Rockford, Ill. — The militant youth group “Fight Imperialism, Stand Together” held a forum in downtown Rockford, Ill., on Feb. 8 that linked the fight against low wages with the struggle against racist police terror. The panel featured two prominent local activists: Denzel Baldwin, a fast food striker and worker organizing in the fight for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and Chris Sims, a human rights activist who went to Ferguson, Mo., during the recent rebellion there while continuing local organizing against racism and police brutality. Representing FIST on the program was Dylan Garcia, a low-wage worker.
The featured guest speaker on the panel was Lamont Lilly from Workers World Party in North Carolina. Lilly connected the local struggles against racist oppression with not only the broader national picture but also the historical roots of national oppression and the resistance against it. The forum brought together organized labor; faith-based organizers; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people; and Black and white youth into a discussion on how to link their organizing efforts and continue to build solidarity for future work.