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(en) US, NEFAC* Freedom-Libertad #5 (ca)

Date Thu, 01 Sep 2011 16:46:39 +0300


Inside ---- Boston Residents Fight Gentrification, Whole Foods ---- Vermonters Win UniVersal healthcarere, ---- RevolUtion not over in Egypt ---- REVOLUTION the people demand it! ---- Vermonters Win UniVersal healthcare ---- Three years into a massive grassroots campaign for universal healthcare, Vermonters have won a major victory and have taken a major step toward becoming the first state in the U.S.A to offer healthcare as a public good instead of a market commodity. In May, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill that extends state-funded healthcarecoverage to all 620,000 Vermont residents. Working Vermonters across the state worked endlessly, canvassing their neighborhoods, organizing "people's forums" in their towns, and demonstrating in the streets in front of the capital building in Montpelier demandinga healthcare system without parasitic private insurance companies, where everyone is covered regardless of employment or immigration status.

Vermonters want a health-care system thatâs goal is not CEO and shareholder profit, but instead quality care, regardless of status, occupation, income, etc. The bill passed soundly through both the house and senate, but not without a fight. At the last minutea small group of senate democrats amended the bill to exclude undocumented workers from coverage.This amendment passed along with the bill. This attack on what is already one of the most marginalized and exploited demographics in the state was completely outo of step with the demand for universality, the principle aim of this health care campaign. Vermonters responded with a beautiful display of solidarity with migrant workers. Over night the state house was flooded with emails and phone calls. The next day groups were mobilized at the state house by the Vermont Farm worker Solidarity Project to demand this amendment be removed from the final bill. After two days of relentless organized actions, the amendment was removed from the final bill,and several politicians who voted for it had issued public apologies. So, a healthcare reform bill that proposes a universal single-payer healthcare system has been signed into law. The struggle hasnot ended. Big business and the private insurance industry will continue to fight against it, and working Vermonters will have to defend this hard-won victory. Now the struggle that lays ahead must take a broader look at Vermont society beyond healthcare. This campaign has proven the effectiveness of mass organizing at the grassroots level to fight for and win demands that better our lives. Using this power, working Vermonters must make sure that universal healthcare will not come at a time when public employees are facing wage reductions, lay-offs, and increased pension payments. Thisc ampaign has enlivened the spirit of solidarity in Vermont. The wealthy, the small minority that is rich off of the hard work of the rest of us, will be made to finally pay their fair share.The power of organized working Vermonters has set an enormous precedent that is spreading through New England and across the country. What it says is that working class people, the poor, and the oppressed do not have to put up with the mandates set by the rich and the powerful. We know what is best for our communities and workplaces, and we have the power to fundamentally change them. As we see in Vermont, organizing and fighting for abetter world is the only way we aregoing to achieve a free and equal society, and we will, one step at a time.

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The Fight against Whole Foods - Freedom speaks with anti-gentrification organizer

In January, Whole Foods an-nounced that it would open a new store in Boston. The company obtained a lease on a building in Hyde Square, a largely working class section of Bostonâs Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Whole Foods will replace Hi-Lo Foods, which, according to WBUR, is âa long-standing Latin market.â Area residents responded to Whole Foodsâ announcement with resistance. In February, they formed Whose Foods?/Whose Community?, The Coalition for an Affordable & Diverse JP and began to educate their neighbors and organize. Other residents came out in support of Whole Foods. The debate came to a head on June 2, when police broke up a boisterous public meeting. Residents opposing Whole Foodsâ plan are at the forefront of a desperate struggle against gentrification which threatens Bostonâs few remaining affordable neighborhoods. For more than a hundred years, Jamaica Plain has been home to working class immigrants. As we have seen across the city, the effect of gentrificationis that working class people get priced out of their homes. Freedom/Libertad spoke with Brian, a Latino worker and NEFAC member, about the struggle against Whole Foodsâ plan. He told us that he and his neighbors are fighting against âthe continuing gentrification of the neighborhood, the displacement of families, and the future of Bostonâs Latin district as a cultural center.â

* Can you speak a littleabout the different forces in-volved in this struggle?

Brian: The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council voted to support a statement saying that Whole Foods was not a good fit for Hyde Square and encouraged all parties to find alternatives for the space. It created an Ad-Hoc committee for this purpose, composed of people on all sides of the issue and ranges of the spectrum. Whose Foods?/Whose Community? is composed of a diverse range of people from Jamaica Plain. We have renters, home owners, single moms, students, and workers. We have latin@s, black, and white folk. We have born-and-raised JPers, and people who have moved here more recently. It is the main voice of opposition to Whole Foods coming to JP. JP For All is a smaller group which formed when it saw how organized the Whose Foods? group was getting. It is composed largely of older, mostly white property owners. They are in favor of whole Foods because they feel it will reduce crime and increase the monetary value of the area. Hyde Square Task Force has taken a stand in support of Whole Foods, and has received over $8000 in funds from Whole Foods to date.

* WBUR quoted Claudio Martinez of the Hyde SquareTask Force as saying protests against Whole Foods ââneed to be done in a context of current political realities.â And the reality, according to Martinez, is that Whole Foods is coming in the fall. The question now is whether theyâll hire people from the neighborhood and whether theyâll offer Latin-American staples at an afford-able price.ââ What do you feel is the âpolitical reality,â and how does this inform your participation, tactics, and strategy inthe struggle?

Brian: We have been called idealists as we collectively agreed to be 100% against Whole Foods coming to Hyde Square from the start. Mr. Martinez has taken over $8000 dollars from Whole Foods to date and will continue to benefit financially from them in the future, I am sure. I have no faith in Whole Foods. My organization has no faith in Whole Foods. The 2000 or so people who have signed a petition against Whole Foods do not want it there. A Whole Foods will not benefit working people in JP, and we are all proud to take a stand. Having said that, these other issues Martinez mentioned are important and we are developing tactics and adapting where/ when possible.

* Is there anything else youâd like to add?

Brian: The pro-Whole Foods, white liberals/Democrats of Jamaica Plain have shown their true colors and have drawn a line in the sand. They never cared for or about Latinos/Blacks or working people when they moved here. Our group is made up of the true diversity of Jamaica Plain. Young and old. Black, Brown, White, Asian... workers and students...renters,home owners...Iâm proud to be on that side, and we donât apologizefor who we are.

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EGYPT The Revolution Live On by Jose Antonio Gutirrez D.

The fate of the Egyptian process has not been cast. There are a range of possibilities open within this increasingly bitter struggle between the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces. As positions become more defined, the undecided are taking sides. Four actors have shaped events: the army, the technocrats, national-international capital, and the popular movements. The future of the Egyptian revolution, and with it a large part of the winds of change blowing across the Arab world, will depend on how the contradictions between these are resolved. The Egyptian people are clear that they canât abandon popular pressure nor direct action in order to achieve their goals. We are seeing a malleable and fluid situation that can be tilted to one side or the other. The counter-revolutionary sector has the weapons, the money and the support of the âinternational community.â The revolutionaries, however, have the support of the masses, who became conscious of their power and who tried the taste of freedom in Tahrir and in the streets and squares of the major cities in Egypt. And they know, above all, there can no longer be an Egypt without them.

Read the entire article at:http://www.anarkismo.net/article/19772
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What Is NEFAC?f

Weâve all had individual problems with bosses, land-lords, bureaucrats, politicians, or police, and from these everyday experiences weâve realized that it is through collective struggle against them that our interests can be won. Having a specific vision for accomplishing our desires we have joined together to refect on our struggles, strategize, share resources and ideas, and to educate ourselves. The Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (NEFAC) is an organization of revolutionaries primarily in the northeastern region of North America, fighting for a world without exploitation or oppression. In order to bringabout radical change, we take action - organizing in ourneighborhoods, workplaces and communities - to helpbuild movements with the power to demand and create thenew world in our hearts. By working together in NEFAC, weare able to broaden our perspectives, coordinate activity and amplify our voice. As anarchists, we struggle for a world without classes, states or domination, whether they be based on race, ethnicity, gender or economics. We envision a world where all have what they need, including the power to make decisions that affect us. We also understand that our individual freedom is bound with the freedom of all. If you want to get involved, or just want more info, please get in touch!
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