John Conyers and the Workers World Party
People’s Anti-War Mobilization/May 3 Coalition
May 3, 1981—It was the opening shot of a new progressive movement in this country. Over 100,000 people marched on the Pentagon under the slogans: stop the U.S. war buildup, U.S. hands off El Salvador and no intervention in Southern Africa.
- They marched to demand money for jobs and human needs, not for the Pentagon. They marched to stop racist violence, to end racism, repression, and lesbian and gay oppression, and to stop the draft.
- More than 120 cities organized for the event, making it clear that this is a new movement that speaks for the many millions who are sick and tired of war, of economic attacks, of racism and all forms of bigotry. This was the biggest anti-war demonstration in a decade.
- This wave of militant, chanting humanity marched from the Lincoln Memorial area past the State Department and then over the Memorial Bridge to end their protest at the Pentagon, the seat of imperialist war plans.
Speakers at two rallies ranged from working-class and progressive leaders here to representatives of the national liberation struggles, including Arnoldo Ramos of the FDR [Frente Democrático Revolutionario] in El Salvador. For the first time at a major anti-war mobilization, representatives of the gay and lesbian struggle, the Native struggle and the Palestinian struggle were given a forum.
Solidarity messages to the march were announced from Black U.S. Congressmen John Conyers, Jr. and Ron Dellums, from known Cuban and Soviet spy Philip Agee, from the Democratic Revolutionary Front of El Salvador, from the African National Congress, from the South West Africa People’s Organization, from a group of progressives in Juneau, Alaska, and from the Guardian newspaper.
According to Larry Holmes, PAM leader and march organizer: “Oppressed people played a leading role in building for this march, and the slogans of the march addressed their needs. This is a real departure for the movement.”
Peace for Cuba Appeal
"NO WAR, NO WAY"
Jan 19, 2003, ANSWER brought together an impressive array of speakers at two rallies—one that began at 11 a.m. in the sprawling National Mall, and a concluding rally at the Washington Shipyard.
Moonanum James, co-chair of United American Indians of New England and a Vietnam-era veteran, opened the rally by connecting the U.S. government’s ongoing racist war against Native peoples with their preparations for a racist war against Iraq.
Actors Jessica Lange and Tyne Daly addressed the crowd. So did political figures, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton; former-U.S. Congressperson Cynthia McKinney and Rep. John Conyers. The Rev. Lucius Walker read an anti-war statement from Rep. Charles Rangel.
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark called on those listening to “impeach Bush.” Blase Bonpane, from the Office of the Americas, traveled from Los Angeles to bring greetings. International representation included Ashraf El-Bayoumi from the Cairo Conference against U.S. Aggression on Iraq and Jeremy Corbyn from the Stop the War Coalition and Abe Tomoko spoke as a representative of the Lower House of the Japanese Parliament.
Struggles around the world against U.S. domination were articulated by Teresa Gutierrez and Sara Flounders from the IAC; Hector Castro, director of education, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, Colombia; Francisco Rivera, Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques; Marie Hilao Enriquez from BAYAN; and Yoomi Jeong from the Korea Truth Commission.
Muslim speakers included Mahdi Bray, Muslim American Society; Ismael Kamal, Muslim Student Association; Ihab Darwish, Free Palestine Alliance; Ghazi Khan Kan, Council on American Islamic Relations; Imam Mousa, Masjid Al-Islam; and Dr. Mansoon Khan from Peace TV.
Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and Freedom of the Press
In 2009 John Conyers was listed as a supporter of the Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and Freedom of the Press
Endorsed SB 1306
As at Feb. 10, 2011, John Conyers and the Workers World Party had endorsed State Senator Hansen Clarke's Senate Bill 1306, "which would stop all mortgage foreclosures and evictions for two years." The bill is being supported by the Workers World Party-front, Moratorium NOW!.
Supporting WWP cause
Supporters came out the evening of March 25 2011, to an emergency rally and fundraiser for "beloved people’s attorney", Vanessa Fluker of Detroit. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert Colombo Jr. recently sanctioned and fined Fluker and a client $12,200, calling her anti-foreclosure appeal “frivolous” and “vexatious.”
Fluker is a nationally known and well-respected attorney with a reputation as a tireless fighter for homeowners and others facing foreclosures and evictions. She is a leader in the Workers World Party-front, Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs and utilizes her considerable legal skills to challenge the racist, predatory banks and lending institutions.
The event was emceed by the Rev. Ed Rowe at his Central United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit. In addition to Rowe, U.S. Congressperson John Conyers, Jr. and Martha Scott, a Wayne County Commissioner and former state senator, spoke out in strong support of Fluker.
Conyers announced he would be hosting fundraising receptions in New York and Washington, D.C., to help raise the approximately $18,000 appeal bond required to fight the sanctions. Scott said a resolution to stop sheriff’s foreclosure sales in Wayne County will be introduced to the Board of Commissioners on April 7.
Goldberg stated: “Most judges don’t like Vanessa. She works 84 hours a week to help poor people. Most judges choose the banks instead of the people. This judge made up his mind from the beginning to go after Vanessa.”
Goldberg showed the audience the three-inch-thick motion for reconsideration he filed on Fluker’s behalf and told how Judge Colombo had received a home mortgage and two subsequent refinancings from the very bank involved in the case for which Fluker was fined. “He must recuse himself if there is even an appearance of potential impropriety,” said Goldberg.
“We’re calling on the banks to refund the money they stole from our community. Make the banks pay!” With those words Wayne County Commissioner Martha Scott kicked off the first International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity at Grand Circus Park in downtown Detroit on Oct. 5-6, 2013.
Organized primarily by activists from the Workers World Party fronts Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management and the WWP youth wing Fight Imperialism, Stand Together, the assembly placed the blame for the city’s financial crisis squarely on the shoulders of the bankers and corporate bosses.
Youth activists Tachae J. Davis, of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together, and Dimeeko Williams, of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, roused the assembly with their determination to fight the system. Following a youth contingent led by a FIST banner, activists took the streets on Washington Boulevard where the hotel is located, chanting, “Whose city? Our city!” and “Banks get bailed out, we get sold out!”
The final sessions of the event featured a Workers’ Assembly where people spoke out about the impact of low-wage capitalist employment, two-tier automotive pay structures and the need to link community struggles with those involving people at the point of production and services. This session was chaired by longtime United Auto Workers member, labor historian and Moratorium NOW! organizer and WWP member Martha Grevatt.
Key to the assembly’s success, which was truly international in scope and character, were the endorsements, publicity and support of many groups and individuals, including U.S. Rep. John Conyers; Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report; and Central United Methodist Church in Detroit.
MLK Day event
A Martin Luther King Day march was held in Detroit January 2014, concluding with a rally at Central United Methodist Church. The event, chiefly organized by the Workers World Party, was a semi-official Democratic event. The main speakers were former Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson and long-time US Congressman John Conyers. It had the official backing of the Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers union (UAW).
- http://www.workers.org/2008/us/ww_1981_0814/, WW WW in 1981: New movement unites against war, racism, cutbacks Published Aug 8, 2008]
- International Peace for Cuba Appeal - letterhead, Nov. 14, 1994
- [WW http://www.workers.org/pdf/2003/ww013003.pdf Jan. 30, 2003]
- Defend Diane Bukowski and freedom of the press: Supporters (accessed on Dec. 22, 2009)
- Moratorium NOW!: Endorsers of Senate Bill 1306 (accessed on Feb. 9, 2011)
- WW Supporters rally for anti-foreclosure attorney By Kris Hamel Detroit Published Mar 31, 2011
- WW Detroit assembly fights banks and austerity By Abayomi Azikiwe on October 10, 2013
- Socialist Website, Workers World Party uses demagogy to conceal unions’ collusion in Detroit bankruptcy By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White 23 January 2014