Bhairavi Desai

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Bhairavi Desai

Bhairavi Desai is a New York activist. She has worked in the support movements of Cuba, Palestine and El Salvador; and in the student struggle at Rutgers University around issues of violence against women.


Desai was born in Gujarat, India, and came with her parents to Harrison, New Jersey when she was 6 years old. Her father was a lawyer in India, but was unable to find work and had to consequently work at a grocery store.

She received a degree in Women's Studies from Rutgers University and following that, worked at Manavi, the South Asian women's organization in New Jersey that worked with victims of domestic violence.

She then moved to working for the rights of Asian workers by joining the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence in 1996. In 1998, she and others set up the NYTWA with an initial membership of 700 workers.

She currently resides in Bronx, New York with her husband Victor Salazar, also a union activist.

New York Taxi Workers Alliance

In 1998, Biju Mathew was one of the cofounders of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) (along with Bhairavi Desai, Javaid Tariq, and several others) . NYTWA is currently one of the most successful new immigrant workers unions in the US with over 17,000 members in NYC. He is currently a secretary for the national union (with Bhairavi Desai as president, Ron Blount as VP, and Javaid Tariq as treasurer).

Communist "Manifestivity"

On October 30 and 31, 1998 the Brecht Forum presented the "Communist Manifestivity -150th Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto" at at Cooper Union's Great Hall, New York.

One of the many workshops at the Manifestivity was;

Strikes: Signals of New Struggles; with Bhairavi Desai, Dan Georgakas and Jose Matta

Left Forum 2010

Struggles of an Independent Radical Union: The Case of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance:

Left Forum 2010

The History of May Day and the 2010 New York May Day March:

Left Forum 2018


Left Forum May 18:

Don't miss Cathy Dang speaking with Ajamu Baraka, Bhairavi Desai, Mark-Winston Griffith and Kali Akuno at the closing plenary of #LeftForum2018! register at

Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign

In 2012 Bhairavi Desai served on the Board of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.[1]