Fight Back! - News and Views from the People's Struggle http://www.fightbacknews.org/ This newspaper exists to build the people's struggle! We provide coverage and analysis of some of the key battles facing working and low-income people. en Minnesota activist coalition to protest on March 8 for justice for George Floyd http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/minnesota-activist-coalition-protest-march-8-justice-george-floyd <p>Minneapolis, MN - A coalition of 20-plus Minnesota activist organizations plan to protest outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 8, the first day of the trial of Derek Chauvin. Chauvin killed George Floyd in May 2020.</p> <p>Family members who are enduring the aftermath of police murder will speak at Monday’s protest. Toshira Garraway of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence states, “Justice delayed is justice denied. An injustice to one of us is an injustice done to all of us.”</p> <p>The government is barricading downtown Minneapolis. “Hennepin County thought they could stop our protest by posting notices prohibiting protest signs, noise and ‘offensive slogans.’ We made it clear that we would take them to court if necessary, to defend our First Amendment rights. A few hours later, those signs were down,” said Michelle Gross with Communities United Against Police Brutality, another coalition member.</p> <p>Cities around the country will protest on March 8, and on key dates of the trial - including verdict day.</p> <p>This past Friday, March 5, the MN courts ruled that Chauvin could also be tried for third-degree murder.</p> <p>The Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar is the coordinating the March 8 protest.</p> <p>The coalition also includes the Anti-War Committee, Bikers Riding Against Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter MN, CAIR-MN, CAIR-MN, Climate Justice Committee, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, Freedom Road Socialist Organization - Twin Cities, Good Trouble for Justice, MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee, MN Uprising Arrestee Support, MN Workers United, MN Youth for Justice, NAACP - Minneapolis, National Alliance Against Racist &amp; Political Repression, Native Lives Matter, On Site Public Media, Racial Justice Network, Student Movement Activists at South High (SMASH), Students for Democratic Society at UMN, and Women Against Military Madness (WAMM).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/minnesota-activist-coalition-protest-march-8-justice-george-floyd#comments People's Struggles Police Brutality Derek Chauvin George Floyd Mon, 08 Mar 2021 05:58:25 +0000 Fight Back 8855 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Philippines: Labor organizers, activists n Southern Tagalog among first victims of Duterte "kill-them-all" order http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/philippines-labor-organizers-activists-n-southern-tagalog-among-first-victims-duterte-kill- <p><em>Fight Back News Service is circulating the following March 7 statement from the militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Workers Movement).</em></p> <p>After Duterte pronounced in a gathering his desire to kill all communists, state forces launched coordinated attacks against unionists and activists in Southern Tagalog. In separate operations in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal. Eight were arrested and five were killed on March 7, Sunday.</p> <p>In a raid in the office of labor institution Workers' Assistance Center, police shot dead Manny Asuncion, Cavite provincial coordinator of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Cavite.</p> <p>In Laguna, two unionists and a human rights worker were arrested.</p> <p>Steve Mendoza, executive vice president of the Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA KMU) was arrested in a dawn raid of his home in Cabuyao. Police forcibly entered by destroying the gate of the house.</p> <p>Elizabeth "Mags" Camoral of BAYAN Laguna, and former union president of F-Tech was also arrested in the Defend Yulo Farmers headquarters in Cabuyao.</p> <p>Nimfa Lanzanas of human rights group Kapatid-Timog Katagalugan, and a paralegal aide of political prisoners was arrested while she was with her grandchild.</p> <p>Killed in Rizal were Michael Dasigao and Makmak of Sikkad Montalban. Two peasant leaders in Montalban, Rizal were also arrested today.</p> <p>The whole family of fisherfolk leaders Chai Lemita-Evangelista, Ariel Evangelista, and 10-year old son Raymart Evangelista were arrested in their home in Nasugbu, Batangas. Later today, the bodies of Chai and Ariel were found dead, while their son was able to escape.</p> <p>The spate of killings, arrests and other attacks presents a human rights emergency that merits the attention of the entire Filipino people and the international community. We call for support for the victims of the attacks on trade union and human rights.</p> <p>#DefendOurUnions<br /> #StopTheAttacks<br /> #StopTheKillings<br /> #JunkTerrorLaw</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/philippines-labor-organizers-activists-n-southern-tagalog-among-first-victims-duterte-kill-#comments People's Struggles Kilusang Mayo Uno Philippines Mon, 08 Mar 2021 05:54:25 +0000 Fight Back 8854 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Dallas Anti War Committee protests Biden airstrikes http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/dallas-anti-war-committee-protests-biden-airstrikes <p>Dallas, TX - About 30 protesters from the Dallas Anti War Committee assembled in downtown Dallas on March 6, to denounce President Joe Biden's strikes on allegedly Iran-backed groups in Syria and demand no war on Iran. Protesters set up on the Akard Street Bridge over Interstate 30, holding signs and a large banner that read "No war on Iran." The Dallas Anti War Committee (DAWC) called the event, and protesters were mostly from DAWC-affiliated groups, including Democratic Socialists of America, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the Dallas Peace and Justice Center.</p> <p>The protesters first assembled in the parking lot behind Dallas City Hall. Dariel Hernandez, from DAWC and PSL, led them in chants such as "Who's the biggest danger in the world today? Joe Biden and the USA." Dan Sullivan, from DAWC, talked about the importance of recognizing that a life is a life, regardless of nationality, and the way that the dehumanization of Arabs underlies U.S. foreign policy and allows the U.S. government to get public consent for murdering human beings for economic profit.</p> <p>The protesters then marched together to the freeway bridge. Police followed and tried to convince them it was illegal to hold a banner while on a freeway bridge. Police showed protesters an outdated version of a city ordinance prohibiting protests on freeway overpasses. However, one of the protesters, Leslie Harris, had been involved in a court case where the ordinance was ruled to be invalid.</p> <p>Traffic on I-30 was fairly heavy. May drivers honked, waved, or lifted clenched fists in solidarity, though a handful flipped the protesters off.</p> <p>Saturday's action followed a small banner drop carried out by a handful of DAWC members on the Northpark Boulevard Bridge over Central Expressway on March 4 during rush hour.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/dallas-anti-war-committee-protests-biden-airstrikes#comments People's Struggles Antiwar Movement Dallas Anti-War Committee Mon, 08 Mar 2021 04:02:38 +0000 Fight Back 8853 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Tallahassee: Rally tells lawmakers to reject repressive legislation http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/tallahassee-rally-tells-lawmakers-reject-repressive-legislation <p>Tallahassee, FL - On March 2, the first day of legislative session, organizers from across the state of Florida gathered in front of the Old Historic Capitol Building to highlight the statewide fight against Governor Ron DeSantis’ anti-protest legislation, House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 484 (HB1/SB484).</p> <p>“With people power, we can always win,” said Angie Nixon, longtime community organizer and newly elected representative of the 14th District.</p> <p>HB1 and SB484 threaten protesters like the ones who came out on March 2. The legislation, if passed, would:</p> <ul> <li>Withhold state funding from local governments that redirect tax-payer funds from the police to social programs.</li> <li>Eliminate bail until trial for anyone arrested at a protest.</li> <li>Make it a felony to obstruct the roads, and not hold drivers accountable for intentionally hitting, injuring, and even killing [people perceived to be] protesters on streets.</li> <li>Prohibit “specified assemblies” from partaking in “disorderly” and “violent” conduct or “encouraging and inciting” a riot.</li> <li>Up the minimum penalty for actions that are already illegal, i.e. vandalism, battery, and theft, when those actions are done in the context of a protest.</li> <li>Bar from state and education employment people arrested at protests, and bar them from receiving unemployment benefits, and take away their right to vote.</li> </ul> <p>Governor DeSantis and his supporters claim that HB1/SB494 was inspired by events at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, but a version of that legislation was already drafted and released in September, 2020, right on the heels of brutal mass arrests of anti-police brutality demonstrators in Tallahassee and across Florida.</p> <p>“This bill is a direct response to the progress we made this summer,” asserted Christina Kittle of Jacksonville Community Action Committee. “This is not going to keep protesters off the streets; this is going to put community members in our already overcrowded jails!”</p> <p>Tallahassee Community Action Committee member Daisy Sim said that HB1/SB484 would make the already difficult job of organizing no-arrest protests nearly impossible. By vocally resisting the passing of the bill, she hopes, “To encourage people - and to show that there are more supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement than some might think.”</p> <p>Representative Michelle Raynor-Goolsby spoke to the broad and dangerous scope of the bill: “This is an anti-Black bill, this is an anti-brown bill, this is an anti-woman bill... Anti- any American who finds their rights to be not human rights but privileges to be voted on. And this brings not only marginalized folks’ rights into question. This bill threatens our First Amendment right as Americans, and anyone has the right to resist that.” Later on Raynor-Goolsby reflected on the diversity of opposition to the legislation, “We could see it in the crowd. Folks of many races, ethnicities, sexualities and genders were out protesting with us. We all have to come together to fight for our rights. Fight for everyone or fight for no one.”</p> <p>Michael Sampson, of Jacksonville Community Action Committee, told the crowd that as long as HB1 was being voted on, people would still continue to fight against it, and that if it passed in the House, people would continue to fight it in the Senate.</p> <p>Assata Shakur’s famous declaration of resistance and solidarity resonated throughout the protest - on handmade signs and giant banners held aloft; in the voices of speakers wrenching chants from their chests; and in the voices of attendees chanting back.</p> <p>The protest concluded in unison, and in defiance of legislation that seeks to imprison and disenfranchise all in attendance, “We have nothing to lose but our chains!”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/7/tallahassee-rally-tells-lawmakers-reject-repressive-legislation#comments People's Struggles Governor Ron Desantis HB1/SB484 Political Repression Mon, 08 Mar 2021 03:58:30 +0000 Fight Back 8852 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Jacksonville travels to state capitol to fight repressive legislation on first day of session  http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/jacksonville-travels-state-capitol-fight-repressive-legislation-first-day-session <p>Tallahassee, FL - On March 2, the first day of Florida legislative session, over 30 cars from Jacksonville joined with hundreds of protesters from around the state to rally against House Bill 1/Senate Bill 484, the repressive, anti-speech and racist legislation proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the right-wing Florida legislature.</p> <p>Activists and groups under the banner of the “Florida Alliance” from the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Sound Miami, Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward County, Pensacola Community Action Committee, Tampa Bay Community Action Committee, Leon County Democrats, Answer Coalition Suncoast, as well as representatives from Our Revolution, the Emergency Campaign for Free Speech and PSL Tampa all spoke to the crowd about the need for this bill to be defeated.&nbsp;</p> <p>The crowd was also joined by Black State Representatives Michele Raynor Goolsby from the St. Pete area, Angie Nixon from Jacksonville and Travais McCurdy from Orlando, all who spoke in opposition to HB1, praising protesters for coming out. All those state representatives were elected last fall, after the George Floyd rebellion.&nbsp;</p> <p>“You are all doing the work,” said Representative Michele Raynor Goolsby.</p> <p>Protesters chanted, “Kill the bill,” and “DeSantis, resign, resign! Protesting is not a crime.”&nbsp;</p> <p>“We must defeat this bill by any means necessary,” said Monique Sampson, who spoke on behalf of FRSO. “This bill seeks to criminalize our movement and they’re introducing it because they fear the power we have. We must see it defeated.”</p> <p>HB1 adds stiffer penalties for protests deemed disorderly by police and as well makes defunding and reallocating police budgets nearly impossible. Through this legislation, if local police departments operating budgets are reduced by local municipalities, the governor’s office would have veto power.</p> <p>The bill also makes it so that protesters arrested at protests wouldn’t be eligible for bail until after their first court appearance, along with other repressive measures meant to intimidate the movement.&nbsp;</p> <p>To find out more about the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, visit&nbsp;<a href="https://jaxtakesaction.org">https://jaxtakesaction.org</a>&nbsp;and check out their social media at “Jax Takes Action.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/jacksonville-travels-state-capitol-fight-repressive-legislation-first-day-session#comments People's Struggles Florida Alliance HB1/SB484 Political Repression Sat, 06 Mar 2021 07:09:07 +0000 Fight Back 8850 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Chicago charter school educators demand safe reopening http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/chicago-charter-school-educators-demand-safe-reopening <p>Chicago, IL - It was a chilly morning. The temperature was in the low 30s as the educators from Chicago’s Passages Charter School gathered for their press conference, March 5. They were all wearing masks. They all were socially distanced. “We care about our students, we care about their families,” said paraprofessional educator Ann Stella Taylor.</p> <p>Passages Charter School is as arrogant as they come. First they announced metrics for reopening such as deaths per 100,000 and test positivity rate. They said that they want to use the metrics of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Chicago Teachers Union agreed. The union members knew there was risk, but using these scientific measurements made sense. The risk would be calculated.</p> <p>Then Passages announced that they were suddenly reopening. They said that the measurements had been met. But they had not. After the union proved that the employer’s math was wrong. Passages then said that they wanted new measurements.</p> <p>After a long struggle, the union finally agreed. But then Passages said they would not agree to their own proposal. That they would not sign an agreement obligating them to any kind of safety protocols for students, staff or anyone else.</p> <p>This is especially outrageous because Passages’ parent organization, Asian Human Services, runs healthcare facilities. Its board of rich people seems to care little about the health and safety of anyone. The students at Passages are approximately half African American, 30% Asian and 15% Latino.</p> <p>The members of the Chicago Teachers Union are fighting back. Despite being ordered into the building yesterday, union members refused. After punching in remotely they attempted to do their work, but the employer shut them out of remote computer access. Those who did lesson plans or other work found out today that they were receiving discipline for serving their students.</p> <p>The union has vowed to fight the discipline. “We will not go into the building until we have a signed agreement,” said middle school teacher Tessa Simonds.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/chicago-charter-school-educators-demand-safe-reopening#comments People's Struggles Chicago Teachers Union Teachers Unions Sat, 06 Mar 2021 07:06:13 +0000 Fight Back 8849 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Another ‘Hour of Power’ at Chicago Transit Authority http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/another-hour-power-chicago-transit-authority <p>Chicago, IL - The time for action is now. At least that is the opinion of workers at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Some of these workers formed the Justice Coalition, which held their second “Hour of Power” on February 23 at the Southside “L” Train 95th Street terminal. The demonstration called for hazard pay for CTA workers, no concession in the upcoming union contracts and safe working conditions.</p> <p>“Safe working conditions means safe riding conditions,” said CTA bus driver Eric Struch. Struch is also a member of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 241. Struck stressed the importance of solidarity in the upcoming contract negotiations. “We are sick and tired of going backwards. The Justice Coalition seeks to unite bus drivers with train operators in ATU Local 308. Our fight is not just for a living wage, but also for the safety of everyone.”</p> <p>To accomplish these goals, the demonstration also made calls for union democracy, including restarting monthly union meetings virtually. Looking on the multinational demonstration, former ATU Local 241 President Tommy Sams remembered the 1968 fights with CTA and ATU to hire more African Americans: “While some were afraid as they undertook this action, they all recognized that there is power in numbers. That is one of the main reasons they were successful.”</p> <p>Since that time, transit has changed dramatically - even the composition of the local union has changed. Union workers are close to 40% women and over 90% oppressed nationality (Black and Latino).</p> <p>“If we called it racism when the Caucasians held office and as a result [of their actions],&nbsp;public transit services showed disparity in certain neighborhoods,” Sams continued, “what do we call it when people of color continue this behavior with greater intensity? The riding public needs to know the pressures that CTA frontline employees work under daily. That's why we're here today."</p> <p>A major part of the demonstration was outreach to the riding public with copies of a <em>Fight Back!</em> article about the previous Hour of Power demonstration in December.</p> <p>According to Chicago ATU dissident publication<em> Finally Got the News</em>, ATU Local 234’s Forward caucus in Philadelphia declared their own Hour of Power at the same time. It is important for workers in different cities, states and countries to support each other when they demonstrate. That is called solidarity!</p> <p>The Justice Coalition and<em> Finally Got the News </em>plan on keep on fighting. The next Hour of Power demonstration will be at CTA’s Howard Street Red Line L train terminal on the North Side.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/another-hour-power-chicago-transit-authority#comments People's Struggles Chicago Transit Authority Labor Sat, 06 Mar 2021 07:02:23 +0000 Fight Back 8848 at http://www.fightbacknews.org FRSO to hold International Women’s Day celebration http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/frso-hold-international-women-s-day-celebration <p>Minneapolis, MN - Freedom Road Socialist Organization will hold an online International Women’s Day celebration on March 6.</p> <p>Tracy Molm, a leading member of FRSO, will be among the speakers. Molm states, “International Women’s Day s a day to celebrate our struggle. Women, including trans and non-binary people, play a vital role in fighting for revolutionary change. We are demanding and will fight for the liberation of women, and we want an end to all oppression and exploitation. We need political power. We need socialism.”</p> <p>The event will take place Saturday, March 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time. It can be viewed <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1902413953239290">on Facebook here</a>.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/6/frso-hold-international-women-s-day-celebration#comments People's Struggles International Women's Day Women's Movement Sat, 06 Mar 2021 06:58:27 +0000 Fight Back 8847 at http://www.fightbacknews.org People across Wisconsin prepare for the trials of Derek Chauvin and Michael Mattioli http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/5/people-across-wisconsin-prepare-trials-derek-chauvin-and-michael-mattioli <p>Milwaukee, WI - Most people in the movement know that on the morning of March 8, Derek Chauvin, one of the most recent killer cop out of the Twin Cities area, goes on trial for the murder of George Floyd. What many of those same people don’t know, however, is that another killer cop from the Midwest goes on trial on March 8 for a similar act of murder. Michael Mattioli, an officer with the Milwaukee Police Department, strangled Joel Acevedo to death at a house party in April 2020 while off duty.</p> <p>Organizers and activists across eastern Wisconsin are planning rallies for March 8 in solidarity with Minneapolis and Milwaukee.</p> <p>Answering the call of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, both the Milwaukee and Wisconsin (serving primarily the greater Fox Valley area, including Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh) chapters intend to host protests in their respective communities. Other groups joining the actions are The People’s Revolution MKE, Fox Valley Food Not Bombs, United Action Oshkosh, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.</p> <p>“It’s important that we take to the streets and demand justice for Joel Acevedo, George Floyd, their families, and all those who have been directly impacted by police crimes,” said Alan Chavoya, a member of the Milwaukee Alliance branch. “Unless the people fight back, the status quo remains intact, and the status quo dictates that police can murder Black and brown people and not face charges. The demands are clear: we demand justice, and we demand it now.”</p> <p>Community organizers aren’t the only people who will be making their voices heard come March 8. Student activists with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at both UW-Milwaukee and Lawrence University (Appleton) intend to host actions on their campuses to show solidarity in the struggle for justice.</p> <p>“On March 8, the newly-established Lawrence University Students for a Democratic Society chapter will host an on-campus rally, which shall center on the demands to imprison killer cop Derek Chauvin and charge him with second-degree murder,” said Terrence Freeman, the leader of the new student group.</p> <p>Freeman continued, “Throughout history, revolutionary students have always fought against injustices and stood in solidarity with oppressed peoples. It is important that contemporary students maintain these traditions by continually demonstrating and fighting for a better world. Importantly, LU SDS will be an outlet to make tangible social transformations both on and off campus.”</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/5/people-across-wisconsin-prepare-trials-derek-chauvin-and-michael-mattioli#comments People's Struggles Police Brutality Derek Chauvin George Floyd Michael Mattioli In-Justice System Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:43:18 +0000 Fight Back 8846 at http://www.fightbacknews.org The 111th celebration of International Women’s Day http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/5/111th-celebration-international-women-s-day <p>Around the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. It’s a holiday that calls on everyone to recognize and honor the accomplishments of women in the struggle for a better world. The first Women’s Day was celebrated in the U.S. in 1909 to honor the heroic garment workers strike in New York. In 1910, acting on a proposal from the outstanding German revolutionary Clara Zetkin, the Socialist International adopted International Women’s Day. Over 111 years later, women continue to fight on the frontlines for peace, equality and our communities’ futures.</p> <p>Over the difficult past year, women have played a pivotal role in a world battling a massive pandemic. Without the struggle, work and sacrifices of women in the workplace and the home, societies around the globe would not be able to begin the road to recovery after the devastation brought by the COVID-19.</p> <p>Women are standing in the forefront of the fight for workplace and community safety, while the for-profit health care system and failed government policies have made the pandemic some much worse that it had to be.</p> <p>Whether working in the lab, working from home, or providing other essential services, women have helped keep our communities going during one of the most difficult times in recent memory. It’s important to recognize the special dual role many working mothers performed this past year, helping children who studied from home while also working themselves to provide for the family. This gendering of domestic labor is one of many aspects of society which must be reorganized.</p> <p>Despite the huge impact the pandemic had on all aspects of life this past year, women continued to play a leading role in the political struggle for peace, justice and equality. Women, particularly Black, Latina, and other oppressed nationality women, fought against Donald Trump and all his backwards ideas. They helped defeat Trump during the 2020 U.S. presidential election, sending him packing despite all the whining and lies that man is capable of. This represents a major blow against a terrible time in U.S. history and brings with it better conditions to continue fighting for a better world.</p> <p>Black women and many other women played a major role in the massive uprising seen around the U.S. last summer after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. Many cities saw massive militant marches and protests in the streets, using masks and social distancing to help keep people safe. Anyone who participated in the movement or paid attention to these events will understand the vital role played by women at every step. Women spoke out against injustice, rallied our communities, led chants in the streets and helped keep people safe while still organizing for justice in difficult times. Black women have consistently played a central role in the struggle for Black liberation and it’s important to recognize all they have helped us achieve.</p> <p>On International Women’s Day we affirm that there is still much to be done. Black trans women continue to be murdered at very high rates compared to other groups of people, and we must continue to fight back against this disturbing trend. Inequality is growing and liberation is needed.</p> <p>The struggle for women’s liberation includes important aspects like reproductive rights and fighting for equal pay. However, it goes beyond struggles that specifically affect women, because the stronger the role of women in the movement, the stronger the fight to end exploitation and oppression, This struggle is tightly interwoven with the struggle all working and oppressed people engage in every single day. Mao Zedong was not exaggerating when he said that “Women hold up half the sky.” This International Women’s Day, celebrate all the sisters who show courage and resilience while fighting to bring forth a new world from the ashes of the old!</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/2021/3/5/111th-celebration-international-women-s-day#comments People's Struggles Dia Internacional de la Mujer Women's Movement Fri, 05 Mar 2021 20:34:46 +0000 Fight Back 8845 at http://www.fightbacknews.org