32nd Annual MLK Support for Labor Banquet

The annual event that commemorates the death of Dr. King and highlights his support for  workers will be held on this Saturday, April 11 at 6PM at the NCAE Building located at 700 Salisbury Street. The guest speaker will be Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

The theme, “Reclaim Dr. King’s Legacy of Resistance: Black Lives Matter/Stop the War on Black America”was selected because it captures the horrible reality we are facing and suggests a way forward. The murders just keep on coming. The world is watching the video of a white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina gun down a fleeing Walter Scott, a 50 year old 2015 banquet flyer.colorAfrican American man. He was stopped for a minor traffic infraction.

Self-Determination Awards will be given to Elandria Williams (cooperative economic development), Robert Dawkins( police accoutability), Milton Pitt & Shafeah M’Balia (worker/member) and Mari Caldwell & Ajamu Dillahunt-Holloway (youth activist).

The Banquet will feature cultural presentations by BWFJ’s Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble and Durham based “Artivist” Pierce Freelon. You can call 919 829-0957 for ticket information or buy your tickets here

 

 

Wilson pulled the trigger but the US system killed him

A statement by the Black Left Unity Network (BLUN)

Stop the War on Black America!

Drawing by Malcolm Goff

Drawing by Malcolm Goff

We are all shocked and saddened by the brutal cold blooded murder of a young Black man, Michael Brown, 18 years old in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis.  But it was not an accident or something that was abnormal.  NO!  It is the system, its normal for this society to kill Black people and it’s got to stop.

The system killed Oscar Grant (Oakland, California: January 1, 2009)
The system killed Trayvon Martin (Sanford, Florida: February 26, 2012).
The system killed Eric Garner (New York, New York:  July 17, 2014).
Now it has killed Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri: August 9, 2014)

We say the system killed them! The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement has documented that every 28 hours in the US a Black person is gunned down by the state or their vigilantes.  This does not include the countless brutal cop beatings like the attack on Marlene Pinnock in Los Angeles, CA. To fight back we have to understand who the enemy is, and that means understanding the nature of this US system.

The Black Left Unity Network (BLUN) would like you to think about five basic issues:

  1. The town of Ferguson is 67% Black but the politicians and police are almost all white.  In this historically slave state this form of rule continues the tradition of racist rule.  Even the Black police are in place to support the system and not demand Black empowerment for self-determination.  No real change can happen unless the people self-organize to take power.
  2. The US Congress is behind giving the police department’s Military gear from the Pentagon.  The US ruling class knows that the crisis in this country (no jobs, low pay, poor health insurance, home evictions, cutting people off welfare, and prisons) will produce militant resistance and they have prepared a military force to protect their property.  In other words the billionaires are prepared to fight all over the world and in every city in the US to maintain their power to rule.
  3. Local police departments are being trained by the Israeli armed forces.  The US uses Israel to protect its oil needs and has armed it with modern weapons including nuclear bombs.  They are at the cutting edge of a fascist police force in the 21st century and local police forces are being sent to learn from Israel in order to do to the US workers and poor people what Israel is doing to the Palestinians.  Israel learned from the Nazi treatment of the Jews, so they become Nazi.
  4. The US media defends the police and calls for order and not justice.  The TV, Radio, and newspapers are usually full of lies and distortion.  We have to rely on each other to find out the truth.  In fact when one speaks to the press they often pick and choose what to report, and fail to tell it like you might tell it.
  5. Black leadership within the system have focused on reform and not changing the system.  We know that this kind of murder will go on, as stated, somewhere every 28 hours.  This is not time to call for order, but time for change and to prepare the consciousness and organizational capacity to work for real fundamental change.

THE BLACK LEFT UNITY NETWORK: BUILDING A MOVEMENT TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM

The Black Left Unity Network (BLUN) is a network of individuals and organizations focused on rebuilding a nationally coordinated Black Liberation Movement.  We have a long tradition of Black people learning how to unite and fight back against all forms of racist oppression and economic exploitation.  We have a long history of workers, students, women, youth, and people from all aspects of the Black community of being in the struggle.  Many of us older people remember the 1960’s and everybody has heard about it – Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, SNCC, the Black Panther Party, and the demand for Black Power.

Now we must rebuild to mobilize the many elements of Black power to challenge and defeat these attacks, joining with others throughout the globe in struggling for revolutionary change.  As we fight for good jobs, living wages, decent housing, good food, affordable healthcare and quality education for everyone, we must connect these struggles to a program and strategy to defeat this oppressive system and to bring into being a system where human life is treasured with dignity.

We urge you to join in the process of rebuilding the National Black liberation Movement:

  1. We have a national discussion list to join in a conversation with people all over the country who are in this fight with you.  Contact us so we can hook you up to get these very important emails.
  2. We have a Facebook page for you to post messages and get documents that can help you understand the many local struggles going on.  You can add your information and help build the linkages we need for our national movement.
  3. We have a journal for serious articles that you can study and raise your consciousness.  To do what we have to do we have to study.  Their schools are so horrible that they teach us to hate study, but to build our movement we have to learn how to love study.  Our journal is called THE BALCK ACTIVIST and is available free online at http://jblun.org/
  4. We have a directory of the leadership of our movement, people on the frontlines of our struggles and people who provide the intellectual power, creativity and areas of specialization we need to do what  some will seem impossible, to make revolutionary change in this country.  We call this the Directory of Black Liberation Theoreticians: http://brothermalcolm.net/SOLDIERS/
  5. We have a BlogSpot that is an anthology of important articles and documents from all over the world that helps to counter the lies and distortions of the main stream press: http://blackleftunity.blogspot.com/
  6. We are forming Regional Organizing Committees for Black organizations and activists to work together to build Black liberation Unity Assemblies in cities throughout their region and to prepare for participating in a National Assembly for Black Liberation to adopt a national program of action to launch a conscious national movement to struggle for Black liberation.

If you want the struggle against Black national oppression to be more than the spontaneous responses to the corporate and government attacks on Black people, and want to build a movement to change this racist, exploitive, corrupt and murderous system, join the BLUN.  If you are engaged in a local struggle and would like to get coordinated national support contact us.

NOW IS THE TIME!                                                                          Join The BLUN

     National 252-314-2363

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Black Communities Condemn the Israeli Assault on Gaza and the Occupation of Palestinian Territories

In early July the Israeli government launched an attack on Gaza and its residents called Operation Protective Edge. The militarily superior Israeli Defense Fund has killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians including 415 children. The poorly equipped resistance movement has reportedly killed only 64 soldiers and 3 civilian Israelis.

Black activists and organizations have, like millions around the globe, raised their voices in protest and in solidarity with the Palestinian people.  As union members, as human rights activists and people of conscience, African Americans have expressed their horror at the bombings that have killed and maimed so many and led to a humanitarian crisis. The long termed economic blockade maintained by the Israelis has been worsened by the destruction of thousands of homes, schools, hospitals, and water resources. What has been called an “open air prison” of nearly 2 million Palestinians remains under siege in spite of periodic “cease fires.”

Black Progressives have called for others to participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) aimed at Israel. The Black Workers for Justice  (BWFJ) has endorsed the demand of Labor for Palestine10533739_10204127783212940_8330770264269989281_n calling for the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid. The Global African news program has examined why there has been a deafening silence among some Black  leaders and organizations on this human tragedy.

BWFJ members have participated in rallies in Raleigh and Rocky Mt. The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble in performances at the Veterans for Peace Convention and the convention of the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) raised the issue of the occupation and the right of self-determination for the Palestinian People.

Palestinians, African Americans and others joined to together in Rocky Mt. under the leadership of In the Name of Humanity and Muslims for Social Justice for a protest and solidarity action. BWFJ member Saladin Muhammad gave the following statement:

Free Palestine Now!

We are here to speak out against Israel’s bombings of Gaza. It is a continuation of the genocide against the Palestinian people that began in 1948 with the forcible establishment and expansion of Israel’s Zionist and racist state.

These bombings, killing hundreds of innocent Palestinian women, children and men, destroying their homes, hospitals and crops, and driving them off of their historic homeland is a crime against humanity and should be actively opposed by all regardless of religion, ethnicity or race.

As an African American I am ashamed that the U.S. support for this genocide is continuing under President Obama. He has sided with Zionism, the big banks, the arms manufacturers and oil corporations that want to dominate the Middle East. Obama does not speak for me or the majority of Black people in the U.S. and throughout the world.

The Israeli bombings of Gaza remind me of the 1964 racist bombing of the church in Birmingham, Ala. killing four little girls. The murder of Mohmed Abu Khdeir reminds me of the murder of Emit Till in Mississippi.

Abu Khdeir’s murder and the burning of his body in Deir Yassin, the sight of the 1948 massacre that established the Israeli Zionist state, was carried out to send a message to all Palestinians that they have no rights that Israeli’s are bound to respect. This reminds African Americans of the Dred Scott Act in 1857 that said that Black people had no rights that whites are bound to respect.

There are so many examples that show the similarities of the Palestine and African American experience that we should lock arms and speak out and act together against the human rights violations against the Palestinian people that continue with the financial support of billions yearly from the U.S. government.

Israel seeks to isolate the Palestinian people not only in Palestine, but also in the U.S. and throughout the world. Any criticism against Israel is labelled anti-Semitism as if all of their actions are sanctioned by god. We call on the Black churches not to be fooled by this lie.

Israel’s false claim of defending its right to exist is a mask using religion to try and justify its colonization of Palestine and Zionist expansion throughout the region. The world is now realizing the truth, including the role of the U.S. in arming and financing this murderous lie.

After millions of Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany and were forced to flee their lands in Eastern Europe, how can Israel claim to be the state of a holy land when it is committing the worst form of genocide in the 21st century?

The problems facing working-class and poor people in the U.S., Social programs being cut, funding for education being cut, high unemployment, people evicted from their homes and millions of homeless living on the streets cannot be addressed when trillions are spent financing the Israeli military attacks on Gaza and the invasions throughout African and other parts of the world.

We call on the Rocky Mount City Council to divest from any stocks, bonds and financing of the Israeli state and corporations until they end the occupation and attacks on Palestine and recognize the Palestinian people’s right to an independent state free from attacks and domination.

We call on people in Rocky Mount and throughout the state of NC to wear red ribbons demanding the end to the Bloody attacks on the Palestinian people in Palestine, throughout the region and throughout the world!

We call on all students to memorialize the death of Mohamed Abu Khdeir by wearing his photo with the slogan End the Occupation: Free Palestine.

We demand that the U.S. end it’s funding of Israel’s military!

We demand that the United Nations take immediate action against Israel!

In the words of Dr. King – If not now, when? If not us, who?

Join in the Name of Humanity and help to build the movement to end the occupation of Palestine and fight for human rights for all of the oppressed.

 

 

General Baker-Presenté

This is a tribute to General Baker written for BWFJ members by his long time friend Saladin Muhammad.

General Baker: A Working-class Fighter Who Challenged and Gave Capitalism Hell!
 General Baker
General Gordon Baker, known as “Gen” and “Iceberg” by some, a Black working-class revolutionary, founding member and rank-and-file leader of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, leader of the League of Struggle for a New America and friend and comrade to many throughout the U.S. and internationally has transitioned.

Gen will be remembered for his humor, honesty, uncomplicated political clarity, courage of struggle and love for his family. I last spoke to Gen on Wednesday May 14, and in his usual way he tried to deflect the critical nature of his health struggle, saying “I’m trying to hold on brother” with a hint of laughter. We didn’t talk long. I told him that I will check in later and he said “spread the love to all of the comrades.” As long as I have known Gen, he always left me with something that reflected the importance of struggle and comrades.

We will miss this field General, who for so many of us was an example of leadership and humility that we want and need to follow.

To Sister Marian, the kids and grand kids who Gen and Marian care for even with their busy movement schedules, we know that this is a GREAT loss that can never be replaced.

For many of us, we know that – We will see Gen in the Revolutionary Whirlwind!

Saladin Muhammad

Moral Monday and Malcolm X

Malcolm-X

“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” Malcolm X, 1965

May 19 is the first Moral Monday of the legislative short session in N.C. It is also the birthday of Malcolm X a courageous and gifted leader in the fight for Black freedom and human rights. Almost fifty (50) years after he uttered those famous words North Carolinians find themselves in the street once again in the quest for full humanity.

The assault on our voting rights, health insurance, unemployment benefits, public education, Women’s reproductive rights and workers rights calls for the response that is expressed in the Moral Monday/Forward Together movement.

When we spoke out and challenged them they criminalized our actions and arrested us. Now they want to silence us with even more drastic restrictions. But we will not be silenced and we are determined to speak out and resist those who seek to trample on our democratic and human rights.

And so we are called to build and strengthen Moral Mondays.  And we take the spirit and morality of the movement to our local communities and workplaces.  We are compelled to run and elect People’s candidates and to fight for democracy in our workplaces. Contact us to talk about this work.

Stop Criminalizing the Right to Protest!

Drop the Charges Against All MM Arrestees!

Forward Together, Not One Step Back!