Bill Fletcher, Jr.

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Bill Fletcher, Jr.

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William (Bill) Gerald Fletcher, Jr. is a leading U.S. Marxist and Barack Obama supporter.

Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941.

He is married to married Candice Cason; daughter; Yasmin Jwahir Fletcher.

Background

Bill Fletcher, Jr. was born in 1954 in New York City. Motivated by the civil rights movement Fletcher became an activist at age 13, "dabbling" in the Black Panther Party and organizing rallies and events. While a student at Mount Vernon High School he helped form the Black Student Alliance and was active in student politics. He earned his high school diploma in 1972[1].

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is Executive Editor of BlackCommentator.com and a leading member[2]of Democratic Socialists of America.

Fletcher was a co-founder of the Center for Labor Renewal and is and the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum. He is the co-author of Solidarity Divided, which analyzes the crisis in organized labor in the US.

Boston activism

At Harvard, Fletcher became interested in the labor movement. Upon earning his B.A. degree in government in 1976, he spent the next three years working as a welder at a Massachusetts shipbuilding company. After receiving hands on experience as a laborer, Fletcher worked as an organizer for the Boston Jobs Coalition and a paralegal at Greater Boston Legal Services[3].

Guinier influence

At Harvard University, Fletcher came under the influence of Dr. Ewart Guinier, the chair of the African-American studies department that was a focal point of student activism. Guinier had been secretary-treasurer of the United Public Workers, a union that was expelled from the CIO during the late 1940s amid allegations that it was Communist-led. Guinier taught black studies from a class perspective, emphasizing the crucial role of black workers in the labor movement. Fletcher graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1976, with a bachelor’s degree in government. He began organizing unemployed workers in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[4]

Jackson campaign

In 1984 Fletcher was the Boston labor coordinator for the Jackson campaign.[5]

“One of the things that I loved about Jackson, and still do,” says Bill Fletcher, Jr., now head of TransAfrica Forum and at the time involved in labor efforts in the Rainbow, “is that Jackson refused to be pigeonholed. In that sense he represented the best in real black political leadership. It wasn’t simply ethnic leadership; it was a leader speaking on all the issues of the day from the perspective of being an African-American, so that that African-Americanness infused his viewpoints. What I have found in most white institutions is a failure to accept that and respect that in people of color, and I think it was one of the things that was infuriating to much of the Democratic Party officialdom about Jackson.”[6]

DC activism

In 1986, Fletcher relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve as an organizer for District-65 United Auto Workers. He then went on to become the organizational secretary and administrative director for the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. From 1991 until 1996, Fletcher held a number of positions with the Service Employees International Union including director of education and assistant to the president. In 1996, he joined the AFL-CIO serving as education director and the assistant to President John Sweeney. After leaving the AFL-CIO in 2001, Fletcher joined the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, where he was responsible for developing relationships with foreign labor centers. In 2002, Fletcher accepted the position of president and CEO of TransAfrica Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the general public on U.S. foreign policy as it affects Africa and the Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America[7].

Forward Motion/Freedom Road Socialist Organization

In 1990 Bill Fletcher, Jr. was an associate editor of the socialist magazine Forward Motion and a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[8]

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In 1994 Rukiya Dillahunt, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Bill Gallegos, Karega Hart, Ed Hunt, Jamala Rogers, Juliet Ucelli, Bob Peterson, Meizhu Lui were guest editors of the editorial collective of Forward Motion, the journal of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[9]

In 1996 Elly Leary, Bob Peterson, Meizhu Lui, Rukiya Dillahunt, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Bill Gallegos, Karega Hart, Ed Hunt, Scott Kurashige, Jamala Rogers were contributing editors to Forward Motion, the journal of Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[10]

Malcolm X conference

A conference, Malcolm X: Radical Tradition and a Legacy of Struggle was held in New York City, November 14 1990.

The "Black Liberation and Social Revolution: U.S.A. Perspectives" panel consisted of;

Chairperson:

Panel:

Black anti-Columbus group

Ona Alston, Abdul Alkalimat, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Monica Jackson, Ralph Gomes, Cynthia Larimore, Jerome Scott, Cornell Locklear, Leo Oso, Walda Katz-Fishman, were on the working group for a conference to discuss an "Afro-Centric Counter-Columbus commemoration" Bill Fletcher, Jr. wrote about the group "In search of our truth, and our future" inFreedom Road Socialist Organization's Forward Motion, December 1991 issue.

CrossRoads

In the mid 1990s Bill Fletcher jr was[11]a contributing editor to Oakland based Institute for Social and Economic Studies- sponsor of CrossRoads magazine, which sought to promote dialogue and building new alliances among progressives and leftists... and to bring diverse Marxist and socialist traditions to bear while exploring new strategies and directions for the progressive political movements.

1993 NCIPA National Steering Committee

As of Spring 1993, the National Committee for Independent Political Action Steering Committee included Bill Fletcher, Jr..

NCC candidate

At the Committees of Correspondence Conference, July 19,1992, Fletcher was a candidate for the CoC NCC.[12]

People's Progressive Convention

In 1992, a "call" went out to leftist radicals and communist revolutionaries of various orientations to hold a national People's Progressive Convention in Ypsilanti, Michigan, August 21-23, 1992.

Endorsers included Bill Fletcher, Jr. - Associate Editor Forward Motion.

New Party builder

New Party News Fall 1994 listed over 100 New Party activists-"some of the community leaders, organizers, retirees,, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP" the list included Bill Fletcher Jr, labor educator.

Socialist Scholars 1997

The Democratic Socialists of America sponsored 1997 Socialist Scholars Conference was held March 28- 30 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York[13].

Workshops included Manning Marable, Joy James, Maulana Karenga, Bill Sales, and Bill Fletcher, Jr. on the state of African-American intellectuals;

Black Radical Congress

In 1996, five veteran activists and scholars - Abdul Alkalimat, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Manning Marable, Leith Mullings, and Barbara Ransby - initiated a round of discussions among themselves regarding the political and social state of affairs facing African Americans and other oppressed communities in the United States. Though the five brought different experiences and political frameworks to these talks, they all located themselves within the broad school of black radicalism. Those discussions would soon port to a larger pool of activists who agreed that not only did a crisis exist, but black radicals also had a responsibility to do something about it[14].

In 1998 Fletcher was a co-founder of the Black Radical Congress. Labor Activist and Writer, Washington, DC.

“Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century”

10th Anniversary Meeting of the Black Radical Congress, “Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century” Black Radical Congress, June 20-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri.

Endorsers for the Congress included Bill Fletcher, Jr. Black Commentator.[15]

Up For Democracy

Up For Democracy, created in the mid-2000's, described itself as "a multi-cultural grassroots coalition for participatory democracy, economic and social justice and peace"[16]

Steering Committee members included Bill Fletcher, Jr. - Neo-Rainbow Project, TransAfrica Forum, D.C.

Center for Political Education

In 2001 Bill Fletcher, Jr. gave a talk entitled: Leftists as Union Staffers: A Dialogue. The talk was held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education, an organization closely associated with the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.[17]

Charleston 5

Bill Fletcher, Jr., was national coordinator for the AFL-CIO of the Charleston 5 defense campaign.[18]

Radfest 2003

On Saturday evening, there was a second plenary panel, titled “The State of Black Politics.” The panelists were Linda Burnham (Women of Color Resource Center), Theresa El-Amin (Southern Anti-Racism Network, Solidarity), Bill Fletcher, Jr. (TransAfrica Forum), and Salim Muwakkil(Chicago Tribune, In These Times).

MDS Board member

Original members of the 2006 Movement for a Democratic Society board included[19];

Elliott Adams, Senia Barragan (Student Representative), David Barsamian, Noam Chomsky, Carl Davidson, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Fletcher Jr, Bert Garskof, David Graeber, Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Mike Klonsky, Ethelbert Miller, Charlene Mitchell, Michael Rossman, Mark Rudd, Howard Zinn.

On February 17, 2007, the Movement for a Democratic Society held a well attended conference[20]at New York City’s New School University.

The business portion of the meeting followed with each board nominee introducing themselves to the conference. The board, a very diverse group, was voted in by acclamation... Board nominees where were not able to attend the conference were included in the appointment by acclamation. The list included Elliott Adams, Panama Vicente Alba, Tariq Ali, Stanley Aronowitz, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, John Bracey, Jr., John Brittain, Robb Burlage, Noam Chomsky, Jayne Cortez, Carl Davidson, Angela Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Barbara Epstein, Gustavo Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stephen Fleischman, Bill Fletcher Jr, Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Florence Howe, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Alice Kessler Harris, Rashid Khalidi, Mike Klonsky, Betita Martinez, Ethelbert Miller, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barbara Ransby, Patricia Rose, Michael Rossman, Studs Terkel, Charlene Teters, Jerry Tucker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Cornel West, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn.

Left Forum

Vivek Chibber, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Bill Fletcher Jr., Frances Fox Piven and David Graeber were speakers on the closing plenary, Visions for the Future at the Left Forum. The forum was held March 9 - 11, 2007 at Cooper Union College, New York City[21]

How Class Works

At the How Class Works - 2002 Conference, panels included;

The "How Class Works - 2008" conference held at Stony Brook, New York, June 5 - 7, 2008, Center for Study of Working Class Life, proposed speakers list included: Sam Anderson, Catherine-Mercedes Brillantes Judge, Pedro Caban, Fuat Ercan, Claudia Fegan, Bill Fletcher Jr, Tami Gold, Elizabeth Hoffman, Sara Jarayaman, Stathis Kouvelakis, Sherry Linkon, Meizhu Lui, Manning Marable, Jack Metzgar, Nelson Motto, Manny Ness, Bertell Ollman, Jeff Perry, Catherine Pouzoulet, David Roediger, Andrew Ross, John Russo, Vinny Tirelli, Michelle Tokarczyk, Richard Trumka and Joe Wilson.

Conference organiser was Michael Zweig Director, Center for Study of Working Class Life, Department of Economics State University of New York ,Stony Brook, NY[23].

"NO WAR, NO WAY"

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Jan 19, 2003, ANSWER brought together an impressive array of speakers at two rallies—one that began at 11 a.m. in the sprawling National Mall, and a concluding rally at the Washington Shipyard.

Moonanum James, co-chair of United American Indians of New England and a Vietnam-era veteran, opened the rally by connecting the U.S. government’s ongoing racist war against Native peoples with their preparations for a racist war against Iraq.

Anti-war speakers included Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessen from Military Families Speak Out and Liz McAlister, partner and widow of the late peace activist Philip Berrigan. “No blood for oil!” demanded disabled Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July.”

Speaking out for labor against the war: Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME 1707 and Local 215 as well as a co-convener of New York City Labor Against the War; Fred Mason, president of statewide Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO; Michael Letwin from U.S. Labor Against War and Dr. Nadia Marsh from Doctors and Nurses Against the War.

ANSWER speakers included Youth and Student Coordinator Peta Lindsay, Elias Rashmawi from the Free Palestine Alliance. Jennifer Wager from IFCO/Pastors for Peace, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard from PCJ and Larry Holmes and Brian Becker, both from the International Action Center.

Speakers representing other anti-war coalitions included Bill Fletcher, Jr., co-chair of United for Peace and Justice; Damu Smith from Black Voices for Peace; Medea Benjamin from Global Exchange, and Miles Solay from Not In Our Name.

Jesse Heiwa, from Queers for Peace and Justice, New York, pointed to the growing coalition of lesbian, gay, bi and trans organizations against the war. Brooklyn-based activists Viola Plummer from the December 12th Movement and City Councilman Charles Barron raised the need for anti-racist solidarity, including fighting for reparations. Singer Patti Smith and D.C. cultural artists Pam Parker and Lucy Murphy performed. [24]

National Dialogue on the Sudan

In Memory of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

A National Dialogue on the Sudan

Sunday, Feb. 27, 2005

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, BLDG. 46 - MAIN AUDITORIUM

Among the Invited Speakers

The National Conference/Dialogue on the Sudan will take place (Feb 27th), culminating a week long observance for an Afro-American Muslim leader who was (and still is) most deserving.

We expect to be joined by a host of local grass-roots community leaders and activists (and possibly a few from outside the Washington area) for the press conference. Our hope is that we will also be joined by leaders from some of our “major Muslim organizations” (i.e., CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS, MPAC, etc), as this will be an opportunity for us to make a unified statement of concern and support for the Sudan and its people – particularly in light of the crisis in Darfur.
The objective will be threefold: (a) enlightened dialogue on the crisis in Sudan; (b) education for the community; (c) and a far more constructive engagement of African Americans on this issue than what we’ve seen thus far.

This conference is being sponsored by The Committee for Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation in the Sudan (a project of The Peace And Justice Foundation).[25]

Brecht Forum event

3/27 2007, - Book party/forum: "The Cost of Privilege." With author Chip Smith (Freedom Road Socialist Organization, founder, Fayetteville Peace with Justice, Machinists Union past steward), Bill Fletcher, Jr., (TransAfrica Forum, past pres), Harmony Goldberg (Bay Area activist, Anthro at CUNY Grad Ctr). Chip Smith makes case for role of system of racial advantages in preventing united challenge by US working people to the rule of capital. At Brecht Forum, 451 West St. Sponsors: Brecht Forum, Nation Books. [26]

Association for Union Democracy

In 2008 Bill Fletcher was listed on the Advisory Board[27] for the Association for Union Democracy.

Progressives for Obama

In early 2008 Barbara Ehrenreich, BIll Fletcher Jr, Danny Glover and Tom Hayden Initiated Progressives for Obama.

Open letter to Andy Stern

On May 1 2008, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Co-founder, Center for Labor Renewal & Executive and Editor of www.Blackcommentator.com signed an open letter to SEIU president Andy Stern in protest at SEIU move to force its local United Healthcare Workers into trusteeship.

"We are writing to express our deep concern about SEIU's threatened trusteeship over its third largest local, United Healthcare Workers (UHW). We believe that there must always be room within organized labor for legitimate and principled dissent, if our movement is to survive and grow. Putting UHW under trusteeship would send a very troubling message and be viewed, by many, as a sign that internal democracy is not valued or tolerated within SEIU. In our view, this would have negative consequences for the workers directly affected, the SEIU itself, and the labor movement as a whole. We strongly urge you to avoid such a tragedy."

Solidarity Divided

The book "Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path Toward Social Justice" (University of California Press, 2008), was co-authored by Bill Fletcher, Jr. and Fernando Gapasin. The authors, were a longtime union organizer and quondam top assistant to the AFL-CIO’s John Sweeney, and a Central Labor Council president and labor educator.[28]

Committees of Correspondence conference

At the 6th National Convention of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) at San Francisco's Whitcomb Hotel July 23-26 2009 a panel[29]featured responses to a "Democracy Charter" written by Jack O'Dell. Bill Fletcher Jr, editor of Black Commentator, Michael Eisenscher of US Labor Against the War, Jacqueline Cabasso from Western States Legal Foundation, Frank del Campo from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Steve Williams of POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights)addressed the "charter. Bill Fletcher, Jr. cast the Charter as a political and social guide for mass struggle.

Center for Labor Renewal

In 2009 Bill Fletcher Jr was listed as an endorser of the Center for Labor Renewal[30].

Black Commentator

As of 2009 Bill Fletcher was listed on the Editorial Board for the Black Commentator.[31]

Institute for Policy Studies

Fletcher is a senior scholar[32]with the Institute for Policy Studies.

Conversations on the Vineyard

Conversations on the Vineyard was founded by Charles Pinderhughes, a sociologist and veteran social activist. Also on the executive board are Dr. Komozi Woodard, author and Professor of History at Sarah Lawrence College, Claude Mbella, webmaster and business consultant, and Bill Fletcher, Jr., longtime labor and international activist, and the former President and chief executive officer of TransAfrica Forum.

Conversations on the Vineyard is a series of seminars held in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, fostering self-development and bringing together progressive individuals to discuss new ideas and proposals for moving the progressive agenda forward. A major component will be gatherings of progressive intellectuals and activists especially interested in advancing the struggle for change for people of African descent.[33]

Letter to Obama

In March 2009 dozens of 'human rights groups' and activists in the United States, signed a statement urging President Barack Obama to rethink his decision to boycott the United Nations-sponsored anti-racism conference.

As you know, the Durban Review Conference is one of the most important international platforms for discussing the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. Given the brutal history of slavery and Jim Crow in the United States, your Administration has much to contribute to this discussion. A boycott would be inconsistent with your policy of engagement with the international community…

Individual signers of the statement included Bill Fletcher, Jr.[34]

"Real World Labor"

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In August 2009 Dollars & Sense, produced an anthology entitled "Real World Labor", edited by Immanuel Ness, Amy Offner and Chris Sturr and the Dollars & Sense Collective.

Contributors included David Bacon, Kim Bobo, Aviva Chomsky, Steve Early, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Staughton Lynd, Arthur MacEwan, John Miller, Frances Fox Piven, Robert Pollin, Jane Slaughter.[35]

2010 Detroit DSA Douglass-Debs Dinner/"right wing" warning

Over 200 people attended Detroit DSA's eleventh annual Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn on May 8th, 2010. Local 600 was the home local of the hunger marchers of the 1930s and is adjacent to the site of the “Battle of the Overpass” which launched Walter Reuther into national prominence.

Bill Fletcher, Jr., the Director of Field Services and Education for the American Federation of Government Employees , delivered the keynote address. His topic was “Right-Wing Populism.” Fletcher warned that progressives ignore the threat of right-wing populism at their own peril. He traced the history of this phenomenon from the Andrew Jackson administration . He mentioned the “Birthers,” the “Oathers,” and the Tea Party movement as manifestations of right-wing populism. He challenged the Left to confront right-wing populism and expose the fatuousness of their ideas. Failure to do so may be self-defeating as some of the ideas of the right-wing populists (e.g., conspiracy theories, condemnation of political and media elites) could prove seductive to a portion of our base.[36]

Solidarity with the Palestinian People/WikiLeaks

On Nov. 29,2010, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Bill Fletcher, Jr. a member of the steering committee of the US Campaign to End the israeli Occupation, addressed special meeting at the United Nations (UN)".[37]

Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign

In 2012 Bill Fletcher, Jr. served on the Board of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.[38]

Iraq: The Legacy of the 7-Year U.S. Occupation

On Sunday, August 29th 2010. at Busboys and Poets, 5th and K Sts. NW, Washington, D.C., an event "Iraq: The Legacy of the 7-Year U.S. Occupation" was held;

Is the U.S. military really leaving Iraq or just rebranding? What is the toll of seven years of occupation on Iraqis, U.S. soldiers and our economies? What is the status of Iraqi refugees around the world? Is it still possible to hold accountable those who dragged us into the war or committed crimes such as torture? What role did Congress and the media play in facilitating the invasion/occupation? We'll also look at the role of the peace movement -- its strengths and weaknesses -- and draw key lessons to make our work for peace, including in Afghanistan, more effective.

Speakers/performers included:

The event was sponsored by: CODEPINK, Peace Action, Institute for Policy Studies, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Global Exchange, Just Foreign Policy, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), U.S. Labor Against the War, ANSWER, World Can’t Wait, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, War is a Crime, Rivera Project, Washington Peace Center.[39]

Left Forum 2011

Hillbilly Nationalists, Revolutionary Greasers, and Black Power: > Organizing Poor Whites in the New Left:

Left Forum 2012

Occupy Harper's Ferry! Why Radicals (Including Pacifists) Must Follow John Brown Room W523 Sponsored by: PM Press

Progressive Democrats of America

In 2012, Bill Fletcher, Jr., served on the Advisory Board of Progressive Democrats of America.[40]

New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum is published by Center for Labor, Community, and Policy Studies, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies.

Editorial Board members listed, as of March 2013; were;[41] Elaine Bernard, Ron Blackwell, Barbara Bowen, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Arthur Cheliotes, Mike Davis, Amy Dean, Steve Early, Hector Figueroa, Janice Fine, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Marie Gottschalk, Gerald Hudson, Lisa Jordan, Tom Juravich, Robin D G Kelley, Jose LaLuz, Nelson Lichtenstein, Manning Marable, Ruth Needleman, Ai-jen Poo, Katie Quan, Adolph Reed, Daisy Rooks, Andrew Ross, Kent Wong.

PDA meeting, Maryland

Thursday March 15, 2012, PDA National Director Tim Carpenter, PDA National Vice Chair emeritus Stephen Shaff, PDA National Deputy Field Director Andrea Miller and Mike Hersh welcomed speakers Rep. Donna Edwards (Md-6), Professor Eric Kingson from Social Security Works, and Alex Lawson from We Act 1480 AM Radio to Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Current and former PDA National Board Members Medea Benjamin, Joe Libertelli and Steve Cobble, Healthcare NOT Warfare co-chair Donna Smith, and Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky also helped welcome progressives to Prince George's County's newest meeting place. The turnout included several important progressive leaders from Maryland's 4th, 6th, and 8th districts.

Special thanks to the Very Important Progressive Host Committee including--Stephen Shaff; PDA board member Bill Fletcher, Jr., Raucus Activist Writer; Alex Lawson, Social Security Works and WE ACT Radio; Heather Booth, Activist; Steve Cobble, PDA Political Advisor, and Institute for Policy Studies; Medea Benjamin; Tom Hucker, MD Delegate, D-20; Greg Moore, NAACP/Political Consultant; Beth Becker, Progressive PST; Naomi Bloch, Activist who donated a small library of books; David Hart, Physicians for Social Responsibility; Beth Schulman, IPS; Greg Smith, Activist; Joe Libertelli; Mark Dudzic; Jimmy Tarlau, Communication Workers of America; Kerren-Pope Onwukwe, Attorney/Activist; and Andrea Miller.[42]

"A stronger global movement"

Sunday 18 November 2012, in Washington DC The Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Institute for Education and Justice convened "How can we build a stronger global movement, and what will it take to win? Hear perspectives on movement building from the US and the Philippines!"

With Bill Fletcher, Jr. Author, They’re Bankrupting Us! And 20 Other Myths about Unions Co-Author, Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice, Barbara Ehrenreich Author, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America and Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, and Elmer Labog (via video) National Chairperson, Kilusang Mayo Uno, May First Workers Center in the Philippines.

Those signalling there intention to attend via the Wherevent website included Jon Liss, Cameron Barron, Graziela Santos, Samantha Miller, Sapna Pandya, Jane English, Naomi Demsas, Mishy Leiblum, Mackenzie Baris, Virginia Leavell, Betty Garman Robinson, Walda Katz-Fishman, Lillian Diallo, Liana Dalton, Rosa Lozano, Isaiah Toney, Rishi Awatramani, Shane Stewart, Chuck Hendricks - most of whom were associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[43]

"How to Organize a City"

How to Organize a City: Bill Fletcher, Jr., Jon Liss, and Gihan Perera in conversation, Thursday, April 25, 2013 from 6.30 – 8.30 pm in the Recital Hall - The Graduate Center, CUNY. Free and open to the public.

How can urban social movements cohere with existing institutions of power, from unions to local government? As importantly, how can movements collaborate with each other to achieve broader, systemic changes? Can these movements and political projects realistically be anti-capitalist? Activists and leaders Bill Fletcher, Jon Liss, and Gihan Perera will discuss these issues in an open forum.

Moderated by David Harvey, Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics.[44]

RootsAction endorser

RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and many others.[45]

Praise for "The Cost of Privilege"

"The Cost of Privilege" an anti-racist book was written by North Carolina Freedom Road Socialist Organization member Chip Smith.

Several people, mostly Freedom Road Socialist Organization members wrote advance "praise blurbs" for the book's website .

The Cost of Privilege represents a significant contribution to our understanding of the integral link between capitalism, race and white supremacy. The book plays a unique role in that it is written from the standpoint of the practitioner or the organizer, rather than from the standpoint of the observer. This is a book that not only must be read, but can serve as a basis for anti-racist work in existing struggles and movements. I am keeping my copy of the book very nearby!

Bill Fletcher, Jr., labor and international writer and activist.[46]

Mapping Socialist Strategies

Mapping Socialist Strategies was convened from August 1-4 in Briarcliff Manor, NY, by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office. It brang together 100 influential progressives and leftists from across the United States, Canada, and Europe for an “un-conference” on socialist strategies.

The "Advisory Group" consistied of Greg Albo, Laura Flanders, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Rachel LaForest, Sarah Leonard, John Nichols, Frances Fox Piven, Bhaskar Sunkara, Maria Svart, Sean Sweeney, Bill Tabb, and Steve Williams.[47]

Left Strategies Collective

The Left Strategies Collective was founded to create conversation within the Left around strategy development. Between 2013-2014, the Left Strategies Collective conducted a number of national calls bringing people together to talk about issues such as Worker Organizing in the 21st century, and Lessons from the Moral Mondays movement.

Left Strategies Collective members: Rishi Awatramani, Jake Carlson, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Jon Liss, Garry Owens, Biju Mathew, Merle Ratner, Claire Tran, Helena Wong.[48]

Ear to the Ground Project

Ear to the Ground Project;

We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:

Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. was among those on the list. [49]

Supporting the Kurds

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December 28, 2015, Sendolo Diaminah posted on his FaceBook page supporting the Kurds;

The Kurdish people have been engaged in an inspiring struggle to carve out freedom and autonomy for themselves, both from the corrupt states of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria AND from ISIS. Now the Turkish government is ramping up its repression of the Kurdish freedom movement. The first step in solidarity must be educating ourselves about this powerful struggle for freedom and rallying to its defense. Anthony Maglione, Manzoor Cheema, Hiram Rivera Marcano, Bryan Proffitt, Aaron Bryant, Thomas Wayne Walker, Jadebroo KS, Hashim Benford, Melissa Norton, Sijal Nasralla, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Gary Broderick, Aiden Riley Graham, Rufus Firefly, Zaina Alsous, Laila Nur, Sabeen Shaiq, Theo Luebke, Caitlin Breedlove...

Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee

As of 2015 the Retail Justice Alliance Steering Committee included;[50]

SURJ Accountability Council

The Accountability Council is designed to engage leaders of color who offer feedback and counsel on SURJ's strategy, organizing and political direction.

Showing Up for Racial Justice Accountability Council as of 2015;[51]

RoadMap

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a consultant with RoadMap, a Freedom Road Socialist Organization affilated consultancy group .[52]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.
Many of our movements and the Left have struggled to make sense of what a potential Trump victory might mean, or what are the implications of a new Clinton administration with a broadly activated far Right. What approach should the Left take towards these possibilities? How should we think about organizing, alliance building, and constructing independent political power? How can progressive and Left movements build upon the moment generated by the Bernie Sanders campaign, the Movement for Black Lives, the immigrant rights movement, and the womanist backlash against Trump's misogynism?

Beyond Shell Shock

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Beyond Shell Shock: Labor after the Trump disaster was hosted by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday, February 26 at 8 PM - 9:30 PM.

Hosts Bill Fletcher, Jr.; Erica Smiley; Bob Master; Neidi Dominguez; Bryan Proffitt; and Jeff Crosby;

Join us in this webcast to take a hard look at the place we're in as a labor movement - and consider how we can make the labor movement be a leading force in the resistance to Trump and the fight for a better world.
What's our strategy? What kinds of alliances do we need? Do we just play defense?
In the face of National Right to Work, vicious attacks on workers of color in and out of the workplace, escalating divisions in the AFLCIO and the Democratic Party, and more we've got our work cut out for us. Let's figure out how to win.

Democratic Socialists of America Unity

Bill Fletcher, Jr. supported the Democratic Socialists of America Unity grouping, established for the 2017 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention in Chicago.[53]

References

  1. http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=959&category=CivicMakers&occupation=President%2C TransAfrica Forum&n
  2. http://theactivist.org/blog/2007-democratic-socialists-of-americas-dsa-convention-in-atlanta-ga
  3. http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=959&category=CivicMakers&occupation=President%2C TransAfrica Forum&n
  4. Encyclopedia.com bio, accessed May 8 2016
  5. [Forward motion June 1984]
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