Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trumka does the right thing. What about you?

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has announced his resignation from President Donald Trump's manufacturing council. Trumka said, "President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday on the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America's working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups. It's clear that President Trump's Manufacturing Council was never a means for delivering real policy that lifts working families and his remarks today were the last straw."

Trumka resigned behind the chief executives for the pharmaceutical giant Merck, Under Armour and Intel, as well as the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. His action also follows positive action by the Communication Workers of America.

Now, many of my friends and comrades are going to say that Trumka should never have joined the council to begin with. We felt betrayed when certain union leaders went to the White House, and we were furious when they issued statements either supporting Trump or green-lighting his infrastructure and manufacturing agenda. And people will say that Trumka should have been the first one out, and that this should have happened weeks or months ago and in solidarity with Standing Rock. These are legitimate points.

But if you organize workers and you're active in the labor movement you know that we usually have tremendous patience and restraint, we're analytical, we wait to see who's leading and who's following and what the most advanced and realistic paths forward are. Only some sections of the civil rights movement have the same sense of time and timing that we do. You learn that from the rhythms of production and from being vulnerable and from understanding something of the dynamics of privilege.

The questions for me are not about Trumka and the AFL-CIO leadership. I'm more interested in how Trumka's walking out of the council can be used to move our struggle forward. How does this touch workers, and particularly white workers who are wondering where their dog is in the race?

If people can go to work tomorrow and say, "Look, union leaders are walking out on Trump for some very good and legitimate reasons. We have two sides here: one is all about solidarity and sticking together and getting more on the plate for everyone, and the other is all about using one part of the working-class to fight the other on behalf of the wealthy. So which side are you on, sister/brother?" then Trumka did the right thing and it matters.

But if we're not having those conversations, it doesn't matter what Trumka did. It's totally on us to make this real and push it forward, way past Trumka and the AFL-CIO leadership.

That photo up above was taken in better days, when Black and white workers, and men and women, struck Massey and Pittston. At one point in West Virginia it seemed to me that we were shutting the state down as teachers, miners, phone company workers and hospital workers struck. I'll die proud of having been a part of that. C'mon, sister or brother, what's it going to take to get you on board?


Cross-Border Solidarity Events In Portland

The Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC) invites you to come absorb the Solidarity that Latin Americans have built, learn how they've built it, and join it.


Nicaragua & International Peasant Struggle

Wednesday August 23rd
6pm Potluck, 6:30pm Presentation
Multnomah Friends Meeting, 4312 SE Stark Street Portland, OR 

Transport info: https://www.quakercloud.org/cloud/multnomah-friends-meeting/pages/parking-transportation

Spanish-English interpretation available / Interpretación español-inglés disponible

Please join us for a talk on the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC, or Rural Workers Association) of Nicaragua by Erika Takeo, who grew up in Portland and is the National Coordinator of the Friends of the ATC solidarity network.

Erika will provide the historical context of the ATC as an organization of struggle founded in the 1970s by youth of the Sandinista revolutionary front to organize and defend the rights of rural Nicaraguan workers and peoples. She will also talk about how the ATC was a founding organization of the global peasant movement La Vía Campesina that continues to be well known and respected at the international level. This movement coined the term food sovereignty, or the right of peoples to define, create, and defend their own food system.

We would also like this to be a space for others to share experiences in peasant and worker struggle in the Americas and around the world.

Donations will be accepted for the ATC at this event (more info on making a donation at friendsatc.org/donate).

This talk is hosted by the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee. For more information, please contact coreteam@pcasc.net or (503) 236-7916.

Facebook Event link


La Lucha Campesina Nicaragüense e Internacional

Miércoles 23 agosto

6pm Potluck, 6:30pm Presentación
Multnomah Friends Meeting, 4312 SE Stark Street Portland, OR 

Info de transporte (ingles): https://www.quakercloud.org/cloud/multnomah-friends-meeting/pages/parking-transportation

Interpretación español-inglés disponible/ Spanish-English interpretation available

Únete para una charla sobre la Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC) de Nicaragua por Erika Takeo, quien creció en Portland y es la Coordinadora Nacional de la red de solidaridad Friends of the ATC (Amigxs de la ATC).

Erika va a dar un contexto histórico de la ATC como organización de lucha, fundado en los años 70 por jóvenes del frente revolucionario Sandinista para organizarse y defender los derechos de trabajadores y pueblos del campo. También va a hablar de cómo la ATC fue una organización fundadora del movimiento campesino internacional La Vía Campesina y que es reconocida y respetada al nivel internacional. El movimiento nombró el concepto soberanía alimentaria, o el derechode los pueblos a definir, construir, y defender su propio sistema alimentario.

Queremos que el espacio sea abierto para otros compartir sus experiencias de lucha campesina obrera en las Américasy alrededor del mundo.

Aceptaremos donaciones durante este evento (más información a friendsatc.org/donate)

Portland Central America Solidarity Committee está coordinando este evento. Para más información, contacta coreteam@pcasc.net o (503) 236-7916.

Facebook Event link

El Porvenir: Nicaraguan Community Organizing Today for Clean Water, Sanitation, Health and HygieneEducation, and Reforestation and the Spirit of Ben Linder LIVE at Milagro Theater, Benefit Performance of El Payaso

El Porvenir means "The Future". El Porvenir partners with the people of Nicaragua so that they can build a future for themselves. Clean drinking water is at the core of El Porvenir; sanitation is necessary to ensure that the water is clean. In addition to sustainable water and sanitation projects, they work with rural Nicaraguan communities on health and hygiene education and reforestation. With offices in six regions, El Porvenir has partnered with over 165,000 Nicaraguans to improve their standard of living since 1990.

On September 14th, you are invited to join El Porvenir at The Milagro Theatre for the performance of El Payaso. El Payaso invites the audience to learn the story of an incredible man, Ben Linder, and the extraordinary people with whom he unexpectedly connected.

Doors will open at 5:30. Come enjoy the silent and live auction, food, beverages, and good company. The play will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets include: show and all pre-show activities. Come early to place your bid on our amazing silent auction items. *All donations given at this event will be matched dollar-for-dollar to support the work of El Porvenir.

Seats are limited so get your ticket today! Find out more about El Porvenir and all the details of this event at www.elporvenir.org/events/.

Pinta y Lucha! Paint and Struggle: Understanding post-dictatorial Chile through muralismand radical political militancy. Let's bring it here!

Coming to us in late September or early October:

Camilo Diaz, militant of the Socialism and Freedom Movement, UMLEM (Luchador Ernesto Miranda Muralist Groups) and other social organizations in Chile.

Learn how they built the mass movement we yearn for!

After the US-supported Pinochet dictatorship in Chile came to an end in 1990 after 17 years of violent state repression, Chile transitioned back to democracy on a superficial political level. The constitution written under Pinochet remained unchanged and continued to deepen the neo-liberal economic policies inspired by Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys.

The first generation born post-dictatorship has grown up during a time of increasing national disillusionment with electoral politics, the state and global capitalism. This generation began to organize as high school students and created the massive student movements in 2006. This movement transformed into the nation-wide demand for free higher education when the same generation of politicized students entered the university system in 2011.

One of the many expressions of the Chilean radical left movement is a group of muralists known as the UMLEM.

Their goal is to create social and political change via collective art projects that reclaim public space and document the local political struggles of the community. Their murals are often painted on union halls, universities, neighborhoods and areas of conflict.

If you want to organize or host a presentation, muralism workshop, or painting a mural with Camilo, please contact Kelly Baur at baur.kelly@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Says: We Reject the Hatred and Bigotry of White Supremacists

It has been a tough but invigorating year for my union, CWA. Coming out of the elections, where our union first endorsed Sanders, CWA took on---is taking on---major players in the telecommunications industry, including AT&T. The union has also been leading public campaigns at The New York Times and National Public Radio. CWA has issued the following statement regarding the fascist-led riot in Charlottesville.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Members of the Communications Workers of America reject the vile actions and rhetoric of the white supremacists who paraded their hatred and bigotry this weekend in Charlottesville, Va. These evil actions, which President Trump couldn’t be bothered to condemn, instead offering a weak “violence on many sides” throwaway line, resulted in the tragic death of a young woman and injuries to many more.

Our government’s failure to condemn these evil people emboldens them, and sets us back in our determination to realize our goal of a nation where all people are respected, all have opportunity and all are full participants in our democracy.

CWA members are determined to bring about that nation, and we will continue to work with our allies to ensure that hatred, racism and bigotry have no place in our nation. We also commend the law enforcement officers who stood together to end this demonstration of hate.

Candice Johnson
(202) 434-1168

A Statement from the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Regarding Events in Charlottesville and Organizing

We live in ever more perilous times. Please see the DSA statement below on the Nazi violence in Charlottesville

But first some basic organizing tips.

A number of DSA chapters and organizing committees mobilized for the anti-Nazi counter protest in Charlottesville, and in many communities organized vigils yesterday. The way the far right typically reacts to moments like this, particularly given how Trump handled his press conference yesterday, means we can expect an upsurge of right-wing activity across the country.

Stay tuned for more info on immediate next steps today and in the coming days to push back against hate.

Click here to read DSA’s Safety Tips for Events memo - downloadable from our Organizing Blo

Statement of the DSA National Political Committee Interim Steering Committee, August 13, 2017

Yesterday's events in Charlottesville, Virginia are a stark reminder that we must fight for socialism or succumb to the barbarism of white supremacy.

We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the white supremacist, racist, anti-Semitic terrorist attack on our comrades in the DSA, the ISO, IWW, Antifa and all others who joined forces in the streets of Charlottesville, VA yesterday.

The final number remains unknown. However, latest reports suggest that at least one person has lost their life and at least 19 injured. Two DSA members were hospitalized and have since been discharged. There are reports that an ISO comrade was also injured. A comrade reportedly from the Industrial Workers of the World lost their life on the front line of the battle against fascism.

In the face of growing racist, anti-Semitic, white supremacist violence, comrades from across the left came together in an incredible display of left unity. They came from many different organizations but spoke with one voice, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and other pro-solidarity slogans. Undaunted, they held the line and showed the fascists that they shall not pass. The day ended with the streets of Charlottesville free of Nazi scum.

We call on the left to build a strong united front against this emboldened right wing. We need to be clear and recognize that white supremacist terrorism will not simply go away if it's ignored. This violent and dangerous movement should never be allowed to have a platform. It should always be fought against by the strength of our united front.

It is important to acknowledge the differing responses of the police to white supremacist marches and terrorism and their reactions to Black Lives Matter protests and marches. Black Lives Matter protests are always met with the worst police brutality and suppression while white supremacist marches are allowed to freely attack counter-protesters on many occasions.

In this way, we plainly see whose side the police are on. From the days of the creation of the modern day police in the 1800s, they were used as a violent force for the physical suppression of a resistant working class, of Black slaves, and indigenous people. Today, their role of social control and oppression remains largely the same.

Trump delivered a meandering and at times incoherent statement earlier this afternoon. During the statement, where at one point he even talked about totally unrelated "record employment", he predictably blamed "all sides" for the violence, as if the left has a centuries-long history of state, systemic, and societal violence against oppressed groups. This is a tired line that the right wing uses to justify its terror. Trump also spoke of the need for "law and order", but we know that this is a signal for more police and vigilante terrorism against Black and Brown communities and the left.

We believe that the terror unleashed on our comrades can be defeated. We also believe that the wider system of racist oppression can be defeated, but only with the ending of the capitalist system which birthed it.

We encourage you to donate to help with the medical costs of comrades injured in the attack. As we mourn for the dead, we must also fight like hell for the living. DSA members across the country are turning out for solidarity actions in their communities. Get in touch with your local chapter to find ways to participate. (There is one forming in Salem--ed.)

Together, we will fight fascism and build the better world we know is possible. Solidarity forever.

Support OSU Classified Workers for a Fair Contract

Thursday, Aug. 17, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Dibble Dell (Green area next to Valley Library, OSU campus)

Lunch, speakers. (please rsvp to Siobhan at burkes@seiu503.org if you can)

The current contract proposal from the state represents a pay cut for most workers, including freezes in steps, .5 COLAs for two years, and an increase in employee share of healthcare costs.

The union's bargaining team and membership are contemplating possible strike action in September.

Please come out and show your support.

DACA Community Forum to be held in Salem

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Chemeketa Community College - Salem Campus 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem

August 15, 2017 will be the 5th anniversary of DACA.
Join us for a community forum as we come together to hear the stories of DACA recipients, discuss threats to the program, and strategize around opportunities to defend DACA.
We will have a panel discussion including DACA leaders and advocates to provide updates, followed by a community conversation.
DACA recipients, families, and allies are invited to attend!
This event is co-sponsored by Causa and the Oregon DACA Coalition. FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/249510015556821

Sunday, August 6, 2017

PFLAG Summer Potluck in Albany on August 14

Monday, August 14, 6 PM-8 PM
Bryant Park, 801 Bryant Way SW, Albany

PFLAG Corvallis/Albany (an organization that unites people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies) would like to invite all of you to our summer potluck picnic at Bryant Park in Albany, 800 Bryant Way SW. We will be in the shelter near the Willamette river. Look for our banner and rainbow flags!

Please bring a potluck dish or two to share with the group.

PFLAG  will provide burgers, garden burgers, hot dogs, water, and table service.

This potluck picnic is open to all LGBTQ+ people and their allies. We hope to see lots of you there! Children are welcome too!
So spread the word and please come for an evening of good food and great company!

Questions: call and leave message at 541-782-8829
FB event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/321335574990390/

DACA Community Forum in Salem on August 15

Chemeketa Community College - Salem Campus 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 5:30pm - 7:30pm:

August 15, 2017 will be the 5th anniversary of DACA. Join us for a community forum as we come together to hear the stories of DACA recipients, discuss threats to the program, and strategize around opportunities to defend DACA. We will have a panel discussion including DACA leaders and advocates to provide updates, followed by a community conversation. DACA recipients, families, and allies are invited to attend!

This event is co-sponsored by Causa and the Oregon DACA Coalition.
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/249510015556821

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Gorge ICE Resistance fully supports lawsuit filed by county taxpayers

(Current weeks update coming soon!)

Update from The Dalles, Oregon, July 27th, 2017 -
A group of four Oregon taxpayers who live in the Gorge filed suit Friday against Northern Oregon Corrections (NORCOR regional county jail) and Wasco County seeking to prohibit their local publicly-funded jail from supporting the work of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in detaining non-citizens held for civil violations. Since 1987, Oregon law has prohibited local law enforcement from engaging in federal immigration enforcement. The Northern Oregon Regional Correctional facility (NORCOR) is a public jail located in the city of The Dalles, Wasco County and funded by Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties.

“We live in a state [Oregon] that has for 30 years legally upheld values that prohibit law enforcement and correctional institutions from aiding ICE because we want everyone to feel safe accessing public services and institutions,” said Reverend John Boonstra of Gorge Ecumenical Ministries, a group of local clergy who have been visiting detainees regularly at the jail. “Ending the NORCOR contract with ICE would honor our shared values of community safety and keeping all our families together.”

NORCOR, located in The Dalles, Oregon, is a public facility built specifically to house inmates from the four counties that finance it.  In 2014, NORCOR entered into a contract with the federal government to house immigrant detainees, even though Oregon law has prohibited the use of state or local funds on federal immigration enforcement for the last thirty years. By using Oregon resources for federal immigration in violation of Oregon law, the case contends that NORCOR is misusing taxpayer money.  Stephen W. Manning, a lawyer with Immigrant Law Group PC and a member of the Innovation Law Lab, represents several of the taxpayer plaintiffs.

“As long as NORCOR has a contract with ICE, public trust in our local law enforcement is undermined,” said Sarah Kellems, resident of Hood River County. “The mission of NORCOR is to ‘provide enhanced public safety’, however the contract with ICE decreases public safety because our immigrant neighbors feel unsafe accessing public resources and services, including reporting crime.”

Gorge ICE Resistance, a human dignity coalition of more than a dozen local groups throughout the Columbia Gorge, was formed when ICE detainees at NORCOR began a hunger strike calling attention to inhumane conditions inside the jail several months ago. Gorge ICE Resistance held solidarity actions at the jail every day since May 1st, hosted mass community education events about immigration and ICE detainees, and lobbied the NORCOR Board to drop its contract with ICE.  Rallies continue daily to amplify the messages of immigrants held at NORCOR who have asked for improved conditions including microwaves to heat food, access to jobs and programs as well as in person family visits as opposed to the current system of expensive and impersonal video conferencing.

Daily actions: Monday-Friday 5:00pm-6:00pm & Saturday-Sunday 11:00am-12:00pm

For more information in English call Solea 541-980-9242
Para información en Español llame al Amber 541-380-1733

Email us: GorgeIceResistance@gmail.com
Follow us on Facebook: @GorgeIceResistance
Donate to our cause as well as to detainees: www.rop.org/hunger-strike/

In solidarity,

Gorge ICE Resistance