Milwaukee, October 9: Informational Forum on Prison Solidarity

From lengthy hunger strikes about solitary confinment to nationwide solidarity actions over what has been called prison slavery to disproportionate incarceration rates in Milwaukee, the prison system has become an increasingly pressing topic that affects many in the city.

Rust Magazine will sit down for a conversation that explores the issues at hand, how they affect our community, and what is being done to address problems. We will hear from people who were formerly incarcerated and have spent time in solitary confinement, family members who have epxerienced the prison system through a loved one, and organizers who are working to make a change.

Panelists include:

Talib Akbar – Talib has spent several years in prison, with a number of them in solitary confinement. He’s a member of Ex Prisoners Organizing (EXPO), and is heavily involved in organizing against solitary confinement & advocating for the rights of prisoners. With the help of Edgewood College in Madison, he has created a replica of a solitary confinement cell that has toured across the country to show people what solitary can really be like.

Chance Zombor – Formerly incarerated at Waupun Correctional Institution, where the Dying to Live hunger strike campaign against solitary confinement is taking place, Chance brings to the table first-hand experience of incarceration, and his tireless organizing against prison abuse during and aftr incarceration.

Ben Turk – Ben is an activist associated with Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and Support Prisoner Resistance (SPR), having extensive experience in prisoner organizing in the Midwest along with a deep understanding of the prison system and the organizing of supporters on the outside.

Sister Linda Muhammad – Witnessing the affects of the prison system and solitary confinement through her son, who is at Wapun Correctional Institution, Sister Linda is a chair with Prison Action Milwaukee (PAM) and has worked to share her story with the community.

For more information on the Dying to Live campaign, visit

The forum will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Community Room I at the Milwaukee Central Library. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

**Child-care may be available upon request. Please message us or post in the event page to get more information.***

Madison, October 12: Tearing Hate From the Sky with Bree Newsome

Bree Newsome is the community organizer and activist who removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House.

This event is free and open to all! For questions or accommodations, contact

Born with an artist’s soul and spirit, Bree Newsome has always been sensitive to the essential role that art and symbols play in shaping culture and consciousness. As she watched the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinkney, one of 9 people slaughtered in the name of white supremacy at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, SC, she recognized the message being communicated clearly by the US flag and the SC state flag at half-mast while the Confederate flag remained fully furled. Refusing to accept the premise of this image – that white supremacy is supreme, untouchable and invincible – she scaled the 30ft flagpole in front of the SC statehouse and removed the “stars and bars” declaring, “This flag comes down today!” Bree’s intention was to create a new image, a new symbol and a new consciousness of the power inherent in direct action. The iconic picture of her on the pole, flag in hand has become a touchstone of empowerment for disenfranchised people around the world.

A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Bree is an award-winning filmmaker (“WAKE”), writer, composer, singer, community activist and organizer but she does not see these as separate endeavors. “Art is activism and activism is art”, she insists, as she seamlessly blends her talents in pursuit of social and economic justice. Currently, she works as a western field organizer for IgniteNC, a project of the Southern Vision Alliance and she is a founding member of Tribe, a grassroots organizing collective dedicated to empowering underserved communities in Charlotte, NC. She has an unwavering belief in the power of the individual to make a difference and the utter inability of hate, injustice and inequality to survive the tidal wave that can be created by the collaboration and united action of individuals and groups committed to creating a better world.

This event is co-sponsored with Chadbourne Residential College and the Center for the Humanities. For more information about the MSC and our upcoming events, like our page and check out our website at


#Arabs4BlackPower Releases Movement for Black Lives Solidarity Statement

We, the undersigned artists, academics, mothers, fathers, students, refugees, and community organizers with ties to Arabic­-speaking regions, declare our unwavering solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). We fully and wholeheartedly endorse the policy demands put forth by the US­-based Movement for Black Lives platform and its transnationalist vision for Black power, freedom and justice. We join you in reiterating the necessity of shared struggle and collective liberation of all oppressed and indigenous people globally. For liberation to be real and genuine, we all need to get free.

The current iteration of the movement to end the war and genocide against Black people in the US is rooted in centuries of the Black freedom struggle. As we commemorate the month of Black August and its history of radical resistance, we as #Arabs4BlackPower commit to amplifying the rebellions of Black and indigenous people in the settler­-colonies of the Americas; and to joining in the fight against white supremacy, patriarchy, and hyper­-militarized late capitalism.

Once again, Black people in the US are defending themselves from the violence inscribed in the Americas’ settler colonialist regimes built on the backs of Indigenous, Black, and Brown people through the expropriation of indigenous lands, genocide, and slavery. Once again, Black freedom fighters are refusing colonial and imperial narratives that uphold white supremacy and are continuing to craft a language rooted in the struggle for justice. Once again, Black liberation movements are challenging systems of criminalization that dehumanize, incarcerate, and assassinate Indigenous, Black, and Brown people—systems that simultaneously transcend and reinforce national boundaries through border-control complexes to terrorize people around the world under the umbrella of the global “war on terror.” And once again, Black organizers in the US have put forth a vision to continue imagining and transforming these systems within and across borders.

The U.S. empire violently exerts control over Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities internally and around the globe. People in predominantly Arabic­-speaking regions experience empire in locally specific material forms: bombings, drone strikes, forced disappearances, checkpoints, carceral wars, forced migration, indigenous displacement, starvation, the theft of natural resources, apartheid, and more. The geography of ‘Ferguson to Palestine’ is integral to #Arabs4BlackPower charting the structural connections, albeit different manifestations, inscribed by the US-­led “war on terror.” It connects anti­-Blackness as well as anti­-Muslim and anti­Arab racism in the US with global imperial wars in the rest of the world.

The “war on terror” rests on regional geopolitical alliances forged for the sole purpose of maintaining and furthering imperial and Zionist hegemony. It is situated within a genealogy of colonial legacies that have structured power in Arabic­speaking regions along the lines of gender, religion, ethnicity, skin color, language, and sexual orientation, to name a few. With these genealogies in mind, those of us struggling to rid all communities of the Maghreb and the Mashreq* from militarization and neoliberalism must center the lived experiences and aspirations of women, Black Arabs, Nubians, Imazighen, Kurds, Armenians, migrant workers, refugees, gender­-nonconforming individuals, queers, and others. We pledge to work against marginalization within our communities in all its forms and to continue examining the language we use as we continue dismantling colonial legacies. We must refuse and erase national boundaries created to divide us­­—building with the oppressed from Palestine to Western Sahara, from Yemen to Syria, from Algeria to Sudan, from Tunisia to Egypt and beyond, as we come together in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.

In pledging to resist and overcome, we as #Arabs4BlackPower unequivocally support the M4BL platform for reparations, invest­-divest, economic justice, community control and political power. We recognize, as did many before us, that only through joint struggle will we dismantle the distinct yet intersecting systems that both oppress Black and Indigenous people in the settler colonies of the Americas and institutionalize a war of terror from within US boundaries to the Mashreq, Maghreb, and beyond. To this end, we commit ourselves to combating anti­-Blackness wherever we find it in our communities—both within the boundaries of the US as immigrant­-settlers complicit in white supremacy, as well as in Arabic­speaking regions where socio­-historically distinct forms of discrimination against Black Arabs intersect with other forms of marginalization along the lines of gender, religion, ethnicity, skin color, language, and sexual orientation to name a few.

From Ferguson to Palestine: we will work for liberation. To everyone building towards the Movement for Black Lives:

We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.

**Maghreb and Mashreq are locally referenced geographies within predominantly Arabic speaking regions spanning from the Maghreb (Western Africa) to the Mashreq (Eastern Africa and Western Asia).

In Joint Struggle,


The Dream Defenders in downtown Nazareth, Israel, in January 2015 / Courtesy of May Alhassen

Free Reverend Edward Pinkney – Do You Hear Us? We Want Justice and Freedom, Now!

By Marcina Cole

“We must continue to fight this battle. It’s time to say enough is enough,” Rev. Pinkney said. It is time for the people to stand.” For additional information about civil rights leader Rev. Edward Pinkney, please go to, the website of Benton Harbor BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization).


Contact the Author:

Marcina Cole
Community Activist/Organizer
Hartford Social Justice Ministry
Observers in the Court
Phone: 248-383-3595
Facebook group:
Detroit Organizers for Reverend Pinkney

Pinkney shirt


IUPAT LOCAL UNION NO. 10: No Support to the Democrats, Republicans, or Any Party of the Bosses

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
11105 N.E. SANDY BLVD.
PORTLAND, OREGON 97220 Website:
PHONE: (503) 257-0589 ● FAX: (503) 262-5358 ● OOWL: (503) 262-5347
Whereas the bosses have two parties to represent their class while the millions of working people have none, and
Whereas the Democratic president Barack Obama sent the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce scabbing against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union during the 2013-14 lock-out of northwest dock workers, and
Whereas the Democratic governor Kate Brown opposed and undercut the movement for a $15 minimum wage across Oregon, and
Whereas in 2014 Democrats in Congress joined with Republicans to pass a disastrous pension “reform,” allowing the bosses to escape their obligations and cheat our retirees, and
Whereas the two presidencies of the Democrat Barack Obama have been eight years of unending war in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, causing untold human suffering, millions of refugees, and attacks on our democratic rights at home, and
Whereas the Democratic Party in power has deported some 5 million immigrants, a record, and
Whereas across the country, from Oakland to Baltimore, police under Democratic mayors regularly murder black men and women with impunity, and
Whereas the 2016 presidential election offers us the “choice” between a raving, bigoted clown and a career representative of Wall Street, and
Whereas the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Virginia governor Tim Kaine, supports union- busting “right to work” laws, and
Whereas Democrats and Republicans are and have always been strike-breaking, war-making parties of the bosses, and
Whereas so long as the labor movement supports one or another party of the bosses, we will be playing a losing game, therefore be it
Resolved that IUPAT Local 10 does not support the Democrats, Republicans, or any bosses’ parties or politicians, and Resolved that we call on the International Union to repudiate its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president, and Resolved that we call on the labor movement to break from the Democratic Party, and build a class- struggle workers party
Approved at the August 17, 2016 Regular Meeting of the Membership

Charlotte Uprising

Charlotte Uprising is a coalition of community members, local and state organizers committed to ensuring the safety of their communities, and advocating for police accountability, transparency and social and economic equity. 



[Photos by WI BOPM taken 9-24-2016 in Charlotte, NC]

AFL-CIO Constituency Groups Stand with Native Americans to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

We remain committed to fighting the corporate interests that back this project and name this pipeline “a pipeline of corporate greed.” We challenge the labor movement to strategize on how to better engage and include Native people and other marginalized populations into the labor movement as a whole.
Labor Coalition for Community Action