Report on the UNAC 2017 Conference

http://nepajac.org/unac062617.html

As activists met in Richmond, VA for the UNAC conference entitled “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad: Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression,” the US military was shooting down another Syrian plane from the skies over Syria, and the cop who murdered Philando Castile was being acquitted.  Despite these realities, the conference and the movement took a huge step forward, as over 300 people registered for the conference, bringing together people from 31 states as well as nine foreign countries: Canada, Columbia, Hungary, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Venezuela.  The conference was the most diverse by age, race and geography of any antiwar conference or meeting in recent history.
Hosted in Richmond by the UNAC-affiliated Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, the Friday night through Sunday conference presented a number of panels and workshops on the wars abroad and the wars at home on people of color, workers, immigrants, Muslims and others. The entire conference was professionally live-streamed and recorded by Other Voices, Other Choices, with producer Wilton Vought.  The recordings can be seen and heard here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLatnOpu3eZimt5YieDM5MFzDPGe0ZQgzI.
This was the first time that UNAC attempted a conference in the South and away from the major East Coast metropolitan areas.  This was due to the number of groups from the South that have recently joined UNAC and an increased pace of struggle in that area of the country.

UNAC_Coalition_BANNER

Support Farm Workers in North Carolina

Farmers Elected to State Legislature Seek to Stop Farmworker Union’s Progress

S615 continues decades long effort to deny farmworkers freedom of association

Contact: Justin Flores, jflores@floc.com, 704-577-3480

http://www.floc.com/wordpress/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 28, 2017, Raleigh, NC –State Rep. David Lewis of Dunn, NC, a tobacco farmer in Eastern NC was pushing Senate Bill 375, which focuses on stopping farmworkers from organizing for better wages and working conditions. Not having the votes to pass the bill, Rep. Jimmy Dixon, a farmer from Warsaw, NC snuck it in as an amendment to the Farm Bill, S615, which was passed without opportunity for full discussion.

The bill has two parts: 1. It makes it illegal for farmers who have signed union agreements to deduct dues from union members who want to pay dues, seeking to weaken the only farmworker union in the state, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) 2. The bill makes it illegal for farmworkers to ask growers to sign an agreement with their union as part of settling wage or other legal violations, making it more difficult for farmworkers to achieve union agreements that include wage increases, job security, benefits, and improved working conditions. This, FLOC believes, is occurring in retaliation for a series of lawsuits their members have brought over the past few years, seeking to end wage theft, intimidation, and retaliation across Eastern NC.

Farmworkers are excluded from the National Labor Relations Act, face exceptions in the minimum wage, child labor, and workers compensation laws, among others. Farmworkers are covered by the state’s so called Right to Work law, which forces unions to spend money representing non-members, and more recently, were the victims of the “Agricultural Right to Work” law, passed in 2013 in response to FLOC’s tobacco campaign.

“Farmers have many ways to come together and improve their lives, such as trade associations and cooperatives; it is unfair for them to try and stop their own workers from doing the same by passing laws to make it illegal. Politicians that are also growers shouldn’t pass self-serving laws simply because they don’t want their workers to unionize. With the continuation of Jim Crow era laws that aim to stop a now almost entirely Latino workforce from organizing, this is an affront to freedom of association and smacks of racism.” said FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez.

FLOC is a farmworker union that represents over 10,000 farmworkers in NC, SC and OH. Since 2007, the union has been calling on tobacco purchasers, such as Winston-Salem based Reynolds American to spend more money buying US tobacco to support growers and improve conditions for the tobacco farmworkers in their supply chain.

###

Justin Flores

Vice-President, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO

PO Box 560

Dudley, NC 28333

Cell:704-577-3480

http://www.floc.com/wordpress/

NYC, July 2: Cultural Festival: 100 Years of the October Revolution

Hosted by International League of Peoples’ Struggle – ILPS US

Join us on Sunday, July 2nd for a cultural festival to mark the centennial commemoration of the October Revolution! There will be art, readings, multi-media, perofrmances, and many more expressive works that will carry the Commemoration’s theme: “Advance the Global People’s Resistance! Carry Forward the Vision and Tasks of the Great October Socialist Revolution!”

DATE: Sunday, July 2nd
TIME: 10 AM doors open, 11AM-5PM
PLACE: 39 Eldridge Street, 4th Floor, Chinatown NYC
$5 entrance fee

BACKGROUND:

The year 2017 marks the centennial of the revolution under the leadership of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) on October 25, 1917 (in the old-style or Julian calendar), in which the masses of workers, peasants and soldiers seized political power from the Russian big bourgeoisie after the Tsarist autocracy was overthrown earlier in February 1917. Amidst the destruction of World War I, the toiling masses proceeded to build and defend the socialist order in Russia and nearby nations in what is now known as the Great October Socialist Revolution (GOSR) — although the shift to the new-style or Gregorian calendar reset the date to November 7. Despite the restoration of capitalism after a long period of revisionism in the Soviet Union, the GOSR continues to inspire generations of the working class to fight for socialism and unite with the peasantry in the struggle for democracy and against all forms of oppression in many parts of the world.

The current international situation, as 2017 opens and unfolds, is a constant reminder that the basic contradictions in the world today remain as those that confronted the proletarian revolutionaries a century ago. The global capitalist system faces worsening crises and threats of new financial meltdowns. These crises have deep-going impacts on economies and social classes. The failure of the neoliberal project has spawned a relentless critique of capitalism from many directions. While there is no world war today as there was in 1917, the drums of war are getting stronger in many parts of the globe, regional and proxy wars are intensifying, and fascist movements and state terrorism are on the rise.

As a result, social discontent and mass struggles are intensifying across the world, and proletarian-led national liberation movements are persevering in several countries. While there is no ripening revolutionary upheaval in capitalist countries today as there was in Europe at the end of World War I, there is renewed and growing public interest in socialism and Marxism (and the Marxist-Leninist critique of capitalism and imperialism), and the toiling masses are looking for militant leadership in the face of weakened proletarian revolutionary parties.

The significance, lessons, legacy and continuing validity of the October Revolution are expected to become major topics of global discourse (in media, academe, political parties, and social movements) by the second half of 2017. This trend will be strengthened further by renewed public awareness of Lenin’s State and Revolution and Imperialism: the Highest State of Capitalism. These two works will mark their 100th anniversary of publication also in 2017, alongside Marx’s Das Kapital (vol. 1), which will mark its 150th anniversary.

These conditions offer all socialist and anti-imperialist forces an opportunity (and a daunting challenge as well) to quickly redouble efforts in raising public awareness of the GOSR’s continuing legacy and in raising the level of unity against monopoly capitalism and for socialism.

ILPS Lenin July 2 2017 NYC

IMMIGRANT FAMILIES & SUPPORTERS URGE GOV. WALKER & GOP TO STOP AB190

http://vdlf.org/

Voces de la Frontera

“We defeated this bill last year, with the Day Without Latinxs, and now we’re going to do it again!” #NoHate #NoAB190

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Contact: Sam Singleton-Freeman | sfreeman@vdlf.org | 414.469.9206

AB190 would have local law enforcement act like Immigration agents

MADISON, WI, JUNE 28, 2017 – On Wednesday, hundreds of immigrant families and supporters lobbied and protested against AB190/SB275, a bill introduced by Wisconsin Republicans to have local law enforcement act like immigration agents. Wisconsin Republicans have introduced the bills, which are a copycat of Texas’ new anti-immigrant law SB4, and are very similar to AB450, which was defeated through the Day without Latinxs & Immigrants general strike of February 2016.

Community members visited the offices of Governor Walker and every legislator to deliver milk cartons saying “Got Milk? Not without Immigrants / Keep Famlies Together / No AB190.” The group held a rally in the early afternoon featuring a diverse lineup of speakers including dairy workers and farmers, religious leaders, elected officials, and representatives of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Wisconsin is the dairy state thanks to the strength of immigrant workers,” said Miguel Estrada, a dairy worker from Manitowoc and member of Voces de la Frontera. “Manitowoc produces 13% of the dairy in Wisconsin. I want to ask Governor Walker, without us, who will do this difficult, necessary work? Many people are leaving because of Trump and programs like 287g and now AB190, but we need to stay calm.  We will keep fighting against this bigotry and hatred.”

“AB190 seems to be an affront to all dairy farmers,” said John Rosenow, a dairy farmer from Waumandee. “In recent times, the last 20 years or so, we, Wisconsin dairy farmers, have found someone who wants to do what we love. Their names are Roberto, Armando, Gregorio, and others like them. This bill would have police profile these workers instead of welcoming them into our communities. This is not something that will make the dairy industry thrive but it is something that will restrict growth and in the end reduce jobs. We dairy farmers wonder why the legislature is not trying to create a welcoming atmosphere for our employees knowing that a hostile climate will impact our ability to make a living.”

“We are opposed to any policies like AB190 that will endanger the lives of undocumented and immigrant victims of domestic violence by coercing local law enforcement into acting in the best interests of ICE, rather than the people they are sworn to protect,” said Chase Terrier, Public Policy Coordinator of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. “We all deserve equal protection under the law. Our leaders must stand with undocumented and immigrant survivors by opposing the policies that marginalize victims and make them less likely to report crimes. We are all safer when the vulnerable among us are not forced into the shadows of society.”

“It is vital that we again make driver’s cards available to Wisconsin immigrants,” said State Rep. Peter Barca, the Assembly Minority Leader. “We’ve had enough of the anti-immigrant bills! Sit on ’em, will you? It’s so unfortunate that some legislators continue to persist with destructive and divisive legislation like AB190.”

“Critical rights under our constitution apply to everyone in our country,” said Chris Ott, Executive Director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “The ACLU supports sanctuary cities and opposes forcing local police to join federal immigration work. This makes everyone less safe by making immigrants fear any contact with the police, even if they need help or want to report an accident or crime. It is racist, and will increase unconstitutional racial profiling. We are proud to work alongside Voces de la Frontera in court, in Congress, and in the Wisconsin Capitol.”

A representative read a statement from Bishop Paul Erickson of the Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “To force local law enforcement personnel to enforce a broken and destructive immigration system will violate each of these principles, causing vulnerable people to fear any engagement with the very people who are dedicated to protecting and serving them,” said Bishop Erickson. “The proposed legislation will result in people, families, and communities being less safe, and will make it much more difficult for us to work together to create the just and free society that I hope we are all committed to.” http://vdlf.org/

 

Sacramento Central Labor Council Unanimously Endorses Resolution To Support Workers In Mexico, USA, and Canada With No Borders No Walls! – Stop NAFTA On 6/26/17

Whereas, there is an attack on immigrant workers documented and undocumented in the United States and NAFTA has been used to pit US workers against Mexican workers to benefit multi-national Corporations from the US and around the world, and

Whereas, the escalating attack on immigrant workers and people of color is a threat to all workers and organized labor in the United States, the immigrant community and their children in schools are being terrorized by ICE and the racist attacks on immigrants, and

Whereas, NAFTA has been used to privatize railroads, telecom, oil, education and the dismantling of Mexico’s agricultural industry causing forced migration of 18 million people from their homelands in Mexico.  The US and other multi-nationals Corporations have colluded with the Mexican government using NAFTA to prevent unionization at the 1500 maquiladora factories in Mexico, and

Whereas, the privatization of land has forced hundreds of thousands of indigenous people off their indigenous homeland as many as 80,000 farmworkers and their families forced to move outside their communities, towns, cities, and Northern states to find work often under horrible inhumane working conditions that are designed to enslave people/workers, like the Driscoll’s corporation in Baja, Mexico and other subsidiary farms, and

Whereas, the Trump administration is increasing the militarization of the border of the United States and Mexico that is dividing families and children from their parents, relatives, and grandparents who have not been in reachable contact in many cases over 20 years, and

Whereas, the Trump administration has said that the Mexican people are responsible for for the failure of NAFTA, and the US will renegotiate NAFTA allowing US multi-nationals and businesses to expand, exploit, and renegotiate this agreement without the input of unions, human rights environmental organization groups, and health and welfare coalitions to improve the agreement, rather the Trump administration will use this opportunity to further attack workers in Mexico, US, and Canada, and

Whereas, the same companies and multi-nationals that pushed NAFTA will be in charge of renegotiating NAFTA to benefit these same corporations and to further the expansion of the “Guest Workers” programs, and to further privatization and deregulation without the input of unions, and workers, and

Whereas, labor should support the unification of workers in Mexico, US, and Canada against the same multi-nationals and union busters that are weakening workers in the world, and the US labor force should call for the cancellation of NAFTA and for the nationalization of property and lands expropriated from the people of Mexico, and

Therefore Be It Resolved, the US unions need to support full unionization of workers in Mexico and Canada by building direct worker-solidarity by enforcing actions and international strike-actions in US, Mexico, and Canada as all three countries are under attack, and working for the same multi-nationals, thus preventing NAFTA to be “reformed” to benefit global multi-nationals thieving off the poorest labor force in particular Mexico, US, and Canada no longer, and

Be It Further Resolved, LCLAA Sacramento calls for united solidarity action of workers in Mexico, United States, and Canada for the cancellation of NAFTA, and calls for an end to the massive ICE attacks on immigrant workers documented and undocumented in the US, and

Be It Further Resolved, an international conference as part of http://www.laborfest.net/ on the need for unity of US, Mexican and Canadian workers and people on July 29, 2017 in Sacramento and LCLAA Sacramento calls for all California LCLAA chapters, unions, Labor Councils, immigrant rights organizations, LGBTQ, environmental, women’s, student, religious faith,Civil & human rights organizations to support and join this conference and,

Be It Further Resolved, LCLAA Sacramento calls for concurrence of this resolution by the Sacramento Labor Council and all affiliated bodies.

Introduced by:  Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

(LCLAA-AFL-CIO)— Sacramento Chapter.

Endorsed by Sacramento Central Labor Council AFL-CIO

Stop The Raids Madison March 4 2017

Milwaukee, July 7: Emergency Rally Against the Racist Travel Ban!

Hosted by Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump

6-8 P.M. Corner of Howell & Layton, Milwaukee

On Thursday, the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision to deny entry to the United States from six countries – unless the travelers can prove a “bona fide relationship” to our country – will take effect.

We oppose any concession to Trump’s racist agenda. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling is a dangerous move, and depending on their final ruling in October could lead to damage that would take decades to undo.

Join us for a rally on the southeast corner of Howell and Layton, right outside of Mitchell Airport at 6:30pm.

No Ban! No Wall! Legalization for all!

Milwaukee says ‘Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela!’

By Workers World Milwaukee bureau posted on June 26, 2017

In a spirited display of internationalism, dozens of Milwaukee residents participated in a “Trump, Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela” rally June 24 at the U.S. Federal Courthouse.

Speakers from the Milwaukee Coalition Against Trump, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Latin American Solidarity Committee, Stop the Wars Committee, Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement, Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba and Workers World Party denounced the Trump administration’s latest efforts to tighten the U.S. blockade against socialist Cuba, to escalate attacks on people’s Venezuela and to support the banks’ takeover of Puerto Rico.

The rally honored the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. As buses driven by members of Amalgamated Transit Local 998 rolled by the rally site, speakers noted that current President Nicolás Maduro is a former bus driver.

Speakers and literature portrayed Cuba and Venezuela as beacons for the world’s poor and oppressed, highlighting their numerous advances in housing, literacy, health care, food, culture, sports, LGBTQ and women’s rights, food production and more.

In contrast, within the USA, oppressed people in particular suffer daily from lack of access to basic human needs and face epidemic levels of police terror. These occur despite Trump’s, and before him Obama’s, rhetoric and lecturing other nations on “human rights.”

Just days before the June 24 rally, the police officer who murdered 23-year-old African-American Sylville Smith last August in Milwaukee, was acquitted by a jury. Smith is one of dozens of Black and Brown people the Milwaukee police have killed, raped and terrorized with impunity in just the last few years.

In socialist Cuba, on the contrary, people of African descent, Indigenous and other oppressed people, women and LGBTQ people are guaranteed basic human rights. Efforts are ongoing to overcome 500 years of colonialism and neocolonialism on the island. Similar efforts are being made in Venezuela.

Speakers noted how Venezuela now uses its oil profits to benefit the poor and working people of that country. Even in the United States when oil prices were high, many workers benefited from the free or discounted oil that Venezuela’s state-owned company CITGO provided. Especially during winter, access to this subsidized heating oil was a life-and-death matter.

In the spirit of the late President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, the June 24 Milwaukee rally brought together a united front of poor and working people to declare to Trump and his Wall Street backers: End the U.S. Blockade of Cuba Now! Hands Off Venezuela! U.S. Out of Puerto Rico!