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‘Fight capitalism on every front’

Published May 19, 2005 8:18 PM

Workers World Managing Editor Leslie Feinberg spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at Virginia Commonwealth University here on May 13. The program, called “Re-Mapping the War,” afforded Feinberg an opportunity to speak about U.S. capitalism’s war for empire abroad and its economic and social siege on the domestic front.

Despite the fact that school was out at VCU, many students turned out for the event, as well as members of older generations, making for a good mix.

Feinberg’s theme was that unity in the struggle against racism, sexism and anti-lesbian, gay, bi and trans oppression is necessary to also build a powerful movement against imperialist war and for jobs, education, health care and housing.

She made a strong statement of solidarity with the MOVE organization of Philadelphia, which 20 years ago that same day had been murderously firebombed by police. She added that MOVE supporter Mumia Abu-Jamal had written a statement against gay bashing from his death row cell after a young, white, homeless gay man had been decapitated in Richmond.

Feinberg’s remarks were halted temporarily several times by enthusiastic applause as she defended the right of resistance against oppression—from the insurgency in Iraq to the mounting resistance within the ranks of U.S. troops, from the struggle against campus recruiters to the fight to stop the draft.

Feinberg alerted the audience to the existence of SNAFU, which works with men and women currently in the U.S. military. She spoke of FIST—Fight Imperialism, Stand Together—which is active and growing on U.S. campuses.

During the discussion that followed her talk, an African American student spoke of being unable to get white students on campus to deal with issues of racism. Feinberg asked the white VCU students in the audience to stand up if they wanted to make a commitment to work with the Black students to fight racism on their campus. About 30 stood, and after the meeting they and Feinberg met with the Black student leaders about how to organize and work together to fight racism on the VCU campus.