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 Minneapolis city council majority votes for environmental racism <p>Minneapolis, MN - Over 100 protesters rallied at a Minneapolis City Council meeting on Thursday, January 26, where the city council members voted 7 to 6 to demolish the Roof Depot building. Protesters, called to action by East Phillips Neighborhood Institute and Climate Justice Committee, demanded a “no” vote on the demolition of the building, as it is currently trapping an arsenic plume underground, keeping it out of the air of the East Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis.</p> <p>The city has no publicly stated remediation plan for managing any arsenic release by demolition. This would render previous efforts by the EPA's Emergency Response Branch to replace 600 properties' arsenic-contaminated topsoil in vain. Additionally, once they demolish the Roof Depot, the city plans to use the space as a refueling station for the city’s diesel trucks, which would double or even triple the pollution from heavy vehicle traffic in one of the most heavily polluted neighborhoods of Minnesota.&nbsp;</p> <p>East Phillips is one of the city’s poorest communities, populated by majority working-class and oppressed nationality people. The neighborhood has some of the worst air quality in Minneapolis, causing 12% of the population in the neighborhood to have asthma. Council members who favored demolition recognized these facts, but expressed their intent to vote in favor of a demolition that would deepen environmental racism in Minneapolis. Protesters carried banners with slogans expressing key demands of the community, “Defend East Phillips” and “Urban farm, not toxic harm” to ensure that the city council had no illusions how they should vote on the question of demolition.</p> <p>Council members favoring the demolition, recognizing the strength and unity of the defenders of East Phillips, attempted to abuse city council procedures to prevent the community from voicing their demands. Over 100 people showed up in opposition to the demolition, and in response, the city council president limited the number of people in the meeting to 33. The community responded by chanting “Let them in,” both in the council meeting and outside of the chamber. The folks from East Phillips understood that the Minneapolis city council would stoop to underhanded tricks and had prepared to coordinate actions in this manner.</p> <p>Despite the overwhelming opposition from East Phillips, the Minneapolis city council voted to demolish the Roof Depot building. Having anticipated that climate injustice would be the likely result, East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) and Climate Justice Committee (CJC) and their supporters have already planned more actions to stop demolition.</p> <p>Defend East Phillips! Stop the demolition!</p> Environmental Justice environmental justice environmental racism Tue, 31 Jan 2023 05:50:56 +0000 Fight Back 10208 at Seattle: Rally for victims of police terror <p>Seattle, WA - Protesters and community members rallied at Dexter Avenue N and Thomas Street in the late afternoon of January 29 to call for justice for Tyre Nichols, Jaahnavi Kandula and all victims of police violence.</p> <p>Eighty people gathered at the rally organized by the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and held at the intersection where Jaahnavi Kandula was killed by a speeding police vehicle.&nbsp;</p> <p>“We hate that we have to be out here again and again, but we still don’t have justice for those killed by police terror,” said Clio Jensen, an organizer with SAARPR.</p> <p>On January 23 a Seattle police officer hit 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula at high speed while responding to a suspected overdose with paramedics already on site. SPD has refused to release the name of the officer, fire the officer, or provide any clarity up to this point.</p> <p>Seattle PD has engaged in cover-ups and denials of justice before. At the rally, Castill Hightower shared the story of her brother Herbert’s murder by the Seattle Police Department in 2004 and her family’s continued fight for justice and change. “Stop killing us! Stop harming us! Stop refusing to hold these officers accountable,” said Hightower, speaking to the crowd of protesters.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;SAARPR members read a statement from Rose Johnson, mother of Ryan Matthew Smith, who was shot and killed by SPD in 2019. “I tried tirelessly to get justice for Ryan. With no success. I hope Jaahnavi’s parents and family get justice for her. A beautiful precious soul taken from them in such a senseless manner.” Smith’s killer continues to work for SPD, and the city has stymied all efforts for accountability and transparency.&nbsp;</p> <p>“Justice for Tyre!” chanted protesters, calling for justice for Tyre Nichols who was beaten to death by five Memphis, Tennessee police officers on January 7. The horrific video of Tyre’s killing was made public on January 27, sparking protests across the country.</p> <p>On January 18, Manny “Tortuguita” Paez was killed by Georgia State Troopers while protesting against the construction of “Cop City,” a proposed police headquarters to be built in Atlanta Forest. “Say his name! Tortuguita!” chanted the crowd.</p> <p>Other community members came to share their stories of police abuse. “I was strangled by the police,” said Victoria Pacho, sharing her experiences as a survivor of police violence. “They put their full weight on my neck. There’s so much pain, and you cannot scream. And the city does nothing to support victims.”&nbsp;</p> <p>“The end goal is abolition. We just need a tool to get us there,” says Mantak Singh from the Progressive Student Union at the University of Washington. “Community control of the police, through a civilian police accountability council, is the best way to achieve that.”</p> <p>Throughout the evening, protesters demanded the release of footage related to Jaahnavi’s killing, the identification and firing of the driving officer, safer streets for all pedestrians, justice for Tyre Nichols, justice for Manny “Tortuguita” Paez, justice for all victims of police violence, and community control of the Seattle Police Department. “Enough is enough, we need to take back control for the people,” said Mantak Singh.</p> Brutalidad Policial jail killer cops police terror Stop Police Crimes Mon, 30 Jan 2023 19:21:46 +0000 Fight Back 10207 at Los Angles: Riot police deployed against protest for Tyre Nichols <p>Los Angeles, CA - Hundreds of people marched and rallied January 27 demanding justice for Tyre Nichols, who was killed by five Memphis cops. Additionally, protesters demanded justice for LAPD victim Keenan Anderson, an African American teacher who was tazed to death, and for Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, an environmental activist assassinated by Georgia state troopers. Protesters condemned racist police terror with a banner that read “Stop Cop City” displayed on barricades in front of the police headquarters. A march ensued around the block with everyone chanting “No justice no peace!” and “Justice for Tyre!”</p> <p>In light of the anticipated release of the brutal bodycam footage of Tyre Nichols, LA police department presence was persistent throughout the day. They prepared for potential unrest, setting up barricades and using surveillance technology throughout the city.</p> <p>After returning back to the start of the event, protesters knocked down the barricades and LAPD cops in riot gear emerged from the headquarters and advanced on protesters. Fifty riot-geared cops arrived in the opposite direction of Main Street and created a line. Known neo-Nazis and provocateurs were present. When protesters conformed the reactionaries, police advanced and shoved to protect the Nazis. Some began to point their weapons at protesters, within close range.</p> <p>The LAPD established a line across the intersection of Main Street and 1st Street, in the face of protesters making a stand for justice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Brutalidad Policial Prosecute killer cops Stop Police Crimes Mon, 30 Jan 2023 02:26:21 +0000 Fight Back 10206 at Chicago: Community Commission Stops Implementation of Gang Database <p>Chicago, IL - 60 people observed the latest meeting of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA), January 26 at Olive Harvey College. The agenda included a proposed policy stopping the Chicago Police Department from creating a new gang database; selecting members for the Non-citizens Advisory Council established by the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance; and setting goals for the Chicago PD, the Police Board, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.</p> <p>A dozen Police District Council candidates were in attendance. Two, Cherli Montgomery from the 7th District and Eric Russell from the 6th, spoke in the public comments section of the meeting.</p> <p>"This day is historic because someone voted early for District Councils today," Russell exclaimed. "The District Council elections were not promoted by the city or the police department. We got here because of the will of the people."</p> <p>Commissioner Oswaldo Gomez introduced the nominees to the Non-citizens Advisory Council, whose purpose is to represent immigrant communities who are targeted by police violence but would otherwise be excluded from the electoral process. The nominees are Glo Choi, Ariana Correa and Mayra Gomez Santana.</p> <p>CCPSA President Anthony Driver spoke on the Chicago police department’s attempts to relaunch the gang database, a tool which has been used to harass Black and brown people based on dubious or outright false claims of gang affiliation. Chicago PD announced the new gang database as a special order to dodge the authority of the CCPSA, which has the power to approve or deny general orders. All previous gang databases have been general orders.</p> <p>"The gang database is a racist policy. My father is in it and he's never been in a gang a day in his life," Driver stated after telling his experience of how his father was more responsive than the police after Driver was robbed at gunpoint.&nbsp;</p> <p>"It's disgusting that we've spent four months debating a policy that nobody wants in the first place," Driver continued, before introducing a new policy mandating that any attempt to implement a system for tracking organized crime must be reviewed by the CCPSA. The policy was unanimously adopted by the commission.</p> <p>The bulk of the meeting was spent announcing the goals set for the Chicago PD, Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) and the Police Board. The goals for COPA are focused on increased hiring, more community outreach and more efficient investigations into police crimes. The Police Board goals include better documentation and more public meetings, and the goals for the police department include greater transparency and consent decree compliance. The goals will be released in full before the next CCPSA meeting in February.</p> <p>COPA Chief Andrea Kersten was present at the meeting and accepted the goals set for her department. Police Board President Ghian Foreman sent a statement to express commitment to the goals as well.&nbsp;</p> <p>Attendees were fully expecting to come into the meeting without an agreement from the police department, and Commissioners Cliff Nellis and Beth Brown explained that the police department repeatedly disputed the authority of the CCPSA to set its goals. However, the department ultimately ended up agreeing to adopt the goals on the morning of the CCPSA meeting.</p> <p>Police Superintendent David Brown claimed to be in full compliance with the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (EPCS) ordinance and blamed the resistance to the goals, which the Chicago Police Department is mandated by ECPS to follow, on the city's Law Department.</p> <p>"Lies! Lies! Lies!" shouted Eric Russell, before walking out of the meeting.</p> <p>The Chicago Police and the Law Departments’ resistance to the goals set by the CCPSA is another example of the ruling class in Chicago fighting against democratic control of the police, and a preview of the challenges the CCPSA and District Councils will face in trying to hold the police accountable. Overcoming these challenges will require the consistent participation of the masses of Chicago's working and oppressed people.&nbsp;</p> <p>The next CCPSA meeting is on Thursday, February 23, less than a week ahead of the District Council elections on February 28.</p> Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability Sistema de injusticia Sun, 29 Jan 2023 20:36:57 +0000 Fight Back 10205 at Minneapolis Fight Back! fundraiser massive success <p>Minneapolis, MN - Nearly 100 people joined together January 28 to celebrate the newspaper <em>Fight Back!</em> and to raise funds for the paper. Emcees Autumn Lake and Robyn Harbison led the night with toasts from Twin Cities movements that <em>Fight Back!</em> has covered over the last year and getting the crowd excited to aim to raise enough for one print edition of the paper.&nbsp;</p> <p>Charlie Berg from the Climate Justice Committee started off the toasts, thanking the paper for publishing articles about the East Phillips struggle against pollution and the ongoing work of the CJC. Akhilesh Menawat from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee also spoke to the importance of <em>Fight Back!</em> publishing coverage of the struggles for DACA, municipal ID and drivers licenses in Minnesota. Olivia Crull from the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee talked about the political importance of <em>Fight Back!</em> reporting correct numbers of our protests after a post-Roe protest in Minneapolis had 10,000 people in the streets.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mick Kelly, <em>Fight Back!</em> editor, ended the speeches talking about how important Fight Back! News is. "Fight Back! News doesn't claim to be objective like mainstream media. Fight Back! News has picked a side and it's the side of the people's struggles."&nbsp;</p> <p>The fundraiser saw activists and groups from across the Twin Cities pledge to hit not only our goal of funding one print edition of the paper but more than two print editions – over $4000, a new high for this annual event in the Twin Cities and ensuring the continued print edition of <em>Fight Back!</em></p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Fight Back! News Sun, 29 Jan 2023 20:27:57 +0000 Fight Back 10204 at Seattle activists march against police brutality <p>Seattle WA - Protesters, angry about recent police killings, marched to the East Precinct police station in Seattle on the evening of January 27. A group about 100 people marched from the site where Jaahnavi Kandula was run over by a cop on January 23. Chants of "No justice! No peace! No racist police!" rang out as the group took to the streets demanding an end to police violence.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jaahnavi Kandula was walking in a crosswalk when an officer ran her over and kept driving. "The Seattle police department has refused to release the name of the officer. The SPD have also refused to say whether the cop had their siren or lights on and how fast they were going. We demand justice," said Cael Frerichs from the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, who also attended a vigil for Jaahnavi Kandula.</p> <p>Protesters also marched against the recent murder of Tyre Nichols by Memphis, Tennessee police officers. Tyre Nichols was pulled over for a traffic stop and was beaten to death by five officers. "When Black lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!" Mantak Singh, a student organizer with Progressive Student Union chanted.</p> <p>"No more police brutality, no more killings! We need to put people in power over the police, over budget, policy, hiring and firing,” said Clio Jensen from the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, speaking in front of the precinct building. Protesters talked about instances of police violence in Seattle and nationally and demanded an end.</p> Brutalidad Policial Police Brutality Prosecute killer cops Stop Police Crimes Sun, 29 Jan 2023 16:37:49 +0000 Fight Back 10203 at Saint Paul holds vigil in solidarity with victims of Jenin massacre <p>Saint Paul, MN - The anti-war organization Women Against Military Madness organized a vigil on Friday, January 27, in response to the recent massacre of Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp in occupied Palestine. Attendees held signs with the slogans “End U.S. aid to Israel” and “End Israeli apartheid,” and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” The vigil was met with a positive reaction from the community.</p> <p>Israeli Occupation Force soldiers entered the Jenin camp and opened fire, killing nine Palestinians, including one elderly woman, and wounding at least 20 others. The IOF soldiers then obstructed traffic, preventing ambulances from entering or leaving the area, and even opened fire on an ambulance that attempted to move through the blockade.&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking about the massacre, Sarah Martin of Women Against Military Madness highlighted the cruelty of the attack, noting that Israeli soldiers even fired tear gas towards the children’s wing of a hospital, causing the caustic vapor to waft into a ward where sick children were being treated. A member of Israel’s parliament, Almog Cohen, responded to these events by making the appalling statement: “Nice and professional work by the fighters in Jenin. Keep killing them.”</p> <p>Andrew Josefchak of the Anti-War Committee spoke about the importance of supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement to strip Israel of international support. “We here in the United States are made complicit in these disgusting acts of violence,” Josefchak said. “Not only does the United States send Israel $4 billion a year in aid on the federal level, but states like Minnesota participate too. The Minnesota State Board of Investment not only puts our tax dollars into Israeli weapons companies like Elbit Systems, which manufactures cluster bombs, tear gas and other weapons, but also invests in Israeli government bonds. These are essentially long-term loans to the Israeli government, and they are using the money to commit atrocities like this.”</p> <p>Josefchak highlighted the fact that Palestinians living under occupation have long asked their supporters in the international community to push the BDS movement forward, and stated that the Anti-War Committee is pursuing a campaign to pressure the Minnesota State Board of Investment to divest its Israeli holdings. “BDS worked in the case of South Africa, and it can and will work in the case of Palestine.”</p> Free Palestine Palestina Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) Sat, 28 Jan 2023 22:48:07 +0000 Fight Back 10202 at Justice for Tyre Nichols <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following January 27 statement from the National Alliance Against Racist &amp; Political Repression.</em></p> <p>The National Alliance Against Racist &amp; Political Repression condemns the police killing of Tyre Nichols and stands with all victims of police terror</p> <p>On January 7th, 2023, Memphis Police brutally assaulted Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black man. This resulted in “his bones coming out of his skin” and difficulty breathing. Tyre Nichols died in the hospital three days later, on January 10th, after kidney failure and cardiac arrest because of the beating. The body cam footage is horrific and unwatchable. The 5 officers responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols have been fired by the Memphis Police Department and have rightfully been charged and indicted for the murder of Tyre Nichols. They now must be convicted.</p> <p>The demands for accountability and transparency from police are evergreen, as this January has shown that cops continue to live up to their legacy of racial terror. With the recent murders of Keenan Anderson, in Los Angeles, CA, Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán, in Atlanta, GA and Tyre Nichols in Memphis, TN at the hands of police, the movements to fight back and demand real justice for Black people and all victims of police crimes must continue to struggle until we secure a future where the police answer to the people. A world where the community gets the first and last say on how they are policed and where real accountability is won. That is a future where our people have community control of the police, a future that will be reached only if we fight for it!</p> <p>Only through the demand of community control of the police can we see killer cops held accountable and their boots taken off our necks. The National Alliance stands in full solidarity with the family and friends of Tyre Nichols as they fight for accountability and justice. We stand in solidarity with all strains of the movement and call for all our branches, affiliate organizations and allies in the movement to demand justice in their own cities.</p> <p>Justice for Tyre Nichols and all victims of police terror!</p> <p>Community Control of the Police Now!</p> <p>Black Lives Matter!</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) Tyre Nichols Sistema de injusticia Sat, 28 Jan 2023 16:57:27 +0000 Fight Back 10201 at Justice for Manuel Paez! Stop Cop City! <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.</em></p> <p>The Committee to Stop FBI Repression condemns the violent state repression against anti-Cop City activists. On January 18 Georgia State Patrol murdered Stop Cop City activist and Atlanta Forest defender Manuel Paez, also known as “Tortuguita.” On January 21, six Stop Cop City activists were charged with domestic terrorism after a protest in downtown Atlanta. We stand in solidarity with the activists and against the escalation in repression by the state of Georgia.</p> <p>The proposed Public Safety Training Center, or Cop City as it’s being called by activists, would be an $80 million state-of-the-art police training facility built in the Atlanta Forest. Cop City would allow police officers from around the state of Georgia to come and train in new innovative ways to oppress and brutalize the people. Additionally, the building of Cop City would have catastrophic effects for the environment as the Atlanta Forest is one of the few remaining urban forests in the country.</p> <p>Paez was murdered by Georgia State Patrol for the crime of defending the Atlanta Forest. Paez had been occupying the forest to prevent the building of Cop City. In the evening of January 18, Georgia State Patrol murdered Paez in cold blood. It’s still not clear what happened that night and accounts of what happened contradict one another but what we do know is clear: the extra-judicial killing of Paez is meant to further repress the movement to stop Cop City.</p> <p>On January 21, six protesters were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism, with four of the protesters being denied bond and the remaining two having their bonds set to over $350,000. This represents even further repression of the Stop Cop City movement by the state of Georgia.</p> <p>The Committee to Stop FBI Repression urges all supporters to participate in local events demanding that Cop City not be built, and in defense of the Atlanta Forest. Supporters should also attend events to remember Paez and demand the charges against the six activists be dropped.</p> <p>Justice for Tortuguita!</p> <p>Stop Cop City!</p> <p>Defend the Atlanta Forest!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Brutalidad Policial Committee to Stop FBI Repression Sat, 28 Jan 2023 05:09:21 +0000 Fight Back 10200 at Tyree Williams tased to death by police in North Carolina <p>Raleigh, NC - On January 17, Darryl Tyree Williams was tased to death by six Raleigh Police Department officers who have since been put on administrative leave, essentially a paid vacation.</p> <p>The six officers named in the incident are C.D. Robinson, J.T. Thomas, D.L. Aquino, J.R. Scott, D.L. Grande, and B L. Ramge. As of writing, no bodycam or dashcam footage has been released to the public or the family. The preliminary police report attempted to smear Tyree Williams saying, "This location has a history of repeat calls for service for drugs, weapons and other criminal violations," a common police tactic against victims of police violence. There was no apparent reason for police to demand to search Williams’s car besides blatant racial profiling.</p> <p>Tyree’s family organized a vigil on January 19, where dozens of attendees released balloons in mourning “We love you Boo-boo”. Organizers held a protest during the Raleigh city council meeting on January 25 calling for Justice for Darryl Williams and defund the Raleigh police department.</p> <p>Police approached Tyree’s vehicle while they were doing what Raleigh police call “preventative policing.” One family member said, “he was an innocent Black man minding his business” when police dragged him out of the car, “They tried to George Floyd my brother,” she said.</p> <p>Police say they tased Tyree three times while Williams pleaded with police to stop and was heard saying “I have heart problems.” This police murder comes just two weeks after Los Angeles police murdered a teacher, Keenan Anderson, with a taser. Studies have repeatedly shown that tasers can cause heart problems in the people they strike. Often, victims have little control over their limbs which police will then point to claim they were resisting.</p> <p>The Refund Raleigh Freedom Committee condemned the police murder and called for divestment from the police department and investing in Black lives by funding “affordable housing, healthcare, fair wages, childcare, and quality education.” The Refund Raleigh Freedom Committee is a community organization that has been calling for years for cuts in the police budget and moving that money to affordable housing developments, a city worker minimum wage of $25 per hour, and for the introduction of a mental health response unit separated from the police department, similar to Denver’s STAR program.</p> <p>From Memphis to Atlanta to Raleigh to LA, racist police violence has continued unabated and police departments have continued to receive large budget increases at the expense of public schools and other public services. May Darryl Tyree Williams, Tyre Nichols, Keenan Anderson, Tortuguita, and the many victims of the brutal policing regime rest in power.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Brutalidad Policial Prosecute killer cops Stop Police Crimes Sat, 28 Jan 2023 01:03:10 +0000 Fight Back 10199 at