Detroit, Feb. 20, 2019: Demonstration Protesting GM Plant Closings

Demonstration Protesting GM Plant Closings Feb 20, 2019 1PM

The State of Michigan Building (W Grand Blvd. between Cass Ave. and Second Ave.), 1 P.M.

Protest GM plant closings and demand Gov. Whitner fight to make GM pay back billions of dollars in Mega tax credits it was given to keep plants open and workers on the job. On Wednesday Feb. 20, 2019 at 1 PM we will gather to protest this outrage. Please join us with your voices and signs.

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#ISTANDWITHILHAN: Support Rep. Omar Against Israel Lobby Attacks

https://www.ampalestine.org/

(WASHINGTON, D.C 02/12/2019)—Pro-Israel groups want quiet influence in Washington but get insecure when anyone shines a light on that power. This week, Rep. Ilhan Omar broke the internet with her rebuke of the Israel lobby’s influence on politicians. This is an indication that AIPAC’s power is waning and they can’t afford to have members of Congress speaking out openly against their influence. On Sunday night, Rep. Omar was attacked and falsely accused of anti-Semitism for pointing out this uncontroversial fact about AIPAC. The charge that the Congresswoman’s statements on Twitter Sunday night were anti-Semitic tropes is another attempt by pro-Israel forces to quash any criticism of their powerful influence over U.S. Congress. This is a result of Israel and its allies in the U.S. feeling the heat and recognizing that blind support for Israel among the younger generation, particularly Democrats, is steadily crumbling.

But this smear campaign is nothing new. In the few short weeks since Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib assumed office, they were under attack and maligned for their support of Palestinian rights. In fact, if one were to examine the original tweet to which Rep. Omar was responding, it was regarding Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s shameless threats to punish the two Muslim congresswomen for their criticism of Israel. A bill was introduced into the House early this session essentially singling out and condemning Reps. Omar and Tlaib as anti-Semitic simply because they spoke out in support of boycotting Israel to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. These two women represent a new wave of diversity, not only in color and gender, but in their alternative approach to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Finally, the labeling of any critic of Israel or its lobby as an anti-Semite, particularly as we’ve seen recently in the attacks against prominent black intellectuals, is a well-worn tactic by Zionists to suppress any intelligent and honest policy discussion in this country. On the contrary, the particularly vicious and deeply personal attacks on Reps. Tlaib and Omar carry Islamophobic and anti-black undertones. As Muslim women of color their legitimate critiques have been heavily exaggerated and viewed through the false stereotype of Muslims hating Jews, which has no basis in reality.

As supporters of freedom and justice in Palestine, we must not shirk our responsibility: we must stand with those that are courageous, progressive, and fighting for the marginalized and oppressed.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Keep up the campaign to support Rep. Ilhan Omar! Let her know that you support her and her efforts in the face of this onslaught. Please call her today and tweet in support of her @Ilhan using the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan. Her office number is (202) 225-4755. Her website is https://omar.house.gov/ , where you can email her.
  • Call Nancy Pelosi’s office at (202) 225-4965 and voice your opposition to her shameful capitulation to the Israel Lobby. Tell Speaker Pelosi that criticism of Israeli policies and the pro-Israel Lobby is NOT anti-Semitism and to stop conflating the two!

Venezuela has Lost $350 Billion as Result of the Financial Blockade

https://bit.ly/2GBRLHv

According to the Economic Debates Unit of the Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Center (Celag), which issued a report this February 8 about the financial blockade against Venezuela by the United States, it estimates losses of about 350 billion dollars in the production of goods and services between 2013 and 2017 due to the sanctions of Congress and the White House.

The document indicates that the blocking measures for the international debt markets are mainly responsible for the current economic situation, as other independent researchers and analysts have been pointing out.

According to Celag, Venezuela could have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth greater than that of Argentina if the State headed by Nicolás Maduro had had access to international financing similar to that of Mauricio Macri in his first three years in office: “The country lost in that quinquennium (2013-2017) between 1.6 and 1.1 in Gross Domestic Products “.

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Jewish Activist From Detroit Defends Ilhan Omar

DEFEND ILHAN OMAR

By Jerry Goldberg

As an activist from a Jewish background, I completely defend Ilhan Omar’s remarks pointing to the role of AIPAC, the Zionist lobby in Washington, of paying politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) to attack those who stand up in defense of Palestine and especially who want to criminalize those who advocate the boycott and divestment movement from Zionist Israel.

Attacking Zionism and its US lobby AIPAC (American Israel Political Action Committee) is not in any way anti-semitic. Judaism and Zionism are not the same. Zionism in its modern incarnation since Theodore Herzl, is a racist, pro-colonial ideology, that was embraced by imperialism beginning with the Balfour declaration in 1917, when it coincided with western imperialism’s desire to have a garrison state and outpost in the Middle East to guarantee the robbery of Arab oil and resources. That is why Israel is always on the wrong side of every progressive struggle worldwide, even embracing apartheid South African with its Nazi leaders.

Jews never embraced Zionism and had no interest in migrating into Palestine, until they were essentially forced into Palestine when the United States closed its borders to Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. The imperialists conveniently and cynically saw the opportunity to use Jewish refugees with no where else to go as their shock troops in their war against the Palestinian people to create the illegal state of Israel. And U.S. imperialism funds Israel to this day as its military outpost in the Middle East.

It is unfortunate that main stream Jewish leaders embrace Zionism and have brainwashed too many Jewish youth and others in the US into equating the racist Zionist ideology with the Jewish religion. Many of these so-called leaders turned their backs on defense of the Black liberation movement in the US when its leaders understood the connection of the Palestinian struggle to the struggle for liberation of oppressed people in the US and worldwide.

However, as an activist for 50 years, I am encouraged that the real role of Israel as a racist, imperialist outpost is now understood by more and more activists, including young progressive Jewish activists.

I fully defend Ilhan Omar and all those who stand up for the liberation of all oppressed people. I have every confidence that Israel’s days as an apartheid state are limited, and a free Palestine that embraces all its people will ultimately emerge victorious.

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Appleton, March 9, 2019: International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Join United Action Oshkosh at Harmony Pizza in Appleton from 6-9pm on March 9th to celebrate International Women’s Day! Co-hosted by Wisconsin Freedom Road Socialist Organization, this event will focus on highlighting the leading role women have played (and currently play!) in the struggle for our collective liberation. From union battles to struggles against police crimes and the fight for immigrant rights, women are leading the charge.

A part of this celebration will incorporate a storytelling aspect, where we encourage women to share their stories with us through whichever medium they choose: poetry, song, spoken word, just plain speech, or anything else. People who are interested in attending and would like to participate in this storytelling aspect should prepare something in advance and message the UAO page if there are any questions.

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San Francisco Labor Council Says: NO to the U.S. Intervention and Attempted Coup in Venezuela!

http://sflaborcouncil.org/

[The following resolution was adopted by the Delegates Meeting of the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) on Monday, February 11, 2019.]

Whereas, Trump administration officials have openly declared their intention to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro; and

Whereas, the U.S. has tightened economic sanctions, including the seizure of Venezuela’s oil properties in the United States, increasing the hardship on the people of Venezuela; and

Whereas, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and leading Trump administration foreign policy officials have made clear their intention to privatize Venezuela’s oil and open it to exploitation by the U.S. oil companies if their coup strategy succeeds; and

Whereas, Elliott Abrams has been named Special Envoy to Venezuela and is notorious for his central role in the Iran-Contra scheme and arming of the Nicaraguan contras, the Salvadoran death squad government, and the genocidal regime in Guatemala responsible for the massacres of hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in that country; and

Whereas, the U.S. campaign of regime change in Venezuela is against the interests of the people of Venezuela, Latin America or the people of the United States; and

Whereas, the San Francisco Labor Council resolved on May 12, 2014, to “support the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to continue their political and social process free from foreign intervention,” demanding “that the U.S. government refrain from intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela.” 

Therefore Be It Resolved, that the San Francisco Labor Council endorse and support (1) the February 23 Emergency Bay Area Hands Off Venezuela protest action; (2) the March 16 National March on the White House to say “Hands Off Venezuela, No War, No Sanctions, No Coup,” which in the Bay Area will be held on Saturday, March 9; and (3) the Hands Off Venezuela National Action, which in the Bay Area will be held on March 31.

Be It Further Resolved, that this resolution will be sent to the California Labor Federation and to Bay Area Congress members.

(adopted unanimously minus one abstention)

Respectfully submitted by

• Gloria La Riva, delegate, Pacific Media Workers Guild Local 39521

• Alan Benjamin, delegate, OPEIU Local 29

• David Welsh, delegate, NALC Branch 214

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Feb. 13 & 14, 2019: Phone Zap In Support of Corcoran Prisoners – Warden Has Reneged On All Pledges

On January 9, 2019 an estimated 250 prisoners initiated a hungerstrike within California State Prison – Corcoran’s 3C facility in response to an indefinite lockdown. On January 28 after three weeks of refusing food trays, the warden met with representatives, granted full canteen privileges and promised to work out a separate yard schedule. The strikers suspended their hungerstrike and were ready to continue negiotiations in good faith.

Over the last two weeks there has been NO PROGRESS on receiving full canteen or separate yard time. The warden has reneged on all pledges so the strikers of 3C refused breakfast trays on Monday and held a day long noise demo banging on doors and windows. The initial demands remain and strikers insist that they be dealt with in good faith.

BACKGROUND: All units within 3C have been on “modified program” for 4 months now. This essentially means a “lockdown” in all meaningful aspects – no visitation, no canteen, no packages, no educational, rehab or vocational programming, and little yard time. The pretext for this indefinite lockdown by CDCr of hundreds of prisoners for months on end is an altercation on Sept 28th which saw three prisoners from their grouping attacked and put into the infirmary. Group punishments and indefinite isolation are standard practices by CDCr and must stop. In addition, guards have been setting up “dogfights” or “gladiator matches” on the yard between hostile groups: They hand pick a pair of prisoners from the group that initiated hostilities for yard time then release another pair of targeted prisoners onto the yard to be attacked. These practices only escalate trauma and conflict and ultimately only promote violence and destabilization within facilities. This effects are not an accident or “regrettable by-products”. This is how CDCr interprets its mission: control by brutalization and division.

Representatives of the unit have composed and relayed their demands to the outside as follows:

“Corcoran State Prison (3C YRD)

6 Core Demands Are As Follows:

  1. Lift Lock-Down.
  2. Allow Visits.
  3. Allow Us To Attend Educational Vocational & Rehabilitation Programs That We’re Enrolled In
  4. Allow us to Receive Commissary & Packages
  5. That We Be Given Our Weekly 10 hrs Mandated Of Outdoor Exercise Yard
  6. That We Are Treated Fairly

***WE’VE BEEN ON THIS PEACEFUL HUNGER STRIKE SINCE JANUARY 9TH, 2019 AND HAVE YET TO SEE CHANGE…
WE WILL CONTINUE THIS HUNGER STRIKE UNTIL OUR VOICES ARE HEARD.”

PHONEZAP THIS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, 2/13-14

The hungerstrike representatives have requested phone calls be made to officials in Sacramento to amplify the demands. Put aside some time this Wednesday and Thursday, 2/13-14, to make some calls!

SAMPLE SCRIPT and PHONE NUMBERS

“Hello, my name is ***_________. I’m calling to insist that you meet the demands of hunger strikers in Facility 3C at Corcoran State Prison. I understand that this strike is the result of at least four months of an effective lockdown which must end. I demand that you lift the lock-down, and reinstate visits, educational, vocational, and rehabilitative programs, as well as safe yard time. Reinstate access to commissary, packages, and their allotted 10 hrs of yard time. This is the MINIMUM level of fairness that you are required to provide to people in your care. Thank you.”

PHONE NUMBERS in order. If you can’t get through on one, you can move on to the next.
1) Regional Director, Dave Baughman – (916) 445-2165 (or email at david.baughman@cdcr.ca.gov)
2) CDCr Division of Adult Institutions – (916) 445-7688 (ask for Director)
3) CDCr Secretary Ralph Diaz – (916) 324-7308 [main CDCr line; ask to leave message for Sec. Diaz]

Don’t worry about staff or representatives giving you the runaround or denying that anything is happening at Corcoran. Denial and obstruction are standard operating procedure for them.

Please reportback!

*** You aren’t obligated to give your name if you don’t wish.

Our mailing address is:

IWOC – Oakland

p.o. box 6305

OaklandCa 94612

Madison-Based Freedom Inc. Appeal: Call School Board Members and Demand: Real Supports for Students Not Cops In Schools!

Freedom Inc

Despite recently renewing the contract with the Madison Police Department, the Madison Metropolitan School District (Madison Schools – MMSD) is participating in the National Week of Action for Black Lives Matter at School whose fourth demand is to “Fund Counselors Not Cops.” This hypocrisy is a slap in the face to Black students who are disproportionately impacted by police violence in their schools and in their communities.

Freedom Inc. has urged MMSD to invest in non-police crisis intervention specialists, school psychologists, counselors and creating well rounded, culturally relevant programs and services for youth of color for the past two years. Our youth deserve better and their lives matter.

Please contact your local School Board members to demand that they invest in youth and divest from the police.

School Board contact info:
Mary Burke – email: mburke2@madison.k12.wi.us
Nicki Vander Meulen – email: nkvander@yahoo.com
Kate Toews – email: ketoews@madison.k12.wi.us phone:608-800-2193
James Howard – email: jlhoward@madison.k12.wi.us phone:608-231-9376
Dean Loumos – email: dgloumos@madison.k12.wi.us phone:608-332-2095
TJ Mertz – email: tjmertz@madison.k12.wi.us phone:608-215-1942
Gloria Reyes – email: greyes@madison.k12.wi.us phone:608-228-5303

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Milwaukee, Feb. 20, 2019: CLOSEmsdf Picket

CLOSEmsdf Picket (February)

901 N 9th Street, Milwaukee, 11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.

Why do we picket?
1. To educate people on the inhumane conditions at MSDF
2. To memorialize the 17 people who have died in MSDF since it opened.
3. To let WI taxpayers know that each day someone spends in MSDF for a crimeless rule violation it costs us $100.84 vs $40 to treat that person in the community where their job, housing & support systems stay secure.
4. Former Governer Tommy Thompson has said building MSDF was a mistake. Its time the state corrects that error.

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Please join us during the lunch hour on February 20 on the 10th Street side of the courthouse. Partway through the picket we might march over to the state office building on 6th and Wells, where the DOC has offices.

Parking is metered or nearby public lots. If you don’t mind walking a couple blocks, its often easier to find free parking on the other side of the freeway.

We’ve been holding down this monthly picket since the spring of 2017. A coalition of Milwaukee organizations have joined up to shut down MSDF. This facility is a building within a building, where captives have no access to fresh air or sunlight. They are triple bunked in lockdown cells for over 20 hours a day. There is no outdoor rec. The facility was built and is run using funds that should be used for diversionary programs to keep people out of jail, instead it’s being used to keep them on supervision under arbitrary and vindictive probation and parole officers.

We are organizing this protest on every 23rd (unless that lands on a weekend, when there’s less foot traffic). The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has called for actions on the 23rd of every month (to bring attention to 23 hour a day lockdowns). http://www.nrcat.org/about-us/take-action-current-legislation/563-together-to-end-solitary

Can’t come?

SIGN THE PETITION!!!!

If you haven’t signed the petition yet yourself, please do here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/its-time-to-close-milwaukee-secure-detention-facility-msdf

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