On April 8, 2017 the Black Workers for Justice will hold its 34th annual banquet commemorating Dr. King’s contributions to the Civil Rights and Black Freedom struggles. In light of the new administration of right wing populist and white nationalist, Dr. King’s life and views on workers rights and imperialist war are as important as ever. As we have done over the last 35 years, we honor Dr. King in the context of his fight for the Memphis Sanitation workers and his assassination by the forces of capitalism.
“Today’s Challenge:Organizing Our Struggle on the Front Lines in the South for Peoples Power” is our theme this year. It means continuing the fight against HB2, voter suppression, Islamophobia, anti-immigrant policies and the rise of white supremacist groups like the KKK and similar groups.
Now more than ever, our work to build People’s Assemblies and the Southern Workers Assembly (SWA) is necessary and urgent.
The keynote speaker will be Fred Mason. Mason is a veteran Labor and Black Liberation Movement activist. Mason is the President of the Maryland/DC AFL-CIO. He will speak on the task of labor, the Black movement and allies in fighting for power on the front lines of today’s struggle.
You can buy tickets here on this website. For further information on tickets, etc. call (240) 882-2102. If you or your organization would like to take out a digital ad you can write us a firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Your financial support is needed.
The Black Workers for Justice support the struggles of the indigenous peoples to defend their land and treaty rights and their struggles for environmental justice. And in this moment we are in full support of the resistance of the Standing Rock Sioux to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). We call on all people to support them politically and materially. Continue reading
The Black Workers for Justice is deeply saddened at the transition of Mrs. Ruby Mayo. She was our oldest member and an inspiration to all. She is the mother of Nathanette Mayo a BWFJ leader, grandmother of Angaza Samora, BWFJ youth leader, and mother-in-law of founder and leader Angaza Laughinghouse. A tribute prepared by Angaza:
DEAR FAMILY, FRIENDS, “BLACK WORKERS FOR JUSTICE”(BWFJ) members and fellow freedom fighters,
It is with much sorrow, I announce that our Mother Ruby Mayo transitioned to join our ” freedom fighter” ancestors. She passed away yesterday… Saturday morning…after a long illness. With her strong, purposeful and independent spirit,” she fought for life to the end of her 94 years…..not just her own life, but for her community, our people and all working people lives”. Continue reading
As we reached the 5th anniversary of the man made disaster that Katrina became, there have been two narratives about what the state of things are in New Orleans and the Gulf. The lives and conditions of Black people get some attention in the main story being told but this is overshadowed by the main story. Much of it commemorates the tragedy, the loss of lives and the epic nature of the event and aftermath. It then goes on to highlight the tremendous progress that has been made in bringing the City back to a level that tourism is booming again.
Music is back, there are more restaurants, the Saints won the Superbowl. Yet there remain 100,000 New Orleanians spread across the country but cannot come back because there is not enough affordable housing, schools, health care and more, to meet their needs if they came back to their beloved city. Journalist Jordan Flaherty, author of “Floodlines” has laid out what the state of things really is as seen through the eyes of a Black spoken word artist. The Institute for Southern Studies reports that while community action has flourished, the President and the Congress have yet to deliver on the promises made by the Bush Administration and have not created a disaster and recovery policy that is adequate for protecting the area.
While CNN was rehabilitating former FEMA Director Michael Brown and President Obama was speaking to a group at Xavier University, local activists were in the streets protesting the lack of progress in providing affordable housing for thousands of low income African American residents who have not been able to return to their neighborhoods. Survivors Village went to the site of a the new Columbia Park development in the St. Bernard Community to educate the President about the corrupt nature of the property managers and how former residents are being kept out. The protestors said that “the community has been purged of poor people, turned over to Warren Buffet and his investor friends, and is being promoted as the future of public housing around the country.”
While the courageous residents and survivors in New Orleans continue their fight we can held them. Here is what Advocates for Environmental Human Rights asks us to do.
TAKE FIVE ACTIONS FOR CHANGE
- Tell President Obama and Congress to protect the right of U.S. residents to recover from a disaster and displacement by adopting the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
- Demand that no more federal tax dollars be used to fund post-Katrina development projects that result in racial disparities in housing,healthcare, education, employment, and environmental protection.
- Tell the Obama Administration to aggressively pursue a determination that the outrageous actions taken by BP leading up to the April 20th oil rig explosion or involving the oil cleanup meet one or more of the five exceptions in the Oil Pollution Act that remove the liability limit and require BP to pay the full cost
of recovery for the people and the environment it has harmed.
- Tell President Obama and Congress to support the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act to create jobs for people in the Gulf Region and improve communities.
- Call on Congress to not retreat from climate change: set curbs on atmospheric carbon dioxide to below 350 part per million and support the resiliency of indigenous and poor communities who are vulnerable to climate change effects.
Deaths here and in Mexico add to mounting worries about swine flu virus. The outbreak also raises many questions about the sustainability of food production on the corporate model. The new virus strain carries genetic elements from human, swine and avian flu varieties and was first reported in a resident of a village, La Gloria, in Veracruz, Mexico.
La Gloria is next to a major pig-raising and pork production operation that is half owned by the giant agribusiness Smithfield, based inVirginia. La Gloria residents have been protesting unsanitary conditions caused by the way the operation keeps its pigs and disposes of fecal waste. The smells are unbearable, residents say, and the vast amounts of pig excrement kept in open, inadequately lined pits create massive swarms of flies that bedevil the inhabitants and cause health problems.
In Virginia and North Carolina, where Smithfield has had major operations, and other areas where other corporations have large pig farms, complaints about odor and public health dangers arise time and again. Complaints by local residents and environmentalists coincide with serious