Chris Silvera

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Chris Silvera is a New York labor activist.

Robeson event sponsors

On May 31 1998 the Peoples Weekly World held a Paul Robeson birth centennial celebration in New York, at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Speakers included Gus Hall, chairman of the Communist Party USA and Roger Green of the NY State Assembly.

Sponsors of the event included poet Amina Baraka, Grace T. Bassett, actress Vinie Burrows, former Peoples Voice editor Marvel Cooke, Councilmember Tom Duane, Attorney Rob Ellis, Assemblymember Roger Green, Gus Hall, Councilmember Bill Perkins, labor unionist Bobbie Rabinowitz, actor John Randolph, Pete Robinson, poet Sonia Sanchez, singer Pete Seeger, labor unionist Chris Silvera, PWW editor Tim Wheeler, New York City Coalition of Black Trade Unionists president Jim Webb and labor unionist Ira Williams.[1]

2000 WFP Convention

The New York Working Families Party 2000 Convention was held at the Desmond Hotel, March 26.

Attendees included;

There were sizable delegations from ACORN and Citizen Action.[2]

Millions More Movement

The Millions More Movement held an important all-day rally Oct. 15, 2005 on the National Mall that attracted an overwhelmingly African-American crowd numbering more than 1 million, according to organizers. The main demand put forth by the rally organizers and supported by the masses there was “Black power!”

Not one U.S. flag was prominent in the crowd, but the colors of the flag for U.S. Black liberation—red, black and green—could be seen everywhere.

This MMM rally was first announced in 2004 as a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March on Oct. 16, 1995, held at the same site. That event attracted at least 1 million, mainly Black men, and was initiated by the Nation of Islam.

The speeches were focused on a variety of issues: the prison system and the plight of political prisoners—especially Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) and Leonard Peltier-police brutality, reparations, voter disenfranchisement, LGBT oppression, immigrant rights, economic and political empowerment, education and health, the role of art and culture in the struggle for social justice, and much more.

The main presentation at this rally was given by the MMM’s national convener and NOI leader, the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Among the many other speakers were Clarence Thomas and Chris Silvera from the Million Worker March Movement; Dr. Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women; Indigenous leaders Russell Means and Vernon Bellecourt; Congress woman Sheila Jackson; Haitian singer Wyclef Jean; Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; Viola Plummer of the Dec. 12 Movement; Damu Smith, Black Voices for Peace; and comedian and social activist Dick Gregory.

In a videotaped message played to the crowd, the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, expressed the Cuban people’s solidarity with Katrina survivors and all the poor in the U.S. He also spoke about the case of the Cuban 5, who were imprisoned for fighting against terrorism while the U.S. aids and shelters real terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles. [3]

"Katrina: A Challenge for the Movement"

On Oct. 22 2005 in New York, the Workers World newspaper staff hosted an important forum called "Katrina: A Challenge for the Movement: Forging a united front between the Black liberation, workers' and anti-imperialist struggles." The forum attracted an overflowing multinational crowd of progressives and activists from New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and other areas.

The panel featured prominent African-American representatives based in New York, Raleigh and New Orleans. These leaders talked about the issues of the day from anti-racist, pro-labor, pro-community and anti-war perspectives.

Panelists were;

Anti War rally

Hundreds of activists braved the cold for a march and rally that began at Times Square in New York City on Feb. 17, 2007.

Speakers included Berna Ellorin, BAYAN-USA; Mary Lou Al-Awda, Palestine Right of Return Coalition; Mary Klopart, Grannies for Peace; Ellie Ommani, American-Iranian Friendship Committee; Comrade Shahid, Pakistani USA Freedom Forum; Mia Cruz, FIST; Fallou Gueye, Union of African Workers-Senegalese; Jesse Heiwa, Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban Five; WayQuay, Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; Jonathan Brown, World Can’t Wait; TONC representatives Larry Holmes, Brenda Stokely, Sara Flounders, Sharon Black and Dustin Langley.

Other speakers included Councilperson Charles Barron, who recently introduced a local resolution against the war funding, Chris Silvera, chair of the Teamsters National Black Caucus and representatives from Millions for Mumia and Fanmi Lavalas.[5]

March on Wall Street

On April 3 2008 Chris Silvera, Secretary/Treasurer of Teamsters Local 808 endorsed a Bail Out the People Movement organized "March on Wall Street" ;

Because we must demand that the needs of the people come before the greed of the super rich. Millions are jobless and homeless, and millions more will be living on the streets if the government continues to waste trillions of dollars on saving wealthy bankers instead of saving people.[6]

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal

In 2008 Chris Silvera, Secretary/Treasurer, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 808, Long Island, NY signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal.[7]

Better World Awards

The New York Communist Party USA hosts an annual Better World Awards banquet.

Past honorees and speakers include : former NY State Assemblyman Frank Barbaro; Marvel Cooke; Domino sugar workers, ILA Local 1814; Ernesto Jofre (UNITE); Julie Margolin; NY State Senator Bill Perkins; Chris Silvera, Teamsters local 808; NY City Councilwoman Letitia James; Rev. Lucius Walker, Pastors for Peace; former US Congressman Major Owens; Betty Smith, International Publishers; NY City Councilman Robert Jackson; Adolfo Fana; Make the Road by Walking; TWU Local 100, NY Taxi Workers Alliance; Brooklyn for Peace; Estelle Katz etc. [8]

References