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“MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED YEARS … Of Afrikan Resistance! ... MORE THAN FIVE CENTURIES … Of fighting for our Freedom! ... MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED YEARS … Of building our revolutionary movements! ... MORE THAN FIVE CENTURIES … Of Self-Determination and Reparations! ... From my latest recording “500 YEARS OF AFRIKAN RESISTANCE!!!” © (P) Hotep Music ** Since Europe first attacked Alkebulan-Afrika more than five centuries ago and kidnapped and enslaved our people in Portugal and Spain, WE have resisted!
I am deeply disappointed in the U.S. District Court ruling that could allow transport of coal to the planned new bulk terminal at the Port of Oakland. I urge the City to continue seeking to protect people’s health by preventing the coal shipments. Oakland youth will hold a spirited protest in the face masks they will be forced to wear if the toxic dust and climate chaos promised by the terminal arrive in Oakland. Students will join in the environmental justice protest organized by Youth vs. Apocalypse.
May Day – International Workers Day – is celebrated around the world, including in the United States, honoring the fighting spirit and struggle of all working and oppressed people. It is a time when workers show their strength, demand their rights and forge global solidarity. Its roots are in the struggle for the eight-hour day in 1886 in Chicago. Only in the United States, whose working class gave birth to May Day, have the powers that be managed to conceal that history, erase the memory of May Day, and suppress the class struggle that it represents. ILWU Local 10 shut down all Bay Area ports on May Day for the fourth consecutive year.
Despite an original agreement to hold negotiations between the PMA and the ILWU negotiating committee in secrecy, which has been upheld on the union’s side since the contract expired on June 30, the PMA has chosen to go public with their offer in an attempt to negotiate the contract through the media. In taking these steps, the PMA is putting out an all or nothing proposition and challenging the union’s right to negotiate the contract under normal fair bargaining practices.
Beginning Saturday, Aug. 16, dock workers at the Port of Oakland honored the picket lines of thousands of people over a period of four days – and many months of organizing in solidarity with the people of Palestine – to block Israeli apartheid by preventing the docking and unloading of the Zim Pireaus liner anywhere on the West Coast. On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Zim Pireus left the Port of Oakland with its cargo untouched, unloaded, unremarked and unwanted.
On July 29, the Oakland City Council surprised observers by postponing a final vote on the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP) without setting a new date. WOSP is a massive redevelopment scheme spearheaded by some wealthy investors planning to gentrify the old Oakland Army Base and major portions of West Oakland that are cynically being called Opportunity Sites, and at first reading on July 15, the City Council voted 7-0 to approve it, with only Desley Brooks abstaining.
The Civil Rights Movement, which led to a massive expansion of educational, political and economic rights for African Americans and others who were traditionally marginalized, has been under attack since before it started. The ongoing attacks against public sector workers and unions seem to be more of the same. Rather than happening in far away states, though, the attacks are happening to workers in the Bay Area.
Leo lives in every navy blue or ash T-shirt with brown, beige, Tan, ivory, hands circled in solidarity, In every fiery speech during San Francisco strikes and Port Of Oakland shutdowns, in fights for health care, cradle To grave, in housing, library, post office and school struggles, In good fights against fracking and in the Occupy Movement …
Leo L. Robinson believed in the power of the union, and in the power of the people. He fought to change the conditions of women within the ILWU just as fiercely as he fought against the apartheid regime of South Africa. “Inhale the spirit of Leo Robinson. Embody the spirit and go into struggle and battle for victory. Victory is ours only if we struggle,” said one of several who spoke at the memorial service.
Leo Robinson was a Black leader of the longshore union in San Francisco. He died in mid-January. For many of us, he was a lifelong companion, an example of what being an internationalist and a working class activist was all about. When Leo Robinson spoke, he had the full attention of every union member in Local 10’s cavernous waterfront union hall.
Battle lines have formed as the West Coast Occupy movements, from San Diego to Alaska, organize for blockades of West Coast ports to support the struggle of the ILWU in Longview, Wash. against EGT of the grain cartel, of port truckers fighting for the right to organize and of Long Beach against SSA, owned by Goldman Sachs.
As pressure builds for the Dec. 12 West Coast port shutdown, the capitalist owners and their media have begun a battle of ideas to blunt this powerful threat to their profits and control. But ILWU member Clarence Thomas says: "We don’t cross community picket lines. These ports are the people’s ports. Ports belong to the people of the Pacific Coast."
Occupy Oakland’s Thanksgiving gathering turned violent Thursday after police orchestrated the removal of portable toilets from Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, which the protesters have renamed Oscar Grant Plaza. Occupy Oakland is one of the most assertive and appreciated of all of America’s Occupy groups.
All of this was more than a reaction to the Occupy movement. It’s best understood as the latest battle between police and residents in at least two years of civil unrest in the city, beginning with the killing of Oscar Grant by ex-transit officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day 2009.
“Everyone to the streets! No work! No school! Converge on downtown Oakland.” The General Strike demands are: 1) Solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement; 2) End police attacks on our communities; 3) Defend Oakland schools and libraries; 4) Oppose an economic system built on inequality and corporate power that perpetuates racism, sexism and destruction of the environment.
Audrey Hudson stands out among Flyaway Productions’ 10 Women Campaign honorees as the only literal bridge builder, and the Bay View wanted you to meet this outstanding woman who’s blazing the trail for other women to follow her into the male-dominated field of construction work. A journeyman with Pile Drivers Local 34, Audrey first joined the union in 1999. She's won many accolades, even from her male co-workers, serving as pile driver steward for the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Self Anchored Suspension Project. She also won a commendation from Congress.