Raleigh-Durham Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)

Revolutionary socialist youth in the US South

Archive for the ‘Occupy Movement’ Category

People’s Victory in Charlotte as March on Wall Street South Wins Permits

Posted by raleighfist on June 2, 2012

The Coalition to March on Wall Street South announced a major victory on May 29. The city of Charlotte granted conditional approval for permits for the Sept. 2 March on Wall Street South — after more than eight months of march and parks permit requests, a national petition campaign and threats of legal action. The march will take place one day prior to the Democratic National Convention.

While coalition organizers must still meet and negotiate with officials, the march route passes the major targets in uptown Charlotte: Bank of America’s world headquarters, Wells Fargo’s eastern headquarters, the Bank of America Stadium and the Time Warner Cable Arena, site of the DNC.

With permits won, the stage is now set for the Sept. 2 demonstration. Thousands of activists are expected to flood the streets of Charlotte to raise a people’s agenda to the big banks and Democratic Party delegates. Their program calls for jobs, human needs, workers’ rights, justice and equality for Black, Latino/a and Native peoples, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. The Call to Action also raises the need to fight for economic and environmental justice, while opposing wars, anti-immigrant repression, racial and political profiling, incarcerations and foreclosures.

Mass campaign key to victory

The coalition launched a national petition campaign in May, after numerous delays and administrative runarounds, unreturned phone calls and being put through bureaucratic hoops. Petitions demanded that the city grant the permits, repeal newly passed repressive protest ordinances and immediately make public the permitting process for actions during the DNC.

More than 1,500 people across the country signed the petition, including prominent leaders from unions and community organizations. Every signature triggered emails to city, county and national officials.

Coalition organizers planned to deliver the petitions to the May 29 Charlotte City Council meeting. Just two hours before the meeting was to start, officials called coalition organizers to inform them that the permits had been granted. Even with this major victory, plans to pack the meeting and speak out moved forward. More than three dozen activists from Occupy Charlotte; Occupy Winston-Salem; United Electrical Workers Local 150; Raleigh Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; Students for a Democratic Society; and other organizations turned out.

“This is a huge victory for democracy,” said Scottie Wingfield, of Occupy Charlotte. “We want to thank the more than 1,500 people from across the country who signed the petition. The eyes of the world are on Charlotte and on how the city will treat those who do not have lobbyists to represent their interests. Our work goes on, and we will continue to call on the city of Charlotte to repeal the repressive protest ordinances they passed earlier this year that grant police extreme power and endanger people’s rights to freely demonstrate.”

The coalition was also preparing to take legal action to secure the permits for the right to demonstrate in Charlotte. Affidavits had been collected from nearly two dozen leaders of organizations from across the U.S., including Marilyn Levin, co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition; John Parker of the Southern California Immigration Coalition; George Friday of Move to Amend; the Rev. Cortly C.D. Witherspoon, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Baltimore chapter; Steve Gillis, vice president of Steelworkers Local 8751, the Boston School Bus Drivers Union; and Sara Flounders, International Action Center co-director.

Alissa Elliss of Occupy Durham stressed: “This is a great success. We want to thank the legal team for the amount of work they put in, not only in preparation for the petitions, but also all the preparation that went into facing likely litigation. It was only through the legal team’s hard work and the mass support of petition signers that we were finally able to make the city and county of Charlotte recognize the power of the 99% and give us our right to protest.”

Stage set for March on Wall Street South

March organizers have issued an all-out call for this major demonstration and others during the DNC:

“We welcome all working people who have suffered during this economic crisis to come down to Charlotte on Sunday, September 2,” said Matt Hickson of University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill Students for a Democratic Society. He emphasized: “Bank of America and Wells Fargo are responsible for kicking people out of their homes, plunging students and families deep into debt, funding the prison-industrial complex and destroying the environment.

“The Democrats and the Republicans have not addressed the dire situation faced by working people and families in this country. We need jobs, an end to deportations and money for housing, education, health care and people’s needs, not for wars and jails. These are some of the issues we’ll be raising at the March on Wall Street South on September 2 and throughout the week of actions during the DNC.”

For information, see wallstsouth.org, Twitter: @wallstsouth or call 1-704-266-0362.

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Posted in Counter-Recruitment, Cuba, Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, Imperialism, Labor, Libya, Occupy Movement, Socialism, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

99% Spring Targets Wall Street South

Posted by raleighfist on May 16, 2012

By Dante Strobino
More than 1,000 people defied police threats and arrests to protest the Bank of America shareholders’ meeting here May 9. Their three main demands were to end home foreclosures, end the financing of dirty coal, and assert workers’ rights against banks’ control of politicians and the electoral system.

The action showed that a fighting movement is brewing across the United States. This movement is passionately fighting for people’s needs to be placed before the needs of private profits of the banks and corporations.

Protesters in Charlotte included domestic workers from Atlanta, migrant workers from New Orleans, state workers from across North Carolina, and public housing residents from New York City to Durham, N.C. Students, workers, the structurally unemployed, immigrants and many others joined. Three issue-based feeder marches joining the protesters symbolized the three main demands of the protest.

This action was part of the “99% Spring” protests against shareholder meetings of such major corporations and banks as General Electric, Wells Fargo, Walmart, RJ Reynolds Tobacco and others all across the country. The recently formed North Carolina Coalition Against Corporate Power coordinated the Charlotte protest.

Charlotte’s city government used the May 9 protest to trigger a new repressive ordinance that restricted people’s ability to assemble and speak freely. The ordinance was passed in response to Occupy Charlotte and in preparation for the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

Raul Jimenez Arce, member of Raleigh-Durham Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), told Workers World, “I joined the protest against Bank of America because I am tired of big corporations deciding our future, buying politicians and creating their own agenda at the expense of the working class.”

Despite the new restrictions, protesters bravely marched into the streets without permits and occupied two different intersections for a few hours, shutting down traffic to stop business as usual. Since Bank of America and Wells Fargo own most uptown buildings, this was truly a bold step.

Demand end to foreclosures

By 9 a.m., the marchers had taken over the intersection at 5th and College streets in uptown Charlotte, directly in front of where the rich shareholders were meeting and where they had just passed a pay package of $7 million for CEO Bryan “Big Banks” Moynihan.

The occupiers assembled behind a 10-foot-tall ball and chain marked “debt.” This symbolized all the debt that state and city governments, students, homeowners and others are strapped to because of the Bank of America’s capitalist, predatory practices. Trapped also by long-term unemployment, many marchers will never be able to pay back their debt.

Bonita Johnson, a low-wage kitchen worker in a state mental health facility in Butner, N.C., and member of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, Electrical Workers (UE) Local 150, told WW: “These big banks are making mega money and not paying any taxes. We, as state employees, are struggling, working two and three jobs and paying taxes even on the little that we do have. I knew I had to join this protest.”

Sylvia Sanchez was the first speaker at the rally. A member of a community group, Action NC, Sanchez is a Latina mother of a disabled child. Bank of America is about to foreclose on her Charlotte house.

Marchers demanded that Sanchez’s home be saved and that principal loan costs be written down on all “underwater” loans to help keep families in their homes. Some demanded the federal government put a moratorium on foreclosures altogether, so families can stay in their homes while payment terms are negotiated.

“Let Johnny in, let Johnny in!” chanted the marchers in support of Johnny Rosa, an African-American man whose home BOA was foreclosing on. Rosa was simply asking for a voice at the table to be heard by the bank’s top executives. Cops swarmed Rosa, threw him to the ground and quickly arrested him, but not without the crowd standing up for him.

Four other courageous protesters were also arrested throughout the course of the day, most in planned civil disobedience.

Many other movement leaders spoke, including members of All of Us NC, a lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, queer organization that led a grassroots fight against a state constitutional amendment that banned all civil unions and rights of domestic partners. This reactionary amendment passed during the May 8 primary ballot.

Protesters take the streets

Protesters then began marching up Trade Street and south on Tryon Street, completely blocking one direction of traffic as they marched toward the Bank of America stadium, where President Barack Obama will give his acceptance speech during the September Democratic National Convention. Environmental activists, who draped a huge banner over its facade days before the protest, now call this arena “Bank of Coal stadium.”

Yen Acala, member of Occupy Charlotte and leader in the Coalition to March on Wall Street South, underlined the significance of the May 9 event, saying it will help spark people’s enthusiasm to demonstrate an even bigger challenge to the big banks, corporations and both corporate parties during the DNC.

All regions of the country will have their own face, their own struggles. That such a struggle movement is now brewing in the U.S. South has epic potential, especially since this region is home to well over 60 percent of all foreign direct economic investment — the construction of industrial productive factories — and a vast unorganized, non-union, low-wage work force who offer a vast potential for organization.

The time is ripe for a mass, militant march on Wall Street South — Charlotte — that can truly unite all sectors of the working class from across the region. This will be the next giant step forward for full democratic rights and ownership over all the factories, the schools, the banks and all institutions that make society run. It can truly challenge the ownership and property rights of the 1% and begin to leverage power and democratic control of these institutions in the hands of the 99%.

Organizers call on people from all over the U.S. to join them in the streets of Charlotte from Sept. 2-6 during the Democratic National Convention. You won’t want to miss it!

For more information, visit wallstsouth.org.

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, General, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

Get on the bus! Protest Bank of America Shareholder’s Meeting in Charlotte on May 9

Posted by raleighfist on April 30, 2012

Join the 99% to Fightback at the Bank of America Shareholder’s Meeting in Charlotte

Converge for Justice — Occupy Wall Street South

Demand a Moratorium on Business as Usual!

May 6-9, Charlotte, NC 


GET ON THE BUS MAY 9

GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THE SHOW DOWN IN CROWN TOWN! Only $5

Tickets going fast, sign up today!

 

On May 6-9 people from across the country and world will be converging in Charlotte, NC, home of Bank of America’s Headquarters and their annual Shareholder meeting, to demand an end to their practices that are bankrupting our economy and wrecking our climate.

Homeowners, students, immigrants, environmentalists, workers, women’s groups, peace activists and more will be in Charlotte, bringing their stories, hearts and communities to the fight against Bank of America and the economic inequality, racial injustice and environmental destruction they have wrought.
Not only is Bank of America and the other big banks responsible for the crash of the entire world capitalist economy, but they also are:

  • #1 forecloser of homes in the US,
  • #1 funder of the US coal industry,
  • Job killer by letting go of nearly 100,000 workers over the past several years,
  • Bonus Buster paying its top five executives over $500 million in bonuses,
  • Saddling students with a lifetime of debt, and
  • Financing the war machine.

Bank of America, and its profits-over-people-and-planet business model, is drowning our democracy through huge financial contributions to lobbyists that are serving the interests of the 1% and are participating in corporate-funded groups like American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Financial Services Roundtable.

As a global community united for real economic and racial justice, it is time that BoA is held accountable, invest in public needs and services, or face being broken up to achieve the justice we need. Whether you are a community member, homeowner, worker or student, we need to come together to challenge corporate power and create an economy and democracy that works for all of us.

Get on the Bus with FIST in Durham!  One Day trip to Charlotte to join the Show Down on May 9!

Members of Raleigh-Durham FIST are helping to organize a bus from Durham!  We are loading buses at 4:30am sharp at the Main Library at 300 N. Roxboro Street DurhamNorth Carolina 27701.  We will be expecting to arrive back in Durham before 7pm. Please RSVP by emailing RaleighFIST@gmail.com and calling 919-539-2051 to get a ticket!

Sign up for tickets from Durham here !

May 9th BOA Shareholder Meeting Action Plan:

On the morning of May 9 at 8 am, people from around the state, country and world will converge on the “Wall Street of the South” to participate in creative, mass non-violent direct action to “Break Up Business As Usual for Bank of America.” Our marches will carry our call for justice to the doors of the Shareholder meeting and surrounding areas.  On the day of the Shareholder meeting, people will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of creative educational, cultural, theatrical, visibility, and nonviolent direct action activities.



There are also other buses coming from cities across the state:

Asheville bus: jim brown,  Jim@P-e-a-c-e.org
Raleigh bus: Adam Orlovich” <adam@aflcionc.org>  + nick wood: nickwood1979@gmail.com
Fayetteville bus: bryan conlon,  bryan.p.conlon@gmail.com
Wilmington van: keenen,  keenen25@gmail.com
Greensboro bus: todd warren, toddafwarren@gmail.com
Chapel Hill bus: tait chandler, tait.chandler@gmail.com

March Assembly Sites:

Housing Justice Now! — Bank of America, N. Tryon @ 9th St.
Stop Funding Coal and the Militarization of Our Communities! — The Green, Tryon @ Levine Ave of the Arts
Worker’s Rights! Corporations Out of Politics:  Pay Your Taxes Not Your Lobbyists! — Old City Hall, Davidson @ 4thSt

For more information on how to get involved in organizing for the Bank of America Shareholder’s protest, visit www.ncagainstcorporatepower.org

Facebook event: Protest the Bank of America Shareholder Meeting
https://www.facebook.com/events/283287288413972/

Twitter: #MakeBoAPay

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, General, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, Socialism, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | 1 Comment »

Guns, racist terror and self-defense

Posted by raleighfist on April 24, 2012

By Caleb Maupin

In New York City, it is illegal to carry a firearm, whether a handgun or sporting rifle, without a permit. With this ban as an excuse, the New York City Police Department carries out a policy of “stop and frisk” that is aimed primarily at youth of color.

The police, for no legal reason, frequently stop Black and Latino/a youth and pat them down under the guise of hoping to find illicit weapons. The justifications given for these degrading “stop and frisks” are outrageous, such as “a suspicious bulge” or “furtive motions.” As a coalition of mostly young Black activists fighting this policy put it, the real reason is almost always nothing more than “walking while Black.”

Recently, Ramarley Graham was walking home in the Bronx. He was stopped by police, but rather than be searched, he escaped. In response, the police stalked him and fatally shot him in his apartment.

There is a group of “gun rights” activists who call themselves the Second Amendment Movement, referring to the part of the U.S. Constitution that guarantees the right of the people to bear arms. However, they are not involved in the struggle against “stop and frisk.” Nor can they be found among those who have been part of the heroic civil disobedience campaigns and protests aimed at this repressive policy.

This right-wing movement instead campaigns for capitalist politicians, rails against communism and now champions the racist killer George Zimmerman.

They and the rest of the gun lobby are sponsored by firearms manufacturers and the military-industrial complex. The aim of these forces is not to protect oppressed people from the repressive capitalist state, but to protect and reinforce the racists and vigilantes who terrorize oppressed people.

In addition, these groups whip up racist stereotypes and fear of crime in order to sell more of their products. They promote this vile racism, resulting in more senseless killings.

Does this mean that a ban on firearms would be a good thing? No! A ban on firearms would be a setback for the workers and oppressed peoples of the U.S.

Right to self-defense

Racist murderers like George Zimmerman and his racist ilk in the Ku Klux Klan and other neofascist vigilante groups will always be able to obtain weapons. Their allies in the police departments, the FBI and other organs of the state will enable them to wage terror against oppressed people, whatever laws exist.

A ban on firearms would also not disarm the racist murderers in the police departments throughout the country. The Pentagon brass, the greatest collection of armed, warmongering profiteers, would remain armed to the teeth.

Marxist-Leninists unapologetically defend the right of workers and oppressed people to defend themselves with any means available. Historically, there have been many occasions in the people’s struggle for justice where guns have been utilized.

When civil rights activists were being murdered in the South, the Monroe, N.C., chapter of the NAACP, under the leadership of Robert F. Williams and Mae Mallory, beat back KKK terror in the 1960s through armed self-defense of their community. The Black Panther Party shook up the racist establishment when its young members patrolled Oakland, Calif., monitoring the activities of the police while carrying shotguns and law books.

During the Depression, when Nazis from the Silver Legion of America mobilized to attack the Teamsters in Minneapolis, the union, led by communists, formed workers’ defense guards. This caused the fascists to back down.

For years coal miners had to arm themselves against the violence of company goons trying to break their union.

As long as class oppression and racist violence exist, workers and oppressed people will need to defend their just struggles, sometimes with weapons in hand. It is a right that must not be surrendered.

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, Socialism, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

Racism robs Black youth of their dreams

Posted by raleighfist on April 6, 2012

By Larry Hales

Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Black youth killed by racist vigilante George Zimmerman, was robbed of any opportunities that the future may have held for him. His parents were robbed of their son, his younger stepbrother a guiding hand, his girlfriend, other family members and friends a person who brought them immense joy, laughter, heartache — all the gifts and frustrations that a loved one brings.

And that he was killed by a man who by his own admission chased him because he was Black and wearing a hoodie, yet still walks free because of some dubiously written law, makes the tragedy that much greater.

Many wonder how Zimmerman remains free when the facts of the case are so clear. Trayvon had no weapon and was significantly lighter than Zimmerman, outweighed by nearly 100 pounds.

Trayvon was the one being stalked and then chased in fear for his life. This was validated by the young woman on the other end of the telephone call with Trayvon as the young man fled.

It would seem that the specific provisions of the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law would contravene the decision of the Sanford Police Department to allow Zimmerman to walk free, citing his right to self-defense.

However, this is U.S. society, where the seeds of white supremacy were first planted, a country built on the most extreme forms of oppression and repression. Therefore a law may be written in general, but the atmosphere is poisoned by racism and national oppression. The Florida statute may state that the person using deadly force has to reasonably believe that his or her life is in danger, Zimmerman may have outweighed Trayvon, and Trayvon’s only weapons may have been a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles, but apparently his Blackness was not only enough to draw suspicion but justified the use of deadly force.

The overwhelming evidence showing that a young Black man was executed by a vigilante and then again by a police force that is on record for covering up crimes, especially committed against people of color, begs the question — what is the value of a Black life?

Justice for Trayvon would mean that Zimmerman is arrested, tried and imprisoned; that the entire police department and the officers involved are fired and then tried for covering up the facts of this case; and that the SYG law, in a racist society like this one, is repealed. That would be merely the beginning.

Countless Trayvon Martins

What of Ramarley Graham, the young Black male shot in his bathroom in front of his grandmother and six-year-old brother in Bronx, N.Y., earlier this year?

What of Travis McNeal killed by Miami cops Feb. 11, 2011, when he and his cousin were stopped while driving, or of Decarlos Moore, Joel Lee Johnson and the four other unarmed Black men killed by Miami police last year?

What of 18-year-old Dane Scott Jr. shot in the back by police after a car chase in Del City, Okla., this year?

What about the many more unknown innocent Black men and women beaten, killed or humiliated by police all across the country, or the millions of Black women and men in jail, prison or on parole or probation? These are victims of the racist criminal justice system and of a society that cuts back on spending for schools and allows a greatly disproportionate number of people of color to be jobless, homeless and without hope of finding a well-paying job so they can care for themselves and their families.

The Black unemployment rate is still over 14 percent, and if that number alone isn’t enough to indicate how dire the situation is, a more accurate account reveals that only 56.6 percent of the Black population is employed. For Black youth the unemployment rate is over 40 percent, and the employment ratio is barely over 50 percent.

In his 1967 speech “Where Do We Go From Here,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Of the good things in life, the Negro has approximately one half those of whites. Of the bad things of life, he has twice those of whites.”

That remains so, in housing especially, considering that a large number of people being foreclosed are people of color, with a high number Black. Adjustable rate mortgages were forced on them where the payments quadrupled after four or five years. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, 11 percent of Black homeowners lost their homes from 2007 to the present.

The Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness reports that Black families are seven times more likely to be homeless than whites and 38.8 percent of sheltered people in families are Black. A 2009 Regal Magazine article states that 49 percent of homeless people in total are Black.

Those who live in poverty or near poverty number are about 150 million. The official poverty threshold for a family of four is $24,343, and even a family with a household income of $49,000 struggles.

The average Black household income measured in 2011 was $32,000, a decline of 3.2 percent from the prior year.

Though the statistics appear stark enough, it is important to elucidate the reasons behind the conditions that Black people in the U.S. and all people of color really face.

What is the value of a Black life?

To repeat, what is the value of a Black life? All life is precious. But a system that places the profits of a few over the needs of the many turns the just mentioned mantra on its head. How can life be precious if the necessities of it are commodities to be sold for profit? How can life be precious if much of humanity is engaged in selling their labor to make wealth they will never see for a wage designed to ensure that the buyer of the labor gets their profit and becomes richer still?

It is people of color, Black, Latino/a, Indigenous, Arab and Asian who disproportionately live on the fringes, suffering from years of conquest, genocide, slavery, apartheid and racism — all symptoms of national oppression. Because of their conditions, they are the greatest impetus for change.

National oppression is a byproduct of the for-profit system, a weapon to keep working people and their families from seeing their commonness, to keep people fighting amongst one another over differences in culture, religion and other beliefs.

Trayvon Martin had his life to look forward to. He was just beginning to dream, to piece together what he wanted his adult self to be, but he was a victim of the racism that pervades U.S. society. He was no less than any other 17-year-old, and he may have gone on to do great things, become a leader or a scientist — one will never know.

But, what is sure, is that for any young person, especially an oppressed person, to be guaranteed to reach their full potential, the society that has created disproportionate suffering and hardship based on skin color must be thrown into the dustbin of history, and a new one must be born. Trayvon may have been the leader of such a struggle, but as it is, it will have to be waged in memory of him and all those young Black and other oppressed youth who were victimized until they were sent to an early grave.

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

March 24: NC Defend Education Coalition statewide organizing conference

Posted by raleighfist on March 13, 2012

The future is ours! A fight back and organizing conference of the NC Defend Education Coalition
With a keynote address from Waldemiro Vélez Soto, a leader of the student movement in Puerto Rico

Saturday, March 24 // 9am – 6pm
NC A&T University, Greensboro

On February 10, hundreds of students from across NC marched against tuition hikes and budget cuts.
On March 24, we’ll be gathering again to chart out the next steps for our movement.
The NC Defend Education Coalition will be hosting a statewide student organizing conference called “The Future is Ours!” at NC A&T University. Students, young people, and community activists from across the state will be getting together to strategize about how we can continue to build the movement for justice, for education, for workers’ rights, and against budget cuts and attacks on our communities. There will also be organizing and skills workshops, and opportunities to network with student organizers from across NC.
We will also be joined by Waldemiro Vélez Soto, a leader of the student movement in Puerto Rico, who will be delivering the keynote address of the conference. Students in Puerto Rico have been leading an incredible struggle for the past several years against tuition hikes, budget cuts, and privatization, and have led a series of successful strikes that have shut down the university system there.
For a full schedule of the conference, please visit our website.
You won’t want to miss this! Register today!

Tuition is skyrocketing.
Class sizes are getting larger.
Public education at all levels is being privatized and resegregated.
The banks are pushing us deeper into student loan debt.
The legislature wants to make more budget cuts to education and public services.
SB 575 is yet another attack on workers’ rights.
What are we going to do? Stand up. Fight back!

NC DEFEND EDUCATION COALITION
ncdefendeducation@gmail.com | ncdefendeducation.org | @NCDefendEdu

Posted in Counter-Recruitment, Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, Socialism, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

The Ides of Love: March against the proposed Amendment One // Thurs, March 15 @ 11am

Posted by raleighfist on March 13, 2012

The Ides of Love: March against proposed Amendment One
Thursday, March 15 @ 11am
Gather at the NCSU Bell Tower

On Thursday, March 15th, we will march from the N.C. State Bell Tower to the General Assembly Building AGAINST Amendment One! 

We want to show our State and our Nation that the people of North Carolina do not support amending our Constitution with this ban, and that we will virulently defend the right for a union to be recognized by the state. In the past, we have codified language that excluded both women and minority races; let us learn from our history and not repeat those same mistakes on May 8, 2012. The motto for the fine state of North Carolina has always rung with heraldic clarity: we are a state that lives according to principle and truth; to be rather than to seem. Sadly, the stable foundations of our state have been put to the test, and we stand in the face of those who would restrict base civil rights. We honor the primary statement of the original document of our governance with its assurance of equal rights for all, regardless of creed or orientation.

If you are against amending the North Carolina State Constitution with discrimination, come join us on March 15th, 2012. If you are proud to live in the state that launched civil rights to the forefront of our national discussion, join with us for the march. We believe that only through an expression of solidarity can we give a voice to the voiceless, to those the state would seek to exclude from the civil right of marriage.

“A vote on the same sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal and religious opinion on same sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally. We should never seek to codify discrimination into the very heart and framework of our Constitution.”
-Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

All faiths, all religions, all races, and all people are welcome.

For more information, and further updates on the day of action and change, please visit honestnc.org.


Posted in Counter-Recruitment, Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, Labor, Occupy Movement, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

Stop Tuition Hikes! Students Occupy UNC Board of Governors Meeting

Posted by raleighfist on February 26, 2012

 

By Ben Carroll — Chapel Hill, NC

More than 200 students from across North Carolina poured into the town of Chapel Hill on Feb. 10 for a spirited demonstration against huge tuition hikes. The North Carolina Defend Education Coalition organized it. The University of North Carolina Board of Governors, which oversees the 17-campus university system, met that day to vote on tuition hikes of more than 10 percent for most schools. After a march that clogged up rush-hour traffic, students brought the demonstration inside the main building’s lobby, drowning out board members with chants and twice interrupting the meeting with mic checks. Later, students took over the BOG’s meeting and convened a “People’s Board of Education.”

Students began gathering at 8 a.m. in the central part of UNC Chapel Hill’s campus. There, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, N.C. NAACP president, spoke to them as they prepared to march. The students aimed to connect the struggle against tuition hikes to the larger fight to stop the state from balancing the budget crisis on the backs of workers and students.

The march then set off for the BOG meeting, tying up traffic for more than 30 minutes as the demonstrators took over both of the eastbound lanes of the busy road. After they arrived at the main building, students packed the lobby. They went past the cops who tried to prevent them from entering the building while their chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, tuition hikes have got to go!” and “No cuts! No fees! Education must be free!” echoed through the halls.

Taken by the electrifying, militant spirit of the demonstrators, Rev. Barber addressed the rally in the lobby, in the “mic-check” style popularized by Occupy Wall Street. He said: “We are right to challenge these cuts by the General Assembly. We are the generation that refuses to accept going backwards. Let us be clear. This does not end here today. This is the beginning of a fresh, new, empowered student movement in North Carolina and in this nation.”

Throughout the rally, students kept up the thunderous chants and speeches. Both the demonstrators outside the doors and those mic checking inside the BOG’s meeting disrupted the board’s session several times.

Andrew Payne, a former N.C. State student body president and former Association of Student Governments president, was arrested after he left his seat inside the board’s meeting room and then tried to re-enter. Police threw him to the ground and dragged him across the floor before arresting him.

Students take over meeting, hold ‘People’s Board of Education’

In the lobby, student after student testified about the crippling impacts of student loan debt; the raising of tuition year after year while classes have been cut and professors laid off; the struggles of so many to afford school; and how the tuition hikes are part of the broader attack being waged on workers and students by the 1%.

“We’re not gonna turn our heads. We’re not gonna take this lying down. Education is a right!” Demonte Alford, a student at East Carolina University, told the crowd.

“The 9.9 percent tuition hike on our campus will burden already struggling students with having to find ways to pay for school. For some students at Winston Salem State University, the road to college was impossible at some point so to finally make it to college and then be faced with not being able to afford a quality education is unacceptable,” said Grace Anderson, a WSSU student.

After the BOG voted to raise tuition, students stormed into their meeting and took over the room, shutting down the board’s press conference. As hundreds of students flooded the room, BOG members scurried out the back door. Only Dr. Franklin McCain, a member of the Greensboro 4 and veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, remained to support the students.

Students tossed the BOG members’ name tags on the floor, declared that a “People’s Board of Education” was now in session, and opened the floor for proposals. Resolutions were put forward calling for free education, undocumented students’ access to the university system, and full funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Others demanded an end to racism and war funding at the expense of human needs. A resounding call was made for students to take this fight back to their campuses and keep building the movement.

“Look at what we’ve done! This is how we start to get things done. However, when we leave here, we have to keep fighting!” said Jonathan Whitfield, a WSSU student

Unity, solidarity play important role

The N.C. Defend Education Coalition, a statewide coalition of student and youth organizations, helped to bring students from across the state. Some traveled as many as 300 miles to join the demonstration. Participants came from nearly each of the 17 schools that make up the UNC system. Many students mobilized to come from N.C. HBCU’s.

Anderson explained, “I came from Winston-Salem to the protest because I felt that the need of representation of students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities was great. Of all the schools in the UNC system, Winston Salem State University is one of the schools that will suffer the most from the tuition hikes. Those who came before us fought too hard for us to let the right to have an education be made unobtainable.”

Importantly, not only did the N.C. NAACP mobilize, but so did campus-based NAACP chapters. Students built conscious ties with worker organizations, including United Electrical Workers Local 150, the N.C. Public Service Workers Union, and the N.C. AFL-CIO. This was a crucial ingredient in exposing the systematic attacks being carried out by the 1%, and for building multinational and class solidarity.

The N.C. Defend Education Coalition is planning to hold a statewide gathering very soon to continue building on this tremendous mobilization.

The BOG, and similar institutions of the 1%, want us to believe that they are the ones who make history. But all over the world, the actions by workers and young people who are taking their destiny into their own hands — fighting back against the bankers and the states’ brutal austerity programs, and opening a struggle to get rid of the 1% once and for all — are showing that quite the opposite is true.

The revolutionary fervor that is engulfing the world was in the air during the Feb. 10 action. All those who participated have vowed to continue to fight, to organize and to carry this struggle forward.

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, Socialism, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

FIST Fundraiser Sat, Dec 3: Occupy the Dance Floor!

Posted by raleighfist on November 24, 2011

Occupy the Dance Floor: Dance, Dance REVOLUTION

Saturday December 3 // Doors at 9pm // @ The Pinhook in Durham (117 Main St)

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE CHOREOGRAPHED

We all know the crisis is raging, but why aren’t you? Dress to sweat off your capitalist blues, and join FIST in occupying the dance floor for a night of rock and hip hop. We’re raising funds the fun way for the court costs of some young comrades who have been arrested fighting for education, against the banks and for immigrant rights in NC and beyond.

Winter’s got us all worked up, exams coming your way, and occupying your city or school is cold and hard — warm up on the dance floor with our amazing list of boogy-enducing DJ’s & music acts:

TripKnight

Lucky Strikes

Beatnam Vets

And DJ Yammy !

$5 (21+)/$7 (under 21) admission

this is a fundraiser for FIST! be as generous as you can

RSVP on Facebook by clicking here!

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, Imperialism, Occupy Movement, Socialism, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »

Protest Wells Fargo CEO in Raleigh on November 30!

Posted by raleighfist on November 24, 2011

On Wednesday, November 30, the President and CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, will be speaking on NCSU’s campus in Raleigh. With the growth of the Occupy movement across the country, fat cat bankers like Stumpf and other 1%ers have been confronted in many creative ways for their role in foreclosing on millions of working peoples’ homes, for sitting on trillions of dollars in bailouts and lining their pockets while more than 30 million people are unemployed, while people are hungry, or without healthcare, and while state governments carry out brutal austerity programs. Wells Fargo and other big banks also invest millions of dollars into the prison industrial complex, and in particular immigrant detention center, and are a primary engine behind the record number of raids and deportations of immigrant families — all in the name of profit. Raleigh FIST is circulating the following announcement from Occupy NCSU and Occupy Raleigh with important information about various actions that will take place on November 30. Please circulate this far and wide and come out to put some heat on Stumpf in Raleigh!

 

Make the banks and corporations pay for their crisis!

Tear down the prison industrial complex!

Stop the raids and deportations!

Expand the Occupy movement!


***********

Brothers and Sisters!

John G. Stumpf, President and CEO of bailout-recipient Wells Fargo is coming to NC State’s Campus next Wednesday, November 30th at 4:15pm. He’ll speak to students and the public about his career, leadership experiences, and perhaps the $19 million in taxpayer money he earned last year foreclosing on American homes. At the conclusion of his speech, he will take questions from the audience.

More info: http://www.poole.ncsu.edu/index-exp.php/events/entry/wells-fargo-executive-lecture-nov30/

Occupy NCSU is calling you, all local occupations, and all citizens concerned with economic injustice to action on November 30th. Together, we will voice the message of the 99%, the message of fairness and justice to the economic majority. Occupy Durham, Occupy Chapel Hill and Occupy Raleigh will all be participating! United we are strong. Together we are stronger!

Meet at 1:00pm in the Brickyard Plaza in front of DH Hill library for an Action Orientation. There will be MANY fun ways to participate. If you want to join us, but are not sure what you’d like to do, this will be the best time to figure it out! Location: http://goo.gl/9E4qP

Our Embargo Wells Fargo demonstration starts at 2:15pm on the sidewalk on the Hilsborough Street side of Nelson Hall. Bring your favorite 99% signs. Shout your favorite 99% slogans. Let’s be heard! Location: http://goo.gl/RTw3J

Planning to Go Inside?

Be sure to arrive between 3:30pm – 4:15pm to reserve your seat inside the Nelson 3400 Auditorium (3rd Floor). The auditorium holds 350 people and is open to the public. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in the Q&A session following the speech, so come prepared!

And afterwards…?

We’ve discussed several awesome ideas, but no consensus yet. Final plans will be made at next Tuesday’s Occupy NCSU meeting. More details as they become available.

Thoughts?

Discuss

See you soon!!!

Posted in Economic Crisis, Education, Gender System, General, Imperialism, Labor, Occupy Movement, South, White Supremacy, Youth in Action | Leave a Comment »