Brad Sigal

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Brad Sigal


Brad Sigal was a CUNY student activist from 1996-2000. He was a member of Student Liberation Action Movement , editor of the CCNY Messenger newspaper and a member of the CCNY Graduate Student Council. He was a student at John Jay and City College from 1996 to 2000. He is now a rank-and-file union activist and writes for FightBack! Newspaper on labor issues. He supported Freedom Road Socialist Organization.[1]

Love and Rage

At CUNY Brad Sigal was active in Love and Rage and the Student Liberation Action Movement.

When I got involved in the CUNY student movement, I was a member of a left group called Love & Rage. A number of Love & Rage members went to CUNY and got involved with SLAM. Love & Rage was dissolved in 1998 in a split that was partially about how revolutionaries should do mass organizing. Some people in Love & Rage didn’t like thework that those of us in SLAM were doing. In effect those folks thoughtwe should be putting out abstract revolutionary propaganda unconnectedto where the struggle was at, and they had no answers for how to dealwith the real questions and contradictions that posed themselves to us as

revolutionaries in the CUNY movement. [2]

Spyng on students

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Front cover of Harlem’s Amsterdam News, June 4-10, 1998 reports on students Ydanis Rodriguez, David Suker and Brad Sigal’s discovery of CCNY administration’s secret spying pro- gram against student activist meeting space in NAC 3/201.

Sigal v. Moses case

On Nov. 21 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas P. Griesa ruled in favor of Brad Sigal, Ydanis Rodriguez and David Suker, three former student activists at the City College of New York (CCNY). The students praised the court decision in the Sigal v. Moses case, calling it an important victory for student activists and the student media.

The Sigal v. Moses case was filed over ten years ago in June 1998. The students sued City College President Moses over a series of incidents of repression against CCNY student activists that happened in the spring of 1998. This was during the height of the student movement to stop attacks on access to education and budget cuts at CUNY.

In his decision, Judge Griesa ruled that Moses acted illegally in nullifying the results of a student government election that a slate of progressive student activists, including Sigal, Rodriguez and Suker, had won in April 1998. President Moses nullified the election because she said that the election edition of the CCNY Messenger, a progressive student newspaper that some slate members worked on, was biased toward the students' slate, and therefore constituted illegal campaign materials. The Messenger newspaper was known as a strong student movement voice criticizing attacks on access to education and budget cuts by the CUNY administration and by then-Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki.

In court the students disputed that the election edition of the Messenger was biased. They pointed to the fact that the editorial about the student government elections was written by a neutral staff member, and didn't endorse any slate, while statements and photos were printed from all candidates running. Further, the Messenger editorial even strongly criticized some members of the slate they were accused of supporting. The students also held that even if the Messenger had favored the activist slate, it shouldn't have resulted in the nullifying of the student election because student newspapers have the right to endorse candidates in student elections. This is regular practice among student newspapers and has been upheld repeatedly in the courts.[3]

Freedom Road

Through his CUNY activism, Brad Sigal became involved in the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, aligning himself with the more overtly Maoist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!.

A group of us in Love @ Rage were transformed by our work in the CUNY movement. Out of our experiences we gained an appreciation for Mao’s writings on the mass line, and for some of the foundations of Marxism like dialectical and historical materialism, that helped us make sense of what we were experiencing and give us practical guidance in building the mass movement.
Some SLAM members have gone on to join or work with different revolutionary organizations. That’s a good thing. While mass organizations like SLAM are vital to the revolutionary process, they are not enough.
There is a crying need for national revolutionary organization, rooted in the working class and oppressed nationality movements, which can bring together activists to fight for more than reforms – to fight for socialism. I came to see that even more clearly from my experiences at CUNY.
It is through my experiences in the student movement that I came to know and appreciate Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Unlike some left groups, FRSO has the humility to admit that they are not “The Party”. But unlike others, FRSO has not lost sight of the fact that there needs to be a real communist party in the U.S. based on Marxism-Leninism. That is what FRSO is building toward.

Freedom Road has much experience in the student movement, as well as deep roots in labor, oppressed nationality, anti-imperialist, and many community-based movements. In those movements, FRSO applies Mao’s writings on the mass line, on contradiction, and on the united front (among other things), to the contradictions facing the people’s movements to help move the struggle forward.
Freedom Road has a revolutionary line on the national question and on fighting national oppression in the U.S. Freedom Road is committed to building mass movements and mass organizations over years and decades, applying revolutionary theory to practice and learning from the people involved in the struggle.[4]

Hands off Venezuela!

In May 2005 Hands off Venezuela! circulated an internet petition: "from American trade unionists and workers to the appeal to the U.S. government to stay out of Venezuela." Brad Sigal of AFSCME and treasurer of the Local 3800 endorsed the petition.[5]

"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.

Brad Sigal signed the statement.[6]

Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout

Circa September 19, 2009, Brad Sigal signed a petition initiated by the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout entitled, Petition to Demand a People's Bailout which includes the statement, "Tax the rich, make them pay for their crisis!"[7]

"Morales / Shakur Center" student suspensions events

On October 28, 2013, a City College administrator suspended Tafadar Sourov and Khalil Vasquez, two students who led demonstrations against the administration’s illegal raid and seizure of the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Community Center. The Morales / Shakur Center is a space that has existed at City College for more than 20 years and was first won in 1989 through a mass student strike and occupations throughout CUNY.

In response to the attacks on our student leaders, students and community say: WE ARE NOT AFRAID. Repression will not end the campaign to save the Morales / Shakur Center or the broader struggle to liberate CUNY for the people. Hundreds on campus and in the community will follow their example. Any punitive measures against Taffy and Khalil will only be a lesson to the people that the CCNY administration dismisses the people’s concerns and that the people must escalate their mass actions.
Taffy and Khalil are fighting for the people, defending the last autonomous campus space that serves the community and defending the legacy of the people’s revolutionary heroes. THE PEOPLE MUST DEFEND TAFFY AND KHALIL. The people cannot stand aside and look as the City College administration attempts to isolate them and promote fake sellout student leaders who want to negotiate away the Center. The Center was won through struggle and will be reclaimed through struggle.

Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee organized a meeting in Edgewater, 160 Convent Avenue,New York, Friday 8 November 2013, to organize resistance. Those indicating their willingness to attend on the Whenever website included Brad Sigal.[8]

"PACK THE COURT: DEFEND THE CUNY6, KHALIL & TAFFY"

100 Centre Street, New York, Thursday 9 January 2014, organized by Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, "PACK THE COURT: DEFEND THE CUNY6, KHALIL & TAFFY".

The CUNY 6 and Khalil and Taffy have open criminal cases with ongoing court appearances. All 8 students are set to appear in court on January 9th, 2014 at 9:00 am, at 100 Centre Street. We call upon all students, faculty, and members of the community to come out and pack the courts on January 9th in support of the CUNY 6 and Khalil and Taffy.

Those indicating support or attendance on Wherevent, included Yanett Ramirez, Denise Lupita Romero, Padraic O'Brien, Zulai Romero,Tommy Maggio,Gregoire Jacques, Far Han, Miguel Rodriguez, Ben Fredericks, Christian Laureano Peruyero Bracero, Narish Singh, Norman Clement, Nick Maniace,Ramiro Funez, Jesse Eyezen Marcus, Karsten Kvistad, Tony Troy Yashin, Freddy Gee, Nadine Aly, Ramya Ramana, Stephanie Zukasaka, Brad Sigal, Cathy Rojas, Josefina La China, Elisa Lorde, Bayu Patria, Harly Rodmarti, Freddy Bastone,Robert Moore,Elliot Vazquez, Josmar Trujillo, Andrew Pollack, Dan McKenzie, Micah Ascaso, Joslyn Alexis, Joe DeWeezy,Maria Volpe,Tony Troy Yashin, Neda Kit, Percy Lujan, Khalil Vasquez, William Simon Kang, Rajib Lovesramen Miah, Daniel Pana,Mariam Castillo,Rafael E. Pena, Akash Rahman, Agust Freeman, Roselle Valerio, Roselle Valerio, Analisa Svehaug, Tafadar Sourov,Juan Alberto Perez Vera,Elif Fatıma Gorken, Marisa Jalo, Linda Morales, Isis K. Colon, Sharmin Hossain, Nicole Husbands, Abdu Salman, Rey Valentin, Erick Moreno, Hoda Mitwally, Alice Feng, David Suker, Raj Maheshwari[9]

"Minneapolis: Celebrate May Day - International Workers Day 2015"

Sunday 26 April 2015, "Minneapolis: Celebrate May Day - International Workers Day 2015" organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!. Location TBA.

Those indicating attendance on Wherevent included Katherine Elizabeth, Jessica Schwartz, Steph Ross Taylor, Christina Field, Doug Jadzia Sembla, Mary Padilla Cristobal Aldana, Alisha Olson, Kim DeFranco, Jess Sundin, Cassandra Hendricks, Cherrene Horazuk, Julia Russ, Zandra Dee , Loretta VanPelt, Tracy Molm, Hannan Ayoub, Khin Oo, Tracey Plk, Kim Smith, Hoda Isak, Alexandra Vagac, Laura Hoffman, Meredith Aby-Keirstead, Jessie Gavilanes, Amy Selvius, Penelope Mace, Beatriz Hernandez, Marisol Marquez, Laye Kwamina-Barry, Cory Eggert, Lion Ras, Kuntal Chatterjee, Andy Carhart, Sean Orr, Rahul Choudhury Boro, Andrew McNally, Cleveland Savage, Jesus Estrada-Perez, Julio Alberto Martinez, Fern Figueroa, Ryan A. Smith, Joshua Cromarty, Brad Sigal, Tim Nolan, Edward Hahn, Cody Gilbert, Timmy McDonough, Mick Kelly, Jigme Ugen, Manuel Berduc.[10]

Remember Morales/Shakur Center

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Suzy Subways October 20, 2013;

I went to City College of NY this morning with David Suker at 10:30 am to stop by the Morales/Shakur Center, a center of student and community movement-building for more than 20 years. We were signed in at the front desk and then followed by security who told us we'd be arrested if we didn't leave right away, because we asked what had happened to the sign! This is what we saw: Please share. Rodolfo Leyton, Sydney Jordan Cooley, Hank Williams, Khalil Vasquez, Brad Sigal, Angelica Clarke, Biola Jeje, Isham Lakatos, Christopher Gunderson — with Alyssia Paula, Eric Odell, Kazembe Balagun, Terance Podolski and Fanshen Wong.

Trump's Muslim Ban rally

According to Kent Mori and Austin Jensen FightBack! News March 19, 2017;

Minneapolis, MN – Despite cold and rain, 60 people rallied in Minneapolis to voice their opposition to Trump’s Muslim Ban, March 16. Starting the rally out were chants of “Hey Trump, let’s be clear: Muslims are welcome here!” and “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!” which reverberated off the glass of both the Federal Court Building and the Minneapolis City Hall across the street. The protest was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee.
The protest’s speakers represented the broad coalition necessary to defeat Trump’s Muslim ban and included Imam Hassan Mohamud, Director of the Islamic Dawah Center; Stephanie Taylor, Anti-War Committee; Imam Hassan Jama, Executive Director of Islamic Association of North America; Brad Sigal, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee’s No More Deportation Campaign, and Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations - MN. The diverse speakers emphasized confidence and resolution with the latest court victory against Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Twin Cites FRSO holds event on midterm elections

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Minneapolis MN – More than 50 people packed Mayday book store, Nov. 11 208, for an event hosted by Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! on the outcome of the midterm elections. Speakers at the event included leaders of the movements for immigrant rights, labor, and against police terror.

Steff Yorek, the Political Secretary of FRSO told the crowd, “These elections were a referendum on Donald Trump and his policies. Voters provided an important setback to him and reduced the number of friends he has in the House and among state governors.”

Brad Sigal, also of FRSO said, “Working people’s lives are not getting better under this system. Environmental catastrophe looms. We need socialism – a system where political and economic power is in the hands of the working class to serve the needs of the vast majority. While the elections won’t get us there, they are an arena of struggle we have to continue to take seriously as we continue the struggle for a new society.”[11]

References