Sharon Black

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Sharon Black


Sharon Black is a national organizer of the Workers World Party

De-platformed

On January 22 2020, Facebook disabled the main pages of two major community organizations, Peoples Power Assembly and Women In Struggle/Mujeres En Lucha, as well as activists around the country who have played roles in either group, including Puerto Rican activist Berta Joubert-Ceci; Greg Butterfield, Struggle La Lucha writer; Cheryl LaBash, co-chair, National Network on Cuba; Maggie Vascassenno, Los Angeles Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice; and others.

It also banished Peoples Power Assembly page editor Charlene Lady J. Jenkins, a founder of “What’s Up Baltimore,” whose Baltimore grassroots network was shut down as a result.

In addition, 16 individual activists’ profiles were disabled, which means that close to a dozen other progressive pages and groups were frozen when their administrators were disabled, including: the Baltimore Harriet Tubman Solidarity Center, ICE Out of Baltimore, Prisoners Solidarity Committee, Youth Against War & Racism, and Baltimore and Maryland Amazon Workers.

Sharon Black stated: “Facebook’s disabling of pages and the accounts of major activists who have not violated community standards is meant to silence and censor our voices. The Peoples Power Assembly has played a significant role in the Baltimore Black Lives Matter protests in the summer and more recently opposing Trump’s effort to overturn the election. On Dr. King Jr.’s birthday holiday, we held a car caravan to Jessup Correctional Institute and the Howard County Immigrant Detention Center to demand justice for prisoners and detainees.”

Berta Joubert-Ceci, founder of the Women's Fightback National Network/Red Nacional de Mujeres en Lucha and Women In Struggle, stated, "It is appalling - the cowardice of Facebook in silencing the voices of women and progressive people who struggle for justice and a better life for all." Joubert-Ceci is also an organizer of the International Peoples' Tribunal on U.S. Colonial Crimes in Puerto Rico. Her personal page, used to connect with the Puerto Rican movement, was deleted along with Women In Struggle.

Attorney Summerfield stated, “We intend to fight this. This includes waging a public campaign to demand that the pages of all activists and the groups they represent are reactivated. We intend to use every avenue at our disposal, including legal remedies, to stop the censorship of voices that are too often marginalized.”[1]

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.[2]

Labor for Palestine

On December 14, 2009 Labor for Palestine released an "Open Letter from U.S. Trade Unionists to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: Boycott Apartheid Israel".

Signers of the letter included Sharon Black of the AFT, Local 2, and Bail Out the People Movement.[3]

2010 WWP National Conference

poster for the conference

The 2010 National Workers World Party Conference was held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 - 14, 2010, and had the tagline, "2010 National Workers World Party Conference".[4]

Second Plenary: First Panel-- The Capitalist Crisis and Role of the Working Class
Chair: Andre Powell; Speakers: Sharon Black, Phebe Eckfeldt, Martha Grevatt, Monica Moorehead, John Parker, Betsey Piette and Dante Strobino

"Happy birthday Fidel"

BaltimoreFidel.jpg

The Baltimore branch of Workers World Party celebrated the 90th birthday of Cuba’s historic leader, Fidel Castro, on Aug. 13, 2016. An introductory panel featured Fred Mason, president of the Maryland/Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO; Leslie Salgado, from Howard County Friends of Latin America; and Cheryl LaBash, a co-chair of the National Network on Cuba. In a “fish bowl” discussion, four young organizers described what socialism means to them, followed by questions and comments from others.

Sharon Black, an independent candidate for City Council president, chaired the meeting, and Andre Powell, mayoral candidate — both from Workers World Party and the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly — spoke in solidarity with the Cuban revolution. Independent City Council candidate Nnamdi Lumumba, of the Ujima People’s Progress Party, also expressed his solidarity with socialist Cuba.[5]

May Day arrests

In 2017 Baltimore police officers arrested four May Day protesters, including noted activist Rev. Cortly Witherspoon, after a group unfurled a yellow sign on Gay Street, outside the United States Customs House downtown, and sat down in the street.

The sign's message:

"Our Demands:

1. City Jobs Program 2. $15 An Hour Now 3. Abolish ICE & Permanent Residency for Immigrants 4. End Police Terror

The rally, which included about 60 protesters, was organized by the Women's Fightback Network Maryland/D.C., Peoples Power Assembly, and Workers World Party-Baltimore and was part of a larger wave of pro-labor, anti-Trump protests around the world, started in McKeldin Square around 3 p.m. and moved through the downtown area.

Stopping at Baltimore's Customs House was tied to one of the central points of the "Baltimore May Day Global Strike" to "defend immigrants and Muslims."

"ICE is the notorious agency that has brutally separated immigrant families and deported scores of immigrants under new orders from the Trump administration," said Sharon Black, People's Power Assembly spokesperson, in a released statement

Protesters initially stood in the street around the sign on Gay Street, blocking traffic, and police warned that anyone who didn't want to be arrested should move to the sidewalk. Most did, but four people, including Witherspoon, continued to sit on the pavement with the sign and were arrested. People's Power Assembly identified the other three as Rasika Ruwanpathirana, Andrew Mayton, and Alec Summerfield. When the arrestees were placed in the police van, they were recorded by another police officer.[6]

References