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 Victory for the resistance in Gaza, as the struggle for a free Palestine continues <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Aug. 29 statement from the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)</em></p> <p>It is with much love and pained happiness that the members and supporters of the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) watch the daughters and sons of Palestine celebrate on the streets of Gaza. We wish our children and families there a future full of hope, freedom, and achievement, and congratulate them and the entirety of the Palestinian and Arab peoples on this historic victory.</p> <p>For 51 days, our people withstood Zionist Israel’s bombing and killing campaign. Although we mourn a total of 2,143 sacred martyrs, the vast majority civilians, including close to 500 children, Israel clearly lost this battle on both military and political levels. One of the strongest armies in the world could not accomplish its goal of disarming and defeating the unified Palestinian resistance in Gaza. All the Palestinian resistance groups participated together in the defense of our land, and proved, like in 2006 in Southern Lebanon, that Israel’s military is not invincible. Understanding this, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon signed the ceasefire agreement with the Palestinians without even allowing a cabinet vote.</p> <p>Israel also lost on the battleground represented by the court of public opinion. Millions of people across the world rallied in condemnation of Israel and in support of Palestinian rights, the largest in South Africa and the UK. Numerous Latin American governments, led by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, exerted diplomatic pressure by recalling ambassadors from Israel, suspending trade agreement negotiations, declaring Israel a terrorist state, and in the case of Ecuador, cancelling a state visit to the pariah country.</p> <p>The ceasefire agreement reportedly includes opening all crossings to Gaza, allowing reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, allowing the entry of materials needed for reconstruction, and permitting fishing for a distance of 6 to 12 nautical miles from shore. In a month, Palestinians will repeat their demands to reopen Gaza’s airport and seaport. But our people recognize that the victory in Gaza was a victory of resistance, and not of negotiations. We remember clearly that Israel previously entered into dozens of agreements that it had violated, so we have no illusion that this time will be different.</p> <p>That is why we continue to call for an unconditional end of the Israeli siege on Gaza, as well as an end to occupation and colonization of Palestinian land. And why we demand that Israel, the U.S., and the war profiteers are held accountable for the destruction and devastation. Congressional and Obama Administration support and protection of Israel is unacceptable, and our responsibility as residents of the U.S. is to demand that this government initiate an arms embargo on Israel, and immediately end all aid to Israel as well. Corporations that sell the weapons of mass destruction used by Israel to drop bombs, fire missiles, and kill our people cannot be allowed to do business as usual, so we call for continued protests and targeting of Boeing and others.</p> <p>We must also continue to make Israel pay, by redoubling our efforts on Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaigns, which are legitimately taking a toll on the criminal state, as evidenced by the incredible Block the Boat organizing in California two weeks ago, and the countless other victories this year alone—Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Chicago universities Loyola and DePaul, and University of Michigan; Presbyterian Church; SodaStream; and more.</p> <p>In addition, we demand that the Palestinian Authority immediately sign the Rome Statute and become members of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will allow investigations of Israeli war crimes on behalf of our people in Gaza.</p> <p>This victory made clear that Israel is living on borrowed time. It is no longer possible to discuss only the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Most Palestinians have been challenging the racist, settler-colonialist nature of Zionist Israel for years, and now the rest of the world is recognizing it. Fascist, anti-Arab legislators and parties are core members of Netanyahu’s coalition government, and settler thugs are terrorizing Palestinians regularly. The concept of Israel as a state exclusively for people who share the religion of Judaism is the problem. Zionism is the problem. People can no longer justify the right of an apartheid state to exist, just like we could not justify South Africa’s before the fall of apartheid there.</p> <p>Another lesson learned is that the reactionary Arab regimes are truly enemies of the Palestinian and Arab peoples. From the role Egypt played in the siege to the clear siding of the Gulf and other Arab monarchs with Israel, there is no question that the U.S.’ imperial plans for the region was also struck a strong blow by the Palestinian resistance.</p> <p>Finally, this victory was driven by the steadfast will of our people in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, 1948 Palestine, and the rest of the world. Palestinians and Arabs led the forces of resistance by any and all means, including the mass Arab and Muslim mobilizations in this country, the largest ever in support of our people’s rights. USPCN participated in and led coalitional efforts in many of the cities where we have chapters or members—New York, Detroit, the Bay Area, Chicago, St. Louis, Youngstown, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. And the solidarity expressed with other oppressed communities here was significant as well, with the parallel made between the Ferguson uprising and the Gaza resistance being an essential political connection that must endure.</p> <p>We salute the strong and brave people of Gaza and all of Palestine. We together mourn our martyrs and together celebrate this victory, and pledge to continue organizing and resisting until Liberation and Return!</p> <p><strong>United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) – August 29, 2014</strong></p> Antiwar Movement Gaza Palestine United States Palestinian Community Network USPCN Sun, 31 Aug 2014 04:50:15 +0000 Fight Back 4318 at Chicago students rally for Michael Brown on first day of school <p>Chicago, IL - On, Aug. 25, 250 people gathered in the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) campus quad to commemorate Michael Brown. UIC was one the colleges across the U.S. to hold demonstrations and student walk-outs on the day of Brown's funeral. At UIC, speakers read a list of Black lives lost as a result of police brutality. The UIC action was called by the Black Student Union (BSU). The national call for protests said Aug. 25 should have been Mike Brown's first day of college had he not been the victim of a racist police murder.</p> <p>Evan Taylor, outreach chair of the BSU, challenged the university to reaffirm its alleged commitment to diversity. Taylor explained that, while UIC claims to be one of the most diverse universities in the country, the Black student population, in addition to their graduation and retention rates, has been declining. And, although UIC is a research institution, little to no research has been done on this issue. </p> <p>The demonstration ended with the chant that Brown's death has inspired, “Hands up; don't shoot!”</p> Police Brutality chicago Justice for Michael Brown Michael Brown Mike Brown In-Justice System Fri, 29 Aug 2014 03:06:14 +0000 Fight Back 4317 at Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issues statement on ceasefire <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Aug. 27 statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP): </em></p> <p>PFLP salutes the steadfastness of our people and the valiant resistance</p> <p>On the occasion of the ceasefire in Gaza, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends its strongest salutes to the resilient Palestinian masses, to the steadfast resistance factions, and to the heroic and courageous resistance fighters who fought with unmatched courage to repel the aggression and defeat its objectives, who have elevated the Palestinian cause as a national liberation struggle and who protect our national rights which the occupier has made every attempt to liquidate over the previous years.</p> <p>The Resistance protects and defends the dignity of our people, which has never faltered despite the massive assault of the occupier, the vast destruction of buildings and institutions, the killing and wounding of thousands of our people, and the suffering and displacement of hundreds of thousands of our people.</p> <p>The PFLP emphasizes the role of the resistance in the battlefield in realizing these achievements, and the cohesion between the resistance and the masses of the people. We call for the consolidation and development of this resistance unity, to achieve true national unity aside from factional rivalries, which was and remains a wedge to weaken our people and fragment their energies and abilities. On this basis, we urge the full adherence to the terms of the unified delegation and the resistance to end the aggression, and warn that the enemy must not be allowed to exploit the cease-fire to escape from these terms, as we know that the Zionist entity will work to prolong the negotiations and limit the gains achieved by our people in their resistance to its aggression.</p> <p>Salutes to the immortal martyrs of our people, salutes and wishes for a speedy recovery to our heroic wounded, salutes to our steadfast and resilient people, who will march and carry their flag high until full victory is achieved for Palestine, our land and our people.</p> Gaza International Israel Palestine Palestine Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:39:05 +0000 Fight Back 4315 at Salt Lake City: Justice for Dillon Taylor, Mike Brown, Danielle Willard <p>Salt Lake City, UT - More than 30 people marched through the streets here, Aug. 25, to demand justice for Dillon Taylor, Danielle Willard and Mike Brown. Protesters were outraged at the recent killing of Dillon Taylor, an unarmed man, at the hands of the Salt Lake City Police, as well as other killings by the police, such as Danielle Willard and Ferguson, Missouri’s Mike Brown. </p> <p>Gregory Lucero of the Revolutionary Students Union stated, “We have to stand against police brutality now, to demand that these killer cops get proper punishment and prevent this from happening ever again.”</p> <p>Protesters marched to several Utah landmarks, including the federal building, the state courthouse and the police department to make their voices heard. Speakers at each stop told of their stories about harassment and grief at the hands of Salt Lake City’s cops. At the police station, Dillon Taylor's aunt relayed a message of hope and support to the protesters, thanking them for their determination to fight police brutality. Fatima Badran, the organizer of the protest, also spoke to those in the march, saying, “This is how justice is won. By making our voices heard and standing up against police brutality, we can make a difference.”</p> <p>The march is one among many across the county this past week in a show of solidarity with protesters in Ferguson. The demands of the march included justice for the people of Ferguson and removing the National Guard. The crowd also called for harsh punishment for the officer who killed Utah’s Dillon Taylor. </p> <p>Christopher Manor, of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) stated, “These actions show people locally that the same systems of oppression that are being faced around the country are still present and problematic here and that we can fight them.”</p> Police Brutality Ferguson HandsUp Justice for Michael Brown Police Brutality In-Justice System Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:22:59 +0000 Fight Back 4314 at Hatem Abudayyeh: ‘Drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh!’ <p>Milwaukee, WI - On the evening of Aug. 5, students, activists and community members gathered at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to hear Hatem Abudayyeh speak about the political repression and the case of Rasmea Odeh. Abudayyeh is a spokesperson for the Rasmea Odeh Defense Committee. The event was organized by Progressive Students of Milwaukee.</p> <p>Abudayyeh explained that Odeh’s arrest is part of a pattern of political repression targeting Arabs and Muslims, particularly those who criticize U.S. support for Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people. “We're not talking about Rasmea in a vacuum here. We're talking about Rasmea in the context of political repression of other Palestinian leaders.” Those include people such as the Holy Land Five and University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian. He also emphasized the need for unity with different communities facing political repression. “When you are opposed to U.S. policy, you are repressed, and it's not just something that Palestinian communities face.”</p> <p>Reflecting on the underlying causes of this repression, Abudayyeh argued that in order to manufacture support for its foreign wars and interventions, the ruling class in the U.S. must create the impression of an ‘enemy within.’ Demonizing Arabs and Latinos at home legitimizes U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Latin America, Abudayyeh contended. “They have to convince the public that there are terrorists here; and that face is Arabs and Muslims and the thousands of Mexican and Central American immigrants deported each day.”</p> <p>Rasmea Odeh is a leading member of Chicago's Arab and Muslim communities, a mentor to hundreds of immigrant women and a well-known and respected organizer. She has made it her life's work to serve and help empower Palestinian and Arab families and is a proud reminder of the millions of Palestinians who have not given up organizing for their rights of liberation, equality and return.</p> Progressive Students of Milwaukee Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:46:49 +0000 Fight Back 4313 at Motion made in federal court to dismiss charges against Rasmea Odeh <p>Chicago, IL - Attorneys representing Chicago’s long-time Palestinian community leader, Rasmea Odeh, have filed a motion in Detroit’s U.S. District Court to dismiss the indictment against her. They are doing so on the grounds that the charges are the product of an illegal investigation targeting both Palestine solidarity efforts and organizing in the Palestinian community.</p> <p>“Rasmea is facing up to ten years in jail and deportation. She is a Palestinian who has stood up for the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim community in Chicago, and to end the occupation of Palestine as well. Rasmea suffered vicious torture and sexual abuse in Israeli prisons, and the U.S. government is trying to victimize her again,” states Hatem Abudayyeh of the national Rasmea Defense Committee.</p> <p>The motion tells how the FBI and the Justice Department investigated and are attempting to “criminalize” efforts to empower Chicago’s Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities, as well as work to build solidarity with the struggle in Palestine.</p> <p>In January 2010, Chicago Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox, as part of his investigation into Palestine and international solidarity activists, initiated a request to the state of Israel - through the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice - for their records on Rasmea Odeh.</p> <p>Later that year, on Sept. 24, 2010, the home of Hatem Abudayyeh, who works with Odeh in the offices of the Arab American Action Network, was raided by the FBI. Also raided by the FBI that day were the homes of six other Midwest anti-war and Palestine solidarity activists. In the following months, Brandon Fox’s name appeared as the contact person on subpoenas delivered to 23 pro-Palestine and anti-war activists, ordering them to appear before a grand jury investigating “material support of terrorism.” No one testified and, due to broad public support and a strong defense campaign, no one was indicted.</p> <p>In July 2011, the Israelis sent a set of documents to Assistant U.S. Attorney Fox, purportedly supporting the claim that Odeh had been imprisoned by the Israelis. Rasmea Odeh was indicted two years later for alleged errors in filling out her naturalization paperwork.</p> <p>The defense motion states, “Interestingly, the indictment was obtained by the office of the United States Attorney's office from the Eastern District of Michigan, through a grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Michigan. The United States Attorney in Illinois, which was the office that initiated the request for the Israeli documents and was carrying out the investigation, apparently passed the case to the office in Michigan, to divert attention from its failed efforts to criminalize…” the work of Palestinian American and solidarity activists in Chicago.</p> <p>Jess Sundin, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression says, “We want Detroit District Judge Gershwin Drain to dismiss the indictment against Rasmea. Rasmea is a great person who has done great things. The charges need to be dropped.”</p> <p>An important hearing in Rasmea Odeh’s case is scheduled for Sept. 2, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, at 231 W Lafayette Boulevard, in Detroit, Michigan. A picket line outside the court building will start at 2:00 p.m. and the hearing will begin at 3:00 p.m. The Rasmea Defense Committee, United States Palestinian Community Network, and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) are mobilizing to fill the courthouse.</p> Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:24:29 +0000 Fight Back 4312 at Tampa community fights police brutality, shows solidarity with Mike Brown <p>Tampa, FL - On a rainy afternoon, Aug. 23, 70 people rallied in downtown here, demanding justice for Mike Brown of Ferguson, Missouri. Gathering at Lykes Gaslight Park, the people protested outside the Tampa Police Department and the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Middle District of Florida. Protesters showed solidarity with the people fighting back in Ferguson by demanding the jailing of killer cops in Tampa. </p> <p>Alekos Zambrano of Tampa Dream Defenders said, "We are here today to demand justice. We demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of the officer that shot Mike Brown. The immediate arrest and prosecution of the officer that killed Javon Neal. The immediate arrest and prosecution of the officer that killed Arthur Greene. We believe that these demands are reasonable. We believe that these demands are just. We also demand that here in Tampa, the police wear forward facing cameras so we no longer have to take their word for it, when they tell us that our young sisters and brothers forced them to pull the trigger. And we demand the police records of arrest, detainment and questioning, not ending in conviction. This way we can prove that stop and frisk exist in Tampa, and that harassment and profiling exist in Tampa as standard practice. And in this way we can have a fighting chance at changing racist policies and demanding justice for our murdered children." </p> <p>Tampa police gunned down Javon Neal, a 16-year-old African American with no criminal record on July 22. In another deadly incident, Arthur Green, a 63-year-old African American man, suffered a medical emergency due to diabetes. The diabetic episode caused him to swerve while driving and sideswipe two cars. Police pulled Green from his car and handcuffed him. While handcuffed Green stopped breathing and though EMTs revived him, he later died at the hospital. </p> <p>In the rain, people chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot!" and "No justice, no peace, no killer police!" Catherine Lim, a local activist with Raices En Tampa said, "We will never see the end of racism unless all those who are oppressed are liberated. The enemy - whether it's racist police, the National Guard in Ferguson, or the U.S. military in my home country of the Philippines, they're counting on us to stay divided. While our struggles might not be the same, we need to remember the power of staying united. From Ferguson to Palestine, to the Philippines, and to Tampa, Florida, solidarity!" </p> <p>From Lykes Gaslight Park, the protesters marched to Tampa Police headquarters. They threw open the doors and marched up to the front desk. They demanded to speak with top police administrators. The protesters kept on chanting, as more police entered the lobby. The police refused to meet with the protesters and kept saying there was nobody in the multiple-story building to meet with them. After the police refused to meet and hear their demands, protesters kept chanting. As more police came downstairs, the protesters regrouped outside of the building. </p> <p>Tampa Dream Defenders and the community will fight again. Their current campaign is against police brutality in Tampa. They're demanding the jailing of local killer police, release of police records on arrests of local African-Americans, external investigation into TPD, and forward facing cameras placed on all local TPD officers.</p> People's Struggles Police Brutality Anti-Racism Ferguson Injustice System Michael Brown Oppressed Nationalities Racism Tampa Dream Defenders Wed, 27 Aug 2014 01:05:33 +0000 Fight Back 4311 at Iran brings down Israeli drone <p>Washington, DC - The FARS News Agency reports that Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force brought own an Israeli drone near the Natanz nuclear facility, Aug 24.</p> <p>A statement from the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps noted that the IRGC "preserves the right of response and retaliation for itself."</p> <p>Israel often violates its neighbors’ airspace with spy drones. Earlier this week, Lebanon’s military reported sighting Israeli drones over its territory.</p> <p>In recent years, Iran has captured a number of U.S. spy drones. For example in 2011, Iran captured an unmanned U.S. RQ-170 aircraft.</p> drones Iran Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:24:25 +0000 Fight Back 4309 at Minnesota rally shows solidarity with Palestine and Ferguson, MO <p>Minneapolis, MN - About 150 people gathered, Aug. 21 on Minneapolis’s West Bank, carrying signs and banners demanding an end the U.S.-backed Israeli siege of Gaza. The demonstration also called for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel and a halt to state sponsored violence “from Ferguson to Palestine.” The rally was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee.</p> <p>Minneapolis has been the scene of constant protests since Israel launched its assault on Gaza, killing more than 2000 Palestinians – many of them young children.</p> <p>Sophia Hansen-Day, of the Anti-War Committee, told the crowd, “We must follow the lead of Palestinians who have offered up their solidarity to protesters in Ferguson. We must demand an end to the siege of Gaza backed by the U.S. government while also demanding the immediate halt of state violence within U.S. borders. We must demand an end to U.S. funding of the Israeli military, while also demanding the demilitarization of domestic police who the Pentagon has supplied with $4.3 billion in weaponry - weaponry used to terrorize communities of color.”</p> <p>Protesters were encouraged to attend a solidarity rally for Mike Brown and all victims of police brutality on Aug. 28, 6pm, at the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S 6th Street, in Minneapolis.</p> Police Brutality Ferguson Gaza Michael Brown Mike Brown minneapolis Minnesota Missouri MO Palestine In-Justice System Sun, 24 Aug 2014 01:25:18 +0000 Fight Back 4308 at Milwaukee protesters stand up to police brutality, storm Municipal Court <p>Milwaukee, WI - More than 200 people gathered for a rally, Aug. 22, at Red Arrow Park in downtown here to continue the fight against the police brutality that’s directed against Black and Latino communities. Organizers brought public attention back to the many victims of police killings and white vigilantism, including Dontre Hamilton, Corey Stingley and Derek Williams. The rally was also showed solidarity with the people of Ferguson.</p> <p>Organized by the African American Roundtable, Occupy the Hood and Youth Empowered in the Struggle, the rally took the streets and marched on the nearby Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) building. When organizers saw that the doors to the Municipal Court were left unlocked, they led an impromptu storming of the building, with more than 100 protesters pouring up the stairwell and confronting the police directly. </p> <p>Refusing to leave until MPD Chief Flynn met with the families of police brutality victims, particularly in the case of Dontre Hamilton, where the police have failed to name the killer cop, protesters occupied the entrance of the building, spreading the occupation to the nearby balcony. </p> <p>Speaking at the rally, Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) organizer Mario Gomez proclaimed that this protest - which included in its demands greater community control over the police and an end to police collaboration with ICE - marked a new beginning for Black-Brown unity in the city. “The Black community and the Brown community are taking justice into their own hands.” Bringing attention to the prolonged struggle that has been occurring over the past few years around police brutality in the city, he added, “We shouldn’t be here, but because they aren't willing to listen to us, because they aren’t willing to treat us with respect, with dignity, we’re out here. This is the roar of our community.”</p> <p>Police representatives initially refused to meet with the demonstrators and sent riot police to close down the building. After a couple hours of rallying and refusing to leave, the police sent out a captain to meet with the organizers and the victims’ family members. The 65 remaining protesters then came outside, rejoining the motivated crowd and called for a continuation of the struggle. Marchers then seized the streets again, marching through downtown Milwaukee signing civil rights songs and chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!” </p> <p>Another rally is being held in downtown Milwaukee this Monday, at 4pm. Follow link for more information: <a href="" title=""></a></p> Police Brutality Ferguson Mike Brown Milwaukee Police Brutality Wisconsin In-Justice System Sat, 23 Aug 2014 21:03:10 +0000 Fight Back 4307 at