SA at the Refuse Fascism Rally

 

Socialist Alternative stands shoulder to shoulder with all individuals, groups, and organizations who are protesting, organizing and building working class power to drive out Trump and defeat his administration’s right wing agenda. Let’s make Philly a real Sanctuary City for all working people.

 

IMG_1266

The Trump administration is the most racist, reactionary, vicious, climate denying, pro business, homophobic, transphobic, misogynist, anti working-class administration in decades. Along with the chaos and instability coming from the White House, the Republicans have been emboldened at the state and city level to carry out attacks on immigrants, women, lgbtq people, unions, worker health and safety, wages, public education, unions, and environmental regulations.

Trump’s election has invigorated a number of genuinely fascist and semi-fascist forces, the KKK, various Neo-Nazi and white nationalist organizations, and a semi-fascist layer growing out of the forces of the so-called “alt right.” The raised profile and activity of these reactionary organizations is a sharp warning to all progressive forces, unions, targeted minorities, and working people of the need to build mass action to defend our communities and push forward positive progressive demands that will unite the broadest possible movement to defeat Trumpism

Protesting can be an important expression of power that shows our will to fight back. It can help us build our networks and organizational capacity, but to win we need to engage with the millions of working people going through their everyday lives. We need to advocate unity of our daily struggles, stand by each other, and speak in language that is honest but relevant to our lived experience. Through community, neighborhood, and workplace organizing we can build the capacity to organize mass protests, direct actions, civil disobedience and strikes to take down this vicious right-wing administration. But we can’t stop there, we need to build an independent party of the 99% – that takes no corporate money- that can take on, not only the fascists, but Trump and the whole billionaire class. We need to fight, not only the far right, but the conditions that allow the far right to grow. The fight against fascism and the far right is 90% a political struggle:

  • We need an end to ICE raids and police persecution of our immigrant Sisters and Brothers. We need to go beyond simple ‘non cooperation’ with ICE and use our city’s resources to actively defend our immigrant communities. We need a real sanctuary city.
  • We need an end to ‘Stop and Frisk’ now #MayorKenny. We need an end to racial profiling by the police and all government agencies. We demand no tolerance for police and other law enforcement officers who openly espouse racist or white supremacist ideas.
  • We need an end to racist police murders. We demand fully independent investigations, with subpoena powers, in all cases of police killings. We need a real democratically elected community oversight board with full powers to subpoena, hire and fire police officers.
  • We stand with our LGBTQ comrades, fighting discrimination and violence, and all forms of homophobia and transphobia.
  • We must fight discrimination based on race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, and all other forms of prejudice. We need equal pay for equal work.
  • We stand with workers organizing and striking for union rights.
  • We need decent jobs and a $15/hour minimum wage.
  • We need full funding for our neighborhood schools. We call for the immediate abolition of the School Reform Commission and the institution of a democratically elected school board that represents students, parents and staff.
  • We need to invest in rehabilitation, job-training, and living-wage jobs, not prisons! Abolish the death penalty.
  • We need clean air, water and access to decent food. We need our polluted neighborhoods cleaned up, the lead out of our water, and the elimination of ‘food deserts’ in our city.
  • We need to tax the rich, the unimaginably wealthy corporations, and the big property developers who are making huge profits gentrifying our neighborhoods and turning our city into a playground for the wealthy. We need decent housing, community control of development and strong tenant rights protections. We need city services, social workers, youth, and community centers to strengthen the solidarity and social bonds in our neighborhoods.
  • We need to organize to stop Trumpcare and the gutting of Medicaid. We need access to affordable quality healthcare, we need improved Medicare for all, regardless of legal status, employment, or income.

Whether or not we face the immediate threat of a fascist government is debatable, but we take the vicious attacks on working people, immigrants, women, people of color, and LGBTQ people by Trump’s administration very seriously. Socialist Alternative stands shoulder to shoulder with all individuals, groups, and organizations who are protesting, organizing and building working class power to drive out Trump and defeat his administration’s right wing agenda. Let’s make Philly a real Sanctuary City for all working people.

Why I’m Going To The Peoples Climate March

The Story Of Dottie Bow

Jon R

Capitalism is slowly killing us.  The economic policies of the 1% place profit above all else.  From energy exploitation, to pesticides poisoning our food supply, the pursuit of profit endangers all species on this planet.  Everyone reading these words either has first hand knowledge, or knows someone who has been negatively impacted by the rapacious nature of our current system.  Millions of stories told and to be told, however it is one story that answers the question, “why go to the Climate March?”  The story of Dottie Bow.

I met Dottie Bow in the fall of 2004, when we worked together at Wawa.  In 2005 we both began our social activism around an apartment complex named Brookview in Claymont, Delaware.  Brookview was a 50 acre post WWII complex that housed mostly working class people, immigrants from South America, and a good deal of elderly on fixed incomes.  It was here that Dottie and I began to see firsthand the exploitation endured by the workers.  Mold, substandard maintenance, and an utter disregard, by both the landlord and the state, for the voice of those forced, by circumstance to live there.  We began to see the decaying impact Capitalism and Capitalists had on both the working class and the environment around them.  Nothing however galvanized us against this impact more than Dottie’s diagnosis of a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM4).  GBM is the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Claymont, De sits at the bottom of what I like to call the “neurotoxin superhighway” that runs between Eddystone, Pa. and Claymont, along the western shores of the Delaware River.  Defunct factories, active chemical plants, such as Honeywell, oil refineries,and lastly, the newly defunct Evraz Steel, bully the landscape.  The people in this area are mostly working class poor, as those with the means live far away from here.

It is Evraz Steel that figures most prominently in this story. For decades it had been spewing the byproducts of steel production and recycling, magnesium and manganese into the surrounding air by the ton, day in and day out.  Residents had been complaining about the manganese dust and air pollution since forever. But our most Capitalist and crooked state of Delaware has turned a deaf ear, despite empirical evidence that proximity to heavy industry causes health problems.  These problems include cancers, neurological disorders, and other maladies.  To date, only a legally weak air monitoring program, now as defunct as the plant, has ever been enacted by state officials.  We elect these same officials to protect us, but they vacillate as strong environmental programs deplete the coffers and the almighty vote of the 1%.

Dottie lost her fight to brain cancer in April of 2013.  At the time of her death, she lost all of her hair, most of her cognitive function, and about 100 lbs of body weight.  She was a shadow of that bright “talk to a lamppost” spirit that I married. She is still sorely missed.

Nine months of soul wrenching depression, coupled with years of other mental health issues, left me with a need for change, a need for vengeance against the Capitalist plans and policies that led to Dottie’s demise.  We could never prove it was the plant that caused the illness, although a California lawyer began snooping around and  disappeared after residents refused to pay them 60% of the judgement, no suit was ever filed.  I know in my heart that Evraz and our entire Capitalist environmental nightmare were to blame.

I’m going to the March on September 21, 2014 to join others who have lost loved ones to this system. I’m going, to share Dottie’s story with thousands from all over the country, as I’m certain I’m not alone. I’m going to the Climate March to say that we know our system is complicit, through purely for profit policies that are killing our planet, our loved ones, and humanity as a whole.  Won’t you join us?

Why Are You Going?