principal contradiction on a world scale.&nbsp;</p> <p>In 1916, Lenin wrote, “Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism in America and Europe, and later in Asia, took final shape in the period 1898–1914. The Spanish-American War (1898), the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05) and the economic crisis in Europe in 1900 are the chief historical landmarks in the new era of world history.”</p> <p>But imperialism was met everywhere with the resistance of the colonized peoples. In some places, it was thrown off by national liberation movements that won liberation. Where the proletariat has taken power, like in Vietnam, Cuba or China, for example, they have consolidated the gains of their liberation and built socialism. In other countries they have met with challenges to maintain an independent course, as the imperialists have tried to find other ways to keep those countries under their yoke. Why?&nbsp;</p> <p>In his 1965 book, <em>Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism</em>, Kwame Nkrumah writes, “Once a territory has become nominally independent it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Nkrumah defines neo-colonialism like this: “The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.”</p> <p>The Chinese Communist Party put it this way in the 1963 article “Apologists for Neo-Colonialism”:&nbsp;</p> <p>“The facts are clear. After World War II the imperialists have certainly not given up colonialism, but have merely adopted a new form, neo-colonialism. An important characteristic of such neo-colonialism is that the imperialists have been forced to change their old style of direct colonial rule in some areas and to adopt a new style of colonial rule and exploitation by relying on the agents they have selected and trained. The imperialists headed by the United States enslave or control the colonial countries and countries which have already declared their independence by organizing military blocs, setting up military bases, establishing “federations” or “communities”, and fostering puppet regimes. By means of economic “aid” or other forms, they retain these countries as markets for their goods, sources of raw material and outlets for their export of capital, plunder the riches and suck the blood of the people of these countries. Moreover, they use the United Nations as an important tool for interfering in the internal affairs of such countries and for subjecting them to military, economic and cultural aggression. When they are unable to continue their rule over these countries by “peaceful” means, they engineer military coups d’etat, carry out subversion or even resort to direct armed intervention and aggression.”</p> <p>Another term for this is semi-colonialism, but the meaning is the same. The term, “semi-colonialism,” comes from the Communist International (Comintern), which categorized countries as imperialist, colonial, and semi-colonial, and gave different guidance regarding revolutionary strategy based on that categorization. Typically, a semi-colonial country is characterized by large peasantry, a relatively small proletariat, a significant landlord class, a national bourgeoisie, and a comprador bourgeoisie. The semi-colony is “independent,” formally, but remains dominated by the imperialists in a number of ways.</p> <p>According to Nkrumah,&nbsp;</p> <p>“The methods and form of this direction can take various shapes. For example, in an extreme case the troops of the imperial power may garrison the territory of the neo-colonial State and control the government of it. More often, however, neo-colonialist control is exercised through economic or monetary means. The neo-colonial State may be obliged to take the manufactured products of the imperialist power to the exclusion of competing products from elsewhere. Control over government policy in the neo-colonial State may be secured by payments towards the cost of running the State, by the provision of civil servants in positions where they can dictate policy, and by monetary control over foreign exchange through the imposition of a banking system controlled by the imperial power.”</p> <p>Most recently we’ve seen this in the form of loans from the imperialist powers, often through an institution like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank. These loans have heavy strings attached, in the form of imposing Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) upon the recipient as a condition of the loan. These SAPs impose privatization of industry and natural resources, opening them up to foreign capital. They also impose austerity programs, cutting wages and increasing taxes upon the people of the neo-colonial state. The economy is all around liberalized, the legal system made more favorable to capital and more hostile to labor, and all barriers to its super-exploitation by foreign finance capital are removed.&nbsp;</p> <p>Imperialist trade agreements like the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) impose “free trade zones” to make it easier for U.S. companies to overpower the economies of Mexico and Central America. The domestic comprador bourgeoisie directly benefits, lining their own pockets as the bought-and-paid-for representatives of foreign capital in these countries.&nbsp;</p> <p>Often military aid will also be an element of neo-colonialism, as the imperial power uses the military of the neo-colonial country, funded, armed and trained by the imperialists, to carry out proxy wars and counter-insurgency on its behalf. The United States alone has almost 800 military bases spread over 80 countries throughout the world. Through these regional proxies, like Israel or Ukraine, and through the domination of the NATO military alliance, the U.S. can extend its geopolitical hegemony even further.&nbsp;</p> <p>All the money pumped into the neo-colonial government not only serves to open those countries up for super-exploitation by the imperialists, but also serves as an outlet for the export of capital by the monopoly capitalists. Nkrumah puts it well when he says, “The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the development of the less developed parts of the world. Investment under neo-colonialism increases rather than decreases the gap between the rich and the poor countries of the world.”</p> <p>And of course, a government that is unwilling to submit to this control, or that steps out of line, or elects a government unfriendly to the imperialists, faces the very real and constant threat of coups, military intervention, and other forms of regime change.&nbsp;</p> <p>In some cases, the imperialists have granted de facto independence as a concession to a liberation struggle, only to transition the newly formed government into neo-colonial domination. In other cases, one imperialist power may encourage and aid an independence movement in order to pull a colony away from the orbit of another imperialist rival, only to dominate the newly independent government as a neo-colony.&nbsp;</p> <p>Take for example the Philippines. In <em>Philippine Society and Revolution</em>, Jose Maria Sison argues,</p> <p>“Though the reactionaries claim that the Philippines is already independent, it is not in fact completely so … The truth is that U.S. imperialism persists in violating the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and in strangulating Philippine independence. Before and after the grant of nominal independence, U.S. imperialism made sure that it would continue to control the Philippine economy, politics, culture, military and foreign relations. It has extorted unequal treaties and one-sided privileges that transgress the national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national patrimony of the Filipino people. U.S. imperialism continues to arrogate unto itself the privilege of giving armed protection to the local exploiting classes. Though there is now the illusion that the present government is self-determining, its basic policies and the election and appointment of its highest officials are mainly determined by U.S. imperialism. The clearest evidence that the Philippines is still a colony of the United States consists of economic enclaves lorded over by U.S. enterprises and also of huge U.S. military bases. These colonial enclaves can be removed only by means of an armed national revolution to assert Philippine independence.”</p> <p>We see in the socialist countries something different. Because working and oppressed people are in power in those countries, instead of the bourgeoisie, they have, by and large, successfully resisted attempts by the imperialists to reassert their dominance. In some cases, the imperialists were able to orchestrate counter-revolutions and coups, sometimes with the help of opportunists and revisionists within the socialist government. In those cases, those countries have been met with balkanization, “shock therapy,” and terrible declines in their living standards. But in the case of Cuba, Vietnam, China, Laos, and the DPRK, imperialism has failed to regain control. Because the working class controls the commanding heights of the socialist economies of these countries and operates them in a planned way to benefit the people first and foremost, they have been able to develop their productive forces, expand their economies and improve the conditions of their people, while defending themselves from both foreign intervention and economic blackmail from the imperialist powers.&nbsp;</p> <p>The move from formal independence to neo-colonialism in any country is a setback for people of the whole world whenever and wherever it occurs. But the absolute and irreconcilable antagonism at the root of the entire imperialist system cannot be papered over by the imperialists and their puppets. Imperialism is a system in decline. The working class here in the United States is becoming more conscious and organized. The socialist countries are on the rise. The national liberation movements are growing in strength, from the Philippines and the Middle East to Latin America.&nbsp;</p> <p>As the Communist Party of China said in 1963, “However hard the imperialists disguise their intentions and bestir themselves, however hard their apologists whitewash and help neo-colonialism, imperialism and colonialism cannot escape their doom. The victory of the national liberation revolution is irresistible.”</p> Marxism-Leninism ML Theory red theory Mon, 19 Sep 2022 02:26:25 +0000 Fight Back 9932 at Fight Back! Radio is dope <p>Chicago, IL - Using the tag line, “Going to the Heart of the People’s Struggle,” our podcast has quickly spread across the country. Fight Back! Radio host Richard Berg noted, “We do interviews with the real leaders of the people’s struggles. We go past the bourgeois think tanks by talking to activists that are organizing workers, oppressed nationality peoples, students and other fighters.”</p> <p>Since hitting the airwaves on May Day 2022, <em>Fight Back! Radio</em> has captured the imagination of revolutionaries and activists everywhere. In a very short time, the podcast has reached 10,000 downloads by interviewing the most successful mass leaders. The podcast has interviewed, for example, Frank Chapman, executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and Greg Kelley, president of the 90,000-member Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.</p> <p>“I’m lucky,” Berg said, “I get to sit and chat with people that are leading movements to change the world. When I was interviewing American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3800 President Cherrene Horazuk, she broke down in specifics how to fight sexism. She talked about a program for working-class women. You don’t get that on CNN. It’s inspiring and exciting.”</p> <p>On Sunday September 18, we will release an interview with Carlos Montes. An iconic leader of the Chicano National Movement, Montes was a founder, spokesperson and minister of information for the Brown Berets. He was also a key leader of the 1968 Los Angeles High School walkouts, the Chicano Moratorium against the Viet Nam War, the mega-marches from 2006 and continues today as a leader of Centro Community Service Organization in Los Angeles.</p> <p>Joining Montes to give a response is Angel Naranjo, a high school senior and leader of Chicago’s Little Village Lawndale High School<em> Fight Back! </em>organization. Angel and their fellow students across Chicago walked out of class last year when Chicago Public Schools tried to force students into unsafe schools amidst a pandemic.</p> <p>Check out the current or past episodes of <em>Fight Back! Radio</em> at <a href=""></a></p> <p>You can contact <em>Fight Back! Radio</em> at <a></a></p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Carlos Montes Chican@s y Latin@s Chicano liberation Fight Back! Radio podcast Sun, 18 Sep 2022 01:44:03 +0000 Fight Back 9931 at Austin students rally in defense of abortion rights <p>Austin, TX – The Austin Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organized a rally at the University of Texas at Austin on September 15 in defense of women's and reproductive rights, as a part of the National SDS Day of Action. About 35 students rallied at 6 p.m. at the corner of Speedway and 21st Street on UT campus. Speakers from six other organizations gave speeches condemning the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the Texas Heartbeat Act.</p> <p>The Texas Heartbeat Act (SB8) was passed in September last year in preparation for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. It bans abortions when there are cells that will later form a heart detected in the embryo, or about three weeks into a pregnancy. </p> <p>“What is really needed in this fight is sustained mass movement building and activity in the streets that shows that we demand reproductive rights," Jake Holtzman of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization said. "We can’t sit around and wait for politicians, we need to act right now, because we refuse to take another step back!”</p> <p>Austin SDS has been active over the summer and the beginning of the fall semester in defending the right to safe abortions and fighting SB8, both on campus and in the streets of Austin.</p> <p>One Austin SDS member, Jules Lattirmore, spoke out during the rally: "Let’s also recognize how UT administration has been complicit in allowing the Texas abortion ban to pass without even making a single statement against it."</p> <p>Enraged by the actions of the unelected Supreme Court and the wildly unpopular SB8, students broke out in chants of "Hey hey! Ho ho! The heartbeat bills have got to go!" and "Pro-life is a lie, they don't care if women die!" During the rally, passerby students joined the rally in solidarity, participating in chants and erupting in applause for the student speakers.</p> Abortion Rights abortion rights students Texas Movimiento Estudiantil Sat, 17 Sep 2022 12:15:33 +0000 Fight Back 9930 at UW-Milwaukee SDS stands in solidarity with AFT 3535 <p>Milwaukee, WI – As the fall semester began at UW-Milwaukee, faculty and staff received an email from the Student Services office asking them to help cover staffing shortages in dining services. Specifically, they were asked to “donate any time [they] can find.” The office framed the request as a need to cover their new dining plan, which will help to address food insecurity, improve options for dietary restrictions, and is aligned with the campus’ strategic plan “to make UWM a radically welcoming place for our students.” Administration laid the guilt on thick.</p> <p>American Federation of Teachers Local 3535, a union of faculty, academic staff and graduate student workers at UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside, said enough is enough. In a statement, AFT 3535 explained that the request comes as a result of UWM administration’s irresponsibility. “The university has failed to attract adequate paid staff to service the students they have admitted.” They also identified many solutions the administration should have taken before trying to guilt overworked and underpaid professors into working overtime for nothing.</p> <p>One possible solution was that Chancellor Mark Mone could have taken a pay cut from his $452,000 salary to redistribute it to a living wage to attract more employees. In comparison, some faculty and staff do not even make $45,000 for full-time positions. “Asking them to accept starvation wages is insulting enough, but asking them to work more hours for free is inexcusable,” read the union’s statement.</p> <p>AFT 3535 went on to point out that teachers are often the target of such requests. When administrators mess up, they think they can fall back on teachers by claiming it’s for the sake of the students. When teachers stand up for themselves and say no, that’s more ammunition they have against teachers so they can pit students, their families, and lawmakers against educators. It is not the responsibility of already overworked and underpaid staff and faculty to solve the problem the university administration made by not creating a hospitable and worthwhile work environment. Fortunately, the Students for a Democratic Society chapter at UW-Milwaukee understood this and took a decisive stand in solidarity with AFT 3535. </p> <p>“Many students recognize that staff and faculty are already working above the university’s standards, doing unpaid work to provide a better learning experience for students. Asking them to volunteer their hours for a whole other job is abusive,” said Liam Farin, a student at UWM and member of SDS.</p> <p>SDS chapters across the United States stand behind the slogan “Chop from the top,” meaning that budget cuts should be made to the top first before cutting things that support students. When budgets get tight, student support, particularly for Black, Chicano and other oppressed nationality students, is usually one of the first things to go. Meanwhile, the administrators at the top still enjoy their excessive salary and put out empty statements about how they value the student experience and diversity on campus, and that we have to come together during economic hardships.</p> <p>The UWM administration has yet to respond and rectify the situation. For now, AFT 3535 and UWM SDS know that when students and teachers unite, they win!</p> Milwaukee Public Sector Unions Student Movement student-worker solidarity unions Obreros Movimiento Estudiantil Sat, 17 Sep 2022 12:11:12 +0000 Fight Back 9929 at