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 FRSO in Twin Cities celebrates May Day <p>Minneapolis, MN - Over 50 people came together May 2 to socialize and for a short program at a local park pavilion celebrating International Workers Day. The event came on the heels of a 1000-person May Day march in Minneapolis.</p> <p>Jess Sundin started out the program for FRSO, stating, “The capitalist class does nothing to justify their power over us. They literally let half a million people die of COVID this year - one of the worst death rates in the world, despite the tremendous resources to prevent that. They wanted us to say ‘thank you’ for a few stimulus checks, while hospital CEOs laid off health care workers in the middle of a pandemic and Amazon made record profits while blocking union campaigns by their workers. All of this is business as usual under capitalism. It’s their profit or our death. Or both. They don’t care.” Her rousing speech ended with a reminder that what our class needs is organization, and for activists to join FRSO.</p> <p>This was the first in-person event for Freedom Road in the Twin Cities since the COVID-19 pandemic and was a great success, with speakers from many different movements in the Twin Cities - immigrant rights, labor, anti-war, environment, students and anti-police crimes. Jae Yates from Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar ended the program reminding everyone about the successes that were achieved over the past year as a result of the rebellions and uprisings that included burning down of a police station. Without the people’s outrage, “Chauvin wouldn’t have been found guilty, or even gone to trial in the first place,” Yates said.</p> <p>It was a great event bringing together all the movements with the agreement that we need to work together if we are going to make greater gains over the next year.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Freedom Road Socialist Organization international workers day Thu, 06 May 2021 14:29:06 +0000 Fight Back 9015 at FRSO Salt Lake City celebrates May Day <p>Salt Lake City, UT - On May 1, around 50 people gathered in Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City to celebrate International Workers Day with a barbecue and fundraiser hosted by the local chapter of The Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Members are raising money in conjunction with organizers across the country for the establishment of a FRSO national office.</p> <p>As familiar faces and new friends talked and mingled under the Salt Lake sun, FRSO chapter members kept the crowd entertained with music, food and speeches. Between tending the grill and serving up food, member Nick Godfrey took to the microphone for a speech. “Let’s remember the reasons we gather for May Day and celebrate those labor heroes who made this holiday possible. Let’s be sure to celebrate in remembrance of the Haymarket Square martyrs and their struggle which we share today!”</p> <p>After taking a look at the history of May Day and its beginnings with the labor movement, Godfrey passed the microphone to Utah Against Police Brutality member Adrian Romero. Romero stated, “We still need to fight every day as the capitalist system is creating a crisis right here, right now in Utah. We’ve got to put an end to the housing crisis and camp abatements our unsheltered community are dealing with every day.”</p> <p>Under the pavilion there were books for sale and May Day themed artwork including posters and t-shirts designed by local FRSO member Derek Ballard. Money donated for the books and art was collected along with some donations for a gift basket raffle which was held as the speeches and barbecue wound down.</p> <p>As the pavilion cleared and music faded the organizers spoke and laughed about the pleasures of being able to hold an event on May Day after the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the celebration last year.</p> <p>“I’m happy we were able to finally do a barbecue and celebrate such an important day for all of us,” said Salt Lake City organizer Jade Arter.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Freedom Road Socialist Organization international workers day Thu, 06 May 2021 14:25:36 +0000 Fight Back 9014 at FRSO online fundraising party May 7 - you’re invited! <p>Minneapolis, MN – A major online fundraising event, featuring FRSO Political Secretary Steff Yorek and Frank Chapman, a leader of the Black Liberation movement and a member of the Central Committee of FRSO, is set for the evening of May 7. To attend, go to <a href=""></a></p> <p>Those attending the event will be able to meet and talk with many of the leaders of FRSO.</p> <p>Mick Kelly, the editor of<em> Fight Back! </em>and a part of FRSO’s national leadership states, “We have set the goal of raising $100,000 to open a national office, and we are well on the way to achieving that goal. Saturday’s event is critical to the success of this effort.”</p> <p>Kelly continued, “The decline of U.S. imperialism is accelerating. In this past year, the great rebellion after the murder of George Floyd showed that it is possible to make this country ungovernable. We need to build a powerful revolutionary organization. Join us at this event. Together, we are going to win.”</p> <p>The event will take place Friday, May 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time (7 p.m. Central, 6 p.m. Mountain and 5 p.m. Pacific).</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Freedom Road Socialist Organization Thu, 06 May 2021 06:40:27 +0000 Fight Back 9013 at On Karl Marx’s birthday, read his abolitionist letter to Abraham Lincoln <p><em>To mark the May 5, 1818 birthday of Karl Marx, Fight Back News Service is circulating a work he authored in 1864, a statement of congratulations to President Lincoln upon his reelection.</em></p> <p>Address of the International Working Men's Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America</p> <p>Sir:</p> <p>We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.</p> <p>From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?</p> <p>When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, "slavery" on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding "the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution", and maintained slavery to be "a beneficent institution", indeed, the old solution of the great problem of "the relation of capital to labor", and cynically proclaimed property in man "the cornerstone of the new edifice" — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders' rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.</p> <p>While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.</p> <p>The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo abolitionist movement Abraham Lincoln Karl Marx Wed, 05 May 2021 14:14:29 +0000 Fight Back 9012 at Hundreds march for essential immigrant workers in Milwaukee May Day <p>Milwaukee, WI - In spite of gusts of wind in excess of 50 miles per hour, more than 250 people marched from the office of Wisconsin’s premier immigrant rights organization, Voces de la Frontera, to the office of reactionary U.S. Senator Ron Johnson on the afternoon of May 1. The focus of the march was on essential immigrant workers.</p> <p>The action was kicked off in the streets outside the recently-opened Voces headquarters. A few speeches, a song, and a prayer got the people in attendance ready to march. Marchers then made their way downtown to pay Senator Johnson’s office a visit. Along the way, people chanted in both English and Spanish: “The people united will never be defeated / El pueblo unido jamás será vencido,” “Sí se puede” and “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here!”</p> <p>While the action was hosted exclusively by Voces de la Frontera, many different people’s organizations turned out in support. Trade unionists representing the Young Workers Committee of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council joined with members of Teamsters Local 344 to demonstrate solidarity. Community organizations like the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist &amp; Political Repression mobilized in force, helping to lead chants along the march. And it wouldn’t be May Day without the socialist organizations that turned out in support, including the Freedom Road Socialist Organization with a strong contingent.</p> <p>The march ended in the street outside of Senator Johnson’s offices. Speeches there were highlighted by the daughter of VDLF leader Christine Neumann-Ortiz as the keynote. Traditionally, Neumann-Ortiz has served as the headline speaker, but she along with a group of other Voces leaders and supporters were marching in Washington, D.C. The speeches called for an end to deportations, COVID recovery for all and citizenship for all.</p> <p>May Day fell on President Joe Biden’s 100th day in office. It’s notable that under the new Democrat administration, deportations have continued, including an increase from the Trump administration for people of particular origins, such as Haitians. It remains to be seen whether the Biden-Harris administration will meet the demands of the people, but what is certain is that the people will not stop fighting until they have achieved victory in the struggle for justice and liberation.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Chican@s y Latin@s international workers day May Day 2021 Voces de la Frontera Inmigrantes Nacionalidades Oprimidas Tue, 04 May 2021 20:40:15 +0000 Fight Back 9011 at Workers in Portland demand justice on May Day <p>Portland, OR - Over 150 workers took to the streets in Portland this May Day, led by a coalition of anti-imperialist and migrant-led organizations including the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) and the Portland branch of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. </p> <p>Speakers addressed the crowd, practicing chants and going over safety before demonstrators departed in two columns; a marching group traveled over the Tilikum Bridge while a car caravan traveled to the Federal Justice Center. Protesters rhythmically honked their horns and shouted chants, demanding “international solidarity” and calling out “Get up! Get down! There’s a workers’ movement in this town!”</p> <p>Speeches continued on the bridge and in front of the federal building before both groups continued their processions to the Portland ICE building. </p> <p>The federal police arrived in SUVs shortly after the protesters arrived. The police lined up and menaced the crowd of working families with batons and gas cannons before retreating into the ICE facility. The crowd remained in front of the building chanting and listening to speeches and performances from activists until the event was concluded by organizers that evening.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo May Day Portland Obreros Mon, 03 May 2021 21:16:59 +0000 Fight Back 9010 at Tampa workers rally on International Workers Day <p>Tampa, FL - Labor and community activists in Tampa rallied May 1 to join the world in celebrating International Workers Day. The rally was called by the Tampa District of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, with speakers including Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society, Tampa Bay Community Action Committee and local union activists.</p> <p>With dozens of people in attendance, the rally demanded housing and COVID assistance, more protections for all workers and an increase in funding to local social programs. The rally also demanded a stop to the proposed construction of a new Tampa Police Department (TPD) headquarters in East Tampa, a largely African American area of the city.</p> <p>“East Tampa does not need TPD’s new headquarters. TPD, the same people who police, brutalize and terrorize Black people in this city, has no business setting up their new headquarters in the heart of East Tampa,” said Bill Aiman of the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee. “The city has already spent $65 million on this plan. I can think of a whole lot of other things that money could be spent on instead.”</p> <p>Kim Smith, a member of IBEW Local 824, spoke on their recent contract negotiations with Frontier Communications and the fight to save retiree healthcare. “Let me give you a little update about what worker power and solidarity does for you. The company backed off cancelling retiree healthcare. This agreement allows our members access to retiree healthcare up to their Medicare eligibility.”</p> <p>All rally’s attendants committed to continuing the fight for workers’ rights, against TPD’s new headquarters, and COVID relief for all.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo international workers day May Day Obreros Mon, 03 May 2021 19:30:49 +0000 Fight Back 9009 at West Michigan labor unions rally for International Workers Day <p>Grand Rapids, MI - West Michigan labor unions joined by community and social justice groups celebrated International Workers Day on May 1 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.</p> <p>This year May Day for workers focused on safe working conditions during the COVID pandemic, unemployment for stage hands and gig workers who are out of jobs, and building a stronger union movement through the PRO Act. Other speakers from community and social justice groups talked about immigrant rights for workers, criminal justice reform needed in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and the Equality Act in Congress.</p> <p>“During this health crisis where 575,000 Americans and over 3 million have died worldwide, we want to remember those workers and retirees who lost their lives. On International Workers Day we stand in solidarity with workers around the world. All workers are essential!” said Josh Roskamp, business agent for IATSE Local 26.</p> <p>Roskamp continued, “For a year now in Michigan, IATSE stagehands, with other unions, gig workers, and hotel and restaurant employees held rallies for unemployment at the state capitol. We demanded and won expanded and continued unemployment while we are out of work. Now we want 26 weeks restored by Michigan law makers, specifically the Republican legislators.”</p> <p>The crowd chanted, “The workers united, will never be defeated!” and “Solidarity!”</p> <p>The program included a memorial for Deirdre Chervenka, a stagehand who died this past winter. Tom Burke spoke about the inspiring role Deirdre Chervenka played in the union movement, organizing and winning a union election in a ticket sales company, and their contributions to the immigrant rights movement in Michigan. He led the crowd in a call and response of “Rest in power!”</p> <p>The entire Chervenka family are an important part of the theater scene in West Michigan and the stagehands union IATSE. IATSE Local 26 President Jessica Westra presented a rainbow bouquet of flowers, with a transgender ribbon, to their parents.</p> <p>The May Day rally took place at the Spirit of Solidarity labor monument. Speakers included a big lineup for a small city: Jessica Westra, IATSE 26; RiChard Jackson, ATU 836; Ryan Letts, Chair of the Kent Ionia Central Labor Council; Lily Cheng, candidate for Michigan 72nd House District, and Dee Dee Chaunte with Family Over Everything - the family and friends of Breonna Taylor, who was born in Grand Rapids.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo international workers day May Day Inmigrantes Obreros Mon, 03 May 2021 15:34:54 +0000 Fight Back 9008 at FRSO funding drive surpasses $40K as of May Day! <p>Minneapolis, MN – Freedom Road Socialist Organization’s Spring fundraising drive has brought in more than $40,000 as of May 1, International Workers Day. Given the rapid increase in FRSO membership, plans are being made to establish a national office with full-time staff.</p> <p>FRSO Organizational Secretary Tom Burke states, "Revolutionaries are called on to make many contributions to advance the struggle. We give our time, energy, and yes - money - to do what we need to do to achieve liberation and socialism. Now is time for all of us to do what we can to help FRSO make a leap forward.”</p> <p>A major online fundraising event, featuring FRSO Political Secretary Steff Yorek and Frank Chapman, a leader of the Black Liberation movement and a member of the Central Committee of FRSO, is set for May 7. To attend, go to <a href=""></a></p> <p>You can contribute today by going to <a href=""></a> and hitting donate.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo Socialism Freedom Road Socialist Organization frso Mon, 03 May 2021 03:50:39 +0000 Fight Back 9007 at NYC May Day protest marches on Jeff Bezos’ home <p>New York, NY - Around 400 people gathered in Union Square on a sunny afternoon of May 1, International Workers Day. Dozens of organizations based in New York came together to not only celebrate workers and our struggles, but to call for the general demands of unionizing and organizing all workers, immediate asylum for all migrants, abolishing ICE and stopping police terror.</p> <p>Union Square is historically a symbolic location for the New York City labor struggle and has been the home of countless May Day rallies.</p> <p>There was a 2-and-a-half hour program of speeches and cultural performances before the crowd marched to Jeff Bezos’ home. As the founder of Amazon, multi-billionaire Bezos draws the anger and frustration of many workers as he’s hoarded more wealth than anyone in history. The march was led and endorsed by Amazon workers who are planning to start a unionizing drive in the city.</p> <p>The event ended with a few more speeches, highlighting the role police crimes play in the repression of workers, immigrants and oppressed nationality communities. Collin Poirot from the New York Community Action Project said, “We know the police are used to terrorize these communities, and we know every dollar in the police budget is a dollar that could be spent on healthcare, housing, education and jobs for working-class people. That’s why the New York Community Action Project is calling for complete community control over every single aspect of how the NYPD operates - from their budget to the weapons they carry - and the way to make that happen is with a CPAC, a Civilian Police Accountability Council.”</p> <p>The organizations that endorsed and partook in this year’s May Day were: Acción Revolución- Ecuador, Art Against Displacement, BAYAN USA, Call to Action on Puerto Rico, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists NY, Comité Timón de Personas y Familias Capítulo NYC, Congress of Essential Workers, December 12 Movement, Defend Democracy in Brazil, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Guyanese American Workers United, Jornaleros Unidos, International Action Center, International League of People's Struggle, Laundry Workers Center, MoMA Divest, Mov. Vamos a la Peña del Bronx, Mujeres por la Paz NY, New York Boricua Resistance,New York Community Action Project, Partido da Causa Operária / Comitê de Luta NY, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Pakistan USA Freedom Forum, Peoples Organization for Progress ProLibertad Freedom Campaign, Teamsters Local 808, The People's Forum, Workers Assembly Against Racism, Workers World Party.</p> Las Luchas del Pueblo international workers day May Day Inmigrantes Obreros Mon, 03 May 2021 03:47:42 +0000 Fight Back 9006 at