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Chicago: Democrats force pro-Palestinian candidate off gubernatorial ticket

By Joe Iosbaker |
September 8, 2017
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Alderman Carlos Rosa at 2016 press conference with the CAARPR.
Alderman Carlos Rosa at 2016 press conference with the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression before submitting legislation for community control of the police into the city council. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Chicago, IL - Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is a member of the Chicago City Council who is well known to every progressive activist in Chicago. Brought to office in a 2015 wave of insurgent candidates opposing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pro-business agenda, the 28-year-old Rosa has become a fixture at labor rallies, protests against Trump’s attack on the undocumented Dreamers, as well as community meetings fighting gentrification.

Rosa also showed leadership in the fight against racist national oppression when he introduced legislation to create an elected, civilian police accountability council into the city council in the summer of 2016.

As quoted in Fight Back! at the time,

Rosa said, “This isn’t my ordinance, it’s the community’s ordinance.” Referring to the mass movement and organizations that have organized for this demand, he said, “They believe that injecting democracy into the system is the best way to ensure that the community - the people - have control over the actions of police officers.”

No one was surprised last week when a liberal Democrat vying for the Democratic nomination for governor chose Rosa as his running mate. In fact, many commentators saw this partnership as a smart move by Daniel Biss, a state senator from the suburbs north of Chicago. Biss was running well behind the billionaire J.B. Pritzker, and the multi-millionaire Chris Kennedy. “Bringing Rosa on as candidate for lieutenant governor was meant to get the movement behind him,” said Sarah Chambers, a well-known rank-and file-activist in the Chicago Teachers Union.

Less than a week later, Biss has dropped Rosa from his slate because of the alderman’s support for Palestine. Biss came under pressure from the leadership of the Democratic Party when it became public that Rosa supported the Palestinian cause after a Boycott-Divestment-Sanction (BDS) resolution was adopted at the recent convention of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), of which he is a member.

Frank Chapman, Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, said of the move by the Democrats to enforce support for Israel, “You can’t claim to be on the side of oppressed Black and Latino people, struggling against white supremacy, and at the same time support the brutal occupation of Palestine.”