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 PFLP leader says stop U.S., European attempts to undermine Palestinian cause and reimpose Oslo <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Sept. 21 statement by Jamil Mizher, a member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and leader of its branch in Gaza.</em></p> <p>Comrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and leader of its branch in Gaza, warned of an international conspiracy to liquidate Palestinian national rights, demanding rejection by Palestinian officials and all Palestinian forces of U.S. and European schemes to define borders through the framework of Oslo rather than through the implementation of international resolutions and law.</p> <p>“The occupation and the U.S. administration did not succeed in liquidating the resistance or consolidating any achievements in the political sense during the criminal aggression on the Gaza Strip, but there are attempts now by those forces, along with some European states, notably France, to attempt such political achievements after the fact as the Palestinian cause is raised as a central issue after many years of marginalization,” said Mizher. He said that there are schemes in the UN Security Council which seek to undermine Palestinian rights, based on the devastating Oslo accords which have brought nothing but horrors and devastation and settlement to the Palestinian people for over 20 years. Mizher demanded that Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian officials refuse under any conditions to return to the futile negotiations and reject the call of the U.S. to return to negotiations and the initiative of French President Hollande at the Security Council.</p> <p>Mizher emphasized that the Palestinian cause must not be chained in a vicious cycle of futile negotiations and attempts of its liquidation by the U.S. and European imperialist powers, demanding that the Palestinian officials instead immediately accede to the Rome Statute and join the International Criminal Court to prosecute the occupation state’s officials for their crimes against the Palestinian people, especially their unprecedented crimes against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip in the recent Zionist aggression.</p> <p>The occupation must be pursued in all international forums and subject to complete political and economic boycott and isolation, said Mizher, while unifying the Palestinian ranks to confront the occupier. In addition, he demanded that Palestinian officialdom reject reliance on Arab regimes subservient to the U.S., which serve the interests of the U.S. empire and the fascist occupation state. The only reliance can be on Palestinian unity, on Palestinian constants and national rights, based on the resistance, which protected the rights of our people during the Zionist aggression.</p> <p>Mizher emphasized that any Palestinian attempts to identify with the U.S., European or Arab official positions to return to the arena of negotiations and settlement is dangerous to the Palestinian people and cause.</p> Gaza Palestine Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:28:52 +0000 Fight Back 4363 at Black and Brown solidarity rally condemns deportations, police brutality in Milwaukee <p>Milwaukee, WI - More than 100 people gathered at a rally, Sept. 26 at the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to condemn deportations and police brutality.</p> <p>Timed to coincide with a talk by Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow, the rally brought together two of the largest movements in Milwaukee. One is the movement against the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, gathered around Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) and its parent organization Voces de la Frontera. The other important movement is against police brutality and mass incarceration, gathered around a number of community leaders and the families of police brutality victims. </p> <p>Speaking to the gathered crowd, State Representative-elect David Bowen condemned the deaths of young African-American men at the hands of police. Next from Voces de la Frontera, Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz denounced “the private prison system that profits from filling its beds with undocumented immigrants.” </p> <p>Then Angela Walker, socialist candidate for county sheriff, explained, “The historic tactic of the ruling class is to divide oppressed peoples against one another. By holding rallies like this we are challenging oppression and exploitation.”</p> <p>Nate Hamilton, brother of Dontre Hamilton who was murdered by the Milwaukee Police Department, implored, “We need unity between Black and Brown communities. We call on all forces to rally this upcoming Tuesday at Red Arrow Park, the site of my brother’s murder, to mark the fifth month anniversary of his death.”</p> <p>MATC community college students led the rally. Youth Empowered in the Struggle at MATC founder Mario Gomez laid the foundation for the rally by looking at the common denominator between mass deportation and mass incarceration - class exploitation and national oppression. Gomez spoke directly, “Let’s be honest, they’re targeting the working class. They’re not targeting just anybody. They’re not out here targeting and deporting rich Europeans and Canadians. They’re targeting the working class, and as a proud member of that working class, at the largest working class college in Wisconsin, we’ve got to start fighting back!”</p> <p>The rally maintained a high level of enthusiasm throughout, and ended with YES leading the crowd in a Unity Clap, inspired by the farmworkers struggle of the 1960s and 1970s. All participants were invited to a lunch social afterward, hosting by the MATC student organizations.</p> <p>Co-sponsors of the rally included: Youth Empowered in the Struggle, Youth Empowered in the Struggle - MATC, MATC Black Student Union, MATC Latino Student Organization, Voces de la Frontera, and the African American Roundtable.</p> Chicano liberation immigration rights Police Brutality Youth Empowered in the Struggle Oppressed Nationalities Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:38:33 +0000 Fight Back 4362 at South Florida rally demands: Drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh! <p>Fort Lauderdale, FL - Over two dozen people rallied in support of Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh outside of the Federal Courthouse here, Sept. 27. Protesters demanded that charges against Odeh be dropped by U.S. prosecutors or dismissed by presiding Judge Gershwin Drain. </p> <p> Jonathon Tukel, Chief of the National Security Unit and Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan hold the power to drop the charges. Prosecutors Tukel and McQuade will be the targets of a national call in day Oct. 2 when Odeh appears at a hearing in front of Judge Drain.</p> <p>Those in attendance at the Sept. 27 protest held a large banner that read “Drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh,” along with signs such as, “I support Palestine, I support women, I support Rasmea!” They also shouted chants including, “Drop the charges, this is garbage!”</p> <p>As those following this highly politicized trial know, Rasmea Odeh is a 67-year-old Palestinian organizer who has been active her whole life in causes ranging from Palestinian solidarity to women’s rights to immigrant rights. Odeh is a people’s hero who was imprisoned for ten years, tortured and sexually assaulted by Israeli soldiers in occupied Palestine for her activism there. She has been living and organizing in the U.S. for 20 years, after being exiled upon her release from the Zionist jail cells.</p> <p>About a year ago, the Department of Homeland Security raided her home and charged her with “Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization,” because she allegedly did not mention her imprisonment in occupied Palestine on her immigration papers. This charge of immigration fraud is part of an ongoing campaign of systematic repression by the U.S. government of anti-war, international solidarity and pro-Palestine activists such as the Holy Land Five and Anti-War 23.</p> <p>At the rally in Fort Lauderdale, those in attendance included young and old, families and students. Protesters showed their support for Rasmea Odeh, despite periods of rain and dozens of cops. They rallied from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30. People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism organized the protest.</p> <p>Anas Amireh of Al-Awda (Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) spoke to the crowd in support of Rasmea. “It is unbelievable that this obvious breach of civil rights is happening here, in the U.S.,” he said. “This could happen to any of one of us. But this amazing show of solidarity shows that if it does, we will have strong group of people to rally in our support, like we are today! Free Rasmea!”</p> frso Palestine Political Repression political repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:11:16 +0000 Fight Back 4361 at Tampa protest against U.S. war in Syria <p>Tampa, FL - 50 anti-war activists protested U.S. bombings on Syria at the corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Gandy Boulevard here, Sept. 27. The Syrian government did not give the U.S. permission to make the attacks in its territory. The U.S. government plans to continue violating the sovereignty of Syria as it targets the group calling itself the Islamic State. The crowd of protesters chanted, “Hands off Syria!” and “No more war!” to express outrage against the U.S. bombings.</p> <p>Tom Lingo with Saint Pete for Peace spoke, “Today we are here because the U.S. government has made the decision to start bombing members of ISIL, and they’re doing it in Syria…Last year, Syria was a country they were thinking about engaging in, but they backed off because they didn’t have the political will for it and also because they didn’t have the support from the people. They’ve been using current events to propagandize, manipulate and bring up the war fervor.”</p> <p>Jared Hamil from Freedom Road Socialist Organization emphasized, “Our job as Americans and for those in the anti-war movement is to oppose any and all intervention by the U.S. Never be fooled - intervention has never been humanitarian!” Hamil provided historical context of U.S. imperialism, including U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.</p> <p>The protest took place near the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the headquarters for U.S. military operations around the world. Sponsoring organizations included Saint Pete for Peace, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at University of South Florida, Friends of Human Rights, and Block the Boat Campaign.</p> Antiwar Movement CENTCOM SDS Students for a Democratic Society Syria U.S. Central Command USCENTCOM Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:15:16 +0000 Fight Back 4360 at MN protests new wars on Iraq and Syria <p>Minneapolis, MN - Twin Cities peace and anti-war groups held a rally in the West Bank neighborhood, near the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College on Sept. 27. The rally was organized to be a part of a coordinated anti-war campaign in cities across the U.S. Sept. 23-29 to protest the U.S. bombing of Syria and Iraq called by the ANSWER Coalition.</p> <p>The Minneapolis protest was organized by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC). This was the third protest in two weeks organized by MPAC against the Obama administration’s recent push to bomb Iraq and Syria.</p> <p>Meredith Aby-Keirstead, an organizer with the MN Anti-War Committee, spoke to the crowd of over 50 protesters, “This week the U.S. Congress approved $500 million in funding for the allegedly ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels and Secretary of Defense Hagel said airstrikes were costing the U.S. between $7 million and $10 million a day. Is that what you want to support? No. We need money for human needs not for war.”</p> <p>Aby-Keirstead concluded her speech by stating, “Every day the U.S. is in Syria longer is another day that makes it more likely that the U.S. will play a bigger role in the conflict. But that is what the 1% really want. They don’t care that airstrikes will cause more harm than good. They don’t care that U.S. efforts are doomed to backfire and escalate the war regionally. Their real agenda is quite simple: keeping the Middle East under U.S. control by any means necessary.</p> <p>“But we care. We don’t want more people killed for empire. We don’t want more money spent on war. We don’t want another generation of Americans and Iraqis to see each other as enemies. We have a big task a head of us. We need to challenge the president’s message. We need to build our capacity as an anti-war movement. Whose with me?”</p> <p>The protest got a positive reception from people in the neighborhood, which includes a large Somali community.</p> <p>At the end of the protest, Women Against Military Madness announced that their Wednesday vigils over the Mississippi River on the Marshall Avenue/Lake Street bridge from 5-6:00 p.m. will focus on protesting against the attacks on Iraq and Syria for the month of October.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Antiwar Movement Iraq Iraq Syria Syria Mon, 29 Sep 2014 04:10:15 +0000 Fight Back 4359 at University of Florida students collect anti-rape pledge <p>Gainesville, FL – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a banner-signing event, asking students to pledge to stand against rape and sexual violence both on and off campus. SDS also provided literature on consent and ways for students to help prevent sexual assault. By the end of the day, around 50 students had signed the pledge banner.</p> <p>The event comes just weeks after the latest in a string of sexual assaults on and around the University of Florida (UF) campus. The event was in response to a UF Student Government event, asking students to sign a pledge to “Never Walk Alone.” An SDS organizer explained, “Such language puts blame on victims of sexual violence and does nothing to address the true cause of sexual assault.”</p> <p>The anti-rape banner had the hashtags #ItsNotGreatUF and #WeAreAware, playing off of and satirizing the hashtags, #ItsGreatUF and #BeAware, that UF Student Government used during their event.</p> <p>Every hour, during the 15-minute class change period, SDS members made short speeches to crowds of students while handing out flyers about consent. Using humor and sarcasm to win over students, SDSers leafleted the “10 Top Tips to End Rape.” Including tips such as, “6. Use the buddy system! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.”</p> <p>Farah Khan, lead organizer with SDS said “I think this type of event is necessary as it’s quite obvious that UF and UFPD have no interest in targeting the actual problem we have here: rape culture and patriarchy.”</p> <p>McKenzie Walker, an SDS member, noted, “Despite the negative responses from some men, those that signed gave us hope. There is a strata of men on campus who want to end, rather than fuel, rape culture and share their support with others.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> anti-rape Gainesville SDS rape culture SDS Women's Movement Student Movement Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:56:11 +0000 Fight Back 4358 at Tampa action stops local man's deportation <p>Tampa, FL – A rally by immigrant rights activists on Sept. 25 stopped the planned next-day deportation of David Sanchez. Sanchez, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 14, was fighting to stay in Florida where he works and has a family. The community rallied outside of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office in Tampa. </p> <p>Sanchez was ordered to wear an ankle monitor so that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could track his every move. He filed for an extension of his work visa, but was denied. </p> <p>Local groups called for action against ICE and DHS to stop Sanchez's deportation. Over 200 people from around the country called the local Tampa ICE office demanding a stop to the deportation. Later that day, 70 people rallied outside the DHS office with Sanchez's family, chanting "Not one more!" </p> <p>Yadalis Sanchez, David Sanchez’s daughter, said, "It is not fair that ICE can tear apart a family." </p> <p>Marisol Marquez, spokesperson for immigrant rights group Raices en Tampa, said, "Today, we've had enough. Tampa won't forget. No politician was here to help David Sanchez and his family. The people who are here today are the ones really supporting people like David Sanchez. We know the immigration system is doing exactly what it is meant to do - to separate us and hold us down." </p> <p>David Sanchez announced during the protest that ICE had sent him an e-mail regarding his deportation. It stated that ICE was giving him a three to six month extension on his visa. </p> <p>Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez of the Florida Immigrant Coalition said, "Even with an extension, we don't want another deportation tomorrow. We don't want one next week, next month, or next year! No more!" </p> <p>Protesters continued to rally, chanting, "When we fight, we win!" and "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido!" or "The people united can never be defeated!" </p> <p>Groups that helped organized efforts to support Sanchez included Raices En Tampa, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Young American Dreamers, and United We Dream.</p> <p>The actions on Sept. 25 temporarily stopped Sanchez from being deported. The struggle continues against other deportations, and the people understand that this fight is not over.</p> <p>Marisol Marquez explained, "Obama deports 1100 people like David Sanchez each day. That's why we're planning on protesting him and his 'Deportation Party' on Election Day, to demand a stop to all deportations. We need Deferred Action for All and legalization for all 11 million undocumented in the U.S."</p> People's Struggles David Sanchez deportations Florida Immigration Obama Raices en Tampa Rights Tampa Immigrant Rights Fri, 26 Sep 2014 20:38:20 +0000 Fight Back 4357 at Miami joins global Peoples Climate March <p>Miami, FL - Miami joined people around the world on Sept. 21 in the Peoples Climate March, demanding action from a UN special summit on climate change. The largest march was held in New York City, where the summit will take place on Sept. 23. In countries across the globe, hundreds of thousands of people joined together to demand action, not just words from politicians.</p> <p>The Miami march, nearly 200 strong, started in downtown. It ended at the Intracoastal Waterway as a powerful visual reminder of sea level rise that could put Miami underwater. Along the way, the marchers chanted slogans, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Keystone pipeline’s got to go!” and “We are unstoppable! Another world is possible!” The group stuck around for almost an hour after the march ended as speakers discussed different aspects of the climate movement, such as how it affects workers, ecosystem rehabilitation and the U.S. military’s wars for oil.</p> <p>Lorenzo Canizares, a long time labor activist, said it is important to workers because “one of the things that we are concerned about is the ability to have good jobs that are able to sustain a family and that make a worthwhile living and so we believe that our participation on this issue is of utmost importance.”</p> <p>In Miami, communities are vulnerable to climate change. Already, Miami Beach is experiencing regular flooding brought on by a rise in sea levels. By the end of this century, there may be a rise in levels from six to ten feet. Most of the land in Miami is less than ten feet above sea level.</p> <p>The climate movement has been disappointed over and over again by the U.S.’s refusal to commit to a meaningful reduction in its carbon output. The U.S. failed to agree to the Kyoto protocol to reduce carbon and current legislation aimed at reducing carbon only aims for 7% below 1990, not enough to bring the amount below 350 parts per million, which is what climate scientists say is a safe level. The irony is that while the U.S. refused to take action, the nations most likely to be affected are the ones who produce the least pollution.</p> <p>The Peoples Climate march is refreshing for the environmental movement. Florida Atlantic University student Gonzalo Vizcardo pointed out, “This march and the one in New York has succeeded in the sense that compared to past years, the breadth and depth of organizations present has been a lot more representative of social justice movements generally.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Climate Change Environmental Justice People's Climate March Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:09:05 +0000 Fight Back 4356 at Victory for Khalida Jarrar as expulsion order defeated <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Sept. 21 statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP):</em></p> <p>Comrade Khalida Jarrar, deputy in the Palestinian Legislative Council and leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, announced on September 16 that the occupation’s order to expel her to the city of Jericho effectively ended the previous day after the military court revised the expulsion order from six months to one month, which then expired.</p> <p>Jarrar spoke at a press conference in the permanent solidarity tent she erected in the yard of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, in protest as she refused to abide by the expulsion order. She immediately moved to the protest tent on August 20 after the order was delivered by over 50 armed occupation soldiers invadint her Ramallah home.</p> <p>Jarrar said that the rejection of the occupation’s order, the public pressure campaign and the international solidarity movement around her case forced the occupier to back down and yield to these pressures. She saluted all of the international parliamentarians and organizations who rejected the expulsion order and supported her rejection of the unjust action, noting the widespread recognition of the illegitimate and illegal order by Arab and international forces.</p> <p>Omar Nazzal read a statement on behalf of the Committee in Solidarity with Khalida Jarrar, noting that dozens of delegations have flocked to the protest tent, organized sit-ins at the UN building, and engaged in a public and media campaign at the Palestinian and international levels.</p> <p>The Committee considers this to be a victory for the Palestinian national cause, not simply Khalida Jarrar as an individual said Nazzal, noting that there is popular strength and willpower confronting the occupier.</p> Gaza International Israel Palestine Palestine Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:07:25 +0000 Fight Back 4354 at Minneapolis emergency protest: Stop bombing Syria! <p>Minneapolis, MN - Over 25 people joined an emergency protest at the Minneapolis Federal Building on Sept. 23 to demonstrate against U.S. bombing of Syria.</p> <p>The protest, organized with a few hours notice, was held to oppose the start of U.S. air strikes against targets in Syria.</p> <p>The event was initiated by the Minnesota Peace action Coalition.</p> <p>A statement issued by organizers said in part, “The U.S. intervention in Syria has nothing to do with concern for human rights, but is all about trying to maintain political and economic control of the region. The Pentagon does not send cruise missiles and bombs to help people, but to dominate the region. It is up to the people of the region to determine their own future, not the U.S."</p> <p>The statement continues, "The bombing campaign in Syria expands the new U.S. military intervention in the region that started this summer in Iraq. The new chapter of U.S. military intervention threatens the people of the region and will cost billions of dollars, funds that are needed for human needs."</p> <p>The picket is being organized in response to U.S. bombing of targets in Syria. The U.S. bombing campaign started Sept. 23.</p> <p>The protest was organized under the call of “Say No to U.S. Bombing of Syria - No New Wars and Interventions - Stop the U.S. War in Iraq - Funds for Jobs and Housing, Not Wars and Interventions.”</p> <p>Speaking at the event, Meredith Aby-Keirstead of the Anti-War Committee said, “Last night the U.S. war on terror expanded in a new way in Syria with 20 targets hit by U.S. bombers. 47 Tomahawk missiles were launched from two destroyers. The skies of Syria were filled last night with U.S. surveillance drones. I can only imagine the fear and devastation the U.S. caused last night to the people of Syria.”</p> <p>Aby-Keirstead continued, “It’s important to note that this war isn’t just in Syria. The U.S. also launched four more air strikes in Iraq last night, bringing the total number since August, 2014 to 194.” </p> <p>MPAC has called for a protest on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 3:00 pm to continue speaking out against the new U.S. wars. The Sept. 27 protest will start at 3:00 p.m. at Mayday Plaza, 3rd Street and Cedar Avenue in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis.</p> Antiwar Movement Anti War Funds for Jobs and Housing Not Wars and Interventions Hands Off Syria Minnesota Peace Action Coalition Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:58:41 +0000 Fight Back 4353 at