Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!
Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Fightback is based in Illinois, Wisconsin, Northern Florida, California, Colorado, Texas, Lousiana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Southern Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota.
It sprang from a 1999 split in the original Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organizacion Socialista del Camino para la Libertad.
Chapters past & present
Over the past year (2020), Freedom Road Socialist Organization has undergone a period of dramatic growth, and we have emerged as one of the largest revolutionary organizations in the United States. We have been in the forefront of the fight against police crimes. We have systematically developed our work in the labor movement. And we have worked hard to build the movements for African-American and Chicano liberation. We have hundreds of cadre who are working day and night to build the people’s struggle and we will soon have more than 1000 members. FRSO is truly national in scope.
Zachary Schultz - FRSO isn't planning to defeat imperialism at the ballot box but by building up the people's movements and constructing an organization capable of leading a revolution. The defeat of Trump in the election will improve the conditions for these tasks.
- Bill Aiman
- Elizabeth Kramer
- Tom Burke
- Chrisley Carpio
- Frank Chapman
- Alyssa Ferris
- Fern Figueroa
- Linden Gawboy
- Luis Sifuentes
- Kobi Guillory
- Lindsey Hamann
- Ryan Hamann
- Jared Hamil
- Kosta Harlan
- Jerrica Hoey
- Joe Iosbaker
- Toni Dupelchain-Jones
- Regina Joseph
- Mick Kelly
- Kati Ketz
- Angella Khan
- Gabriella Killpack
- Cassia Laham
- Gregory Lucero
- Marisol Marquez
- Sarah Martin
- Dave Schneider
- Michela Martinazzi
- Kait McIntyre
- Tracy Molm
- Sean Orr
- Dustin Ponder
- Michael Sampson
- Dave Schneider
- Jessica Schwartz
- Dave Schneider
- Zachary Schultz
- Brad Sigal
- Jess Sundin
- Masao Suzuki
- Steff Yorek
- Stephanie Weiner
- Danya Zituni
- Chance Zombor
- Erika Zurawski
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) stands in solidarity with you, and we condemn the cowardly attack that was carried out by the authorities of Tyumen at the November 7 event to mark the 103rd anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
We are particularly angered by the police assault on the First Secretary of the Tyumen Regional Committee and Secretary of the Central Committee for Organizational and Party Work, Comrade Alexandr Cherepanov. Leaders of FRSO have meet with Comrade Cherepanov on many occasions at the International Communist Seminar in Belgium, and we have great respect for his views and work.
Working and oppressed people the world over know the proud history of the Russian working class and of the glorious achievement of October 1917. We are glad that Russian communists, such as the Russian Communist Workers Party, are carrying forward the red flag, and are fighting for the reestablishment of socialism. And we stand with you in all who stand in your way!
With Communist Greetings,
Mick Kelly, for the Standing Committee of the CC.
‘No New Cold War on China!’
On October 23 2021, the Twin Cities District of Freedom Road Socialist Organization held an educational event at the University of Minnesota titled "No New Cold War Against China!" The event was part of a yearly celebration of the October socialist revolutions which occurred in Russia (1917) and China (1949). The event's speakers were Autumn Lake of the Anti-War Committee, Mick Kelly of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Danny Haiphong of the Black Agenda Report and Friends of Socialist China.
Speakers discussed a wide range of topics related to the ongoing intensification of U.S. aggression towards the People's Republic of China, ranging from false accusations of human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to hostile U.S. naval exercises in the South China Sea.
Mick Kelly began the event by outlining the revolutionary achievements of socialist China as well as the importance of opposing the New Cold War being waged by the United States. Kelly stated, "This Cold War has the possibility of becoming a hot war due to the actions of the United States along with an array of hostile Western powers, including Japan, marching to Washington DC's drumbeat."
After Kelly, Autumn Lake explained the U.S. intervention strategy of manufacturing false human rights narratives as a pretext for war. Examples included the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and U.S. military intervention in Syria. Lake explained how this pattern of manufacturing consent for U.S. conflict has been recently applied to China through the Hong Kong protests and false accusations of genocide in Xinjiang.
Danny Haiphong summarized the various components of the New Cold War against China. These include the failed trade war initiated under the Trump administration, sanctions against the Communist Party of China and tech firms like Huawei, and the military 'Pivot to Asia' which began under the Obama administration. Haiphong concluded by explaining how the New Cold War reflects a desperate attempt of declining U.S. imperialism to contain the rising socialist advancement of China, as well as the alternative path of global peace and cooperation it offers. A question-and-answer segment concluded the event.
Mick Kelly is a member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of Freedom Road Socialist Organization and is responsible for the organization’s international relations. The following essay appeared in the book, A Century of the Communist Party of China, Statements from 100 Foreign Communists, published by the Contemporary China Publishing House.
- The Chinese people once had three immense mountains on their backs - imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism. The CPC lead the Chinese people in removing these burdens. Old China, beset by the plague of foreign imperialists, warlords, and the land-owning class of parasites, was a nightmare of starvation and subjugation. It was a society unable to save itself, and helpless in the face of adversity.
- The British waged a war for the “right” to sell opium and claimed the city of Hong Kong as its own. The U.S. and other Western powers occupied Beijing in 1900, looting art, burning historic buildings, and mutilating the bodies of those they murdered – for the propose of obtaining an “open door” to exploit the land, labor and resources of the Chinese people. In Shanghai, the foreigners had their own park and they put up a sign, “No dogs or Chinese allowed.” Adding insult to injury they assumed the mantle of “standard bearers of civilization.” New China, the China led by the CPC and supported by other patriotic forces put to end to that.
- Standing on the rostrum of Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1949, the outstanding Marxist–Leninist, Mao Zedong proclaimed, “The Chinese have stood up,” and the much-needed work of building a modern, socialist country commenced.
- Here in the U.S., the importance of the Chinese revolution and the positive example provided by socialism stands out in sharp relief. While the number of poor is growing in the United States, and the standard of living along with life expediency is declining, People’s China is eliminating poverty. Under the leadership of the CPC, China waged a people’s war on the COVID-19 pandemic and brought the crisis under control. Contrast that with the U.S., where a combination of criminal government mismanagement of the pandemic combined with a heath care system that exists only to obtain the highest rate of profit, has left more than half a million people dead. And every day that number grows.
- Anyone who takes the perspective of the working class, and the broad masses of people as a whole, cannot help but to conclude that monopoly capitalism is a failed system that exists to serve the few at the expense of the many.
- Critical to China’s many successes is the commitment to applying the living science of Marxism, or scientific socialism, to the realities of Chinese society. This includes maintaining the leading role of the CPC and adhering to the road of building socialism with characteristics that suit China’s needs. By any standard, the results have been spectacular. For example, the economy of the People’s China has grown every year since 1949. Socialism has proved its superiority time and time again. On the other hand, the economies of the West, including the U.S., are prone to periodic crises of overproduction, where industries are shut down, factories are shuttered, and communities of working-class people are devastated. Be it in regard to tackling the problem of land reform, issues of national development, or contributions on the world stage – there is much for communists everywhere to learn from.
- China like the U.S. has many nationalities. China fosters equality and mutual respect among its different nationalities, and the leaders of the CPC have adopted many positive measures, such as supporting the liberation of Tibetans from serfdom. Compare that with Washington’s dismal human rights record, or with the oppression visited upon the African American people, who face systematic inequality which is enforced by police terror. That is why a major uprising rocked the U.S. following the murder of George Floyd. The people of the U.S. have had enough of racist discrimination and the anger is growing. Monopoly capitalism never solves problems, it causes them.
- Even before taking nationwide political power in 1949, the CPC had made big contributions to the world revolutionary process. By undertaking the national united front against Japan, China along with the Soviet Union made big contributions to the defeat of the fascist powers. The CPC also developed Marxist–Leninist thinking on the problems of national liberation, party building, the need for the people to have their own armed forces, and the necessity of uniting all who can by united in a broad united front for liberation.
- Evaluating the process that led to the creation of the Communist Party and the important role the Party has played, Xi Jinping correctly told the 9th CPC National Congress:
- “A hundred years ago, the salvoes of the October Revolution brought Marxism-Leninism to China. In the scientific truth of Marxism-Leninism, Chinese progressives saw a solution to China's problems. With the advent of modern times, Chinese society became embroiled in intense upheavals; this was a time of fierce struggle as the Chinese people resisted feudal rule and foreign aggression. It was in the midst of this, in 1921, as Marxism-Leninism was integrated with the Chinese workers' movement, that the Communist Party of China was born. From that moment on, the Chinese people have had in the Party a backbone for their pursuit of national independence and liberation, of a stronger and more prosperous country, and of their own happiness; and the mindset of the Chinese people has changed, from passivity to taking the initiative.”
- It cannot be said that the CPC has never made any mistakes because that would be a departure from the facts. That said, the CPC has long advanced the idea that, “practice is the sole criterion of truth,” which has allowed Chinese communists to address problems in a timely way, and that by far and away is the main thing.
- Every person and every political party sometimes make errors. How could it be otherwise? The point however is to be good at summing up one’s practice and have clear criteria to distinguish right from wrong. For example, in the mid to late 1980’s some forces emerged in China that were antagonistic to socialism. With Western backing, they opposed the socialist road and said the “moon shined brighter in the West.” In the end the CPC was able to address these problems, overcome the challenges posed by destructive forces, maintain the leading role of the party in society, and continue on the road of socialist development.
- All this contrasts favorably with the setbacks that impacted some of the socialist countries. Starting in the late 1950’s, the leaders of the USSR departed from Marxism–Leninism, then caused splits in the world communist movement, and allowed corruption to divorce the leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) from the working people. This same process was reproduced in the socialist counties of Eastern Europe. In the end, socialism was destroyed from within by hostile class forces – with the willing assistance of Western imperial powers. The peoples of the USSR and Europe found out through their own bitter experience what happens when capitalism wins out. The result was hunger, degradation, and wars. The accomplishments won by the heroic contributions of the working class and peasantry vanished in an onslaught of reaction. In what was the USSR, millions wish for socialism’s return.
- This experience should stand as reminder to communists everywhere of understanding the great value of what we have, that the socialist counties should be treasured, and clarity about the differences between capitalism and socialism as well as between correct and incorrect, right and wrong.
- In the U.S. there are quite a few leftists who reject dialectical and historical materialism, and instead have adopted the standpoint of subjective idealism. They take the view that if a socialist country is not exactly the way they want it to be – then it is not socialist. This is wrong and contrary to reality.
- The world is a better place for the existence of People’s China and the CPC. The victory of the Chinese revolution transformed the world. At one stroke, a fourth of humanity was liberated from the yoke of imperialism, took the socialist road, and began the journey to a society without classes: communism. This development alone changed the balance of world forces and weakened the position of the imperialist powers in a big way.
- In 1949, the world was a different place. Much of the globe was under the rule of colonial powers who dominated the lives of hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The Chinese revolution gave tremendous energy to the fight to end colonialism and neo-colonialism. It paved the path for the victory in Vietnam, Cuba and many other places. People everywhere want to be free to determine their own destiny. The example, and at times material assistance of China, was a major factor in the fight for independence and national liberation.
- Today the continued existence of the Peoples Republic of China, as well as the other socialist counties are an important factor in the world communist movement and brighten the prospects for socialism on a world scale. It is a good thing that there is an alternative to imperialism.
- Here in the U.S., all the contradictions in society are sharpening as the decline of imperialism picks up speed. Each day more people are looking to socialism as a potential solution to our problems.
- Quite a few leaders of Freedom Road Socialist Organization have traveled to China, some many decades ago, and we look forward to building a closer relationship with the CPC. Marxism–Leninism has done great things for the people of China. It will do the same for the American people. Together, the peoples of the world can accomplish great things.
- While China and the CPC have worked tirelessly for world peace, the same cannot be said of the rulers of the U.S. Wall Street and the Pentagon say that China is a strategic competitor, and they speak of war. This is something that we will always oppose. FRSO fully understands that socialist China wants peace, and we oppose each and every act of our government that is harmful to that end.
- The people of the U.S., China, and indeed the entire world have a shared destiny. What happens to one of us, impacts all of us. We can stand together for a socialist tomorrow. It is a day that is sure to come.
8th Congress of FRSO/FightBack!
By Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!| May 31, 2018.
The 8th Congress of Freedom Road Socialist Organization was a resounding success, and signals a bright future for our efforts to build the people’s struggle, construct a new communist party, and contribute to the process of revolutionary change. Since our 7th Congress in 2014, we have had continuous growth and FRSO is truly national in scope. Delegates attending the Congress came from every region of the country. The Congress saw many people not at our last Congress, including a few more veterans with 40 years or more experience as well as a much larger number of young people including students, workers, and activists in oppressed nationality communities.
The call for the 8th Congress stated:
“Our 8th Congress comes at an important juncture for our organization. Trump is attacking and we have been helping to lead the counter attack. We helped organize the march on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and we have led tens of thousands in the streets since he took office. It is our goal to make this country ungovernable. We have successfully resisted the repression that the state has visited upon us, and those we work with. Our numbers are growing - we have more people in more places. We want to consolidate the gains we have made, and lay plans for further victories.”
Our Political Secretary Steff Yorek opened the 8th Congress, stating:
“Look around, this is a room of extraordinary people. We are revolutionaries. We want to transform society. We are not putting our blood sweat and tears on the table to change the curtains of the ruling class’s house and round off the corners. We are a group of people who are here because we intend to burn down the house and build a new world upon the ashes of the old.”
The Congress adopted political resolutions on the economy, the political situation, and the international situation that provide materialist analyses of the conditions we are facing, and that help illuminate the lay of the land as we make further plans.
The Congress discussed and adopted a number of resolutions on our work to build a new communist party in the U.S., and the need for more young people to join our efforts in the trade unions to fuse Marxism-Leninism and the workers movement.
The Congress elected a new Central Committee to lead our organization. Veteran African American communist Frank Chapman was among those elected, Chapman states, “We are making real progress in building a fighting communist organization, and I am looking forward to more advances in the struggle against police crimes and building the Black liberation movement.”
Messages of greetings from communist and workers parties, national liberation movements, and anti-imperialist organizations were read to the delegates, including messages from the Workers Party of Belgium, Communist Party of Greece, Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist- Leninist), Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany, Fronte Popolare (Italy), Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), International League of Peoples´ Struggle - Jose Maria Sison, Communist Party of Sweden and the Labor Party of Turkey.
A message from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) states, “The CPP congratulates the Freedom Road Socialist Organization for its unprecedented organizational growth. By helping lead the struggles against the right-wing policies of the Trump regime, you are striking deep roots among the toiling masses of workers and other oppressed and exploited groups. In doing so, you are making Marxism-Leninism a truly vibrant and effective instrument of the proletariat for their class liberation.”
State and local affiliates
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Arizona
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! California
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Dallas
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Florida
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Houston
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Illinois
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Minnesota
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! New York
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! North Carolina
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Portland
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Utah
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! Wisconsin
In a December 19, 2005 statement, the new organization wrote;
- The attempt at counter-revolution in China in 1989 and the defeat of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe provided new challenges. Communists within FRSO were quick to assess the importance of the events. Some of our members were confused and got more confused with the passage of time. They finally left our organization in 1999. These were the folks who supported sanctions on Iraq, opposed the socialist countries, and think it’s far “too dangerous” to support national liberation movements like Colombia’s FARC. The only time they say they are Marxist-Leninists is when they visit other countries. Maybe time and reality will help them rethink things.
- Over the past six years, one of the many things we have done is work for the unity of Marxist-Leninists in U.S. We have had many meetings with comrades in other organizations to talk things over and more than a little work on common projects. That said, we recognize that the key to building a revolutionary movement in the U.S. and to building a new party of the working class - a new communist party - is to bring in new people. We need to build the people’s struggles, raise the level of knowledge and understanding and help the most active and foresighted become Marxists. Fusing Marxism and working-class movement is our central task.
- In a 1999 statement, we wrote: “FRSO realizes that the task of building communist organization is by no means easy or simple. We have much work in front of us. That being said, we have every confidence in the future. In one of his poems, the leader of the Chinese revolution, Mao Zedong, noted, ‘The world cries out for things to be done.’ We will continue to advance the ranks of the doers and shakers.”
FBI raids/Obama connection
In the early morning of Sept. 24, 2010, FBI agents raided homes in Chicago and Minneapolis, issued subpoenas to 14 activists, and tried to question others around the country, including prominent antiwar organizers in North Carolina and California.
At 7 a.m., according to documents and interviews, about a dozen armed federal agents used a battering ram to force their way into Mick Kelly’s second-floor apartment, which sits over an all-night coffee shop in a working-class neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The probe — involving subpoenas to 23 people and raids of seven homes last fall — has triggered a high-powered protest against the Department of Justice and, in the process, could create some political discomfort for President Obama with his union supporters as he gears up for his reelection campaign.
The apparent targets are concentrated in the Midwest, including Chicagoans who crossed paths with Obama when he was a young state senator and some who have been active in labor unions that supported his political rise.
Investigators, according to search warrants, documents and interviews, are examining possible “material support” for Colombian and Palestinian groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorists.
The apparent targets, all vocal and visible critics of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and South America, deny any ties to terrorism. They say the government, using its post-9/11 focus on terrorism as a pretext, is targeting them for their political views.
They are “public non-violent activists with long, distinguished careers in public service, including teachers, union organizers and antiwar and community leaders,” said Michael Deutsch, a Chicago lawyer and part of a legal team defending those who believe they are being targeted by the investigation.
Several activists and their lawyers said they believe indictments could come anytime, so they have turned their organizing skills toward a counteroffensive, decrying the inquiry as a threat to their First Amendment rights.
Those who have been subpoenaed, most of them non-Muslim, include clerical workers, educators and in one case a stay-at-home dad. Some are lesbian couples with young children — a point apparently noted by investigators, who infiltrated the activists’ circle with an undercover officer presenting herself as a lesbian mother.
All 23 of the activists invoked their right not to testify before a grand jury, defying U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, whose office is spearheading the investigation.
A spokesman for Fitzgerald, the Chicago prosecutor whose past work has sometimes riled both political parties, declined to comment.
It is uncertain whether Obama is aware of the investigation. A White House official referred questions to the Justice Department, where spokesman Matthew Miller said the agency will not comment on an investigation, but he disputed any assertion that people would be targeted for political activities.
“Whenever we open an investigation, it is solely because we have a reason to do so based on the facts, evidence and the law, ”Miller said.
The activists formed the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, organized phone banks to flood Attorney General Eric Holder.’s office and the White House with protest calls, solicited letters from labor unions and faith-based groups and sent delegations to Capitol Hill to gin up support from lawmakers.
Labor backers include local and statewide affiliates representing the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, two of the most influential unions in the liberal movement. So far, nine members of Congress have written letters to the administration asking questions.
The major national labor organizations have not gotten involved in the case and are considered likely to support Obama’s reelection next year.
But some state and local union organizations are expressing alarm about the case, saying that the government appears to be scrutinizing efforts by workers to build ties with trade unionists in other countries.
“I am so disgusted when I see that so many union people have been targeted in this,” said Phyllis Walker, president of AFSCME Local 3800, which represents clerical workers at the University of Minnesota, including four members who are possible targets.
The union’s statewide group, which says it represents 46,000 workers, called on Obama to investigate and passed a resolution expressing “grave concern” about the raids. Similar resolutions have been approved by statewide AFSCME and SEIU affiliates in Illinois.
If there are indictments, the case could test a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that found the ban on material support for designated foreign terrorist groups does not necessarily violate the First Amendment — even if the aid was intended for peaceful or humanitarian uses. The ruling held that any type of support could ultimately help a terrorist group’s pursuit of violence.
The probe appears to date from 2008, as a number of activists began planning for massive antiwar demonstrations at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
After the convention, the FBI’s interest continued, apparently focused on the international work pursued by many of the participants. Several activists said they had traveled to Colombia or the Palestinian territories on “fact-finding” trips designed to bolster their case back home against U.S. military support for the Israeli and Colombian governments.
In 2009, a group raised money to travel and deliver about $1,000 to a Palestinian women’s group, but the delegation was turned back by officials at the airport in Israel, organizers said.
Search warrants, subpoenas and documents show that the FBI has been interested in links between the activists and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah.
Kelly, 53, a cook in a University of Minnesota dormitory and a member of the Teamsters, said he was at work and his nightgown-clad wife, Linden Gawboy, was slow to answer the door.
Apparently by accident, the agents left something behind: a packet of secret documents headlined “Operation Order,” laying out detailed instructions for the FBI SWAT team to find clues of Kelly’s activism, including personal finances or those of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, a far-left group he works with. The documents point to the FBI’s interest in Kelly’s foreign travel.
“We’ve done absolutely nothing wrong,” Kelly said. “We don’t know what this is about, but we know that our rights to organize and speak out are being violated.”
Tom Burke, who received a subpoena Sept. 24, had in 2004 discussed the plight of murdered Colombian trade unionists with then-state senator Obama.
“He was a sympathetic ear,” Burke said, recalling that Obama told him the murders were a “human rights problem.”
In Chicago, the raid at the home of Stephanie Weiner, 49, also targeted her husband, Joe Iosbaker, 52, a University of Illinois-Chicago office worker and a union steward for his SEIU local. The couple are among the grassroots activists close to the world once inhabited by Barack Obama who have been caught up in the investigation.
Like others, Weiner and Iosbacker have been fixtures on the local liberal political scene, protesting police actions, attending antiwar rallies, leading pay equity fights and even doing some volunteer work for Obama’s past campaigns.
Hatem Abudayyeh, one of seven Palestinians to be subpoenaed in the investigation, recalls encountering Obama in the community during his years as a state legislator. Abudayyeh, 40, is executive director of the Arab American Action Network, a Chicago advocacy group that hosted then-state senator Obama for at least two events.
Solidarity with WWP
Fight Back News Service is circulating statement from Standing Committee of Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! (FRSO) to the Workers World Party National Conference. The statement was delivered to the conference on Nov. 18 2017, by Tom Burke, the Organizational Secretary of FRSO.
- The Freedom Road Socialist Organization salutes the Workers World Party National Conference and your successful year in advancing the people’s struggle and building your party. We appreciate the leadership of 1st Secretary Larry Holmes and the WWP Secretariat in promoting revolutionary politics and unity in action.
- Our unity in the struggle sets a good example for others to emulate. We memorably joined together to lead the two big protests outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. People around the world heard our message opposing Trump and the Republicans agenda, taking a stand against racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim attacks. Then we helped ruin Trump’s inauguration on January 20 in Washington D.C., rallying outside Union Station and marching through the streets.
- The bond between our groups is precious. The FRSO will never forget the concrete solidarity the WWP provided when the FBI raided the Anti-war 23 in 2010. You lifted us up, and by gathering others, we defeated the U.S. government repression of the anti-war movement and stopped the attempted imprisonment of FRSO leaders.
- Like you, we look forward to another year of fighting back! Our movements can defeat Trump without waiting for an election. Together we are strong. We cheered when the WWP comrades tore down the Confederate statue in Durham, NC! We will never allow Nazis to march in our streets, not in Charlottesville, nor anywhere else!
- Comrades, more and more working-class and oppressed people are awakening and looking for a new society. Support for socialism among younger people is growing by leaps and bounds. Now is the time to spread revolutionary ideas, combined with action!
- Comrades, we raise our fists in solidarity and unity!
Alessio Arena, secretary general of the Italian communist group Fronte Popolare (Popular Front), spoke to a full house at the Solidarity Center in Manhattan on Sept. 5 2019 about the role of European imperialism in the world and the central role of German imperialism in controlling the direction of the European Union.
As Arena pointed out, the EU is the largest single economic market in the world. It plays a reactionary and oppressive role in Africa and Central Asia, sometimes allied to the U.S. and sometimes in competition with the U.S., but always against the interests of the working class and all oppressed nations.
One example Arena gave of the competition is the EU countries’ push to continue the pact reached with Iran regarding nuclear arms at a time when the current U.S. government has broken that pact. Another was his description of the complex relationship of German imperialism with capitalist Russia.
Workers World Party and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, both of which have fraternal relations with Fronte Popolare, sponsored the meeting. Arena thanked both organizations and expressed the wish to continue to share experiences. He expects that all the experiences of organizations with communist goals in this difficult post-Soviet period will be useful in building a new movement striving for socialism and communism worldwide.
FRSO member Michela Martinazzi introduced Arena, while Blair Bertaccini provided consecutive interpretation of Arena’s talk from Italian to English. Sara Flounders of WWP added an announcement about the many public demonstrations planned for late September at the United Nations, particularly those in mass response to the climate crisis. Richard Kossally chaired the meeting.
Frank Chapman, FRSO Central Committee member, and Joe Iosbaker, a leading member in the Chicago FRSO district, reiterated the statement issued by the organization in the hours following the attempted assassination of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Comrades Chapman and Iosbaker also offered any assistance that the movement in the U.S. can provide to support the Bolivarian revolution, and to end U.S. Intervention in their internal affairs.
Rincon explained that the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is demanding that two suspects who were involved in the attempted assassination who are living in the United States be returned to Venezuela for prosecution.
Rincon expressed her appreciation for FRSO’s solidarity and said the FRSO statement will be published on the website of the Foreign Ministry of Venezuela. She also asked for FRSO’s continuing support for their demands for an end to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.
Rincon expressed her support for the struggle of people in this country for justice, especially for the rights of immigrants, and for Black people's struggle against police crimes. Chapman, who is also the Field Organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, updated her about the struggle for community control of the police in Chicago, a campaign which is at a critical point because of the crisis in Chicago since the exposure of the cover up of the murder of Laquan McDonald. Iosbaker, a steering committee member of the Alliance, related that it was at an event at the consulate in 2016 that Alderman Carlos Rosa first offered to sponsor the legislation for an elected civilian, police accountability council (CPAC).
FRSO ML School
FRSO ML School public FB group, October 2 2020:
Admins and Moderators
- Delilah Pierre Florida State University. Created group on June 23, 2020.
- Zachary Schultz Sorter at UPS- Jefferson Hub
- Andy Koch Chicago, Illinois
- Carly Bultez Salt Lake City, Utah
- Brad Sigal Owner/Photographer at Sigal Photos
- James Piehl University of Illinois Chicago
- Kim DeFranco
- Jade Arter
- Mick Kelly
- Andrew Lacay Works at CFC- YOUTH FOR CHRIST
- Kristin Evans
- Brendan Freeman Tallahassee, Florida
- Manuel Paez Tallahassee, Florida
- Jacob Muldoon Works at Seminole High School Theatre Company
- Megan Greenwood University of Michigan
- Sierra Christanna Flagler College
- John Ocampo Florida State University
- Miles Newmyer That History Kid at International Baccalaureate
- Theo Meros
- Dawn Orocio
- Anthony Suarez Hillsborough High School (Tampa, Florida)
- Arturo Alvarez Florida State University
- Journee Francoise New York, New York
- Jonce Marshall Palmer
- Angela Grace Stagehand at IATSE 115
- Luis Sifuentes
- Nick Godfrey
- Zach Moore
- Michael Ohsen
- Nicole Amos Works at UPS
- Toni Dupelchain-Jones
- Ze Ke
New members had joined by April 2 2021.
- Danielle Woods University of North Florida
- Frank Chapman Washington University in St. Louis
- Josh Sykes
- Perry Berry
- Sierra Bush Rester Flagler College
- Clio Jensen Bryn Mawr College
- Junaid Ibrahim Works at Radio TNN Pashto
- Persephone Oliver
- Joe Cooper
- Darwin Argueta Salt Lake City, Utah
- [http://www.fightbacknews.org/2018/5/31/8th-congress-freedom-road-socialist-organization-we-will-make-new-world-ashes-old FB News, 8th Congress of Freedom Road Socialist Organization: We will make a new world on the ashes of the old By Freedom Road Socialist Organization | May 31, 2018]
- Freedom Road Socialist Organization: 20 Years of Struggle, FRSO website, accessed December 21, 2010
- [https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/activists-cry-foul-over-fbi-probe/2011/06/09/AGPRskTH_story.html?utm_term=.d0a671c9e372WaPo Activists cry foul over FBI probe By Peter Wallsten June 13, 2011]
- FB News, The Freedom Road Socialist Organization salutes the Workers World Party National Conference 2017 By staff | November 20, 2017
- FB News, Freedom Road Socialist Organization meets with Venezuelan Consulate, conveys solidarity By staff | August 8, 2018