Joe Iosbaker

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Joe Iosbaker

Joe Iosbaker was in 1998, Freedom Road Socialist Organization Labor Commission Chair[1].

Joe Iosbaker is employed as an Office Support Specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago Office of the College of Medicine since May 1990 and is a Trustee of the Illinois State University Retirement System[2].

In 2009 Joe Iosbaker was 50 years-old, married to Stephanie Weiner and has two children. He lives in the City of Chicago. He attended the University of Iowa from 1977 to 1979. Joe Iosbaker grew up on a farm in Iowa[3].

Since 199, Joe Iosbaker has been a leader of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! split from the original Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organizacion Socialista del Camino para la Libertad.

New Wave Party

In the spring of 1979, concerned students at the University of Iowa believed they were poised to help initiate a fresh movement of political activism on campus. Capturing this idea by calling themselves the New Wave Party, these students organized a progressive party within the university student government and entered the election campaign for seats in the Student Senate the following year. Since 1980, when they won 8 of the 21 seats, they enlarged their support base and solidified an aggressive platform built around their support of a wide range of social causes. Key New Wave Party activists included Joe Iosbaker, Stephanie Weiner and Linda Yanney.[4]

Committees of Correspondence Connection

In 1994 Joe Iosbaker, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA.[5]

Chicago New Party

In 1998 Chicago New Party leaders Frankie Torres, Deborah McCoy, Jose Kader, Bob Palmer, Rafael Rodriguez, Joe Iosbaker, Stephanie Weiner, Yakira Nunez, Vinnie Izurieta, Sergio Vargas, Peter Shearn, Pryianka Basu, Dave Rolston, and Mary Robles supported Willie Delgado in the 35th Ward a New Party member running for State Representative, in his defeat of Elba Rodriguez by a slim 241 vote margin.[6]

The margin of victory was 20 votes per precinct in the New Party's turf.

Joe Iosbaker was Precinct Captain in the 13th Ward. He had been working election day at this same precinct for progressive candidates for about a decade -- since Harold Washington won re-election in 1987.[7]

The International Communist Seminar

The The International Communist Seminar is an annual conference held in Brussels on May 2-4. Iosbaker delivered a speech entitled ""Report on Labor movement"" at the 1998 conference. You can read his speech here.

"Support Bill Ayers"

In October 2008, several thousand college professors, students and academic staff signed a statement Support Bill Ayers in solidarity with former Weather Underground Organization terrorist Bill Ayers.

In the run up to the U.S. presidential elections, Ayers had come under considerable media scrutiny, sparked by his relationship to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

We write to support our colleague Professor William Ayers, Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who is currently under determined and sustained political attack...
We, the undersigned, stand on the side of education as an enterprise devoted to human inquiry, enlightenment, and liberation. We oppose the demonization of Professor William Ayers.

Joe Iosbaker of the University of Illinois – Chicago signed the statement.[8]

Political activity

Joe Iosbaker has served as Precinct Captain for former State Senator Miguel del Valle. Mr. Iosbaker was a member of the Social Justice Committee of Inter American Magnet School, and volunteer for the Inter American Magnet School Noche Cultural[9].

He is chief steward and a member of the executive board of Local 73 SEIU[10].

Labor for Palestine

On December 14, 2009 Labor for Palestine released an "Open Letter from U.S. Trade Unionists to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Boycott Apartheid Israel".

Signers of the letter included Joe Iosbaker, member of the Executive Board of SEIU, Local 73.[11]

September 24, 2010 FBI Raids

On September 24 the F.B.I. raided the homes of twelve leftist activists across the U.S.A. looking for links to foreign terrorist organizations. Iosbaker was one of those whose home was raided and who is being investigated by the FBI.[12]

Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation to Congress

In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."

Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.

“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.[13]

People's World 23rd Annual Banquet memorial

More than 100 labor, community, religious, environmental and equal rights activists celebrated the People's World 23rd Annual Banquet in Chicago, Dec. 5 2010.

Despite the frigid temperatures outside supporters turned up the heat for justice inside as they wined and dined at the Lee Wing Wah restaurant in Chinatown honoring this year's theme, "Let's put people back to work: Rebuild America."

Special greetings were delivered by Joe Iosbaker, one of 17 peace and justice activists whose homes were raided by the FBI in search of evidence of "material support for terrorism," and were subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. Iosbaker announced the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald issued three new subpoenas on Dec. 5.

Iosbaker said freedom of speech and association were at stake in this fight. He expressed his admiration for communists, socialists and labor and peace activists who had fought the McCarthy witch hunts.[14]