Category Archives: North Carolina

Cynthia McKinney in Raleigh,NC August 14th

taken from the Raleigh F.I.S.T. website

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14

3PM: Rocky Mount, NC — Booker T. Washington Theatre, 170 E Thomas St

7PM: Durham, NC — St. Joseph’s AME Church, 2521 Fayetteville St

We are excited to announce two North Carolina events as part of former US Congressperson Cynthia McKinney’s national “Libya Truth Tour” to reportback on the impacts of US/NATO wars in Africa.

McKinney recently led a fact-finding delegation to Libya during US/NATO bombings of that country. She has traveled and written extensively exposing the truth about the US role in broadening attacks on Libya and other African nations, and will report on the realities on the ground in Libya, relate her experiences there during the delegation, and break through the many myths and lies that are propagated in the US corporate media about Libya and the people there. This will be an evening and a perspective that you won’t want to miss, that will help provide clarity for the role the movement here can play to come to the aid and defense of the people of Libya.

In order to be able to bring us this unique analysis, Cynthia McKinney incurred many travel and other costs during the delegation to Libya, and this event is a fundraiser to help defray those costs and insure that McKinney can continue to do the work that she does. A minimum $10 donation will be asked at the door (though no one will be turned away for lack of funds). We invite any organizations or individuals who are interested in co-sponsoring and supporting this reportback to please contact us to submit a donation prior to the event, and to please help solicit donations from your members, neighbors and friends.

Co-sponsored by: Black Workers for Justice; Raleigh Fight Imperialism-Stand Together; In the Name of Humanity; Workers World Party Durham; Faith, Hope, and Justice Ministries; International Action Center

For more information, please contact us at Raleigh@FISTyouth.org or call 919-539-2051

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook by clicking here!

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Filed under Demonstration Announcements, North Carolina, Upcoming Events

New Orleans Danziger Bridge massacre trial begins

An important event that happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when 2 people were killed and 6 injured on the Danziger Bridge.  This article examines that event in the context of police brutality.

[This article originally appeared on Liberation News]

Jail racist killer cops!

July 13, 2011

Lance Madison was placed under arrest after police killed his mentally disabled brother, Ronald on the Danziger Bridge.

The federal trial of seven New Orleans police officers began on June 27 and continues as we go to press with this article. The accused officers were involved in the Danziger Bridge massacre, where police opened fire on six unarmed African American survivors of Hurricane Katrina, killing two and maiming the other four.

The original charges against the police for the racist shooting and subsequent cover-up were dismissed in August 2008 , after District Judge Raymond Bigelow accused the prosecution of misconduct with the grand jury.

The two victims killed by the cops were Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old mentally disabled man, and James Brissette, 17. Madison died when he was shot in the back and then stomped repeatedly by NOPD officer Robert Faulcon. Brissette died from shots at the hands of three officers: Robert Gisevius, Kenneth Bowen and Anthony Villavaso. Five of the officers on trial are white.

Danziger Bridge:The horror of police terrorism

Former officer Michael Hunter, who has already pleaded guilty, stated that the officers received a radio call claiming that officers were und er fire and injured in a gun battle on the bridge. After commandeering a Budget rental truck, Hunter and the other officers drove to the bridge, where they found people whose only crime was walking down the street about a week after fleeing their flooded homes. The police opened fire using assault rifles, pistols and a shotgun.

Susan Bartholomew lost her arm in the shooting and had to be sworn in with her left hand. She testified that an officer found her hiding behind a barricade, clinging to another shooting victim. Both women were crying. An officer then leaned over the barricade and opened fire on them with an assault rifle in a sweeping motion.

After Susan Bartholomew was shot, the police demanded she raise her hands. “I couldn’t do it, because my arm was shot off. I raised the only hand I had,” she said softly.

The youngest victim was her 14-year-old son, Leonard Bartholomew IV, who was shot before being kicked and arrested by former officer Kevin Bryan Sr. He was then dropped off at a makeshift police station without money or shoes while his parents were hospitalized. He spent a week and a half living with a sympathetic stranger who blogged about Leonard’s situation until he was reunited with an uncle who had seen the woman’s blog posts.

The civilians on the bridge that day were unarmed. At no point did they engage in any behavior that would indicate they were hostile to the officers or that they possessed a weapon.

Jackie Madison Brown, the sister of Ronald Madison, took the witness stand on July 7. “My brother Rommel called and told me Ronald had been killed,” Brown emotionally recalled under questioning .

Ronald Madison was shot in the back by a hail of gunfire. His disability prevented him from forming full sentences and he had the mental capacity of a 7-year-old. His family had always been protective of him.

Brown’s testimony came after that of former NOPD crime scene technician Tracy Haas. Haas testified that the department waited seven weeks to send a crime scene tech to the Danziger Bridge.

Haas collected 30 spent shell casings in the grassy area next to the Danziger Bridge. She testified that she was not even told a homicide had taken place; however, Sgt. Gerard Dugue did take time to point out a spot in the grass where he said a gun had lain after the shooting. Despite no evidence that any of the victims had guns, Haas took a picture of the spot and labeled it “possible gun location.”

After photographing the area, Haas made her way to the top of the bridge and started to head towards the Friendly Inn Motel, where Ronald Madison was shot and killed. But Haas told the jury that she was stopped by officers: “They told me they had an incident in that area but no evidence was found.”

A racist system through and through

The world looked on with horror at the racist government response in the aftermath of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina that killed 1,836 people—most of whom perished in the floods after the hurricane hit New Orleans on August 29.

The Danziger Bridge massacre took place a week after the hurricane while many survivors were still trapped in New Orleans, which was 80 percent underwater.

Only a system that functions on the most violent and repulsive racism could produce such an event where people struggling to survive in the aftermath of a natural disaster are shot down in the street.

But the masses in Louisiana know all too well that Danziger is part of a system where terrorism against African American people is commonplace, from lynchings after the Reconstruction period to naming the largest prison in the United States, Angola Prison, built on the site of a slave plantation, after the place where the slaves were taken from in Africa.

Five defendants have pleaded guilty to charges of hindering a federal investigation into the shooting by conspiring to cover up facts, lying to federal officials and lying about the actual felony itself, which was an attack on unarmed civilians in which the officers neither identified themselves nor assessed whether the civilians posed a threat.

The defense argues that Katrina was a mitigating factor in the shooting, and that officers were responding to a radio call stating that officers had been fired on at the bridge and were injured, prompting the seven involved to speed to the scene.

One tactic the defense is using is to show the involvement of many others in the NOPD, such as the officer who rewrote Faulcon’s statements. What is not being said, of course, is that the police responded in this racist, violent manner simply because this is the role of the police under capitalism.

As V.I. Lenin explains in State and Revolution,” the role of the police or the special bodies of armed men is to maintain the social order in the face of class antagonisms.

However, officers conspired to cover up the shooting—which began as soon as they drove to the bridge, and before engaging any of the people present—by claiming that guns were found at the scene but were “kicked off the bridge,” according to Hunter, who drove the Budget rental truck to the scene.

A first step for justice would be not only to jail the killer cops involved in the Danziger Bridge shootings, but indict all those who organized the racist terror against the African American survivors in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. A united, multi-national people’s movement is needed to assure that outcome.

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Filed under Hurricanes, Louisiana, North Carolina, police brutality, Southern United States

Rebel Against Capitalism Forum, Durham NC

Demonstrations and occupations against the capitalist crisis, austerity, mass unemployment and attacks against unions continue to escalate across the world. From Wisconsin, where the workers were able to defeat anti-union bill, to North Carolina where massive state budget cuts will gut over 10,000 state jobs and slash vital services, people are rising up and getting organized. The resistance in Spain, now in its third week of mass demonstrations, is sending ripples across the rest of the continent as other young people and workers organize protests. Similar struggle continues in North Africa with the people of Yemen recently kicking out their Prime Minister. As the capitalist crisis fails to recover, and permanent mass employment becomes a reality, the struggle for workers power will continue at home and abroad.

Come to a public forum with the Durham branch of Workers World Party as we discuss some of the lessons and history of these recent peoples’ movements.

Speakers include:

Gilbert Johnson, president AFSCME Local 82 at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – speaking about the struggle in Wisconsin against attacks by Governor Walker to dismantle basic union rights.

Ben Carroll, member of Workers World Party, is an organizer with NC Defend Education coalition and has been closely following the developments in Spain and written about it for Workers World newspaper, will report on the growing struggle and occupations of Madrid.

Ashaki Binta, member of Black Workers for Justice and organizer with UE local 150, NC Public Service Workers Union, reports on the struggles of public workers in North Carolina fighting up against draconian budget cuts that only benefit the rich, corporations and banks.

Light refreshments and drinks will be served.

Durham Branch of Workers World Party

Build a Workers World! http://www.workers.org/

For more information see the facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=225297530833493

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Filed under Demonstration Announcements, North Carolina

Collective Bargaining in the South

By KurtFF8

A recent AP article points out that 9 of the 10 states in the United States that lack collective bargaining rights for state workers are found in the South.  The article points out that in places like Virginia, the drive is to move pensions from a government benefit for state workers to an investment in the private sector.

This is a Neo-Liberal move that is in line with the continued “enclosure of the commons” method of taking everything that is in the public sector and making it for profit in the private sector.  When unions are unable to negotiate for their own workers, the balance of power remains more firmly at the top with the most powerful of society.  As Leftists, we don’t merely want to call for a “balance of power,” however.  Our goal is to tip the balance in favor of the working class so it can itself achieve power for itself as a class.

The fact that the majority of states that lack collective bargaining for state workers fall in the South underlines the argument that organizing in the South should be a top priority for those who want to build the labor movement in general.

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Filed under austerity measures, budget cuts, class struggle, labor movement, labor unions, Leftists in the U.S. South, Liberalism, Mississippi, North Carolina, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Virginia

Workers and Students in North Carolina, Virginia and Throughout the South: Follow the Lead of Wisconsin Workers and Students!

Posted by hastenawait, taken from Fight Back! News

Analysis by Saladin Muhammad |
February 17, 2011
Read more articles in

Resistance in the U.S. to attacks on the public sector is growing.  Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is unleashing a major assault, seeking to take away collective bargaining rights from state and possibly all public sector workers, including threatening to call out the National Guard against worker resistance.

The labor movement and the students are fighting back.  Labor, including public and private sector unions held a rally in Madison at the State Capital, turning out 30,000 people, demanding that the Governor’s bill be defeated.

High school students throughout Wisconsin walked out of their schools to protest against this attack, which also affects their teachers and education. The Madison School Superintendent was forced to close the schools on Tuesday after 40 percent out of 2,600 members of the teachers union called in sick. The students see their actions as part of the growing struggles for people’s democracy that took center stage by the mass actions of the youth and workers in Tunisia and Egypt.  

The U.S. South is been a bastion of right-to-work laws, denying public sector workers the right to collective bargaining.  Dr. Martin L. Kings lost his life supporting the struggle of the Memphis, Tennessee sanitation workers who were fighting for this right, which he saw as a next phase of the Civil Rights struggle.

North Carolina and Virginia have specific laws making it illegal for workers and state and local governments to bargain for union contracts. Most of these laws were enacted during the period of Jim Crow, when Blacks were denied the right to vote and had no representatives in Southern state legislatures. When the state and local governments deny their own workers this basic right, it sends a message to all workers in the region, that the governments are hostile to unions.  

The lack of a concerted movement to organize public sector workers throughout the South based on a program that includes winning collective bargaining rights, has been a major factor weakening the few efforts to organize unions in the South.  

The major restructuring of the core industries of the U.S. economy over the past 30 years, resulted in shifting more than 1/3 of the auto industry and other formerly unionized manufacturing to the South. There are more union members in the state of New York, than in all of the 11 Southern states combined.

The largely un-unionized South has undermined labor’s strength as a national movement.  Organizing labor in the South must be addressed, if the U.S. labor movement is to survive and be a powerful force for workers in the U.S. and global economy.  

The economic crisis is increasing the competition between the states for industries and investments, in their efforts at economic recovery.  The unionized states outside of the South, in their efforts to shift more public resources to private corporations through privatizations, tax breaks and major incentives, are sharpening their attacks on public sector unions to compete with the Southern states and low wage labor internationally. Attempts to roll back collective bargaining are now occurring in Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, as well as Wisconsin. Right to work bills are pending in about a dozen Northern states. Public service jobs, wages and benefits are under attack just about everywhere.

National resistance to the attacks on public sector, must therefore link the struggles against attacks to eliminate existing public sector rights to collective bargaining, with the struggles of public sector workers concentrated in the South, who are denied this right.

The NC Public Service Workers Union UE-Local 150 has been in the forefront of the movement to repeal the ban on collective bargaining rights for public sector workers in North Carolina. Through its International Worker Justice Campaign, it has won a ruling from the International Labor Organization finding the U.S. and North Carolina out of compliance with international laws.

In addition to fighting for collective bargaining rights, UE150 is initiating campaigns for legislative and local government workers bill of rights, pressing to make the terms and conditions of public sector workers a part of the political agendas.

Public sector workers and unions throughout the South must form a Southern Alliance for Collective Bargaining Rights, to launch a region-wide movement.  The South must become a strategic battleground for the U.S. and international labor movement, demanding that the U.S. and the South comply with international human rights standards.

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Filed under class struggle, Human Rights, labor movement, labor unions, Middle East, North Carolina, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, United States, Virginia, workers

North Carolina – Regional Organizing Conference

This was passed along to us by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Follow this link to register for the conference. – hastenawait

Published on Thu, 2011-01-27 15:08
Date: 

Sat, 2011-02-19 10:00 – 17:00

Location: 
UNC School of Law 160 Ridge Rd Room 5052

Chapel Hill, NC United States

See map: Google Maps

Southern regional organizing conference of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

The conference will be held Saturday Feb. 19 at the UNC Law School in Chapel Hill, NC, from 10:00AM to 5:00pm. Please register now.

You can make an online donation to support the conference – please put “FBI Conference” in the “designation” section of the donate form.

Directions and parking information are available on the UNC School of Law website.

Agenda

9:30am – 10:00am Registration

10am – 10:10am Opening remarks from conference organizers

10:10am – 10:30am Subpoenaed activists Meredith Aby and Steff Yorek give overview of case

10:30am – 10:45am Call for donations to the legal support fund

11:00am – 12:15pm Panel

History of FBI and Political Repression Against People’s Movements.

  • Moderated by Elena Everett from Raleigh FIST.
  • Lewis Pitts; Raleigh NC.
  • Efia Nwangaza, US Human Rights Network; Atlanta GA.
  • Theresa El-Amin, Southern Anti Racism Network; Columbus GA
  • Dianne Mathiowetz, International Action Center, Atlanta GA.

12:15 – 1:15pm Lunch

1:15pm – 2:45pm Panel

Grand Juries, Material Support of Terrorism, the Legal and Political Context of the September 24 Raids

  • Peter Gilbert, National Lawyers Guild; Durham NC.
  • Representative of In the Name of Humanity; Rocky Mount NC.
  • Khalilah Sabra, MAS Freedom; Raleigh NC.
  • Maureen Murphy, Palestine Solidarity Group; Chicago IL.
  • Steff Yorek, Freedom Road Socialist Organization; Minneapolis MN.
  • Jennifer Rudinger, ACLU; Durham NC.

2:45pm – 3:00pm Break

3:00pm – 3:45pm Organizing reports from around the South

3:45pm – 4:30pm Discussion of upcoming actions and protests

4:30pm – 5:00pm Summing up the conference

Sponsors of this conference include

  • ACLU of North Carolina
  • Asheville Committee to Stop FBI Repression
  • Atlanta International Action Center
  • Balance & Accuracy in Journalism (BAJ)
  • Blackwater Watch
  • Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Durham County Libertarian Party
  • Freedom Road Socialist Organization
  • Freedom Road Socialist Organization/OSCL
  • Green Party of the US
  • Internationalist Books
  • Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD-USA)
  • Jews for a Just Peace
  • Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation
  • National Lawyers Guild at UNC Chapel Hill
  • NC Stop Torture Now
  • North Carolina Peace Action
  • Orange County Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Orange County Peace Coalition
  • Peace and Justice Committee, Community Church of Chapel Hill UU
  • Raleigh F.I.S.T.
  • Raleigh Fruitcakes
  • SDS – Asheville
  • SDS – Tuscaloosa
  • SDS – UNC Chapel Hill
  • Southern Anti-Racism Network
  • Triangle Committee to Stop FBI Repression
  • UE Local 150
  • US Human Rights Network
  • Veterans for Peace, Eisenhower Chapter
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom–Triangle Branch

Registration

  • Conference is free and open to the public, but we are asking for $5-20 sliding scale donation to help cover costs.
  • Lunch is $5, no one will be turned away.
  • Need childcare? Let us know the number of kids and their ages.
  • Need housing? Contact housing coordinator ncstopfbi@gmail.com

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Filed under Event Announcement, North Carolina, other announcements, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events

DNC and RNC to be held in the South

by KurtFF8

Recently it was announced that the Democratic National Convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This means that both the DNC and the Republican National Convention (RNC) will both be held in the Southern United States (with the RNC being held in Tampa, Florida).  The importance of the region is clearly highlighted with both major political parties holding their conventions in North Carolina and Florida respectively.

The interesting thing about this, for the “radical Left,” however will be to see how grassroots organizing against these conventions will take shape.  Over the past decade or so, Leftists have organized large demonstrations at both conventions, and while many who attend come from out of town, the majority of organizing is done by grassroots organizations.  What could be demonstrated by that kind of organizing is a show of progressive Southern politics that runs counter to the idea of Southern passivity or conservatism.  This is what could make these conventions important, not the plans of the two parties of capital.

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Filed under Corporations, Florida, Leftists in the U.S. South, North Carolina, other announcements, Southern Identity, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, The Left, United States