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!

Week of Action June 25-30 for the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act!

A message from Ms. Babette Grunow of the Milwaukee-based Latin American Solidarity Committee: LASC in conjunction with the Honduras Solidarity Network and Witness for Peace is taking part in a week of actions for the Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act. This week on June 28th also commemorates the coup in 2009 which ushered in a series of governments that have persecuted human rights activists and violated human rights. Please join us in taking at least one of these actions during the week. Also check out our Facebook page for interesting articles. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LASCMilwaukee/
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From June 25th to June 30th, Witness for Peace, in collaboration with other organizations, will be coordinating a Week of Action to support the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act, HR 1299.

Check out the ways to engage, below, and let us know if you or your organization can participate in reaching out to your community!  We’ll be in touch as the week approaches, to make sure you have the resources to take action in support of the Berta Cáceres Act.

Sunday, June 25th

Kick off the Week of Action by joining a webinar coordinated by the Honduras Solidarity Network: register for the webinar here.  Consider hosting a viewing party in your community!

Monday, June 26th

Join Berta’s family in calling for the Berta Cáceres Act.  Learn more about Berta’s life and legacy, the broader human rights crisis in Honduras, and the connections to US-funded militarization and ongoing security aid. Write to your Member of Congress and help us circulate a video about Berta and the importance of the bill on social media.

Tuesday, June 27

Engage communities that are important to you, to help build awareness about the ongoing violence in Honduras and ensure their support for the Berta Cáceres Act. Organize your faith community, labor union, or other community organization to endorse the bill.

Wednesday, June 28

On the anniversary of the 2009 coup d’etat, join us in amplifying the voices of Hondurans calling for justice for Berta and demanding an end of military support for the Honduran state. Participate in our social media campaigns to publicly contact your Representative, and help Honduran organizations share their calls for justice.

Thursday, June 29

Join our friends at the Sierra Club in exploring the details of Berta’s assassination and honoring her life as an environmentalist, feminist, and visionary leader. Help us circulate their recent article about Berta’s life, assassination, and trial by sharing on social media and sending to your Representative.

Friday, June 30th

Finish the week by making and sharing your own video about the need for the Berta Cáceres Act. Help circulate other videos by posting them on social media and sharing them with your friends and Members of Congress, with the tags #justiceforberta and #bertacaceresact

We’ll be sending more information about the specific focus of each day of the Week of Action, and our webpage for the Berta Cáceres Act will have information about each day’s focus. Thank you for your advocacy!

In solidarity,

Witness for Peace

Solidarity with Chicago Dyke March: Oppose Zionist “pinkwashing”

http://www.workers.org/

The Chicago Dyke March, an annual social justice-oriented queer community celebration, is under attack by the mainstream media for asking several pro-Zionist individuals to leave the June 24 march.

The organizers of the Chicago Dyke March have issued the following statement:

“Yesterday, June 24, Chicago Dyke March was held in the La Villita neighborhood to express support of undocumented, refugee, and immigrant communities under threat of deportation. Sadly, our celebration of dyke, queer, and trans solidarity was partially overshadowed by our decision to ask three individuals carrying Israeli flags superimposed on rainbow flags to leave the rally. This decision was made after they repeatedly expressed support for Zionism during conversations with Chicago Dyke March Collective members. We have since learned that at least one of these individuals is a regional director for A Wider Bridge, an organization with connections to the Israeli state and right-wing pro-Israel interest groups. A Wider Bridge has been protested for provocative actions at other LGBTQ events and has been condemned by numerous organizations (tarabnyc.org/cancelpinkwashing/) for using Israel’s supposed “LGBTQ tolerance” to pinkwash the violent occupation of Palestine.

The Chicago Dyke March Collective is explicitly not anti-Semitic, we are anti-Zionist. The Chicago Dyke March Collective supports the liberation of Palestine and all oppressed people everywhere. From Palestine to Mexico, border walls have got to go!”

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URGENT: Defend Democracy At Work, Stop Anti-Union Power Grab by Right Wing Legislators in North Carolina

http://tinyurl.com/yb82o2uz

North Carolina Worker Power June 2017

THANKS FOR YOUR CALLS LAST WEEK, WE SLOWED THEM DOWN,
SB375 REARS ITS HEAD AGAIN! 
Defend Democracy At Work!
Stop the Power Grab by Right Wing Legislators!
Legislators Push Bill to Eliminate Union Payroll Deduction

Call-in Day of Action, Mon., June 26
Call in ALL WEEK LONG!

Rep. David Lewis, Chair House Rules Committee – 919-715-3015
Speaker of the House, Rep. Tim Moore – 919-733-3451

(Leave a message if they don’t answer)

All North Carolina public workers’ right to organize is under severe attack.  A bill, SB 375,  to eliminate voluntary union payroll dues deduction for all public sector organizations has passed the NC Senate, it is now scheduled to be in the House Rules committee on Monday, June 26.  Last week our call-in day got it removed from the committee agenda, but it has now been re-entered for discussion this Monday.

Without payroll deduction to fund employee organization, workers are left without their best defense to address the quality of public services and working conditions– the right to organize and speak-out.   NC, like many states across country, has seen a steady erosion of funds for public education, health care, food and nutritional supplemental support and all public services.  Workers organizing to address their working conditions, is the first line of defense for quality services and quality jobs.

The NC State Legislature has also been steadily working to take power away from local governmentsby preempting their ability to defend residents and workers. House Bill 2 was the most publicized effort when the state took away local governments’ ability to pass protections for transgendered people, and use it to divide and attack all workers. They also eliminated ability of local governments to pass resolutions to raise wages for companies in their jurisdictions. Efforts have also been made to take away authority of the City of Charlotte for their airport, the City of Asheville of their water system, as just a few examples. Now they want to eliminate union payroll deduction and take power from local governments to hear from their own employees’ organizations.

This is a further attack on workers’ human rights!  
Public sector workers in NC are already denied the right to collectively bargain, which the United Nations International Labor Organization ruled is a violation of workers’ fundamental human rights. Organizations directly impacted by SB 375 include UE local 150-NC Public Service Workers Union, NC Association of Educators, International Association of Firefighters, Teamsters local 391, State Employees Association of NC and others.

Make the call to the NC House of Representatives today to tell them to oppose SB 375!

Attend House Rules Committee meeting Monday, June 26 at 4:30pm room 1228 in Legislative building!  Wear a yellow shirt ! 

CALL TODAY! 

Rep. David Lewis, Chair House Rules Committee
919-715-3015

David.Lewis@ncleg.net

Speaker of the House, Rep. Tim Moore
919-733-3451
Tim.Moore@ncleg.net

Call script:

Hello, my name is ______________________ .  I am calling on Rep. Lewis and Rep. Moore to oppose Senate Bill 375 to eliminate union payroll deduction.   The state has taken enough power away from workers and local governments. This is another attack on our democracy!  Workers organizing is our best defense for quality public services.  Vote no to SB 375!

(Leave a message if they don’t answer)
Let us know you made a call by posting a note on our Facebook event page here