Building Unity: Activist Summit for Justice & Democracy December 10 & 11, 2022

Facebook Event: https://fb.me/e/1ZsFErc5G

Save the Date and watch here for more information. Building Unity and Partners are hosting a virtual summit for Wisconsin Activists who are ready to unite to create and execute a statewide plan for building our movement for justice and democracy!

Registration and more info here: https://tinyurl.com/BasicSummitInfo

75 years after partition, U.S. guns and dollars still murder Palestinians

75 years after partition, U.S. guns and dollars still murder Palestinians

Thousands of Palestinian students at Bir Zeit University take part in the funeral procession of Jawad and Zafer Al Rimawi, two brothers murdered by lsraeli occupation forces Nov. 29 near Ramallah. Photo: Times of Gaza

Bill Dores, November 4, 2022

Dec. 2 – Seventy-five years ago, on Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations partitioned the land of Palestine against the wishes of its people. The chief architect of this crime was the U.S. Truman administration. The State Department threatened dozens of countries with economic retaliation if they did not vote to create a colonial settler state on 57% of the land of Palestine.  

Most countries in Africa and many in Asia and the Caribbean were still under West European colonial rule and not allowed to vote. 

Within months Al Nakba began – the campaign of mass murder and ethnic cleansing that drove the majority of Palestinian people from their homes and created the racist state called “Israel” on their stolen land. In 1967 that state seized all of Palestine and part of Syria and Egypt as well.

The United Nations now marks Nov. 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The U.S.-armed and -funded Israeli occupation forces marked that date this year with a murder spree in the camps and villages of the West Bank, killing 10 people in four days.

At 4 a.m. on Nov. 29, in the village of Kafr Ein near Ramallah, an Israeli military hit squad murdered Bir Zeit university students Jawad Al Rimawi, 22, and Zafer Al Rimawi, 21. The two brothers were the only sons of their family….

75 years after partition, U.S. guns and dollars still murder Palestinians

Difficulties Mount for Ukraine – Rhetoric Won’t Save Them

By David Sole, https://fighting-words.net/

The military situation for Ukraine forces continues to deteriorate. This reality is difficult for some in the West to understand because the two offensives carried out by Ukraine against Russian Federation forces in the late summer and early fall were widely exaggerated by the anti-Russian media.

In fact the Kharkiv advances by Ukraine in the northeast battlefields were met with a Russian decision to pull back their troops and equipment from forward positions that were weakly defended. On the southern front around Kherson city, the Russians had continually stopped Ukraine offensive operations exacting a heavy toll on the Ukrainian troops. Then Russia decided to withdraw their forces to the east bank of the Dnieper River and abandon their bridgehead around the city of Kherson. In both cases the Russians preserved troop strength and regrouped in good order in more defensible positions while awaiting the arrival of the 300,000 military reservists called up to serve in Ukraine.

The Russian reinforcements have begun arriving and there are areas in the northeast that show Russians offensive operations. Most notable is the battle for the city of Bakhmut. For several months Russian troops have pushed steadily forward in heavy fighting. Western media have now been forced to admit that Ukraine is suffering massive casualties which they are unable to replace along with a severe shortage of weapons and ammunition.

Newsweek, no friend of Russia, ran a headline that “Ukrainian Forces Outnumbered and Facing Supply Issues in Battle for Bakhmut.” A Ukrainian commander told CNN that they “faced a Russian barrage from early morning until night, but the biggest problem …was that they were ‘heavily outnumberd.’ Battery commanders at the frontline told … that ammunition supplies are running low and even U.S.-supplied guns are ‘breaking’ under the constant strain.” https://www.newsweek.com/bakhmut-ukraine-russia-war-battle-supply-zelensky-putin-1764148

Western analysts are promoting the idea that Bakhmut has little strategic value. They fail to realize that major battles often take shape simply because one side and then the other keep putting troops and resources into an unfolding battle. Russia’s stated goal, at the beginning of the war on February 24, was the demilitarization of Ukraine. With many reports appearing that Ukraine is losing 5 to 10 soldiers to every Russian loss, the Bakhmut battle may be in line with Russia’s aims.

The New York Times admitted on November 26 that the war “is chewing up the modest stockpiles of artillery, ammunition and air defenses of” NATO’s supplies. “Even the mighty United States has only limited stocks of the weapons that Ukrainians want and need.” This “could prove decisive to Ukraine’s effort.” 

The Ukrainians have been firing over 6,000 artillery rounds a day. The Russians pound them with over 40,000 shells a day. It is reported, for comparison, that U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan before the withdrawal might fire a total of 300 rounds a day. And the U.S. can manufacture only 15,000 per month.

The U.S. and NATO are also unable to replace lost tanks and modern air defense systems to Ukraine. Artillery pieces that break down on the front lines have to be shipped well over 1,000 miles to repair facilities in Poland, and another 1,000+ miles back to the front.

Increasing production of weapons for Ukraine isn’t a solution. A severe shortage of 155-mm artillery shells “is probably the big one that has the planners most concerned…If you want to increase production capability of 155 shells…it is going to be probably four to five years before you start seeing them come out the other end.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/26/world/europe/nato-weapons-shortage-ukraine.html

Another revelation from the Bakhmut battle is that an unknown number of foreign troops are fighting for Ukraine on the front lines. It has been reported that Polish and Romanian troops are fighting in Ukrainian uniforms. Also U.S. mercenaries have been seen in videos fighting on the ground, separate from U.S. troops who are supposedly in Ukraine to monitor weapons deliveries.

On December 4 five military “volunteers” from the nation of Georgia were encircled near Bakhmut and killed in the fighting. A Georgian news outlet has revealed that as many as 1,500 Georgian soldiers are currently fighting in Ukraine – making it hard to believe that they are all volunteers. https://news.yahoo.com/five-georgian-military-volunteers-killed-093620261.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall  

With prospects dimming for them on the battlefield Ukraine’s political leaders and their U.S./NATO puppet masters are cranking up their political rhetoric trying to keep the public in the U.S. and Europe from turning against this proxy war.

On September 27 Ukraine’s president Zelensky called upon the United Nations to create a special tribunal to punish Russia. On November 23 the European Union passed a motion calling Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism.” Much of the West, following the United States’ lead, have already imposed severe economic sanctions on Russia. These recent pronouncements are a reflection that the sanctions have not been effective, and in fact may end up hurting Europe more, since it has depended on Russian oil and gas for their energy supplies.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military, General Mark Milley accused Russia of committing war crimes. In particular Milley condemned the Russian missile strikes that have targeted and knocked out much of Ukraine’s electric supply. The general, speaking at a press conference, decried “their strikes on civilian infrastructure, power generation and dams.” https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/top-us-general-calls-russia-185809443.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

Anyone familiar with U.S. military policy in the many imperialist attacks against other nations over the past decades knows that it has been the policy of the Pentagon to strike electric power grids, water supplies, media centers, bridges and other infrastructure targets in the first days of any operation.

One can go back to the U.S/NATO war to destroy Yugoslavia where months of bombing infrastructure brought that country to its knees. Hitting civilian targets was made even more terrible when U.S./NATO planes would return to a target twenty minutes after the first bombs dropped to make sure to kill the medical and rescue personnel who would rush in to the scene of destruction.

The U.S./NATO goal to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi in Libya in 2011 also used indiscriminate bombing for over 6 months. In both Iraq wars (1991 and 2003) massive bombing carpeted that country. The U.S. sanctions which spanned the decade between the two invasions particularly targeted civilians. The terrible lack of medicine caused an estimated 500,000 children to die – a fact admitted by Secretary of Defense Madelaine Albright who added “the cost was worth it.”

So Milley’s remarks are purely for propaganda reasons, hoping that the public is not knowledgeable about the history of imperialist crimes against humanity. In fact Russia had held off targeting the electric power system of Ukraine for many, many months. Only after the massive flood of western trained troops and tens of billions of dollars of U.S./NATO heavy weapons systems into Ukraine took place that Russia has been forced to escalate.

Further escalation on the part of the United States and NATO is a possible danger. Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics “called to allow Kiev to attack targets deep  in Russian territory.” Rinkevics spoke at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania on November 30. So far NATO has sought to limit the range of NATO supplied weapons. If such an escalation were permitted, Russia has indicated that it would be free to attack NATO bases outside of Ukraine in retaliation. https://www.txtreport.com/news/2022-11-30-the-latvian-minister-called-to-allow-ukraine-to-attack-targets-deep-in-russia.SkaCiKNvi.html

This rhetorical escalation against Russia is a reflection of the frustration that the war is not going well for Ukraine and its U.S./NATO masters. It remains to be seen how the West will react if and when the Ukraine forces start to crumble in the face of a long prepared broad Russian offensive.

Railroad Workers United: Democrats, Then Republicans Smite Rail Labor

Press Release
Date: December 2nd, 2022
For Immediate Release

Press Release

Date: December 2nd, 2022

For Immediate Release

For More Information, Please Contact:

LAS VEGAS, NV – RWU General Secretary Jason Doering 202-480-0587 jason.doering@nvsmart-union.org

DES MOINES, IA – RWU Co-Chair Ross Grooters 515-689-3229 blet778lr@gmail.com

SPARKS, NV – RWU Co-Chair Gabe Christensen 775-682-0889 gabe.christenson@nvsmart-union.org

RENO, NV – RWU Organizer Ron Kaminkow 608-358-5771 ronkaminkow@yahoo.com

ATLANTA, GA – RWU Treasurer Hugh Sawyer 404-290-1961 hlsawyerjr@gmail.com

POCATELLO, ID – RWU Steering Committee Member Paul Lindsey 208-317-7379 mplindsey208@gmail.com

CHICAGO, IL – RWU Newsletter Editor Mark Burrows 773-486-7001 potashpuller55@gmail.com

MILWAUKEE, WI – RWU Steering Committee Alternate JP Johnson 406-491-1791 ironhorse8401@gmail.com

CHICAGO, IL – RWU Member Marilee Taylor 773-405-5246 marileetaylor@sbcglobal.net

FORT MADISON, IA – RWU Member Jeff Kurtz 319-470-9990 ia.chairman@gmail.com

SPARKS, NV – RWU Member Matt Parker 775-772-3675 mparker@bletnslb.org

TOLEDO, OH – RWU Member Matt Weaver 248-986-6079 bmweaver2624@frontier.com

BOSTON, MA – RWU Member Nick Wurst 508-335-8633 nick@w-sts.com

Democrats, Then Republicans Smite Rail Labor

While the Railroad Workers United (RWU) finds it despicable – but not surprising – that both political parties opted to side with Big Business over working people yesterday and vote against the interests of railroad workers – not once, but twice, within hours. We suffered a one-two punch at the hands of, first the Democratic Party; the second served up by the Republicans.

First, responding to the wishes of President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House voted to legislate a contract that the majority of U.S. freight rail workers had previously voted to reject. The Senate would quickly follow suit. In effect, their actions simply overrode our voices and desires. Rail workers – like all workers – should have the right to bargain collectively and to freely engage in strike activity if and when the members see fit and when they democratically elect to do so.

Within hours of the Senate vote sealing our fate on Thursday afternoon, we would suffer a second defeat, this time at the hands of the other party of Big Business, the Republican Party. That bill – which would have mandated that all railroad workers receive seven days of paid sick leave – would receive just a handful of votes from Republicans in the House and, crucially, in the Senate, where it went down to defeat.

“This one-two punch from the two political parties is despicable,” according to RWU General Secretary Jason Doering. “Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic, the essential nature of our work, the difficult and dangerous and demanding conditions of our jobs. Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy Class One rail carriers every time.”

Railroad Workers United understands that this fight for justice will continue in the coming months and years. “The rail carriers are too powerful and are a scourge to the national economy,” according to RWU Steering Committee Member Paul Lindsey, “They need to be taken into public ownership and run in the interest of workers, shippers, passengers, and the nation, not a handful of wealthy stockholders.”

RWU believes that railroad workers need to explore options other than the existing two political parties since neither appears to have our backs. RWU also believes that railroad workers need to consider doing away with the archaic and divided craft union system that hampers our unity and solidarity, and initiate the process of building a single and powerful railroad workers union that can win in future rounds of contract bargaining.

According to RWU Organizer Ron Kaminkow, “We have been played for well over a century by politicians and union officials alike. The fiasco of recent months will show that perhaps the time has come for railroad workers to push for a unified and powerful labor organization of all crafts,together with a political party that will better serve the interest of not just railroad workers but all working-class people.”

December 9, 2022: Show Starbucks that we Stand up to Bullies!

And we need your help. We need your help to get Starbucks to the bargaining table, and to support workers, like myself, who were wrongfully fired for their union leadership.

We are asking for your support in these efforts:

  1. ATTEND A STARBUCKS WORKERS UNITED RALLY AT A CITY NEAR YOU: On December 9th, we will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the first unionized Starbucks. We want you to celebrate with us. We need community support to put pressure on Starbucks to bargain with us. We will be hosting rallies in Arlington, VA, Buffalo, Seattle, NYC, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Boston.
  2. DONATE TO THE STARBUCKS WORKER SOLIDARITY FUND: So many Starbucks workers across the country have stories similar to mine. Starbucks fired us for organizing, and now many organizers are struggling financially. The Coworker Starbucks Solidarity Fund is distributing $2500 stipends that will help these worker activists address urgent needs, no strings attached — from rent and health insurance to training and travel to events. 100% of your donation will be redistributed to a worker who applies for support.

Starbucks brands itself as a “progressive” company, and specifically recruits workers from the LGBTQ+ community by offering benefits like gender affirming care. When workers want to organize, Starbucks then weaponizes these same benefits, and uses our identity to threaten and intimidate us out of organizing.

Starbucks’ union busting is not only an attack on workers, but an attack on the entire queer community.

This fight is not just a fight for Starbucks workers – it’s a fight for the entire American labor movement. We need to tell Howard Schultz, and his billionaire friends, that union busting is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated.

I hope you will join us at a rally near you on December 9th.

In Solidarity,

Sam Amato