Black Woman Freedom Fighter, Ramona Africa, Talks MOVE, Liberation and Surviving 1985 Bombing

By Lamont Lilly
March 21, 2017

Former U.S. political prisoner, Ramona Africa, is the Minister of
Communication for the MOVE Organization and a Philadelphia-based
organizer with the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia
Abu-Jamal.  She is also the only living survivor of the 1985 MOVE
bombing, when the FBI and Philadelphia police dropped two C-4 bombs on
her organization’s Philadelphia home, killing 11 people.  Read along
as we discuss the history of MOVE and what it means to be a freedom
fighter.

via TeleSUR – http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Ramona-Africa-Talks-MOVE-Liberation-and-Surviving-1985-Bombing-20170320-0025.html

Woman Warrior, Ramona Africa, Talks Mumia Abu-Jamal, U.S. Prisons and Donald Trump – Pt 2/2

By Lamont Lilly
March 23, 2017

Former U.S. political prisoner, Ramona Africa, is the Minister of
Communication for the MOVE Organization and a Philadelphia-based
organizer with the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia
Abu-Jamal.  She is also the only living survivor of the 1985 MOVE
bombing, when the FBI and Philadelphia police dropped two C-4 bombs on
her organization’s Philadelphia home, killing 11 people.  Read along
as we discuss the incarceration of current U.S. political prisoner,
Mumia Abu-Jamal, the conditions of U.S. prisons and Donald Trump.

via TeleSUR – http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/In-Part-2-Ramona-Africa-Talks-Mumia-US-Prisons-Donald-Trump-20170321-0020.html

Ramona Africa and Mumia Abu-Jamal

Rasmea Odeh accepts a plea agreement with no prison time

http://stopfbi.net/

Rasmea Odeh, the 69-year old Palestinian American community leader who was tortured and sexually assaulted by the Israeli military in 1969, is bringing to a close her battle to win justice from the U.S. legal system.

After living in this country for over 20 years, Rasmea was charged in 2013 with an immigration violation that was always just a pretext for a broader attempt to criminalize the Palestine liberation movement. She has spent the last three and a half years leading a powerful battle to resist this attack, joined by hundreds of supporters for every court appearance, and thousands of supporters across the country and the world. However, the prospects for a fair trial are slimmer than ever. The prosecution team is now under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about “terrorism” rather than immigration. There is the great likelihood that a jury would be prejudiced by hearing the zionist Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel call Rasmea a “terrorist” and her supporters “mobs and hordes,” as he has done many times before. As a Palestinian who has dedicated her life to the cause of liberation, it is impossible for Rasmea to expect a fair trial in U.S. courts.

In 1969, as a college student, Rasmea was arrested by the Israeli police, along with as many as 500 others, and accused of involvement in two bombings. She was horrifically tortured for 25 days (including electric shocks and sexual assault), as was her father in her presence; and then tried before a kangaroo Israeli military court.  This tribunal has military officers, and not civilians, as prosecutors and judges, and convicts over 99% of its Palestinian prisoners. She was found guilty based on a confession coerced through torture, and then given a life sentence. In 1979, she was freed with other Palestinians in a prisoner exchange.

In her 2014 trial in U.S. federal court, where she was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison for allegedly giving false answers to questions on her applications for permanent residency and citizenship, Judge Gershwin Drain prohibited the defense from challenging the legality of the military tribunal or offering proof of her innocence of the bombings. She was also not allowed to put forward that she suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the torture, but she won an appeal and a new trial expressly based on the excluded torture evidence. Its back against the wall, the government then filed a vindictive new superseding indictment that falsely accused Rasmea of being a “terrorist” and a member of a “designated terrorist organization.”

Under this current, racist political climate, and facing 18 months or more of imprisonment, as well as the possibility of indefinite detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Rasmea has made the difficult decision to accept a plea agreement. She will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, lose her U.S. citizenship, and be forced to leave the country, but will exit the U.S. without having to serve any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory, considering that the government had earlier fought for a sentence of 5-7 years.  Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch and Tukel clearly want to dodge a public and legal defense that puts U.S.-backed Israel on trial for its crimes against Rasmea and its continuing crimes against the Palestinian people as a whole.

Through a massive, organized defense campaign, Rasmea Odeh—a long-time icon of the Palestine liberation movement—is now a name known in every corner of the movement for social justice in the U.S.  From the Movement for Black Lives in Ferguson, Chicago, and beyond, to the call for a global #WomenStrike on International Women’s Day, Rasmea has become synonymous with resilience and resistance. This fight not only brought her story to the U.S. and the world, but also pushed forward the cause of the liberation of Palestine. She exposed Israel for what it is – a racist occupier and colonizer – and put its policy of torture and sexual assault on the permanent record in a U.S. court of law.

We had practical victories too. When the first judge assigned to Rasmea’s case was exposed as a lifelong supporter of Israel, and it was then found that he had direct financial ties that affirmed this bias, he was forced to remove himself from the case. After the first trial led to a conviction that did not hold up under appeal, Rasmea was taken immediately into custody. Supporters mobilized to demand her release. Within weeks, the movement had helped to post her bond, and Rasmea was back in Chicago, planning her successful appeal and continuing her important community organizing. And Rasmea never once walked into a courthouse alone. Whether by the dozens or the hundreds, at every hearing, every day of trial, from Detroit to Cincinnati, we were with her.

Rasmea’s choice today was not easy, but nothing in this journey has been, and our support continues to be critical. Soon, a hearing date will be set for Judge Drain to consider the plea agreement. We will again call for All Out to Detroit and stand beside her on that difficult day.  After that, Rasmea will continue her incredible organizing work wherever she is, and so will we.

As she said to supporters outside the courthouse after the initial verdict, “There is justice in this world, we will find it. We will face injustice and we have to change this world, not just in this country, in all the world in all the places there is no justice, we have to bring the justice together. In spite of everything, we are the stronger people, not the government who is unjust.”

The case of Rasmea Odeh presents us all with an example of how to resist. The current political climate is formidable. The Muslim Ban, attacks on Latino immigrants and Black people, the cuts to programs serving women … these and other attacks will call on each of us to be unwavering, like Rasmea; to be consistent like her supporters; and to never run scared or fall silent in the face of injustice.

Rasmea Defense Committee, led by U.S. Palestinian Community Network and Committee to Stop FBI Repression
March 23rd, 2017
#Justice4Rasmea

Rasmea_Family

Madison, March 25: Remove Police Our Black Children Deserves a Chance

http://tinyurl.com/mx2aycw

Hosted by Brandi Grayson

BLACK children are being funneled into the criminal justice system between the hours of 8AM and 4PM Monday thru Friday by Madison Police. Black children are arrested 3.5X as much as their white counterparts.

Remember our children–only make up maybe 5% of the population at any given time. So how is this possible?????
Come find out what you can do and what has been done to remove police officers from schools.

Come find out What and HOW the School to Prison Pipeline IMPACTS Black children.

FAMILIES FOR JUSTICE will be presenting what they’ve done and and what they’ve discovered about the police contract with MMSD and consequences/impact of having POLICE in our schools.

Families for Justice—a white organization—has been advocating for the removal of police from our schools. They can NOT be the voice for Black PARENTS and/or OUR Children. They can do some work for us and pool resources together and support BLACK efforts BUT they cannot speak for us. For US TO be effective BLACK parents must be at the table. Black Parents MUST set the table and delegate tasks.

They are charging our children with felonies when they should be suspended.

THINK ABOUT THAT…………A 17 year old being charged with Felony child abuse for fighting another 17 year old on school grounds????????????

They’re setting our children up for failure for life. From NOT being able to obtain a job, to not being able to go to college, etc. While we—Black Parents—sit idly by.

LETS NOT SIT ANY LONGER. LETS SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT. LETS SHOW Jennifer Cheatham what BLACK POWER LOOKS LIKE!

Madison, March 31: M31 Demonstration Against Neo Nazis on Campus and in Support of Seattle GDC Member Shot by a Fascist

http://tinyurl.com/n4s3u4j

Hosted by Madison IWW General Defense Committee

The Madison General Defense Committee of the IWW stands in solidarity with the Seattle GDC member, Hex, who was shot and almost killed, having spent many weeks in ICU, while protecting innocents from fascist pepper spray attacks. The Madison GDC also stands opposed to Daniel Dropik and the American Freedom Party having any presence what so ever or having any platform to spew their vitriolic antiBlack antiMuslim antiImmigrant “speech” (speech that advocates the killing and even genocide of people based on their skin color). We understand that Daniel Dropik has made it a habit of burning Black churches and that the American Freedom Party is the group that inspired Dylan Roof, that is why we will accept NO public presence of the group in Madison.

Detroit, March 25-26: Fightback Conference, Resistance Against Racism and Capitalism: The Struggle for Socialism.

Saturday, March 25, 10 AM – 7 PM State Hall, Room 101, Wayne State University, 5143 Cass, Detroit, MI 48202

Sunday, March 26, 10 AM – Noon McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State University

Sponsored by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at Wayne State University and endorsed by Workers World Party

Click here to register for the confrence and to view the agenda: M25 WWP Midwest Conference

Facebook event page: Midwest WWP Fight For National Liberation and Socialism Conference

Facebook (Livestream available here):  Workers World Party – Michigan (WWP.michigan)

By Joe Mchahwar / Article reprinted from workers.org

The Detroit branch of Workers World Party is co-hosting a Midwest Fightback Conference on March 25-26 with the Wayne State University branch of Students for a Democratic Society. WWP members from across the ravaged rustbelt will come together to put forward an analysis, forged in struggle, of the austerity, economic crises and national oppression that have come to characterize the region.

Guest speakers, such as the Venezuelan Consul General in Chicago and representatives of the Boston School Bus Drivers Union, United Steelworkers Local 8751, will help elevate these struggles and analyze both locally and beyond the Midwest, attacking imperialism at its very roots here and ­internationally.

Detroit was once an epicenter of working-class power and the Black Liberation struggle. Today it is at the heart of capitalist decay, financial dictatorship and genocidal national oppression. Though these assaults have permeated throughout the U.S., Detroit has long served as the frontline in the war against workers and oppressed people. Bankers, desperate for every last dollar of profit, imposed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history on the city of Detroit, looting hundreds of millions of dollars from the people.

Thousands of families have had their water shut off to help clear neighborhoods for corporate scum intent on colonizing the city. This ethnic cleansing was preceded by hundreds of thousands of home foreclosures in pursuit of the same goal. The devastation wrought to Detroit by Wall Street’s insatiable greed is very tangible and apparent. The homes, water, schools and communities of Detroit have all served as variables in an experimental project the ruling class wants to export throughout the U.S.

Confronting capital directly

The Detroit branch of WWP and its allies in the community have challenged this massive offensive head on, organizing revolutionary intervention and direct confrontations with the might of finance capital. Long before the municipal bankruptcy began, the very nature of capitalist relations were challenged. WWP raised the slogan “Make the banks pay!” — a demand that became the rallying cry of the movement.

Before the bankruptcy, during years of the ongoing foreclosure crisis, WWP members and friends were in the communities physically preventing foreclosures when court struggles failed. Throughout this fight, activists maintained the demand for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, while raising legal precedents and analysis proving a moratorium is a feasible, no-cost demand. At every turn Detroit comrades have faced down the guns of finance capital, forging a revolutionary analysis of late-stage capitalism through this struggle.

Detroit WWP, our allies in SDS and other Midwest WWP cadre are holding this conference to bring our depth of experience to the new period we have entered. Many officials in the Trump administration are taking their devastating austerity policies from the Midwest to the federal level, giving our cadre in this region a unique perspective on the new attacks facing the workers and oppressed. The conference will also dive into the deep crisis of the imperialist empire, bringing analysis on conflicts from Syria to Africa and tying them to the war at home against racism, fascism and exploitation.

If you want to truly see the lengths capital will go to secure its profits, and the lengths the masses will go to resist, be in Detroit March 25-26 to hear it from revolutionaries on the front lines.

For details, view the Facebook event page at ­tinyurl.com/zpnhrej; complete online registration at tinyurl.com/hqcpc2h.

Midwest Conference Builds Socialism: Power to the People: http://www.workers.org/2017/03/21/midwest-conference-builds-socialism-power-to-the-people/#.WNMmnWe1uM8