Tag Archives: Racism

Troy Davis Rallies

This was originally posted on the ACLU’s website.  Solidarity actions and awareness raising are crucial right now in this important case.  Please find the time to make it to a rally near you or organize one in your own community if you can.

From the ACLU’s post:

The State of Georgia has set the execution of Troy Anthony Davis for midnight on September 21.

Davis has been scheduled to be executed three times before and each time his execution has been stayed amid doubts concerning the impact of numerous witness recantations and new evidence against another suspect. Significant doubts about his guilt have been raised and remain unresolved.

Supporters of Troy Davis are planning rallies in cities across the country in the coming days, to stand in solidarity with him and call on the Georgia Board of Parole and Probation to commute his sentence.  This is a listing of upcoming events.  If you are planning a rally that is not listed, please send details to multimedia@aclu.org and we will include it.

NOTE: These listings are for informational purposes only. Inclusion on this page does not mean that a particular event has been sponsored or endorsed by the ACLU or its local affiliate.

Ann Arbor, MI
Thursday, September 15, 7:00 PM
Demonstration to Save Troy Davis
Northeast corner of Main Street and Huron Street
For more info: http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/demonstration-to-save-troy-davis

Atlanta, GA
Friday, September 16, 6:00 PM
Global Day of Solidarity for Troy Davis: March and Prayer Service
Woodruff Park (Peachtree St./Edgewood Ave.) to Ebenezer Baptist Church
For more info: http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/global-day-of-solidarity-for-troy-davis-march-and-prayer-service

Austin, TX
Friday, September 16, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
Stop the Execution of Troy Davis: Solidarity Rally
Texas State Capitol at 11th and Congress
For more info: http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/events/troy-davis-solidarity-organizing-cedp-chapters

Chicago, IL
Friday, September 16, 5:00 PM
Solidarity Rally for Troy Davis
130 E Randolph St.
For more info: http://icjpe.org/actions/SOLIDARITY-RALLY-FOR-TROY-DAVIS

Denton, TX
Friday, September 16, 7:30 – 9:00 PM
Solidarity for Troy Davis Rally
The Square, 110 West Hickory Street
For more info: http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/events/troy-davis-solidarity-organizing-cedp-chapters

Glassboro, NJ
Friday, September 16, 12:00 – 3:00 PM
Protest to STOP THE EXECUTION of Troy Davis!!
Student Center Patio, Rowan University
For more info: http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/events/troy-davis-solidarity-organizing-cedp-chapters

New York, NY
Emergency Rally to Stop the Execution of Troy Davis
Friday, September 16, 4:30 – 6:30 PM
42nd Street & 7th Avenue, Times Square
For more info: http://www.iacenter.org/actions/troydavis091311/

Oakland, CA
Friday, September 16, 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Global Day of Action for Troy Davis
Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay Street, near City Center/12th St BART
For more info: http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/events/troy-davis-solidarity-organizing-cedp-chapters

Philadelphia, PA
Friday, September 16, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
Protest the Execution of Troy Davis
Philadelphia City Hall, West Side
For more info: http://phillysolidarity.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/377/

San Diego, CA
Stop the Execution of Troy Davis: Solidarity Rally
Friday, September 16, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Hall of Justice, 220 W. Broadway
For more info: http://activistsandiego.org/node/3167

San Francisco, CA
Support Troy Davis on Union Square
Friday, September 16, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Union Square
For more info: http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/support-troy-davis-on-union-square

Santa Cruz, CA
Rally in solidarity with Troy Davis
Friday, September 16, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Downtown at the Clocktower
For more info: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/09/13/18690214.php

Washington, DC
Rally to Save Troy Davis
Friday, September 16, 6:00 PM
Tivoli Square
For more info: http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/rally-to-save-troy-davis

(A typo appeared in the original posting of this article and has been corrected)

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Filed under Prisoners, prisons, Race, racism, Southern United States

Workers at Virginia Ikea factory wage union struggle

An article in the May issue of the Monthly Review claimed that the South is “now the center of U.S. political economy.”  The following article serves as an excellent example of how this claim is accurate by highlighting the struggles of union representation and racism that continue in places like Virginia.

-KurtFF8

[This article originally appeared on the Liberation News website]

June 30, 2011

Workers such as these at Ikea’s factory in Danville, Virginia have filed for a union election.

Ikea may be known in Sweden for giving decent pay and benefits to its employees, but workers at the company’s first factory in the United States are feeling left out. Employees at an Ikea subsidiary in Danville, Va., are facing low pay, long hours and even discrimination. Deciding to fight back, the workers have filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board and have chosen the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as their union.

Taxpayers sacrificed $12 million to lure the giant furniture maker to Danville, but the main attraction seems to be Virginia’s low minimum wage and “right-to-work” laws that make unionization difficult. Starting pay has been cut, and scheduled pay raises have been stopped. African-American employees have faced racial discrimination, leading six to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These workers were assigned to the lowest-paying departments in the plant and forced to work the hated 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.

“If we put in for a better job, we wouldn’t get it—it would always go to a white person,” said former employee Jackie Maubin. (LA Times, April 10)

Swedwood, the Ikea subsidiary that runs the Danville plant, has fired many of its employees and replaced them with lower-paid temporary workers who receive no benefits.

In May, under pressure from labor activists, Swedwood cut down on its use of temp workers and Ikea hired an auditing firm to speak to its workers about their conditions. But many were afraid to tell the auditors how they really felt because they were worried about being fired.

The auditors discovered that the company was forcing its employees to work overtime, a policy which stopped after the audit but has recently been restarted. Many workers have said that it is common for management to inform workers on Friday evening that they will have to pull a weekend shift or face punishment.

“It’s the most strict place I have ever worked,” said former plant employee Janis Wilborne. (LA Times, April 10)

The exploitation at the Danville factory has gotten so bad that the International Trade Union Confederation has released a statement saying it would use its resources to ensure the company treats its American workers respectfully.

The IAMAW and the company were originally holding discussions and working towards a cooperative election, but in the past month talks between the two sides fell apart. Swedwood has stated that it would accept the results of a secret ballot election, which is hard to believe given that they hired the union-busting firm of Jackson Lewis to intimidate the workers.

Despite all of the tireless work a company may do to give itself a progressive image, its main goal is to make profits. Profits are made by paying workers less than the full value their labor contributes to the goods or services they produce, which is exactly what Ikea/Swedwood is doing in Virginia.

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Filed under African Americans, class struggle, labor movement, labor unions, Race, racism, Southern United States, State's rights, Virginia, workers

Florida Tea Party member goes on racist rant

by KurtFF8

This individual likely does not quite “speak for the Tea Party” like he claims in the opening of this video.  Yet much of what he says in this rant is what the Left has been claiming is implicit in the rhetoric of the Tea Party.  This all in the name of demonstrating that the Tea Party is not racist.  This is an ultimate failure of what many conservatives try to do: turn the rhetoric around and act very defensive when accused of racism (“You’re the ones being racist by discussing race!”)  This tactic clearly didn’t work here.

Another interesting aspect of this video so far is what Althusser would call a “guilty silence.”  That guilty silence being the Tea Party’s lack of distancing itself from this individual (although if this video becomes a broader controversy, it’s certainly possible they will issue some sort of statement condemning it).  His rants against political correctness translate directly into racism and it should be quite clear without even having to watch the entire video.

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Filed under Florida, Race, racism, Tea Party