Jess Sundin

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Jess Sundin


Jessica Sundin is a member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! and an important leader in Minnesota's peace and justice movement[1].

She is the wife of Steff Yorek.

Delegation to Iraq

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In 1998 Minnesota activists Jess Sundin (CISPES, Iraq Peace Action Coalitionand Freedom Road Socialist Organization), Jen Udelhofen (Progressive Student Organization and Iraq Peace Action Coalition), Marie Braun (Women Against Military Madness, Pax Christi and the Women's Political Alliance)) and Mike Miles and Ollie Miles, both Voices in the Wilderness, joined almost 100 Americans on a humanitarian delegation to Iraq. [2]

Meeting Raul Reyes

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Jess Sundin, of the Colombia Action Network, led a small delegation of three North American activists to Bogatá in July 2000, to attend a conference responding to U.S. military aid. The delegation also traveled to the area in Southern Colombia controlled by the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army.[3]

Jess Sundin has met late Colombian revolutionary leader Raul Reyes[4].

I met Comandante Raul Reyes in July 2000, at a guerrilla camp outside of San Vicente del Caguan, Southern Colombia. My visit was the FARC's first from U.S. solidarity activists. At the time, the FARC-EP was in the midst of a dialogue with the Colombian government which took place in the area I visited, an area cleared of all U.S. and Colombian military and police forces, and where the guerrillas operated openly.
After having a taste of life in town, and a visit to the site of the dialogues, we were driven around winding, rutted dirt roads, into the mountains, and to a semi-permanent FARC encampment, where Comandante Reyes was based, along with about 40 other men and women.
He acted as our principal host during my week inside FARC-controlled territory. My first night at camp, he invited us to join him for dinner. After dinner, we shared a few rounds of vodka, and a smoke for those who wanted it. He asked about the political situation in the United States, and how North Americans viewed the struggle in Colombia. Then, the Comandante shared his views, and that of the FARC, on the political situation in Colombia, the significance of the dialogue with the government and the prospects for peace.

Sundin told Fight Back;

It was an incredible opportunity, and an honor, to meet with Comandante Raul Reyes. He was my host in Southern Colombia. He's a very warm and thoughtful man, who told me time and again that he was so pleased that we were there.
Like so many of the people I talked with, he asked me to bring back a message of peace and solidarity. Members of the FARC are outraged by the escalation of U.S. military intervention. They believe that progressive people in the U.S. - revolutionaries, activists, people of faith, young people, union members - are their allies in trying to bring peace with justice to Colombia.
The guerrillas and civilian activists alike told me that the single most important thing people in the U.S. can do is bring an end to U.S. involvement. I agree with them - to solve Colombia's problems and build a future, the best people to do that are Colombian's themselves.

That's why we need to build a national movement that can really challenge U.S. policy. We can take inspiration and lessons from what was done here in the movements to end the war against Viet Nam and to get the U.S. out of Central America. That's just what we're doing with the Colombia Action Network. With committees in cities and towns across the U.S. - and we need more - we are building a national network that can say no to U.S. intervention in Colombia.[5]

Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout

Circa September 19, 2009, Jess Sundin 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!"[6]

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. Sundin was one of those whose home was raided and who is being investigated by the FBI.[7]

FBI raids

The material that the FBI copied and returned comes from the homes of Twin Cities activists Jess Sundin, Steff Yorek, Mick Kelly, Meredith Aby, Anh Pham and Tracy Molm and the office of the Anti-War Committee. All of them are among the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists summoned to appear in front of a Chicago grand jury headed by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, investigating ‘material support for terrorism.’[8]

Sundin said she visited Colombia 10 years ago for a conference organized by a social movement there in opposition to U.S. military aid.[9]

International Women's Day

Minneapolis, MN, Waite House, March 8, 2011, the 10th anniversary of International Women's Day, sponsored by Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!.

The speakers were: Jess Sundin a leader of the Anti-War Committee and Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!. She is one of the anti-war and international solidarity activists targeted by the FBI and grand jury. Sarah Jane Olson Former political prisoner from involvement with revolutionary movement in the 1970s. Long-time Twin Cities resident and anti-apartheid activist Tracy Molm an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota, she is one of the activists targeted by the FBI and grand jury. Luce Guillen Givins of the RNC 8, unjustly charged with felonies for protests at the Republican National Convention, 2008.[10]

2013 May day celebration

More than 50 people gathered Minneapolis May 3 2013 for a celebration to mark International Workers Day. The event was organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!. In a festively decorated hall, the celebration began with a dinner and slide show that highlighted the struggles of the past year.

Deb Howze, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, welcoming audience.Jess Sundin, a Twin Cities leader of FRSO, gave the opening speech. “This day, International Workers Day, is celebrated by the working class in every corner of the world. This great holiday, a communist holiday, is marked with protests and marches, and also with meetings and celebrations. It’s been more than 125 years since May Day began, and struggles by U.S. workers and our unions have won the eight-hour work day, the 40-hour work week, health and safety rules at work, the right to unionization, unemployment insurance, welfare and Social Security, minimum wage and much more. These things are threatened in workplaces and government halls every day.”

This year’s May Day celebration had a strong emphasis on the employed and unemployed sections of the working class. Mark Froemke, the president of West/Red River Valley Area Labor Council, talked about the heroic struggle waged by the workers who had been locked out at Crystal Sugar. More than $400 was raised for their support.

Joe Burns, author of an important book on the way forward for the labor movement, Reviving the Strike, talked about the key elements of class struggle unionism. Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME Local 3800, spoke about attacks on public employees and the need for resistance. Angel Buechner and Ebony Harris of the Welfare Rights Committee gave a riveting account of the fight to raise public assistance grants.

Francisco Segovia of Mesa Latina, and a key organizer of the 1000-plus Saint Paul May 1 immigrant rights march, spoke on the need to fight for demands of the undocumented.

Other speakers included leaders of the Anti-War Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Acton Committee.[11]

"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.[12]

References

  1. http://www.colombiasolidarity.org/en/node/199
  2. [Fight Back! Volume 1, No 1 Summer 1998]
  3. [Fight Back News Eyewitness to Revolution by staff | July 1, 2000]
  4. http://www.colombiasolidarity.org/en/node/199
  5. [Fight Back News Eyewitness to Revolution by staff | July 1, 2000]
  6. MN Coalition for a People's Bailout website: Petition, circa Sept. 19, 2009 (accessed on Oct. 5, 2010)
  7. Committee to Stop FBI Repression: Who are the targets of the FBI and Grand Jury Witch Hunt? (accessed on Nov. 23, 2010)
  8. [http://www.fightbacknews.org/2011/11/2/fbi-copies-50000-plus-pages-materials-seized-raids-minneapolis-peace-and-international-sol FBNews, FBI copies 50,000-plus pages of materials seized in raids on Minneapolis peace and international solidarity activists – now they give back the originals Serious FBI violation of civil rightsBy staff | November 2, 2011]
  9. [http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/09/24/fbi-searches-homes-anti-war-activists-minneapolis-chicago-terrorism-case/Fox News FBI serves warrants on Minn. anti-war activists, Chicago addresses, looking for terrorist ties Published September 24, 2010]
  10. Women Stand Up For International Women's DayvUptakeVideo
  11. ]http://www.fightbacknews.org/2013/5/5/freedom-road-socialist-organization-celebrates-may-day-2013-minneapolis FightBaack! Freedom Road Socialist Organization celebrates May Day 2013 in MinneapolisBy Mick Kelly | May 5, 2013]
  12. Wherevent "Minneapolis: Celebrate May Day - International Workers Day 2015"