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 A Venezuelan view: Trump the fraudster <p><strong>U.S. role in the world and its election</strong></p> <p>In spite of its decline as the superpower of the world, the United States continues to be the major imperial power of the planet. Its economic and military power allows the U.S. to influence and to even directly intervene in crucial scenarios of the world.</p> <p>It is inevitable then, that most major mass media outlets of the world, as well as the world’s citizens, closely follow electoral processes in the U.S. In fact, after the November 3, 2020 election, street protests against police killings continue and there is no remedy at hand for the gross human rights violations in U.S. cities. Imperial brutality and discrimination against oppressed nationalities, especially African American, Chicano and Latino people have enjoyed impunity for a long, long time.</p> <p><strong>Uncertain elections? </strong></p> <p>Election day passed, and people were expecting to obtain the final results of the election during the early hours of November 4. Experts and polling companies were offering their initial numbers and percentages with arrogance and certainty, as if coming back from the future to tell us what is going to happen.</p> <p>Fact is, Trump, trying to discourage participation in the electoral process, began calling it a fraud even before November 3, and many days after he continues to tweet “I won the election.” What happened? Why the uncertainty and the delays?</p> <p>U.S. elections are a very sloppy process, with almost as many procedures and regulations as states composing the union. Although it is a national election, there are neither national standards nor a national electoral council to lead and supervise it, like in Venezuela. Every state carries out the election with its own technology, procedures, methods, and verification and security standards.</p> <p><strong>Does this aid and abet Trump’s electoral fraud claims?</strong></p> <p>The United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries, nevertheless, the human factor is a fundamental aspect of its electoral processes. Why?</p> <p>In another country with one of the most advanced electoral systems in the world, Venezuela, the vote for president is universal, direct and secret. There is no “Electoral College” like the U.S. Nobody elects a body, which in turn elects the president. Instead, voters receive a confidential confirmation of their vote, that is used in the after-election audits to verify the electronic results that voting machines produce. The National Electoral Council uses technology to cut down on fraud. They use a mandatory fingerprint reader to activate the voting machine and to allow for a one voter, one vote policy. It is difficult to beat.</p> <p>In Venezuela, all political parties participate in software and hardware audits of the voting machines; they also audit energy backup systems, data transmission and protocols. Procedures are also implemented to safeguard secrecy while using the voting machine. The National Electoral Council in Venezuela works with all parties, but is independent of them, its own branch of government, like the judicial, legislative or executive branch.</p> <p>In the United States, elections are indirect, because as Alexander Hamilton argued in his writings (see Federalist papers #68), the Electoral College was "most likely to have the information and discernment" to make a good choice and to avoid the election of anyone "not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications." Neither Hamilton, nor any of the wealthy members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, 49% of who were slave owners, trusted the popular vote.</p> <p>Today of course, women, African Americans and working people can vote, but because of the lack of a unified national electoral system, men like Trump can still take advantage and disavow the process, distracting attention from his own defeat and faults. Even with evidence lacking.</p> <p>What Trump claims appeals to some people’s fears. There are potential weaknesses and heavy dependency on human factors throughout the U.S. electoral processes, but there are also cultural traditions that allow for the system to work. In the United States there is a tradition of respect for other people’s mail, and property. Violators are heavily punished.</p> <p>Trump’s claims of fraud run counter to these traditions, and he has not been able to present any proof. If any tampering with the election arises, like during the Bush “hanging chad” election in 2000, it is likely to be on every news station, and in court.</p> <p>From my perspective, the African American vote played a fundamental role in Trump’s defeat. It is very important to understand that in the near future, African Americans, Chicanos and other oppressed nationality peoples will be the majority around 2050. It is not my belief that race determines ideology, but in a racist country, it is a significant fact.</p> <p>African Americans together with antifascist and other progressive organizations are leading the struggle currently taking place in the United States against ruthless repression, systemic racism and the extrajudicial executions of defenseless civilians. All in the midst of a hyper-criminalization of the right to protest, secret military maneuvers in the underground of U.S. big cities, militarization of the police forces, bolstered state surveillance of activists, support for emboldened neo-Nazis and other right-wing paramilitary forces.</p> <p><strong>What is the role of the Chicano and Latino vote in Biden’s victory? </strong></p> <p>It is complicated. Latin Americans in the United States lack a common project of their own. They are a quilt of different nationalities, cultures, traditions, languages and accents, and also political beliefs. The U.S. government treats people very differently, so colonized Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, while Cubans had privileged immigration status until 2017. However, most immigrants go through a lengthy process, sometimes ten years, to obtain their citizenship and to be able to vote.</p> <p>Wealthy and middle-class South Americans find it easy to obtain a legal status or are quickly made U.S. citizens. They either ignore or reject the Latin American project of unity proposed by Simon Bolivar, and restarted by Chavez, Castro and others at the beginning of this century. For most of them, there is no alternative for the region but to be a dependent on U.S. imperialism. As long as they are making money, they are fine, even if it means supporting Latin American dictators like Pinochet, Somoza, Stroessner and Videla, among others. They support and even call for U.S. invasions and support sanctions, blockades and other measures to cause hardship on people and to try to subdue countries like Cuba and Venezuela.</p> <p>Mexicans are by far the biggest nationality in the United States, contributing to the growing Chicano nationality. They are right at the current border, and they have been crossing it for centuries. They were inside the territory the United States stole from Mexico, and pretty much in every big city across the U.S. nowadays. About 5 million lack legal permission to reside in the United States. Mexicans and people from Central America are the ones suffering most of the discrimination and hardship. They are also the ones receiving most of Trump’s backlash and dirty talk. It is their kids who have been put in cages; it is they who Trump accuses of being criminals, drug traffickers, people with low IQ, and other pejoratives. Most people reject Trump’s statements.</p> <p>It caught Chicano, Mexican and Central Americans’ attention that, when protests against the assassination of George Floyd erupted, it was the neo-Nazi groups who, with police support, came out to defend the system and to harass and insult them. There is no doubt that Trump’s tongue and the neo-Nazis’ harassment played a role in increasing Mexican and Latino participation in the electoral process and in their support for Biden.</p> <p><strong>Why then Trump’s fraud claims? Is he serious about it?</strong></p> <p>Since the beginning of his term in office, Trump has rejected the idea of making his tax return records available for public scrutiny. It casts a shadow over his financial status. It is true; Trump and his son have been very active in business with Arab sheiks, which may have had a highly positive impact on his finances. He is also trying to divert corporate investments from China to new places where his political influence may get him a share of the profits.</p> <p>But if Trump had hope of using the presidency of the United States as a platform to reignite his finances, the COVID-19 crisis threw everything out the window. Because his businesses are related mostly to hotels and tourism, the pandemic affected his wealth really hard. That may explain why Trump continues jokes about the pandemic and his calling it a “cold”? Trump never took real measures to control the pandemic and it backfired against him, and harmed the American people.</p> <p>Just before the election, Trump contracted the virus and was even quarantined in a hospital, only to soon emerge, appearing healthy. Even that he treated like a joke!</p> <p>So, with Trump’s fraud claims, lawsuits and his “I won the election” tweets still coming out, three weeks after the election, it may be his financial status driving it more than any other thing?</p> <p><strong>What to expect from Biden? </strong></p> <p>Biden has been already recognized by the majority of the countries of the world as the next U.S. president. U.S. elites trust him with using his political and diplomatic skills to placate street protests in exchange for morsels. They know that throughout his political career, he has supported them in their imperialist wars and invasions of other countries.</p> <p>Biden is aging, so we have to consider the possibility that Kamala Harris may become the first woman, an African-Asian American woman, to become president of the United States. What does her record say?</p> <p>The truth is…Biden won. A difficult election, with no Cambridge Analytica that could decipher the election for Trump this time around. People in the United States gave a strong showing of participation, dignity and bravery. They are still on the streets across the United States, demanding change. Will Kamala and Joe understand and appreciate this?</p> <p><em>Dozthor Zurlent is a Venezuelan activist who previously lived in Chicago, Illinois and El Salvador. In 2000, he moved back to Venezuela after the massive victory of President Hugo Chavez.</em></p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Américas Donald Trump Donald Trump Elections Internacional Venezuela U.S. Mon, 23 Nov 2020 21:49:35 +0000 Fight Back 8636 at Jacksonville demands: ‘Justice for Devon Gregory Tillman!’ <p>Jacksonville, FL - Over 200 people gathered on the westside of Jacksonville, on the corner of San Juan and Cassett Avenues, to celebrate the life of Devon Gregory Tillman, along with protesting against his death at the hands of the police. Devon Gregory Tillman was an 18-year-old African American worker who was murdered by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office earlier this week during a traffic stop. Police surrounded the vehicle, pulling out Tillman’s two passengers before opening fire. Police fired 35 times into his car. </p> <p>Devon’s family and community members, including the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, gathered to demand justice and accountability. Michael Sampson from the Jacksonville Community Action Committee started chants with “Justice for Devon” and “Release all the footage.” The family has been calling for the release of all body cam footage from the cops involved in the shooting. </p> <p>The family spoke about how caring Devon was, how he worked two jobs and loved his family. They vowed to keep demanding answers.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial African-American Devon Gregory Tillman Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC) Sistema de injusticia Nacionalidades Oprimidas Sun, 22 Nov 2020 01:23:47 +0000 Fight Back 8634 at Tampa students rally against political repression and Gov. DeSantis’ anti-protest bill <p>Tampa, FL - On November 17, Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a “Students Against Political Repression” protest in front of the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa. They rallied students and members of the community against political repression at the university, state and national level.</p> <p>A topic covered in many speeches was Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed bill titled “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act.” With the provisions in this bill, any protest can be labeled ‘disorderly’ and felony charges can be leveled against the participants. Additionally, the bill removes liability for drivers who hit protesters with their car. This was a common tactic used by white supremacists against Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer, including multiple incidents in the Tampa Bay area.</p> <p>Zachary Rashas, member of Tampa Bay SDS, said in a speech about the proposed bill, “People have the right to speak out when they feel they are being wronged, and this specific brand of mass incarceration would only serve to silence dissenters and give more power to the police.”</p> <p>The event was part of a national day of action in honor of International Students’ Day. The students emphasized the importance of showing solidarity with those who are punished for protesting injustice, such as the Tallahassee 19 and the 646-plus people arrested in Minneapolis on November 4. </p> <p>Tampa Bay SDS is also facing political repression from its own university, the University of South Florida (USF), by being suspended and having members threatened with arrest for protesting on campus.</p> <p>Simon Rowe of Tampa Bay SDS stated, “I'm glad that SDS is speaking out about its political repression. USF threatening student activists with arrest for protesting the university’s recent budget cuts is no different from DeSantis threatening protest organizers with felony charges. It's about silencing and intimidating progressive movements, and we cannot afford to give up.”</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Political Repression Ron DeSantis Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Movimiento Estudiantil Fri, 20 Nov 2020 15:04:45 +0000 Fight Back 8633 at Israeli missile attack kills 3 Syrian soldiers <p>The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reports Israel launched an attack on Syria, November 18. Citing a military source, SANA states “at about 03:11 a.m. on Wednesday, the Israeli enemy launched an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan that targeted the southern region as the Syrian air defenses confronted it and downed a number of rockets.”</p> <p>The SANA report added “three soldiers were martyred in the aggression, and a soldier was injured, in addition to causing material damages.”</p> <p>With U.S. backing, Israel regularly launches air assaults on Syria and is illegally occupying the Golan Heights.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Syria Syrian Arab News Agency Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:01:17 +0000 Fight Back 8632 at Demand immediate release of Palestinian women’s movement leader Khitam Saafin <p>Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) demands Israel immediately release Khitam Saafin, the president of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, who has been jailed without charge or trial. Saafin was taken into custody on November 2 along with six other Palestinian human rights activists. Her imprisonment is another in the long list of crimes by the callous and cruel Zionist occupiers of Palestine.</p> <p>Khitam Saafin is among those who stand in the forefront of the Palestinian women’s movement and is a tireless organizer for social and national liberation. She has spoken at many international venues on the plight and fight of Palestinian women, including at the World Social Forum. Saafin served as the chair of the Global Women’s March Palestine. Her only ‘crime’ is to work for freedom.</p> <p>The Trump administration has given the Israeli authorities a green light to carry out every sort of crime and outrage - be it the occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation, or an endless supply of dollars to a state that tortures prisoners to death. Unfortunately, U.S. support for the occupation of Palestine is a bipartisan affair that will continue after January 20.</p> <p>FRSO calls on all progressive activists to join the effort to free Khitam Saafin. We must stand with the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and demand an end to U.S. support to the Israeli occupiers of Palestine.</p> <p>Raise your voice. Say her name. Freedom for Khitam Saafin and all Palestinian prisoners!</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Palestina Union of Palestinian Women's Committees Wed, 18 Nov 2020 15:01:40 +0000 Fight Back 8631 at NLRB hearing officer urges certification of Steelworkers election at Kumho Tire <p>Macon, GA - A hearing officer with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recommended certifying Kumho Tire workers’ organizing victory with the United Steelworkers (USW) and dismissing the company’s objections “in their entirety.”</p> <p>After workers at the Macon plant last year overcame Kumho’s oppressive anti-union campaign and voted to join the USW, the company filed several groundless objections in an effort to overturn the election.</p> <p>The NLRB regional director dismissed some of those objections months ago, citing the lack of evidence.</p> <p>In a report issued November 10, NLRB Hearing Officer Brenna C. Schertz discredited the remaining objections. She determined that one company witness fabricated testimony and scolded Kumho for presenting “nonsensical” evidence and making allegations that were “wholly without merit.”</p> <p>Schertz recommended overruling all of Kumho’s objections and certifying the workers’ election. The decision now rests with the NLRB regional director.</p> <p>“Since the start of the organizing campaign, Kumho has employed every underhanded tactic possible to thwart the election, break the will of its workers and silence them,” said USW District 9 Director Daniel Flippo.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Kumho Tire United Steelworkers (USW) Obreros Tue, 17 Nov 2020 04:06:07 +0000 Fight Back 8630 at Environmental activists come out to protest Line 3 oil pipeline <p>St. Paul, MN - Over 500 protesters picketed outside Minnesota Governor Tim Walz mansion, November 14, to protest his decision to grant permits to allow Enbridge to build Line 3, a pipeline that would carry nearly a million barrels of tar sands a day from Alberta, Canada to Superior, Wisconsin through Minnesota. The event was organized by MN 350, and included other groups that have organized against Line 3. </p> <p>The Climate Justice Committee (CJC) joined to protest Walz’s decision. Katherine Gould, a CJC member explained, “We demand the people of Minnesota and Native people have a say in Line 3, not corporations that will pollute our lands.” The emcees started the program straight to the point, “Walz approving the largest tar sands infrastructure is fucked up.” </p> <p>Protesters chanted, “Ho ho, hey hey! No tar sands today” and "Climate justice now." </p> <p>Climate Justice Committee members also handed out flyers for their new campaign to tell Biden to roll back Trump’s executive orders that would speed global warming.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Climate Justice Committee Environmental Justice Line 3 pipeline Tue, 17 Nov 2020 01:56:50 +0000 Fight Back 8629 at 5 years after police murder of Jamar Clack, justice demanded in North Minneapolis <p>Minneapolis, MN - On November 14, over 150 people gathered in North Minneapolis to honor the five-year mark since Jamar Clark was killed by the Minneapolis Police department on November 15, 2015. It also marks the five-year anniversary of the heightened struggle locally against police terror and its progression to demand community control of the police to stop killer cops.</p> <p>New and veteran members of Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J) lead the protesters from the neighborhood that Minnesota Attorney General Elision lives in, to the memorial site of Plymouth and James Avenues, where Clark was killed. </p> <p>Precautions against COVID were taken, including shifting to a well-organized car caravan protest. </p> <p>In addition to the call for justice for Jamar and TCC4J’s longtime demand of community control of police, the demands for the march include calls to:<br /> -- Reopen all the cases against killer cops<br /> -- Free all political prisoners, such as Myon Burrell and the protesters who were jailed during the summer uprising<br /> -- Ban the use of memory-altering drugs and reassess EMT training, specifically addressing the racial bias within it; hold EMTs accountable for their complicity with the police in administering drugs such as ketamine, and their delaying treatment of victims.</p> <p>Speakers from the movement, families and TCC4J echoed the lessons learned in the struggle for justice for Jamar and to continue to build the movement. TCC4J encourages people to attend the new member meetings to build the fight for CPAC!</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial civilian police accountability council (CPAC) Jamar Clark Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice for Jamar (TCC4J) Sistema de injusticia Tue, 17 Nov 2020 01:21:52 +0000 Fight Back 8628 at Trump's defeat opens new era of struggle <p>Chicago, IL - It is so befitting that Trump, the self-made tyrant, with his latest political stroke to upend the elections, has in fact opened a new era of struggle - an era that will be characterized by the desire of the ruling class to return to normal, to return to the norms of bankrupt neo-liberal policies which will portray itself as the only path to political stability and economic growth.</p> <p>So, the first order of business, ushered in by Trump’s electoral defeat and articulated by President-elect Joe Biden, is to stop the spread of COVID-19 infections, provide treatment for the sick (including the uninsured), give stimulus relief to the nearly 30 million unemployed people and to small businesses on the brink of extinction. Of course, the banks and the monopoly capitalists will get the lion’s share of any stimulus package the Republicans sign off on.</p> <p>Without the intervention of the progressive democratic forces, the Democrats and the Republicans will seek a way to embark upon the road of recovery from the coronavirus and economic disaster by turning the present situation into one that is profitable for Wall Street. In other words, ‘return to normal’ means bailing out the banks and Wall Street and maintaining the status quo for the working class and the oppressed Black and brown communities.</p> <p>In this new era of struggle we must expose their call for ‘unity and reconciliation’ with the racist, white supremacist movement fermented by Trump and his Republican cohorts for what it really is: a formula for the way forward based on rejecting the demands of the Black liberation movement, and characterizing any and all attempts to regulate the economy for the benefit of workers as ‘socialist.’ Their rejecting of the demands of the Black liberation movement and the workers’ demands for safety and economic relief is in fact a formula for the way backwards.</p> <p>In an open communication to Biden, Black Lives Matter addressed the formula for the way backwards thus: “Up until this point, the United States has refused to directly reckon with the way that it devalues Black people and devastates our lives. This cannot continue.”</p> <p>Only we the workers and oppressed peoples can stop the Democrats from caving into this racist-dominated, white supremacist movement initiated by Trump and the Republican extremists. Now is the time for us to organize and fight back - and to do this based on the basis of the broadest, deepest unity of the masses, of the working class and the oppressed peoples.</p> <p><strong>Organization + Unity + Struggle = Victory.</strong></p> <p><strong>All Power to the People!</strong></p> <p><em>Frank Chapman is the executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.</em></p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Donald Trump Elections Frank Chapman Sun, 15 Nov 2020 04:41:19 +0000 Fight Back 8627 at FRSO joins Anti-imperialist Working Class World Summit <p>Members of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization answered the call from the Partido Socialista Unido Venezloano (PSUV) to participate in a virtual gathering to uphold proletarian internationalism in the face of U.S. imperialism. The virtual conference demonstrated a truly international character, as 61 different delegations of trade unionists and activists attended from all five continents. It is clear that workers and communist parties from around the world stand in solidarity against U.S. imperialism and the blockade against Venezuela.</p> <p>Other countries that are also in the crosshairs of U.S. imperialist maneuvers - like China, Cuba and Nicaragua - fielded delegations. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions expressed their solidarity with the workers of the world and explicitly their solidarity with Bolivarian Revolution and the people of Venezuela. All participants and parties stood firm in their resolve to end the U.S. blockade of Venezuela and to support the upcoming December 6 elections in Venezuela.</p> <p>The vice-president of the Working Class section of the PSUV, Nelson Herrera, pointed out, “COVID-19 has taken the mask off of capitalism, it has removed the veil. The workers will strengthen their unity to confront the financial corporations in the service of capitalism.”</p> <p>As the topic of working class solidarity arose, James Jordan, co-director of the Alliance for Global Justice, added that “there is a difference in the working class in the U.S., too often it is the enemy of the struggles in the Global South. With the AFL-CIO so-called Solidarity Center, this is false solidarity. It is solidarity with the ruling class, with U.S. imperialism. And we must fight to transform the working class in the U.S. into a weapon against the ruling class, and to fight for and with the peoples of the Global South.”</p> <p>Tom Burke of the FRSO added, “The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center should not be carrying out the agenda of Wall Street. The Solidarity Center played a vital role in the oil worker lockouts from 2002-03 that saw a number of a U.S.-orchestrated coup attempts against President Hugo Chavez.”</p> <p>FRSO members have been proud participants in recent international delegations to Venezuela, including a trade unionist delegation and an anti-imperialist delegation.</p> <p>At the closure of the conference, former trade union bus driver turned elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, addressed the international meeting. “We are creating a great alliance of trade unionist workers around the world to confront U.S. imperialism, to liberate ourselves.” Paraphrasing Karl Marx, Maduro added, “the proletarians of the world, united, organized, together we will build our future!”</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo frso PSUV Venezuela Sat, 14 Nov 2020 02:19:49 +0000 Fight Back 8626 at