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. es Frito Lay workers enter third week of strike to end ‘suicide shifts’ <p>Topeka, KA - On July 5, more than 800 Frito Lay Workers in Topeka began a strike that has now entered its third week. The workers are members of Local 218 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 218. </p> <p>One of the main issues in the strike is the brutal working conditions they face in the manufacturing and warehouse facility they work at. Workers say they are forced in to what they call “suicide shifts” in a manufacturing warehouse where temperatures often exceed 100 degrees. They have endured 84-hour weeks of mandatory overtime, at the same time as they are not being offered raises that would keep up with cost of living.</p> <p>The workers are in contract negotiations and are demanding an end to the suicide shifts, as well as meaningful pay increases. They have called for a national boycott on Frito-Lay products, as well as those produced by PepsiCo, for the remainder of the strike.</p> <p>Monk Drapeaux has worked as a box drop technician for over 16 years at Frito Lay. He was seen holding a picket sign he says was made by his daughter in support of the strike and said, “I am on strike to better support my family.” The sign his daughter made features a picture of Rosy the Riveter saying, “We can do it” and “#BOYCOTTFRITOLAY”.</p> <p>The strikers received an updated offer from management, showing that the pressure from the strike is mounting on them to settle, but, 18 days in, the strikers have continued to hold strong as they fight for improvements in their next union contract.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo BCTGM Local 218 Frito Lay Strike Strikes Obreros Fri, 23 Jul 2021 23:23:39 +0000 Fight Back 9196 at MN 646 demand ‘Drop the charges’ <p>Minneapolis, MN - On July 22, 50 people gathered outside Minneapolis City Hall for a press conference in defense of the 646-plus people who were arrested on November 4, 2020. They demanded City Attorney Jim Rowder and other prosecutors drop the charges against the 646, and that the charges be dropped against all protesters since the murder of George Floyd last summer.</p> <p>On November 4, the day after the elections, over 1000 protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis to demand a fair presidential election and justice for Black lives lost to police brutality. For part of the march, the crowd embarked on what would have been a six-block march, ten-minute march on eastbound Interstate 94. They were prevented from leaving the highway by a combination of heavily-armed police forces, including the National Guard. </p> <p>The cops held protesters on the highway for six hours and stopped traffic in all lanes on both directions of the interstate. The community members were then arrested, piled into buses and released at random locations across the metro area, leaving minors stranded as far away as the Mall of America in the city of Bloomington. Concerned bystanders overlooking the freeway were also arrested, and many were brutalized by police for simply watching the injustice taking place. The police action was the state’s largest mass arrest in recent state history. </p> <p>Speakers at the July 22 press conference included the Twin Cities Coalition Justice for Justice 4 Jamar (TCC4J), Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, Minnesota Workers United, the Anti-War Committee, Students for a Democratic Society - University of Minnesota, CAIR, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter-MN. Those groups, along with other organizations, answered the National Alliance Against Political Repression’s November call to action to demand a people’s agenda during the Biden regime and to not allow Trump to steal an election.</p> <p>Loretta VanPelt, of TCC4J said, “The racist hypocrisy of the city of Minneapolis, and state of Minnesota is fully exposed when charges can be dropped against Bogdan Vechirko for driving a semi into protesters on the freeway. Meanwhile, prosecution persists for protesting. If that’s the case, then charges can be dropped against protesters on a highway who exercised their First Amendment rights and defended the right to vote and were right about Trump trying to steal an election. We demand the charges be dropped for the 646-plus and all other political prisoners! We demand community control of the police so that racist repression of democratic rights doesn’t occur again.”</p> <p>Over 230 Black people across the U.S. have been killed by police since George Floyd was tortured and murdered by Derek Chauvin. All the while, the white supremacist right wing continues to try to revive Trump’s regime - an action that the November protest was called to prevent. </p> <p>The speakers also demanded that charges be dropped from all protesters arrested for participating in the George Floyd Uprising. If the community had not risen up to demand justice for George Floyd, Derek Chauvin would likely be free today, the organizers said. Yet hundreds of community members are facing charges ranging from petty misdemeanors to felonies for standing up for basic rights.</p> <p>Besides City Attorney Jim Rowder, activists placed the demand to “Drop the charges” on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and Governor Tim Walz. Most of those arrested are still waiting on court dates.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial MN 646 Political Repression Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice for Jamar (TCC4J) Sistema de injusticia Fri, 23 Jul 2021 20:06:42 +0000 Fight Back 9195 at 100 years of the Communist Party of China <p><strong>Mick Kelly is a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and is responsible for the organization’s international relations. The following essay appeared in the book, <em>A Century of the Communist Party of China</em>, <em>Statements from 100 Foreign Communists</em>, published by the Contemporary China Publishing House.</strong></p> <p>This July 2021 marks a world historic occasion, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is an event of real significance for progressives, revolutionaries, and communists the world over, including those of us in the United States. China’s rich experience in defeating Western and Japanese imperialism, eliminating feudalism, and constructing a socialist society is of interest to all who hope for and are working for a bright future.</p> <p>The Chinese people once had three immense mountains on their backs - imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. The CPC lead the Chinese people in removing these burdens. Old China, beset by the plague of foreign imperialists, warlords, and the land-owning class of parasites, was a nightmare of starvation and subjugation. It was a society unable to save itself, and helpless in the face of adversity.</p> <p>The British waged a war for the “right” to sell opium and claimed the city of Hong Kong as its own. The U.S. and other Western powers occupied Beijing in 1900, looting art, burning historic buildings, and mutilating the bodies of those they murdered – for the propose of obtaining an “open door” to exploit the land, labor and resources of the Chinese people. In Shanghai, the foreigners had their own park and they put up a sign, “No dogs or Chinese allowed.” Adding insult to injury they assumed the mantle of “standard bearers of civilization.” New China, the China led by the CPC and supported by other patriotic forces put to end to that.</p> <p>Standing on the rostrum of Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1949, the outstanding Marxist–Leninist, Mao Zedong proclaimed, “The Chinese have stood up,” and the much-needed work of building a modern, socialist country commenced.</p> <p>Here in the U.S., the importance of the Chinese revolution and the positive example provided by socialism stands out in sharp relief. While the number of poor is growing in the United States, and the standard of living along with life expediency is declining, People’s China is eliminating poverty. Under the leadership of the CPC, China waged a people’s war on the COVID-19 pandemic and brought the crisis under control. Contrast that with the U.S., where a combination of criminal government mismanagement of the pandemic combined with a heath care system that exists only to obtain the highest rate of profit, has left more than half a million people dead. And every day that number grows.</p> <p>Anyone who takes the perspective of the working class, and the broad masses of people as a whole, cannot help but to conclude that monopoly capitalism is a failed system that exists to serve the few at the expense of the many.</p> <p><strong>CPC is an organizer of successes and a problem solver</strong></p> <p>Critical to China’s many successes is the commitment to applying the living science of Marxism, or scientific socialism, to the realities of Chinese society. This includes maintaining the leading role of the CPC and adhering to the road of building socialism with characteristics that suit China’s needs. By any standard, the results have been spectacular. For example, the economy of the People’s China has grown every year since 1949. Socialism has proved its superiority time and time again. On the other hand, the economies of the West, including the U.S., are prone to periodic crises of overproduction, where industries are shut down, factories are shuttered, and communities of working-class people are devastated. Be it in regard to tackling the problem of land reform, issues of national development, or contributions on the world stage – there is much for communists everywhere to learn from.</p> <p>China like the U.S. has many nationalities. China fosters equality and mutual respect among its different nationalities, and the leaders of the CPC have adopted many positive measures, such as supporting the liberation of Tibetans from serfdom. Compare that with Washington’s dismal human rights record, or with the oppression visited upon the African American people, who face systematic inequality which is enforced by police terror. That is why a major uprising rocked the U.S. following the murder of George Floyd. The people of the U.S. have had enough of racist discrimination and the anger is growing. Monopoly capitalism never solves problems, it causes them.</p> <p>Even before taking nationwide political power in 1949, the CPC had made big contributions to the world revolutionary process. By undertaking the national united front against Japan, China along with the Soviet Union made big contributions to the defeat of the fascist powers. The CPC also developed Marxist–Leninist thinking on the problems of national liberation, party building, the need for the people to have their own armed forces, and the necessity of uniting all who can by united in a broad united front for liberation.</p> <p>Evaluating the process that led to the creation of the Communist Party and the important role the Party has played, Xi Jinping correctly told the 9th CPC National Congress:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">“A hundred years ago, the salvoes of the October Revolution brought Marxism-Leninism to China. In the scientific truth of Marxism-Leninism, Chinese progressives saw a solution to China's problems. With the advent of modern times, Chinese society became embroiled in intense upheavals; this was a time of fierce struggle as the Chinese people resisted feudal rule and foreign aggression. It was in the midst of this, in 1921, as Marxism-Leninism was integrated with the Chinese workers' movement, that the Communist Party of China was born. From that moment on, the Chinese people have had in the Party a backbone for their pursuit of national independence and liberation, of a stronger and more prosperous country, and of their own happiness; and the mindset of the Chinese people has changed, from passivity to taking the initiative.”</p> <p>It cannot be said that the CPC has never made any mistakes because that would be a departure from the facts. That said, the CPC has long advanced the idea that, “practice is the sole criterion of truth,” which has allowed Chinese communists to address problems in a timely way, and that by far and away is the main thing.</p> <p>Every person and every political party sometimes make errors. How could it be otherwise? The point however is to be good at summing up one’s practice and have clear criteria to distinguish right from wrong. For example, in the mid to late 1980’s some forces emerged in China that were antagonistic to socialism. With Western backing, they opposed the socialist road and said the “moon shined brighter in the West.” In the end the CPC was able to address these problems, overcome the challenges posed by destructive forces, maintain the leading role of the party in society, and continue on the road of socialist development.</p> <p>All this contrasts favorably with the setbacks that impacted some of the socialist countries. Starting in the late 1950’s, the leaders of the USSR departed from Marxism–Leninism, then caused splits in the world communist movement, and allowed corruption to divorce the leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from the working people. This same process was reproduced in the socialist counties of Eastern Europe. In the end, socialism was destroyed from within by hostile class forces – with the willing assistance of Western imperial powers. The peoples of the USSR and Europe found out through their own bitter experience what happens when capitalism wins out. The result was hunger, degradation, and wars. The accomplishments won by the heroic contributions of the working class and peasantry vanished in an onslaught of reaction. In what was the USSR, millions wish for socialism’s return.</p> <p>This experience should stand as reminder to communists everywhere of understanding the great value of what we have, that the socialist counties should be treasured, and clarity about the differences between capitalism and socialism as well as between correct and incorrect, right and wrong.</p> <p>In the U.S. there are quite a few leftists who reject dialectical and historical materialism, and instead have adopted the standpoint of subjective idealism. They take the view that if a socialist country is not exactly the way they want it to be – then it is not socialist. This is wrong and contrary to reality.</p> <p><strong>China and the world</strong></p> <p>The world is a better place for the existence of People’s China and the CPC. The victory of the Chinese revolution transformed the world. At one stroke, a fourth of humanity was liberated from the yoke of imperialism, took the socialist road, and began the journey to a society without classes: communism. This development alone changed the balance of world forces and weakened the position of the imperialist powers in a big way.</p> <p>In 1949, the world was a different place. Much of the globe was under the rule of colonial powers who dominated the lives of hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The Chinese revolution gave tremendous energy to the fight to end colonialism and neo-colonialism. It paved the path for the victory in Vietnam, Cuba and many other places. People everywhere want to be free to determine their own destiny. The example, and at times material assistance of China, was a major factor in the fight for independence and national liberation.</p> <p>Today the continued existence of the Peoples Republic of China, as well as the other socialist counties are an important factor in the world communist movement and brighten the prospects for socialism on a world scale. It is a good thing that there is an alternative to imperialism.</p> <p>Here in the U.S., all the contradictions in society are sharpening as the decline of imperialism picks up speed. Each day more people are looking to socialism as a potential solution to our problems.</p> <p>Quite a few leaders of Freedom Road Socialist Organization have traveled to China, some many decades ago, and we look forward to building a closer relationship with the CPC. Marxism–Leninism has done great things for the people of China. It will do the same for the American people. Together, the peoples of the world can accomplish great things.</p> <p>While China and the CPC have worked tirelessly for world peace, the same cannot be said of the rulers of the U.S. Wall Street and the Pentagon say that China is a strategic competitor, and they speak of war. This is something that we will always oppose. FRSO fully understands that socialist China wants peace, and we oppose each and every act of our government that is harmful to that end.</p> <p>The people of the U.S., China, and indeed the entire world have a shared destiny. What happens to one of us, impacts all of us. We can stand together for a socialist tomorrow. It is a day that is sure to come.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo China Communist Party of China Mick Kelly Fri, 23 Jul 2021 17:51:24 +0000 Fight Back 9194 at Strong police accountability measure passes in Chicago <p>Chicago, IL - The Chicago movement against racist policing made history July 21 with the passage of the most progressive police accountability legislation in the country. The ordinance, named Empowering Communities for Public Safety (EPCS), was passed by the Chicago City Council on a 36-13 vote.</p> <p>ECPS had the support of the Socialist, Progressive Reform, Black, Latino, and Socialist Caucuses. Even Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who had repeatedly tried to stop the ordinance, came to support it in the end. </p> <p>A press conference was held outside City Hall after the city council meeting adjourned, attended by eight alderpersons, as well as leaders of the coalition of community organizations and labor unions.</p> <p>Anthony Driver, political staff of SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana (HCII) said that, for the residents of the community, including the 90,000 members of HCII, “This will take Chicago from worst to best in the country when it comes to police accountability,” adding, “Eleven Black labor leaders came together to urge the Black Caucus to support ECPS.”</p> <p>Driver shared, “Ten years ago, Officer Marco Proano killed a close friend of mine. The city council approved a settlement in his murder, but he was never held accountable. In fact, he was given a commendation by Police Superintendent Jody Weis two years later. Years later, that same officer fired into a car with Black teenagers, and he finally lost his job. During that whole process, I felt that I had no voice. Today, the Black and brown communities will have a voice, and our members will have a decisive voice in public safety.”</p> <p>ECPS will result in elections for councils in police districts that will bring communities together to decide who polices in their neighborhoods and how they are to be policed. The next step for the coalition is to pass a sister ordinance which will present to voters in a binding referendum the choice to have direct elections of a commission which will have the power to hire and fired the superintendent of the police, among other powers.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) Sistema de injusticia Thu, 22 Jul 2021 23:52:16 +0000 Fight Back 9193 at COVID-19 cuts US lifespan the most since World War II <p>San José, CA - On Wednesday, July 20 the National Center for Health Statistics released their provisional report on lifespans in 2020. The report found that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 600,000 people in the United States, lowered the lifespan by one and half years in 2020. This is the worst drop since World War II. Lifespans have generally increased over time, but this sets the trend back almost 20 years to 2003.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The report also documented the impact of national oppression in the United States. Chicanos and Latinos had the greatest lifespan drop of three years, followed closely by African American lifespans, which fell 2.9 years. In contrast, the lifespan for white Americans fell only 1.2 years, or less than half as much as African Americans and Chicanos and Latinos. The report did not include data on Asian Americans or Native Americans.</p> <p>It was clear last year that African Americans, Chicanos and Latinos, and Native Americans were getting hit the hardest by the pandemic. Lack of health insurance, especially for Chicanos and Latinos and poor health care for all these nationalities played a big role. White Americans were also more likely to have professional and semi-professional white collar jobs that could be done from home, reducing the risk of catching COVID-19 at work.</p> <p>While the two previous greatest falls in U.S. lifespans in the last 100-plus years - the 1918 influenza pandemic, and World War II - saw a bounce-back in lifespans, the same is not certain today. More than 40% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have been in 2021, so there is little chance that lifespans will bounce back this year. Even worse, deaths from COVID-19 are again rising rapidly in the United States, up more than 40% in just the last two weeks.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo COVID-19 Healthcare Thu, 22 Jul 2021 22:00:39 +0000 Fight Back 9192 at Transgender Louisianans defeat sports ban! <p><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Fight Back! News Service is circulating the following statement by Real Name Campaign NOLA.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Thanks to the work of Louisiana organizers, and every Louisianian who pressured their lawmakers to vote against transphobia, the governor’s veto of the trans sports ban (Senate Bill 156) has been sustained during this unprecedented special legislative session. The evangelical right failed to push its national anti-trans culture war in Louisiana. The people’s movement made this victory happen. Many Democratic legislators wanted this bill to pass at first, but voted against it only after seeing enormous community opposition.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">An organizer with the Real Name Campaign, Mar Ehrlich (they/them), reflects that “we began fighting against the four anti-trans bills back in March, alongside trans advocates around the state. After 5 months of hard, collaborative work we have seen every one of these egregious bills fail, and we have witnessed trans rights become a major topic across Louisiana. But it was very close with SB 156, and the protest yesterday and the groundswell of public support around our demand to protect trans kids was the final and very necessary dose of pressure on legislators to do the right thing - to keep the government’s hands off trans kids.”</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Real Name Campaign hopes this victory assures all trans and gender nonconforming youth that we were never a problem that needed to be fixed, and that we are important, loved, and belong in every aspect of education and public life.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The Capitol still needs accountability. Yesterday, Capitol security treated members of Real Name Campaign NOLA with unnecessary, unprecedented brutality. Seconds after we began protesting against SB 156 on the balcony of the Louisiana House floor, officers cruelly and viciously assaulted not only protestors, but our police liaison and media support, without any verbal warning of arrest or otherwise, and even after we expressed our willingness to cooperate. This violence was a reflection of the violence against all trans and gender nonconforming people being carried out on the house and senate floor below.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We support the ACLU’s demand for a full investigation of Louisiana Capitol security.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">As of now, House Sergeant at Arms Clarence Russ has declined to comment on the incident. His office can be reached at 225-342-1228 or;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We further demand that legislators cease authoring or supporting any anti-trans bills, amendments, policies, and practices. We also demand that legislators consult with us and other transgender and gender non-conforming community leaders on all future bills that would impact our rights.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">About Real Name Campaign NOLA: Real Name Campaign is comprised of trans and gender non-conforming residents of the Greater New Orleans community. We organize for the rights and equitable treatment of trans and gender non-conforming people in the city and state. We are actively fighting for accessible name and gender marker changes, including the abolishment of all fees and restrictions to accessing correct IDs.</span></p> LGBTQ House Sergeant at Arms Clarence Russ Real Name Campaign trans sports ban (Senate Bill 156) Thu, 22 Jul 2021 03:29:48 +0000 Fight Back 9191 at Chicago celebrates a people’s victory in the struggle against police crimes <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating this July 21 statement from the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.</em></p> <p>The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression celebrates the passage in City Council today of the historic Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance, which will give communities in Chicago more power over their police department than any city in the United States has ever seen. We salute and cherish this people’s victory and the truly mass movement that created this moment, through constant grassroots pressure and the unrelenting, iron will to fight for power for the oppressed – which is the first footfall on the path to justice. We extend the warm embrace of gratitude to all our allies in this struggle, who have never faltered at our side, and with whom we share this great day.</p> <p>In a history-defining moment, ECPS was passed in City Council by a vote of 36-13 after a years-long and sometimes bitter struggle. Early this year, our campaign for an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) formed a united front with the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) out of the tactical imperative to defeat Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has done nothing since taking office but stall and obstruct police reform and the people’s demand for justice and freedom from police abuse and tyranny. Left unchecked, Lightfoot would have set back the movement to end police crimes by years if not decades. We salute our coalition allies from GAPA for their steadfastness and solidarity in this struggle against the Mayor and their commitment to putting Chicago on the path to justice through community control of the police.</p> <p>Today’s victory proves the correctness of our decision to form this united front, which has seen our alliance and our coalition swell to include over 100 organizations, 18 labor unions comprising nearly 200,000 members, some 26 houses of worship across the city – and today 36 aldermen who supported the fundamental right of communities to decide who polices us and how are communities are policed.</p> <p>Speaking at a People’s Celebration outside City Hall immediately following today’s historic vote, Frank Chapman, Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance and a long-time leader in the CPAC and ECPS campaigns said, “This is the only kind of coalition that could have won this fight. Now, we in the communities that have been abused and occupied by the police, now we have a voice in saying how we are policed and we’re going to keep that voice.”</p> <p>In the final version voted on today, ECPS will create a Community Commission, nominated by elected residents, who will have the power to make and approve police department, police board, and police investigation policy in addition to the power to appoint the head of the police misconduct investigation agency (colloquially known as COPA) and to initiate the firing of the police superintendent. Because of the strength and breadth of our movement, Mayor Lightfoot was forced to come to the negotiating table and create a version of ECPS with our coalition that kept all of our fundamental priorities including that policymaking, and the appointment of the COPA chief, be in the hands of the community commission and with the people.</p> <p>Jazmine Salas, co-chair of the Chicago Alliance said, “This victory belongs to the people of Chicago, who fought and struggled and bled for this. And it belongs to the victims of police murder and violence who we continue to fight for every day.”</p> <p>While we celebrate today in the glow of victory, we are clear-eyed about the tasks that lay ahead. Those include passing the accompaniment bill to ECPS, an ordinance calling for a citywide referendum to allow the voters of Chicago to decide if they want to directly elect the members of the Community Commission established by ECPS and expand its powers to grant full community control of the police as originally envisioned by CPAC. And it includes campaigning and organizing to ensure that voters support their right to community control and turn out in decisive numbers to approve the referendum.</p> <p>These are our tasks in the days and months ahead. As a movement, we are compelled to act by the people’s unrelenting demands for justice and we will not stop until we win the power the people deserve.</p> <p>Victory to the courageous! All power to the people.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Brutalidad Policial Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) Sistema de injusticia Thu, 22 Jul 2021 03:11:52 +0000 Fight Back 9190 at Protesters disrupt Louisiana veto override session, condemn transgender sports ban <p>Baton Rouge, LA - On July 20 at 11:30 a.m., a group of protesters interrupted the Louisiana legislature’s veto override session to denounce the proposed transgender sports ban. </p> <p>Members of Real Name Campaign NOLA, a trans community organization, dropped a banner reading “Protect trans youth” from the balcony of the House floor. They chanted “Senate Bill 156 has got to go!” and “Trans kids are here to stay!”</p> <p>Capitol police groped, shoved and choked protesters to push them out. </p> <p>Eden Abraham, an organizer with Real Name Campaign, said, “Security immediately grabbed us and violently dragged us down the stairs.” He added, “Even after we said we’re calmly going down the stairs, we’re not resisting, we’re not resisting, they continued to snub us, pushing us into marble and concrete, our heads, our limbs.”</p> <p>Protesters went on to hold a rally on the capitol steps. They condemned Senate Bill 156, which threatens to prohibit transgender athletes from playing from kindergarten through college. It would also green-light violations of kids to inspect their presumed genders. State Senator Beth Mizell authored the bill. </p> <p>Mar Ehrlich of the Campaign stated, “We are here today to declare that trans kids are not the problem and will never be a problem.”</p> <p>Abraham stated, “This is the same sports ban that has been introduced in 30 states in just the past year. SB 156 is part of a nationally conservative plan orchestrated by conservative lawmakers.” He also noted, “They’re more interested in fighting a cultural war that they’re losing than serving the actual needs of their constituents.”</p> <p>The legislature’s special veto override session is unprecedented in modern Louisiana history. Republican Party leaders Page Cortez and Clay Schexnayder specifically called for the session to push the sports ban. </p> <p>Governor Edwards vetoed the ban in June, calling it “a solution in search of a problem.” He stated that there were no trans athletes in Louisiana to be concerned about.</p> <p>Toni Jones of Real Name Campaign and Freedom Road Socialist Organization responded, “SB 156 is worse than a solution looking for a problem, because trans kids are not a problem and do not need to be solved.”</p> <p>She also raised attention to the Olympics recently banning several Black women for being “too masculine.” SB 156 has clear racist implications as well. </p> <p>The Senate has voted 26-12 in favor of the ban, just the amount of votes they needed for a veto-proof majority. The House has yet to vote. The Senate vote proves the trans movement’s strength, since reactionaries had more votes in favor of the ban during the regular legislative session. </p> <p>The movement remains ready to fight. Real Name Campaign commits to resisting all the state’s anti-trans attacks.</p> LGBTQ Clay Schexnayder Louisiana Page Cortez Real Name Campaign NOLA transgender sports ban Thu, 22 Jul 2021 02:34:24 +0000 Fight Back 9189 at Philippines: Patriotic and democratic forces condemn Duterte’s ‘terrorist’ designation <p style="line-height:1.295;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Fight Back News Service is circulating this July 21 statement from the National Council of&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height:1.295;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">National Democratic Front of the Philippines.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height:1.295;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;"><br /> </span></p> <p style="line-height:1.295;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">NDFP National Council Responds to ATC Resolution No. 21</span></p> <p style="line-height:1.295;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;"><br /> </span></p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We hereby assert that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is the revolutionary united front of patriotic and democratic forces of the Filipino people fighting for their national and social liberation against foreign domination and the local exploiting classes of big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.</span></p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;"><br /> </span></p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We have represented all the aforesaid forces, the organs of the people’s government and the broad masses of the people in peace negotiations with the reactionary Government of the Philippines (GRP) with the mediation and facilitation by foreign governments.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The NDFP is dedicated to arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people for full national independence and genuine democracy. We are a co-belligerent force in the civil war with the GRP and we have the status of belligerency in accordance with international law. The NDFP and the GRP are co-signers of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. It is completely mendacious and malicious of the GRP to malign the NDFP as a “terrorist” organization.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We hereby condemn the act of the Anti-Terrorism Council in issuing its Resolution No. 21 designating the NDFP as a “terrorist” organization and to signal the escalation of acts of state terrorism against the allied organizations in the NDFP and their respective officers and members.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Going by its arbitrary rule of guilt by association, without any fair judicial process within its own legal system to determine culpability, the ATC considers as communist and terrorist all the noncommunist organizations within the NDFP, including the Christians for National Liberation and the Catholic and Philippine Independent Church priests, Protestant pastors, nuns, deacons and other religious people.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We expect that the terrorist attacks by the Duterte fascist gang will escalate and will also target legal sociaactivists, human rights defenders, critics and oppositionists who will be arbitrarily tagged as NDFP members and associates.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">We have already seen how the armed minions of Duterte have murdered so many NDFP consultants, such as Randy Malayao, Randall Echanis, couple Agaton Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay, couple Antonio Cabanatan and Florenda Yap, Reynaldo Bocala and Rustico Tan.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">They have manufactured trumped up charges and planted firearms and explosives to arrest and imprison the following NDFP consultants: Vicente Ladlad, Adelberto Silva, Rey Casambre, Renante Gamara, Ferdinand Castillo, among others.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The ATC Resolution is in line with Duterte’s policy and campaign of all-out war to enable his fascist scheme against the people and amplifies previous issuances, such as Proclamation No. 370, Proclamation No. 374, Executive Order No. 70 and the so-called Anti-Terror Law of 2020.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The Duterte regime and the ATC are maliciously trying to prejudice and preempt the petitions filed before the GRP Supreme Court. These petitions are already scheduled for decision in the months to come. The Court has to decide the issues on the violation of constitutional and democratic principles and rights.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">Duterte is hell-bent on preventing negotiations for the duration of the final months of his term of office and possibly for as long as his daughter and he can stay in power after rigging the 2021 elections and using martial law to counter the anticipated people’s uprising.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The broad masses of the people have no choice but to intensify all forms of revolutionary struggle, especially armed struggle, in order to defend national sovereignty, their democratic rights and well-being against the Duterte regime of treason, tyranny, mass murder, plunder and mass deception.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">The NDFP has continued to keep in place its Negotiating Panel with the hope that the Duterte regime would eventually be ousted from power and that a post-Duterte administration is willing to resume the peace negotiations for a just and lasting peace.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">National Council</span></p> <p style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">National Democratic Front of the Philippines</span></p> Anti-Terrorism Council Duterte NDFP National Council Filipinas Philippines Thu, 22 Jul 2021 02:25:35 +0000 Fight Back 9187 at Peru defeats far right, indigenous union educator is new president <p>Tucson, AZ - After a record six weeks of ballot counting and false claims of fraud by right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, Pedro Castillo was officially announced the newest president of Peru, on the evening of July 19. Castillo, from a poor peasant background and the candidate of the Peru Libre party, found support in the masses of poor and working Peruvians fed up with the lack of response to COVID-19 and the high rates of unemployment. Equally important is the defeat of “Fujimorismo” the far-right ideology of neoliberalism and chauvinism of former President Alberto Fujimori, Keiko’s criminal father.</p> <p>In the days and weeks after the election, indigenous organizations, trade unions and popular organizations mobilized to defend the validity of the election and continued to call for a declaration from national authorities that Castillo won fair and square.</p> <p>Castillo rose to national prominence in 2017 when he helped his union lead a teachers strike that won important demands. The Peru Libre party also recently won 37 seats in the 150-member national Congress, automatically giving him 13% of the legislature to work with if the lead holds.</p> <p>Castillo will join a new wave of elected leftists in Latin America, such as President Luis Arce in Bolivia, from the socialist MAS, or Movement Towards Socialism, party that won outright in November with 55% of the vote. In December in Venezuela, the party of “Worker President” Nicolas Maduro won again, as the PSUV or United Socialist Party of Venezuela gained 69% of the parliamentary election vote. Like Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega and Mexico President Manuel Lopez Obrador, the U.S. corporate press and politicians often attack and vilify their policies.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Alberto Fujimori Américas Keiko Fujimori Pedro Castillo Peru Wed, 21 Jul 2021 16:40:52 +0000 Fight Back 9185 at