Letter from ALBA: The Case for Activist Alliances

February 27, 2018
By and

Dear Friends and Comrades,

This past January, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the Second Women’s March. Their protest underscored that fighting misogyny, xenophobia, and exploitation requires broad alliances. As this issue of the Volunteer illustrates, the Women’s March follows a tradition of activist protest that has deep roots in our nation’s history. Eighty-three years ago, for example, thousands of New Yorkers openly defied the despised Nazi flag flying on the bow of the Bremen, as Dan Czitrom recounts.

Struggle against oppression carries with it real personal cost, as Noël Valis details in her account of the experiences of women journalists Martha Gellhorn, Josephine Herbst, and Frances Davis. And David Bacon, in his article on the role of Spanish Civil war vets in organizing California farm workers, reminds us that the struggle against racism and in support of human rights cannot be separated from the pursuit of social justice. Chris Brooks and Lisa Clemmer explain how, for some, participation in the Spanish Civil War was a family affair.

ALBA will continue to develop the connections between past and present in our forthcoming teachers’ workshops in Pittsburgh, Plymouth, Mass., New York City, and Bergen County, NJ, as well as during a two-part symposium on the Spanish Civil War at Hofstra University.

Drawing on the experiences of the women and men of the International Brigades, ALBA is firmly committed to the basic principle that labor rights and human rights go hand in hand. For this reason, we are proud to announce that the recipient of the 2018 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Based in Immokalee, Florida, the Coalition is a worker-based organization devoted to the battle for workers’ rights and against human trafficking and gender-based violence. (Press release.)

At ALBA we look to the future with optimism. With your support, we will never cease to persevere as we continue to uphold the ideals of the Lincoln Brigade. (Donate here.)