Letter from ALBA: Time for Action

July 1, 2018

Dear Friends and Comrades:

This is no time for pessimism or inaction. The forces of reaction have reemerged out of the shadows in this country as well as elsewhere around the world. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of courageous teenagers who spoke out and organized to stop gun violence following the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We stand in solidarity with the activists fighting for immigrant rights and DACA. We applaud the rank-and-file movement of teachers and school personnel in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona, which is reviving a long-dormant tradition of labor activism. And, finally, we support the worker-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers, with the $100,000 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, in its fight for fair wages, for better working conditions for farm workers, and against human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the US and around the world.

At ALBA we never lose sight of the connections between our history and the challenges of the present. We remember and honor the valor of international volunteers like New Zealand born surgeon Doug Jolly. We acknowledge the sacrifice of young men like David Lipton and Milt Wolff’s unwavering solidarity with the victims of Franco’s bloody repression at the height of the Cold War. We are encouraged when we note, time and again, that their example inspired subsequent generations of activists like Herman Schmidt, whose political awakening began while serving in Vietnam and was then shaped through his contacts with veterans from the Lincoln Brigade. Like teacher educator Alan Singer we are convinced that lessons from the past are indispensable for progressives today, young and old, however different the challenges we face may be.

We trust that our volunteers would be happy to know that, after all these years, we continue to uphold the values and support the causes they fought for in Spain. And that we continue to stand for the values of social justice, equality and human rights that many of the volunteers who made it back to the United States supported for the remainder of their lives.   

Thank you for making our work possible.