Raleigh-Durham Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)

Revolutionary socialist youth in the US South

Archive for the ‘Socialism’ Category

FIST Will Continue to Protest Injustice and Build People Power! Capitol Police Will Know That Race-Baiting, Red-Baiting, Violence-Baiting and Surveillance of Protesters Will Not Stand and Must Not Divide Us

Posted by raleighfist on October 29, 2013

fist march

During the 2013 N.C. legislative session, nearly 1,000 people were arrested and tens of thousands more mobilized for the Moral Monday demonstrations in opposition to the racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-worker, and pro-big business agenda of the Tea Party extremists that took power. The actions taken by the N.C. General Assembly should be viewed as nothing short of a criminal and wholesale attack on the people of our state.

The Moral Monday/Forward Together Movement is a mighty force of resistance to the Jim Crow politics and shows the power of building unity across the barriers that are meant to divide us – race, gender, and sexual orientation – especially in this reactionary period.

In recent weeks, many of those arrested have begun to stand trial. The state knows that its case is hollow while the support for the Moral Monday movement is overwhelming. The conviction of the first Moral Monday arrestee to stand trial – Saladin Muhammad – is a dangerous attack on the basic democratic right to protest. Muhammad’s conviction must be fought and overturned, and the charges dropped against all Moral Monday protesters.

Capitol Police Chief Jeff Weaver has used the Moral Monday trials as a stage from which to red-bait, violence-bait, attack, and single out our organization and two members of our organization. This is a conscious effort to remove the focus from the real issues at hand– the criminal policies of the N.C. legislature and the massive resistance that has been awoken. It is also an attempt to criminalize protest, to normalize police surveillance, and to create cracks in the unity that has been the bedrock of the Moral Monday/Forward Together movement.

Listening to Weaver’s testimony, one would think it is now a crime to be a Marxist, an anarchist, or to simply attend demonstrations against the backwards agenda of the N.C. Legislature. He stumbled through 30 minutes of testimony about previous actions that FIST had organized. Weaver also revealed that the Raleigh Police Department’s Threat Assessment Unit has been conducting surveillance on our group and other groups.

Youth & Students Resist Tuition Hikes in the UNC system – March 2010

As the N.C. legislature was set to vote on massive tuition hikes, and after organizing with students across the state to oppose the hikes, FIST helped organize a demonstration of young people and students at the legislature. We held a rally outside and entered the committee meeting where members were voting on the hikes and then requested to speak. When we were denied, youth and students began speaking out about the impact these hikes would have on their ability to attend the UNC system – that education should be a right for all and not a privilege for the rich, and that it would saddle students with more and more debt just to get an education.

High School Students Oppose the Worst Education Budget in Over a Decade – May 2011

Raleigh FIST worked with other organizations to hold a demonstration of 200 young people who marched from North Carolina State University (NCSU) to join more than 8,000 N.C. teachers who were rallying at the legislature. As we rallied outside, the legislature prepared to vote on a draconian budget with massive across the board cuts to education and other vital public services. Members of NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens), a high school student-led organization and FIST wanted to speak out and take action in the face of the worst budget in the past decade. They unfurled a banner that read: “Tax Corporations – Bail Out the People – Defend the Public Sector” and disrupted the session as the vote on the budget was being taken, resulting in five arrests.

Since 2004, FIST has organized demonstrations in opposition to U.S. wars abroad, campaigned to kick military recruiters off high school and university campuses, fought against police brutality, demonstrated in solidarity with revolutionary Cuba and other peoples movements across the globe, for immigrant rights, for freedom for political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal and CeCe McDonald, and much more.

Throughout our history, FIST has unapologetically stood on the side of all people in the U.S. and across the globe who are exploited, disenfranchised, and oppressed by the capitalist system. We are not ashamed of being Marxists and believe that fighting for socialism – a system where the people have the power and the vast wealth of society is not monopolized by the 1%, but used to meet the needs of all people – is the only way to put an end to war, poverty, and all forms of oppression and injustice. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all our sisters and brothers, who want to fight back and create a better world – no matter how one identifies politically.

It is not a crime to oppose the policies of the Tea Party legislature or any form of injustice. The real criminals are Governor Pat McCrory, Art Pope, Thom Tillis, and Phil Berger, who have launched an all out assault on the people of this state. They want to bring back Jim Crow, turn back the clock on gains that have been fought and died for throughout our history, and deprive people of the most basic rights. The real criminals are on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms, the militarists who drop bombs on people across the globe, and the 1% who will do anything to preserve the decaying capitalist system that serves only their interests.

The dirty tricks that Weaver and the state are using to divide our movement have been tried before. These attempts to cause confusion and division demonstrate that those in power are terrified of the movement from below that is being built across this state – which is part of a growing global resistance.

They are scared of working class people, youth, people of color, women, LGBTQ, and all people moving forward together. They want nothing more than to break the solidarity that has been built through our struggles. But we won’t let them. Solidarity Forever! Onwards!

Stop the criminalization of the right to protest!

Drop the charges against Saladin Muhammad and all Moral Monday arrestees!

Build the Moral Monday movement and fight back against Tea Party legislature!

All Power to the People!

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

2 Durham Events: Free CeCe/End Transphobia Friday, Pastors for Peace/Cuba Caravan on Tuesday‏

Posted by raleighfist on July 4, 2012

Friday, July 6 at 6pm: Free CeCe! The Fight to End Transphobia & the Criminalization of LGBTQ People! w/ guest speaker Imani Henry


Tuesday, July 10 at 7pm: Defend the Cuban Revolution! Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan Comes to Durham!

Free CeCe! The Fight to End Transphobia & the Criminalization of LGBTQ People w/ Imani Henry

Friday, July 6 at the Durham Solidarity Center (331 W Main St, Durham)

Potluck @ 6pm
Forum @ 7pm

Fight to End Transphobia & The Criminilization of LGBTQ People!
Overturn North Carolina’s Anti-LGBTQ Marriage Amendment 1 Now!
Free our LGBTQ political prisoners CeCe McDonald & Bradley Manning!


Join FIST and Workers World Party as we discuss the case of CeCe McDonald and the LGBTQ movement in North Carolina and the US South. We’ve invited prominent New York City-based LGBTQ activist, organizer, and performer Imani Henry to speak on the nationwide movement for equality. LGBTQ people are targeted for violence, discriminated against in housing searches, and paid less as workers. We’ll hear from local activists about the movement in North Carolina, and its ties to the continuing fight against racism, xenophobia, and sexism.

CeCe McDonald is a young African-American transgender woman from Minnesota. After defending herself against unprovoked racist and transphobic slurs and violent street harassment from white onlookers, she has sustained injuries and also been falsely accused of murder. Cece had been into solitary confinement at a Minnesota prison for men, and had to wait almost two months for a much-needed follow up appointment with a doctor. Her supporters are calling for the Minnesota District Attorney to label the case as a hate crime, reducing the charges against Cece.

FIST will join over 70 other organizations in a March on Wall Street South in Charlotte, NC during the Democratic National Convention on Sat. Sept 2. Brief discussion about how to build an LGBTQ and international solidarity contingents in the march. This June marks the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which was also led by trans women of color. Workers World Party joins together to celebrate the struggles that women like Cece have led for decades.


RSVP on Facebook!

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Defend the Cuban Revolution! Pastors for Peace Caravan comes to Durham!

Tuesday, July 10 at 7pm

Shephard’s House United Methodist Church (107 N Driver St, Durham)

Defend the Cuban Revolution! The IFCO/Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan will be challenging US laws and attacks on Cuba.

Potluck dinner and discussion! Bring some food!

This year we will be commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Friendshipment caravans to Cuba. We will also continue to lift up the life of Rev Lucius Walker, Jr., the founding director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, who for 18 years gave prophetic and visionary leadership to our caravans to Cuba in defiance of the US blockade, and who died peacefully in September 2010.

Despite some steps taken by President Obama to allow Cuban-Americans to more freely visit their families, and to allow colleges, churches and others to more easily get licenses to go to Cuba, the travel ban remains for most US citizens and the economic blockade remains in full vigor. The work started by Rev Walker must therefore continue!

So in July we will visit cities across the US and Canada, challenging the US government to revoke the blockade and establish a foreign policy based on mutual respect between the two countries. Over 100 people will travel to Cuba with construction, medical, school and other supplies collected from groups across the US, refusing US Treasury Department licenses, as a collective challenge to the blockade and travel ban.

Hear the voices of these young folks talk about why they are traveling to Cuba!

FIST will join over 70 other organizations in a March on Wall Street South in Charlotte, NC during the Democratic National Convention on Sat. Sept 2. Brief discussion about how to build an international solidarity contingent in the march. See http://wallstsouth.org for more info

Bring your questions about the Cuban revolution!


RSVP on Facebook

Posted in Cuba, Gender System, General, Imperialism, Socialism | Leave a Comment »

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.

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Durham picket hits austerity budget

Posted by raleighfist on August 19, 2011

By Andy Koch

On the same day that Congress passed the so-called “deficit reduction” austerity bill, North Carolina residents were in the streets calling out the legislation for what it is: an attack on working people.

Members of local trade unions, activist groups and community members picketed outside the Veterans Affairs medical center in downtown Durham. Workers from the medical center also joined in.

“The VA center was chosen since both veterans’ benefits and public medical care in general are going to be cut under the new legislation,” one protester told Workers World. Drawing the attention of motorists and hospital foot traffic, the group chanted slogans such as “Fund people’s needs, not corporate greed” and “Congress, confess: You caused this mess!”

Speaking on behalf of the youth group Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), Eva Panjwani pointed out the injustice of the austerity bill. “They are cutting services that people like us depend on to survive. Why don’t the congresspeople responsible explain to our children why they won’t be getting that birthday present or explain to our elderly loved ones why they will now have to pay out of pocket for medication they need?”

Nearly one trillion dollars in cuts has been established immediately, while deciding on the additional $1.4 trillion in cuts has been delegated to an unelected committee of 12. Yolanda Carrington of the Bail Out the People Movement addressed the decision to put war spending over people’s needs. “They are saying there’s no money for health care or veterans’ benefits,” she said, “but we are fighting many wars around the globe, with the newest in Libya starting just a few months ago.”

Members of North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, United Electrical Workers union Local 150 and of American Federation of Government Employees Local 1738 were part of the demonstration. Essie Hogue, president of the AFGE local, spoke on the duplicity of the elected officials. “They aren’t doing the right thing. Congress is putting all the burden on poor folks and none of the burden on the richest folks.”

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

Video of Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan in Durham!

Posted by raleighfist on July 19, 2011

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