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. en Utah protest defends DACA, demands legalization for all <p>Salt Lake City, UT — Over 100 people joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to protest Donald Trump’s repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Sept. 15, at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building downtown.</p> <p>Shirley Reyes, with SDS, kicked off the rally, denouncing the repeal that puts 800,000 young people at risk of deportation. “We cannot rely on the system; it is up to all of us. We are not only here to defend DACA, but to demand legalization for all.”</p> <p>Griseille Davila, a DACA recipient and SDS member, gave an impassioned call to unite as a community. Davila called on the crowd to fight for immigrant rights and to defend undocumented immigrants from incarceration and deportation.</p> <p>Sara Kang, another SDSer, began to cry while addressing the crowd, saying that she was worried for her friends who may face deportation. Kang finished her speech urging those assembled to fight back against the racist attacks from the Trump administration.</p> <p>Emmaly Anderson, also with SDS, called out the hypocrisy of the University of Utah which has claimed to support undocumented students. Anderson said the U of U refused to meet student demands. She also said the U of U needs to refuse to host the on-campus event for Ben Shapiro, a racist right-wing columnist who has called for completely closing the U.S.-Mexico border.</p> <p>After the speeches, the crowd moved into the street and marched north to the State Capitol building. Chanting “Liberation not deportation!” and “Sí se puede!” they shut down the usually busy roads in downtown Salt Lake City. Upon reaching the Capitol, Reyes closed out the rally with an announcement of SDS’s counter-demonstration against Ben Shapiro (the event page can be found at this link: <a href="" title=""></a>)</p> <p>Besides SDS, the Sept. 15 protest drew organizers and activists from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), Utah Against Police Brutality (UAPB), and People’s Power Assembly as well as community members and students from the University of Utah.</p> People's Struggles Anti-racism DACA immigrant rights Salt Lake City Utah Immigrant Rights Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:16:08 +0000 Fight Back 6315 at PFLP: Those who meet with the occupier stand with the enemies of the people <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).</em></p> <p>The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine strongly condemned Palestinian Authority officials and merchants in Jenin for participating in a farewell ceremony for the Zionist liaison officer in the criminal occupation army, Samir Kioff.</p> <p>The Front considers that the participation of a Palestinian delegation in the farewell of a Zionist war criminal who stained his hands with the blood of our people is a disgrace on those officials and a poisoned stab in the back of our people, disregarding the blood of the martyrs and the sacrifices of our people who are still struggling under the weight of the crimes of the occupation, in order to be exploited by the occupation to beautify this image.</p> <p>The Front emphasized that this gathering in the so-called Salem settlement camp which has been a consistent source of suffering for our people, is yet another proof that the Palestinian Authority does not learn any lessons from its continuing great sins against the resistance of our Palestinian people, as shown in the rush of its leaders toward normalization and meetings with the enemy, and in light of the continuation of security coordination with the enemy by the security apparatus.</p> <p>The Front pointed out that those who continue in the field of normalization are putting themselves in the path of confrontation of our people and should expect punishment for their actions, as national crimes have no statute of limitations.</p> <p>The Front further emphasized that the Palestinian national responsibility requires all national, community, cultural and commercial actors to condemn these normalization meetings and to expose, besiege and boycott them.</p> Palestine PFLP Sun, 17 Sep 2017 14:01:41 +0000 Fight Back 6314 at Racist Palos Township trustee Sharon Brannigan runs away from Arab constituents <p>Palos Hills, IL - On Sept. 11, hundreds of community members protested outside the Palos Township Board of Trustees meeting for the third month in a row to demand the resignation of racist trustee Sharon Brannigan. The protest was organized by Take On Hate, alongside local Chicagoland partners.</p> <p>Brannigan has made several posts on social media demonizing the growing population of Arabs and Muslims in the southwest suburbs, most recently vilifying Middle Eastern students. Palos Township has one of the largest Arab populations in the state of Illinois, encompassing all or portions of Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Orland Park, Palos Hills, Worth and Willow Springs.</p> <p>After rallying outside, residents packed the township board room and exterior hallway spilling into the outdoor parking lot. More than a dozen community members spoke out against Brannigan and the board members, who many said they viewed as complicit for not pressuring their colleague to resign.</p> <p>A non-resident who had signs that read “No ISIS in Palos”, “Illegal alien invaders out of our schools”, and “Brannigan stays” attempted to speak, but was forced to leave by residents who chanted for the racist get out.</p> <p>Township Supervisor Colleen Schumann adjourned the meeting, in a failed attempt to quell the residents’ outrage. Community members followed Brannigan outside, chanting that she should resign. Brannigan, refusing to address any of her mostly Arab constituents, quickly ran to her car without as much as bothering to turn around.</p> <p>Bassem Kawar of Take On Hate and the Arab American Action Network told <em>Fight Back!,</em> “We will continue mobilizing community members for every township meeting until Brannigan resigns, and have saturated the southwest suburbs with literature condemning Brannigan’s racist attacks.”</p> <p>Take On Hate is asking all community members and supporters to continuously call the Palos Township office at 708-598-4418 and demand Brannigan’s immediate resignation. Sign the #ResignBrannigan petition here: <a href=""></a></p> #ResignBrannigan Anti-racism Arab American Action Network Palos Township Sharon Brannigan Take On Hate Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:10:19 +0000 Fight Back 6313 at In wake of Hurricane Irma, Florida activists serve the people <p>Hollywood, FL — Activists involved in the Hollywood, Florida’s Change the Names campaign (which was successful in getting the city change three streets names that were named after KKK and Confederate leaders) grilled burgers in the low-income Liberia neighborhood. The activists walked plates up to folks who couldn't leave their homes. That community has been without power since Friday. No AC, no fridge, no oven, no way out. The activists were out the days after the storm before any local government or companies were setting up distribution centers.</p> <p>Participants included members of POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism), Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward and SEIU.</p> People's Struggles Activists Florida Hurricane Irma U.S. Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:26:08 +0000 Fight Back 6312 at NYC activists stand in solidarity with Durham <p>New York, NY — On Sept. 12, around 100 activists gathered in Columbus Circle in solidarity with the Durham, North Carolina activists who a month before tore down a statue of a Confederate soldier.</p> <p>On August 14, Worker’s World Party comrades tore down a statue in response to the Neo-nazi and white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, Durham activists have faced political repression in the form of raids and are currently awaiting trial.</p> <p>Last night’s rally and march was part of a series of solidarity events happening throughout the country on the first day of trials.</p> <p>The crowd gathered facing the Christopher Columbus statue and held signs saying, “Drop the charges,” “Stop the witch hunts,” and “Honk to fight racism.”</p> <p>Taryn Fivek, from Worker’s World Party, and Vijou Bryant, from Bayan USA, led the rally and started it off with chants.</p> <p>One of the speakers was Michela Martinazzi from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. She spoke about how activists should stand in solidarity with Durham activists, and she brought up the Jax5 as an example of fighting political repression. She even touched upon why they were gathered in Columbus Circle: “You see, the Confederacy may have died, but white supremacy is alive and thriving. It's built in the very fabric of our society — from our laws to these disgusting monuments that decorate this country.</p> <p>“Behind me, we have pioneer who opened the doors for genocide, colonization and white supremacy on this land. Christopher Columbus was the harbinger of death. He's the original American murderer.”</p> <p>Larry Holmes, a leader of Worker’s World Party, spoke about Charlottesville and said, “We will remember Heather [Heyer]. She will live forever. We are in solidarity with the anti-fascist forces and antifa. I was told that if it wasn’t for antifa in Charlottesville, a lot more people may have been killed or hurt. Stop the attacks on antifa, especially in the left.”</p> <p>He continued the speech by touching upon the Durham fighters, “We demand that all charges against these wonderful militants in Durham, North Carolina who carried out that righteous act be dropped immediately. They did nothing criminal. They should be celebrated. They should be honored — we should follow their example!”</p> <p>The rally finished around 8 p.m. and the crowd marched down to Times Square.</p> <p>Throughout the event, there was a high police presence. Over two dozen NYPD officers, a van, and several police cars followed activists as they marched. A couple of blocks down, they began playing a loudspeaker warning activist that they could get arrested if deemed necessary. Two arrests occurred that night. The arrests were followed by chants of, “FTP! Fuck the police!” and “How do you spell racist? NYPD!”</p> <p>The march ended in Times Square with activists chanting Assata Shakur’s famous words.</p> People's Struggles Anti-fascism Anti-Racism Anti-racism Confederate statues New York Racism Wed, 13 Sep 2017 21:58:10 +0000 Fight Back 6311 at Black and Brown unite to demand LA district attorney prosecute killer cops <p>Los Angeles, CA - Black and Brown activists, along with the families of people killed by the police, are uniting to demand Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey prosecute killer cops in LA County. At a press conference, Sept. 11, Black Lives Matter-LA members and Centro CSO of Boyle Heights announced a petition drive to pressures DA Lacey to investigate and prosecute the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), LA Sheriffs and other departments due the high number of police killings in Los Angeles. 300 have been killed in the last five years, with no police ever prosecuted.</p> <p>Dr. Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizer, introduced the family members who have been victims of LAPD and announced the launching of the online petition - <a href=""></a></p> <p>Dr. Abdullah pointed out that DA Lacey’s job is to prosecute criminals, but she has ignored the high number of police killings of mostly Black and Brown youth. Speakers included Mary Williams, Keith Bursey’s grandmother; Michael Williams of-BLM; Anya Slaughter, who is Kendrec McDade’s mother; Carlos Montes, Centro CSO; Jesse Romero Sr., Jesse Romero Jr. father; Antonio Rodriguez, attorney for Edwin Rodriguez family; Justin Marks, BLM LA; and Trisha Michael, sister of Kisha Michael.</p> <p>Speakers called for DA Jackie Lacey to step up or resign and to prosecute the killer cops. The LAPD officers from the Hollenbeck station in Boyle Heights have killed seven Chicanos in the last 18 months.</p> <p>The press conference was held in front of the old Hall of Justice, the location of the office of DA Lacey, and was widely covered by the media. This building was the location of the infamous Sleepy Lagoon trial.</p> <p>Speaking at the press conference, Romero Sr., father of Jesse Romero, a 14-year-old killed August 9, 2016 by the cops, spoke, asking for justice. But he broke down crying due to the trauma. Carlos Montes, a Centro CSO organizer, denounced the killings and pointed out that LAPD cop Eden Median shot at the unarmed Jesse Romero just 12 days after killing another Chicano in Boyle Heights. Montes also noted that the LAPD killers of Jose Mendez shot him in the back, on Feb. 5, 2016, while he was strapped down by his seat belt, then dragged his body out of the car and down a hill to cover their guilt by tampering with evidence. Cops Josue Merida and Jeremy Wagner had killed another man two years earlier with the same fabricated story “he brandished a gun.”</p> <p>BLM and Centro CSO are calling out to all of the community and supporters to sign the petition and promote it via social media. It will be delivered in person to DA Lacey to continue the campaign for justice and demand and end to the killing of Blacks and Brown people.</p> <p>To contact Cento CSO: <a href=""></a>, or 323-943-2030 or <a href="" title=""></a>.</p> Police Brutality African-American Black Lives Matter Centro CSO Chican@ / Latin@ Jackie Lacey Wed, 13 Sep 2017 17:05:56 +0000 Fight Back 6310 at Houstonians rebuild amidst destruction from Hurricane Harvey <p>Houston, TX - In late August, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and it caused untold destruction upon the city. Entire neighborhoods were submerged in water, hundreds of people lost their cars to flooding, and there were over three dozen deaths. The city's response was not very good; the well-off middle-class communities received immediate aid, but the working class and predominantly Black and Chicano/Mexicano neighborhoods received little assistance. In Houston's Sunnyside, for example, a predominantly Black neighborhood, there were nearly no FEMA responders and large rescue teams.</p> <p>Two weeks later, students at UH sent a group of volunteers to donate goods to vital community mobilization and services organized in the wake of Harvey's devastation. This initiative was organized and led by Black organizations, to serve Black communities. Working together, these organizations have gathered and distributed food, water, clothes, and other essential items. They have assisted with overhauling homes destroyed by flood waters.</p> <p>Patrick Higgins, an organizer with SDS says, "We in SDS are proud to do our part to assist in serving the poorest of Houston. It was poor communities of color hit the hardest by Harvey's rainwaters, much the same as it was in New Orleans before us, much as it has been the past decade all across the U.S. Gulf coast."</p> <p>Higgins continued, "While both city and federal government apparently have the military resources to impose a ‘curfew’ of one of the largest cities in the country in order to police poor people more aggressively, state services and brand name aid NGOs are nowhere to be found in Northeast Houston to meet human need. This truly is yet another Katrina, another racist barbarity of the capitalist system, where countless families are left to pick up the pieces of their lives from a manmade disaster only for the system's cheap salesmen to insist on calling these events ‘natural.’"</p> <p>Students for a Democratic Society is continuing to organize students at the University of Houston to help with the relief effort. Please see their Facebook page (<a href="" title=""></a>) for updates.</p> Environmental Justice Hurricane Harvey Students for a Democratic Society Mon, 11 Sep 2017 21:36:39 +0000 Fight Back 6309 at U of MN workers protest opening of $4 billion fundraising campaign, say they won’t be driven into poverty <p>Minneapolis, MN - About 100 members of Teamsters Local 320, AFSCME Local 3800, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and others rallied Sept. 8 on the University of Minnesota campus at the McNamara building to demand decent contracts for the university workers’ unions.</p> <p>After the rally, workers marched into a press event that included university President Eric Kahler; the chair of the Board of Regents, university mascot Goldy Gopher, and numerous cheerleaders. Mick Kelly, a member of the Teamster Local 320 negotiating team, led workers marching into the university event with the chant, “What do we what? Decent contract! When to do we want it? Now!”</p> <p>University officials we visibly shaken by the protest.</p> <p>Speaking at the rally, Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME 3800, stated that university workers would not be driven into poverty.</p> <p>Mick Kelly of Teamsters Local 320 told the crowd, “We need to be serious. In the weeks, ahead it is not what we say that counts, it is what we do.”</p> AFSCME AFSCME Local 3800 Students for a Democratic Society Teamsters Teamsters Local 320 University of Minnesota Labor Mon, 11 Sep 2017 02:30:39 +0000 Fight Back 6308 at Tucson rallies hundreds to defend DACA <p>Tucson, AZ - The decision made by Trump on Sept. 5 to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program saw numerous mass mobilizations nationwide. The people of Tucson joined the latest wave of the growing resistance to the Trump administration.</p> <p>Several immigrant rights groups in Tucson came together to defend DACA. On August 29, the groups LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona), LUPE (Lucha Unida de Padres y Estudiantes), Scholarships-AZ, and Mariposas Sin Fronteras held a press conference on the steps of the Tucson City Hall building.</p> <p>“DACA is under attack by extremist right-wing elected officials, who are talking about dismantling the DACA program within the next couple of days, or within the next couple of hours,” said Jessica Rodriguez, organizer for LUCHA and LUPE. There were several speakers at the press conference who spoke of the racist actions of the current president. That list did not have to go far back, as they included Trump’s recent pardon of Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, and his actions after the white supremacist rally and terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. The center of the discussion, however, was on the president, and the community’s resolve to fight and defend DACA and all immigrants.</p> <p>Activist Fernando Najera stated “If Mr. Trump decides to rescind DACA, the joy his base will feel would be overshadowed by the roar of the masses, our allies. We will fight, not for those who are labeled ‘good immigrants’, but for all of us, who have been forced to live in the shadows, for all of us who are faceless.”</p> <p>Tuesday afternoon, Sept 5., saw over 100 high school student walk out in protest of the DACA decision and join a rally of 200 people at the University of Arizona. The overwhelming majority of these students were Chicanas and Chicanos, Mexicanos, and Latino students who have felt the attacks of this president and his reactionary base.</p> <p>The next day, Sept. 6, a rally, followed by a march downtown to city hall, demanded the mayor and city council declare Tucson a sanctuary city and implement policies that protect Dreamers, their families and the undocumented community in general. The demands specified that the city police department not collaborate with Border Patrol even though the city says that is already their policy.</p> <p>As the speakers and the crowd of over 600 roared in their energetic chants, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild came out flanked by two police officers. After organizers agreed to let him speak, the mayor read verbatim from a prepared statement released earlier that day. The crowd immediately burst into boos and jeers reacting to the mayor’s out-of-touch statement that did not reflect a sensitivity to the demands supported by the Dreamers and their allies. Then the chant: “Sanctuary city now!” erupted from the crowd and the mayor scurried off the stage, retreating back to his office.</p> <p>“This was the most powerful protest I've ever been to,” said Santiago Molina, local activist. “This country is building a fighting spirit focused on unity and defeating white supremacy.” He added, “As sister Assata Shakur said: ‘It is our duty to win.’”</p> DACA LUCHA LUPE Immigrant Rights Sun, 10 Sep 2017 17:56:27 +0000 Fight Back 6307 at Evacuation plans leave South Florida in chaos <p>Fort Lauderdale, FL — Over 600,000 residents of South Florida were ordered to leave their homes in mandatory evacuations put into place due to Hurricane Irma. However, the government was vastly underprepared to house and help those residents forced to leave their homes.</p> <p>Those who were ordered to evacuate live in areas that are particularly prone to flooding and will likely experience fatal storm surges. They left with only what they could carry in backpacks and duffle bags, pillows and blankets in hand, children being pushed in strollers. Some left in cars, some on bikes, most in buses.</p> <p>But when they arrived at the designated evacuation spots, most were turned away because the shelters were already filled to capacity. This happened time and time again to thousands of Floridians seeking refuge from what may be the deadliest storm to ever make landfall in the state. They were bounced from one shelter to the next, being told that there was no room.</p> <p>This chaotic scene played out all day and night Friday, Sept. 8, and it demonstrates the complete lack of concern and preparedness by the U.S. government for its most vulnerable residents. Those who couldn’t afford to buy overpriced flights out of state or without friends and family who live outside of their evacuation zones were left without safe places to stay. They stood in long, hot lines with their belongings in hand as they were shuffled around the region.</p> <p>So while government officials instilled fear and terror in the people of South Florida, demanding they leave their homes, that same government was unable to provide shelter for them. In fact, as of Friday afternoon, the emergency evacuation shelters set up in Miami-Dade and Broward counties were only able to house 100,000 people (one-sixth of those required to leave).</p> <p>Hundreds of flights from Fort Lauderdale and Miami airports were cancelled, highways were at a standstill, and shelters were filled to the brim leaving South Floridians with nowhere to turn and no place to hide from the oncoming storm.</p> People's Struggles Environmental Justice Florida hurricane Irma U.S. Sat, 09 Sep 2017 14:20:23 +0000 Fight Back 6306 at