Call for the Buffalo Self-Defense Alliance

 

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To all the justice minded people of Buffalo,

 

This past weekend we were all witness to two lynching. The lynchings were of young Trayvon Martin and of the fantasy of fairness in America. Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman and that fantasy was killed with the non-guilty verdict which was announced Saturday night. Unfortunately no matter what we or other may want to do to Zimmerman none of those things will bring back Trayvon. On the other hand the fantasy of fairness, which barely had life before the trial, can become a reality in this nation…if we are willing to put in the work.

 

              Here is America today. It is a racist, sexist nation that has proven to us that even in the most innocent circumstances that black life is not worth anything to it. Everyday nationwide people of color, especially black people, face the brutality of the police, an entity which was birthed out of the slave catching brigades. The courts which in the past decided that we were not human, has done nothing to punish those police who decide to take our lives. We are on our own. There will be no backup for neither Africans nor other oppressed people in America. If we are going to make sure that we don’t repeat 2012, where 313 black people were killed by cops, we need organization and unity not unlike what our oppressors have.

 

              Fight the Power is calling on all progressive forces and people to join us in creating a united front against all forms of racist violence as well as the internal violence that prevents us from reaching our full potential. The reason we call for a united front is simply that in order for us to defend ourselves against a highly organized and violent institution we need to bring as many forces to bear as we possibly can. Put simply if we do not unite we will continue to see the slaughter of young people of color, LGBT’s, poor people, and women by the police. Buffalo in particular has a very long history of police brutality and racist violence and now is the time to stand against it.

 

              We are inviting every interested individual and organization to join us this Friday, July 19th at 6pm in 2 Diefendorf Hall at UB South Campus. Here we will present our ideas on what we are tentatively calling the Buffalo Self-Defense Alliance will look like, the goals of such an alliance, and how we propose we go forward in building it. If you would like more information about the event or the initiative please contact me at the information below. Let’s stand united against racism, repression, and violence because as Fredrick Douglass said many years ago:

 

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

 

-William Richardson, PR and Membership Representative of Fight the Power

 

Phone: 404-713-0743

 

Email: fightthepowerbuffalo@gmail.com

Fight the Power is a Pan-African and Black Feminist organization based in Buffalo, NY which works for the unity of African people against capitalism, racism, patriarchy, and imperialism

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Fight the Power’s Finished Manifesto Published

469821_413202085389672_1899887535_o.jpgAny organization that seeks to make change in society has to have a plan and a set of principles it can communicate to others. Fight the Power in that spirit set out a few months ago to write our political ideals, program, and philosophy down on paper. The product of that work is at the end of this post. We encourage anyone who is interested in our organization, what we’re about, or is thinking of joining to read this document. If you have any questions or comments about the document or our organization please email us at fightthepowerbuffalo@gmail.com or leave a comment here.

Manifesto on Google Docs

Manifesto Word Doc

Manifesto PDF

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Release Draft of FTP’s Manifesto Live on Google Docs

We are proud to say that the release draft of Fight the Power’s manifesto laying out our ideals and our political program is live on Google Docs. We encourage all interested to head over to the link below, read through the document and make any comments or suggestions you feel necessary. A number of people have already checked it out over this week and we would LOVE your input too. So head there now!

Document Link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jUFL80QY6v2LBX_xeBTpwxYcktaPoqau-S6wNbjBIc8/edit

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Candle Light Vigil Tonight

Fight the Power is having it’s candle light vigil for victims of racial profiling tonight. It will be at 8pm in front of the Health Science Library at UB South Campus. We will have an open mic for people to speak about their experiences of racial profiling and police violence. We will light 31 candles in memory of 31 victims of racial profiling and violence. We will then march silently down Main St. to Lasalle Ave and back to campus where we will end with closing remarks.

We want to do this even as a way of connecting issues of profiling at UB with the same issues happening in Buffalo and elsewhere in the country. Our future as black people and generally as people in this nation will be hinged on how well we can organize with like minded people to end abuses like these. We encourage any and everyone from both Buffalo and UB to come out to the vigil. If you are not able to make it we will be having other events through the rest of the year and going into the fall that we will keep everyone updated on.

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Co­lo­ni­al­ism in Africa helped launch the HIV epidemic a century ago

(From The Washington Post)

By  and Daniel Halperin

Published: February 27

We are unlikely to ever know all the details of the birth of the AIDS epidemic. But a series of recent genetic discoveries have shed new light on it, starting with the moment when a connection from chimp to human changed the course of history.

We now know where the epidemic began: a small patch of dense forest in southeastern Cameroon. We know when: within a couple of decades on either side of 1900. We have a good idea of how: A hunter caught an infected chimpanzee for food, allowing the virus to pass from the chimp’s blood into the hunter’s body, probably through a cut during butchering.

As to the why, here is where the story gets even more fascinating, and terrible. We typically think of diseases in terms of how they threaten us personally. But they have their own stories. Diseases are born. They grow. They falter, and sometimes they die. In every case these changes happen for reasons.

For decades nobody knew the reasons behind the birth of the AIDS epidemic. But it is now clear that the epidemic’s birth and crucial early growth happened during Africa’s colonial era, amid massive intrusion of new people and technology into a land where ancient ways still prevailed. European powers engaged in a feverish race for wealth and glory blazed routes up muddy rivers and into dense forests that had been traveled only sporadically by humans before.

The most disruptive of these intruders were thousands of African porters. Forced into service by European colonial powers, they cut paths through the exact area that researchers have now identified as the birthplace of the AIDS epidemic. It was here, in a single moment of transmission from chimp to human, that a strain of virus called HIV-1 group M first appeared.

In the century since, it has been responsible for 99 percent of all of the world’s deaths from AIDS — not just in Africa but in Moscow, Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, New York, Washington. All that began when the West forced its will on an unfamiliar land, causing the essential ingredients of the AIDS epidemic to combine.

It was here, by accident but with motives by no means pure, that the world built a tinderbox and tossed in a spark. Continue reading

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Fight the Power Updates- Week of 2/26/12

Although I am doing this late this week from now on expect an weekly update about FTP activities, organizational business and issues every Sunday night or Monday morning in your inbox and on our facebook page. Here are our updates for this week:

Upcoming events

Fight the Power Organizational Meeting
Sunday March 4th 2012
2-4pm in Clemens 117
Major topic for the meeting: writing our manifesto and statement of beliefs/ orientation packet

The Liberation Circle Discussion Group- “Say It Like It Is” (joint meeting with LGBTA)
Monday March 5th 2012
6-7pm 145A

SISH Council Meeting
March 7 2012
6pm in Obrian 112

Organization Tasks (Things all members need to do before the next Sunday meeting)

Per our constitution, every member is open to joining our working committees to help do the work of Fight the Power. We took the time this past Sunday to allow everyone to chose what committees they want to work with. If you were not at the meeting but still want to join on of the committees please go to this Google Doc and feel free to add yourself to the list of at least two committees that you want to work with. The committee chairs will be contacting you by Tuesday with more info on doing the actual work of the committee.

Committee Chairs/ E-board Members- You will need to by Monday figure out how you want to run your individual committees. This includes forms of communication and when you want to meet for committee work, if at all. Email me (wjr2@buffalo.edu) by Tuesday with a short snippet of how you will be running your committee so we have it for our records.

All our members, old and new, need to take some time and read through our constitution. We are a democratic organization and the first step to being able to run effectively is for everyone to know their responsibilities and rights as members. So I attached the constitution so you can read through it.

Other News and Quips

In conjunction with Jade and the Records Committee I will be setting up membership (and some publicly) accessible documents detailing committee assignments for the week, minutes from our meetings, committee membership and other info so everyone has access to them right from our website. We have to have this up and running by Sunday so we can show it off to everyone.

We have a serious eye towards recruiting more members this semester. If you have anyone you think would be interested in what we are doing, please invite them out to our planning meetings or if they can’t make it then to the Liberation Circle. Our organization can only grow if we get out there in the streets and work and part of that work is bringing in new blood and fresh ideas.

I hope to see all of you at one of our upcoming meetings or events and until then stay safe everyone and as always keep up the struggle.

-William Richardson

~The Constitution is linked here~

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Fighting for Freedom vs Liberation

For this post I want to deal with two oft used and abused terms in political discourse, freedom and liberation. We have thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands of organizations that use the terms freedom” and/or “liberation” in their names and manifestos. People call for freedom from tyranny and liberation of X people. In the United States, our liberal democracy and its Constitution uses the idea of freedom to talk about “Freedom of speech” and “freedom of assembly”. It suffices to say that for the Left that these are the terms that describe us when boiled down to its essence much like conservatives and the terms “family” and “tradition”. Because of the importance of the terms to the Left, it’s a useful exercise to look into how we use these words and what they mean when we say them.

Now why I described both of these terms as being abused (especially by the Left) is because in very few instances do we actually use the terms correctly and because of that we sometimes muddle in our language our true goals of our movements. The main to note about using freedom or liberation in a piece/ speech/ movement/ organization name is that unlike in general usage in the context of political movements and ideology they are not synonyms. I’ll explain why. Continue reading

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