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 Chicago teachers strike continues <p>Chicago, IL - The joint strike by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU Local 73 continued October 18 and through the weekend as the office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot continued to refuse to meet the strikers' demands.</p> <p>The teachers and school workers are on strike for "the schools our students deserve": smaller class sizes, genuine sanctuary schools, and a nurse and librarian in every school. Among their demands are political demands, or what the CTU calls "bargaining for the common good." These include the demand for affordable housing for working-class Chicagoans, something that the mayor refuses to put into the language of the contract but which the teachers say is a key issue to resolve before they can return to work.</p> <p>On October 18, the second day of the strike, tens of thousands of teachers, school workers and supporters marched through downtown Chicago once again. Before that, the strikers had been picketing at every public school in the city. It was on these picket lines that anyone could see the broad support the strike has among the public.</p> <p>Sean Orr, a UPS driver in the city, said that the support was unprecedented. "This entire week, there has not been a single block I have delivered on where at least one house didn't have a ‘I support Chicago teachers’ sign in the window," Orr said. "Every picket line I've seen is greeted by horn honks and people stopping the picketers to ask for a selfie with them. It's incredible."</p> <p>Polls consistently show that the striking teachers have a greater share of public support than the mayor in these negotiations. It is time that the mayor's office meets the CTU/SEIU demands and give Chicago the school system that its children deserve.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Chicago Teachers Union SEIU Local 73 strike Strikes Teachers Unions Tue, 22 Oct 2019 02:54:50 +0000 Fight Back 7647 at Patriotic Korean students enter U.S. ambassador’s Seoul compound, demand U.S. troops out now <p>On October 18 a group of Korean students entered the U.S. ambassador’s residential compound in Seoul, Korea to protest the continuing presence of U.S. troops in their country. 20 people, who belong to a coalition of progressive students, scaled the wall of the diplomatic compound and began a demonstration against the U.S. occupation of their county. The students chanted “We don’t need U.S. troops,” and “Get out!” before being escorted out by police. 19 of the students were detained and questioned by south Korean police.</p> <p>There are an estimated 28,000 U.S. troops in southern Korea who are essentially engaged in military occupation of the southern part of the Korean peninsula. In 1945 the United States militarily occupied Korea south of the 38th parallel, while the Soviet Red Army occupied the north of the country. There were international agreements that the two occupying powers were supposed to leave the country after helping stabilize the country and setting up elections. While the Soviet Union left Korea in 1948, the U.S. military never left.</p> <p>The students also protested against the demands of the Trump administration that the south Korean government increase its contribution to maintain U.S. troops on the Korean peninsula. Under the Special Measures Agreement, the United States demands money from south Korea for its ‘protection.’</p> <p>The Trump administration demanded an increase from $800 million to $1.6 billion dollars, a 100% increase, to support the U.S. military in Korea. After some pushback from south Korea, the two countries agreed on a one-year increase to $1 billion. The United States is looking for a five-year agreement, and more talks are scheduled for October 22-24 of this year.</p> <p>This student group, as well as many others in the Korean peninsula, oppose this extortion and look forward to a Korea that is united, peaceful, sovereign and free of U.S. military bases.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Corea Korea Seoul Mon, 21 Oct 2019 02:23:17 +0000 Fight Back 7646 at Philippines: Shooting of Bukidnon teachers is handiwork of military agents <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Oct. 19 statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines.</em></p> <p>The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the dastardly shooting of teachers Zhydee and Ramil Cabañelez last October 16.</p> <p>According to reports, four armed men barged into the Dalit Elementary School in Sitio Dalit, Barangay Lumbayao in Valencia City, Bukidnon and started shooting at the Cabañelez couple. The shooting was carried out in plain view of young students. Zhydee sustained several gunshot wounds and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Ramil was unscathed.</p> <p>The shooting is clearly the handiwork of military agents, specifically those linked to the AFP's 4th Infantry Division. These military agents and death squads have targeted activists in Northern Mindanao. In the province of Bukidnon, at least 16 activists, mostly peasant leaders, have been murdered this year alone.</p> <p>The Valencia shooting is part of the nationwide campaign of suppression and violence against the democratic people's organizations active in fighting for people's rights and welfare.</p> <p>The Cabañelez couple are members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) which recently has been actively campaigning for salary increases.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Anti-fascism Asia Asiaticos fascism Internacional Filipinas Political Repression Rodrigo Duterte Teachers Unions Sistema de injusticia Obreros Nacionalidades Oprimidas Sat, 19 Oct 2019 15:29:37 +0000 Fight Back 7645 at Los Angeles demands “Close the camps” <p>Los Angeles, CA - On October 12, hundreds of people gathered downtown to demand Trump’s concentration camps be closed. Many organizations and labor unions came together including NDLON Day Labor Organizing Centers and MEChA de CSULA with a clear message, “Close the camps.” October 12 was a national day of action in which multiple cities participated. </p> <p>Speakers included a representative from the teachers union – UTLA. Another speaker, Sol Marquez of Centro CSO, said, “We need to call them what they are - concentration camps. The U.S. has a long history of using concentration camps, they did it to Japanese-Americans and they’re doing it now. We need to close these camps everywhere, not just in L.A. or near the border. And we have to stand in solidarity with Central American refugees. The U.S. destabilizes their governments and economies, forcing them to take dangerous journeys, only to be locked up once they get here. Close the camps.”</p> <p>The crowd marched in the streets to the Hall of Justice, office of LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. They chanted, “El pueblo, unido, jamas será vencido!” The crowd then marched onto the steps of the building and heard from a few more speakers demanding that Sheriff Villanueva stop any cooperation with ICE at the jails. Black Lives Matter speaker Greg Akili also denounced District Attorney Jackie Lacey for not prosecuting killer cops. After the speakers, people performed a mock die-in symbolizing the dozens of immigrants and refugees who have died in the camps, including six children. As they read each of the names of the people who died, a person in the crowd would fall to the ground, symbolizing their deaths. </p> <p>The crowd marched on to the Federal Metropolitan Detention Center, where many immigrants are held. They continued chanting, “Close the camps!” And “Policia, la Migra! La misma porqueria!” Hundreds gathered in front of the building. Marquez declared, “Trump in the White House hasn’t made the situation for immigrants, refugees, nor oppressed nationalities any easier. He’s inciting vigilantes to come after Chicanos at Walmarts, or Border Patrol agents to shoot into crowds of people. We must remain strong and keep building the fight to protect each other. We outnumber the rich, and they can’t stop us all.”</p> <p>Centro CSO is an endorser of the “Legalization for All” call and marched with a banner that read, “Legalización para todos, lucha contra Trump” or “Legalization for all, fight against Trump.” </p> <p>Centro CSO meets every third Wednesday of the month, 6 p.m., at Benjamin Franklin Library in Boyle Heights. Their contact information is 323-943-2030, <a href=""></a>,</p> Abolish ICE Border Patrol Chican@s y Latin@s Close the camps legalization for all Inmigrantes Fri, 18 Oct 2019 23:55:51 +0000 Fight Back 7644 at First day of Chicago Public Schools strike <p>Chicago, IL - Picket lines went up at hundreds of schools across Chicago at 6:30 a.m., October 17. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) walked out for their third strike since 2012. For the more than 7000 members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73, this is an historic first strike, and the first against the new mayor, Lori Lightfoot.</p> <p>In the afternoon, the strikers went downtown in a river of red – the color of CTU – and purple – the color of SEIU. For over two hours, more than 20,000 marched back and forth, surrounding the Board of Education and City Hall buildings. They chanted, “When education is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”</p> <p>Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher at Alcott College Prep in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, helped lead picketing at her school. She is an area captain, so she then visited the other picket lines in the nearby schools. As a member of the 40-person bargaining committee for CTU, she then sat in on the bargaining, and finally joined with her co-workers at the massive rally in the Loop, Chicago’s central business district.</p> <p>Talking to Fight Back!, Chambers explained, “This strike of more than 30,000 teachers, teacher assistants, clinicians, and special ed classroom assistants with CTU and SEIU is about justice for Black and brown students in the city of Chicago. They deserve all the support in their schools; support to deal with the trauma they experience living in the oppressive, racist system in Chicago, means full-time social workers, nurses and restorative justice coordinators.</p> <p>“Our students deserve class-size caps, with special education support, more resources, and fully funded schools.</p> <p>“Lori Lightfoot has made it clear that she is choosing to support the rich people in Chicago by giving them $2.4 billion in TIF [Tax Increment Financing] money instead of putting money into our schools.”</p> <p>When asked about the outcome of this strike, Chambers didn’t pause. “We are united and strong. We know we will win.”</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Chicago Teachers Union strike Strikes Teachers Unions Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:32:18 +0000 Fight Back 7643 at AZ educators join Asarco strikers on picket line <p>Tucson, AZ - It has become tradition in Arizona to wear red and take selfies on Wednesdays to support the #RedForEd movement to demand that the legislature fully fund schools. However, since there are currently 2000 workers on strike at the Asarco mines, educators took selfies with Steelworkers and Teamsters on their picket line on Wednesday, October 16.</p> <p>Spirits were high as strikers and supporters chatted while the sun went down. As the mine is located in a rural area, not much traffic goes by so the strikers knew exactly who a replacement worker was and shouted “Scab!” at them as they passed.</p> <p>Up against the world’s third largest copper producer in Grupo Mexico’s Asarco, the eight unions are hoping their shutdown of a smelting facility, refinery and mining operations will force the company to offer a decent contract. Asarco workers have gone nearly a decade without a raise and are facing a spike in the cost of benefits.</p> <p>The unions are on an ‘Unfair Labor Practice’ strike because Asarco has refused to bargain with the unions.</p> <p>Arizona educators share a common enemy in the dark money connections that Asarco established through its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Around three dozen Arizona state legislators attended the most recent ALEC summit in Houston in August. ALEC is a notorious hotbed of conservative economic and political legislation aimed at weakening unions, pushing charter schools, cutting taxes for billionaires and corporations and deregulating the energy sector.</p> <p>“We appreciate so much the solidarity demonstrated here tonight by teachers and education workers. All working class deserve better pay and benefits and striking and solidarity is the way forward,” said Steelworker Eduardo Placencio.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Asarco strike Strikes Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:22:41 +0000 Fight Back 7642 at Schools not war: Mendez High School 10th year anniversary celebration <p>Los Angeles, CA - A joyous parade, block party and festival were held October 12 in Boyle Heights to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the opening of Mendez High School. The parade down First Street with beautiful vintage lowriders, featured Chicano writer Luis Rodriguez, author of Always Running; the daughter of Felicitas Mendez; Eloisa Galindo of Eastside Padres Contra la Privatización; Carlos Montes of Centro CSO; Jose Huizar of Council District 14 and Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board member Monica Garcia.</p> <p>In March 2003, Centro CSO, with local parents, launched their “Schools Not Wars” campaign to demand the building of a new high school in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. The campaign sought to relieve the overcrowding at Roosevelt and Garfield high schools, oppose the war on Iraq, and kick out military recruiters off campuses. Military recruiters were put in check, and awareness in opposition to the invasion of Iraq was raised. After years of protests, surveys, studies and attending many LAUSD meetings, a site was selected at First and Mission streets.</p> <p>This site at First and Mission became Mendez Hight School in 2009. Built near the two housing projects, the school was named after the famous school desegregation lawsuit Mendez v. Westminster of 1946. Eight years before the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, Mexican Americans in Orange County, California won a class action lawsuit to dismantle the segregated school system that existed there.</p> <p>The tenth anniversary celebration continued at Mariachi Plaza. Carlos Montes pointed out the historical significance of the fight for “schools not wars” and the recent victory to stop the mega KIPP Promesa charter school. Eloisa Galindo also spoke, denouncing the privatization attack on public education that is supported by corrupt politicians who get money from the charter school industry.</p> <p>Also in the parade were the Mendez High School marching band, cheer squad and football team. The community came out to cheer and applaud the parade as it passed heading to Mariachi Plaza for the block party and festival. Since its opening, the school has been educationally successful, and the festival featured schools visual and performing arts, athletic and AP programs. Games and face-painting made for a fun event.</p> <p>Join Centro CSO: Community Service Organization at our monthly meetings held the third Wednesday of the month, 6 p.m. at Benjamin Franklin Public Library.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Centro CSO Chican@s y Latin@s Wed, 16 Oct 2019 14:35:49 +0000 Fight Back 7641 at Coalition to March on the DNC 2020 gets off to a good start with its first action <p>Milwaukee, WI - The first meeting for the Coalition to March on the DNC took place on the evening of October 11, concluding with a demonstration and rally. The coalition is comprised of many progressive activist groups united around nine demands - or points of unity - that serve as a basis and also a guide to action. Some of these points are “Legalization for all; no more deportations” and “Fight to expand union and worker rights.”</p> <p>The coalition plans to march during the Democratic National Convention next July. Though a request for a permit to march has been submitted, the coalition is still awaiting a response from the city of Milwaukee. It has been months since the request was made. The coalition is prepared to pressure them on the issue.</p> <p>The meeting itself was brief. It began at Milwaukee’s City Hall to discuss the points of unity as well as a set of principles designed to keep the coalition cohesive over the coming months. Around 40 activists from a variety of groups across Milwaukee and the broader Wisconsin and Midwest areas were in attendance.</p> <p>After the meeting, coalition members took to the sidewalks, walking alongside a portion of the proposed route they hope to march in July. There were a number of chants reflecting the points of unity, as well as the frustration over the delayed permits. They chanted “What do we want? Permits! When do we want them? Now!”</p> <p>The demonstration finished at Dontre Hamilton (or Red Arrow) Park, where several speakers voiced their support of the coalition, as well as their anger with the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party’s actions. Many speakers also touched on the specific conditions of Milwaukee, from the increasing police budget to the lack of urgency to address the city’s lead water pipes.</p> <p>Ryan Hamann, one of the lead organizers of the Coalition and member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, stated, “The purpose of our action here today was to bring our people together and show the city that we mean business.”</p> <p>“Mayor Barrett and the city of Milwaukee are quick to roll out the red carpet for the rich and powerful while putting up roadblocks for activists here,” Hamann continued. “Milwaukee is our town and we’re going to march whether the city government permits us to or not.”</p> <p>Though there was a strong turnout of a variety of organizations, the coalition is seeking to grow and expand its outreach within the coming months to encompass more of the people’s movements. The next organizing meeting is set for November 8 at 5 p.m. at the Peace Center in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Coalition to March on the Democratic National Convention Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:40:25 +0000 Fight Back 7640 at My Poem to Latin America <p>Today, I am proud to be Latin American. Today I will not complain about injustices. Today I will not cry. Today, in addition to celebrating our heritage, we must reflect and begin to love our America, just as José Martí, to really love her! It is time to be proud, to raise your forehead high and not be afraid. It is time to feel the pride of coming from a land where the cosmic race was born, where people from all over the world were merged into a clash where there was death, blood, conquest and colonialism. But from this brutal change, hope was born ... a new culture, with strong roots, mixed with earth, mud, stone and full of life. Today I want to tell all of you, old, young and children to discover your roots! This way you can have the pride of being who you are and want to fight for what is yours.</p> <p>Mexico - I mount an eagle to devour the injustice above a cactus, inspired by the rebellion of Emiliano Zapata. Earth and freedom!</p> <p>Guatemala - A quetzal flies towards the volcanoes, carrying the message of Rigoberta Menchú to defend indigenous law and its great Maya past.</p> <p>El Salvador - In the company of Monsignor Romero to seek God, union and freedom.</p> <p>Honduras - My “catracho” friends still mourn the loss of Berta Cáceres, an environmental and indigenous rights activist.</p> <p>Costa Rica - The Ticos, they know how to take care of the coffee land and not let the ancestral Turtle die. Costa Rica, Pura vida!</p> <p>Nicaragua - Land of Sandino, revolutionary, idealist who rose to fight against the greatest and defend his land, with spirit and freedom.</p> <p>Panama - The punchbowl was formed at the Panama festival, dancing on its channel that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific.</p> <p>From there we go to the Caribbean,</p> <p>Cuba - Land of Celia Cruz and José Martí. Land of my friend Fidel, idealist and revolutionary of America, full of courage and courage against the grip of oppressive capitalism.</p> <p>Puerto Rico - Taino Island, where rhythm and talent sprout with the wind. I get on the bus and the hurricane god takes me to you.</p> <p>Haiti - Land of rebels, fighting slavery and colonialism when no one dared. That is value.</p> <p>Dominican Republic - full of music: Merengue, Bachata and baseball.</p> <p>South America we begin with Colombia,</p> <p>Colombia - How cool is life in Colombia, with coffee and a good cumbia. Walking through Cartagena, Medellín and Bogotá, passing 100 Years of Solitude.</p> <p>Venezuela - Land of Simón Bolívar, the liberator of America, born in Caracas. Without fear to overthrow the Spanish empire.</p> <p>Brazil - Land of the Amazon, the lungs of the planet, where I hope they don't forget who Chico Mendes was.</p> <p>Ecuador - Where the pink dolphin swims in the Galapagos Islands, a World Heritage Site and what to say about Quito, the center of the planet, the perfect place to discover my essence.</p> <p>Perú - Land full of history, from Cusco, to Lima, I was inspired by Machu Picchu. The condor passes and will continue to fly through the Inca land where Tupac Amaru once stood.</p> <p>Chile - Land of poets, how to forget Pablo Neruda and his Twenty Love Poems and a Desperate Song, the ideals of Salvador Allende, and the guitar of Víctor Jara .. from your capital Santiago de Chile I look at the Andes.</p> <p>Bolivia - Although in your land I hear “Lamento Boliviano”, your wealth is within your Heart. With two capitals Sucre and La Paz you only have one flag and one Heart.</p> <p>Paraguay - Your official language is Guaraní, but some speak Spanish. Don't let a few dominate everyone. Clap and don't knock on the door.</p> <p>Uruguay - Beautiful, progressive, liberal land, where José Mujica reminds you of the phrase “Freedom or Death”, from your capital Montevideo you can see the Río de la Plata and I can surely kick the soccer ball to your heart.</p> <p>Argentina - Where you can dance tango, or rock in Spanish, but yes ... you will go on a motorcycle, as well as Che Guevara, an icon of revolution and social equality. Strength and even victory always! Say no to dirty war.</p> <p>This is my Latin America…our America.</p> <p>I hope one day to meet you from end to end, from California, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona to Patagonia, may God give me license, and so be it!</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Cultura Latin America poetry Tue, 15 Oct 2019 14:36:32 +0000 Fight Back 7639 at Thousands to strike against ASARCO <p>Tucson, AZ – The United Steelworkers (USW) said, October 11, that about 2000 hourly workers at five ASARCO LLC, locations in Arizona and Texas voted overwhelmingly to strike against unfair labor practices rather than to accept the Grupo México subsidiary’s so-called “last, best and final” offer.</p> <p>USW District 12 Director Robert LaVenture said, “ASARCO’s four-year contract proposal insulted union members at all of the facilities by including no wage increase for nearly two-thirds of workers, freezing the existing pension plan, and more than doubling the out-of-pocket contribution individual workers already pay for health care.” He added, “Working 12-hour shifts in an open-pit mine, smelter or refinery is difficult and dangerous, and ASARCO employees have not had a wage increase in ten years.”</p> <p>“Management has tested these employees for years, and we’ve met their challenges each step along the way,” LaVenture said. “When we march together for fairness and justice at ASARCO, we are delivering a unified message that the company’s attacks on our livelihoods must end and that we are standing up for respect and dignity from this employer.”</p> <p>Late in the evening of Friday, October 11, after the counting of ballots, the USW, on behalf of itself and the nine other unions representing ASARCO workers, provided 48 hours’ notice to terminate the extension agreement under which the parties have worked since December 1, 2018.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Strikes United Steelworkers (USW) Tue, 15 Oct 2019 03:23:50 +0000 Fight Back 7638 at