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News :: Organizing
Activists launch 'Summer of Organizing and Struggle'
27 Jul 2006
A contingent from the Boston Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Committee (BRPHRDC) hit the streets for a mass leaflet distribution July 22. Traveling through mostly working class communities of color, organizers were busy informing people about the committee’s Summer of Organizing and Struggle campaign against poverty, racism, sexism and war.
rosaparks.jpg
This campaign, being taken to the neighborhoods of Boston, is making the connection “between the local violence in the community and the U.S. war drive and economic crisis on the poor, working class and oppressed peoples, especially Black and Latin@ in Boston and the nation,” according to the campaign call.

The action focused on mobilizing for a July 30 citywide activists’ summit at the Cultural Cafe in Jamaica Plain, Mass. and an Aug. 29 rally in Roxbury, Mass., on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as well as the date Emmett Till was murdered in 1955.

A main focus of the rally will be demanding justice and reparations for those displaced by Katrina/Rita as a result of the criminal and racist neglect of the U.S. government. Other demands include “Money for people’s needs, not war,” “Stop the attacks on the LGBT community,” “Full rights for the immigrant communities,” “Stop Homeland Security attacks,” “Money for levees—Not racist border walls,” and “End colonial occupations.”

A multinational delegation of the BRPHRDC youth committee named “Rosa 7053” led the outreach contingent, distributing hundreds of bilingual leaflets and speaking to the people in English, Creole and Spanish from a mobile sound truck. The committee’s name refers to the booking number that Birmingham police gave Rosa Parks in 1955.

Eric Jones, a Rosa 7053 member, implored those along the route to join the people’s struggle. “Come organize with us. Come support us,” declared Jones from the microphone on the truck.

The route taken included community centers, shopping plazas and districts, and Bromley Heath, a public housing development well known for rampant police racial profiling and brutality. Many along the city streets and front porches raised their thumbs or fists and nodded their heads or honked horns in solidarity with the contingent.

Rico Holley summed up the organizers’ message.

“I’m totally against the Bush agenda—against war, occupation and racism—whether in Boston, Iraq, Lebanon or Palestine. I’m for affordable housing for all, education and other people’s needs. These are all basic rights, not privileges,” said Holley, a member of the Boston International Action Center, who lives in Martha’s Vineyard and works as a painter there.

OPPRESSION BREEDS RESISTANCE

Lorena Escoto, Rosa 7053 member and participant in the July 22 outreach contingent, said her personal experiences of racism and sexism, witnessing wholesale police brutality in her community and military recruiting in schools and many other forms of oppression, brought her to join BRPHRDC. These experiences led her to conclude, “It’s time to take action.”

Escoto participated in building Dec. 1 and March 18 RPHRDC rallies and marches by distributing leaflets, making home visits and helping on speakers’ committees, amid other tasks.

According to Noelia Cabrera, Escoto’s activism inspired her to take action as well. The two Dominican friends are participating in major outreach for July 30 and Aug. 29.

Like Escoto, Cabrera joined Rosa 7053 to fight the oppression in her community. “We don’t want to just talk the talk. We want to walk the walk,” said Cabrera.

Cabrera and Escoto said upcoming plans for Rosa 7053 include building awareness through school and community outreach, meetings, workshops, as well as movie and music nights.

Andrew King, a student at Philadelphia’s Temple University who is in Boston for the summer break, said when asked why he joined Rosa 7053 and was participating in the July 22 day of outreach: “To stand for justice and equality and rally against the criminal actions of our racist government and to talk to the people. We must mobilize from the bottom up.”

TO THE STREET!

As the sound truck wound its way back to the Boston IAC office, a downpour couldn’t dampen the activists’ spirits. Hoisting umbrellas to shield themselves from the worst of the rain, they persevered, talking to the people and chanting the demands of the July 30 and Aug. 29 actions.

Organizers discussed plans for similar street outreach actions to take place every Saturday throughout the summer and increasing as Aug. 29 nears.

General meetings for the RPHRDC are held every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Cultural Café, 76 Atherton St. in Jamaica Plain, Mass. For more information call (617) 524-3507, email rosaparksday (at) brphd.com, or visit www.brphrd.com or www.iacboston.org.

-- 30 --

Labor donated
See also:
http://www.brphrd.com
http://www.iacboston.org

This work is in the public domain.
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Comments

Young People Can Organize Themselves, Thank You.
27 Jul 2006
This is tokenizing, patronizing and exploiting young people of color, plain and simple. The mostly white central committee of the Workers World Party aka "International Action Center" aka "Troops Out Now" is having a field day at the expense of Boston youth. Fuck that. Go back to selling papers. Young people can organize themselves.
See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers_World_Party
rosa parks coalition rocks
27 Jul 2006
You know, for all the negative things I've heard about the IAC, I have to say that some people within it have done a great job empowering the black community. At least that's what I've seen as an outsider. An it's the only group that offered support to the Somerville 5. The fundraising concert was organized by the youth themselves...

Maybe you're patronizing black people by implying they can be "influenced" by the IAC?
(International A.O.W.C.U.T.G.D.F.P)
27 Jul 2006
Just so everyone has the facts about who the WWP and IAC are and their unpleasant positions on global issues. Read them for yourselves and make a judgment about their work in Boston and in general. (Links are from their own websites).

•Supported the Chinese government's 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre
http://www.workers.org/ww/tienanmen.html

•Supports the North Korean dictatorship of Kim Jong Il
http://www.workers.org/ww/2002/korea0425.php
http://www.workers.org/ww/2002/korea0509.php

•Views Iraq's Saddam Hussein as a beacon of anti-imperialist resistance
http://www.workers.org/ww/2001/iraq0125.html

•Defends the genocidal Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic
http://www.iacenter.org/yugo_milosdeligation.htm
http://www.workers.org/ww/2002/larry0228.php
http://www.workers.org/ww/2001/milosevic1108.php
http://shadow.autono.net/sin001/clark.htm

International A.N.S.W.E.R. is a post-9/11 creation of the International Action Center, one of many front groups for the Workers World Party.

See this site for more info:
Authoritarian Opportunists Who Cozy Up To Genocidal Dictators - for Peace (International A.O.W.C.U.T.G.D.F.P)
http://www.authoritarianopportunistswhocozyuptogenocidaldictators-forpea/