workers.org Feb. 2, 2012 Page 3
Coalition sets demonstrationsfor Democratic National Convention
One million say:
‘Recall Gov. Scott Walker’
WWPHOTO: BRYAN G. PFEIFER
At Milwaukee Area Technical College Jan. 17
WWP leader denounces racist Tea Party
WW PHOTO: BRYAN G. PFEIFER
By Ben CarrollCharlotte, N.C.
When the Democratic National Con- vention meets in Charlotte, N.C., in Sep-tember, there will be thousands of peoplefrom across the country in the streets toraise demands for jobs and justice on the world stage.That’s what the Coalition to Protest at
the DNC announced at its rst press confer
-ence Jan. 19, held outside the Time WarnerCable Arena in Charlotte, where the con- vention will be held Sept. 3-6. More thanthree dozen labor, anti-war, civil rights, an-ti-foreclosure, immigrants rights, studentand youth organizations, and many promi-nent activists from across North Carolina,the South and the U.S. have joined togetherto initiate this coalition.They are united behind demands for“Good jobs for all! Economic justice now – make the banks and corporations pay for their crisis!” “Money for education,health care, housing and all human needs,not for war and incarceration!” and “Jus-tice for immigrants and all oppressedpeoples! Stop the raids and deportations!” At the press conference, held duringthe week commemorating Dr. Martin Lu-ther King Jr., representatives from many organizations explained why they will bedemonstrating.“We’re here to demand an end to the war on Black people, here and in Africa— from police brutality and mass incar-ceration, to AFRICOM [the United States Africa Command] and proxy wars across
the African continent,” said Ea Nwan
-gaza, founder and director of the MalcolmX Center for Self-Determination.Nwangaza continued, slamming theDemocratic Party for their “silence on thedepression-level, African-American un-employment,” for taking no action to stopracist predatory lending and home fore-closures, and for the continued imprison-ment of political prisoners.
Wall Street of the South
Coalition organizers call Charlotte “the Wall Street of the South.” With the worldheadquarters of Bank of America and theeastern headquarters of Wells Fargo, ithas the second largest concentration of
nance capital in the U.S., behind New
York City. Both banks are notorious forforeclosing homes, holding huge amountsof student loans, bankrolling the prison-industrial complex, and funding environ-mental destruction, among many othercrimes against our communities.North Carolina is also the least union-ized state in the U.S., with a Jim Crow-era law still on the books that bans public workers from collectively bargaining. Vir-ginia is the only other state with this ban.In both cases, Democrats enacted the bansand have done nothing about them since.Donna Dewitt, president of the SouthCarolina AFL-CIO, raised that city work-
ers in Charlotte have been ghting for years
just to win the basic right of dues deduction.Dewitt spoke about why workers should bemobilizing to protest at the DNC.“Located in the Deep South of historicalstruggles for civil, worker, immigrant andhuman rights, North Carolina, like otherSouthern states, continues the competitionto underbid other Southern states to attractcorporations that locate to the South forlower wages and exploitation of workers.
… Elected ofcials of both major parties
have followed the practices of the corporate world in their bid to protect the rich anddeny the working families of our country.”Concluding the press conference, AnaMaria Reichenbach, with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, gavea spirited talk calling on young peopleto come to Charlotte this September.
“Working-class youth of this country nd
our prospects of attending higher educa-tion diminished as tuition continues torise. We’re forced to go deeper into debt with student loans.“Unemployment rates are soaring andthose jobs available fail to provide us withliving wages. … We are rising up because
we have the right to a dignied life and
because we refuse to be a lost generationof jobless, uneducated people. We are ris-ing up because this two-party system hasfailed to meet our needs.”Following the example of other citiesthat have hosted political conventions,Charlotte is preparing to pass restrictivenew ordinances regulating demonstra-tions. They have denied every request by the Coalition to Protest at the DNC forpermits to march, and have told organiz-ers that the DNC has reserved every park in the city the weeks prior to, during andafter the convention. Coalition organizers
have vowed to ght the city for the right to
protest during the DNC.Organizations including Occupy move-ments across the country are already planning to mobilize to be in the streetsof Charlotte during the DNC. For moreinformation on the Coalition to Protest at
the DNC and to nd out how your organi
-zation can join, visit protestdnc.org.On Jan. 17, after 60 days of poorand working people working tirelessly throughout Wisconsin, it was announcedthat 1 million petition signatures had beengathered to recall the anti-union, anti- worker Gov. Scott Walker, a darling of the Tea Party. This blow to the right-winggovernor was celebrated in statewide ral-lies, with a thousand-strong celebration inMadison and a large rally at the Milwau-kee Area Technical College (pictured.)
— Report & photo by Bryan G. PfeiferBy Bryan G. PfeiferMilwaukee
LeiLani Dowell, Workers World Party leader and WW managing editor, visited Wisconsin Jan. 20-22 to participate in theongoing people’s uprising sparked by thestate capitol occupation in February 2011and Occupy Wall Street.“We realize the occupation in Madison was a spark for Occupy Wall Street andmany of the occupations that have hap-pened, and we’ve been inspired by all of the struggles since then. It was great tomeet some of the amazing activists, amaz-ing women who are doing things, andother people in the communities who are
really ghting back,” Dowell told WW.Dowell rst participated in a women’s
meeting in Milwaukee’s African-American
community, meeting many women ght
-ers. From there she met numerous activ-ists and leaders engaged in many anti-capitalist, anti-racist forms of struggle. Shealso met leaders from the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer community.On Jan. 21, Dowell was the featuredspeaker at a Milwaukee Workers WorldParty Forum, “Occupy For Socialist Revo-lution,” at the Center Street Library, an African-American community institution.Later on, a robust discussion took place with the multinational crowd focusingon socialism and the need for oppressedpeople to have their self-determinationrespected by progressive and revolution-ary movements. Many Workers WorldParty newspapers and literature were dis-tributed and sold.“The meeting was a great success. It isreally exciting that socialism was raised
in the title of the event and reects that
people are interested in socialism now inthe United States, including in Wiscon-sin,” said Dowell. After the Jan. 21 meeting a delegation,including Dowell, went to Wauwatosa, just west of Milwaukee, to join a labor-community-student counterprotest of aTea Party/Republican Party rally of a few thousand. The right-wing racist recruit-ment rally was in opposition to the Recall Walker movement in Wisconsin. Thismovement announced on Jan. 17 that ithad gathered 1 million petition signaturesto recall the union-busting Wisconsingovernor. After participating in the counterpro-test, a member of the Wisconsin BailOut the People Movement and a mem- ber of Workers World Party waded intothe crowd to the front of the stage andunfurled a banner that read: “Stop Rac-ist Anti-Worker Assaults, Recall Walker/Jobs Now, Make Banks Pay!” that com-pletely disrupted the right-wing rally.The progressive activists were sur-rounded by the racists, who tried to rip the banner and assault them, but the activistsheld their ground for a few moments lon-ger before departing. They made the pointthat right-wing racists of any stripe will be directly confronted wherever they are. While on the sidewalk counterprotest-ing, Dowell and another sister of African- American descent resisted racist slurs by Tea Party-types.Dowell and the rest of the delegation re-turned to Milwaukee to visit members of Occupy Milwaukee, Decolonize The Hoodand Occupy Riverwest, among others.“I’m so impressed by the people. Thereis a high interest in socialism, which isgreat, but also a real level of opennessaround struggle, raising issues such asself-determination, and particularly the women of color we met raising their is-sues. I’m really impressed by the dia-logue that’s going on in Wisconsin to- ward building real, true solidarity. Wethank Wisconsin for the struggle. It’s soimportant, and it really motivates all of us in New York, around the country andaround the world,” Dowell concluded.
Contact Milwaukee Workers World at email@example.com.
At forum at Center StreetLibrary Milwaukee; LeiLaniDowell, second from right.