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 ‘Blacksgiving’ gathering at Minneapolis Fourth Police Precinct occupation demands justice for Jamar Clark <p>Minneapolis, MN - On Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, the round-the-clock occupation outside the Fourth Police Precinct in North Minneapolis continued demanding justice for Jamar Clark, the Black man killed by Minneapolis police on November 15.</p> <p>Hundreds of people came throughout the day to support and join the Black Lives Matter occupation, as supporters brought massive amounts of home-cooked food that filled an extended tent that covered half a block.</p> <p>Throughout the day, people gathered around the now iconic fire pits and tents that have been blocking an entire block of Plymouth Avenue - a major Minneapolis street - for well over a week now, as well as covering the front yard of the Fourth Precinct. There were speakers, prayers, singing, dancing, discussion and a whole lot of food.</p> <p>The #Blacksgiving gathering crystallized a spirit of community building after a week of sharp struggle. On Monday, Nov. 23, armed white supremacists infiltrated the occupation, then, when they were discovered and escorted away, they shot five Black Lives Matter protesters. This white supremacist attack provoked a massive, defiant outpouring of support for the movement for Justice for Jamar. On Nov. 24, thousands marched from the Fourth Precinct to City Hall and there were walkouts at several high schools around the city and at the University of Minnesota. Solidarity marches also happened Nov. 25 in cities around the country, including New York, Tampa, Houston, and more.</p> Police Brutality African-American Anti-racism Black Lives Matter Jamar Clark Fri, 27 Nov 2015 04:06:01 +0000 Fight Back 5121 at Palestinian hero Leila Khaled says launching of Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association a step forward <p>Manila - Palestinian icon Leila Khaled visited the Philippines for the first time this November to attend the Fifth General Assembly of the International League of Peoples' Struggle and the launch of the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association. She was the keynote speaker of the International Women's Alliance and she spoke before the Filipino people in Manila during the protest actions against the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. She also visited the temporary encampment of lumads (indigenous peoples) at a church ground.</p> <p>Leila Khaled catapulted into global prominence in the 1960s after she hijacked two airliners and led her people's struggle to liberate their homeland from Israeli occupation. Many decades later, she remains a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and is now a member of the Palestinian National Council.</p> <p>In an interview by Kodao Production, she talked about what she thinks of her trip. Below are highlights of her statement and a link to the interview.</p> <p>On the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association, Khaled said, "It is a step forward for the relations of our two people and the peoples' struggle." She said the formation of the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) committee as a common project will help isolate Israel to end its apartheid occupation of Palestine.</p> <p>She added that the Fifth ILPS General Assembly that drew representatives from peoples' organizations in 37 countries is an important venue to discuss issues and common concerns comprehensively. It was here that she learned that there is a genocide being wage by the U.S.-backed Philippine puppet government and multinational mining corporations against the lumads and indigenous peoples in the Philippines who were fighting to save their ancestral lands from imperialist plunders.</p> <p>She said that the genocide against the lumad is very much the same as the genocide wage by Israel and the Zionists against the Palestinian people.</p> <p>Khaled also stated, "Now through internet and social media it is easier to get information about the national democratic revolution in the Philippines. It is important that our people are educated with the struggle of other people, especially the struggle of the Filipino people, because we believe that we are part of the international movement for liberation and freedom against oppression and intervention of imperialist powers."</p> <p>To view the interview with Leila Khaled <a href="" title=""></a></p> People's Struggles Antiwar Movement International Middle East Palestine Palestine Philippines Philippines Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:36:25 +0000 Fight Back 5120 at Tampa students speak out for Jamar Clark and Minneapolis protesters shot by white supremacists <p>Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organized a speak-out against the Minneapolis police murder of Jamar Clark, an African American man shot in the head while lying face down on the ground. The students also spoke in solidarity with the five African American protesters in Minneapolis shot by white supremacists.</p> <p>University of South Florida (USF) student Taina Pantoja of Tampa Bay SDS spoke in solidarity, “They are not alone in the fight against white supremacy. We must keep demanding justice for lost Black lives and continue the fight against white terrorism!” </p> <p>Another USF student, Rahma Elmohd with Students for Justice in Palestine, explained international connections, “We recognize that the terror tactics used against Palestinians have been used to trained U.S. police on privately-funded trips to Israel, so police can further militarize their oppression of the Black community in America.” </p> <p>Danya Zituni of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression-Tampa continued on the themes of political repression and national oppression, “Agencies of the state like the FBI and police work hand in hand to target revolutionaries, such as Rasmea Odeh. Rasmea Odeh spoke at the Aug. 29 march in Chicago for community control of the police. Odeh compared the Black liberation movement with the Palestinian liberation movement.” </p> <p>Students across the country are alarmed by the recent threats to African American students, both before and after their organizing victory at the University of Missouri. Dozens of campuses held solidarity rallies after the victory, when the threats turned violent in tone. This past week SDS organized opposition to calls from white supremacists to create ‘white student unions’ after the Missouri student victory. </p> <p>In response to the far right intimidation attempts and shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota SDS moved quickly to help initiate a campus walk-out. Over 400 students showed up and marched together with African American and other student leaders. The unified student response to the national oppression of African Americans has student leaders looking for more fundamental answers. </p> <p>"The only thing that can stand up to our national oppression is Black power!" said Jerry Evans of Tampa Bay SDS. </p> <p>Jessica Schwartz of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization raised people’s spirits with calls for African American liberation and led chants, “One solution: revolution!” </p> <p>There is a rising tide of African American students making demands against inequality on campus and organizing against police crimes and terror in the community. SDS and other student groups are spreading support from campus to campus and standing up against threats and intimidation with solidarity both on campus and in the streets. </p> <p>Solidarity actions with the Minneapolis protests have taken place in Philadelphia, New York City, Houston and other cities.</p> People's Struggles Police Brutality Anti-racism Jamar Clark Police Brutality Tampa In-Justice System Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:31:41 +0000 Fight Back 5119 at Houston rally stands in solidarity with Minneapolis protests <p>Houston, TX - Over 35 activists gathered Nov. 25 at MacGregor Park in front of a statue of Martin Luther King to rally in solidarity with the protests in Minneapolis that are demanding justice for Jamar Clark. White supremacists recently shot five African American protesters at the occupation in front of the Fourth Precinct Station of the Minneapolis Police Department.</p> <p>The Houston, event was organized by Out of the Flames of Ferguson, and included activists from many organizations. In an atmosphere of unity, speakers called for justice for Jamar Clark and all victims of police brutality.</p> People's Struggles Police Brutality Anti-racism Houston Jamar Clark Police Brutality In-Justice System Fri, 27 Nov 2015 00:17:51 +0000 Fight Back 5118 at U.S. Colombia solidarity activist speaks in Cuba at seminar against foreign military bases <p>Havana, Cuba - Nov. 24 was the second day of the fourth International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, held in Guantanamo Province. There were several presentations made by select delegates as well as group discussion.</p> <p>One presenter, James Jordan, a leader in the Free Simon Trinidad/Ricardo Palmera campaign, delivered a lecture entitled “The Imperial Infrastructure: Why Does the U.S. Build Foreign Military Bases and Jails?” It was well received and tied together several struggles, including opposition to police brutality, the prison-industrial complex, and U.S. intervention.</p> <p>The following is an interview with Jordan.</p> <p><em>What are the connections between the movement to abolish foreign military bases and the Colombian solidarity movement?</em></p> <p><strong>James Jordan: </strong>The obvious connection is there are several U.S. bases in Colombia. However, you also can see the connection in that the Colombian government and its military follow all of the whims, decisions and directions of the U.S. government. So, in some ways, Colombia itself is a U.S. military base. In other words, U.S. military has effectively turned Colombia into an outpost of U.S. imperialism. The Colombian military is able to carry out what the U.S. military can’t get away with.</p> <p><em>This is day two of the conference. Thus far, in what ways do you see this event uniting forces from countries around the world to move forward in the movement to abolish foreign military bases?</em></p> <p><strong>Jordan: </strong>What I see coming out of World Peace Council is an emerging campaign to shut down NATO. What hasn’t come together yet, but what I hope this event will lead to, is international days of action against war in Syria and ongoing interventions around the world. This seminar brings together an international movement that I believe will be really sharp against NATO and vocal in the call to dismantle it. I hope it will contribute to and call for worldwide action against aggressions that are leading us to the possibility of World War Three and nuclear conflict.</p> <p><em>This seminar comes at a historic moment. Not only are the Cuban and U.S. governments taking steps to normalize relations, but there is also the Colombia peace process happening in Havana, Cuba. How do the National Committee to Free Simon Trinidad / Ricardo Palmera goals intersect with the seminar’s goals?</em></p> <p><strong>Jordan:</strong> The seminar has reiterated support for the peace process in Colombia. This is good because the peace process will not endure without international support. All forces working for world peace must pay attention to these negotiations and raise our voices in support. Adding international voices to the demand to free Simon Trinidad is important and absolutely crucial to moving the peace process forward.</p> Colombia Cuba fourth International Seminar for Peace and Abolition of Foreign Military Bases Guantanamo Bay James Jordan Simón Trinidad Thu, 26 Nov 2015 23:50:40 +0000 Fight Back 5117 at The whole damn system is guilty as hell! #Justice4Jamar <p><em>The following editorial was distributed at the Nov. 24 protests in Minneapolis demanding justice for Jamar Clark.</em></p> <p><em>“The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”</em> has been chanted at anti-police brutality protests around the country, and at the occupation of the Fourth Precinct in North Minneapolis this past week. It was proven true in the streets of North Minneapolis last night when white supremacists shot five anti-racist protesters in cold blood.</p> <p>Last night, masked, armed white supremacists showed up at the North Minneapolis Fourth Precinct protest encampment that has been going on for nine days now demanding justice for Jamar Clark, an unarmed Black man who was executed by the Minneapolis police. These masked white supremacists refused to identify themselves or say why they were there, so the protesters told them to leave and escorted them away, at which point the white supremacists shot five of the protesters. Those individuals who fired the guns are clearly guilty of a heinous anti-social crime. But why is the whole system guilty and not just those individuals?</p> <p>For context, there is a long history of police collusion with white supremacists, including working closely with the KKK to try to terrorize Civil Rights protesters in the South in the 1950s and 60s. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover's slanders against Martin Luther King also gave a green light for his assassination.</p> <p>Also in recent days, supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked a Black Lives Matter protester and Trump backed them up, giving another green light to physically attack the movement. Trump is a billionaire and part of the 1% who profit from the exploitation of African American, Latino and other oppressed nationality labor. Trump is well known for his anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim and anti-Black views.</p> <p>With the shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis, there are very legitimate questions about the police response on the scene when this happened: responding slowly, macing the Black Lives Matter protesters trying to help their comrades who had been shot and making mocking comments to the protesters. But that’s just one aspect of it.</p> <p>Whether these armed white supremacist gunmen are working directly with people inside the system is another question that bears real investigation, based on some video footage and eyewitness reports of people who have been at the occupation and claim to have seen these men there before. Also their ability to shoot five people a block from the police precinct and then escape freely is rather remarkable.</p> <p>But more than anything, what makes the system guilty is the wall of intransigence and silence for over a week, from Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Harteau on down, and the rabid ravings from the head of the MPD ‘union’, Bob Kroll. The armed white supremacists clearly interpreted this as a green light to commit this criminally anti-social act.</p> <p>As the Fourth Precinct occupation has continued in the face of over a week of intransigence from the system, in recent days racist police supporters have gotten increasingly hostile online, spewing hundreds of messages leveling very chilling threats against groups and individuals that speak out for #Justice4Jamar. Activists have gotten threatening phone calls in the middle of the night, and harassing emails and Facebook messages. Pro-police social media pages point out organizations and individuals to attack and their supporters immediately oblige, spewing racist venom on command, with the clear intent to silence and intimidate those speaking out against police crimes and demanding justice.</p> <p>So this shooting doesn't happen in a vacuum - it is enabled by the institutional wall of silence and lock-step that the system demands of its politicians and police in such a situation. It doesn't matter what Mayor Hodges personally thinks - she may be personally upset by what happened to Jamar Clark and she may find Bob Kroll distasteful but she has chosen to play her role as the leader of the system in Minneapolis, and keep her silence in the face of the MPD's execution of Jamar Clark for over a week. And she also failed to disagree with the police chief, police ‘union’ head, and media’s vilifying of protesters over the last week, which clearly these white supremacists took as a green light to attack the protesters.</p> <p>After the murder of Jamar Clark, did Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Harteau speak out against the horror of the police executing an unarmed Black man, and say that they would make sure it never happened again? No, of course they didn’t, and won’t. This exploitative and oppressive system requires its political representatives to lock ranks behind its armed enforcers (the police) even in the face of the criminal state execution of an unarmed Black man. Hodges was able to position herself as a supporter of racial justice when she was a city council member and in her campaign for mayor. But now that she’s mayor she is playing her role in allowing the white supremacist policing system to roll along, and her intransigence this week to the Black Lives Matter demand to release the video footage of the Jamar Clark execution made the protesters’ entirely reasonable demands seem unreasonable.</p> <p>The intransigence of city and police leadership is why the occupation was still going on after nine days and white supremacists had been whipped up into such a frenzy that they took their wild threats out of the cyber world and turned them into real bullets last night. The system's top representative’s intransigence to the protesters’ demands to see the video footage, and the police and media vilification of the protesters over the past week gave the violent white supremacists the signal that it was ok to attack. And they did. That’s why we say “the whole damn system is guilty as hell” and we need a new system.</p> Police Brutality #Justice4Jamar African-American Anti-racism Jamar Clark Police Brutality Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:07:52 +0000 Fight Back 5116 at Greek general strike set for Dec. 3 <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the call from the Greek labor organization, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) for a general strike.</em></p> <p><strong>PAME calls the trade unions to alert General-Nationwide Strike Uprising!</strong></p> <p>On December 3 all workplaces to be deserted. Take all necessary steps to prepare and organize the strike, so as every city to be swept by people’s protests! PAME calls all workers, the unemployed, the women, the pensioners, the self-employed and the small farmers, in common struggle to block the premeditated crime of the Capital-the Greek Government-the EU against social security. The vultures of private insurance companies and the merchants of health already sharpen their claws.</p> <p>No consensus in the massacre! Rise Up Now!</p> <p>Block the dismantling of social security!</p> <p>Say no to the new state budget that brings new weights and measures at the expense of poor people, new brutal cuts in social security, tax increases for the poor, privileges for the rich.</p> Greece All Workers Militant Front of Greece (PAME) general strike Labor Thu, 26 Nov 2015 03:59:48 +0000 Fight Back 5115 at Protests build against police killing as Minneapolis unites against white supremacist attacks <p>Minneapolis, MN – Some 3000 people marched two-and-a-half miles from the Minneapolis Police Fourth Precinct to City Hall to protest the police murder of Jamar Clark, and demand the prosecution of the police officers that were involved. The march from the Fourth Precinct started in the afternoon of Nov. 24. Protesters have been occupying the precinct around the clock since the killing on November 16.</p> <p>The previous night, a violent attack by masked white supremacist gunmen sent five protesters to the hospital, all of them African American men. In response, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis called on supporters to “reject white supremacist terrorism, and reject white supremacist police violence.”</p> <p>That call was answered by people from across the Twin Cities, who joined the march, refusing to back down in the face of racist terror. Many families with young children joined the march, students from at least four Minneapolis high schools organized walk-outs, and many union workers came back after rallying over weekend. As the crowd assembled, one speaker said, "They tried to break our spirit, but we just grew and grew!"</p> <p>As the protest set off from North Minneapolis around 2:30 p.m., people from the neighborhood joined in, and many chanted from their porches. The crowd continued to grow and the marched filled the streets of downtown, arriving at City Hall around 4:00 p.m. Speakers, poets and chants kept the crowd united for an hour, before marching back to North Minneapolis, where a major concert carried on into the night on the street in front of the Fourth Precinct police station.</p> <p>Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has refused to bring charges against the police that killed Jamar Clark, stating today that his office will “present the case to a grand jury for consideration of criminal charges.” Black Lives Matter Minneapolis responded, “Using a broken grand jury system that convicts less than 3% of cops is completely unacceptable.”</p> <p>While the occupation of the Fourth Precinct continues, no rallies are set for Wednesday, the day of Jamar Clark’s funeral. There will be a food and clothing drive and a give-away to benefit the Northside community.</p> Police Brutality African-American Anti-racism Black Lives Matter Jamar Clark Police Brutality Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:46:23 +0000 Fight Back 5114 at U of MN students walk out, rally in response to white supremacist shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters <p>Minneapolis, MN - 400 students at the University of Minnesota rallied Nov. 24 on Northrop Plaza in response to the prior night’s white supremacist shooting of five Black Lives Matter protesters in North Minneapolis. After the U of MN rally, they went together to the city-wide march for Justice for Jamar Clark, the Black man who was executed by the Minneapolis police a week ago, sparking an around-the-clock occupation of the front of the Fourth Police Precinct in North Minneapolis.</p> <p>To gather students for the rally at Northrop, a group of students went through several classroom buildings chanting for justice for Jamar, and encouraging students to join them. Many did.</p> <p>The campus rally included powerful speeches by Javaris Bradford, president of the Black Student Union; Ken Gonzales of API’s for Equity and Diversity; Nora Abdelal of Students for Justice in Palestine and Abeer Syedah, vice president of the Minnesota Student Association. The walkout and rally were organized in just a few hours, after the news of the shooting the night before began to spread.</p> Police Brutality African-American Anti-racism Black Lives Matter Jamar Clark Student Movement Wed, 25 Nov 2015 04:50:55 +0000 Fight Back 5113 at AFSCME Local 3800 stands in solidarity with striking Kohler workers <p>Minneapolis, MN – “The strikers at Kohler are fighting for all workers. They are fighting for our future. We need to stand with them,” says Cherrene Horazuk, the president of AFSCME Local 3800, the union that represents clerical workers at the University of Minnesota.</p> <p>On Nov. 19, members of AFSCME 3800 adopted a resolution in support of the Kohler workers and agreed to send them $250 to help their strike.</p> <p>The resolution reads:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><strong>Solidarity with UAW 833 - Kohler Workers on Strike!</strong></p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Whereas, 2000 Kohler workers in Wisconsin are on strike to win higher pay and an end to the two-tier wage system.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Whereas, as trade unionists we believe in the principles of equal pay for equal work, the right to a living wage, and the power of solidarity.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Whereas, UAW 833 is fighting against a two-tier wage system that betrays future workers and undermines those principles.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Whereas, the strength of UAW 833 is in their unity and determination as evidenced by the fact that 94% of the union's members voted to strike.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Whereas, past struggles of Kohler workers, including the longest major strike in US history, have inspired the labor movement for generations.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Whereas, the current action by UAW 833 will play an important role in the post "right to work" era in Wisconsin, showing labor unions once again how to bring back the fight and win for working people.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Therefore be it resolved, that AFSCME 3800, University of Minnesota Clerical Workers, stands in solidarity with the members of UAW 833 who are on strike for higher pay and an end to the two tier wage system.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Be it further resolved, that AFSCME 3800 encourages its members and members of the broader labor movement to support the strike through donations to the strike fund and participation in strike support activities.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Be it finally resolved, that AFSCME 3800 will encourage AFSCME Council 5, AFSCME International, Minnesota Central Labor Councils of the AFL-CIO, and the MN AFL-CIO, to pass similar resolutions and provide support as needed to the striking union members.</p> AFSCME 3800 Kohler Strike Strikes Labor Wed, 25 Nov 2015 04:46:17 +0000 Fight Back 5112 at