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 Students say, ‘The uprising continues’ at 15th Annual SDS Conference in Minnesota http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/20/students-say-uprising-continues-15th-annual-sds-conference-minnesota <p>Minneapolis, MN - On the weekend of Oct. 16-17, almost 170 students convened at the University of Minnesota for the 15th National Convention of National Students for a Democratic Society. It was the first time SDS organizers had gathered together physically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>Last year, SDS hosted a series of national webinars, but this experience was vastly different. Student organizers gathered together to discuss the four crises of the last two years - pandemic, economic crisis, police killings, and environmental disasters. Another theme was "From George Floyd to Winston Smith, The Uprising Continues!"</p> <p>On a cold Saturday morning, by a building overlooking the Mississippi River, students waited outside for a novel convention experience: to present their vaccination cards, proof of a negative test, and, for out-of-towners, to be tested for COVID-19. It took longer than the program indicated, but went well and the attendees’ enthusiasm were palpable. Masked up, the students were free to commence.</p> <p>The speakers and workshop presenters had a mighty task ahead of them: to do justice to the momentous uprisings of 2020. But they succeeded. They took the grief of the over 720,000 lives lost in the last few years and transformed it into anger and a determination to resist. They gave rousing presentations that had students thumping on tables, clapping and whooping. The halls rang with chants of, “No justice, no peace! No racist police!” and “Dare to struggle, dare to win!”</p> <p>Speakers told riveting stories of the Minneapolis uprising for Justice for George Floyd, the burning of the Third Precinct, and drummed up support for victims of police crimes across the country. They spoke up against the increase in police and state repression of protesters as a result.</p> <p>“We’re currently trying to organize people to fight all of the charges and get all of them dropped because the city can’t continue to talk a big talk about how they admire civil rights activists and how much they are inspired by community organizing and then turn to such brutal tactics of state repression,” said Jae Yates, a guest speaker from the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar Clark organizer, commenting on the arrest of over 646 protesters in November 2020 who marched in Minneapolis against police crimes.</p> <p>Students shared their own experiences of taking these fights against police to their own campuses, in student campaigns to defund, disband, or gain outright control over university police. At least one campus SDS chapter has been formally suspended by their administration as a result.</p> <p>Attendees also heard from SDS leaders about the effects of the economic crisis, the mass layoffs and unemployment. They talked of student demonstrations that stopped budget cuts, new campaigns for living wages for campus workers. They spoke of the big picture importance of solidarity between workers and students and applauded strikes such as the ongoing United Auto Workers’ strike at John Deere, and the successful Nabisco strike.</p> <p>“Each of these anecdotes indicate that improved working economic conditions must be tirelessly fought for—even on college campuses,” said Terrence Freeman of Appleton, Wisconsin Students for a Democratic Society at Lawrence University.</p> <p>Freeman continued, “Victories are won through direct action, not armchair activism. The enemy, the academic establishment, will stubbornly defend their interests. Universities are businesses run by individuals who seek to extract as much profits from their employees as possible. Thus, administrators will concede nothing unless we demand them to do so--unless we organize and create crises that they cannot simply ‘shut down’ or subdue. These people will not willingly increase our pay. They will do nothing that reduces their profit margins. The world rests upon the labor of the worker, not the idleness of the boss. It is time for folks to recognize this fact.”</p> <p>Students renewed their commitment to oppose U.S. intervention against Venezuela, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and more places. Moreover, students heard a full panel of speakers who talked about climate change, climate justice, and the fight to stop oil pipeline Line 3, which does not belong on Ojibwe land.</p> <p>“Go Fossil Free reports that nearly $15 trillion has been divested from the fossil fuel industry and over 200 academic institutions have been a part of this work which has become a central component of the student movement in the last decade. The University of Minnesota announced its own commitment to fossil fuel divestment. This was won after a decade of organizing on this campus and alongside organizers for this movement all over the world. We are not responsible for this planet’s destruction but we are inheriting its impacts. And we will follow indigenous leadership and stand for these lands to be returned to their original peoples because we demand a livable future,” said Emma Hjelle of the University of Minnesota Students for Climate Justice.</p> <p>On Sunday, students passed resolutions and made several calls for action to carry through the new school year, from Fall 2021 to Summer 2022. They resolved to continue the fight to get cops off campus and form coalitions to try to gain control of campus police departments.</p> <p>Ellis Howard from Texas A&amp;M University Students for a Democratic Society said, “The national SDS convention really gave us a lot of ideas for organizing in our community. For example, we are looking to talk more about Community Police Accountability Councils (CPAC) as we carry out our campaign for racial and ethnic justice on campus. We would have never had the opportunity to learn about it with such nuance without our attendance at the convention.”</p> <p>In further resolutions, SDSers stated they would say no to attacks on abortion rights from state to state. They resolved to fight racism on campus, respond to racist attacks and hate crimes, and fight for higher enrollment of Black and Chicano students. They declared support for labor and striking workers and their own campus unions. They resolved to continue to oppose U.S. wars. They announced that they would continue to fight for protections for LGBTQ+ students.</p> <p>“This convention I learned about how to stay militant in the next year and have plans to take ideas back to my local SDS chapter and make our current campaign to defund USFPD even better and more militant,” said Taylor Cook from the Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society.</p> <p>Cook continued, “I was amazed by people’s struggles across the country. I loved to hear the ways we as students and organizers in general are fighting back on all fronts, despite the difficult conditions that resulted from the U.S. government’s mishandling of the pandemic. This next year will be more militant than ever. Across the country we will land blows to our university administrations, and we will make our campuses a progressive and safe space for all students and people from oppressed communities.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/20/students-say-uprising-continues-15th-annual-sds-conference-minnesota#comments People's Struggles Students for a Democratic Society Student Movement Thu, 21 Oct 2021 01:07:47 +0000 Fight Back 9321 at http://www.fightbacknews.org March on Minneapolis city attorney home demands dropping charges against 646-plus arrested protesters http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/19/march-minneapolis-city-attorney-home-demands-dropping-charges-against-646-plus-arrested-p <p>Minneapolis, MN - On Saturday evening, October 16, 300 people marched through Uptown Minneapolis to the home of the city attorney, to demand that he drop the charges against the 646-plus protesters arrested on November 4, 2020, and to demand community control over police in Minneapolis. The November arrests targeted some of the more than 1000 students, teachers, union members and activists who took to the streets in Minneapolis to demand police accountability and speak out against Trump’s attempts to steal the election. Last year’s march was part of a national day of protest initiated by the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.</p> <p>When the 2020 march entered Interstate 94, they were surrounded by hundreds of State Patrol who carried out the largest mass arrest in Minnesota history, detaining protesters for nearly six hours. Minneapolis police brutalized bystanders who attempted to document this violation of rights, while University of Minnesota police and transit police also assisted in the operation.</p> <p>The first to speak on Saturday, Jerome Hilson, tied together the fight for community control of the police and the fight to defend the 646. Hilson is a member of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J), which organized the march last November and this weekends’ protest against the charges. "CPAC - Civilian Police Accountability Commission - what that does is that's going to give us control over the police, so that they can no longer abuse their power like they did that night or any other night. It is actually going to give us democratic power over the police - 646, let's do that! They cannot scare us, they cannot intimidate us; we will fight for what we need. All power to the people."</p> <p>The October 16 protest took place as the University of Minnesota chapter hosted the Students for a Democratic Society national conference. Many SDS members were arrested in the November march in Minneapolis, and student organizers have experienced police repression across the country. Speakers included members of the Tally 19, organizers who were arrested during a Black Lives Matter demonstration last September in Tallahassee, Florida. Their charges include felonies, and the state government has since passed anti-protester bill HB 1 into law.</p> <p>The protest stopped outside the home of City Attorney Jim Rowader, for speeches, dance music, noise-making and chants including, “646! Drop the charges!” The lights were on, but the city attorney never made an appearance. After nearly an hour, protesters left the otherwise quiet block, and marched the mile back to the park where the protest began.</p> <p>Arraignments for the 646-plus began October 8 and will continue for six weeks. During the first kangaroo court session, the city attempted to coerce arrestees into entering plea deals, namely participating in a “restorative justice” option or community service in exchange for dismissing the charges. While individual protesters may need to take a plea deal for a number of valid reasons, the majority want to fight these charges because the mass arrests violated protesters' First Amendment rights.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/19/march-minneapolis-city-attorney-home-demands-dropping-charges-against-646-plus-arrested-p#comments People's Struggles 646 arrestees Political Repression Wed, 20 Oct 2021 01:35:58 +0000 Fight Back 9320 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Bannering for ‘Legalization for All!’ in Minneapolis http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/18/bannering-legalization-all-minneapolis <p>Minneapolis, MN - In the early evening of October 13, a group of about 15 people gathered on the corner of Lake Street and Bloomington Avenue in South Minneapolis and held banners that read: “Legalization for all” and “No militarized border.” The action was organized by the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC).</p> <p>Over the summer, U.S. Senate Democrats released a budget resolution that would include legalization for millions of undocumented people, including those with DACA or TPS status, as well as many essential workers and farm workers. The bill passed through the first four steps until it reached the Senate parliamentarian, who advised the Senate not to include legalization for immigrants in the bill. The fight is not over, as Democrats are still working on alternate proposals that would still keep some form of legalization for many in the bill.</p> <p>The bannering event was planned to raise awareness about the bill and to encourage community members passing by to put pressure on representatives to make sure legalization for undocumented immigrants is still included in the bill.</p> <p>Many passing cars honked in support of the messages on the banners and both drivers and pedestrians who expressed interest were given flyers with information about the bill and a call to action to call, email, or tweet their representatives to demand that they do all that they can to make sure the pathway to citizenship is kept in the bill.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/18/bannering-legalization-all-minneapolis#comments People's Struggles legalization for all Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) Immigrant Rights Tue, 19 Oct 2021 03:26:21 +0000 Fight Back 9318 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Interview with leader of Peruvian Coca-Cola workers: “We are stopping production” http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/18/interview-leader-peruvian-coca-cola-workers-we-are-stopping-production <p><em>On October 14, Fight Back! interviewed Cristiano Mayta, a trade unionist in Peru, to learn more about an upcoming strike of Coca-Cola bottling plant workers.</em></p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em>:</strong> What is your organization?</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:</strong> I am the International Secretary of the union SINATREL at a Coca-Cola bottling plant. I am also a member of an organization called Socialist Left of Peru (Izquierda Socialista Perú).</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em>:</strong> When is the strike set to begin?</p> <p><strong>Mayta:</strong> At 7 a.m. in the morning of October 20 this year.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em>:</strong> Why is your union going on strike?</p> <p><strong>Mayta:</strong> Because the company does want to offer a solution to our list of demands for 2021-22. We have been meeting for the past seven months with zero results. The company claims they cannot meet our demands because of the pandemic. We do not believe this, because all throughout the pandemic we worked like normal and still generated profits for them.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em>:</strong> At how many different plants will the strike take place?</p> <p><strong>Mayta:</strong> The company we work at is called Arca Continental Lindley and it bottles for Coca Cola, Inka Cola, Sprite, Fanta and others. It has five bottling plants in Perú and the workers at these five bottling plants will be on indefinite strike.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em>: </strong>What does an indefinite strike mean?</p> <p><strong>Mayta: </strong>It just means that we are stopping production, withholding our labor power for an undefined time until the company brings solutions to our demands.</p> <p><strong><em>Fight Back!</em>:</strong> How can we support your struggle, your strike?</p> <p><strong>Mayta:</strong> It has been two straight months that we have put on virtual protests and others in person. We ask that you share on social media our protests and statements from Facebook and Twitter from the page called GLORIOSO SINATREL PERU.</p> <p>I want to ask you for the unconditional support in the method of struggle for our strike that starts October 20. Aside from the social media shares, send us written statements of solidarity from your organization or union, and or a short video with a solidarity message for the workers and our union SINATREL PERU. A big working-class thank you.</p> <p>Long Live The Workers of the World!</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/18/interview-leader-peruvian-coca-cola-workers-we-are-stopping-production#comments People's Struggles Americas Coca-Cola International Peru Tue, 19 Oct 2021 00:58:43 +0000 Fight Back 9317 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Entrevista con un líder de los embotelladores Peruanos de Coca-Cola: “Vamos a parar la producción” http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/9319 <p><em>¡Lucha y Resiste! entrevistó a&nbsp;Cristiano Mayta, un sindicalista peruano y un internacionalista, el 14 de octubre para aprender sobre de la lucha de su sindicato.</em></p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!:</strong>&nbsp;¿Cuál es su organización?</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:&nbsp;</strong>Tengo el cargo de secretario de exteriores del sindicato SINATREL (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Embotelladora Arca Continental Lindley), también soy militante de la organización política Izquierda Socialista Perú.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!:</strong>&nbsp;¿Cuándo se va a comenzar la huelga?</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:&nbsp;</strong>el 20 de octubre a las 7am hora peruana, del presente año recién empezamos</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!:</strong>&nbsp;¿Por qué se van a hacer la huelga?</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:&nbsp;</strong>Por que la empresa no quiere dar solución a nuestro pliego de reclamos 2021-2022, llevamos en reuniones ya casi como 7 meses, pero sin resultados, la empresa aduce q no puede atender el pliego de forma integral por que fue afectado por la pandemia, esto no es tan cierto, porque durante toda la pandemia trabajamos normal, fruto de ello genero utilidades en el año 2020.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!:&nbsp;</strong>¿En cuantas ciudades o plantas embotelladoras&nbsp;entraran la huelga?</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:&nbsp;</strong>La empresa donde laboramos se llama&nbsp;Arca Continental Lindley que se dedica a embotellar Coca Cola, Inka Cola, Sprite, Fanta y otros. tiene 5 plantas embotelladoras en el Perú, los trabajadores de estas 5 plantas entramos en huelga indefinida.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!:</strong>&nbsp;¿Que significa una huelga nacional infinida?</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:&nbsp;</strong>Significa que dejamos de trabajar por tiempo indefinido (hasta que solucione el pliego de reclamos)&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!:</strong>&nbsp;¿Como podemos apoyar su lucha, la Huelga?&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Cristiano Mayta:</strong>&nbsp;Desde hace dos meses estamos haciendo protestas virtuales y ahora presenciales, pedimos su apoyo difundiendo en las redes sociales, estas protestas las pueden encontrar en el Facebook de GLORIOSO SINATREL, con este mismo nombre en Twitter.</p> <p>Quiero pedirles su apoyo incondicional con esta medida de lucha que vamos a empezar el día 20 de octubre 2021. Pueden apoyarnos de diferentes formas como: difundiendo por las redes sociales&nbsp;nuestras protestas que serán publicadas, enviando un pronunciamiento escrito o tal vez un pequeño video de 60 segundos en respaldo y solidaridad a nuestra institución SINATREL PERU en entra en esta huelga nacional indefinida que empezaremos.</p> <p>Saludos sindicales a todos y todas.</p> <p>Que viva la clase trabajadora del mundo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/9319#comments People's Struggles Americas Coca-Cola International Peru Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:24:20 +0000 Fight Back 9319 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Angry mothers and students protest a proposed charter high school in East LA http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/16/angry-mothers-and-students-protest-proposed-charter-high-school-east-la <p>East Los Angeles, CA - Over a 100 students, teachers and parents from Garfield High School (GHS) held a protest in East Los Angeles on October 13, against a planned construction of a new charter high school.</p> <p>East Los Angeles unincorporated area has become saturated with private charter schools, causing a crisis in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) public schools. Mother Antonieta Garcia spoke about the damage another charter school will cause to public schools and the environment. GHS students led chants denouncing the charter school.</p> <p>Garfield High School is being threatened with the construction of a new Ednovate Charter High School only a block away. Ednovate is a corporate charter school operator with wealthy investors in its board and plans to expand. Ednovate plans to construct a two-story building with 16 classrooms for a high school a block from GHS. Ednovate used a maneuver to avoid public scrutiny, using a land planning tactic to avoid the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study. This new high school will devastate GHS with less students, leading to less funding.</p> <p>Ricardo Rivas and Juan Garcia, two great teachers at GHS, thanked the community of parents and students for participating. They also talked about the vast history and tradition of excellence at GHS.</p> <p>Lupe Torres with Centro CSO’s Education Committee and an East LA resident talked about getting involved by doing a community door-to-door walk to reach more residents. A Centro CSO forum is set for November 4, at 5 p.m. on charters and privatization attacks on public schools. Torres urged all to contact CSO to get involved.</p> <p>Eastside Padres also joined and supported the protest.</p> <p>LAUSD enrollment is already down, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic hardships. East LA already has Esteban Torres High School and Garfield High School and both have excellent instruction programs. Also nearby are Boyle Heights’ Roosevelt High School, Mendez High School and Bravo Magnet High School. There is no need for another high school in the Eastside area.</p> <p>Garfield High School has a long history of academic and cultural excellence. Multiple generations of families have graduated from GHS. Jaime Escalante, a well-known math teacher, became famous at GHS. He is portrayed in the movie <em>Stand and Deliver</em>. The well-known rock group Los Lobos also attended GHS.</p> <p>To get involved with Centro CSO’s Education Committee, be sure to contact CSO at 323-943-2030, <a href="mailto:CentroCSO@gmail.com">CentroCSO@gmail.com</a>, or @CentroCSO on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The next Centro CSO public meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on October 20.</p> <p><em>Carlos Montes is a graduate of GHS, a long time advocate for public education, as one of founders of the Brown Berets in ELA he was a leader of the historic ELA HS Walkouts of March 1968 a key event in the urban Chicano Movement of the late 1960’s. HBO produced the movie Walkout about these events.</em></p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/16/angry-mothers-and-students-protest-proposed-charter-high-school-east-la#comments People's Struggles Centro CSO Ednovate Garfield High School Student Movement Sun, 17 Oct 2021 01:25:08 +0000 Fight Back 9316 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Free Carmen Villalba! Paraguay illegally detaining political prisoner http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/15/free-carmen-villalba-paraguay-illegally-detaining-political-prisoner <p>The Paraguayan government is illegally detaining Carmen Villalba despite her completion of all prison sentences. Carmen Villalba is a political prisoner under arbitrary detention. This violation of the law by Paraguayan officials is a continuation of the vendetta, often deadly, against her and her family.</p> <p>Carmen Villalba was arrested in 2004 for her revolutionary activities as a member of the Patria Libre (PL) party. Villalba was part of the struggle against the repressive Stroessner government - a bloody dictatorship, fully supported by the United States. Stroessner harshly repressed workers, peasant and indigenous communities in Paraguay. While imprisoned, Villalba joined the EPP (Ejército del Pueblo Paraguayo) a guerrilla group that was formed out of the dissolution of the PL.</p> <p>Carmen remains a potent figure of the people’s movements in Paraguay. This provokes severe repression of her and her family by the government and right-wing forces. In 2010 her son Nestor was assassinated. On September 2, 2020, two nieces of Carmen, Lilian Mariana and Maria Carmen Villalba, both minors and citizens of Argentina, were killed in secret by the Paraguayan army, near the border with Argentina. Carmen’s 14-year-old daughter, Carmen Elizabeth Oviedo Villalba “Lichita”, went missing on November 30, 2020, and is presumed to be the victim of a forced disappearance. Carmen desperately needs to be released to search for her daughter.</p> <p>Carmen was convicted in three different cases for which she has served time in prison since 2004. She has completed all her sentences but the Paraguayan Court refuses to recognize her time served in one of her cases. In the case in question, Carmen was sentenced to 17 years of imprisonment.</p> <p>Under Paraguayan Law (Codigo Procesal Penal Art. 494) the court is to take into consideration restrictions on liberty when calculating pre-sentence confinement credit. Carmen was served an arrest warrant from the attorney general and detained on this case on February 28, 2005.</p> <p>Carmen’s lawyer asked the court to recognize this pre-sentence confinement credit from February 28, 2005 and produced a properly authenticated copy of the warrant. The court claimed that a copy of the warrant could not be found in its file and denied Carmen’s request.</p> <p>Additionally, the attorney general is unwilling to turn over the document from its file to the court. Because of this legal sleight of hand, Carmen is facing more than a decade of unjust imprisonment. This revolutionary is illegally detained and subject to arbitrary detention.</p> <p>Supporters of Carmen Villalba have called an international day of action for October 15, 2021. Here in the United States, you can participate by contacting the Paraguayan Embassy at 202-798-7200 or 202-798-8810, or by email at <a href="mailto:dcconsulpar@mre.gov.py">dcconsulpar@mre.gov.py</a> and say:</p> <p>Free Carmen Villalba! ¡Libertad para Carmen Villalba!</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/15/free-carmen-villalba-paraguay-illegally-detaining-political-prisoner#comments People's Struggles Carmen Villalba Patria Libre Political Prisoners Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:49:11 +0000 Fight Back 9315 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Entrevista: Presidenta del SEIU Local 73 Dian Palmer habla acerca de la huelga de trabajadores del Condado Cook http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/9314 <p>Desde el otoño de 2019, SEIU Local 73 ha realizado cuatro huelgas. En ese otoño se unieron al Sindicato de Maestros de Chicago en su lucha contra las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago; en septiembre de 2020 se unieron a la Asociación de Enfermeras de Chicago en el Hospital de la Universidad Illinois en Chicago; en diciembre de 2020 realizaron una huelga de un día con 2,500 trabajadores en contra del gobierno del Condado Cook; y este verano han realizado una huelga histórica de 18 días con esos mismos trabajadores en contra de la misma administración.</p> <p>La presidenta del SEIU Local 73, Dian Palmer, encabezó todas estas huelgas – más huelgas que cualquier otro sindicato local o internacional en los Estados Unidos durante ese periodo. Tres de las huelgas ocurrieron durante la pandemia de covid-19. El único sindicato en el país que se le acerca a este récord es el Sindicato de Maestros de Chicago, pero sus huelgas – aunque fueron más grandes – se realizaron a lo largo de siete años.</p> <p>Muchos sindicalistas, incluyendo el SEIU a nivel nacional, le están prestando atención al Local 73. ¡Lucha y Resiste! tuvo la oportunidad de hacerle unas preguntas a la presidenta Palmer acerca de las lecciones que ha dejado la huelga en el Condado Cook.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!: ¿Podrías hablar acerca de lo que hacen los trabajadores del Condado Cook y por qué están en huelga?</strong></p> <p><strong>Dian Palmer: </strong>SEIU Local 73 representa alrededor de 2,500 trabajadores en cuatro áreas principales de trabajo y ocho contratos: salud del Condado Cook, la oficina del alguacil, las oficinas del presidente del condado, y la oficina desecretarios. Lamentablemente, estos trabajadores han laborado por varios años con contratos que producen ganadores y perdedores usando un sistema en el cual el condado le incrementa los sueldos a algunos trabajadores y se olvida de otros. El condado también jugó un juego sucio ya que el condado se salió con la suya pagando tarifas inferiores a las del mercado para los trabajadores que trabajaban de guardia porque un miembro calculó mal la cantidad de trabajadores que calificarían para el pago de guardia.El condado se lavó las manos y nos dijo, “es su problema. Ustedes van a recibir esta cantidad de dinero. Háganlo rendir.” Esto resultó en que a los trabajadores se les pagara tarifas inferiores a las del mercado por tres años.</p> <p>Por último, el condado a menudo dejaba atrás a grupos de trabajadores en el mismo trabajo. Es decir, los trabajadores que realizaban el mismo trabajo con una antigüedad similar ganaban diferentes salarios.</p> <p>Los trabajadores se quejaban de la falta de dignidad y respeto en el trabajo. Frecuentemente, el condado castigaba a los trabajadores por motivos de enojo y venganza. El condado recibió ayuda federal por la pandemia, pero se negó a incrementarle los sueldos a trabajadores con esa ayuda. Algunos trabajadores y sus familias se enfermaron, y lamentablemente algunos fallecieron. Lo mínimo que el condado pudo haber hecho fue incrementarles los sueldos a todos los trabajadores. Algunos recibieron incrementos y algunos no. De nuevo, ganadores y perdedores.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!: ¿Además de los sitios en huelga, nos podrías describir las demostraciones organizadas por los huelguistas? ¿Cuál era la estrategia general?</strong></p> <p><strong>Palmer: </strong>Nuestra estrategia era hacer público nuestro mensaje y llevar nuestros asuntos a los ciudadanos y sobre todo a los votantes. Organizamos manifestaciones, marchamos por las calles, tuvimos una vigilia e hicimos algunas sentadas en el ayuntamiento.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!: ¿Qué tipo de apoyo recibió la huelga de parte de otros sindicatos y la comunidad?</strong></p> <p><strong>Palmer: </strong>La ayuda de otros sindicatos fue clave. Nos ayudaron a desarrollar nuestra estrategia para las negociaciones, nos dieron apoyo financiero, y se comunicaban con los funcionarios. Muchos de ellos nos llamaron para informarnos de su apoyo y afirmar su compromiso. Le quiero dar un saludo especial al presidente Greg Kelly [SEIU Health Care Illinois/Indiana], quien se reunió con nosotros hasta la madrugada durante una sesión de negociaciones.</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!: 18 días es bastante tiempo para estar sin trabajar. ¿Qué hizo el sindicato para mantener la unidad entre los huelguistas?</strong></p> <p><strong>Palmer:</strong> Los trabajadores fueron increíbles. Los mantuvimos informados en cada etapa del proceso. Lucharon porque se dieron cuenta, como dijo Barack Obama, de que “eran el cambio por el que estaban esperando.”</p> <p><strong>¡Lucha y Resiste!: ¿Cómo describirías el resultado de la huelga?</strong></p> <p><strong>Palmer:</strong> El resultado no fue todo por lo que luchamos, pero fue un logro en comparación con lo que teníamos. Desafortunadamente, tuvimos que dejar dos asuntos para arbitraje porque el condado se negó a negociar un acuerdo razonable para aumentar el sueldo a los trabajadores menos pagados, por un lado, y, por el otro, a los que han trabajado por más tiempo. Fue una dura batalla con el condado. Lanzaron una campaña difamatoria en contra de los lideres del local con comentarios verbales y escritos, y sus acciones fueron muy parecidas a la represión sindical. ¡Imagínate eso! Pero seguimos adelante porque a fin de cuentas, es lo que merecen nuestros miembros. Es lo que merecen todos los trabajadores.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/node/9314#comments People's Struggles SEIU Local 73 Labor Fri, 15 Oct 2021 15:43:37 +0000 Fight Back 9314 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Philippines: Call for collective action to extend aid to victims of massive flooding http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/13/philippines-call-collective-action-extend-aid-victims-massive-flooding <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Oct. 12 statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines. </em></p> <p>The Party calls on all revolutionary forces to lead in efforts to mobilize all possible resources to extend aid to all victims of massive flooding in various provinces, especially in northern Luzon.</p> <p>Just several months after suffering from widespread economic devastation brought about by rains last December, millions of people of northern Luzon provinces have been ravaged again by widespread flooding following a few days of heavy rains and landslides brought by typhoon Maring. Widespread inundation has caused the destruction of thousands of homes and hundreds agricultural crops.</p> <p>People have been forced to flee their homes and congregate in evacuation centers where they are vulnerable to the spread of disease and infections. Cagayan province, one of the worst hit by the floods, saw spikes in Covid-19 infections last month, as well as in the period immediately after last year’s floods.</p> <p>The most devastated are the peasant masses, the ethnic minority groups, gardeners and working people whose source of livelihood was damaged by floods. Large areas of vegetable and strawberry farms in Benguet are submerged in water. Hundreds of sacks of newly harvested corn were washed away by raging waters. Classrooms and educational materials were destroyed. People fear that the plan to open the floodgates of Magat dam this afternoon will bring greater destruction.</p> <p>As before, the Duterte government is showing utter lack of concern for the sufferings of the victims of massive flooding. People are again being left to fend off for themselves. For months, thousands were able to avoid fatal hunger only through the effort of their own organizations, with the assistance of private foundations.</p> <p>The devastation caused by the floods underscore the need to urgently address the demands of the peasant masses for a suspension or cancellation of usurious debt as well as loans owed to government agencies, and the demand for higher farmgate prices for palay and other crops to allow them to recoup their costs. The situation also puts a spotlight on the grave conditions of feudal and semifeudal oppression and exploitation and the demand for genuine land reform.</p> <p>Amid the massive disaster, all revolutionary forces, including units of the New People’s Army (NPA) must pay attention to addressing the urgent needs of the masses and help them surmount the devastation. Peasant mass organizations can immediately form mutual aid groups to help each other amid the devastation to their farms. As before, Red fighters of the NPA can form production brigades to help the people repair their farms and resume production as soon as possible.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/13/philippines-call-collective-action-extend-aid-victims-massive-flooding#comments People's Struggles Asia Communist Party of the Philippines International New People’s Army (NPA) Philippines Wed, 13 Oct 2021 22:08:04 +0000 Fight Back 9313 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Minnesota marks 20th anniversary of the U.S. war on Afghanistan http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/12/minnesota-marks-20th-anniversary-us-war-afghanistan <p>Minneapolis, MN - A coalition of Twin Cities peace and anti-war organizations held an anti-war protest October 9 to mark 20 years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The protest, held at Mayday Plaza in Minneapolis, also called for an end all forms of U.S. aggression.</p> <p>Kim DeFranco, representing Women Against Military Madness and the Climate Justice Committee, welcomed the 50-plus people and explained the focus for the action, “Now is the time to end the U.S. obsession for endless wars. We demand to end all wars and all types of warfare. Bring all the troops home from everywhere, end all sanctions and stop all blockades and fund human needs now!” All the speakers addressed one of the central demands of an end to warfare, intervention and sanctions, and for human needs to be prioritized.</p> <p>Misty Rowan, an activist with the Anti-War Committee, explained the significance of the role of sanctions as an act of war, “Sanctions are an act of war, and they need to be treated as such. They are cruel, and they are intended to cause harm, but unlike a drone strike, the damage done is so much more insidious than outright violence, and for that reason, so much less likely to make the nightly news. Sanctions are used to strangle countries economically and to put pressure on governments, but it is the ordinary people who ultimately pay the price. It is well documented that sanctions can cause more death and more suffering than an actual hot war, but they are sold to us as being less cruel, and more cost-effective.”</p> <p>U.S. weapons and aid are another form of U.S. warfare. Mnar Adley, an outspoken Palestinian-American and editor of Mint Press News, spoke about the situation in occupied Palestine. "Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, standing up to Israeli apartheid and the ethnic cleansing of their neighborhoods, are the real heroes of 2021," she said. "Where are the Muna and Mohammed El-Kurds here in America, standing up in Congress, in the House, in the Senate - where are they? They do not exist. That's why we have to hold our elected officials accountable and rely on the strength and courage of ourselves."</p> <p>Ruben Joanem of the Haiti Justice Committee held U.S. imperialism responsible for the Haitian refugee crisis, saying of the July assassination of President Jovenal Moïse that "nothing happens there without the consent of the U.S. embassy." Joanem continued, "We need to ask our representatives to put a moratorium on deportation of refugees from Haiti because the nation has collapsed as we know it. There is no infrastructure, there is no leadership, there is no administration in Port-au-Prince or elsewhere in Haiti. The images that you've seen of officers chasing children and women refugees is no different from the image of the officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd. All we are asking for: we want to breathe. The right to breathe is the right to live."</p> <p>Several speakers also made the connection between the wars abroad and the war on oppressed nationalities at home. Kelly Thomas, a member of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, addressed the crowd to make this connection, “The people who are in the streets fighting for our lives, for our rights to freedom of speech, for literally clean drinking water, we are being attacked and targeted by police. We're being assaulted and arrested. Some of us were literally in court yesterday.”</p> <p>Thomas continued, “Right now, the people with the most power are mostly people who have never experienced being traumatized by police. They don't know what being pepper sprayed or tear gassed feels like. They haven't seen the damage that rubber bullets do. They don't know the feeling of being jumpy at unexpected sounds, or watching traumatized community and loved ones spreading trauma because they don't have the safety they need to heal. They haven't had to try and sleep just feet away from police in order to hold ground. They are not interested in understanding the problem, they are not capable of understanding the problem, and they're not capable of caring about people with Black and brown skin.” Thomas encouraged participants to support their campaign for CPAC, a Civilian Police Accountability Council, in Minneapolis.</p> <p>The Saturday protest was initiated by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and was endorsed by the Anti-War Committee, Climate Justice Committee, Every Church a Peace Church, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Haiti Justice Committee of Minnesota, Mayday Books, Minnesota Cuba Committee, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Minnesota War Tax Resistance, Party for Socialism and Liberation, St. Joan of Arc/WAMM Peacemakers, St. Paul Eastside Neighbors for Peace, Socialist Action, Socialist Revolution, Students for a Democratic Society (UMN), Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace, Welfare Rights Committee, and Women Against Military Madness.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/10/12/minnesota-marks-20th-anniversary-us-war-afghanistan#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Afghanistan Minnesota Peace Action Coalition Tue, 12 Oct 2021 17:53:04 +0000 Fight Back 9312 at http://www.fightbacknews.org