The socialist youth in Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) are proud to send five delegates (their pics are below) to the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students in Quito, Ecuador from December 7 – 13. The World Festival of Youth and Students brings together 15,000+ young people from every continent to discuss and plan the next stages of the worldwide anti-imperialist movement. During a time of endless imperialist war and economic crisis, this conference will take up the importance of young people fighting alongside the working class and oppressed peoples of the world to build a future of peace, solidarity, social transformation and people’s power.
Bao from LA
Andy from North Carolina
Danielle from North Carolina
Caleb from New York
Colleen from Baltimore
by Tommy Cavanaugh
Members of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) led a march of 30 people on Nov. 5 through the streets of downtown Rockford, Ill. With the theme of “Stop the racist wars at home and abroad!” the multinational and multigenerational group targeted institutions such as the Rockford Police Department, Chase Bank and City Hall.
Contrasting the ever-increasing military budget with the lack of funding for people’s needs, FIST exposed imperialism as the driving force behind the war on workers and oppressed people here and around the world.
When rallying at the police station, protesters chanted, “Who can we trust? Not the police!” and “Jobs not jails!” Their words filled the streets as FIST denounced police terror against oppressed communities and demanded an end to the prison-industrial complex. In a city torn apart by mass unemployment and incarceration, these demands resonated with onlookers who overwhelmingly supported the march.
At City Hall, youth spoke out on the lack of jobs, a crumbling education system and the criminalization of young people. In this period of unending capitalist crisis, youth are stepping up to the task of mobilizing in their communities and taking more of a leading role in the political movement.
4 of the members of the CUNY 6 in Manhattan Criminal Court
Students at City University of New York (CUNY) have heroically protested
against militarism and injustice on their campus. Their target has been
former U.S. Army General and CIA chief David Petraeus. Petraeus is a poster
child for the crimes U.S. imperialism has committed around the world.
In a campaign of revolutionary activism, the students have refused to give
Petraeus peace. They have protested him loudly and militantly. In
retaliation for these heroic acts students were beaten and arrested. Now
six students face criminal charges as a result of their actions in
solidarity with people the world.
The Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, a group of CUNY students
who have embraced revolutionary communist politics as they lead students in
struggle, has been the specific target of the capitalist state in effort to
suppress student activism.
Sandor John, a professor at CUNY, is being targeted in a fascistic right-wing
media campaign. FOX news has loudly called for his termination for daring
to march alongside his students against a war criminal professor.
Fight Imperialism – Stand Together (FIST) stands with the CUNY 6, demanding
that all charges be dropped. We demand that the witch-hunt against Sandor
John be halted, and that students and faculty be allowed to continue
organizing against injustice.
We hold up the CUNY 6 and their comrades struggling against Petraeus as an
example of what youth around the country and the world should aspire to be
like. They have been fearless in their efforts to stand up against a local
incarnation of imperialism.
DROP ALL CHARGES!
FREE EDUCATION FOR ALL!
COPS, CIA, ROTC, OFF OF THE CAMPUSES!
Some of the participants in the 2012 WWP conference singing the Internationale at the end of the conference
The looming global financial crisis has already hurt young people, leaving nearly 75 million young people unemployed around the world. When countries suffer economically, young workers are usually the last in and first out. From a lack of social services to slim opportunities for housing or jobs, it’s no shock that young people feel like they are left without any opportunities for prosperity or even stability.
Many young people know in their guts that the capitalist system is corrupt and is failing them. They provided on-the-ground leadership to the occupations of Zucotti Park that led to Occupy Wall Street and were on the front lines of the rallies, rebellions and protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
As the revolutionary, working-class youth of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), we are reminded of Dr. Martin Luther King’s indictment of economic inequities in the U.S.: “Socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.” We are excited to have the opportunity to invite young activists and freedom fighters from across the country to the Nov. 16-17 Workers World Party national conference in New York City, as we have been invited to be a focus of this year’s gathering with our own workshop and plenary speakers. The FIST plenary session will take place at noon on Nov. 16 followed by the FIST lunchtime workshop at 1 p.m. We aren’t content with the idea that our generation’s future can wait.With the unique exuberance and revolutionary optimism of our generation, we are ready to lay the groundwork for organizing a society where people’s needs come first.
The ruling class has its own schedule of meetings, summits and conferences to discuss how to divide and conquer the multinational working class here and abroad. From the United Nations to NATO to the Group of Eight, or G8 forum, leaders of imperialist countries, transnational corporations and military officials talk at length to build an analysis, strategy and plan on how to maintain and increase profits. That’s why it’s all the more necessary for working-class people of all nationalities, faith backgrounds, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations and abilities to come together and strategize our own united plans to take back our world from the ruling class.
In a society where we are constantly told that we aren’t smart enough, good enough, beautiful enough or strong enough to deserve a life of happiness and dignity, many working-class people feel like they have nothing to contribute to the movement for liberation. FIST youth want to extend a welcoming and warm invitation to all young people. It’s a rare opportunity for us as young activists to get to share the stage at these important discussions on building people’s power, but we know that we represent a generation of creativity and innovation. The youth need a revolution!
If you need assistance planning your trip to NYC for November 16-17, call us at 267-825-7148.
Detroit is at war. On one side, the banks and their politicians destroy large sections of the city, leaving behind empty homes, blight in the communities, homeless people, and hundreds of thousands without jobs. On the other, the workers and oppressed who create the wealth for those who in return squeeze us out of what little we have, who call the city home. But we are not alone – the same banks who profit on our misery are the same banks who terrorize cities all across the US, as well as super-exploit and murder our brothers and sisters around the world. In every corner of the world, it is the same fight against the same colossal monster. It is an international struggle with clearly defined class interests which crosses all national frontiers. We call for unity with workers in all countries fighting the global capitalist class – without it, victory is out of our grasps.
Five years after the $10 trillion bailout of Bank of America, Chase Bank, and all the gigantic predatory banks, the City of Detroit is missing 200,000 people. 200,000 children, mothers, fathers, students, whose lives have been foreclosed upon, many times kicked out over a few hundred dollars. Thousands have fled their City because of the all out war on Detroit waged by the banks, big auto, and their political representatives.
Young people bear the brunt of poverty. 48% of Detroit children live below the unlivable federal poverty level. Unemployment for adults in Detroit is officially at 18.8%, meanwhile the unemployment rate for African American youth age 16-19 is 43%, in a city whose population is 85% black. These numbers don’t even count those who have stopped looking for work, underemployed, or those who are incarcerated.
We are tired of the conversations surrounding the future of Detroit not including people of color. The problem of gentrification is not unique to Detroit, but has been perfected here as a way to further marginalizing black and brown communities? When our schools are underfunded and run more like prisons than educational institutions, the message we get is the elite want to “clear” out our neighborhoods. FIST youth know that working class people gain the most for their families and communities when we work together across race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion to build a fighting movement ready to take back our cities.
As young people, our generation knows only endless wars and occupations, school closings, unemployment, and penitentiaries. We have been collectively written off as having no room to be assimilated into their capitalist system. The capitalists cannot give us work so they shut down our schools and give us new prisons and endless war. They tell us that the future is negotiable, based on global competition, yet we know these are just lies to further excuse imperialism, that deems people as disposable.
FIST youth applaud the International People’s Assembly against the Banks and against Austerity. Our gathering in Detroit, at the epicenter of the capitalist’s war on the people, will have an important impact on fighting the Emergency Manager and the banks’ plans to push Detroit into bankruptcy, further ruining the lives of workers and young people in Detroit. We join in calling for a broader assembly movement, a democratic fight back which develops in communities, in workplaces, across the US and beyond to develop new organs of power of, by, and for the working class apart from the elected officials and their system which is bought and paid for by the wealthy.
While the banks drop the bombs on Detroit in the form of subprime mortgages, debt swaps, foreclosures, and evictions, they also cause massive destruction for workers and young people worldwide. The World Bank and the IMF work hand in hand to further exploit and recolonize countries across the globe. Similarly, these same banks and corporations, through their representatives in the US Congress and NATO, invade countries like Syria, Libya, Iraq and , all with the goal dominating new markets and increasing their profits. They continue to set their sights on countries such as Iran, People’s Korea, Cuba, and all peoples who dare to stand against their plans.
Some people assume that young people are just apathetic, that we go on our day to day lives completely unaware and unmoved by the attacks against us. To that, we young people say that we very clearly see this war against us and have every desire to fight back. What we lack in experience, we gain in enthusiasm and energetic defense of our right to a future.
Young people demand a society which prioritizes people’s needs and human development over the needs for bankers to make profit. If the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, or the United States refuses to give us what we need, we have the right and responsibility to overthrow those who stand in our way and create a new society based on humanity, respect, and dignity for all. We believe that the only way to create this society is to abolish the predatory banks, to abolish the profit-hungry corporations, and to replace these with industries controlled by the workers and the people. We call this socialism and we know it to be the future, the only way out of this crisis.