Author Archives: jillian

Call for the Afro-Colombian National Congress of Community Councils and Organizations

afro-colombia001Introduction by Charo Mina Rojas: Dear colleagues and comrades, this is a letter of invitation written by one of the most prominent activist of the Afro-descendant movement in Colombia and founder member of the Black Communities’ Process in Colombia. The Afro-descendant National Congress is an autonomous space of collective construction and dialogue with the Colombian government proposed to halt the hasty track of legislation that has characterized the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and ensure that bills to reform the mining code, environmental corporations, and land and rural development are subject to free, prior and informed consent, through a full participatory process. Since the government decided to break the agreements reached in a meeting on January 11 and 12, PCN is committed to make the Congress happening. For this we need your support and your presence to witness Afro-descendant communities’ struggle in defense of our collective rights.

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Immigration Reform in the US: Taking racism out of the closet

AliJazeera immigration imageReprinted from Aljezeera

It is with no surprise that immigration reform and it’s meaning has polarised communities in the United States, confounded policy makers and become a political football for the left and right.

One of the main reasons why this issue has become so contentious is the racial and ethnic make-up of recent entrants to the country, both documented and undocumented. While race fuels the nativists concerns with border security and the undocumented overwhelming governmental services, the racial elements of those concerns are not being acknowledged. Rather, they are masked in polite, neutral terms around issues of concern for the law and the expense of governmental services and everyone goes along with the charade. Yet, for undocumented people, and even those with legal residency who are from countries from the global south, the reality of race is all too real in their daily lives and the way in which public policy is enforced. This is even truer for populations not normally thought of as being part of the immigration debate in the US-migrants who are phenotypically seen as “Black” within the US.

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BWFJ Mourns the Loss of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez

ChavezThe Black Workers for Justice joins the Venezuelan people and millions around the world in expressing our deep sadness at the passing of President Hugo Chávez Frías. We extend our profound sympathy to the family of President Chávez and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. As he joins the ancestors we are compelled to celebrate his amazing life and contribution to poor and oppressed people in his country an around the globe.

We strongly reject the outlook of the corporate media that views President Chávez through the lens of the US State Department, Venezuelan elites and the former oligarchy and corporations seeking to profit from the wealth that belongs to the people.

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All Out for HKonJ 6

Operation Dixie/1946 Leaf House Workers Campaign

By James Wrenn
Rocky Mount, N.C.

od_1110A North Carolina Highway Historical Marker recognizing the 1946 tobacco leaf house workers union campaign was unveiled in Rocky Mount by the Phoenix Historical Society on Sept. 3. The United Electrical Workers union, Local 150 co-sponsored the event.

Entitled Operation Dixie, the marker stands on N. Franklin Street at the corner of McDonald Street, across from the Imperial Centre, and denotes the China American Tobacco Company plant on N. Pearl Street, Rocky Mount, N.C., where workers cast the first pro-union vote in the campaign on Sept. 5, 1946.

Most African-American workers cast their first vote ever in this union election, since racist Jim Crow laws denied voting rights to Black people in North Carolina. This leaf house union campaign in 1946 is considered a precursor to the civil rights movement.

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