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 Tampa: 2000 immigrants rally against DeSantis <p>Tampa, FL - Some 2000 people gathered at the corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Columbus Drive in Tampa, Thursday, June 1, under the slogan “A Day Without Immigrants” to protest Senate bill 1718, which was promoted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.</p> <p>The new law seeks to increase repression and criminalization of Latin American immigrants, especially those without documents, by requiring they prove their legal entry and residence in the United States.</p> <p>Attended mostly by Mexican, Honduran and other Central American people, the rally had a serious but very optimistic and upbeat atmosphere. The bulk of the attendees were about 20 to 50 years of age, although a lot of teenagers and younger children were present, as well as elderly people.</p> <p>“El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido” (The people united will never be defeated) was a chant often heard as well as “DeSantis escucha estamos en la lucha” (DeSantis, beware, we are in the struggle). “Vivan los inmigrantes; fuera DeSantis” (Long live immigrants; out with DeSantis) was also chanted.</p> <p>Billed as “the strongest anti-illegal immigration legislation in the country” by the governor’s office, Senate Bill 1718 makes the use of E-Verify mandatory for employers with 25 or more workers, imposes heavy fines to those giving work to undocumented immigrants, and raises penalties to anyone transporting them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Furthermore, the new legislation prevents local governments from issuing ID cards, and invalidates those provided by other states, including driver’s licenses. Among other mandates, the new law requires hospitals to collect information on the immigration status of their patients and the track costs of the care given to undocumented people.</p> <p>Laura Rodriguez of the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee states, “Immigrants come to the U.S. border in great part because of problems the U.S. causes in our lands. The United States has militarized Latin America. Colombia alone has nine known U.S. military bases. Colombia has mass graves all over the country, with some found to have over 2000 bodies each in them. This is in great part due to U.S. government and corporations ‘clearing land’ to steal natural resources, quelling protests, and to maintain local and regional strategic control.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Protests are continuing in cities and towns throughout Florida.&nbsp;</p> immigrant rights Inmigrantes Mon, 05 Jun 2023 19:12:13 +0000 Fight Back 10592 at Justice for Jor’Dell Richardson <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the family of Jor'Dell Richardson and the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee.</em></p> <p>On Thursday, June 1st at around 4:20 pm, a 14-year old Black teenager named Jor’Dell Richardson was shot in the back by a yet to be identified Aurora police officer. He was shot on the ground when he was already subdued by said officer.</p> <p>Police allege that Jor’Dell and a group of unidentified individuals were attempting to rob a convenience store on the corner of 8th and Dayton. Jor’Dell was followed by APD officers to an alleyway behind the store where he was shot to death. Jor’Dell was lying on his stomach with his back in the air when he was killed by an APD officer.</p> <p>APD claims that Jor’Dell was armed at the time of the incident. Interim Chief of Aurora PD Art Acevedo said in a press conference, “These kids think that this is a video game. I don't know what they think this is.” Killing a Black child in cold blood is a racist police crime.</p> <p>Chief Acevedo’s history of misconduct, from keeping nude photos of a fellow officer in a squad car, with whom he had an affair, and showing them to other officers in the 2000s, to conducting a no-knock warrant in Houston in 2019 that killed two innocent people, to fraternizing with known right-wing extremists like Alex Jones and members of the Proud Boys in the 2010s, clearly demonstrates he is unfit to handle cases of police crime with accountability to the people.</p> <p>The Richardson Family and the Denver-Aurora Community Action Committee are raising the following demands for justice for Jor’Dell Richardson:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">● The immediate release of all unedited footage of the incident, including bodycams, surveillance cameras from local businesses, and HALO footage.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">● The release of the identity of the Aurora PD officer who shot Jor’Dell Richardson to death.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">● The firing, indictment, and conviction of the Aurora PD officer who shot Jor’Dell Richardson to death.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">● An immediate independent investigation into the Aurora Police Department by the Department of Justice to discover department-wide misconduct.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">● Community control of APD!</p> <p>The Richardson Family is asking for donations for the costs of Jor’Dell’s funeral. You can donate and send messages of support and solidarity to</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 Stop Police Crimes Sun, 04 Jun 2023 22:15:57 +0000 Fight Back 10590 at Are U.S. drones dropping bombs in the Philippines? <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines.</em></p> <p>The U.S. imperialists and its military forces are notorious for outright military intervention and violating the territorial sovereignty of countries around the world. Indeed, it is well known that the U.S. military has been freely operating their drones and other aircraft within Philippine airspace to transport war matériel and personnel in their various military bases and facilities, as well as take part in local military operations, including conducting drone surveillance, in the name of “counter-terrorism.”</p> <p>In the same way that U.S. soldiers played an active role in the bombing of Marawi City in 2017, American military officers are also often sighted in tactical outposts of the AFP in various parts of the country, acting as advisers and directing counterguerrilla operations of Filipino soldiers against Filipino revolutionary fighters.</p> <p>It is thus not surprising, but nonetheless a condemnable act of outright intervention, that the U.S. military is flying drones and carrying out air strikes in the Philippines against the New People’s Army (NPA). A few weeks ago, a unit of the NPA in Surigao del Sur, reported that a “Hermes”-type drone fired rocket bombs at their position as they engaged members of the 30th IB in a gun battle in the Katarugan mountains, in Barangay Lobo, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, last May 11, 2023 at around 5:15 p.m. Two Red fighters were killed in the attack. Images of the area taken after the drone strikes show surrounding burned trees and vegetation.</p> <p>NPA Red fighters are familiar with how the AFP uses its noisy FA-50s, Super Tucano jets or McDonnel Douglas and Agusta Westland helicopters for firing rocket bombs and strafing.</p> <p>With the AFP not having publicly acknowledged that its drones are being armed with rocket bombs, there is high probability that the May 11 armed drone strike in Surigao del Sur was carried out by the U.S. military itself, either by arming the AFP’s Hermes drones purchased from Israel with its Hellfire missiles, or using its own Reaper drones which from the ground could be mistaken for a Hermes drone.</p> <p>The U.S. military is known for having carried out tens of thousands of drone strikes operations overseas, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where up to at least a few hundreds of civilians have been killed. On U.S. instigation, drones are now also being increasingly used by the Indian government in its attacks against the people and revolutionary forces.</p> <p>It is up to the AFP to explain whether it allowed the U.S. to operate armed drones and fire rockets or drop bombs within the Philippines, in violation of Philippine sovereignty. Or whether, the AFP is now itself using armed drones to carry out aerial bombing in its counterinsurgency operations, which puts the lives of civilians in danger, and causes excessive loss of lives, in violation of international humanitarian law.</p> drones Filipinas Philippines U.S. imperialism Sun, 04 Jun 2023 16:36:37 +0000 Fight Back 10589 at Fight for rent control in Minneapolis advances <p>Minneapolis, MN - At the May 25 Minneapolis City Council meeting, a 7-5 majority voted to start the process of writing a rent stabilization ordinance to be put on the ballot for voters to decide on in the November 2023 city elections.</p> <p>The motion was proposed by Ward 10 Councilmember Aisha Chughtai and Ward 6 Councilmember Jamal Osman who represent the parts of the city with the highest concentrations of renters. It directs the City Attorney’s office to write the ordinance language for the Council to then debate, amend, and vote on.</p> <p>Mayor Frey, who opposes rent stabilization, tried to veto the motion but was rebuked by the City Attorney’s office, who said the mayor doesn’t have the authority to stop the Council from directing the City Attorney to draft an ordinance.</p> <p>The motion directs the City Attorney to draft a rent stabilization policy with the following guidelines:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Fixed rent increases at three percent annually, with no adjustment for Consumer Price Index</li> <li>Vacancy control and no "rent banking"</li> <li>No exempted types of housing and no exemption for new construction</li> <li>Exception process for investment/substantial capital improvements and for deferred maintenance and habitability</li> <li>Requirements for City certification, the creation of an oversight body charged with program compliance and enforcement, and an appeals process</li> <li>If approved by voters, the policy to become legally effective six months after certification of results by the Minneapolis Canvassing Board</li> </ul> <p>Regarding the rent stabilization motion she co-authored, Councilmember Chughtai said, “Housing is a human right. Like the 80% of Ward 10 residents who are renters, I believe a critical part of building public safety is recognizing housing as a human right. For years, rents have been rising much faster than residents’ incomes. Too many of our neighbors spend most of their paycheck on making rent. And too many of our neighbors have been pushed out of the neighborhoods we love because they cannot afford basic necessities like housing, food, clothing, and transportation."</p> <p>Chughtai continued, "As this crisis continues to go unaddressed, we’ve seen the rate of food insecurity and homelessness grow in our city. This displacement is continuing in Ward 10 right now, and I’m committed to acting with urgency to keep residents in their homes and the communities they love. Some of the most powerful forces in our City claim the sky will fall if Minneapolis adopts rent stabilization, especially large developers and big landlords that have made massive profits off renters. They want to keep raking in big profits, no matter how much our community is harmed. I want to protect the vast majority of my constituents.”</p> <p>Minnesota state law says that cities can only implement rent control if approved by the voters. In the November 2021 election, Minneapolis voters passed a ballot measure authorizing the City Council to create a rent control policy which would then be brought back to voters in a later election. Since the 2021 vote, Mayor Frey has repeatedly tried to stop the City Council from passing a rent control policy.</p> <p>Given Mayor Frey’s opposition to rent stabilization and his influence over several City Council members, many observers were surprised that this motion to write a strong rent control policy passed. While the policy still faces a near-certain mayoral veto if and when the City Council passes a finalized ordinance, this vote re-energized the movement for rent control and showed that despite the mayor’s efforts to stop it, a majority on the City Council could be won over to vote in favor of some version of rent stabilization.</p> <p>After the CIty Attorney drafts the ordinance language, the next step for rent stabilization is that it will come back to the City Council and be referred to the Business, Inspections, Housing and Zoning (BIHZ) Committee for debate, amendments, and a public hearing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Housing Struggles rent control Sat, 03 Jun 2023 21:52:30 +0000 Fight Back 10588 at Drop the charges against the Atlanta Solidarity Fund activists! <p><span style="font-style: italic;">Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.</span></p> <div>The Committee to Stop FBI Repression condemns the May 31 arrest of three organizers with the Atlanta Solidarity Fund (ASF). The arrest of the three organizers, who are being called the ASF 3, represents an increase in state repression against the Stop Cop City movement. The ASF has played a pivotal role in jail support and the bailing out of arrested Stop Cop City activists.</div> <div></div> <div>On the morning of May 31, the Atlanta Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted a militarized SWAT raid and executed a search warrant on the three activists. The state is alleging trumped up charges of “money laundering” and “charity fraud.” These arrests are meant to further criminalize any form of dissent against the building of Cop City.</div> <div></div> <div>The ASF was started in 2017 and was instrumental in supporting and defending protestors arrested during the 2020 George Floyd uprisings and Stop Cop City movement. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp released a statement following the arrest of the ASF 3 referring to them as “criminals who facilitated and encouraged domestic terrorism."</div> <div></div> <div>The only crime the ASF 3 are guilty of is defending the people from violent state repression that is meant to silence any form of dissent against Cop City. If found guilty of these trumped up charges a dangerous precedent will be set for those organizing against political repression in the future.</div> <div></div> <div>The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is urging all supporters to stand in solidarity with the ASF 3 and demand the charges be dropped now.</div> Committee to Stop FBI Repression Political Repression Sat, 03 Jun 2023 19:13:47 +0000 Fight Back 10587 at Milwaukee: Community gathers for mural unveiling at Lucille Berrien Park <p>Milwaukee, WI - On Sunday, May 28, dozens of community members gathered at Lucille Berrien Park for the official unveiling of a new mural to commemorate Lucille. The mural came about through a collaborative effort between the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, True Skool Inc., and the Milwaukee Parks Foundation.</p> <p>Milwaukee has a rich history of oppressed nationality figures who have carried the struggle for liberation, but they are rarely highlighted in the history books. Lucille Berrien, who recently turned 95, is one of those figures. Her legacy is filled with remarkable accomplishments, such as founding the original iteration of the Milwaukee Alliance 50 years ago, being a member of the Black Panther Party, being a Communist Party member, being the first Black woman to run for mayor, and leading struggles for welfare rights and fair housing in the city.</p> <p>When the MAARPR asked community members what they would like to see in the mural, there was an overwhelming support for imagery also showing Berrien’s love for her children. Besides being a revolutionary, Berrien also helped foster over 200 children while living in the neighborhood where the park is located. Berrien’s commitment to the struggle for the liberation of oppressed people is complemented by her unwavering commitment to serving others. This is the legacy the mural captures.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Lucille Berrien Sat, 03 Jun 2023 15:41:57 +0000 Fight Back 10586 at Seattle: Families impacted by police violence protest at U.S. Department of Justice hearing <p>Seattle, WA - On Tuesday, May 30, around 15 community members came together in protest at the Federal Courthouse at a hearing on whether to lift the consent decree placed on the Seattle Police Department. The consent decree was placed in 2012 after an investigation found a pattern of officers using excessive force. It required policy changes and other measures in order to comply with federally mandated standards on policing.</p> <p>When asked if the bias-free policing reform included in the consent decree would address racial disparities, the city attorney representing Seattle said that it was not explicitly required.</p> <p>The Department of Justice has moved recently to lift the consent decree, stating the Seattle Police Department is a model for other departments around the country to look up to. This is in direct contrast with the victims left behind, who organized a protest at the hearing to show they will have their voices heard.</p> <p>Among these voices was Castill Hightower, who in 2004 lost her brother, Herbert Hightower Jr., when Officer Steve Hirjak killed him while he was in a mental health crisis. She has been fighting for the Seattle Police Department to provide records of what happened that night since then, only to be given changing stories that contradict each other.</p> <p>“We are calling for an end to the consent decree not because it’s been a success, but because it’s been an utter failure!” says Hightower. In January of 2022, a Latino man experiencing a mental health crisis was brutally shot and killed by police, traumatizing his family. Earlier this year, a student named Jaahnavi Kandula was hit and killed by a speeding SPD car. These instances have been ignored and swept under the rug by the SPD and federal oversight bodies, leading Hightower to call it “a consent decree that endangers the community.” In its place, she demands democratically elected community control of the police, centered around the needs of victims of police violence and their families.</p> <p>The Community Police Commission was in full attendance at the hearing. The CPC, the latest in the city of Seattle’s attempts to integrate community members into their police reform, includes nobody directly impacted by police violence out of its 15 commissioners. In stark contrast, the protest organized by Hightower contained four impacted people in the small crowd.</p> <p>After the hearing, protesters rallied and spoke outside of the courthouse. Howard Gale, a representative of SeattleSTOP, had this to say: "It's not that the consent decree is not working, it's that it's made things worse. We can see that in the fact that with the brutal murder of a Latinx in February of 2022, we still have no accountability or identification."</p> <p>The speakers went on to address the Affected Persons Program, a $100,000 initiative to provide resources and support to families affected by heinous police violence. "Since the Affected People's Program passed, it has been undermined and undercut every step of the way!" said Howard Gale.</p> <p>A video recording of the hearing will be available in the near future at <a href="" title=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Police Brutality Sat, 03 Jun 2023 15:33:39 +0000 Fight Back 10585 at Milwaukee: Union workers at Master Lock rally to save their jobs <p>Milwaukee, WI - On the afternoon of May 31, nearly 100 union members and their supporters gathered outside the entrance to the Master Lock factory on Milwaukee’s North Side to call on the company to keep the plant open. The rally came in response to a sudden announcement that the shop was going to be closed, a course of action that will leave more than 400 people out of work. A number of other unions were represented by the different participants at the rally and picket, including United Steel Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, and others.</p> <p>Master Lock, where workers are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 4, Local 469, is one of the only remaining well-paying union jobs available to people living on the North Side, home to Milwaukee’s historically Black community. The area has been hit hard by the same deindustrialization over the last several decades that can be seen in other Midwestern cities like Detroit and Flint in Michigan and Gary, Indiana, among other places.</p> <p>“The company was doing just fine the week before the announcement. Our plant was the top producing and delivering facility in the company. To be told that wasn’t good enough, it was devastating,” said Yolanda Nathan, president of UAW Local 469. “We plan to do everything we can to keep our jobs here, and if we’re unable to do it, we’re going to fight to get the best deal for our members.”</p> <p>A prominent theme among the workers on the picket line was that as things stand, they’re losing all of their benefits, including healthcare, and that there’s been a lack of transparency from the company. Others commented on the fact that the workers and the jobs at the facility have been intimately tied to the surrounding community. Union members have led food and clothing drives and trash clean-up initiatives. With the factory closing down, an important part of the community is being lost.</p> <p>“It’s not just us fighting for us, the employees; we’re fighting for the community,” Nathan said.</p> <p>The company currently intends to cease operations at the facility in March of 2024. The union will fight until the end.</p> union Obreros Fri, 02 Jun 2023 22:11:03 +0000 Fight Back 10583 at Milwaukee Alliance pickets Mayor Johnson’s home to demand a fair shared revenue plan <p>Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, May 31, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression held a picket outside Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s house. The Milwaukee Alliance recently launched their Fair Share Campaign in order to fight back against the strings attached to Milwaukee’s shared revenue increase being proposed by state Republicans.</p> <p>This picket specifically targeted Mayor Johnson because he has been reluctant to voice firm support for the people of Milwaukee. Instead, he has been “negotiating” with these reactionary state officials behind closed doors. Johnson has refused to put together a public town hall meeting so that the people of Milwaukee might voice their displeasure with the proposed plan, so the Milwaukee Alliance decided they would take matters into their own hands and pay him a visit.</p> <p>State officials are trying to coerce Milwaukee into accepting ridiculous demands in order to receive a 10% raise in its shared revenue. Among these demands are reinstating police officers in Milwaukee public schools, increasing the sales tax by 2% to pay for the police pension, at minimum, preserving the current police staffing levels, and removing the Fire and Police Commission’s policy-creating power. Mayor Johnson’s voting record while in the city council, called the common council in Milwaukee, demonstrates that he’s poised to accept many of these repressive pro-cop demands.</p> <p>Aware of Mayor Johnson’s pro-cop inclinations, the Milwaukee Alliance is pushing back and demanding: Fair Shared Revenue with no strings attached; hands off the Fire and Police Commission; no police in our schools; transparency now - public Town Hall with Mayor Johnson and County Executive Crowley - no backroom deals, and community control over resources to fund human needs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Police crimes Sistema de injusticia Fri, 02 Jun 2023 21:44:28 +0000 Fight Back 10582 at National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 79 holds rally amid contract negotiations <p>Seattle, WA - Around 100 postal service workers and supporters gathered at Westlake Park on May 29 as the National Association of Letter Carriers continues negotiations for a new contract with USPS. The rally was hosted by NALC Branch 79. Postal workers and supporters spoke about the need for a strong contract that includes a higher starting pay, an end to the two tiered system, and an end to mandatory overtime.&nbsp;</p> <p>Kevin Gottleib, president of NALC Local 79, took to the stage first and spoke out about the need for a higher starting pay that is competitive with the rest of the industry, stating, “We need our bargaining team to hit a grand slam out of the park.” The previous NALC contract expired on May 20 but will remain into effect until a new contract is agreed upon. Postal service workers are currently start at around $19 an hour.&nbsp;</p> <p>When USPS does hire new workers, pay and benefits are not enough to retain them. This has trapped the industry in a cycle of understaffing and forced overtime. Carriers are forced to work 60 hours every week, and many work as many as 90 or even 100 hours a week, leaving them with very little time to spend with their friends and family. This also causes safety issues, as exhausted carriers are more likely to hurt themselves or others on the job.&nbsp;</p> <p>Debbie Dixon, regional administrative assistant for the NALC, says the problem is the management - or rather mismanagement - of the U.S. postal service. Managers are often hired on after working as non-career letter carriers for less than 90 days, with little to no knowledge of the contract or the day to day of the job.&nbsp;</p> <p>“We must train management on contact compliance,” Dickson declared to an energized crowd. “We need to them to be trained on how to actually run the United States Postal Service!”</p> <p>Rogelio Gose, a shop steward at NALC Branch 79, spoke about the demands that letter carriers want to see in the contract, and sent a clear message that workers are not afraid to stand up and fight for a contract that meets these demands. In addition to an end to mandatory overtime, and higher starting wages, carriers want to get rid the non-career track “city carrier assistant” position, which comes with lower pay and worse benefits than career track jobs. “We want the national letter carrier position to be a career where we can retire with dignity and respect!” said Gose. “We must be organized and send a clear message to our national bargaining team that we need a contract that meets our standards.”</p> <p>In between speeches, the crowd chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, mandatory overtime has got to go!” and “First-class service, first-class pay!”</p> <p>Speakers also commemorated the postal worker strike of 1970, where over 200,000 postal workers went on a wildcat strike, which won them the rights to collective bargaining, in addition to higher wages and safer working conditions.&nbsp;</p> <p>Meech Vecchio, vice president of the Seattle Educators Association stated, “Our collective wins affect all workers.”</p> <p>David Yao from the American Postal Worker’s Union told the crowd, “Your struggle is our struggle. What we do helps you, what you do helps us.” He also called on all postal workers to stand in solidarity with Teamsters at UPS when their national contract expires on July 31.&nbsp;</p> <p>C Moline, a carrier out of the U District station who organized the rally, was the last to speak and thanked everyone for coming out. Echoing earlier speakers, Moline emphasized the need for carriers to take back their power at the job and stop relying solely on the grievance procedure to settle issues at work. “No longer can we watch as our managers push around and bully other carriers. No longer can we fight with one hand behind our back,” said Moline. “This rally is the start of a new time in our branch, one were we take back the power we have left at the negotiating table.”&nbsp;</p> National Association of Letter Carriers Obreros Fri, 02 Jun 2023 14:23:08 +0000 Fight Back 10581 at