Note on Police Murders and the 2020 Elections

Guest Commentary

By Fred Vitale, January 28, 2021

The movement against police murder of Black people was the most significant event in the class struggle in 2020 in the U.S. This movement was broad — taking place across the country in every nook and cranny. It involved millions of people. It was deep — in many places the demonstrations went on for months, often daily.  These sustained mobilizations forged bonds of struggle.

The political and practical leaders of the movement were African American people. They won overwhelming support from the Black community and, with this engine of political energy, won significant support from an important minority of white people.

This mobilization was much bigger and sustained than all the Trump rallies and right-wing reactionary mobilizations put together. It is this dynamic, Black leadership and the Black community winning support from young white people in significant numbers, that is the most frightening to the racist power structure of the U.S.

The movement is not aware of its own significance and the corporate media and legions of middle-class journalists consciously distort the movement and its meaning. The movement was not, in most cases, united beyond protesting the horrific murders.  This movement, in spite of its many contradictions, has weakened corporate control, diminished the effect of racist lies, and drove Trump out of office.

It is this movement, its power and its potential, which so frightened government security agencies (FBI, police, the army) and their friends among the fascists. Their fear drives their desperation.

It is not easy to forge political bonds across racial lines but these bonds, forged in struggle, are not easily forgotten. The road forward is strengthening relationships — supporting Black leadership and the Black community as it engages in this central struggle; supporting the white people and the young people who begin to question the racist structure through actions; bringing out, as we work with these folks, the class character of their struggle and its revolutionary implications for socialism.

Those fighting for socialism will confront racism over and over, and in those struggles will forge bonds and build relationships essential to successful socialist revolution.

Mass protest against police murder of George Floyd.
Mass protest against police murder of George Floyd. | Photo:

Defeat the Right and Imperialist War!

Note: These remarks were delivered at the Virtual 18th Annual Detroit MLK Day Rally and Cultural Program held on Monday January 18, 2021. This event brought together over 30 speakers and cultural workers to honor the social justice and antiwar legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Azikiwe, a co-founder of MLK Day in Detroit in 2004, has served as both a speaker and emcee at all of the previous rallies, demonstrations and cultural programs. Others presentations at this event were delivered by Jesus Rodriguez Espinoza, editor and publisher at the Orinoco Tribune based in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; Darnell Summers, former GI war resister, musician and target of the United States government’s counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO); Aurora Harris, Detroit poet, author and lecturer at the University of Michigan-Dearborn; Blair Anderson, former Black Panther Party member and political prisoner; Sammie Lewis, organizer for Detroit Will Breathe (DWB); Nakia Wallace, co-founder of DWB; Tristan Taylor, co-founder and organizer with DWB; Anthony Ali, artist and organizer with DWB; Sarah Torres, event co-chair, musician, technician and member of Moratorium NOW! Coalition; Saydi Sarr, co-founder of the African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs (ABISA); Clarence Thomas, retired member of the International Longshoreman and Warehouse Workers Union Local 10 (ILWU); Efren Peredes, juvenile lifer and prison organizer; Jae Bass, Detroit spoken word artist and organizer for DWB; a Peoples’ Spirit of Detroit award was given to DWB for their pioneering role in the anti-racist movement; Yvonne Jones, Moratorium NOW! Coalition organizer and spokesperson for the Racial Profiling Across 8 Mile billboard campaign; among many others. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Detroit, the entire event was held online. A link to the entire program streamed over YouTube is available here:

Detroit MLK Day March in 2020 outside St. Mathews-St. Josephs Church. | Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe

Facebook: don’t censor our critiques of Zionism!

Dear Friends,

Today, we are part of a broad coalition that is launching a petition to prevent Facebook from revising its hate speech policy to define critique of Zionism as inherently antisemitic.

Conflating criticism of the nationalist ideology of Zionism with antisemitism undermines efforts to dismantle real antisemitism. It also severely limits the space for Palestinians and others to express their political points of view, describe violations of their human rights, and share experiences of violence at the hands of Zionists. Please sign and share this petition.

“We are currently planning a national day of action and looking for volunteers in the following cities willing to be a part of a small covid friendly petition delivery in their communities:  New York, Johannesburg, Mexico City, Sao Paolo and Sidney.  There are others as well so do send me an email at if you are interested in helping out!” 

If Facebook decides to move ahead with adding “Zionist” to its hate speech policy, it could silence the critical work we are doing to expose the underlying antisemitism and Islamophobia inherent in Christian Zionism. Those of us who seek a more just world know that we must confront the political ideology and heretical reading of the Bible expressed by Christian Zionists—a group in the U.S. that vastly outnumbers American Jews who embrace a Zionist ideology.  

Thank you for taking action!

Rochelle Watson

National Organizer
Friends of Sabeel North America

The history of Cuba is one of victories (+Photos)

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz and President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez honored José Martí yesterday with some twenty young people who descended the steps of the University of Havana in the traditional March of the Torches.  

Author: Leticia Martínez Hernández |

Author: Liz Conde Sánchez |

January 28, 2021

“The pandemic will be defeated and the difficulties we face overcome. This is the history of Cuba. This is the history of patriots like Martí, this is the history of our revolutionary students,” Army General Raúl Castro Ruz stated yesterday evening, during a heartfelt exchange at the Fragua Martiana with some twenty young people who had descended the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway in the traditional March of the Torches.

“This demonstration is not the largest, but it is one of the most moving,” stated the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, who, along with the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, at the historic Havana intersection of Hospital and Príncipe Streets, received the group who reenacted that first march held January 27, 1953, led by a young Fidel Castro Ruz. This year, given the precautions demanded by the pandemic, the tribute was smaller and the route customarily illuminated by thousands of torches was walked by some 20.

Photo: Endrys Correa Vaillant

Also present were José Ramón Machado Ventura, Party second secretary, the Comadante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, and José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, who 68 years ago, along with Raúl, also marched these streets, to denounce the Batista dictatorship, and ensure that Marti’s legacy was not forgotten on his centenary.

The important thing is that the ceremony took place, no matter the number of participants, Raul told the group, before sharing a fist bump with each of them, as required by the new codes of behavior imposed by COVID-19 in Cuba and around the world.

This January 27 was different. The University of Havana’s Grand Stairway did not resound with the footsteps of thousands advancing toward the prison quarry where Martí’s spirit was tested at an early age. But the tribute, on the eve of the 168th anniversary of his birth, was not forgotten.

“Today there will be fewer torches, but this does not mean that all of Cuba is not alit with the flame of dignity in healthcare centers, workplaces, schools, art studios, defense , and everywhere the battle against the pandemic is fought,” stated José Ángel Fernández Castañeda, president of the Federation of University Students.

Photo: Estudios Revolución

Solidarity pushes back Facebook ban on community and women’s groups

January 30, 2021 Greg Butterfield

Social media network Facebook is relied upon by millions of people around the globe for communication. But under billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow owners, Facebook serves the interests of profit, not people. Facebook launched its latest attack on leftists and people’s organizations shortly after the inauguration of President Joe Biden. 

Pages of several left organizations in the U.S. and Britain were summarily removed on Jan. 21-22. Hundreds of activists affiliated with those pages had their Facebook profiles “disabled” — that is, banned. When activists tried to appeal the decision, they were all notified that the ban was permanent and could not be appealed due to alleged, unspecified “violations of community standards.”

In the U.S., the pages of the Peoples Power Assembly, a leading anti-police brutality group based in Baltimore, and Women In Struggle/Mujeres En Lucha, a nationwide women’s organization affiliated with the Women’s International Democratic Federation, were removed by Facebook…. 

“It was solidarity that won the reversal,” said Sharon Black of the Peoples Power Assembly. She pointed out that there was no avenue to restore the pages until the targeted groups alerted supporters and media and threatened legal action.

“We began to hear from many other activists about unfair censorship and arbitrary Facebook decisions, without a clear appeals process. Most of those impacted have been Black, Latinx, Palestinian, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and People of Color], women and other communities whose voices have too often been marginalized.”

Milwaukee, Feb. 1, 2021: Stop the Evictions & Forgive Back Rent!

2900 W Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, WI – 2:30 P.M.

Milwaukee Autonomous Tenants Union

The Milwaukee Autonomous Tenants Union is calling for a picket against Milwaukee’s now largest evictor, S2 Realty, owned by Sam Stair, who appears on MATU’s landlord wall of shame.

Throughout the ongoing eviction moratorium, S2 has evicted at a higher rate than any other landlord.S2 currently has over 50 open eviction cases, conducted over 100 evictions in 2020, and has conducted over 600 evictions since 2010. Tenants have complained about harassment due to late rent, massive late and court fees, and poor unit maintenance and cleanliness upon move in.

The Demands of this picket are as follows:

-Stop all evictions by implementing a self-imposed moratorium.

-Rent forgiveness for all tenants who are behind.

-Maintain safe and clean units.

-Stop retaliating against tenants for inability to pay.Please join us as we meet on 29th on the East side of the VFW at 2900 W Lincoln Ave and march to the S2 Realty office at 2925 W Lincoln Ave. We will picket, hand out literature and have an open forum for S2 tenants to speak out against their landlord.Masks Required!

May be an image of food and text that says '2925 W Lincoln Ave Milwaukee, WI 53215 MILWAUKEE AUTONOMOUS TENANTS UNION FU S2: STOP THE EVICTIONS & FORGIVE BACK RENT! S February 1st 2:30-4:00'