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 Denver marches to close Trump’s concentration camps <p>Aurora, CO - Hundreds of protestors marched from the Peoria transit station to the corporate-run GEO Group ICE Processing Center on July 12. The march was led by the Coalition to Close Concentration Camps. The coalition is composed of many local immigrant rights groups and community activists demanding President Trump close the camps. </p> <p>Marchers chanted, "Close the camps! "Shut it down!" and "Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here!" They also proudly displayed signs reading "Abolish ICE," "Don’t look away" and “Never again is now.” One leader spoke about U.S. government intervention in Central America, and how war and poverty led to the current humanitarian crisis at the ICE concentration camps. </p> <p>Upon reaching the ICE detention camp, marchers joined with Lights for Liberty and the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) for a candlelight vigil and speeches by immigrant rights groups. 2000 people attended the vigil demanding the concentration camps be closed. </p> <p>As speeches continued, a small group crossed over the bridge to the detention camp to continue chanting directly outside its doors. This led to hundreds more protestors joining the group rallying closer to the facility while others continued to listen to the speeches with Lights for Liberty and CIRC. Eventually, the group outside the facility took down the American flag flying overhead and replaced it with a Mexican flag.</p> <p>Despite the difference in tactics, both groups had the same demands to close the concentration camps and grant asylum to all those currently imprisoned. The groups eventually came back together to rally once more. </p> <p>“Everyone is outraged about what is happening in that facility,” said Mariah Wood, a local organizer for Unite Here Local 23. “Ultimately both actions were meant to demonstrate outrage at the concentration camps”. </p> <p>The united rally continued until sundown around 9 p.m.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Abolish ICE Chican@s y Latin@s Coalition to Close Concentration Camps Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Donald Trump Inmigrantes Obreros Nacionalidades Oprimidas U.S. Tue, 16 Jul 2019 15:20:23 +0000 Fight Back 7514 at Activists in Oshkosh, WI call for closure of Trump's concentration camps <p>Oshkosh, WI - On the evening of July 12, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Students for a Democratic Society (UWO SDS) hosted a Lights for Liberty rally, demanding an end to the Trump administration's detention policy and the closure of the concentration camps, where tens of thousands of immigrants are being held in clear breach of international law. The call to action drew roughly 30 people from Oshkosh and the surrounding Fox Valley area.</p> <p>The event started with a silent candlelight vigil to help bring awareness to the disastrous conditions in the camps. The action featured 12 different people speaking out about the conditions and the need to continue to act for the people who have lost their lives at these camps.</p> <p>With the looming dangers of ICE’s taking action and attempting to deport large numbers of people out of the U.S., the need to bring one another together in solidarity with the immigrants was vastly important. In the small city of Oshkosh, UWO SDS stepped up to do just that. The people came together to share a moment and to push for the importance of being united.</p> <p>"It was important that we accept that we are all human and if we lose the labels and drop the hate we can come together as one," said SDS leader Lydia Christensen.</p> <p>This was the first action hosted by the renewed UWO SDS chapter. With recent incidents involving Nazis on campus and the fact that one of the university buildings is named after a Klansman, the group has plenty of work ahead of it.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Chican@s y Latin@s concentration camps Donald Trump Lights for Liberty University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh SDS Inmigrantes Nacionalidades Oprimidas Movimiento Estudiantil U.S. Sun, 14 Jul 2019 23:51:50 +0000 Fight Back 7513 at Milwaukee: ‘Drop the Charges’ rally for student who took placard from Nazi <p>Milwaukee, WI - Activists rallied outside the Milwaukee County courthouse on the afternoon of July 11 to stand in solidarity with a student who was arrested and charged for taking a vulgar, racist sign away from a Nazi.</p> <p>Grae Hosmanek is a freshman student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In May, she and others witnessed a racist student protesting a Jewish event on campus and gathered around to deter him from spreading hate speech and threats. The lone fascist, who called himself “Chris,” was holding a sign that read "(((GAS)))" a reference to the Nazi holocaust, and another sign bearing a Nazi swastika. The sign also advocated for "civil war." Chris told the <em>Milwaukee Journal Sentinel</em> he wanted to "spark the conversation" about "Marxism ideology."</p> <p>Hosmanek stepped in to take a sign away from the Nazi student, to the supportive cheers of the crowd that had gathered. She ripped the sign in half and ran off with it. The campus police caught her and arrested her a few minutes later. While police allowed the Nazi student to continue his threats toward Jewish and other students, Hosmanek was charged with theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer.</p> <p>After supporters gathered at her first court hearing, three of the charges were dropped. Hosmanek is still facing a charge of "vandalism," and chose to fight her case at trial and plead not guilty to the bogus charge. "I want people to see me, what I did, and why I did it," Hosmanek told <em>Fight Back!</em>, "You need to not only stand up for what is right, but be willing to put yourself on the line for it, every day."</p> <p>Inspired by her bold action, anti-racist activists, including students, immigrant rights groups, unionists, and university faculty are rallying to support Hosmanek and demand the bogus vandalism charge against her be dropped. Supporters have attended her first two court dates and are organizing support rallies for future hearings.</p> <p>The support committee is asking people to attend the next trial on September 23. The support committee will meet at 2 p.m. at the Milwaukee County Courthouse fountain for a short rally to demand the judge "Drop the charges!" and walk into the courtroom together after the rally.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Anti-fascism Drop the charges Nazis Political Repression University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Sun, 14 Jul 2019 23:38:14 +0000 Fight Back 7512 at Minneapolis stands with Iran, Venezuela, Cuba against U.S. sanctions regime <p>Minneapolis, MN - “Workers of the <em>world</em>, unite! Not ‘workers of America unite’ or ‘workers who look like us, pray like us or love like us unite.’ It’s <em>all</em> workers,” said union organizer David Gilbert-Pederson of Minnesota Workers United. “We have more in common with the tailor in Tehran than the bankers who crashed our economy. We have more in common with the bus driver in Caracas than the politicians locking kids in cages.”</p> <p>Gilbert-Pederson spoke to a protest on Lake Street, July 13, of over 80 people gathered to oppose recent U.S. war threats against Iran and Venezuela. Organized by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, the protest featured speakers from a variety of labor, international solidarity and anti-imperialist groups, and called attention to murderous new U.S. sanctions against Cuba as well as Iran and Venezuela.</p> <p>In a speech, Mary Beaudoin of Women Against Military Madness said, “We are at war on Iran right now. The U.S. is engaged in a ‘hybrid war,’ meaning it’s waging a war with a variety of tactics. The U.S. is encouraging a terrorist group, the MEK, which wants regime change in Iran. And in January, the U.S. State Department was caught funding the Iran Disinformation Project, which has been promoting war in Iran to the media, and smearing Americans who expressed opposition to war in Iran.”</p> <p>“But by far sanctions on Iran have done the most harm. Sanctions are an act of war,” she continued. “They have crippled Iran’s economy, and made it impossible to import items for agriculture, industry and health care, which are needed to keep its infrastructure functioning. Iran is under siege, and the dying has begun.”</p> <p>Recent weeks saw rising tensions between Iran and U.S.-aligned forces in the Persian Gulf. An escalating back-and-forth of threats against oil shipments through the narrow Strait of Hormuz - just off Iran’s southern coast - has stemmed from the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal with Iran and the imposition of extreme sanctions. The crisis reached new levels last week with the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker by UK authorities as it passed by Gibraltar, allegedly at the behest of the Trump administration.</p> <p>Despite the news cycle’s focus on war threats against Iran, the Minneapolis protesters were also keen to point out that similar acts of U.S. aggression continue against Latin American countries.</p> <p>“The Center for Economic &amp; Policy Research estimates that over 40,000 Venezuelans have died because of U.S. sanctions,” explained Tracy Molm of the Anti-War Committee, who in April traveled to Venezuela with a Freedom Road Socialist Organization delegation. “It’s important to note that sanctions overwhelmingly affect the most vulnerable in society, denying people desperately-needed medicines and supplies like cooking gas, making daily life very difficult in the countries targeted.”</p> <p>“The latest round of sanctions on Venezuela are aimed at the CLAP, a government food distribution program. The CLAP program provides food to 6 million Venezuelans,” Molm continued. “If sanctions were the ‘humanitarian solution,’ why would the Trump government target food programs? That’s because sanctions aren’t humanitarian at all. They are a tool of warfare!”</p> <p>Joe Callahan of the Minnesota Cuba Committee called out the Trump administration for re-imposing the U.S. blockade on Cuba, in part for the socialist country’s longstanding humanitarian missions in Venezuela and around the world. “Mike Pompeo and others have tried to blame Cuba for the failure of the coup attempts in Venezuela. To be sure, Cuba is closely allied with Venezuela. There are tens of thousands of Cuban doctors there, and the Cuban government has strongly denounced U.S. aggression against Venezuela. But of course the real reason for the failure of the coup attempts in Venezuela was the lack of support of the Venezuelan people and military,” he said.</p> <p>Demonstrators chanted and held signs, got supportive honks from passing motorists, and a number of pedestrians joined in support.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Antiwar Movement Américas Donald Trump Internacional Irán Medio Oriente Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) Minnesota Workers United sanctions Venezuela Obreros Nacionalidades Oprimidas Movimiento Estudiantil U.S. Sun, 14 Jul 2019 19:47:19 +0000 Fight Back 7511 at San Diego demands closure of Trump's concentration camps <p>San Ysidro, CA - Protesters marched from Larsen Field in San Ysidro to the pedestrian border crossing Friday evening, July 12. The march was led by local Kumeyaay tribal elders, accompanied by the Brown Berets, and local immigrant rights and political organizations in demanding an immediate end to the Trump administration's refugee and immigrant concentration camps.</p> <p>These camps have been the center of popular outrage, as many reports have surfaced of children being ripped away from their families, sexually assaulted and denied medical treatment. Some even died in custody or immediately following release. Several thousand people participated in the march, which stopped right in front of the crossing that leads right into Tijuana, Mexico. There, Kumeyaay tribal leaders held ceremonial dances and local activists gave poignant speeches enumerating the atrocities the Trump and past U.S. administrations have committed against indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees.</p> <p>The influx of asylum seekers - particularly from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - can be directly attributed to U.S. efforts to destabilize progressive governments and attack revolutionary movements across Latin America. </p> <p>In the United States, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has been using insidious tactics in its war on oppressed nationalities. Once tactic has been scouring driver and motor vehicle databases in states that permit undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses, using facial recognition software to identify potential deportees. </p> <p>Protesters that night chanted slogans like "Free the children! Free them now!" "Abolish ICE," and "Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here!" They also proudly displayed signs reading "Close the camps, free the fams," "Prosecute Trump," "Kids don't belong in cages" and "No more dead children!" </p> <p>After speakers addressed the crowd, protesters marched back to Larsen field and the action ended around 10:30 p.m.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Abolish ICE Chican@s y Latin@s concentration camps Donald Trump legalization for all Inmigrantes Nacionalidades Oprimidas U.S. Sat, 13 Jul 2019 23:19:22 +0000 Fight Back 7510 at Carnegie Library told to respect union drive <p>Pittsburgh, PA - A group of Pittsburgh community members delivered a petition to the Carnegie Library, July 11, in support of the workers’ efforts to unionize with the United Steelworkers.</p> <p>The petition, delivered to the main Oakland branch and the East Liberty location, includes over 1,000 signatures calling upon the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to release a statement of neutrality towards the United Library Workers’ unionization efforts and act in good faith.</p> <p>"The staff at the library in my community are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and they should be able to collectively bargain for better working conditions without resistance or pressure from anti-union law firms," said Jessica Benham of Pittsburgh’s South Side Slopes.</p> <p>The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new organizing effort includes all 350 remaining eligible unrepresented staff across 19 public branches and the library support center.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Carnegie Library union drive United Steelworkers Obreros Sat, 13 Jul 2019 11:21:27 +0000 Fight Back 7509 at Chicagoland Arab protest demands white supremist leave office <p>Chicago, IL - On July 8, 150 people rallied outside of the Palos Township in the southwest suburbs of Chicago on the two-year anniversary of the #ResignBrannigan campaign, a campaign demanding the resignation of racist and white supremacist trustee Sharon Brannigan.</p> <p>The Arab-led campaign, which takes place in the heart of one of the most concentrated Arab communities in the nation, has been a historic one. Over the past two years, the #ResignBrannigan coalition has mobilized hundreds of Arab community members and youth to rally at the Palos Township monthly meetings, and participate in different actions to increase the pressure on Sharon Brannigan. The southwest suburbs Arab community has never had such a militant and organized campaign as the #ResignBrannigan effort.</p> <p>To intimidate the protesters, Sharon Brannigan has more than once invited members of ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim hate group in the country, to the meetings. She has called the police multiple times on the protesters, has called them “violent mobs,” and had five community leaders arrested at the June 2019 township meeting. Since the beginning of this campaign, the rest of the board of trustees have been silent on Brannigan’s racism and refused to put forward a censure resolution, the least that they can do. Instead, they have constantly attempted to silence the protesters by cutting the public comment time and putting a velvet rope between the crowd and the township council.</p> <p>At the two-year anniversary rally, the #ResignBrannigan coalition has made it clear that they will not stop their demand of a resignation, and that white supremacy must be confronted by any means necessary. They showed that the community is organized and will not be intimidated by any arrests, and that they have the backing of dozens of community-based organizations in the township and other Chicagoland areas.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Anti-racism Sharon Brannigan Fri, 12 Jul 2019 14:29:13 +0000 Fight Back 7508 at Kalamazoo bus drivers march for union contract <p>Kalamazoo, MI - The Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority abruptly canceled their meeting on July 8, leaving 40 bus drivers and union supporters wondering, “What is really happening?” The bus drivers, members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1093, decided to do what they do best, and took it to the streets, chanting, “What do we want? Contract! When do we want it? Now!” </p> <p>ATU Local 1093 President Earl Cox spoke at the busy corner in front of the bus and train terminal, “We are here today to demand a contract, to demand better wages, to demand fair working conditions, to demand restroom breaks, to demand lunch breaks, to demand safety barriers, to demand fair treatment by management,” he said. </p> <p>Cox continued, “Management just cancelled the meeting as if they don’t want to face us or be held accountable. We will be heard. We haven’t had a new contract for nearly one year. We are going to stand up!” </p> <p>The bus drivers then marched thru the Kalamazoo Transportation Center, where dozens of excited passengers fist-bumped and cheered them. Finally, they marched down the block and entered a Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority (KCTA) reception room, but the normally busy office building resembled a ghost town. </p> <p>Bus driver Renee Whitfield said, “I’m fighting a wrongful termination. There is no relief on the bus. I have a medical need to use the restroom. My doctor approved me to return to work, but these managers won’t even give me a chance to try and work. I’m not willing to give up my 22 years that easy, so the union is representing me.” </p> <p>ATU Local 1093 union members say they are looking forward to speaking at the next KCTA meeting. ATU Local 1093 President Earl Cox says they are going to talk next with the county commissioners who appoint the KCTA board members.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo African-American Amalgamated Transit Union ATU Local 1093 Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority Public Sector Unions Obreros Nacionalidades Oprimidas Tue, 09 Jul 2019 16:25:52 +0000 Fight Back 7507 at Over 1000 union educators protest Houston Detention Center <p>Houston, TX - July 4 saw union educators push for freedom for refugees and undocumented families. After a daylong meeting of the annual National Education Association’s annual Representative Assembly, a massive group of educators demonstrated their anger at Trump’s concentration camps for children and families.</p> <p>Rank-and-file education workers organized the protest within less than 48 hours of arriving at the convention. The group marched around a detention center located in downtown Houston, holding signs reading “Free the children!” and “Close the camps!” As they marched, they chanted “Up up with education! Down, down with deportation!”</p> <p>One Latina educator shared her thoughts on why this issue is important to educators, “We know that children need to feel safe in order to learn. We know that families need to be reunited to have a solid foundation for learning. And these families need a just pathway to citizenship.”</p> <p>The protest was part of a wave of national protests aimed at ending the Trump administration’s concentration camps and family separation policy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo concentration camps National Education Association Inmigrantes Fri, 05 Jul 2019 18:35:57 +0000 Fight Back 7506 at Chicanos protest raids and deportations <p>Los Angeles, CA - A protest on June 29, at the busy intersection of Soto Street and César E. Chávez in Boyle Heights, demanded an end to ICE raids and deportations. Attended by 30 people, the participants included students, parents and Centro CSO. The protest was energetic and extremely well-received by locals, people driving by, public transportation bus drivers and everyone in between.</p> <p>Chanting, “When I say, ‘Stop the raids’ you say, ‘Now!’ Stop the raids! Now! Stop the raids! Now!” and “Dump! Trump!” the energetic protest gathered much support. One Boyle Heights resident joined after hearing the chant, “¡Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos! ¡Y si nos echan, nos regresamos!”</p> <p>Called by the Boyle Heights community group Centro Community Service Organization (Centro CSO), the event was in response to a call to action made by the Legalization for All Network. Also joining the protest was the parent group Eastside Padres Contra La Privatización.</p> <p>Leading chants was LAUSD school bus driver and member of Centro CSO, Luis Sifuentes. Sifuentes read Know Your Rights information into the bullhorn like, "Don't open the door! Ask for a court-signed and dated document! When people heard about the information, they stopped and asked Centro CSO members for further Know Your Rights information.</p> <p>“They’ve yelled at me to go back to my country!” said Eloisa Galindo of Marianna Avenue school in East LA. “But all of my children are from here! We’ve created a new life here, and no one has the right to tell us to go anywhere, and neither does Trump!”</p> <p>The group spoke about the horrible conditions in the overcrowded ICE detentions centers and called for releasing the families and children. The Trump administration has also threatened to continue with ICE raids and deportations after the 4th of July. “We will be removing large numbers of people. Starting in a week after, you know, sometime after July 4th,” Trump said.</p> <p>Centro CSO condemns these threats and advocates for legalization for all. The crisis at the border must also be protested. If you or your organization plan on having an action, you are encouraged to message and unite with Legalization for All (L4A).</p> <p>If you live in Los Angeles or Boyle Heights, join Centro CSO at our next monthly meeting - July 17, 6 p.m. at the Benjamin Franklin Library. CSO meets at the library the third Wednesday of every month. For any questions text or call 323-943-2030 or email <a href=""></a>.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Centro CSO Inmigrantes Fri, 05 Jul 2019 18:33:01 +0000 Fight Back 7505 at