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 Roll 4 Justice - Protest on wheels demands justice for all on July 4 in Minneapolis <p>Minneapolis, MN - On July 4, more than 200 protesters took the streets on wheels for a new type of march calling for an end to a fundamentally racist criminal justice system and “#Justice4All.” Protesters were on bikes, rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards, as well as in a car caravan as they rolled through various neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The protest was organized by Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) along with co-hosts Native Lives Matter, CAIR-Minnesota, LatinoAltRock, and Asamblea de Derechos Civiles. Messaging included slogans such as: “Abolish ICE,” “Prosecute the police,” and linking the struggles with: “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”</p> <p>The protest began downtown at Minneapolis City Hall where protesters gathered and were led in some chants before hitting the streets to roll through Minneapolis. The route was about five miles long, and many protesters joined along the way as the group could be heard chanting and rolling to music that played from the lead car. The protest ended at a lake, Bde Maka Ska, where there was a rally and speeches from organizers such as Ashley Quinones from Justice for Brian Quinones, various immigrant rights organizers and DACA recipients, as well as a surprise guest appearance from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.</p> <p>In her speech, Omar made it clear that she was attending this rally as an organizer and not as part of her campaign: “I know this isn’t my space as an elected, it’s the space of organizers and so I don’t show up as your representative in congress today, I show up as an organizer, as an activist.” In her speech, she asserted that she is not satisfied with the status quo: “We are living under a system that continues to brutalize and victimize Black and brown bodies. We are living under a system that continues to cage children and separate families. We are living under a system that puts working people, the people in the need of the most support on the frontlines of a raging pandemic and refuses to provide the medical and the economic support they need.”</p> <p>The speeches concluded the event’s emcee and organizer from MIRAC, who reminded that crowd to hold elected officials like Ilhan Omar and the Democratic Party accountable for their actions and called attention to the immigrants and activists who fought for DACA and continue to fight today. She also brought attention to the location of the rally, in the wealthy, mostly white Uptown neighborhood: “I appreciate that we are here in a white space, in a gentrified area. We need to make privileged people feel uncomfortable.”</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Ilhan Omar immigrant rights MIRAc Inmigrantes Tue, 07 Jul 2020 01:55:20 +0000 Fight Back 8314 at Tampa students demand increase in Black enrollment, Black faculty <p>Tampa, FL - On July 2, students gathered at the gates of the on-campus residence for the president of the University of South Florida (USF) to demand that the university take measures to increase Black enrollment. Over the past 10 years, the percentage of Black students at the university has been on a steady decline, from a high of 12% a decade ago to the most recent report of 10%. But even the highest percentage is much lower than the demographics of the Tampa Bay area, in which Black people comprise nearly a quarter of the population.</p> <p>Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) led the crowd in chants calling for an increase in Black enrollment, as well as Black faculty and counselors. Tampa Bay SDS also drew attention to the fact that they have been met with pushback from administrators in the past when voicing these demands, with representatives of the university implying that an increase in Black enrollment would negatively affect the school’s graduation rates.</p> <p>Tampa Bay SDS was joined by members of the Black Student Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who also voiced their frustrations with the lack of equity in the demographics of the university. Jason Berry of the NAACP emphasized, “Often, when we as Black students request something, the request isn’t met or is replaced with general ‘diversity’ rather than resources specifically for Black students.”</p> <p>Tampa Bay SDS will continue to fight for an increase in Black enrollment at USF until the demand is met.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo African-American Anti-racism Increase Black Enrollment Tampa Bay SDS University of South Florida (USF) Nacionalidades Oprimidas Movimiento Estudiantil Mon, 06 Jul 2020 22:33:27 +0000 Fight Back 8313 at Trump’s wrong, the Marxists are winning <p>Speaking at the White House, July 4, President Trump stated, "We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing." He is wrong. The radical left and Marxists are beating him at every turn.</p> <p>Trump is a failed political representative of a failed and dying economic system: monopoly capitalism. Trump’s hatred of science, coupled with a profit-motivated health care system, has made the pandemic so much worse than it had to be. By every measure, the economy is entering a 1930s style crisis. Massive unemployment. Businesses going bankrupt. State governments are heading into budget shortfalls that will result in austerity. And the clock is ticking on unemployment insurance.</p> <p>Over the past six weeks the U.S. has be shaken by a powerful and amazing rebellion against police crimes and national oppression, the systematic inequality and racist discrimination that is visited on Blacks, Chicano/Latinos, Native peoples, Arab and Asian Americans. The U.S. is a jailhouse for the oppressed and many want to break out. The fires that lit the sky in Minneapolis have sparked one of the greatest waves of struggle in U.S. history, and it is a tide of struggle that shows no sign of abating, The government should know it is in trouble when opinion polls show 64% of the respondents saying the burning of Minnepolis’ Third Precinct police station was justified.</p> <p>If anything, 2020 has shown that change, real and revolutionary change, is both practical and necessary. Capitalism, the arrogance of the wealthy, and racist reactionaries like Trump are all contributing to a vast and profound radicalization of people across the U.S. It might be added that this process of radicalization is likely to continue no matter who the next president is.</p> <p>Each day more of us conclude that we can do better than this; we are sick of capitalism and its selfish, bigoted and ignorant defenders, and more of us look to socialism - a system where society’s political and economic power are in the hands of the working class.</p> <p>Capitalism creates profits for the parasites who own big business. It also creates its own gravediggers, the working class that creates everything of value in this society. Not only does the working class have no interests in common with the capitalist class – we have no interest in the continued existence of exploiters and oppressors as a class. The clash between us and them is ever present and bound to grow in intensity.</p> <p>The National Guard has been deployed in at least 33 states. Statues of slaveholders and the perpetrators of genocide are being pulled down, and clouds of tear gas drift over the White House grounds. The radical left, including Marxist-Leninists, is going stronger. If you are a revolutionary, its time to join a revolutionary organization. Go to the FRSO website at <a href=""></a> and see what the winning side, the Marxists, say about things. Then hit “Join.”</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Donald Trump Socialism Trump Mon, 06 Jul 2020 17:39:47 +0000 Fight Back 8312 at St. Paul protests Israel’s threat to annex West Bank <p>St. Paul, MN - On July 3, 55 people participated in Women Against Military Madness’ weekly vigil for Palestine. This week’s action was a joint call by both Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) and the Anti-War Committee (AWC) against the Israeli government’s decision to illegally annex more Palestinian land and was a part of the international call for a Day of Rage.</p> <p>Wearing masks and being physically distant in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, protesters held signs reading, “No to Israeli theft of Palestinian lands,” and “Annexation is theft! End U.S. aid to Israel!” People were standing on all corners of the intersection holding signs, so they were very visible to drivers. People honked and waved to the sounds of chanters, “Hey hey ho ho annexation has to go!” and “What do we want? End aid to Israel! When do we want it? Now!”</p> <p>Kristin Dooley, director of WAMM, welcomed the crowd, “We are glad to see so many people joining us today in condemning Israel's annexation plan. We are also here to condemn the continuation of U.S. aid to Israel which aids in the stealing and occupations of Palestinian lands.”</p> <p>Israel’s annexation plan codifies the expropriation of Palestinian land and may secure Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank, including the border with Jordan called the Jordan Valley. Over 500,000 illegal settlers already live in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and annexation is Israel’s attempt to make these settlements officially a part of the state of Israel. This move would not be possible without the support, financially, militarily and diplomatically of the U.S. Historically both Democrats and Republicans have allowed Israel to commit war crimes against the Palestinians with impunity.</p> <p>Despite Israel’s announcement that the annexation would occur on July 1, it didn’t happen. Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a member of the AWC explained to the crowd, “Regardless of whether the annexation happens or not, Israel is in de facto control of all of historical Palestine. I traveled to Palestine on a human rights delegation in 2002 and saw firsthand that the people of the West Bank live under brutal military occupation with arrests, assassinations and checkpoints as part of their daily life. I saw that the brave people of the Gaza Strip live under siege in the world’s largest open-air prison, squeezed from both sides on an uninhabitable plot of land. And I met with Palestinians in 1948 Palestine, what is now considered the ‘state of Israel.’ Palestinians inside Israel’s boundaries have lived under 72 years of apartheid, barely second-class citizens. The best visual I can give you is to imagine the Jim Crow South in the Middle East.”</p> <p>WAMM and AWC pledged to continue to stand in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle against apartheid and occupation, including the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement being led by the Palestinian civil society organizations. The two groups have worked together to protest state of Minnesota investments from Israeli companies like Elbit Systems, which provides U.S. surveillance support with the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Antiwar Movement annexation Mon, 06 Jul 2020 17:35:57 +0000 Fight Back 8310 at Carnage and important historical lessons abound in book ‘The Jakarta Method’ <p>Beachgoers stumbling on human femur bones in the sand - just a few feet from world-class resorts. Families sifting through corpses, decayed beyond recognition and piled up on the beach, in search of missing loved ones. Roadways littered with human heads impaled on bamboo spears. Ordinary homes and buildings converted into charnel houses of unspeakable torture. Parents ripped from their beds in the middle of the night and led deep into the jungle by their captors, for all-night, around-the-clock execution sessions.</p> <p>These are not scenes from some horror movie. They really happened in Indonesia.</p> <p>Beginning with a military coup on September 30, 1965, right-wing generals, religious fanatics and their followers carried out a genocide against the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), its supporters and anyone they suspected of supporting them. More than a million people died in this savage bloodbath, which all but annihilated the largest non-ruling communist party in the world at the time.</p> <p>If you haven’t heard much about this anti-communist genocide, that’s by design. At every step - from the inception of a coup plot to the killing fields across Indonesia’s many islands - the United States trained, armed, coordinated and supported this mass murder. It should come as no surprise. Just a few hundred miles away, another anti-communist mass murder campaign was also unfolding in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia - this one carried out directly by U.S. warplanes, napalm and M-16 rifles.</p> <p>But both the U.S. government and Indonesia’s fascistic military regime worked hard to conceal, deny and erase their anti-communist genocide from history books. To this day, Indonesia’s government denies this one-sided carnage ever took place - even in the face of undeniable evidence - and severely represses those who speak out.</p> <p>I remember reading about these disturbing events for the first time many years ago. The unparalleled scale of the brutality alone possessed me to learn more, but I found it difficult to track down a decent, comprehensive history in English.</p> <p>This year, that changed with the release of <em>The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World</em>. Written by Vincent Bevins, a journalist who worked in Indonesia for several years as a <em>Washington Post</em> correspondent. This book is a deadly serious, sobering examination of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, the role played by the United States, and the profound impact it had on vicious anti-communist massacres around the world - from Brazil to Sudan to Central America.</p> <p>Bevins’ central argument is that the ghoulish events in Indonesia became a blueprint for right-wing anti-communist forces during - and after - the Cold War. While the story centers on Indonesia, Bevins traces the evolution of the so-called ‘Jakarta Method’ - as it came to be known in Washington - from the emergence of the Soviet Union and through World War II. Whether rigging elections against the Communist Party in Italy in 1947, overthrowing democratically elected leaders in Guatemala and Iran in the 1950s, or aiding the exterminating of communists in Iraq at the dawn of the 1960s, the CIA constantly intervened to protect the profits of Wall Street and giant corporations.</p> <p>Indonesia gained its independence from the Dutch Empire at the end of World War II, leading to the emergence of a progressive national democratic government under President Sukarno. The Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), one of the oldest in Asia, saw explosive growth in their newly independent country, drawing millions of workers and peasants into its ranks. Sukarno was a nationalist, not a communist, but he increasingly came to lean on the PKI for support as Indonesia came under siege from their former colonial masters in Europe and the new imperialist powerhouse: the United States.</p> <p><em>The Jakarta Method</em> excels in describing the complex relationship between Sukarno and the PKI. It’s clear on the significant differences between the two, along with the many ways Sukarno’s nationalist program, which tried to paper over class conflict, allowed the far-right elements that would overthrow him to ferment. Drawing from interviews with former members of the PKI, the book also shows how the communists became increasingly dependent on Sukarno for leadership at the expense of their own independence. That is important because it’s one of the biggest errors that the surviving PKI leadership summed up in a 1966 self-criticism after the massacres.</p> <p>But Bevins also shows why and how genuine communists - people who read and sincerely believed the teachings of Marx and Lenin - made these errors. After all, Indonesia under Sukarno hosted the Bandung conference, which brought together anti-colonial, anti-imperialist forces from around the world to support one another. Sukarno himself welcomed the PKI as an ally, and under the relatively democratic conditions of the time, communists continued to grow and win larger shares of the vote in elections. The trade-off - the PKI becoming a mass party, focused on elections and committed to gradual, peaceful moves towards socialism, in exchange for working as Sukarno’s junior partner - proved deadly. Thankfully though, Bevins treats their error with a level of humility and respect so often lacking in the sanctimonious writings of some on the U.S. Left.</p> <p><em>The Jakarta Method</em> follows Indonesian exiles who fled the genocide to the United States, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Central America, Brazil and more. Tragically, he shows how the horrors inflicted on communists and suspected sympathizers in Indonesia followed them too, as the U.S. made anti-communism into a bloody, international movement. Bevins’ look at the meetings, the mutual aid and the exchanging of ‘best practices’ between anti-communist groups on different continents is one of the book’s many high points.</p> <p>Bevins was a journalist for a well-known, corporate newspaper in the United States that leans liberal. He writes with genuine sympathy for the Indonesian communists and their political objectives, along with other left-wing movements. He’s very clearly not a Marxist himself, and his broad overview of the Cold War period includes a couple of very tired - but also very typical - distortions of history, particularly when it comes to the Soviet Union and China. But two things impressed me about Bevins’ take:</p> <p>First, the book explicitly refuses to make the bogus ‘both-sides-are-equally-bad’ argument about the Cold War. Drawing truth from facts, <em>Jakarta Method</em> makes clear the one-sided nature of the genocide in Indonesia - the idea that the PKI was armed and ready to overthrow the state is, in fact, the very lie that Suharto’s military coup told to justify the slaughter – as did countless other countries.</p> <p>In the last chapter, Bevins anticipates liberal and anti-communist objections that his book more or less glosses over the alleged crimes of socialist countries. He gives one of the best answers I’ve ever heard on this point: We’re not living in a world today shaped primarily by the purges in the Soviet Union or the Berlin Wall. We live in a world shaped by U.S. imperialism, which became the world’s dominant superpower at the end of the Cold War. Bevins is right when he says that capitalism’s victory in the Cold War - and the liberal world order we’ve lived under since - was built on the mass graves of tens of millions of people in countries like Indonesia. Genocide, not ideas like freedom or democracy, won the Cold War for the U.S.</p> <p>Second, Bevins’ evaluation of the successes and errors of the PKI more or less fall in line with the party’s own summation. It’s not terribly surprising, given the depth of research that Bevins put into this book. He interviewed plenty of former PKI members, among others. But while Jakarta Method is principally a book about the anti-communist offensive during the Cold War, Bevins writes with an eye towards strategy in the present.</p> <p>Frankly, a lot of socialists and revolutionaries around the world would do well to familiarize themselves with this period of Indonesian history. Some parallels jump off the page into the present world, like the obviously made-up, ludicrous claims by Suharto’s military that feminist ‘witches’ were planning to castrate men and sacrifice their children to Satan. It probably sounds a lot like the bullshit ‘fake news’ that unhinged right-wingers, from tin-foil-hat conspiracy nuts like Alex Jones to Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to President Donald Trump, peddle about ‘Antifa.’ And yet in 2020, it’s becoming easier to see how fantasyland trash like that gets turned into justifications for very real violence against activists, organizers and supporters.</p> <p>The PKI self-criticized for losing view of the question of state power. It’s not some neutral battleground to duke it out with the capitalist class. It’s a weapon that one class uses to dominate the others. In the final analysis, the state is an instrument of armed, organized violence - either your class has it, or they don’t. Even as they grew and did better in elections, their mistaken view of the state - and their role within it - led them to downplay the dangers up ahead, focusing on legal organizing rather than organizing armed self-defense. No one in Indonesia deserved the ghoulish hell they experienced at the hands of Suharto’s regime, but without arms and independent class organization, how could they have stopped it from happening?</p> <p>That’s something socialists and election-focused social-democrats have to reckon with. Other communist parties at the time certainly did. Bevins interviewed Jose Maria Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and includes his thoughts at length. Sison and other Filipino revolutionaries carefully studied the lessons of Indonesia, rightly concluding that disarming and disbanding the CPP’s New People’s Army would be a serious mistake. To paraphrase, if legal channels for class struggle open up, by all means, organize and make use of them too, but the armed struggle for state power remains primary.</p> <p><em>The Jakarta Method</em> is bone-chilling reading, but I couldn’t put it down. Coming in a little under 300 pages (minus footnotes), it’s thorough but not overwhelming. Bevins follows a few of his interviewees through the decades as events unfold. It has a quasi-narrative feel at times, which may help readers who have trouble with more big-picture histories get hooked easier. Thankfully, the writing avoids the exploitative - and often racist - clichés that pepper a lot of Western non-fiction. The author has also done several terrific interviews on left-wing podcasts like Chapo Trap House and Radio War Nerd, which some readers might find helpful before starting the book.</p> <p>Scoop it up and give it a read.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Cultura Antiwar Movement anti-communism Anti-fascism Asia Reseñas de libros Indonesia Internacional Political Repression The Jakarta Method Sistema de injusticia Nacionalidades Oprimidas Mon, 06 Jul 2020 17:37:53 +0000 Fight Back 8311 at East Los Angeles vigil honors Paul Rea, killed by LA Sheriff's deputy 1 year ago <p>Los Angeles, CA - On June 27, exactly one year after an East Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed 18-year-old Paul Rea, his family and friends gathered in East Los Angeles to hold a vigil in his honor. Taking place at the site on South Gerhart Avenue where Rea was murdered, the vigil included speeches from families of other Chicano and Black victims of police brutality in Los Angeles, a sermon from a pastor, and a balloon release. </p> <p>On the evening of his death, Paul Rea and a friend were driving close to his home when two LASD deputies pulled them over for allegedly running a stop sign. The cops accused Rea’s friend, who had been driving the car, of being high on marijuana. When they attempted to detain him, Rea broke free and ran, but Deputy Hector Saavedra fired a number of shots, striking him in both his forearms, right thigh, and neck. Rea’s mother and sisters have said his decision to flee was easily explainable: Deputies harassed and brutalized his family throughout his childhood and Rea had grown up afraid of the Sheriff’s department.</p> <p>The ELA Sheriff's station has a long history of brutality and killing Chicano young men in the East Los Angeles area. The ELA Sheriff's station is also known for its brutal deputy gang, the Banditos, who are facing a current FBI investigation. The station deputies use the logo and name “Fort Apache,” which is an insult to the proud working-class Chicano community of ELA.</p> <p>On May 12, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey cleared Deputy Saavedra, disregarding the many discrepancies in his account of Rea’s killing. Deputy Saavedra and his partner accused Rea of punching him but security footage that does not capture any altercation. They also claimed that Rea was armed but could not describe the gun that Rea allegedly had. DAs Lacey’s decision to not prosecute Deputy Saavedra fits into her consistent refusal to hold police accountable for the hundreds of killings of innocent civilians that have occurred during her eight-year term.</p> <p>At the vigil, candles and a poster of Paul Rea lined the street. After some words from the pastor, relatives of Ryan Twyman, Christian Escobedo and Daniel Hernandez spoke about their sons and brothers who were killed by police, current campaigns for justice, and the need to vote out DA Lacey. The families of Edwin Rodriguez and Anthony Vargas, who were also killed by LA Sheriff’s Department, as well as the families of Cesar Rodriguez and Jesse Romero, also attended in solidarity. After these speeches, the Rea family led a release of red balloons into the sky.</p> <p>In line with the pattern of continuous harassment that Rea’s family has experienced since his murder, three sheriff’s cars drove up and stopped at the vigil. In the past few months, Rea’s mother, Leah, has been pulled over and put in the back of police cars twice. His sister Jaylene was detained and cited for “obstruction of evidence” shortly after speaking at a rally in October. Despite this intimidation, Rea’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the Sheriff’s Department, and the cops involved in Rea’s death.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Chican@s y Latin@s East Los Angeles Police Brutality Sistema de injusticia Sun, 05 Jul 2020 22:56:19 +0000 Fight Back 8308 at Tampa protesters march to get charges dropped, community control of the police <p>Tampa, FL - On the evening of July 3, 50 members of the community marched through downtown Tampa to demand that local State Attorney Andrew Warren drop charges on protesters arrested during the Justice for George Floyd movement. Many protesters from events over the past several weeks in Tampa face charges like unlawful assembly and inciting a riot, both of which have been commonly used by police across the country to repress activists. The organizers of the march and protest, Tampa Bay Community Action Committee (TBCAC), previously had a similar event after which 67 protesters had their cases dismissed. They say Warren should drop many more of the charges against protesters.</p> <p>"Warren has only dismissed the cases from the night of June 2, where peaceful demonstrators were corralled, tear gassed, pepper sprayed, shot by rubber bullets, and finally arrested,” said David Jones, a member of TBCAC. “While it is definitely a win that those charges were dropped, we have to fight for the numerous other protesters whose cases have not been dismissed.”</p> <p>TBCAC was also demanding the creation of a civilian police accountability council, a locally elected board of citizens who would have the power to subpoena evidence from departments, hire and fire officers, negotiate the police union contract, approve or deny the department’s budget, and investigate cases of police misconduct. Much of these functions are currently done internally in police departments. </p> <p>The march through downtown stopped at a Tampa Police Department building and the Hillsborough County Courthouse, where protesters were chanting, “Protesting is not a crime, drop the charges now!” and “TPD kills while on patrol, what do we want? Community control!”</p> <p>Further arrests and charges have recently been brought forth by the local state attorney's office from protests as far back as a month. </p> <p>“This movement will not stop until change happens,” another member of TBCAC stated. “We will do sit-ins at town hall, marches in downtown and protests all over until the charges are dropped and justice is won.”</p> <p>At another protest over the weekend, ten more protesters were arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and had their bail posted in part by Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society’s community bail fund.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Community Control of the Police Police Brutality Tampa Bay Community Action Committee Sistema de injusticia Sun, 05 Jul 2020 17:28:58 +0000 Fight Back 8306 at Florida State students protest to take down statue of slave-owner <p>Tallahassee, FL - On July 4, over 70 students protested in front of the Westcott administration building at Florida State University to demand the removal of the statue of Francis Eppes, a large Leon County slave-owner who had funded the Confederacy. The protest was called by Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), who also issued demands for the removal of Eppes from the criminology building and segregationist Doak Campbell from the stadium.</p> <p>Students, holding signs reading, “No slave-owners on campus” and “Eppes must fall,” marched to the new location of the Eppes statue. An American flag was draped over the statue with the names of victims of police murder, including Mychael Johnson, Wilbon Woodard and Tony McDade in Tallahassee.</p> <p>Student protests had led FSU President John Thrasher to call an advisory panel which led to the removal of the Francis Eppes statue from the Westcott plaza in 2018, but in the summer of 2019 the statue was returned to a nearby area of campus.</p> <p>“Taking down the statue of a racist slave owner is the bare minimum that FSU could do for our community but especially out of respect for our Black student body,” said Valentina Beron, incoming SDS president. “As long as the statue of Francis Eppes stands at FSU, it represents the culture of white supremacy that is still deeply ingrained and being upheld by this institution today.”</p> <p>Students also issued calls for FSU to cut ties with the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD), to place FSUPD under community control and to increase Black enrollment through affirmative action.</p> <p>“Francis Eppes used money from his slave-catching militia to fund one of the first police departments in the country, TPD. To this day TPD continues to subjugate Black people, most recently with the murders of Mychael Johnson and Tony McDade,” said Regina Joseph of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee.</p> <p>The students said that they would continue struggling until their demands are met by FSU.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Anti-racism Police Brutalty Tallahassee SDS Sistema de injusticia Movimiento Estudiantil Sun, 05 Jul 2020 17:15:19 +0000 Fight Back 8305 at NYC Mayor’s promise to defund NYPD falls short of the people’s demands <p>New York, NY – The New York City Council voted Tuesday, June 30 in favor of a new budget proposal that will supposedly cut NYPD funding by $1 billion from the police department’s current annual budget of $6 billion. This comes in response to recent protests demanding that the city defund the NYPD. While Mayor Bill DeBlasio claims that the budget plan answers protesters’ calls, the proposed ‘cuts’ in funding are in truth no more than an illusion.</p> <p>Mayor DeBlasio claims that several hundred million dollars cut from the NYPD will go to funding for education. However, the reality is that the money currently used to police NYC schools will simply get shuffled around so that it comes out of the Department of Education (DOE) budget instead. To make matters worse, this comes on top of plans to cut hundreds of millions from funding for the DOE. So what DeBlasio calls an increase in funding for education is in reality just a sneaky way to continue over-policing the schools, all while the city saves money on actual education costs. </p> <p>The budget proposal also refuses to put in a NYPD hiring freeze, even though the number of officers has grown dramatically over the past several years. By contrast, months ago DeBlasio announced plans for a hiring freeze on teachers for the next school year.</p> <p>While DeBlasio also touts the new budget as beneficial to low-income New Yorkers by moving funding from the NYPD to things like public housing, the budget will also cut $65 million from a program that provides low-income residents with half-price Metro cards for public transit.</p> <p>People across New York City immediately recognized the lies embedded in the city’s plan to supposedly defund the NYPD. Protests continue daily across the city, and an occupation of City Hall still endures after it began almost two weeks ago. Despite violent police repression, protesters refuse to back down until their demands are met and the NYPD gets truly defunded.</p> <p>If the recent budget decision shows us anything, however, it makes it clear that we cannot expect the mayor or the city council to ever meet the people’s demands around policing in a meaningful way. City officials will always come up with tricky ways to maintain police funding and resources, because as long as capitalism and private property exist, they will do whatever it takes to ensure that the police continue to protect the interests of the ruling class and the rich. </p> <p>This is exactly why we need to fight for community control of the police. Organizers in the New York Community Action Project and other groups across the country are fighting for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (or CPAC), which would give elected community members power over the police budget, hiring and firing of officers, and the ability to investigate officers. Only by giving the people power over the police will we see real, meaningful changes that include defunding the police and convicting and arresting all the cops who continue to get away with their crimes against Black and brown communities.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial civilian police accountability council (CPAC) New York Community Action Project (NYCAP) Sistema de injusticia Sat, 04 Jul 2020 20:35:15 +0000 Fight Back 8304 at National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression to join “We Can’t Breathe” protest at RNC <p>Chicago, IL -The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) will be joining the massive demonstration that is set for August 27 at the Republican National Convention (RNC), in Jacksonville, Florida. The “We Can’t Breathe” protest, organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC, will focus on stopping police crimes and advancing the demand for community control of the police.</p> <p>Speaking about the need to march on the RNC, Frank Chapman, Executive Director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression states, “The Trump administration has been green-lighting police crimes and the Alliance is going to participate in the demonstration at the Republican National Convention to make it clear that we have had enough. Since the police murder of George Floyd, rebellions have swept the U.S. Our movement is gaining momentum, and we’re going to take that momentum to Jacksonville, Florida.”</p> <p>Chapman will be among those who address the rally and march on August 27th, the day Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination for president. Protest organizers from the Coalition to March on the RNC have already applied for permits.</p> <p>The NAARPR, which was re-founded last year, called for a National Day of Action on May 30th that saw some 100,000 people take to the streets in cities across the country to demand justice for George Floyd. After protesters were attacked that day by the very police forces whose brutality has become the focus of national attention, the NAARPR called for a second National Day of Action to Stop Police Crimes that saw tens of thousands more march in over 10 cities.</p> <p>The Jacksonville protest is likewise expected to be large. Since the police murder of George Floyd, protests numbering more than 10,000 people have swept Jacksonville.</p> <p>Members of the Coalition to March on the RNC organized large protests against previous Republican national conventions in 2008 (St. Paul), 2012 (Tampa), and 2016 (Cleveland). The coalition expects thousands or more from all over to participate in the August 27 rally and march. The event will begin with a demonstration near the Duval County Clerk of Courts building, followed by a march through downtown Jacksonville, passing within sight and sound of the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, where the RNC convention is being held.</p> <p>“At the Republican National Convention, we are going to shine a spotlight on the epidemic of police crimes,” states Chapman. “We are done waiting for equally, justice and liberation. We look forward to marching with scores of other progressive organizations in Jacksonville. This is going to be historic.”</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial African-American Anti-racism National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Sat, 04 Jul 2020 01:06:09 +0000 Fight Back 8303 at