By Deirdre Griswold
Andrew Dean Stapp could have been an archaeologist, a historian or even a stand-up comic. Instead, he chose to focus his broad spectrum of talents on fighting the military brass and ending the Vietnam War.
Andy, as everyone called him, died on Sept. 3 at the age of 70. When only 23 years old, while a private at Fort Sill, Okla., he had gathered together a group of active-duty GIs to form the American Servicemen’s Union. This organization drew up a 10-point program of demands ranging from the right to refuse illegal orders — like the order to fight in Vietnam — to the election of officers by the ranks and an end to racism and sexism. It grew into the most audacious thorn in the Pentagon’s side.
September 1, 1948: Birthday of Comrade Leslie Feinberg, communist revolutionary and transgender activist/author.
For many years, Leslie has been fighting a debilitating disease and the anti-trans bigotry of the U.S. capitalist health care system. Ze recently issued this appeal:
Please add your support!
Transgender Warrior: Leslie Feinberg’s website
Photos, from top: Leslie Feinberg speaking out for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal circa 1999; arrested in Minneapolis protesting for CeCe McDonald on June 5, 2012; visiting CeCe McDonald in jail; with CeCe McDonald’s sister Rai’vyn; portrait by artist Kirsten McCrea.
Workers World Party and International Action Center activists spoke out in solidarity with the Donbass resistance and anti-fascist fighters in Ukraine at the Aug. 9 “World Stands with Gaza” march in New York.
Protesters carried the flag of the Donetsk People’s Republic and signs linking the anti-imperialist/anti-fascist resistance of the people in Palestine and Ukraine. They also distributed a call to action from the Support Center for Antifascists in Ukraine, initiated by exiled member of the Marxist organization Union Borotba (Struggle) in Simferopol, Crimea.
According to march organizers, this was the first time the Donetsk flag was flown at a demonstration in New York. Many people asked about the flag, and this opened up the opportunity for conversations about the Ukraine struggle and similarities with the Palestinian resistance.
Russian and Palestinian television networks interviewed the activists.
By Henry Hagins
Eric Garner, who was killed on July 17 when a cop, attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes, wrestled him to the ground using a deadly chokehold, was born into this soon-to-be emerging environment of government reprisal. It was under the highly offensive regime of Mayor Rudolph Guiliani (1994-2001) that then New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton perfected his infamous “broken windows” theory in the 1990s. In the main, Latinos/as and Blacks were the experimental subjects. They notoriously ballooned the prison-industrial complex against their will. Even so-called squeegee-men were driven from the streets.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio rehired Bratton after running on a platform of reining in the excesses of police “stop-and-frisk” practices. Both President Barack Obama and de Blasio have used elements of African ancestry to curry support — and to muffle potential opposition from within communities of color as they fulfill their political and financial obligations to the ruling class.
Eric Garner fell into the category of the expendable — not to his family or community — but to those who wield tremendous power in the operation of this society. The NYPD remains one of the central vehicles used to carry out this disgraceful task. Putting aside Bratton’s proposal for so-called “more training” for police, in the police academy and in the larger society, police are encouraged to view folks like Eric Garner with disdain and contempt. They are, after all, “outsiders.” Besides, police can move up in rank and salary with a significant number of street busts, can’t they?
Thursday, August 14 - 7pm *
Solidarity Center, 147 W. 24 St., 2nd Floor, Manhattan
You are invited to a New York City Workers World Party Forum
The police execution of Michael Brown & the Right to Rebel in Ferguson, MO
- Hear Larry Holmes, Workers World Party First Secretary
Siege of Gaza, bombing of Iraq, coup in Eqypt – U.S. imperialist wars spread further destruction
- Hear Sara Founders, co-director of the International Action Center, writer for Workers World newspaper
The closing of 80 schools in Puerto Rico in violation of the rights of children with disabilities
- Hear Milagros Cancel, Comite Timon De Madres De Educacion Especial
After Donetsk blockade – What next for Ukraine’s anti-fascist resistance?
- Hear Greg Butterfield, contributing editor,Workers World newspaper
Dinner served at 6:30 pm for a small donation
Program starts at 7 pm*
*WE MAY START LATE DUE TO FERGUSON & EGYPT SOLIDARITY PROTESTS HAPPENING IMMEDIATELY BEFORE. We urge you to participate in these actions.
At the Solidarity Center, 147 West 24th St, 2nd Floor, New York
Sponsored by Workers World Party
August 14, 2013 - Workers World condemns the latest massacre of Muslim Brotherhood supporters demonstrating in Cairo. It was ordered by the U.S.-trained Egyptian generals who had earlier carried out the military coup that ousted elected President Mohamed Morsi.
This bloody slaughter, along with the appointment of 17 Army and two police generals as governors of the 27 Egyptian governorates, plus the coup regime’s declaration of a one-month “state of emergency,” should wipe out any remaining doubts about the ousting of Morsi. It was an outright military coup. His democratic right to govern based on an election has far more legitimacy than any general’s diktat.
The generals’ action was directed not only against the government, which had lost some popular support, but also against the Egyptian workers and farmers. It is aimed at restoring the dictatorial regime overthrown in 2011. The last “state of emergency” lasted three decades. During that entire time the Egyptian army and state, under dictator Hosni Mubarak, served as a bastion of U.S. imperialist domination of the region.
There is already evidence that some of those individuals and organizations who had argued that the military was acting on behalf of the mass dissatisfaction with the Morsi government are now revising their opinion.
The grim news that police have killed yet another unarmed African-American youth comes this time from Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. Michael Brown, just 18, had expected to enter college in a few weeks. Police have not yet come up with any explanation for why officers riddled Brown’s body with 10 bullets after stopping him as he walked with a friend to his grandmother’s house. Nor has the Ferguson Police Department even released the name of the killer cop, who has been put on “administrative leave.”
Would this even have made national news without the outpouring of rage from the Black community that followed the youth’s killing? An impromptu memorial the next night turned into a protest demonstration, surrounded by hundreds of cops in riot gear and armed with tear gas, shotguns and attack dogs. Youth repeatedly confronted the police with the cry “Don’t shoot me!” as they turned their backs and held their hands up high in the air.
Ferguson is actually part of greater St. Louis, which has lost population as industry declined. Ferguson is a city of 22,000 that is two-thirds Black; the police are almost all white. St. Louis grew into a metropolis during the era of slavery. Its wealth came from the exploitation and oppression of Black and Native peoples.
It took a Civil War a century and a half ago to end chattel slavery, but that revolution was never finished. A compromise between Northern industrialists/bankers and Southern landowners ended Reconstruction in the 1870s and allowed the rich whites to keep their huge plantations. A new wave of racist terror, spearheaded by the Ku Klux Klan, smashed the newly won political and social rights of Black people in the South and drove them back into the semi-slavery of the sharecropping system and racial segregation.
Even with the massive Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, de facto segregation still exists in many parts of the North and South, along with higher prices and lower wages, or no wages at all, that confront so many working-class Black communities.
The youth of Ferguson have every right to rebel and disbelieve official pronouncements from the FBI that it will “investigate” whether the police have carried out civil rights abuses in Ferguson. These investigations seldom go anywhere because they fail to address the root causes of the problem.
Police brutality is epidemic not because of a few “bad apples” or because they didn’t get better “sensitivity training,” but because the job of the police is to keep the people from rebelling against an economic system that is unjust and increasingly unable to provide the basic necessities of life. The capitalist system exploits all workers, but it is especially lethal to the Black, Latino/a, Native, Asian, Middle Eastern and other peoples from oppressed nations. The cops are in their communities to sow terror and keep them from rising up against their unbearable conditions.
Justice for Michael Brown! No justice, no peace!