May 19 marks the 91st anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X, the great 20th Century leader of the African American struggle for freedom, justice and equality; for self-determination and liberation. His assassination in 1965, at the hands of those working in the interest of white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism, marked a horrible chapter in our history of struggle and the beginning of the modern Black Power Movement.
“On Sunday May 1, 2016, International Workers Day, ILWU Local 10 for the second consecutive year will be shutting down all Bay Area ports for 8 hours. This year we will commemorate a National Day of Mourning in memory of the Black and Brown lives that have been taken by racist police and vigilante killings across the country”
At the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Support for Labor Banquet two individuals and two organizations were awarded the Black Workers for Justice’s Self-Determination Award. North Carolina based Muslims for Social Justice and Charleston’s Healthcare Workers United were the group recipients. The individual award went to two trade union activist. ILA Local 1422 activist Leonard Riley received an individual award. The second was awarded to Clarence Thomas a labor activist, member of ILWU Local 10 and longtime freedom fighter. Thomas was unable to attend but submitted this statement to share with the participants. Note his call for action on May Day. Continue reading
North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Attacks LGBTQ Community, Workers, Women and People of Color
The hateful and shameful legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor McCrory after only three hours of debate is the most recent attack on democracy and the rights of the people of North Carolina. Taking the lead, along with Mississippi, North Carolina lawmakers have implemented yet another component of the reactionary agenda supported by the wealthy 1% and its most racist sectors. The state legislature is playing a master game of Divide and Conquer. It is attempting to play us against each other while cutting the rights of all. Continue reading
Not widely known outside of South Carolina, Charleston labor leader Mary Moultrie passed on April 27. Mrs. Moultrie made significant contributions to the workers struggle in Charleston starting with her leadership of the 1969 strike of hospital workers. Her work reveals both the connection of the civil rights movement to the labor movement and the too often hidden role of women’s leadership. Oral historian and Labor activist Kieran Taylor provides a brief look at this Black working class hero and shares resources about the strike and the life of this remarkable women.
This is a tribute to General Baker written for BWFJ members by his long time friend Saladin Muhammad.
General Baker: A Working-class Fighter Who Challenged and Gave Capitalism Hell!
General Gordon Baker, known as “Gen” and “Iceberg” by some, a Black working-class revolutionary, founding member and rank-and-file leader of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, leader of the League of Struggle for a New America and friend and comrade to many throughout the U.S. and internationally has transitioned.
Gen will be remembered for his humor, honesty, uncomplicated political clarity, courage of struggle and love for his family. I last spoke to Gen on Wednesday May 14, and in his usual way he tried to deflect the critical nature of his health struggle, saying “I’m trying to hold on brother” with a hint of laughter. We didn’t talk long. I told him that I will check in later and he said “spread the love to all of the comrades.” As long as I have known Gen, he always left me with something that reflected the importance of struggle and comrades.
We will miss this field General, who for so many of us was an example of leadership and humility that we want and need to follow.
To Sister Marian, the kids and grand kids who Gen and Marian care for even with their busy movement schedules, we know that this is a GREAT loss that can never be replaced.
For many of us, we know that – We will see Gen in the Revolutionary Whirlwind!