Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle https://www.fightbacknews.org/ 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 Philippines: Expect the people’s resistance to rise further https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/25/philippines-expect-people-s-resistance-rise-further <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following May 22 statement by Jose Maria Sison, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Chief Political Consultant.</em></p> <p><strong>Expect the people’s resistance to rise further against the escalation of oppression and exploitation</strong></p> <p>As a result of his rigging the May 13 elections, Duterte has more than two-thirds majority in the Senate and is in a position to dictate the realization of his fascist dictatorship through charter change to bogus federalism and declare martial law nationwide at his whim.</p> <p>Foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucratic corruption will further oppress and exploit the Filipino people. The dire conditions of underdevelopment of the country, unemployment, mass poverty, mounting debt and tax burden, soaring prices, plunder of natural resources and social wealth, mass murder with impunity and the worst forms of deception will continue.</p> <p>With overweening arrogance, the Duterte regime will continue to thrive on serving the evil forces of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism; and blame the people, the legal democratic forces and the revolutionary resistance for the worsening socioeconomic and political crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system.</p> <p>We can expect the broad masses of the people to engage in protest actions as in the time of fighting and defeating the Marcos fascist dictatorship. We can also expect that a big new wave of mass activists will join the revolutionary underground and the armed revolutionary movement of the people.</p> <p>More than ever before, Duterte and his armed minions will seek to destroy the revolutionary movement in order to tighten his monopoly of power and plunder. In this context, there is no chance for the resumption of peace negotiations in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration for so long as the tyrant Duterte is in power.</p> <p>The people’s struggle for national liberation and democracy will certainly grow in strength faster than ever before precisely in contention with the escalating conditions of oppression and exploitation. It will surge in concert with the revolutionary struggles of peoples abroad against imperialism and all reaction.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/25/philippines-expect-people-s-resistance-rise-further#comments People's Struggles National Democratic Front of the Philippines Philippines Sat, 25 May 2019 14:14:38 +0000 Fight Back 7456 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Venezuela: The opposition collapses, revolution advances https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/24/venezuela-opposition-collapses-revolution-advances <p>Chicago, IL - On May 20, a massive rally filled downtown Caracas as Venezuela’s revolutionary movement marked one year since Nicolás Maduro was elected to a second term as president. The celebration comes just three weeks after Juan Guaidó, the Trump-appointed leader of the Venezuelan far right, launched a failed military coup against Maduro.</p> <p>Since that foolish day, events in Venezuela have accelerated. The opposition lies defeated, and the revolutionary movement advances, millions strong, to with the aim of socialism.</p> <p><strong>The collapse of the counter-revolution</strong></p> <p>On April 30, Juan Guaidó declared the “final stage of Operation Liberty.” He called on his supporters to take to the streets and for the military to defect to him and storm the presidential palace. Guaidó made this demand at dawn. By noon, he and his cohort were running to hide in an embassy as the few hundred armed protesters who came to his call were being dispersed, and 80 of the 100 soldiers who defected to his side were surrendering to police. At the same time that this spectacle of malcontent unfolded outside La Carlota airbase in eastern Caracas, over 50,000 workers and "pueblo humilde" encircled the presidential palace, standing guard to defend their revolution with their own lives.</p> <p>In the days since the crescendo of Guaidó’s ‘Operation Liberty,’ the extent of his defeat has become known. His whereabouts remain unknown, since he was refused entry at the Chilean and Spanish embassies. He is wanted by the police for armed insurrection and treason. The handful of defected soldiers who managed to escape to Colombia are now being told by that country’s government to either seek employment or leave - they cannot sit around pretending they are about to overthrow a neighboring state. Manuel Figuera, the head of the state security service and the highest-level defector to Guaidó, was immediately dismissed and is expected to be found in Colombia as well.</p> <p>Guaidó’s co-conspirators in the National Assembly are in similar dire straits. On May 7, they were stripped of parliamentary immunity and the attorney general opened cases against all seven of them for “betrayal of the homeland, conspiracy, attempt at insurrection, civil rebellion, conspiracy to commit a crime, usurpation of their elected duties, public instigation to disobedience, and hate crimes.” All have fled the country or are in hiding, except for Guaidó’s second-in-command, the vice president of Democratic Action (AD), Edgar Zambrano, who was arrested while attempting to flee with thousands of U.S. dollars and several weapons.</p> <p>Guaidó’s stunt also led to the collapse of the opposition camp, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD). COPEI, one of the founding parties of the coalition, published an open letter signed by 350 opposition politicians and figures that condemned Guaidó and his support for an invasion of their own country. While they refused to support Maduro and continue to demand his removal from power, the signatories acknowledged that the armed attacks on the government were not a winning strategy.</p> <p>In a surprise to everyone in Venezuela, Maria Corina Machado - the most prominent opposition figure besides López and Guaidó, someone who openly embraces their bourgeois lifestyle and cannot hide their contempt for the poor - publicly broke with the U.S. narrative and said that “Maduro is not a dictator.” She then went on to say that the opposition’s tactics have failed to dislodge the revolution, nor prevent it from spreading beyond Venezuela, and that the only option left is U.S. military intervention.</p> <p>When one of the opposition’s top figures believes that they no longer have the popular support to defeat the government, by any avenue, this can only be understood as the opposition admitting that they have been soundly defeated within Venezuela.</p> <p>At one time, the opposition could call on hundreds of thousands of people - mainly students, professionals and lumpen elements - to take to the streets at their call. Now, after embracing the fascist violence of the Popular Will Party and following the direction of its leaders Leopoldo López and Juan Guaidó, the opposition is socially ostracized, politically illegitimate, and is in open revolt with itself. No wonder then, that the remnants of Guaidó’s conspiracy are rumored to be considering Maduro’s long-offered invitation to peace talks.</p> <p><strong>“The New Beginning” of the revolution</strong></p> <p>On the other side of Venezuelan society, we find the Bolivarian revolutionary movement more organized than ever before, and more determined to seize the future.</p> <p>Just one day after the April 30 coup attempt, hundreds of thousands of workers marched through Caracas in commemoration of May Day. Speaking at the rally at the end of the march, to thunderous applause, was President Maduro. He thanked the workers for standing behind their government against all of the attacks of imperialism in recent years, but he went on to say that it was not enough. Maduro compared the revolutionary movement to a boxer - with one fist, it defends the gains of the process from all threats foreign and domestic, but with the other it must attack, advancing decisively towards socialism. He admitted that errors have been made, making an open self-criticism before all those assembled, and called on the masses to raise up their criticisms of the revolutionary government, to bring forward their own proposals in order to rectify errors, and to ensure that the Bolivarian movement continues to advance. “Let us go on to great changes, to a great renovation, a great rectification that is urgently needed within the revolution," he declared to chants and cheers. "Towards the New Beginning, always together with the people."</p> <p>The events of the “great rectification” over the next two weeks reflect the unprecedented level of organization of the revolutionary movement. Three nationwide gatherings took place simultaneously: the reopening of the Fourth Congress of the United Socialist Party (PSUV), the Bolivarian People’s Congress and the gathering of Bolivarian governors and mayors.</p> <p>The PSUV Fourth Congress, held in several sessions across the country, brought together delegates from roughly 13,000 Bolívar-Chávez Battle Units (the basic party unit of the PSUV) and 32,000 Local Supplies and Production Committees (the revolutionary committees tasked with distributing free food to families in need). Over 800 proposals were submitted through the sessions, many of them with overlapping ideas. Among them, according to PSUV Bulletin #153, was: ideological training for all public functionaries, employees of state-owned companies and police officers; “the elimination of the ideology of colonialism” in the education system; and the direct involvement of the Party in establishing new “social property enterprises” focused on food production in every municipality within the next six months. The most discussed proposal, however, had to do with the need to establish the new state - the communal state. “The slogan ‘commune or nothing’ must be made reality,” the bulletin declared, “strengthening the communal organization's ability for economic and productive control.”</p> <p>The Bolivarian People’s Congress took place on a similar scale to the PSUV, that is to say, staggering. The Congress was established by Maduro to bring together the social formations of the revolution: the communal councils, the communes and the social movements. Its sessions held across the country brought together representatives from all of them - from 47,896 communal councils, 3094 communes and 56 social movements. From this wide net across Venezuelan society, the Congress collected over 21,000 proposals from the masses. Like the sessions of the PSUV Congress, the single-largest number of proposals called for the revolutionary transformation of the state - the creation of the communal state that has been the goal of the Bolivarian movement for years.</p> <p>At one of the assemblies of the Congress, Education Minister Aristóbulo Istúriz stressed the need for the government and the mass movements to work as one to deepen the revolutionary process. “Here we ratify our loyalty and certainty in the building of the future,” Istúriz declared. “It is not with the escuálidos, nor with the imperialists, but with the people that we solve our problems, it is with the Bolivarian Revolution that we deepen the construction of socialism.”</p> <p><strong>The second fist strikes</strong></p> <p>Time moves fast in Venezuela. It had been moving fast since Maduro was elected in 2013, and it has been moving even faster since Guaidó began his charade in January. Despite the opposition falling flat on their face, again and again, U.S. imperialism has not stepped back from its commitment to crushing the revolutionary movement. Now it knows that, when it makes its final move to bring down the Bolivarian Revolution, it will face a nation of 30 million people as firm as steel, united behind their militias, their armed forces, their mass organizations and their party.</p> <p>An organized people cannot be defeated - America’s ruling class learned this lesson very well in Vietnam, but it seems that Venezuela must offer it a reminder of this historic truth.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/24/venezuela-opposition-collapses-revolution-advances#comments People's Struggles Juan Guaidó Nicolás Maduro Venezuela Fri, 24 May 2019 14:00:37 +0000 Fight Back 7455 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Venezuela: The opposition collapses, revolution advances https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/24/venezuela-opposition-collapses-revolution-advances <p>Chicago, IL - On May 20, a massive rally filled downtown Caracas as Venezuela’s revolutionary movement marked one year since Nicolás Maduro was elected to a second term as president. The celebration comes just three weeks after Juan Guaidó, the Trump-appointed leader of the Venezuelan far right, launched a failed military coup against Maduro.</p> <p>Since that foolish day, events in Venezuela have accelerated. The opposition lies defeated, and the revolutionary movement advances, millions strong, to with the aim of socialism.</p> <p><strong>The collapse of the counter-revolution</strong></p> <p>On April 30, Juan Guaidó declared the “final stage of Operation Liberty.” He called on his supporters to take to the streets and for the military to defect to him and storm the presidential palace. Guaidó made this demand at dawn. By noon, he and his cohort were running to hide in an embassy as the few hundred armed protesters who came to his call were being dispersed, and 80 of the 100 soldiers who defected to his side were surrendering to police. At the same time that this spectacle of malcontent unfolded outside La Carlota airbase in eastern Caracas, over 50,000 workers and "pueblo humilde" encircled the presidential palace, standing guard to defend their revolution with their own lives.</p> <p>In the days since the crescendo of Guaidó’s ‘Operation Liberty,’ the extent of his defeat has become known. His whereabouts remain unknown, since he was refused entry at the Chilean and Spanish embassies. He is wanted by the police for armed insurrection and treason. The handful of defected soldiers who managed to escape to Colombia are now being told by that country’s government to either seek employment or leave - they cannot sit around pretending they are about to overthrow a neighboring state. Manuel Figuera, the head of the state security service and the highest-level defector to Guaidó, was immediately dismissed and is expected to be found in Colombia as well.</p> <p>Guaidó’s co-conspirators in the National Assembly are in similar dire straits. On May 7, they were stripped of parliamentary immunity and the attorney general opened cases against all seven of them for “betrayal of the homeland, conspiracy, attempt at insurrection, civil rebellion, conspiracy to commit a crime, usurpation of their elected duties, public instigation to disobedience, and hate crimes.” All have fled the country or are in hiding, except for Guaidó’s second-in-command, the vice president of Democratic Action (AD), Edgar Zambrano, who was arrested while attempting to flee with thousands of U.S. dollars and several weapons.</p> <p>Guaidó’s stunt also led to the collapse of the opposition camp, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD). COPEI, one of the founding parties of the coalition, published an open letter signed by 350 opposition politicians and figures that condemned Guaidó and his support for an invasion of their own country. While they refused to support Maduro and continue to demand his removal from power, the signatories acknowledged that the armed attacks on the government were not a winning strategy.</p> <p>In a surprise to everyone in Venezuela, Maria Corina Machado - the most prominent opposition figure besides López and Guaidó, someone who openly embraces their bourgeois lifestyle and cannot hide their contempt for the poor - publicly broke with the U.S. narrative and said that “Maduro is not a dictator.” She then went on to say that the opposition’s tactics have failed to dislodge the revolution, nor prevent it from spreading beyond Venezuela, and that the only option left is U.S. military intervention.</p> <p>When one of the opposition’s top figures believes that they no longer have the popular support to defeat the government, by any avenue, this can only be understood as the opposition admitting that they have been soundly defeated within Venezuela.</p> <p>At one time, the opposition could call on hundreds of thousands of people - mainly students, professionals and lumpen elements - to take to the streets at their call. Now, after embracing the fascist violence of the Popular Will Party and following the direction of its leaders Leopoldo López and Juan Guaidó, the opposition is socially ostracized, politically illegitimate, and is in open revolt with itself. No wonder then, that the remnants of Guaidó’s conspiracy are rumored to be considering Maduro’s long-offered invitation to peace talks.</p> <p><strong>“The New Beginning” of the revolution</strong></p> <p>On the other side of Venezuelan society, we find the Bolivarian revolutionary movement more organized than ever before, and more determined to seize the future.</p> <p>Just one day after the April 30 coup attempt, hundreds of thousands of workers marched through Caracas in commemoration of May Day. Speaking at the rally at the end of the march, to thunderous applause, was President Maduro. He thanked the workers for standing behind their government against all of the attacks of imperialism in recent years, but he went on to say that it was not enough. Maduro compared the revolutionary movement to a boxer - with one fist, it defends the gains of the process from all threats foreign and domestic, but with the other it must attack, advancing decisively towards socialism. He admitted that errors have been made, making an open self-criticism before all those assembled, and called on the masses to raise up their criticisms of the revolutionary government, to bring forward their own proposals in order to rectify errors, and to ensure that the Bolivarian movement continues to advance. “Let us go on to great changes, to a great renovation, a great rectification that is urgently needed within the revolution," he declared to chants and cheers. "Towards the New Beginning, always together with the people."</p> <p>The events of the “great rectification” over the next two weeks reflect the unprecedented level of organization of the revolutionary movement. Three nationwide gatherings took place simultaneously: the reopening of the Fourth Congress of the United Socialist Party (PSUV), the Bolivarian People’s Congress and the gathering of Bolivarian governors and mayors.</p> <p>The PSUV Fourth Congress, held in several sessions across the country, brought together delegates from roughly 13,000 Bolívar-Chávez Battle Units (the basic party unit of the PSUV) and 32,000 Local Supplies and Production Committees (the revolutionary committees tasked with distributing free food to families in need). Over 800 proposals were submitted through the sessions, many of them with overlapping ideas. Among them, according to PSUV Bulletin #153, was: ideological training for all public functionaries, employees of state-owned companies and police officers; “the elimination of the ideology of colonialism” in the education system; and the direct involvement of the Party in establishing new “social property enterprises” focused on food production in every municipality within the next six months. The most discussed proposal, however, had to do with the need to establish the new state - the communal state. “The slogan ‘commune or nothing’ must be made reality,” the bulletin declared, “strengthening the communal organization's ability for economic and productive control.”</p> <p>The Bolivarian People’s Congress took place on a similar scale to the PSUV, that is to say, staggering. The Congress was established by Maduro to bring together the social formations of the revolution: the communal councils, the communes and the social movements. Its sessions held across the country brought together representatives from all of them - from 47,896 communal councils, 3094 communes and 56 social movements. From this wide net across Venezuelan society, the Congress collected over 21,000 proposals from the masses. Like the sessions of the PSUV Congress, the single-largest number of proposals called for the revolutionary transformation of the state - the creation of the communal state that has been the goal of the Bolivarian movement for years.</p> <p>At one of the assemblies of the Congress, Education Minister Aristóbulo Istúriz stressed the need for the government and the mass movements to work as one to deepen the revolutionary process. “Here we ratify our loyalty and certainty in the building of the future,” Istúriz declared. “It is not with the escuálidos, nor with the imperialists, but with the people that we solve our problems, it is with the Bolivarian Revolution that we deepen the construction of socialism.”</p> <p><strong>The second fist strikes</strong></p> <p>Time moves fast in Venezuela. It had been moving fast since Maduro was elected in 2013, and it has been moving even faster since Guaidó began his charade in January. Despite the opposition falling flat on their face, again and again, U.S. imperialism has not stepped back from its commitment to crushing the revolutionary movement. Now it knows that, when it makes its final move to bring down the Bolivarian Revolution, it will face a nation of 30 million people as firm as steel, united behind their militias, their armed forces, their mass organizations and their party.</p> <p>An organized people cannot be defeated - America’s ruling class learned this lesson very well in Vietnam, but it seems that Venezuela must offer it a reminder of this historic truth.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/24/venezuela-opposition-collapses-revolution-advances#comments People's Struggles Juan Guaidó Nicolás Maduro Venezuela Fri, 24 May 2019 14:00:37 +0000 Fight Back 7455 at https://www.fightbacknews.org New Yorkers rally in solidarity with Puerto Rican march against Bayer-Monsanto, AES corporations https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/24/new-yorkers-rally-solidarity-puerto-rican-march-against-bayer-monsanto-aes-corporations <p>New York, NY – A group of around 15 New Yorkers gathered, May 17, in front of the Ted Weiss Federal Building, home of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rally was called by the group New York Boricua Resistance (NYBR), in response to the poisoning of Puerto Ricans by Bayer-Monsanto and AES corporations, which are guilty of dumping toxic waste and spraying hazardous chemicals.</p> <p>The rally in New York was held in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, who organized a march one day later, on May 18. Although small in numbers, the rally got a lot of support from people passing by, especially from taxi and truck drivers, many of whom honked and waved in approval.</p> <p>In addition to the organizers from NYBR, several other groups came out, including the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), Struggle La Lucha, Earth Strike, and Extinction Rebellion, among others. Individuals from each organization gave brief solidarity statements.</p> <p>In his speech, Jake Holtzman of CSFR said, “The fact that the U.S. government allows these companies to dump toxic waste and spray dangerous chemicals in Puerto Rico, just goes to show…[that] the U.S. does not care about the lives and wellbeing of Black and brown people; they only care about corporate profits.”</p> <p>A member NYBR stressed that whether it’s toxic waste dumping in Puerto Rico or in the South Bronx, we will be out in the streets fighting for the human rights and respect of our communities. Group chants included, “EPA, you could stop it, but you’re in Monsanto’s pocket,” and “EPA, tell the truth, Monsanto kills and pollutes.”</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/24/new-yorkers-rally-solidarity-puerto-rican-march-against-bayer-monsanto-aes-corporations#comments People's Struggles AES Bayer-Monsanto Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Fri, 24 May 2019 13:55:59 +0000 Fight Back 7454 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Witness to attempted U.S.-orchestrated Venezuela coup speaks in Minneapolis https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/witness-attempted-us-orchestrated-venezuela-coup-speaks-minneapolis <p>Minneapolis, MN - “The area we were in was an opposition neighborhood, but nobody’s leaving their houses. The news in the U.S. is saying people are flocking to the streets because they’re ‘being liberated’, but no one’s leaving their houses. It was so untrue it was shocking,” said Tracy Molm, to about 40 community members gathered to hear her firsthand account of the events of April 30 in Caracas, Venezuela.</p> <p>That day saw unelected presidential pretender Juan Guaido appear outside an airbase in Caracas, claiming a military uprising to oust elected President Nicolás Maduro was about to take place. Despite heavy promotion by the U.S. State Department and much of the media, no uprising occurred. By the end of the day, its handful of participants had fled to the diplomatic compounds of Spain and Brazil.</p> <p>Molm explained, “We had been there for a day and a half. Tuesday morning, we wake up, and we’re a mile and a half from it, witnessing nothing. We hear people banging pots, but nobody leaves their houses.”</p> <p>Instead, Molm described seeing tens of thousands of Venezuelans flock to the seat of the presidency at the Miraflores Palace to defend President Maduro. “The vice president called for the people of Venezuela, the workers of Venezuela, to be in the streets and to defend their president. That’s what we saw,” she said. </p> <p>Molm, a member of the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee, was in Venezuela with a delegation of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). Her report-back event in Minneapolis, which featured a slideshow of photos and an extensive Q&amp;A, took place on May 18.</p> <p>“It’s really important to start with the history of Venezuela, one of the things that’s really missing from the conversation that people get in the news,” she began. “In 1499, Venezuela was invaded by the Spanish, colonized, and they created a monocrop slave state. A lot of the issues that Venezuela is grappling with are basically rooted in being a colonized country, with very little infrastructure, and a single export that they were reliant on.”</p> <p>“Hugo Chávez and Simon Bolivar are really thought of as liberators of this country that was ravaged by colonization, and then by neo-colonial policies,” explained Molm. “When Chávez was elected, Venezuela was considered one of the most unequal countries in Latin America. Now it’s considered one of the most equal societies. That makes a big impression on people.”</p> <p>Molm showed the audience photos of banners that anti-imperialist student groups displayed around Caracas on April 30 in response to Guaido’s failed putsch. “The coup attempt happened really early in the morning. Before 9:30, they’ve got banners up,” she said. “People are ready to fight, ready to be in the streets to defend their government.” </p> <p>The following day, May 1, the delegation attended a mass rally commemorating International Workers Day, a national holiday in Venezuela. Over 400,000 people attended, many alongside their labor unions, to hear President Maduro speak. “Every time we saw something anti-Trump, people were like, ‘come take pictures with us!’ It was great,” Molm said.</p> <p>Molm also addressed the widespread reports of food shortages in Venezuela, saying, “There’s a lot of food production, and one of the things that they’re working really hard to do is understand where food is being produced, and where it’s going. Because they’ve had all these initiatives that include urban farming and taking back productive parts of the land around the country, so that people can be producing food - and not relying on big businesses that shutter their doors because they decide they’re not making enough profit.”</p> <p>Despite the challenges, Molm reported that food was still widely available. The delegation witnessed many boxes of free food assembled by the Local Committees for Supply and Production - known by their Spanish-language acronym, CLAP - being distributed around Caracas.</p> <p>The delegation and met with revolutionary leaders to learn about popular struggles to bring about social equality in Venezuela. </p> <p>“Venezuela is not currently a socialist country. Their leaders, including Maduro, believe that’s the direction they want to bring their society,” Molm explained. “They want to fundamentally change their government to be about people, to be about fulfilling people’s needs, and not about profit.”</p> <p>In particular, Molm recounted the delegation’s tour of new public housing built as part of the Gran Misión Vivienda, an initiative of Hugo Chávez that has led to 2.6 million high-quality homes being built over eight years. “People pay what they can. If you can pay, say, the equivalent of $100 dollars in rent, that’s what you pay. If you can’t, you pay less,” Molm explained. “It makes you realize how far away from that we are in the US, when people are getting evicted on a daily basis because they can’t afford rent.”</p> <p>“There are almost no people living on the streets in Venezuela,” she added. Privatization of the homes built under the Gran Misión Vivienda, along with the nationalized oil funding it, has long been a stated objective of the Venezuelan opposition now led by Guaido. Last week, it was revealed that Guaido, in the aftermath of the attempted coup’s failure to garner mass support, was formally requesting U.S. military backing for the overthrow of President Maduro.</p> <p>“People are very clear in Venezuela. They know who the enemy is,” Molm concluded. “They know who is instigating the attacks. They know who is trying to destabilize their country.”</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/witness-attempted-us-orchestrated-venezuela-coup-speaks-minneapolis#comments People's Struggles Capitalism and Economy Socialism Antiwar Movement Americas Coup International Maduro Trump Venezuela Venezuela Wed, 22 May 2019 16:46:02 +0000 Fight Back 7453 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Interview with Filipino trade union leader Ed Cubelo https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/interview-filipino-trade-union-leader-ed-cubelo <p><em>Fight Back!</em> Interviewed Ed Cubelo, the chairman of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, or May 1st Movement in Metro Manila, while he was in the U.S. on a speaking tour. The KMU is one the largest trade union federations in the Philippines.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: Can you say a few words about what the May 1st Movement is?</p> <p><strong>Ed Cubelo:</strong> The May 1st Movement, established in 1980, is a genuine, militant union promoting and advancing workers' interests.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: What are the main issues facing Filipino workers?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: Among the major issues, basically, of Filipino workers are low wages, no benefits, no security of jobs, and widespread contractualization.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: Can you say a few words about what contractualization is and the fight against it?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: Contractualization is a form of attack against organized labor and against Filipino workers. If you are a contractual, you have no right to join unions, no right to form a union. You have no benefits. If you work longer hours, you'll receive no extra benefits, and if you get injured at work, you get no compensation, and they are vulnerable to various types of labor abuses. This is legalized under Philippine laws, and so for many years, workers have been struggling to repeal this law and end this practice.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: How has the KMU been fighting contractualization?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: So KMU has started organizing labor contractuals because we believe that, despite the presence of the law, which prohibits contractuals to form organized unions, it is the right of all workers, whether contractual or regular, to have a union, to have better working conditions, to receive a living wage, and to enjoy rights of an ordinary worker. So KMU has been asserting that these laws would be repealed, at the same time demanding that the president fulfill his promise to end contractualization.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: The KMU has been facing repression from the U.S.-backed Duterte regime. Could you say a few words about the repression and the fight against it?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: Because KMU is part of the broader protests criticizing the policies, the repressive policies of the Duterte government, the state has been arresting KMU union organizers. The state has been fighting trumped-up cases against KMU leaders. The state has been demonizing the struggles of KMU, red-tagging KMU, and creating fear among workers, warning them not to join KMU. But despite distress, despite these challenges, the KMU continues to enjoy the support of many workers. KMU continues to wage protests, and KMU has been leading the struggle for the workers' welfare.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: Is there anything you would like to say to American workers?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: We are appealing for the support of our brothers and sisters here in the United States, our fellow American workers, to support the struggle of the Filipino people. The situation of workers is not consistently reported in mainstream media, so please help, spreading awareness about the situation of Filipino workers, and support the struggle of the Filipino people for real nationalism and democracy.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/interview-filipino-trade-union-leader-ed-cubelo#comments People's Struggles Asia International KMU Labor Minnesota Philippines Philippines Labor Wed, 22 May 2019 16:20:21 +0000 Fight Back 7452 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Interview with Filipino trade union leader Ed Cubelo https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/interview-filipino-trade-union-leader-ed-cubelo <p><em>Fight Back!</em> Interviewed Ed Cubelo, the chairman of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, or May 1st Movement in Metro Manila, while he was in the U.S. on a speaking tour. The KMU is one the largest trade union federations in the Philippines.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: Can you say a few words about what the May 1st Movement is?</p> <p><strong>Ed Cubelo:</strong> The May 1st Movement, established in 1980, is a genuine, militant union promoting and advancing workers' interests.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: What are the main issues facing Filipino workers?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: Among the major issues, basically, of Filipino workers are low wages, no benefits, no security of jobs, and widespread contractualization.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: Can you say a few words about what contractualization is and the fight against it?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: Contractualization is a form of attack against organized labor and against Filipino workers. If you are a contractual, you have no right to join unions, no right to form a union. You have no benefits. If you work longer hours, you'll receive no extra benefits, and if you get injured at work, you get no compensation, and they are vulnerable to various types of labor abuses. This is legalized under Philippine laws, and so for many years, workers have been struggling to repeal this law and end this practice.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: How has the KMU been fighting contractualization?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: So KMU has started organizing labor contractuals because we believe that, despite the presence of the law, which prohibits contractuals to form organized unions, it is the right of all workers, whether contractual or regular, to have a union, to have better working conditions, to receive a living wage, and to enjoy rights of an ordinary worker. So KMU has been asserting that these laws would be repealed, at the same time demanding that the president fulfill his promise to end contractualization.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: The KMU has been facing repression from the U.S.-backed Duterte regime. Could you say a few words about the repression and the fight against it?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: Because KMU is part of the broader protests criticizing the policies, the repressive policies of the Duterte government, the state has been arresting KMU union organizers. The state has been fighting trumped-up cases against KMU leaders. The state has been demonizing the struggles of KMU, red-tagging KMU, and creating fear among workers, warning them not to join KMU. But despite distress, despite these challenges, the KMU continues to enjoy the support of many workers. KMU continues to wage protests, and KMU has been leading the struggle for the workers' welfare.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em></strong>: Is there anything you would like to say to American workers?</p> <p><strong>Cubelo</strong>: We are appealing for the support of our brothers and sisters here in the United States, our fellow American workers, to support the struggle of the Filipino people. The situation of workers is not consistently reported in mainstream media, so please help, spreading awareness about the situation of Filipino workers, and support the struggle of the Filipino people for real nationalism and democracy.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/interview-filipino-trade-union-leader-ed-cubelo#comments People's Struggles Asia International KMU Labor Minnesota Philippines Philippines Labor Wed, 22 May 2019 16:20:21 +0000 Fight Back 7452 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Abortion rights rally in St. Paul, MN https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/abortion-rights-rally-st-paul-mn <p>Up to 500 people gathered at the state capitol building here, May 21, joining a national day of action in response to the new round of abortion restrictions and bans in Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri and Georgia. Chants of “Our bodies, our choice,” and “No more” echoed across the capitol complex.</p> <p>Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota helped organized the rally. There were a range of speakers and supportive politicians urging all to fight back on the attacks on women and choice. A woman spoke about a very hard personal decision she and her husband made in the second trimester. Doctors stated their fetus was dying in her womb. She told the crowd, "My message to the people pushing these laws is simple: Leave me alone. Leave all of us alone. Our reasons are none of your business."</p> <p>Another woman spoke about being old enough to remember what women had to do in order to get abortions before they were legal and declared, “we won’t go back to that.”</p> <p>During the rally, a handful of anti-choicers tried to disrupt the rally by going behind the stage where the speakers were but they were quickly outnumbered when many pro-choicers. They were shut down by jeers of “go away” from the crowd, after a scuffle, they were escorted off the grounds.</p> <p>Right now, some right-wing politicians in the Minnesota legislature are trying to pass a 20-week abortion ban in the state legislature. Others spoke to continuing to fight back, stating we must stop these dangerous abortion bans and fight to keep abortion safe, legal and accessible.</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/22/abortion-rights-rally-st-paul-mn#comments People's Struggles abortion Healthcare Minnesota Trump women's movement Women's Movement Wed, 22 May 2019 16:12:55 +0000 Fight Back 7451 at https://www.fightbacknews.org FRSO denuncia el arresto ilegal del negociador por la paz colombiano, Jesus Santrich, y demanda su liberación inmediata. https://www.fightbacknews.org/node/7450 <p>Jesús Santrich, ex-negociador por la paz de las FARC-EP, poeta, pintor, músico, y una voz popular para la paz ha sido re-encarcelado con el uso de un cargo por drogas inventado que proviene de la corte del Distrito Sur de Nueva York. Los cargos son ampliamente percibidos como un intento por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos, en colaboración con sectores de la oligarquía colombiana, para descarrilar el acuerdo de paz entre las FARC-EP y el gobierno colombiano.</p> <p>La Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz (JEP - una corte que fue instituida por el acuerdo de la paz colombiano) falló que Santrich no puede ser extraditado a los Estados Unidos debido a todas la irregularidades en el caso, incluyendo el carecer de pruebas suficientes, y ordenó su inmediata excarcelación. Santrich estaba apunto de ser liberado de la cárcel llamada La Picota cuando el fiscal general colombiano mandó a que fuera arrestado de nuevo basado en “nueva” evidencia provista por los Estados Unidos a la Fiscalía General de Colombia. Santrich fue drogado por oficiales, según se informa el trató de cometer suicidio cortándose las venas de sus muñecas cuando escucho de que iba ser extraditado y fue llevado en helicóptero a la cárcel de la fiscalía general conocido como el “bunker.” Santrich sufrió un paro cardiaco y pulmonar y se encuentra en un estado delicado en un hospital.</p> <p>Este arresto vienen en un tiempo cuando el acuerdo de paz, después de casi 500 líderes sociales y 130 ex-guerrilleros hayan sido asesinados por paramilitares de la ultra-derecha, esta apunto de colapsar. Además de los asesinatos, el gobierno ha fracasado en cumplir sus obligaciones bajo el acuerdo de paz de invertir en los sectores sociales, proteger a los líderes políticos y sociales, y excarcelar a los prisioneros políticos, entre otras cuestiones. La orden de liberar a Santrich, por la JEP, dio una apariencia momentánea de que el tratado de paz tenía un poco de vida, pero esta ilusión colapsó con el re-arresto de Santrich.</p> <p>Iván Márquez, ex-jefe negociador de las FARC-EP en los Diálogos de paz de la Habana, mandó un mensaje al pueblo de Colombia. “El mundo fue testigo de la indignante burla de la liberación y recaptura inmediata de Santrich por la Fiscalía. Con su sucia actitud la Fiscalía, el uribismo [las políticas del ex-presidente Álvaro Uribe] y la embajada gringa le han extendido la más triste carta de defunción a la Paz.”</p> <p>Lo Organización Socialista Camino de la Libertad demanda la excarcelación inmediata de Jesús Santrich y demanda que las autoridades colombianas tomen todas las medidas necesarias para proteger su vida y bienestar. La Organización Socialista Camino de la Libertad a la vez demanda que el gobierno colombiano cumpla sus obligaciones bajo los acuerdos de paz y que el gobierno de los Estados Unidos cese su injerencia en los asuntos internos de Colombia.</p> <p>¡Santrich libre!</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/node/7450#comments People's Struggles Americas Colombia Colombia FARC-EP International Jesús Santrich Tue, 21 May 2019 16:04:12 +0000 Fight Back 7450 at https://www.fightbacknews.org Minneapolis: Jamar Clark family deserves settlement equal to white woman killed by cops https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/21/minneapolis-jamar-clark-family-deserves-settlement-equal-white-woman-killed-cops <p>Minneapolis, MN - Community and family members gathered May 20 for a press conference to demand that the city of Minneapolis give the family of Jamar Clark a settlement equal to that awarded to the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. The Jamar Clark’s family has brought a civil suit against the city after the 2015 police murder, and mediation will take place May 21 inside the federal courthouse where the press conference was held.</p> <p>Mediation comes after a May 3 decision by the Minneapolis city council to reject a settlement with the Clark family. On that same day, the city council announced a $20 million settlement award for the police killing of Damond, a white woman living in an affluent corner of the city. As they head into mediation, both sides of Jamar’s family, the Burns and the Clarks, have broad support.</p> <p>Hundreds of have signed a petition that says, in part, "We value the life of a Black man from North Minneapolis as much as that of white woman from Southwest Minneapolis. No amount of money will bring beloved community members back; but if Justine’s life is worth $20 million, so is Jamar’s. Justice demands it."</p> <p>James Clark, Jamar’s adopted father, said, “It’s sad that a Black man has to go through so much to get justice, and still justice ain’t been done and it’s sad. There is no justice for Black people. I’m sorry, I’m sad, I’m disappointed that this world is like this, because there should be justice for everybody.”</p> <p>Several of Jamar’s biological siblings were also present. His brother, Eddie Sutton, said, “We are just here to send out a message that justice should be served evenly. We’re here in solidarity with Justine and still fighting for justice for Jamar.”</p> <p>“Jamar Clark’s killers were never held accountable for their actions. Both sides of Jamar’s family have waited too long for someone to answer for what was taken from them,” said Angel Smith El of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar (TCC4J). “We stand with them. We call on the city of Minneapolis to settle this lawsuit quickly and generously. We want Jamar Clark’s family to get a settlement equal to what Justine’s family got.”</p> <p>Nekima Levy Armstrong, of the Racial Justice Network and former president of Minneapolis NAACP, blasted the city’s failure to hold police accountable. “The city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County continue to send a message time and time again that Black lives don’t matter. Many of us have been out on the front lines for years demanding that city government officials clean up the Minneapolis Police Department and remove those officers who have a history of excessive force, like [Jamar Clarks’ killers] Ringgenberg and Schwarze, who never should have been on the force in the first place.” After calling for a settlement of “at least $20 million,” she went further. “We also ask that Ringgenberg and Schwarze be fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. They are still armed and dangerous to the people of Minneapolis, and particularly to Black residents. And we call for resignation of our incompetent, racist county attorney Mike Freeman.”</p> <p>Sarah Kuhnen, of Justice for Justine, stated, “We have to acknowledge that in our city most victims of police violence are people of color, and that racism and white supremacy are the reasons they don’t receive the treatment Justine Damond received. What Justine has gotten, we want for everyone.”</p> <p>“We need to stop spending millions in taxpayer dollars for the pain that police officers inflict on city residents day after day,” said Angel Smith El. “In Minneapolis, we have a mayor and city council that refuse to get violent cops off our streets. Jamar’s killers had complaints against them, Justine’s killer did, and even the president of the police federation has dozens of complaints and lawsuits. We don’t want these kinds of officers patrolling our streets. We are for taking power over the police back into our hands, and we are organizing for community control of the police through an independent, elected, all-civilian Minneapolis Police Accountability Council, MPAC.”</p> https://www.fightbacknews.org/2019/5/21/minneapolis-jamar-clark-family-deserves-settlement-equal-white-woman-killed-cops#comments People's Struggles Police Brutality Jamar Clark minneapolis Police Brutality In-Justice System Tue, 21 May 2019 16:00:13 +0000 Fight Back 7449 at https://www.fightbacknews.org