US Social Forum
Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! table at the US Social Forum - Another World is Possible in San Jose, California. — with Masao Suzuki, Chrisley Carpio, Jared Tony Hamil, Steff Yorek and Gregory Lucero.
People’s Agenda march
August 27, 2012, well over 1,000 people rallied and marched in the streets of Tampa to demand good jobs, affordable education, healthcare, equality, and peace. Although the Republicans cancelled the first day of their convention due to Hurricane Isaac, organizers with the Coalition to March on the RNC went through with their promise to march on the first day of the convention to show their opposition to the agenda of the 1% and their support for a People’s Agenda.
Notable speakers included Carlos Montes, a leading immigrants’ rights leader; Joe Iosbaker; a spokesperson for the anti-war movement; Skye Schmelzer, representative of the National Students for a Democratic Society; Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of Code Pink and major peace activist; Ciara Taylor, a representative of Dream Defenders and a Black community organizer; Nelini Stamp, one of the original organizers of Occupy Wall Street; and Oscar Otzoy, a Florida farm worker organizer with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Organizations present included Students for a Democratic Society, Veterans for Peace, Southern California Immigrant Coalition, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, five Florida Occupy chapters, six Fight Back Florida chapters, Dream Defenders, United National Anti-war Coalition, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, International Action Center, Code Pink, four Florida AFL-CIO labor councils, and Region 3 of AFSCME Council 79.
Organizer Fern Figueroa stated: “Today we took a stand with more than 1,000 people against the Republicans and their agenda of hatred, poverty, and war. Today we stand up for all the good things people need and strike a blow against those who deprive us that.”
September Tampa, FL - 50 anti-war activists protested U.S. bombings on Syria at the corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Gandy Boulevard here, Sept. 27. The Syrian government did not give the U.S. permission to make the attacks in its territory. The U.S. government plans to continue violating the sovereignty of Syria as it targets the group calling itself the Islamic State. The crowd of protesters chanted, “Hands off Syria!” and “No more war!” to express outrage against the U.S. bombings.
Jared Hamil from Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! emphasized, “Our job as Americans and for those in the anti-war movement is to oppose any and all intervention by the U.S. Never be fooled - intervention has never been humanitarian!” Hamil provided historical context of U.S. imperialism, including U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Standing in front of more than 100 Teamsters gathered in a Boston, Massachusetts park, May 29 2018, two Teamster leaders announced plans to run together for the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) in 2021.
Sean O’Brien, president of Teamsters Local 25 out of Boston, announced he will join the Teamsters United movement as candidate for general president. Fred Zuckerman, president of Teamsters Local 89 out of Louisville, Kentucky, will run with O’Brien for general secretary-treasurer.
“We supported Fred Zuckerman in 2016 because he ran on the Teamsters United platform of fighting for better contracts, opposing concessions, reviving the strike weapon, organizing in core industries and protecting our pensions,” said Dustin Ponder, a UPS shop steward in Teamsters Local 512 out of Jacksonville, Florida. “That platform is key to making a stronger union and winning a better life for our members. I hope O’Brien and Zuckerman take up the same platform in 2021.”
Ponder was part of the Teamsters United campaign in the Southern Region, which defeated the Hoffa-Hall ticket handily in 2016. Teamsters United won the south by a vote of 10,789 to 8227 in 2016, electing John Palmer and Kimberley Schultz as the new Southern Region Vice Presidents – a sharp reversal from the previous election, when Hoffa easily won against a divided opposition slate.
“The main fight right now is the battle for better contracts at UPS and UPS Freight,” said Gabriella Killpack, a UPS package car driver in Teamsters Local 222 out of Salt Lake City, Utah who campaigned heavily for Teamsters United in 2016.
Killpack refers to the ongoing contract negotiations between the Teamsters, UPS and UPS Freight, which began earlier this year. The union raised a set of contract proposals brought forward by members to address the problems they face on the job. These included an end to forced overtime for package car drivers, monetary penalties for harassment, protections from automation and driverless vehicles, and higher wages for part-timers, among many others.
Speaking to the news, Killpack said, “This announcement by two important Teamster leaders comes at a time when our members are mad as hell and ready to fight the company, up to and including a strike if necessary. O’Brien and Zuckerman have a real opportunity to help lead the fight for an end to forced overtime; $15 per hour starting wages and $5 per hour bump raises for part-timers, monetary penalties for harassment, and protecting our job standards at UPS. That’s what Teamsters want to see right now from our leaders.”
The news came as a surprise to Teamsters activists across the country, many of whom are working to turn out a strong ‘yes’ vote in the UPS and UPS Freight strike authorization poll currently underway. Members and activists flocked to social media, like the popular ‘Vote NO on the UPS Contract’ Facebook group, and discussed the announcement – and what it means moving forward.
“We want to support leaders who are willing to fight employers and not take concessions from corporate America,” said Jared Hamil, a UPS cover driver out of Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles, who is active in the Teamsters United movement. “That’s the problem with Hoffa’s leadership – there’s a rat line between the corruption at the top of the IBT and the sellout contracts that Teamsters get year after year.”
Corey Uhl, a UPS combo worker out of Teamsters Local 804 in New York, agreed, adding, “Teamsters United is a movement built by members who want to make our union fight – not sell us out to employers, like we’ve seen from Hoffa. We welcome leaders committed to the same platform.”
With the next international election more than three years away, Teamsters United has more immediate fights on its plate, like the UPS and UPS Freight contracts.
But continuing to build the Teamsters United coalition for the 2021 election remains crucial.
Recent Teamster history shows the importance of united action from union fighters and activists. In 2011, the opposition movement to Hoffa divided into two separate slates with different platforms. Hoffa easily defeated both and won re-election, allowing him and Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall to push deep concessions like the UPS contract of 2013.
“The Teamsters United movement succeeded in 2016 because it brought together fighters around a militant platform,” said Bob Kolstad, a shop steward in the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office out of Teamsters Local 320 in Minneapolis. “As we campaigned across the country for Fred, we saw how the Teamsters United platform resonated with members who are tired of seeing our jobs and our lives get worse. We stood united, even with Teamsters we disagreed with, to make historic change. We’ll need to do that again to beat Hoffa in 2021, and we need that same militant Teamsters United platform to get it done.”
Centro CSO May Day
Emmanuel Salgado May 3, 2018:
5/1/18 Centro CSO May Day Boyle Heights starting point. #workers #Policekillings #immigration #Charterschools — with Jared Hamil, Luis Humberto Sifuentes, Helga Rodriguez, Carlos M. Montes and Sol Már.
FRSO Venezuela delegation
August 30, 2019 Jared Hamil and Gabriella Killpack were the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!'s trade union delegation in Caracas, Venezuela for the “1st International Meeting of Workers in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its Government and Its People,” starting on August 29.
Delegates from most of the Latin America and Caribbean countries, as well as some other parts of the world are participating. This includes labor delegations and trade union leaders from Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Argentina, Nigeria, Portugal, France, the UK and Spain.
On opening day, the international delegates joined their Venezuelan trade union comrades and traveled to the Plaza Bolivar in the center of Caracas. Delegates, special guests and workers from across Venezuela joined in a "No mas Trump!" rally. Francisco Torrealba, the president of the Venezuelan Workers Confederation, kicked off the rally with a rousing speech.
Attendees signed a declaration against U.S. imperialism and Trump's blockade, demanding respect for international law and the sovereignty of Venezuela. Delegates and people from the street joined in chanting, "No more Trump!" and "Que viva Venezuela! Que Viva Maduro! Respeto por Venezuela!"
The 1st International Meeting of Workers is taking place during Trump's economic blockade. In addition, Venezuelans are hearing constant threats of war and invasion from Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton. Concretely, the U.S. failed to overthrow President Maduro on April 30 of this year during a coup d’état worthy of the Keystone Cops. The U.S. coup was over before it even started. The reality is that U.S. sanctions mainly harm the people of Venezuela and solidify political support for the Bolivarian Revolution and President Maduro.
- June 27
- Bail Out the People Movement Coalition to March on the RNC: More Than a Thousand Rally in Face of Storm Posted on August 27, 2012 For immediate release August 27, 2012
- protest against U.S. war in Syria By Jessica Schwartz | September 29, 2014
- [http://www.fightbacknews.org/2018/5/30/o-brien-zuckerman-announce-run-leadership-teamsters FB News, O’Brien, Zuckerman announce run for leadership of the Teamsters By Dave Schneider | May 30, 2018]