Category Archives: Presente

BWFJ Mourns the loss of Mrs. Ruby Mayo-Presenté

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:11934311_10152985476841971_1236796904_n

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

General Baker-Presenté

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 Baker
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!

Saladin Muhammad

Chokwe Lumumba Be Like Him: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

ChokweWe are gathered here in Jackson, Mississippi and throughout the country, as we mourn the transition of our Comrade, brother, friend, and member of our family Comrade Chokwe Lumumba. As we observe his body Laying in State, an honor befitting of a Freedom Fighter, and fighter for human rights, we offer our sincere condolences to the Lumumba family.

Comrade Chokwe was part of the Black liberation movement. It anchored him in the struggles against forces and systems that cause the oppression and suffering of people of African descent in the U.S. and all oppressed and exploited peoples throughout the world.  He was a revolutionary human rights fighter struggling with others to create a better world.

Whatever Chokwe did, whether it was as a father, a basketball coach, a people’s lawyer or the leader of a revolutionary organization, he selflessly put his heart into it.

Comrades jailed and placed in torturous solitary confinement for long periods of time and forced into political exile resulting from their actions in fighting against the forces of oppression, trusted Chokwe to take their cases. They knew that he treated the courts like another battleground in the struggle for liberation.

In 2005, the devastation in the Gulf caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failure of the federal government to deal with repairing the substandard levees in New Orleans, caused the flooding of over 100,000 homes and businesses. This was compounded by a strategy of ethnic cleaning seeking to eliminate the Black majority.  Comrade Chokwe and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) were instrumental in hosting the National Survivors Assembly in Jackson. Several hundred survivors dispersed to cities across the U.S. attended the National Survivors Assembly to represent the hundred’s in those cities to participate in developing the demands and a program to launch a Reconstruction Movement.

Katrina/Rita Survivor Assemblies were the initial organizing bodies for Survivors in the various cities before and after the National Survivors Assembly.  They connected the Survivors and their allies to the Gulf Coast Reconstruction Movement that engaged in many battles against federal, state and local government and white supremacist attacks on the people.  What we referred to today as the Jackson Peoples Assembly grew out of the Jackson Survivors Assembly of the Gulf Coast Reconstruction Movement.

When Chokwe decided to run for the Jackson City Council, the People’s Assembly became part of the framework for building democratic people’s governance in his City Council district. The People’s Assemblies are consistent with the aims of the unfinished Gulf Coast and South wide Reconstruction Movement and represent a fundamental aspect of the struggle for self-determination to build and exercise democratic people’s power and control over the economic, social and political resources, and to contribute to setting a new direction for struggles throughout the country. The People Shall Decideslogan of Comrade Chokwe’s mayoral campaign epitomizes the democratic principles of the demand for self-determination.

The Jackson-Plan, a basic program and vision that Comrade Chokwe and the MXGM sought to organize the social movements, mass organizations, institutions and the people around, was critical to creating a political climate that would enable the Chokwe administration to push the Jackson city government forward in implementing aspects of the Plan’s transitional program.

The very talk about a people’s solidarity economy, the plans to hold an economic conference in Jackson on worker cooperatives, and supporting the 50th Anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project that will bring many old and new Freedom Fighters back into Mississippi, made clear that the Chokwe administration was not planning on carry out business as usual.

There was great excitement among revolutionary and progressive forces in movements and governments throughout the U.S. and internationally, about the election of Comrade Chokwe. They recognized the importance of the City of Jackson as a new battlefront in Mississippi and the South for the Black liberation movement led program for people’s democratic governance.  With 31% of the US Gross National Product (GNP), the combined Domestic State Products of the South is $3.73 trillion, making it the world’s fourth largest economy following Japan.  It is a strategic region for U.S. and global capitalism and for a major part of the U.S. imperialist military industrial complex.

Comrade Chokwe’s election as Mayor of Jackson occurred in the current period of growing mass resistance developing throughout the South and nationally challenging the corporate financed right-wing takeover of state governments. The attacks on the policies, gains and organizations that provide basic democratic protections against social and political oppression and worker exploitation, is the program of corporate power to place the burden of the economic crisis on the working-class and the poor. The Chokwe administration and the Jackson-Plan were becoming positioned to contribute to the further shaping of this mass resistance that is being promoted by social movements like Moral Mondays.

While the Chokwe administration and the Jackson-Plan would represent part of the defensive struggle, it offered the potential as a battlefront for the beginning of a counter-offensive. This counter offensive can establish a direction of building bases for democratic people’s governance and self-determination toward shaping an alternative to the exploitation, social decay and human suffering of the capitalist system.

The transition of Comrade Chokwe Lumumba, while a great loss for this new battlefront, must also be a clarion call for the redoubling of our efforts to unite the forces of the Black liberation and the people’s movements for human rights and revolutionary change to press forward. We must help to further build and support this new battlefront in carrying forward Comrade Chokwe Lumumba’s vision and spirit of Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

Comrade Chokwe this is not the end, we will be together in the Revolutionary World Win!

Presente!

Black Workers For Justice

March 7, 2014

Black Workers for Justice Tribute to Brother/Comrade Nelson Mandela

nelson_mandela_163447973_640x480_480x360The Black Workers for Justice along with the South African masses and freedom and justice minded people across the globe grieve the passing and salute the life of former South African President, Nelson Mandela.

Many of the founders of our organization came to political life in support of the struggle for African liberation, which included the fight against South African Apartheid. We understood that form of human degradation was based ideologically and structurally on the Jim Crow system in the US South.

Much is being written about his revolutionary legacy so we briefly and humbly list what is important to us and the movement for Black liberation and workers’ power.

He chose to fight and resist the racist system first through mass protest and when the brutally of the regime intensified, through armed struggle.  He worked with an organization, the African National Congress that functioned on the basis of a collective and democratic leadership, which required accountability and discipline.

He supported a non-racial democratic South Africa as a way of freeing the Black majority from the shackles of a poisonous racist system and the exploitation of capitalism. He understood the need for workers, through their trade unions, to work with other revolutionary organizations in pursuit of workers rights, and power in the workplace and society.

From our inception as an organization in 1982 we supported the struggle against Apartheid by fundraising; hosting visitors representing the African National Congress-ANC, the Pan-African Congress-PAC, the Azanian People’s Organization-AZAPO, the Congress of South African Trade Unions-COSATU and many others; picketing, holding rallies and doing education.  We called for the release of Nelson Mandela and all the political prisoners in South Africa. We especially remember having Dorothy Makgalo, COSATU National Organizing Secretary and National Gender Coordinator as a guest who spoke to women workers and others in Eastern North Carolina. In other words we had no direct relationship with the esteemed comrade but our relationship to his work and legacy was through the South African masses and other freedom fighters.

While media, pundits and US politicians speak about their love and respect for Mandela we remember the role played by the US government in supporting Apartheid through economic and political means. The insidious role of corporations, diplomats, politicians and US intelligence services is well documented and cannot be covered by US Presidents, past and present. While they now lift up Mandela’s imprisonment, we must say that the US has political prisoners like Seth Hayes and Leonard Peltier among many others, who have languished in US gulags for 40 years in some cases.

In the same way we constantly fight to lift up the radical essence of Dr. King, we will forever be engaged in the struggle to uphold the revolutionary aspects of Nelson Mandela’s legacy.

The struggle in South Africa is intensifying as the Black impoverished masses engage in the fight to realize the tenets of the ANC Freedom Charter and other documents that call for land ownership for the masses and ownership of the means of production by the workers. They fight against the whites that continue to control the economy in partnership with a corrupt Black elite. We are confident that the struggle for jobs, housing and education will one day lead to the fulfillment of the goals of the South African revolution.

While the defeat of the racist and dehumanizing system of Apartheid in South Africa was an important victory for democracy without fundamental structural changes in the economy and social institutions to empower the Black and oppressed majority, democracy in South Africa has not yet brought about the revolutionary transformation promised by the revolutionary struggle.

We as African Americans and workers here in the U.S. must continue to learn from our Azanian/South African sisters and brothers struggle for a society where all workers and oppressed have workplace democracy and Human Rights.

 

 Long Live the Revolutionary Legacy of Nelson Mandela!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Continue reading