A newly re-issued book on organizing by women of color activists has important lessons for the fight for reproductive justice today, writes Haley Swenson.
Read the full article here.
UNDIVIDED RIGHTS: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, re-issued this year by Haymarket Books, documents the contributions of women of color activists to the struggle for reproductive justice over the last four decades. At a time when activists fear more repression and retrenchment on women's issues, learning about the work that has been accomplished in earlier difficult times is invaluable.
Pranav Jani, a longtime SocialistWorker.org contributor and associate professor at Ohio State University (OSU), writes about the climate on campus following the horrible attack on November 28 and the determination of students and faculty to resist the tide of hate and scapegoating. OSU students Maryam Abdi, Stu Edgecombe, Andrea Guttman Fuentes and Yashna Panda contributed interviews and additional comments.
Read the full article here.
To repeat: We don't know why Artan did what he did. There is no definite link between his religion and his race and his actions. The vast majority of people who feel alienated and oppressed on this campus don't resort to acts of violence--which can only produce fear, leading to further backlashes against minority communities.
The ISO Columbus condemns the Ohio state house’s underhanded tactic of sneaking in the inappropriately misnamed “Heartbeat bill” into a law to expedite the reporting of child abuse and neglect by medical professionals. The “Heartbeat bill” bans abortion at the moment that a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, usually around 6-8 weeks. This is before many people know that they are pregnant, and is long before viability or brain activity has been established. The “Heartbeat bill” has been opposed by Ohio Right-to-Life, the largest anti-choice organization in the state, for being too extreme and unconstitutional. The so-called “lame duck” congressional session, between the election of new bourgeois politicians and their inaugurations, allows sitting congresspeople to fast-track a number of reactionary, conservative, anti-women, and anti-worker bills without accountability to their constituency. It is a farce of democracy that this dangerous, and by all accounts illegal, bill will be signed into law by right-winger John Kasich. The ACLU has announced that they will fight the bill in court, but Kasich’s administration will be using workers’ hard-earned tax money to fund the defense of this attack on reproductive rights.
In a state where police are allowed to kill Black children and Black men for carrying toy guns, headed by a Governor who wrote into law welfare reform that gutted food stamp benefits and financial assistance for the most vulnerable in our country during his tenure in the U.S. Congress, it is unconscionable that the Ohio state legislature’s priorities would be to continue the assault on reproductive justice.
Our collective liberation cannot depend on bourgeois politicians who practice a mockery of democracy. Our collective liberation requires reproductive freedom for all.
ISO Columbus is devastated by the violence on the Ohio State University campus this morning. We are hoping for a quick recovery for everyone injured, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who were involved. We know that the horror of an incident like this doesn't end when a suspect is apprehended, because many members of our community will face increased suspicion, policing, and outright hatred as a result. We stand in solidarity with all members of the community likely to be targeted with racist profiling or harassment in the coming days. We will not let this event become a source of hatred and division.
Last night at an anti-Trump rally in the Ohio Union, one of our leading organizers, Tim Adams, was giving a speech to the crowd when he was tackled from behind and knocked down several stairs by a man who had been watching and yelling from the floor above. The crowd acted quickly to restrain the man and protect Tim from further harm, before OSU police moved in and arrested him.
Because there were several individual Trump supporters heckling the crowd throughout the night, because of the nature of the statements the man yelled as he tackled Tim, and, given the reports and experiences of violence and threats of violence from right-wing individuals across the country and at OSU, most witnesses reasonably assumed the assailant was a Trump supporter. Initially, with the information available, Tim felt it was important that white nationalists not be further emboldened by this action and decided to pursue criminal charges in the hopes that it might play some role in protecting movement activists from similar or potentially worse harm in the future.
Since last night, however, we have learned that the man, an OSU student, is not a right-wing activist and was himself upset by the Trump election. We have received further information we will not disclose to protect the man’s privacy, but which has made us confident he should not face charges for the action.
Tim and other ISO members are in the process of reaching out to police, prosecutors, and this student’s family and friends to have charges dropped immediately and to ensure his quick release from jail.
We are relieved to learn that what happened last night was not a further marker of an escalating and emboldened Far Right at Ohio State. From the racist, white-pride propaganda on our own campus last week to the 67% spike in hate crimes against Muslims, including two attacks on Muslim women at nearby University of Michigan, and a scourge of white supremacist vandalism around the country, this political moment is rife with heightened violence against minorities and against anti-racist activists. We are immensely distressed that OSU police officers who have been protecting pro-Trump individuals and groups at several rallies in the last week were unable to stop this attack from taking place, and then that they failed to ask any questions of the attacker that would have influenced the initial decision to press charges.
At this time of such violence and fear, the only real recourse we have is in the coalition of people we can bring together. Determined not to let violence deter him after being attacked last night, Tim returned to the steps a few moments afterward and finished his speech. We are proud to have organizers like Tim alongside us at this difficult political moment. We are happy to say that a medical evaluation last night confirmed that he had suffered no major injuries, though he is obviously sore and shaken. He is currently resting and recovering.
Our only strengths as individuals fighting oppression and exploitation are in our numbers, in our level of organization, and in our commitment to watching out for each other and taking action to protect one another. We appreciate the outpouring of support and solidarity Tim received since last night. We recognize the crushing brutality of this entire political economic system against people of color, the LGBTQ community, the working class and poor, and the disabled. Please continue to join us as we fight for a better world!
For news coverage of the event:
Assaulted as he spoke out against Trump by Nicole Colson on SocialistWorker.org
Corporate media glosses over politics in assault of anti-Trump protester by Steve Palm-Houser on ColumbusFreePress.com
Readers Tim Adams and Charles Peterson give their views on Leon Trotsky's essay "Learning to Think" that was republished by SW with comments on its meaning today.
Read the full article here.
While U.S. imperialism is far from the only cause of the ongoing crisis in Syria, the focus of revolutionaries in the U.S. who stand in solidarity with Syrians must be to force an end to U.S. involvement in Syria and the Middle East as a whole and demand an end to restrictions on the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Columbus organizers Emily Shaw and Matthew Strauss write about voting Green in the face of the perceived threat of a Trump presidency. Regardless of the outcome of the election, we still have to organize.
Read the full article here.
IF TRUMP does represent a fascist threat, as many liberals and some leftists believe, then his defeat in an election would not spell the end of that movement by his supporters. Organization in the streets is necessary to defeat fascism--and defeat the ideas that Trump represents, for that matter.
Connie Gadell-Newton is the Green candidate running for State Representative for Ohio House District 18 against the Democrat Kristin Boggs. ISO Columbus has endorsed Gadell-Newton's campaign for office because of her involvement in our community, her stance on Black Lives Matter, and her decision to run for office outside of the corrupt Democratic Party.
Read an interview with Connie Gadell-Newton on ColumbusUnderground.
Will Myers and Haley Swenson write from Ohio's capital city on a surge of protests against police violence--and the questions about strategy now facing the movement.
Read the full article here.
The demand for justice for Tyre King and Henry Green, two of the most recent victims of the Columbus Police Department, was at the heart of two simultaneous direct actions that upset business as usual in Ohio's capital city on September 26.
The Columbus branch of the International Socialist Organization has voted to endorse Green Party candidate Bob Fitrakis for Franklin County Prosecutor.
Fitrakis is a long-time Columbus activist whose roots in the community and commitment to his principles make him the only acceptable candidate for this post in a community that is overrun with injustice, discrimination, and corruption.
“Black Lives Matter” has been the slogan of Fitrakis’ campaign, but it is also so much more than a slogan for Fitrakis. Unlike either Republican Ron O’Brien or Democrat Zach Klein, Fitrakis has promised to appoint independent prosecutors to investigate and consider charges against police accused of misconduct or other brutality. This is an essential step toward justice for victims of police brutality in a place with the second highest rate of police shootings-per-capita in the country.
Fitrakis has vowed to stop incarcerating those convicted of drug-related crimes and to turn instead to treatment options. He has promised to advocate for the de-criminalization of marijuana, to set up a whistleblowers’ hotline, to prosecute government officials engaging in voter suppression, and has vowed to fight illegal government surveillance.
After the murders of Ty’re King in September and Henry Green in June, the need for a drastic overhaul of the Franklin County justice system is clear, and a prosecutor with a real commitment to reform would be just one initial but necessary step in that direction. Fitrakis is the only candidate in the race for County Prosecutor who has not only vowed to make the changes activists have demanded, but who has a record as a fighter for the oppressed and disenfranchised that we can trust.