Archive for the ‘We fight on’ Category

A song tribute to one of my generations martyrs Sandy Scheuer. Walking to class on May 4, 1970 at Kent State and murdered by the Ohio National Guard along with 3 other students protesting the invasion of Cambodia.

Hey Sandy

written and sung by Harvey Andrews

Greetings from furbirdsqueerly to all of our comrades worldwide on May Day 2017. We speak to expand the idea of May Day to everyday this month and throughout the year building a people’s powers that will tear down walls of hate and fear, will end once and for all the Capitalist class and their state, will demand and get justice for workers, and that will build in place a just and peaceful world for all. We are workers and as the old saying go “we have nothing in common with the employing class.” This nothing in common is not just one day but everyday of our working lives, from the first day that we enter the workplace to the last day on the job. We must in all of our hearts and minds keep the slogan, Workers of the World Unite, close by as that is the only way for all of us to realize a just future.

As workers we can not support a government that drone attacks or drops bombs on other workers around the world. Frank Little once stated about workers and WW1, “Either you are for their Capitalist slaughter fest or you are against it.” We remain against it. We join with workers around the world who denounce their governments and free themselves and other workers.

A few questions.

So today what does all of this mean for us? Does it mean we chase after what some banners read in support of achieving the American dream? And what is this americkkkan dream? Is it exploitation of workers around the world, is it drone attacking workers and families around the world, is it fighting in unjust wars just to have the americkkkan dream? Is it supporting politicians no matter how good they sound and how bad they are if they support our dream? Is our dream enough? Is my freedom and rights enough?  Does it mean that at the expense of others we get ahead no matter who we step on?  Do we allow unions to make deals with the company owners that are not in our best interests as workers? How do we educate the massive middle class in americkkka to look at themselves as workers in common with all other workers so that they too may have an understanding of the slogan, An Injury to One is An Injury to ALL?  How do we put aside our fears of loosing our jobs if we speak up about the injustice towards others who lose theirs? How do organize the thousands of contracted service employee workers who are at the mercy of corporate americkkka with no support from any unions or other workers? How do we destroy classism once and for all within the work force?  How do we build  an economy that is not based on war and exploitation? We know that many times it comes down to, “No savior from on high delivers.” We must do it ourselves along with our working comrades.  These are just a few questions that we have this May Day 2017. We dedicate this wonderful song to all workers around the world.

No matter what we can not let the employing class step on us. That is in our minds one of the great ideas of our collective past.

 

Here is a song for this day when we remember workers killed on the job.

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Friday May 5th we march in remembrance of our black Trans sisters who have been killed this year, we march for LGBTQ+ rights , we march because we are fabulous and here to stay.
#QueerLiberation #TransLiberation #NewHavenPride #BLACKLGBTQLIVESMATTER #F4J

Many thanks to Kai Russo for permission to publish this speech.

Intersecting Oppressions Speech at Trans Rally

Speech at Rally to Support Trans Youth, State Supreme Court, Hartford, CT
1 April 2017

by Kai Russo

Trans and gender nonconforming people are beautiful. We are beautiful because we all have a unique story, a personal identity and a collective struggle. There is not one trans story or one way of trans people look, even though we are still encouraged to ascribe and conform to white, cis norms of beauty in order to be accepted and feel safe in public. Yesterday was trans day of visibility, which is our designated day where we are supposed to celebrate who we are and how far we’ve come – because the other 364 days our problems, our issues and our beings are supposed to be invisible. As trans writer, entertainer and performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon wrote on their facebook page yesterday, “visibility is not the same thing as justice. What has become increasingly evident is that the system is, in fact, more willing to give trans people visibility that it is to give us compensation, resources [and] safety.”

When I was 16, I was one of 75% of trans people who felt unsafe at school. It is estimated that about a third of LGBTQ students will drop out of school due to reasons such as bullying, being denied access to public spaces and bathrooms. Black and Brown LGBTQ youth are constantly being funneled into our broken so-called criminal justice system through the school to prison pipeline. Halfway through my junior year I dropped out of high school because I was unable to cope with the loss of friends and treatment from my peers as I has started to transition. I am privileged to say that I was able to continue my education and I graduated with my Associates degree in January this year. Yes, high school drop-outs can have college degrees.

There has been outrage over the recent executive orders and rightfully so. But do not let us be surprised by what has happened as it is far too predictable. As much as we would like to deny it, exclusion and discrimination, racism and xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia have been built into our society from the beginning. In the past, our country has not been welcoming to immigrants and refugees who do not hail from the West. We would like to believe that we have come farther than we have, that time is able to heal, but do not be fooled by time. Time does not mark change. Time only allows for the same systems of hate to reconstruct themselves. We are the ones who need to be actively fighting against these systems. My favorite professor told me the only good thing to come of this mess is that finally, finally, people are starting to realize that we don’t live in a post-racial society where everyone is equal. Finally more and more people are starting to understand the injustices of our society now that we have a president who sexually assaults women and is supported by the KKK.

When we speak about trans issues, we should not be limiting our conversation to bathrooms. I can tell your from personal experience that trans people are probably more afraid to use the bathroom with cis people that the other way around. It is even harder for trans people who are gender non-conforming or are not able to pass as cis. Bathrooms are not the real issue – bathroom access is the excuse for people who are uncomfortable by the very existence of trans people in the first place. We must come to understand that deportation, incarceration and health care are all inherently trans issues. We must know that Black Lives Matter and the brutalization of Black and Brown people at the hands of police is a trans issue. Refugees and the displacement of people due to violence perpetuated by the United States abroad are trans issues. Flint Michigan and the denial of access to clean water in an area where there is a majority Black population is a trans issue. This has not been fixed since April 2014. Standing Rock and constant discrimination against Indigenous people is a trans issue. The murder of more than eight trans women in 2017, most who were women of color, is a trans issue. We must protect and work towards supporting and liberating those among us who are the most at risk for violence. As trans lawyer and activist Dean Spade explains: in our activism, we must work towards improving the conditions of those who are the most disadvantaged, or what he has coined as “trickle up social justice.” We cannot expect the liberation of upper middle class white able-bodied LGBTQ citizens to reach those among us who are not afforded the same privileges.

All that being said, we have all gathered here today to support and uplift trans people. To come together and celebrate our beauty both inside and out. As Angela Davis said, “Freedom is a constant struggle, but it is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” Thank you.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1449739031726213/

 

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On March 26, 2017, a powerful demonstration was held in Washington, D.C., to stand up to AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee) in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice. At the opening rally in front of the White House, speakers from a wide range of organizations and movements, including march co-sponsors ANSWER Coalition and Al-Awda: The Palestine Right To Return Coalition (Ohio chapter and Midwest affiliates), addressed the crowd as buses, vans and carpools arrived from cities across the country and some arrived from around the world. As the Trump administration gears up to unleash even greater aggression against Palestine, those gathered were determined to make support for Palestine part of the overall fight against the Trump Agenda.

The demonstration marched from the White House to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where the annual AIPAC policy conference was being held. Top-ranking Republicans and Democrats alike were scheduled to speak at the conference, including Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.

Despite police obstruction and the presence of a small group of violent far-right Zionists, the demonstration was able to make its way right in front of the building where the AIPAC conference attendees were gathering. Earlier in the day, a group of progressive Jewish activists began a demonstration and civil disobedience action at the doors of the convention center to protest Israeli apartheid.

The demonstration showed yet again that wherever supporters of apartheid Israel gather, the people will be there to stand in solidarity with Palestine. In addition to those who rallied and marched, a live stream covered the rally and march for over three hours, and has reached over 200,000 people with nearly 50,000 views (you can still view it here).

 

To see more photos of the demonstration go to HERE.

This was posted over at the Call Out to the Trans rally sponsored by GLSEN that is being held this Saturday. The comment was written by John Keogh.
John Keogh

“I attended the rally on 28 March in New Haven. It was meaningful, and most of the speakers were wonderful. However, one speaker was hatefully strident, calling the administration pigs and making insulting comments about the police. Another speaker was similarly vehement, but more sophisticated. We also had a couple of guys from Antifascist Action–the people who turned the Berkeley protests from a definite win to a definite loss, costing us an awful lot of support across the nation. They smoked, in a crowd, along with some woman near the mike. Who does that? How completely thoughtless of people with asthma, other reactivity to the smoke, or just ex-addicts like me.

Listen. I am in the Resistance with a whole heart. But I will NOT be a part of anybody’s fantasy revolution. Anyone who comes on as if it is Russia in 1919 can just do his or her ego trip in private. If you are arranging something like that in Hartford, let us know, so we can boycott this demonstration. Seriously, I am 100% behind trans youth, with all my heart. But I will not insult police or be part of some fist-in-the-air, brain-in-the-sand revolution.

Get it straight now, because we are in this for the long haul.”

A response: Removed by GLSEN. No room for discussion. Teacher knows best.

Oh thank you I am so glad that this is not the revolution of 1919 in Russia even if the current regime has declared war on us and slowly will be taking away our rights one by one until they get to whatever the Christian Taliban has in store for us. I am so happy I don’t have to worry about losing any blood on the steps of the Supreme Court or anywhere else for that matter. It sound awful that people were smoking and smelly. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke or any kind for that matter. I am ashamed that I use to smoke wherever I wanted to regardless of who was near me. PU. Car exhaust really bothers me to know end so I don’t drive a car. The groups that have long been active and that are listed as speakers and supporters all seem like fine democrats to me, all law-abiding citizens with love in their hearts so no worry there. It sounds like a very enjoyable day while we do our thing for our people with our rainbow flags and love, respect and unity of all. Don’t forget to bring your Trans flag.

I am not sure having just joined the resistance last week if change doesn’t come about by all different ways and means. I read somewhere maybe in school that there were a lot of nice homosexual groups back in the 50tis and 60ties and then the young said, to heck with this police harassment and Stonewall happened over those nights in June to me seemed like a break this and that rebellion. My goodness they even threw coins at the police instead of giving them to homeless folks. A friend of ours Stormie DeLarverie a butch drag king said of that first night, “The cop hit me so I hit him back.”  These were the kind of folks who kicked in the door so the many could walk through or so I have been told. When I heard that a little old lady lived upstairs of Stonewall all I could say is, thank the LGBT communities lucky stars she didn’t burn to death. I am not sure and will have to check out more of this history stuff to make sure that people who were and are under attack meet your standards of respectability.You know Mr. Keogh you can thank whatever you thank, that you are not black and trans living on the street. If you were I wonder how much you would love and respect the police how much after being harassed for the umpteenth time how many times you were almost killed before you would lose this attitude?

One thing a big thank you to the groups who are sponsoring this peaceful rally for all of us folks who do not care about fists in the air, leaving our blood behind, smoking at the mic or in the crowd, insulting comments about the police who are always so nice and helpful to old folks who are trying to cross the street or any talk of revolution as that is going just a little bit too far….end of comment.

End of comment. (we thought we went far enough on a respectable pawns of the democrats page.)

Here is what we really will say to the likes of Mr. Keogh and fellow Travelers who are nothing more than pawns in the game of democrat and republicans, who hold back any real advancement and who must be swept away into the dust bins of history. Oh by the way, Mr. Keogh has been nominated for the jerk of the week. Amen to that sister.

Dear Mr. Keogh

Sir, please get your liberal ass out of the way. You are nothing more than a tool of the ruling class, holding everything back and expecting that everyone wants to fight the same old battles over and over again. That does nothing but re-invent the wheel which always ends up missing a few spokes. We need change and we will not get it with or from you. You said “We are in this for the long haul,” yes sir some of us have been fighting since the mid-sixties and you know its your brand of over and over that makes us very weary. It is your brand of back and forth, liberal, than right, right than liberal over and over that will lead us to the path of the first revolution. Maybe a lot of us will die in it but then just maybe you guys will see that it is the only way to go. Or you will act like so many before become a Kapo and turn us all in just because you don’t like our “fantasy revolution.”  Let’s get real here Mr. Keogh. We also would like to add that while you sit home on your liberal ass, the anti-fascist folks in New Haven have been working around the clock building large banners, and planing a response to the Hate Bus that is coming to town. Do you know what the Hate Bus is? Who Citizen Go or NOM is? Who  are these hateful people and what are they saying about Transgender folks? That was the anti-fascist group with the large blue banner speaking about breathing as revolution. Do you know that some of the speakers at trans rally in New Have have been for many years responding to the widespread epidemic of violence against Trans people on a daily basis. There are many reasons we act as we do.

Here is one from my revolution.

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A fantasy revolution? You make us laugh. The revolution is very real. Don’t try to hold us back or the promise from history run all over you and your kind. When push comes to shove, when the present regime lights their Reichstag’s fire and they begin to crack down, which side will you be on? I bet the wrong side of the barricades. You know I told a little lie in my response to your comment. I have been a revolutionary activist for some 54+ years, have met and seen your type in action, and have to say ENOUGH OF YOU!!! You, your thinking are the cause we are still fighting these same old battles over and over again. Hopefully holding us back this time will not be and option that many will take. You are nothing more than tools of the ruling class. Your comments feed into the split, divide and conquer that is being employed across the country. Mr. Keogh you do not lead the band, get out of yourself. No matter what that train is coming down the track and you are not going to stop it. Its been a long time coming and many of us will make damn sure that it pulls into the station. What will be this generations Stonewall? None of us know. Already shots have been fired at our community and more shots are certain to come. A love fest on a Saturday afternoon isn’t going to make it stop, maybe it will make you feel better, or maybe polite society will like you a bit more. Maybe you’ll get on the news and your 5 mins of fame and photos of the day will be all that is accomplished. But you know as Harry Hay once said, When push comes to shove you will find out real fast  that in their eyes you are degenerate and they are not. You will find out real fast that they law you helped to get on the books is no longer there. Here today gone tomorrow. So light your candles in the rain, pray for equality for all, cheer on the speakers as a great philosopher who once wrote on these pages said, “Each one as they may. By any means necessary.” Remember one thing, the powers that be only gave us our rights because we rioted.

 Comments from the page before the removal.
Comment from GLSEN:  John, this is a youth-led and -centered event. Some of the speakers are from allied LGBTQ+ organizations, but most of them are trans youth and friends, parents, or allies of trans youth. There will not only be speeches but some poetry slams and creative performances, chants, and other important gestures of solidarity. While your concerns are understandable, this rally is about respect, affirmation, and unity, not hostility, disrespect, and division.
Comment from #2 Hi John, as an asthmatic, I do share the concern about smoking in the crowd. That’s probably most effective to address on an individual basis, though. I suspect most folks would be understanding if someone near them asks that they move to the edge of the gathering to smoke.

Comment from #2

And while it’s everyone’s choice to decide what kind of expression they’re comfortable being around, I think it’s also important that we respect the very justifiable anger of trans people who have been mistreated by social institutions like police.
Comment from us.  I agree 100 % with Comment #2. The trans community must take the lead in this and I will support them as always by any means necessary by all means possible. I can’t understand why some folks just don’t check out the facts surrounding the police and how they treat the Trans community and other communities. Must live under a rock.
I checked out the GLSEN site and noticed that the posting by Mr. Keog and our comments were removed.
NOTES:
Our brooms are ready!

We have always loved this: The Russian Revolution sent a thrill of joy through the hearts of hundreds of millions of the exploited and oppressed all over the world. Its influence was decisive in the profound wave of revolution which swept eastern and central Europe upon the end of the war. Kings and emperors toppled as this revolutionary upsurge went through Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Balkans. The whole of European capitalism was shaken to its foundations.

If the peoples of the world were inspired by the Russian Revolution, the capitalists of all countries were profoundly shocked by it. In their fright they trembled at the threatened destruction of their whole system of exploitation and robbery.

The hate bus

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REMEMBER:  EVERY REVOLUTION HAS A SPARK.

Our girlfriend and comrade Sylvia Rivera

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