The Student Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! met early 2013, and made plans to build the movement on campuses around the U.S.
Stephanie Taylor, chair of the Student Commission said, “Even after the FBI raids and in the midst of ongoing heavy political repression, the FRSO Student Commission continues to grow because we are consistent revolutionaries. Both positive and forthright, we organize to end U.S. wars, fight racism and stop government cutbacks. Students with FRSO are making gains with campus campaigns to stop rape, end discrimination against queer people and to support labor unions and workers. In this period of war, austerity, and oppression, many serious activists who oppose imperialism and desire socialism are joining the FRSO.”
Marisol Marquez, a student organizer with Dream Defenders in Florida said, “We debated approaches to the immigrant rights struggle. By organizing for the Dream Act, immigrant students and youth won a concession from President Obama - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is a small victory and something to build on, but we did not come here alone, so we must demand ‘Legalization now!’ for our parents, and for everyone.”
Mike Raspanti of Milwaukee Students for a Democratic Society said, “The meeting was great. I had no idea. Every person in the room raised their hand when asked if they helped organize emergency actions in solidarity with Palestine this past November. We are an organization of leaders and doers, not just talkers.”
February 2014, members of the Student Commission of Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! met to sum up the past year of struggle and discuss strategies for building the student movement in the U.S.
Student Commission Chair Stephanie Taylor said, “We had an in-depth discussion on the process of transformation, in which students fuse with the working class. By joining the working class after college, students demonstrate their revolutionary commitment to fighting for the working class for the rest of their lives. This is an important part of Marxism-Leninism and an important principle of forwarding our revolutionary goals.”
“U.S. hands off Venezuela!”
According to Wyatt Miller February 24, 2019 in FightBack News!. Minneapolis, MN – The streets were full of working-class solidarity on Saturday, February 23, when well over 100 people, including trade unionists, Latin America solidarity groups and anti-war activists gathered under the banner “U.S. hands off Venezuela!”
The event was part of a global day of action to protest the ongoing U.S.-backed coup attempt against the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro. Protesters occupied multiple intersections in the high-density Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, distributing fliers and speaking with pedestrians about the situation in Venezuela.
The demonstration took place as the coup attempt took a turn closer to an invasion, involving a high-profile attempt to storm the Venezuelan border from Colombia. U.S. and U.K. media spent much of the day highlighting groups seeking Maduro’s overthrow, who claim to bring U.S.-sponsored ‘humanitarian aid’ into Venezuela from Colombia.
In a speech, Gerardo Cajamarca, an organizer with SEIU who is an asylee trade unionist from Colombia, rejected that narrative, saying, “Right now what is happening on the border of Colombia and Venezuela is coordinated by an interventionist group. It is very important that you, as United States citizens, tell your government not to go forward with this intervention. Latin Americans have the right to choose autonomy, to choose solidarity, to choose our own economic system.”
In recent weeks, the International Red Cross and the United Nations had refused to participate in the U.S. plan to storm the Venezuelan border with so-called ‘aid.’ Both organizations explicitly rejected the ‘humanitarian’ label for the plan touted by U.S. officials, instead calling it politicized and concealing military objectives.
At the Minneapolis event, Cajamarca also noted the hypocrisy of Colombian President Ivan Duque’s invocation of ‘humanitarian aid’ as cover for the coup attempt in Venezuela. “Yes, there is humanitarian need; yes, there is genocide – in Colombia!” he said. “They are murdering social leaders every day in Colombia. Corporations like Coca-Cola and Chiquita sponsor paramilitary groups. This is a model that is linked with narco-trafficking and with corporate power.”
“Using aid as a political weapon is nothing new,” stated April Knutson of Haiti Justice Committee of Minnesota. “In fact, there is an organization that is very much involved in the Venezuela situation right now called USAID. And they are an arm of the U.S. government, the U.S. military, and the CIA. They are often involved in regime change around the world, and in the Caribbean, and in Central America and South America. In fact, they toppled the democratically elected president of Haiti twice. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was toppled by the CIA and USAID.”
Stephanie Taylor, vice president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3800, said, “As workers in the United States we are here today to stand with you all and oppose any U.S. intervention in Venezuela. First, because we know the brutal history of U.S. intervention and colonialism in Latin America.
On February 19, AFSCME Local 3800 passed a resolution to denounce any U.S. sanctions, support for a coup, or other interference in Venezuela, mirroring similar moves by labor groups around the country and the world, including the San Francisco Labor Council, U.S. Labor Against the War, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Canadian Labor Congress, and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).
The anti-war movement was out in force as well. “We must dispel State Department lies about Venezuela,” said CJ McCormick of the Anti-War Committee. “Maduro's election was fair until the United States saw a window for intervention. It's the U.S. that installs dictators, not the Bolivarian Revolution, and no country which has suffered U.S. regime change has ever become more democratic. It's the CIA's playbook to falsely claim a foreign leader is un-democratic in order to justify invasion.” McCormick added, “And this isn't even about democracy. It's about oil!”
The action was organized by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and endorsed by a long list of progressive groups.
The coalition plans to hold an emergency response protest if the U.S. sends in troops. In the meantime, the next protest has been called for by the MN Anti-War Committee for March 15 at 5:30 p.m. in front of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, 1200 S. Washington Avenue in Minneapolis, to draw attention to that presidential candidate’s support for the Trump administration’s coordination of the coup in Venezuela.
PCCC - BoldProgressives.org August 4, 2015.
With Kayla Wingbermuehle-Brown, Ryan Rasmussen, Dominique Nikki Jackson, Sarah Badawi, Tamara Johnson Shealey, Brenda Lopez Romero, Michelle Martinez, Ted Jones, Noel Frame, Jay Saxon, Monica Lisa, Aly Johnson-Kurts, Tamika L Mapp, Eric D. Nelson, Jen D. Rafanan, Daniel Blackman, Farrah N. Khan, Ryan Joseph, Janine Brown, Shannon Shaun, Laurie-Anne Sayles, Dan Jameyson, Melissa Sargent, Yasmine Taeb, Harish I. Patel, Dorothy Krause, Elisabeth Lamar, Sammi Brown, Movita Johnson-Harrell, Clara Puerta, Aaron Johnson, Lacey Ann Connelly, Benjamin Yee, Rebecca Abraham, Michael McCarthy, Adam Green, Stephanie Taylor, Ted Terry, Sarah DeMerchant, Elaine Hyman, Patrick Davis, Bob Gibeling, Tim Denson, Robert Millar, Mari Cordes, Chris Wig, Heidi J. Vierthaler and Paul Per Row Knee.