Support the people of Syria. Stand against war.

Support the people of Syria. Stand against war.

The ongoing wars in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq have produced human suffering on an unimaginable scale, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced, and many millions more continuing to face starvation, sickness, poverty, and violence.

Consistent with longstanding US foreign policy, the Trump administration has demonstrated a commitment to furthering US imperialism by bolstering the military budget to nearly half the total federal budget, now 1.45 trillion dollars. This continued aggression, the US bombing of Syria, and continuing military escalation in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq will only lead to further the destabilization, violence, displacement, and suffering that the US, Apartheid Israel, and their western allies have sown in the region for decades.

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center stands with all victims of these conflicts. As an organization committed to the liberation and self-determination of all oppressed people, we recognize that the mass uprisings that precipitated the conflicts in Syria and Yemen were genuine demonstrations of popular anger against corruption and repression, the absence of mechanisms for political empowerment, and the continuing impoverishment of the Arab working class through ever-expanding imperialist and neoliberal policies.

Self-Determination
Syria today is devastatingly unrecognizable from what it was in 2011. Through covert and overt foreign intervention of the US and its allies on the one hand, to the two years and counting of Russian strikes on the other, Syria and its people became the ground for an all-out proxy war for world powers. These interventions have only served the geopolitical, financial, and military interests of these powers, against the interests, dignity, and livelihood of the Syrian people.

AROC firmly rejects the oppressive and exploitive role that Western or Gulf powers, and the US in particular, have played in the lives of Arab people. The long and bloody history of US colonialism of the Americas, interventions in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab World, its unwavering support for the Zionist state of Israel, backing for the Saudi military bombardment of Yemen, direct and indirect financing of right-wing hardline militias in Syria, and destruction of Libya and Iraq point clearly to ambitions opposed to the struggles of oppressed people. We also hold the US responsible for historically playing a central role, both directly and indirectly, in the rise of extremist groups to quell popular movements in Latin America, Africa, and Asia – a trend continued in the Arab World with the rise of groups like Daesh in Iraq and Syria. We stand with those enduring such violence, the latest carried out by Daesh in Egypt against two Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday, killing 44 people. Egyptian President Sisi has already exploited this tragedy to expand his repressive rule by declaring a state of emergency for three months – repression funded by the US.

AROC therefore both condemns the brutality of the repressive regimes in the Arab World, and stands against the imperial powers that seek to replace them, choosing instead to side with the Arab people themselves and their legitimate demands for a future free of the oppressive hand of any regime – local or international – that seeks to subdue or undermine them.

Resist War
For us in the US, what does solidarity with Arab people look like during such devastation? Though we may not have all the answers, we know this for certain. That our freedom and self determination relies on building a broad movement that connects the struggle against racism, xenophobia, and economic oppression in the US to war and occupation across the world. We cannot resist the Muslim Ban, ICE raids, attacks on women and LGBTQ people, economic devastation of communities, and plunder of the environment without taking action against war, and the displacement, violence, and instability that it imposes on millions of people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Arab World.

Hands off Syria. Hands off Yemen. Hands off Iraq. Self-determination and dignity for all oppressed people. 

For more resources visit the Jadaliyya’s Syria roundup page.

Defund Urban Shield: Get Involved

On Friday, September 9, 2016, we successfully mobilized hundreds of our friends, neighbors, comrades, coworkers, and family members from across California to disrupt the Urban Shield weapons expo in Pleasanton. Made up of over 15 grassroots organizations with a strategy committee composed of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Critical Resistance, BAYAN USA, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and the Xicana Moratorium Coalition, the Stop Urban Shield Coalition is grateful to have joined with you and members of all of our communities to unite against global policing, repression, and militarization.

As a SWAT training and weapons expo that brings together police units from across the country and world – including from Apartheid Israel – Urban Shield seeks to increase the power of policing over our communities by expanding the tools, technology, weaponry, and tactics that are used to oppress people everywhere. But we are fighting back.

Our mobilization against Urban Shield on September 9th made an impact. The Alameda County Fairgrounds where the weapons expo was held was locked down like never before, with no business as usual. One of the police trainings that was scheduled to take place as part of Urban Shield was canceled!Our collective action let the proponents (and profiteers) of Urban Shield  know that our communities will meet the expansion of repression with an expansion of resistance.

On Tuesday, September 13th we delivered our coalition’s report Urban Shield: Abandoning Hope not Building Hope to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.  This is part of our push to pressure this decision making body to stand on the right side of history and end Urban Shield. Report produced by the Stop Urban Shield Coalition on why and how Alameda and San Francisco Counties can defund Urban Shield. Download PDF Here. 

CONTACT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO DEMAND THEY DEFUND URBAN SHIELD!

Supervisor Haggerty
shawn.wilson@acgov.org
(510) 272-6691

Supervisor Valle
christopher.miley@acgov.org
(510) 272-6692

Supervisor Chan
jeanette.dong@acgov.org
(510)272-6693

Supervisor Miley
anna.gee@acgov.org
(510)272-6694

Supervisor Carson
amy.shrago@acgov.org
(510)272-6695

May Day Event Report Back

Oakland –  Hundreds of people are taking part in a regional march in celebration of this year’s International Workers’ Day, themed Our Vote is in the Streets. Communities traveled from cities across the Bay Area to join people in Oakland for a lively march through East Oakland, beginning in the Fruitvale neighborhood. The regional May Day event this year emphasized the growing movements for workers’ and migrants’ rights, an end to the police and state violence, and international solidarity with all people resisting U.S. imperialism.

A rally began at 12PM that featured inspiring speakers from many different organizations, and exciting performances from the region’s artists and cultural workers, with the march beginning at 1PM.

“As the country is focused on the ridiculous presidential elections, we are here to say that our vote and power is in the streets. Whether Democrat or Republican, this system was not made for us, as Obama’s administration has deported over two and a half million immigrants – more than any other president in history,” said Sagnicthe Salazar of Xicana Moratorium Coalition, one of the lead organizers of the march. “We’re coming together this May Day to amplify the resistance of migrants, workers, and communities of color.”

Speakers during the march made connections between the powerful upsurge of immigrant peoples’ ongoing struggles for civil and human rights across the country, the increased outrage of Black and Brown communities against policing and state violence, and the struggles against U.S. imperialism internationally.

“May Day is a celebration of international solidarity, and the Bay Area is continuing that legacy by marching against state violence, whether that is the policing of Black and Brown communities here, or U.S. imperialism abroad,” says Lara Kiswani of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. “We demand an end to collaborations between oppressive regimes, such as between the U.S. and Israel, and march in solidarity with oppressed people fighting for self-determination all over the world.”

“The US continues its attack on immigrants and people of color, particularly Black communities, but our struggle and organizing have intensified,” says Devonte Jackson of Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “In cities everywhere, the routine violence of the police is being challenged more than ever, and we are here to uplift that resistance, and demand our dignity.”

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Media Round-up:

  1. CBS Local 5: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/category/news-local-news/3394048-may-day-marchers-protest-across-the-bay-area/
  2. San Jose Mercury: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_29839019/oakland-roughly-1200-people-demand-social-justice-at
  3. NBC Bay Area : http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Scattered-May-Day-Protests-Shine-Light-on-Social-Injustice-Wage-Discrepancies–377754961.html
  4. SF Gate: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-May-Day-march-fuels-economic-political-7386797.php#photo-9927907
  5. San Jose Mercury: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_29837659/bay-area-may-day-hundreds-march-support-workers
  6. The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/02/may-day-protesters-immigration-donald-trump-seattle-los-angeles
  7. CBS: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/may-day-marches-held-across-the-us-seattle-los-angeles-san-francisco-portland/
  8. Real News Network: http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=16248

Justice for Rasmea Odeh! Join the Twitter Storm 1/27 #Justice4Rasmea

Join the Rasmea Defense Committee on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, in support of immigrant rights leader and Arab community organizer, Rasmea Odeh.  In October, Rasmea’s legal team filed an appeal of her unjust conviction for Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. We are expecting a decision about this appeal any day now.How to participate on Wednesday, January 27th:
Help us spread the word about Rasmea on every social media platform you’re on!

  1. Twitter: Follow @Justice4Rasmea, re-tweet our messages, and tweet your own (based on our resource guide) throughout the day.
  2. Facebook: Like and follow us at http://www.fb.com/Free-Rasmea-Now-678264732186412
  3. Visit http://justice4rasmea.tumblr.com/ for images and text that you can share. Make sure to include the #Justice4Rasmea hashtag.
  4. Go to www.justice4rasmea.org for more information.
  5. Prepare your city, organization, and/or campus for our Emergency Response Plan:

Although we are confident that we will win the appeal and have the conviction overturned, there is a chance—as we reported right before the end of 2015—that the appellate court will uphold the conviction, ruling in favor of the government. If that happens, it is very likely that Rasmea will be ordered to turn herself in to federal prison authorities, while we petition to keep her out on bail.

If this worst-case scenario decision comes down BEFORE 12 NOON, and Rasmea is ordered to prison, we are calling for protests the VERY SAME DAY at 5 PM at federal buildings across the country.
If the decision comes down AFTER 12 NOON, we are calling for protests the NEXT DAY at 5 PM.
Allies and supporters across the world will also be participating in the emergency response by protesting at U.S. consulates and embassies everywhere.

Reclaim MLK’s Radical Legacy: 2016

On January 18th, 2016, at Oscar Grant Plaza, more than 2,500 people attended the opening rally to reclaim MLK’s radical legacy to stand against capitalism, imperialism, racism, and policing. The march started at Oscar Grant Plaza and ended at the Emeryville Shopping Center, where Yuvette Henderson was murdered last year by EPD.

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AROC’s Statement:
AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center joins forces with Third World Resistance to support Black power and resistance and to stand against the war on Black people everywhere in honor of Martin Luther King’s legacy. We echo the demands for dignity, liberation and self-determination from Oakland, to Haiti, to the Philippines, to our homelands, and all those fighting imperialism and state violence.

Today Arab people are facing the destruction of Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq and Egypt at the hands of Israel, the United States, and Arab regimes. Our people are being locked up for taking to the streets in outrage at the complicity of their governments’ partnerships with Zionism and US imperialism. They are caged in by the Apartheid wall as Israel continues to confiscate more land, kill more families, demolish more neighborhoods, and displace entire communities. Yet the attempts by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia to destabilize the Arab World continues to be met with unwavering resistance.

All the while, the US wages a global war on Black people and all those fighting for self-determination. We are witnessing state sanctioned executions of Black and Brown people by police using tools, trainings and weapons from apartheid Israel. More and more young, poor, Black and Brown people are being funneled into cages as our leaders and political prisoners remain behind bars aided by Israeli surveillance technology. The indigenous people of this land continue to be wiped away one day at a time, as Israel continues its policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people.

We ask ourselves, why is it that Israel trains local police? Why is it the largest producer of surveillance technology? Why do billions of dollars go through the hands of apartheid Israel and the most brutal regimes in the world? Why is it that it has become nearly criminal to criticize Israel in the US?

Israel is in fact instrumental to US imperialism and global repression. Its existence is necessary for the economic and political devastation of Arabs, and has helped crush movements worldwide – from Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Israel is a reminder of the sheer commitment of the US and its allies in maintaining power and profit, from the streets of Ferguson to Jerusalem.

Yet, people all across the world are building power and looking to one another for strength and inspiration. People fighting back have shown us that it is a responsibility for all of us to deepen our commitment to one another, to fight economic exploitation, and to fight for land and liberation.

We know that the liberation of Arab people from here to our homelands is inextricably linked to Black liberation. We know that anti-Blackness is manifested in Zionism, imperialism and colonialism. And we know that we have the duty to continue to build across our struggles. For this, we honor the spirit of Martin Luther King. We honor his uncompromising commitment to internationalism. We honor all those who continue to fight to win.

‪#‎ReclaimMLK‬ ‪#‎96Hours‬ ‪#‎TWR‬ ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬

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Media Round-up:

http://www.balitangamerica.tv/fil-ams-join-mlk-day-march-vs-police-brutality-and-racism/

http://abc7news.com/politics/hundreds-march-in-east-bay-as-part-of-reclaim-mlk-event/1164645/

San Francisco Arabs, Muslims, and allies speak out against racism and Islamophobia

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‪#‎resistracism‬ ‪#‎standwithmuslims‬

San Francisco, December 18, 2015 – over 150 people from the Arab and Muslim community and allies participated in a press conference to demand an end to the systemic racism and Islamophobia taking place in streets and in the media. They called on public officials to take a stand and speak out against racism. Arab Resource & Organizing Center organized the press conference and it was attended by John Avalos. They called on everyone to challenge the scapegoating of Arabs and Muslims.

Anti-Arab racism and anti-Muslim bigotry has increased after Donald Trump proposed the “banning of Muslims” from entering into the United States, and after the event in Paris, which vilified the Syrian refugees. Community members living in the Bay Area have been experiencing physical and verbal abuse in their daily lives. Lara Kiswani of the Arab Resource & Organizing Center said “It is a responsibility on all our parts to build on the history of solidarity in the Bay Area, to organize our communities to protect one another and stand for each other’s dignity at a time when we are being told by media and government policies and practices that we are not worthy of such a thing.” Supervisor John Avalos stated a solidarity statement “It was an honor to be part of this rally. It is so important for the Arab and Muslims community to express how they feel about the hate they are expressing at this moment. Specially how many experience random acts of verbal abuse from people who don’t understand anything about them.”

According to human rights organizations and civil rights organizations, it has been the deadliest year for Muslims in the United States. So far, there have been 63 recorded attacks on mosques nationwide; 17 of those attacks occurred in November of this year. After the San Bernardino shootings, the top Google search in California with the word “Muslims” in it was “kill Muslims.” This trend of racism and Islamophobia is nothing new. This is a result of historical vilification of Arabs and Muslims in the United States. This vilification intensifies as politicians and media outlets exploit tragedies like 9/11 and San Bernardino. We are witnessing this vilification and political exploitation further militarizes law enforcement and increase surveillance on the community and their site of worship on the bias basis of “national security.”

Community based organizations throughout the Bay Area are joining forces to develop tools to respond to hate crimes and racism in order to protect families and loved ones.

The event in front of City Hall was organized by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and endorsed by Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Bay Area, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Bay Area Women in Black, Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), Council on American Islamic Relations, Gray Panthers of SF, International Socialist Organization, Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area, Queers Undermining Israeli Terror, San Francisco Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party, Workers World Party, World Can’t Wait, and Yaseen Foundation.

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Media Round up:

http://kron4.com/2015/12/18/raw-video-arab-american-community-calls-for-end-to-bay-area-islamophobia/

http://pacificaeveningnews.blogspot.com/2015/12/muslim-americans-protest-rising-racism.html?m=1

http://www.ryansin.com/p489741681/h683872F4#h65872223

Stop Urban Shield 2015

Stop Urban Shield 2015!

WHAT IS THE STOP URBAN SHIELD COALITION?

Stop Urban Shield is a broad coalition of grassroots community and social justice organizations primarily based in the Bay Area but with partnering community groups across the nation who have come together united against Urban Shield. Urban Shield, a SWAT team training and weapons expo that brings together local, regional, and international police-military units to collaborate on and profit from new forms of surveillance, state repression, and state violence. The Stop Urban Shield Coalition includes members from various race, faith, political and social backgrounds and successfully stopped the Urban Shield expo from being hosted in Oakland in 2014.  Our goal is to end Urban Shield and hold accountable our cities and counties from their corroboration in increased racialized repression and violence.

Last year, Stop Urban Shield and broader community organizations and members built upon Oakland’s rich history of organizing against policing and for self-determination by forcing the City of Oakland to stop hosting Urban Shield. This was a hugely significant victory for our city and demonstrated the power of our collective grassroots organizing.

But the fight is not over. Urban Shield mistakenly thinks that they can evade accountability to our communities by moving the convergence to the City of Pleasanton, even though the City of Oakland, along with cities all across the Bay Area, California and the U.S. will still be fully participating. Let’s show them they’re wrong! As communities around the country rise up demanding an end to racist police violence, it is now more important than ever to build upon our victories and work toward shutting down Urban Shield entirely.
While Urban Shield is just one front in the fight against the state’s attempt to militarize every aspect of our lives – from its war-making here and abroad, to the increasing presence of police in our schools, to the systemic murder of Black and Brown people at the hands of police – stopping Urban Shield would be a major victory against this growing trend of militarization in cities everywhere, from Oakland to Ferguson to Baltimore. Join us in resisting violence against our communities and in fighting for genuine visions of justice, safety, and self-determination

2015 Media Round Up: 

Ways to Join the Stop Urban Shield coalition nationally:

Sign on to our demands here.

Like the Stop Urban Shield Facebook page.

Pass this infosheet around your community (Spanish & English available).

Let’s fight for community resilience & end state repression everywhere!

Act now to #StopUrbanShield!

Endorsing organizations

American Friends Service Committee

Anakbayan – East Bay

AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center

Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition

Bay Area Committee for Peace & Justice

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Civilize the Cops

CODEPINK – Bay Area

Critical Resistance

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

International Action Center

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Iraq Veterans Against the War – Bay Area Chapter

Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area

Million Hoodies

OccupySF Action Council

Oakland Privacy Working Group

Oscar Grant Committee

Palestine Youth Movement

UAW – Local 2865

Restore the 4th

San Leandro – SAFE

School of the Americas Watch – Oakland

School of the Americas Watch – San Francisco

War Resisters League

Workers World Party

Xicana Moratorium Coalition

March and Community Forum: The War on Yemen and the Struggle for Self Determination

MARCH
Saturday, May 16th
12pm, UN Plaza

No to the War on Yemen!
No to Foreign Intervention!
Yes to self determination of the Yemeni people!

Stop the massacres and the Saudi bombing.

COMMUNITY FORUM
Sunday, May 24th
2pm, 518 Valencia St., San Francisco

A community forum on the social, political, and humanitarian impact of the US-Saudi war on Yemen.

Speakers:
As’ad Abukhalil
Ashwak Hauter
Adel Folly

With the support of the United States, a Saudi led coalition is waging a war on Yemen. The US is providing weapons, intelligence, and logistical support along with drone attacks. As a result, Yemen is facing a catastrophic humanitarian disaster. Many of the Bay Area community’s loved ones are at the receiving end of these bombings.

Join us for a discussion on the Saudi-led war and the ways for us to support Yemeni self determination.

Event will be bilingual in English and Arabic. Interpretation will be provided.

info@araborganizing.org
415-861-7444

Third World Resistance for Black Power

OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Third World Resistance for Black Power Reclaiming MLK’s Legacy of Militant Internationalism: Linking Third World Struggle With Black Resistance

“Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor. Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home, and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence, 1967

To kick off Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, thirdworld people and allies have shut down the Oakland Federal Building to demonstrate our support for the heightened struggle for Blackliberation, power, self-defense and self-determination in the U.S. The verdicts in the cases of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, have drawn renewed attention to the ways that policing and the “justice system” are used to wage war on Black communities in service of imperialism and white supremacy that continues to undergirdthis country. For MLK weekend, we are reclaimingthe militancy and internationalism that was the hallmark of the last phase of Dr. King’s life.

We join international movements for the liberation of Palestine, Haiti, and the Philippines, for indigenous sovereignty in Hawaii, for native peoples in the U.S. and Mexico, and for immigrant, worker, queer/transgender, and youth justice in communities in solidarity with the resurging calls to build “Black Power” and “Black Resistance” alongside the original nationwide galvanizing statement that “BlackLives Matter!”

Today’s action targets the Oakland Federal Building because of its role in promoting a war on Black people and people’s struggles for self-determination in the U.S. and around the world. Protecting their imperialist economic interests, the U.S. and its collaborators like Israel and its puppet states like the Philippines are co-developing and deploying military and policing tactics in an attempt to perfect techniques of counter- insurgency, crowd and population control, surveillance, and the militarization of local police forces. In the Bay Area, people struggling against surveillance, policing,detention, forced displacement, deportation, and militarization of their schools and communities, both here and in their homelands, are connecting the dots and linking these issues with the systemic problem of settler colonialism in places like Palestine.

As the state attempts to tamp down the rising fists of dissent, people’s movements in Ferguson, Haiti, Palestine, the Philippines, and across the globe are only intensifying. And as an extension, today in the Bay Area, we are organizing together and deepening our collective commitment to the increasingly militant struggle for Black liberation and self-determination. We know that we cannot fight imperialism abroad unless we fight its domestic manifestation – violent racist policing- in our own streets.

The West has built and structured this world on Black death, while systematicallywaging attacks on third world people in their struggle for self-determination. By exposing and confronting these systems, we seek to weaken their foundations, and strengthen our movements, our communities and our families.

For centuries, the devastating consequences of U.S. imperialism have been the order of the day for third world people from Vietnam to Korea, from the Dakotas toHaiti, from the Philippines to Palestine to Pakistan, from Hawaii to Mexico, and from Ferguson to Staten Island. We stand together today in the name of Dr. King, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, Brown Berets, Red Guard, and AmericanIndian Movement who took on the state-sanctioned attacks on our communities directly, elevating the struggle against state violence and for an end to the capitalist system that deploys killer cops and militarized repression against our people.

In the words of Malcolm X:
“It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a racial conflict of Black against White, or as a purely American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.”
Justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and all victims of police: End State Violence!

From Palestine to Ferguson to Haiti to the Philippines: Fight Back!

Long Live International Solidarity!
“THIRD WORLD RESISTANCE” Participating Organizations and Allies: Anakbayan-USA, AROC: Arab Resource & Organizing Center, Asians4BlackLives, AYPAL, BAYAN-USA, BASAT: Bay Area Solidarity Action Team, BLIS: Black/BrownLatin@s in Solidarity, Catalyst Project, Critical Resistance, Freedom Archives, Gabriela-USA, Haiti Action Committee, HOBAK: Hella Organized BayArea Koreans, IJAN: International Jewish Anti Zionist Network, the International League of People’sStruggles, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Ruckus Society, VietUnity, Xican@Moratorium

#3rdWorld4BlackPower #MLKShutItDown #BlackPowerMatters

For interviews or additional information please contact:
Sanyika Bryant – Malcom X Grassroots Movement
Ayana Labossiere – Haiti Action Committee
Lara Kiswani – Arab Resource and Organizing Center
Rhonda Ramiro – Bayan-USA
Aurora Lopez – Xican@ Moratorium