Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle http://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 Twin Cities anti-war activists respond to Trump Afghanistan speech http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/22/twin-cities-anti-war-activists-respond-trump-afghanistan-speech <p>Minneapolis, MN - A group of Twin Cities anti-war and peace activists gathered to listen to the Monday, August 21 speech on Afghanistan given by President Trump. In the speech Trump outlined what amounts to a continuation of the war.</p> <p>A statement by Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC) said, “The war in Afghanistan is Trump’s war. He has continued the war and now threatens to escalate it.”</p> <p>The MPAC statement went on to say, “U.S. troops in Afghanistan are an occupying force, the Afghan people will not tolerate a foreign occupation army. As long as the U.S. interferes in affairs of the people of Afghanistan, there will be resistance.”</p> <p>“The U.S. war in Afghanistan has gone on for almost 16 years. In just a couple of years we will have the spectacle that some of the U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan will have been born after the war started. The people of the U.S. are opposed to the endless series of wars and interventions around the world.”</p> <p>Stephanie Taylor, a member of the Anti-War Committee said, “This endless war has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and refugees. It has cost taxpayers over $1 trillion. What Donald Trump indicated tonight makes it clear that this war and occupation by the U.S. will continue.”</p> <p>Taylor went on to say, “The focus of U.S. aggression is on the Muslim peoples of the Middle East – and this has become worse with Donald Trump as commander in chief. The litany of countries across the Middle East and in North Africa that the U.S. is attacking is sickening: Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Yemen are all in the cross-hairs of the U.S.”</p> <p>The MPAC coalition has called for a protest on Saturday, October 7 under the call of “Stop Endless U.S. Wars,” which will mark 16 years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/22/twin-cities-anti-war-activists-respond-trump-afghanistan-speech#comments Antiwar Movement Afghanistan Afghanistan War Donald Trump Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:33:36 +0000 Fight Back 6264 at http://www.fightbacknews.org PFLP salutes anti-racist struggle in Charlottesville, calls for struggle against racism, fascism, Zionism and imperialism http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/21/pflp-salutes-anti-racist-struggle-charlottesville-calls-struggle-against-racism-fascism-zi <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).</em></p> <p>The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine mourns the martyr Heather Heyer and wishes speedy healing to the wounded anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia in the United States as they confronted a racist, fascist rally on Saturday, August 12. The martyr and the wounded are part of the global list of those who have fallen in the struggles of all peoples to confront racist powers and they will always be remembered as such.</p> <p>Contrary to the assertions of some corporate media in the United States, the fascist rally in Virginia in “defense” of a Confederate statue is not a divergence from U.S. ruling politics but a reflection of them. The United States has always been built on the genocide of Indigenous people and the theft of Indigenous land, the genocidal confiscation of Black lives and Black labor and the globally murderous power of capitalism and imperialism.</p> <p>The rise of these kinds of demonstrations of racism are also an expression of the crisis of U.S. capitalism and imperialism in the Trump era, as well as the “debate” of the two imperialist political parties. The actions of anti-racists in Charlottesville and elsewhere disrupt this “debate” and highlight the true history and reality of the United States.</p> <p>The bombastic framework of Trump’s threats against peoples and nations around the world and the officially-sanctioned scapegoating of oppressed communities comes hand in hand with the attempt by Trump to label racist attacks as “violence on many sides.” Indeed, it is reminiscent of attempts to label the resistance of the Palestinian people to occupation, oppression and colonialism as a “cycle of violence” or “hatred” rather than a just fight for liberation against a brutal colonizer.</p> <p>The protesters who confronted the racist forces are, by and large, Left and revolutionary forces, including Black movements who have been on the front lines confronting U.S. state violence and repression, Communists, anarchists and radical socialists who are committed to fighting and stopping racism and oppression. The denunciation of racist terror on the streets of Charlottesville must also be combined with the denunciation of U.S. racist terror in police uniform on the streets of cities across the country as well as that in advanced armored vehicles and warplanes on peoples around the world. Trump’s current threats are nothing more than an ongoing continuation of U.S. imperialism’s bloody wars on the peoples of the world, especially of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, which have continued in an uninterrupted imperial march for well over a century.</p> <p>Whether in Palestine or in Virginia, it is right to resist racist terror, including and especially that of the state. The far right in Europe, the United States and the Zionist movement share information, resources and propaganda against Black, Arab and other movements, peoples and communities (even while the far-right spouts anti-Jewish slogans alongside its anti-Black and anti-Arab hatred on American and European streets) – and the racist state powers and police authorities in the United States and the Israeli occupation are linked together with aid, resources and the common goals of Zionism and imperialism. We must also be united to fight racism, Zionism, capitalism and imperialism in all of our diverse, connected struggles for justice and liberation.</p> <p>Zionist organizations and movements within the United States have been engaged in long-lasting alliances with fellow right-wing and racist forces around the world. While some are attempting to position themselves after Charlottesville as opponents of racism, these organizations are in fact defenders and proponents of racist oppression, not only in Palestine but in the United States and elsewhere where they have pushed for profiling and repression of Arab, Muslim, Black and other community organizing and even engaged in direct spying and surveillance on a range of anti-racist forces. Just as Israel traded arms and support with apartheid South Africa, the Zionist movement today is deeply engaged with other racist forces as has been vividly displayed on the streets in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Germany and elsewhere.</p> <p>These racist and fascist mobilizations in the United States have taken a specific interest in targeting Arab and Muslim communities, immigrants and refugees and framing them as a “danger” or a “threat.” The targeting of Arabs and Muslims by these groups comes hand in hand with intense police surveillance and so-called “anti-terror” legislation that seeks to criminalize the Palestinian liberation movement and drive the community into fear.</p> <p>Palestinians in the United States are deeply involved in the fight against racism and oppression of all forms, confronting the forces inflicting that violence on the world, and the Palestinian flag is a worldwide symbol of resistance to racist terror. We stand with the movements in the United States fighting back against racism and fascism as part of our global struggle. Long live international solidarity!</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/21/pflp-salutes-anti-racist-struggle-charlottesville-calls-struggle-against-racism-fascism-zi#comments People's Struggles anti-fascism Anti-fascism Anti-Racism Anti-racism CHarlottesville Donald Trump Palestine Palestine U.S. Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:06:20 +0000 Fight Back 6263 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Salt Lake City protesters say no to Trump’s north Korea war threats http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/20/salt-lake-city-protesters-say-no-trump-s-north-korea-war-threats <p>Salt Lake City, UT — Demonstrators gathered in downtown Salt Lake City to protest Trump’s threats of war on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, August 19. They chanted, “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!” as cars honked horns in support.</p> <p>“We want people to know that the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] isn’t the aggressor here,” said Nick Godfrey, an activist with the Utah Anti-War Committee (UAWC). “We were never taught the real history of this conflict. The U.S. has been unjustly threatening this nation for decades.”</p> <p>The U.S. currently has 28,500 troops in south Korea near the demilitarized zone with north Korea. There are U.S. Navy ships off the coast, including two aircraft carriers, and the U.S. rushed to impose the THAAD missile system on south Korea, despite opposition from the incoming president. This week the U.S. will launch military exercises with at least 17,500 U.S. troops, and the possible threat of B1 bombers or aircraft carriers to simulate an invasion and all-out war on the DPRK.</p> <p>The Saturday protest, organized by UAWC and held in front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, drew about two dozen people with signs that read “Hands off the DPRK!” and “I won’t fight the rich man’s war!” The protest was in response to Trump’s recent provocations, wherein he threatened to bring “fire and fury” down on north Korea, later adding that U.S. military options were "locked and loaded." U.S. provocations are likely to produce a defensive response from north Korea.</p> <p>“The U.S. needs to keep manufacturing the supposed north Korean threat so it can control the region, said UAWC organizer Dave Newlin. “If north Korea didn’t exist, the U.S. would have to invent it in order to maintain dominance.”</p> <p>Activist and former congressional candidate Ben Frank pointed to the immense economic forces at play around north Korea that go unacknowledged in the mainstream media.</p> <p>“Basically, there are many incentives for the U.S to be aggressive towards north Korea outside of the pretenses given on corporate news,” Frank said. “Such as the fact that scientists estimate that north Korea is sitting on about $6 trillion worth of mineral resources.”</p> <p>Cristobal Villegas, secretary for the Utah Democratic Party, spoke on how deeply the war mentality has penetrated U.S. society, and how getting involved with local politics can help break down the military-industrial system.</p> <p>"War is not only an action by a nation, but rather it is a mindset. War has penetrated many sociological barriers. An example is how Salt Lake City and Utah treat people experiencing homelessness,” he said.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/20/salt-lake-city-protesters-say-no-trump-s-north-korea-war-threats#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Donald Trump DPRK Korea North Korea Salt Lake City Trump U.S. Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:51:12 +0000 Fight Back 6262 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Rasmea Odeh at Detroit sentencing: ‘We will continue to struggle for our cause! We will liberate our Palestine!’ http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/17/rasmea-odeh-detroit-sentencing-we-will-continue-struggle-our-cause-we-will-liberate-our-pa <p>Detroit, MI - Palestinian American icon Rasmea Odeh made her final court appearance in Detroit on August 17. Odeh knew the sentence before she arrived. The defense and prosecution agreed to a sentence of removal from the U.S., and Judge Gerswhin Drain approved. Odeh was looking forward to making her public statement before the court.</p> <p>Defense attorney Michael Deutsch spoke first, explaining how beloved and respected Rasmea Odeh is in Chicago, and all the good work with Palestinian immigrant women and their families. Deutsch explained, “This case should never have been brought.”</p> <p>Then U.S. prosecutor Jonathan Tukel responded by talking about terrorism charges and that she was found guilty of fraud, but failing to mention Odeh’s successful appeal.</p> <p>Finally Odeh was invited to speak. 150 Rasmea Odeh supporters who came to rally in pouring rain packed the courtroom and nearly filled the overflow room where they watched on large video monitors. Odeh addressed Judge Drain, saying her remarks were not directed at him personally, and she appreciated being allowed to tell her story.</p> <p>In an effort to give context to why she was on trial, Odeh began to explain how her family, village, and people were forced at gunpoint from their homes and land, with many being shot and murdered by Zionists. “They turned us into a stranger in our own country. They pushed us into refugee camps in Palestine and other Arab countries.”</p> <p>Judge Drain interrupted, saying the case is about false statements on applications, not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.</p> <p>Not missing a beat, Odeh replied by looking over at prosecutor Tukel and saying, “I am not a terrorist. My people are not terrorists. I want to prove that we are not terrorists.”</p> <p>She added, “The U.S. must be held responsible for their support and financing of Israeli crimes.”</p> <p>Drain interrupts again, backhandedly threatening Odeh with contempt of court, and repeating what he said, but adding “I don’t want to hear any more about this Israel-Paki...Palestine.”</p> <p>There were three interruptions by Judge Drain, but when Odeh finished, the overflow room clapped and cheered for her.</p> <p>Odeh now must report to ICE and work out a plan with them. <em>Fight Back!</em> will follow and report on this as details are revealed. Odeh will spend no time in jail, Judge Drain released her bond, and she loses her citizenship prior to being deported.</p> <p>As 150 people rallied outside the Detroit court, Rasmea Odeh spoke in Arabic, saying, “I am angry the judge did not let me tell my story. This is not a case about lying on a form. It is a case of being Palestinian and our work in the community. It is political.”</p> <p>She finished saying, “The U.S. is a partner in the crimes of Israel. We will continue to struggle for our cause! We will liberate our Palestine!”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/17/rasmea-odeh-detroit-sentencing-we-will-continue-struggle-our-cause-we-will-liberate-our-pa#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Committee to Stop FBI Repression Palestine Palestine political repression Political Repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Women's Movement Immigrant Rights In-Justice System Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:12:34 +0000 Fight Back 6261 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Rasmea Odeh at Detroit sentencing: ‘We will continue to struggle for our cause! We will liberate our Palestine!’ http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/17/rasmea-odeh-detroit-sentencing-we-will-continue-struggle-our-cause-we-will-liberate-our-pa <p>Detroit, MI - Palestinian American icon Rasmea Odeh made her final court appearance in Detroit on August 17. Odeh knew the sentence before she arrived. The defense and prosecution agreed to a sentence of removal from the U.S., and Judge Gerswhin Drain approved. Odeh was looking forward to making her public statement before the court.</p> <p>Defense attorney Michael Deutsch spoke first, explaining how beloved and respected Rasmea Odeh is in Chicago, and all the good work with Palestinian immigrant women and their families. Deutsch explained, “This case should never have been brought.”</p> <p>Then U.S. prosecutor Jonathan Tukel responded by talking about terrorism charges and that she was found guilty of fraud, but failing to mention Odeh’s successful appeal.</p> <p>Finally Odeh was invited to speak. 150 Rasmea Odeh supporters who came to rally in pouring rain packed the courtroom and nearly filled the overflow room where they watched on large video monitors. Odeh addressed Judge Drain, saying her remarks were not directed at him personally, and she appreciated being allowed to tell her story.</p> <p>In an effort to give context to why she was on trial, Odeh began to explain how her family, village, and people were forced at gunpoint from their homes and land, with many being shot and murdered by Zionists. “They turned us into a stranger in our own country. They pushed us into refugee camps in Palestine and other Arab countries.”</p> <p>Judge Drain interrupted, saying the case is about false statements on applications, not about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.</p> <p>Not missing a beat, Odeh replied by looking over at prosecutor Tukel and saying, “I am not a terrorist. My people are not terrorists. I want to prove that we are not terrorists.”</p> <p>She added, “The U.S. must be held responsible for their support and financing of Israeli crimes.”</p> <p>Drain interrupts again, backhandedly threatening Odeh with contempt of court, and repeating what he said, but adding “I don’t want to hear any more about this Israel-Paki...Palestine.”</p> <p>There were three interruptions by Judge Drain, but when Odeh finished, the overflow room clapped and cheered for her.</p> <p>Odeh now must report to ICE and work out a plan with them. <em>Fight Back!</em> will follow and report on this as details are revealed. Odeh will spend no time in jail, Judge Drain released her bond, and she loses her citizenship prior to being deported.</p> <p>As 150 people rallied outside the Detroit court, Rasmea Odeh spoke in Arabic, saying, “I am angry the judge did not let me tell my story. This is not a case about lying on a form. It is a case of being Palestinian and our work in the community. It is political.”</p> <p>She finished saying, “The U.S. is a partner in the crimes of Israel. We will continue to struggle for our cause! We will liberate our Palestine!”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/17/rasmea-odeh-detroit-sentencing-we-will-continue-struggle-our-cause-we-will-liberate-our-pa#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Committee to Stop FBI Repression Palestine Palestine political repression Political Repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Women's Movement Immigrant Rights In-Justice System Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:12:34 +0000 Fight Back 6261 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Costa Rica celebrates Fidel Castro’s birthday and Cuban revolution http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/17/costa-rica-celebrates-fidel-castro-s-birthday-and-cuban-revolution <p>San José, Costa Rica - A group of organizations gathered at the office of the UNDECA union in the center of the capital San José on the evening of August 12 to celebrate Fidel Castro Ruz’s 91st birthday. The Cuban Embassy in Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Cuba organized the event.</p> <p>100 people participated in the celebration. Among them were members of pro-Cuba organizations, Cubans who live in Costa Rica, and diplomats from Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia.</p> <p>The activity began with words from Bruno Coto, the coordinator of the Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, who saluted the Cuban revolution and its principal leader Fidel Castro Ruz. Then former Deputy Sergio Erick Ardón spoke, referring to his experiences and friendship with the Cuban revolution. Michel Ravelo also shared some words as representative of the Cuban embassy in Costa Rica, thanking people for their solidarity and commitment to the Cuban revolution and against the economic blockade of his country.</p> <p>As part of the celebration, Magda Solís and Ana Robles, both members of the Costa Rican Committee in Solidarity with Cuba, presented a plaque for the Fidel Castro Ruz Library at the Liceo de Poas rural public secondary school. Due to the initiative of its librarian Vladimir Murillo, the library there will now be named after the commander in chief of the Cuban revolution.</p> <p>Finally the activity ended with a party with cake and candles and singing “Happy birthday Fidel”, bringing together all the participants in showing affection and solidarity among all the peoples of Latin America.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/17/costa-rica-celebrates-fidel-castro-s-birthday-and-cuban-revolution#comments Costa Rica Cuba Fidel Castro Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:54:04 +0000 Fight Back 6259 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Celebran Fidel Castro y revolución cubana en Costa Rica http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/6260 <p>San José, Costa Rica - Con motivo de la celebración de los 91 años del nacimiento del Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz un grupo de organizaciones costarricenses se reunieron por la tarde el pasado 12 de agosto, en la sede del sindicato UNDECA, en el centro de la capital, San José. La actividad fue convocada por la Embajada de Cuba en Costa Rica y por el Comité Costarricense de Solidaridad con Cuba.</p> <p>Se contó con una participación de 100 personas, entre los que se encontraban miembros de organizaciones amigas de Cuba, residentes cubanos y diplomáticos de las embajadas de Cuba, Venezuela y Bolivia.</p> <p>La actividad contó con diferentes momentos, inicio con las palabras del coordinador del Comité Costarricense de Solidaridad con Cuba, compañero Bruno Coto, el cual dirigido un saludo a la revolución Cubana y su principal dirigente Fidel Castro Ruz. Posteriormente, el exdiputado Sergio Erick Ardón, en el discurso central de la actividad, se refirió a su experiencia y amistad con la revolución cubana. También dirigió unas palabras el señor Michel Ravelo, como representante de la Embajada de Cuba en Costa Rica, agradeciendo las muestras de solidaridad y compromiso con la revolución Cubana y contra el bloqueo económico a su país.</p> <p>Como parte central de este acto, las compañeras Magda Solís y Ana Robles, ambas del Comité Costarricense de Solidaridad con Cuba, hicieron entrega de una placa que identificará a la Biblioteca Fidel Castro Ruz del Liceo de Poas, una institución pública rural de segunda enseñanza, que logró gracias a la iniciativa de su bibliotecario, Vladimir Murillo, que la biblioteca lleve el nombre del Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana.</p> <p>Finalmente, la actividad concluyó como toda una fiesta, donde el pastel con velitas y el canto de “feliz cumpleaños Fidel”, unieron a todas y a todos los participantes compartiendo diferentes muestras de cariño y solidaridad entre los pueblos de América Latina.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/6260#comments Costa Rica Cuba Fidel Castro Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:55:40 +0000 Fight Back 6260 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Chicago protest in solidarity with Charlottesville: ‘Drive Trump from office!’ http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/16/chicago-protest-solidarity-charlottesville-drive-trump-office <p>Chicago, IL — 1000 protesters gathered in Chicago to protest the murder of Heather Heyer and the injuring of 19 others by American Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12.</p> <p>“Donald Trump is the commander in chief of white supremacist terrorism,” called out Frank Chapman at the start of the rally in Federal Plaza. “We call for driving Trump from office by a mass movement of the people.”</p> <p>Chapman, field organizer of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, explained the demands of the protest. “We demand that the Department of Justice root out, arrest, indict, prosecute, and jail the leaders of this racist conspiracy against our democracy.”</p> <p>“In Chicago, we have a problem with white supremacist attacks, but they come from the Chicago police,” said Nesreen Hasan of the Arab American Action Network in her speech. A popular chant during the march was, “Cops and Klan go hand in hand!”</p> <p>The coalition behind the protest included Black Lives Matter, Assata’s Daughters, Arab American Action Network, Organized Communities Against Deportations, the Filipino youth group Anakbayan, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/16/chicago-protest-solidarity-charlottesville-drive-trump-office#comments People's Struggles anti-fascism Anti-fascism Anti-Racism Anti-racism chicago Donald Trump Trump U.S. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 02:59:58 +0000 Fight Back 6258 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Farewell rally for Rasmea Odeh, Palestinian icon http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/16/farewell-rally-rasmea-odeh-palestinian-icon <p>Chicago, IL - A standing room only crowd of over 1200 people packed the International Union of Operating Engineers hall for the August 12 farewell event in honor of Palestinian liberation icon Rasmea Odeh. The hosts were those forces that had worked tirelessly on her behalf for four years: the Rasmea Defense Committee, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), and the Coalition to Protect People’s Rights.</p> <p>Guests were energetically greeted by volunteers: two dozen Arab American, African American and Latino youth from the community in which Rasmea has organized for more than a decade. The emcees, Hatem Abudayyeh and Nesreen Hasan of USPCN, thanked and acknowledged each of the 50 local and national organizations that endorsed the event.</p> <p>As the lights dimmed on stage, Nesreen introduced a special video by Tom Callahan. Photos of Rasmea at community events flashed across the projector screens to the soundtrack of a powerful poem in Arabic and English by Rania Salem about Rasmea and Palestinian liberation. The video also featured interviews with community organizers who worked closely with Rasmea, including Fatmah Tabally of the Arab American Action Network and Rosi Carrasco of Organized Communities Against Deportations.</p> <p>Emcee Nesreen Hasan highlighted that one of Rasmea’s greatest accomplishments as a community organizer was founding the over 800-member Arab Women’s Committee (AWC). In Arabic, Maysoon Gharbieh gave a moving speech about her experience in the AWC, explaining how it provided both an environment where she was comfortable to share her struggles as an immigrant Arab woman and the skills to challenge the racist attacks against her community.</p> <p>Between speakers, political hip-hop artists Rebel Diaz and Shadia Mansour electrified the crowd with songs that praised resistance to political repression, police crimes, and the U.S.-Israeli occupation. Local singing duo KoStar performed the poignant <em>Chi City Goddamn Goddamn</em>, about the infamous Chicago police murder of Laquan McDonald.</p> <p>Meredith Aby of CSFR spoke passionately about the mass mobilization of hundreds of supporters to every one of Rasmea’s Detroit and Cincinnati court hearings in her fight against persecution by the U.S. Attorney. Aby emphasized the major victory brought by these mobilizations: Rasmea will not be forced to spend a single day in prison or immigration detention. The goal of the U.S. government was a minimum sentence of five to seven years. Rasmea's legal team was also brought on stage and honored with awards for its incredible defense work.</p> <p><strong>Rasmea Odeh: The case of a Palestinian hero</strong></p> <p>After living in this country for 20 years, Rasmea was charged in 2013 with an immigration violation that was always just a pretext to criminalize the Palestine liberation movement.</p> <p>The U.S. government alleges Rasmea did not disclose her ‘conviction’ in Palestine by an Israeli military court over 48 years ago. She was captured in a mass arrest of 500 Palestinians, and found guilty based on a confession coerced through torture, including electric shock and sexual assault.</p> <p>Rasmea testified about her torture at the United Nations when she was released in 1979. Her lead attorney Michael Deutsch of the People’s Law Office insisted, “It was well known that she was convicted...The U.S. Embassy knew it, the State Department knew it, and Immigration should have known it.”</p> <p>Through the massive organized defense campaign to win justice for Rasmea, the U.S.-backed state of Israel has been put on trial, and its policy of torture and sexual assault is on permanent record in a U.S. court of law.</p> <p><strong>African American-Palestinian solidarity</strong></p> <p>The entire hall shook with thunderous applause as keynote speaker and former African American political prisoner, Dr. Angela Davis, took the stage. For many years, Davis has been a vocal supporter of the Palestine liberation movement against the U.S.-Israeli occupation. It was Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which was formed out of the struggle to free Angela Davis in the early 1970s, who raised Rasmea’s case to Davis.</p> <p>Chapman was awarded for his commitment to African American-Palestinian solidarity, and he then introduced Davis to the stage. To a crowd of raised solidarity fists, Davis exclaimed, "Many of us are sad and angry that we could not achieve a complete victory in Rasmea’s case. As Fidel used to say, ‘We will turn a defeat into a victory!’”</p> <p>Davis added that while Rasmea will be forced to leave her community by the U.S. government, her case has been raised to the national and international level, creating a base of mass support to resist future political attacks against the Palestinian and Arab American communities of Chicago and beyond.</p> <p>As Rasmea graced the stage, she was greeted with a standing ovation and cheers for several minutes. She made a pledge of continued resistance, that no matter where she will go, she will always fight for Palestinian liberation.</p> <p>The Rasmea Defense Committee is urging everyone to join us in Detroit on August 17 at 1:30 p.m., to show our love and support for Rasmea at her sentencing in Federal Court, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd. This will be her last court appearance and Rasmea is planning to make a statement.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/16/farewell-rally-rasmea-odeh-palestinian-icon#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement chicago Israel Palestine Palestine Political Prisoners political repression Political Repression Rasmea Odeh Rasmea Odeh Stop FBI Women's Movement In-Justice System Thu, 17 Aug 2017 02:28:28 +0000 Fight Back 6257 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Thousands of Utahns at anti-racist rally in solidarity with Charlottesville http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/15/thousands-utahns-anti-racist-rally-solidarity-charlottesville <p>Salt Lake City, UT — In the wake of the brutal Nazi attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, Utahns gathered in downtown Salt Lake City. They condemned American fascists and racists, and called on people to fight back against the rise of right-wing terrorism and hate.</p> <p>Moroni Benally, who organized the event with the Utah League of Native American Voters, told the crowd that he was saddened but not surprised by the events in Charlottesville, pointing out that people of color face attacks on their lives and communities almost daily. He asked the crowd to be “a bulwark against hate.”</p> <p>After leading the crowd in a moment of silence, Banally finished by saying, “Take a stand against Nazism! Take a stand against fascism! We will not tolerate it! We will not allow it to exist!”</p> <p>Over 2000 people attended the August 14 event, held at Washington Square, despite a threatening rainstorm. Demonstrators carried signs that read “White silence = white violence,” “Make Nazis afraid,” and “End white supremacy!”</p> <p>A number of speakers took to the stage to point out the long history of white supremacy in the U.S.</p> <p>“The policies and actions that the U.S. has employed to oppress, exploit and murder Black and brown people living inside its borders have always been one of the greatest inspirations to fascists in every corner of the world,” said Ian De Olivera, an organizer with Utah Against Police Brutality.</p> <p>Speaker Brooks Bergman, with Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Utah, spoke to a recent incident where white supremacist posters were placed around the school’s student center. Bergman said that Students need to fight this type of provocation on their campuses.</p> <p>Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes tried to address the crowd, but was shouted off the stage by protesters chanting, “We want justice!” Earlier in the day, Reyes had praised Trump’s hollow and belated statement on the Charlottesville attack. Reyes has also supported the racist movement to turn over sacred Native American lands in southern Utah to oil and gas developers.</p> <p>A small number of right-wing types appeared, but were quickly chased off by the anti-racist demonstrators.</p> <p>Other speakers included representatives from Racially Just Utah, Peaceful Advocates for Native Dialogue &amp; Organizing Support, the Utah Women of Color Council, Equality Utah, as well as local activists and politicians.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2017/8/15/thousands-utahns-anti-racist-rally-solidarity-charlottesville#comments People's Struggles anti-fascism Anti-fascism Anti-Racism Anti-racism CHarlottesville Salt Lake City Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:17:39 +0000 Fight Back 6254 at http://www.fightbacknews.org