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. en UW-Milwaukee SDS greets Vice President Harris on tour at UW-Milwaukee research facility <p>Milwaukee, WI - On April 4, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Milwaukee for a stop on her “blue collar-oriented” tour of the Midwest. While here, she toured the UWM research institute working on renewable energy and held a roundtable to discuss the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan. This plan is intended to help unemployed people by creating jobs and therefore supporting communities.</p> <p>Students for a Democratic Society members at UW-Milwaukee were outside to remind people that Vice President Harris’ history as a prosecutor contradicts this present, apparent desire to “support communities.” SDS members, who are currently working to defund campus police and refund programs that support students, held signs that read “VP Harris protects killer cops” at the intersection by the UWM research facility Harris toured near Capitol Drive.</p> <p>“It’s frustrating but not surprising that our administrators don’t notify students when politicians visit campus. Neither of them actually wants to deal with people calling for solutions. Vice President Harris has a record of protecting killer cops, and then she wants to talk about building up communities here in Milwaukee without acknowledging how police violence destroys them and how they’ve sucked up half of our city’s budget,” said UWM SDS member Rory Donovan.</p> <p>Donovan continued, “It sounds like Chancellor Mone, who justifies campus police using violence, pretends that their $3 million budget is small even though it is the largest in the UW system, and then thinks that he can host discussion panels and create powerless police advisory boards to appease us. It’s not real change, and we’re not going to stop fighting until we win real change.”</p> People's Struggles Kamala Harris Students for a Democratic Society Student Movement Mon, 10 May 2021 03:54:11 +0000 Fight Back 9021 at Condemn the killings of protesters in Colombia, free Simon Trinidad! <p><em>Fight Back! is circulating the following statement from the Committee to Free Simon Trinidad. Simon Trinidad is a prisoner of the U.S. empire who has done nothing wrong, only struggled to free his country.</em></p> <p>The Committee to Free Simón Trinidad condemns police murders and violent repression of protesters by the Colombian government. In the last ten days, Colombian police and military forces killed at least twenty-six protesters in the streets protesting higher taxes and government cutbacks. Backed by the U.S. government and President Biden, nobody will be prosecuted for these police killings and political repression.</p> <p>On April 28, 2021, Colombian social movements, students and labor unions began marching in the streets to protest the Duque government’s attempt to impose a regressive value added tax (VAT). VAT targets basic goods and service and penalizes workers, peasants, students and small business owners who are suffering from sky high unemployment due to economic crisis and the COVID pandemic.</p> <p>Peaceful protests took place in cities all across Colombia, but rather than listen to the people and engage in dialogue, the Colombian government of President Ivan Duque sent paramilitary police and the army against protesters. These forces attacked protesters in Cali, Bogotá, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, and other cities all across the country.</p> <p>Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist. The U.S. government spends billions on war and repression and operates seven military bases.</p> <p>The Duque regime withdrew the regressive tax, but the protesters are pushing forward determined with broader demands. One demand is that President Duque comply with the Peace Agreement of 2016 that was negotiated with the FARC. Duque’s government is failing to abide by the peace accords and has undermined the special peace court (JEP), failed to implement agricultural reforms, and failed to re-incorporate a large number of political prisoners. The Colombian government has also failed to protect participants in the peace process. Two hundred and forty-six former FARC combatants have been assassinated by death squads.</p> <p>The Colombian government has made no effort to reincorporate the Colombian champion of peace and former FARC peace negotiator Simón Trinidad. Trinidad is a political prisoner held by the United States government. Simón Trinidad should be freed as his presence in Colombia would reinvigorate the peace process. We call on all friends of peace and justice to work for Simon Trinidad’s repatriation.</p> <p>Victory to the Colombian National Strike!<br /> FREE SIMON TRINIDAD!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> People's Struggles Colombia FARC-EP Ricardo Palmera Simón Trinidad Mon, 10 May 2021 01:12:29 +0000 Fight Back 9020 at Chicano and Black families denounce LA Sheriffs harassment and retaliation <p>Los Angeles, CA - A press conference was held in front of ‘Hall of Injustice’ office of LA Sheriff Alex Villanueva, May 4, to denounce the deputy sheriffs’ harassing of grieving Chicano and Black families who have lost their sons to LA Deputy Sheriff gangs killings, like those done by the “Banditos” of the East LA Sheriff Station. A grouping called Check the Sheriff Coalition united families and several organizations for the press conference. The coalition includes the local National Lawyers Guild, American Civil Liberties Union, Black Lives Matter-LA and Centro CSO. Press conference participants also backed a motion by LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell to establish a police complaint process separate from the LA County Sheriffs. </p> <p>The Board of Supervisors then passed the motion unanimously - establishing a new and separate police (and sheriff) complaint process. Currently, the LA Sheriffs investigate their own complaints and the community has found that complaints are rarely well-documented and processed in any meaningful way. The various groups in the Check the Sheriff Coalition will continue to advocate for ongoing significant reforms.</p> <p>Stephanie Luna, the aunt of Anthony Vargas, who was killed by East LA Sheriffs August 12, 2018, recounted how her family has been followed and harassed by East LA Deputy Sheriffs. In one instance, the sheriff who shot and killed her nephew stood outside their home smirking and staring at her on the street.</p> <p>Leah Garcia, the mother of Paul Rea, killed by East LA Sheriffs June 27, 2019 after a traffic stop, talked of the harassment and detention her family has faced, including at a memorial event for Paul in East LA.</p> <p>Chiquita Twyman, the sister of Ryan Twyman, who was shot 34 times and killed June 6, 2019, spoke of the trauma and ongoing sheriffs’ presence in the community. Helen Jones spoke about her son John Horton, brutally beaten to death inside the LA County jail by the sheriff’s deputy gang the “3000 Boys” on March 30, 2009.</p> <p>Rebecca Brown of the National Lawyers guild gave a summary of a report documenting the harassment of the families by the East LA Sheriffs. Dr. Melina Abdullah spoke about how the LA Sheriffs not only kill family loved ones, but further do character assassination and then harass the families. Carlos Montes with Centro CSO denounced the harassment of the families by the East LA sheriffs and in support of the Board of Supervisors motion for a new separate police complaint process. He also accused Sheriff Alex Villanueva of being a member of the notorious Banditos sheriffs’ gang.</p> <p>The Check the Sheriff Coalition gave some brief history and statistics during public comments to the Board of Supervisors, including:</p> <p>-- Between November 2015 and November 2020, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) shot over 130 individuals. Some of the families of these individuals have bravely spoken out publicly against the killings of their loved ones. LASD deputies have responded to these families who are exercising their First Amendment rights by aggressively and continuously harassing them.</p> <p>-- On an almost daily basis, LASD deputies try to intimidate these family members slowly driving by or parking in front of their homes; slowly driving by memorial sites; damaging items at memorial sites; taunting family members with rude comments, gestures, smirks, and laughter; following family members while they are driving; parking outside family members’ workplaces; and taking pictures of or recording family members. Deputies have also engaged in more serious and often illegal forms of harassment on a number of occasions, including targeting family members for arrest and detention without probable cause, frequently pulling over family members and searching their vehicles, and<br /> harassing family members who are minors.</p> People's Struggles Centro CSO Chican@ / Latin@ Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department In-Justice System Sat, 08 May 2021 17:02:15 +0000 Fight Back 9019 at Seattle marchers call for international solidarity on May Day <p>Seattle, WA - A crowd of 150 people gathered at Saint Mary's Church at noon on May 1 to celebrate international worker solidarity at a May Day march and rally. The group marched through the International District and downtown Seattle where speakers addressed pressing issues in the local and international worker struggles.</p> <p>Leading chants and speaking, the organizers of the event encouraged onlookers to come together as workers to support fellow workers around the world. Participants offered workshops on how to unionize the workplace and meetings to discuss the history of Haymarket together. </p> <p>A speaker demanding immigration reform during the Biden administration led chants calling to “end to deportations.” Another speaker called for stopping the war in Tigray, Ethiopia. There was a speech calling to stop the war on women's bodies. In the spirit of internationalism, a speaker explained the need to provide equal vaccine access worldwide, as we see between India and the U.S. corporations. </p> <p>Supporters of police reform and abolition promoted Nikkita Oliver for Position 9 on Seattle City Council and Lorena Gonzalez for mayoral office. They provided information for people to register to vote and utilize funding programs, known as the Democracy Voucher Program, to support these candidates.</p> <p>A common spirited chant was, “Up, up, up with liberation; down, down, down with deportations!”</p> <p>The organizations that were present at and endorsed the events include: Anakbayan Seattle, the Cascadian Workers' Association, the Democratic Socialists of America, Food Not Bombs, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Freedom Socialist Party, International Communist Workers Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Socialist Workers Party, and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.</p> People's Struggles May Day 2021 Labor Sat, 08 May 2021 16:22:04 +0000 Fight Back 9018 at Wisconsin SDS online panel: ‘Dare to Struggle! Dare to Win! Student Organizing in Wisconsin’ <p>Milwaukee, WI - On May 6, Students for a Democratic Society chapters in Appleton and Milwaukee hosted a panel about the importance of student organizing. Both chapters were recently established to be forces for change at Lawrence University and UW-Milwaukee. The purpose of the panel was to invite local students to join the chapters, and to invite regional students to start their own. </p> <p>“As college students we do have a lot of privilege. We have a lot of resources available and we have to utilize those things to make change,” Appleton SDS chair Terrence Freeman says. “We shouldn’t be inactive, we shouldn’t be lethargic, we should utilize the things we have at our disposal to guarantee that we are changing things in our community, both on and off campus.”</p> <p>Speakers from each chapter discussed their local work. Appleton SDS is currently organizing to raise the campus minimum wage to $15 an hour, as well as doing mutual aid work in the Appleton area. UW-Milwaukee is currently working to defund campus police and refund programs that support students. While the semesters are soon coming to a close on both campuses, their work will continue into the summer and beyond.</p> People's Struggles Appleton SDS Milwaukee SDS Student Movement Sat, 08 May 2021 15:11:19 +0000 Fight Back 9016 at 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> People's Struggles 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> People's Struggles 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. Friday’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> People's Struggles 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> People's Struggles 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> People's Struggles Chican@ / Latin@ international workers day May Day 2021 Voces de la Frontera Immigrant Rights Oppressed Nationalities Tue, 04 May 2021 20:40:15 +0000 Fight Back 9011 at