Category Archives: Uncategorized

A call for submissions and contributors

Leftists in the US South has grown quite a bit since its start as a small facebook group.  Many see it as a valuable tool for networking and keeping up to date with events relevant to Leftists in the Southern US.

There are only a few of us able to update the site and keep it current so we are asking for people to submit articles or even become regular contributors.

If you have an article to submit you can email it to submissions@southernleftists.net and we will review it and re-post it.  You can also just email for story ideas or things we should post on our site you feel we’ve missed.  Also if you would like to become a contributor to the site, email submissions@southernlefitsts.net and we can discuss adding you to our “staff.”

Thanks for continuing to read our site and help the project move forward!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

America’s Right Wing: YES to Quran-burning, NO to Flag-Burning

Originally posted to Islamaphobia Today, May 14, 2011

 

 

When LSU graduate student Benjamin Haas planned to burn the U.S. flag to protest the clamping down of civil liberties and the right of due process for “students and suspected terrorists alike”, an angry mob of over 1,000 people came out to stop him.  Haas “sustained physical and verbal taunting”and in fact received numerous death threats.  Had the police not been there to protect him, Haas might have been seriously hurt.  (Haas backed down from burning the flag.)

 

Here’s a video of the despicable mob (hint: any time you see Americans wrapped in the flag chanting “USA! USA! USA!” more often than not they are war-mongers):

  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Anti-Imperialism, Anti-War, Education, Imperialism, Islam, Louisiana, Middle East, racism, Southern United States, Students, Uncategorized, United States

Georgia Passes SB 1070 Copycat Bill

[Originally posted at ColorLines]

The Georgia Legislature last night approved a bill that empowers local police to check the immigration status of any suspect, even those stopped for alleged traffic violations. The final vote in the House came just two hours before the close of the legislative session. The bill, which closely resembles Arizona’s embattled SB 1070, is the first copycat bill to pass through another state legislature. It will now be sent to the Governor Nathan Deal’s desk for signature.

The 11th hour vote came amid mounting pressure from a diverse coalition to kill the bill. In the two weeks leading up the vote, Georgia immigrant rights advocates and civil rights groups collected 23,000 signatures opposing the legislation. Protesters rallied in at the capitol in Atlanta this week with signs reading, “RIP Dr. Kings Dream” and “RIP Georgia Economy.” Business groups, fearing the truth of the later, joined the opposition, forcefully rejecting the requirement that employers implement the E-Verify program to check the immigration status of all employees.

Yet, despite the broad opposition, conservative state legislators ended the week with a victory.

“It’s a great day for Georgia,” Rep. Matt Ramsey, the Republican who authored the bill told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We think we have done our job that our constituents asked us to do to address the costs and the social consequences that have been visited upon our state by the federal government’s failure to secure our nation’s borders.”

However, Ramsey’s enthusiasm may be short since the bill will now face significant challenges. Gov. Deal has 40 days to sign the bill into law and he has expressed some reticence recently about the potential costs of the law.

“All eyes on the governor,” Azadeh Shahshahani, of the Georgia ACLU told Colorlines.com. “We do hope that the Governor will veto the bill. Obviously from our perspective the bill has serious concerns. This bill makes the whole state ‘show me your’ papers territory.”

Most expect Gov. Deal to sign the bill into law, and as soon as that happens, Georgia will almost certainly face legal challenges. On Monday of this week, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower courts ruling that struck down the most controversial parts of Arizona’s SB 1070 that require local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect may be undocumented. That suit is now making its way to the Supreme Court. In Georgia, legal advocates are likely to seek an injunction in court to the bill from taking effect until it’s constitutionality can be determined.

The bill’s drafters say it was carefully crafted to avoid such legal challenge. Indeed, Georgia’s bill differs from the one in Arizona. Unlike the Arizona bill, the Georgia bill does not outright require police to check suspect’s immigration status but, rather, authorizes them to do so. Its proponents hope that this will be enough to protect it in the courts. Like the Arizona law, Georgia’s bill makes it a state crime to be present on state soil without proof of lawful status.

Many worry about the financial costs of the bill. Though these are surely not the greatest concerns for immigrant communities who would be most impacted if Georgia’s bill is enacted, many business groups are anxious. A national boycott of Arizona cost the state an estimated $250 million in lost taxes, tourism and other revenue, according to the Center for American Progress.

Even before the Georgia bill passed, a group of organizations across the country threatened to wage a boycott of the state of Georgia if it enacts the legislation.

Immigrant and civil rights advocates say the bill will spur increased racial profiling. And, says Shahshahani, this is on top of a climate in which state of Georgia already let’s racial profiling flourish.

“People of color are already being profiled across the state. Georgia does not have racial profiling laws on the books. There is no uniform system for data collection when it comes to traffic stops and there are no oversight mechanisms in place at the state level to prevent racial profiling. This bill is only going to worsen a bad situations.”

At least four Georgia counties currently empower local police to enforce federal immigration laws through the federal 287g program which makes cops into immigration agents. That program has for years been criticized for facilitating racial profiling.

Even if the law is rejected in a legal suit, it is sure to hurt immigrant communities. After Arizona’s law passed, and even since the courts blocked key portions of it, many in Arizona were fearful about how police and other institutions would be required to act vis-à-vis immigrants. The director of a Phoenix shelter for survivors of domestic violence told Colorlines.com earlier this year that in the period after SB 1070 passed, shelters saw a steady decline of women seeking help. The director attributed this to a growing fear among undocumented women about abusers ability to report victims to police and about whether state funded entities like shelters would turn undocumented women away.

Georgia now becomes the first state to pass a bill that closely resembles the one in Arizona. Similar bills have been introduced in at least 24 other states since SB 1070 passed last year. The majority have has been killed or have failed to move.

AZ_copycat_bill_leadrev_033011.gif

This failure is despite a well-organized and well-funded strategy to move more such bills across the country. Those efforts, as NPR reported last year, have involved a national network of state legislators and private enterprise, including private prison and immigrant detention companies with clear interests in increasing the number of immigrant detainees.

All eyes now move to a handful of other states where similar bills may still pass. The Alabama House passed an SB 1070-like bill last week and bills have been approved by one house of the South Carolina, Oklahoma and Indiana state legislatures as well.

Florida may also be considering passing a similar law.

Leave a comment

Filed under class struggle, Georgia, immigration, labor movement, Southern United States, Uncategorized

Victory in KY against Anti-Immigrant Copycat Bill

[Originally posted at the Jobs with Justice blog]

 

By Attica Woodson Scott, on March 15th, 2011

“As you probably know, SB 6 passed the Senate but never actually came before the House for a vote.  We had several committee hearings on the bill but the significant and vocal opposition to the measure derailed it for the session.” ~State Representative David Osborne

We won!  For the first few months of 2011, Kentucky Jobs with Justice was part of a powerful group of individuals and organizations from across our state who fought back against anti-immigrant Senate Bill 6.  SB6 is Arizona SB1070 copycat legislation that would target anyone for detention who does not speak English or who appears to have been born outside of the U.S.  It would target anyone who “assists” an undocumented worker or their undocumented children.  Furthermore, SB 6 would make many immigrant crime victims, including victims of domestic violence, think twice about reporting crimes or cooperating with police it they fear racial profiling or bias.

Kentucky Jobs with Justice stands in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters who are facing anti-immigrant attacks from those who prefer to divide our country instead of build our communities.  Many of the immigrants who would be racially profiled in Kentucky represent working families that are contributing members of our communities and our neighborhoods.

Every step along the way in fighting back against this bill we were intentional in building up the leadership of young people, women and people of color and in strengthening our Black-Brown alliances.  On the program team, we fought to lift up the stories of undocumented immigrants and to hold the rally outside in solidarity with undocumented immigrants who were not able to enter our capitol building because they were without government-issued photo identification.  We got the Laborers union to send one of its organizers to speak and we fought to make sure that the KY DREAM students were in leadership and had a voice.

How did we win in a conservative, mostly rural, overwhelmingly White, Southern state like Kentucky? We brought our unique organizing style to a large, statewide table.  We helped to get hundreds of good people from across Kentucky to converge on Frankfort (our state capitol) to lobby legislators, build alliances and stand strong against SB6.  We helped to lead a delegation of voices to present a Resolution to the Jefferson County Public Schools’ board of education opposing SB6.  Because of our steadfast commitment to building a powerful immigration movement in Kentucky out of a response to this hate-filled moment, we worked with our friends to craft the Resolution that was presented to the Board by parents of immigrant children and by public school teachers.  A few weeks later, when the Board was scheduled to vote on the Resolution, we did the relationship-building needed to get a high school student from Adelante! Hispanic Achievers to speak at that meeting (this has never happened before) and to get an educator from the University of Louisville and representative of the ACLU of Kentucky to speak.  On Monday, February 14th, the school board voted to unanimously show us some love by approving a measure to amend its legislative agenda to include opposition to SB6.  Labor activist and school board member Larry Hujo added, “…and any bill that resembles SB6!”

Although SB6 did pass in the Senate in January, it stalled in the House local government committee in March and our regular legislative session ended on Wednesday, March 9th.

Along with our staunch allies in this journey, we navigated through a small, interconnected social justice community and raised tough questions about the purpose of our proposed actions and who were these actions truly designed to benefit:  our immigrant communities or the organizers who are paid to do this work.  We mobilize differently from the default form of organizing in our city and state and that is what makes us a valuable asset to human rights and social justice work at the local and state level.

What do we want now?!?  We are continuing the good organizing that started and plan a “Stop the Deportations” action on May Day, are working on getting the Metro Council in Louisville to issue a statement supporting our local immigrant communities and we’re building our statewide network.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Florida Workers and Students Fight Back!

by KurtFF8

All around Florida on Friday, students and workers help rallies and marches to voice their opposition to the anti-union attacks, attacks on women’s rights, students and education, and the environment.

Here is a list of videos and media coverage

News coverage:

Tallahassee Television coverage

Tallahassee FAMU newspaper coverage

Tallahassee FSU newspaper coverage

Pensacola coverage

Gainesville student paper coverage (also there is video coverage from the Alligator)

Leave a comment

Filed under austerity measures, budget cuts, class struggle, Environment, Florida, labor movement, labor unions, Leftists in the U.S. South, Southern United States, Students, Uncategorized

A silent protest in Tallahassee

By KurtFF8

On Monday afternoon, a Florida Senate hearing was being held to discuss SB830, a bill which disallows unions from taking dues automatically through pay checks for public employees.  This bill also prohibits union dues from being used in political activity (source).  The AFL-CIO organized a silent protest outside of the committee room, with activists, labor members, and students taping their mouths shut to demonstrate the silencing they feel the bill would do to them.  Discussion of bill was later postponed due to “time constraints.”

Leave a comment

Filed under austerity measures, budget cuts, Censorship, class struggle, Education, Florida, labor movement, labor unions, Southern United States, Tallahassee, Uncategorized

Update: Florida Governor wants to rid state of collective bargaining rights for state employee unions

By KurtFF8

Since I posted the article last night highlighting collective bargaining rights in the South (or lack thereof), Florida’s Governor has come out in favor of stripping the state of collective bargaining rights for state workers.  He had previously, on a Tallahassee radio station, claimed he was not interested in ridding the state of such rights.  Yet this week he reversed that stance and is now interested in amending the Florida constitution to strip workers of those rights.  Accomplishing this, however, would likely be difficult, especially if the Wisconsin struggle is successful for the unions who are trying to defend themselves.

As was noted in the article last night, 9 of the 10 states in the US that do not allow collective bargaining for state workers are southern states.  What we need right now are to expand rights of collective bargaining in the South, not the opposite.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized