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2022 in Review- OBS End of the Year Newsletter

2022 in Review- OBS End of the Year Newsletter

Check out our Year End review.

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Recent Posts

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

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Organization for Black Struggle
P.O. Box 5277
St. Louis, MO 63115
(314) 367-5959 | contactus@obs-stl.org

Towards the Dismantling of the Prison Industrial Complex and the
Re-imagining Alternatives that Deliver Real Justice

Towards the Dismantling of the Prison Industrial Complex and the
Re-imagining Alternatives that Deliver Real Justice

OBS has devoted much of its organizational time and resources to this pillar of our foundational work. We have seen progress but it is not fast enough nor expansive enough. Greater, more strategic efforts must be waged against a system that is eating our communities alive.
Above photo: Mayor Tishaura Jones signed BB47 into law but its full implementa-tion was stalled due to a legal challenge by the police associations.

Although some may find the terms “abolition” or “defund the police” problematic, all justice-seeking people believe that the current system that encompasses the police, the courts and the prisons is racially biased and corrupt. It rarely works for Black people. OBS has devoted much of its organizational time and resources to this pillar of our foundational work. We have seen progress but it is not fast enough nor expansive enough. Greater, more strategic efforts must be waged against a system that is eating our communities alive.

OBS has joined allies in working the system inside and out—meaning organizing campaigns to pass new laws and elect officials who share a restorative justice agenda and will use our resources to meet the basic human needs of communities. We spend way much money on control and punishment, with little impact on the root causes.

It is reform laws that allowed Bobby Bostic to seek relief from an unjust sentence he received as a teen. OBS helped to pass historic legislation that gave new powers to the Circuit Attorney’s office to hold police and courts accountable. Having led the efforts to establish a civilian over-sight board in 2015, it was time to create a new office for its expanded functions and improved efficiency. 

Recent Posts

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

Read More »

Sign up for Updates

Organization for Black Struggle
P.O. Box 5277
St. Louis, MO 63115
(314) 367-5959 | contactus@obs-stl.org

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

  • The 69th annual Jefferson Bank Commemorative Protest highlighted the successful organizing efforts of workers at Amazon, Starbucks and fast-food restaurants.
  • The St. Louis Fight for $15 celebrated its 10th anniversary. The campaign to raise wages for low-paying workers and to unionize took off, forcing many employers to raise wages before the campaign came to their doors. We made a surprise visit to the Lindell Blvd. McDonald’s to remind them we’re still here—and demanding a union.
  • Amazon and Starbucks workers, tired of the repressive work conditions, were successful in unionizing. We saw the first union sites in 2022, with more to come. Starbucks has refused to recognize the over 260 locations which have vot-ed to unionize with Workers United.
  • For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

Recent Posts

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

Read More »

Sign up for Updates

Organization for Black Struggle
P.O. Box 5277
St. Louis, MO 63115
(314) 367-5959 | contactus@obs-stl.org

THE ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK STRUGGLE CALLS FOR PREPAREDNESS TRAINING School Shooting Requires a New Look at Old Protocols

THE ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK STRUGGLE CALLS FOR PREPAREDNESS TRAINING School Shooting Requires a New Look at Old Protocols

St. Louis, MO. The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) sends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the three victims who died today at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. We send healing energy to the students, parents and staff in the school district. This tragedy is unprecedented in the district’s history, and we must grapple together with the many unanswered questions.

While our city is piecing together how such a shooting could happen, our communities must pick up the pieces of a shattered sanctity we expect in our schools. Our children will need our enduring support and understanding in the weeks and months ahead as they work through the trauma they experienced today.

Lisa LaGrone, Project Haki coordinator, and her team arrived early at Gateway School where students were transported for safety. Project Haki is OBS’ violence prevention program.

“We learned a lot today that needs to inform future situations like this one,” said LaGrone. She and her team took on the role of helping to direct and calm anxious parents coming to pick up their loved ones from Gateway School. “It is important for all the agencies involved to come together and improve the response. Today was really hard for our families.”

Recent Posts

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

Read More »

Sign up for Updates

Organization for Black Struggle
P.O. Box 5277
St. Louis, MO 63115
(314) 367-5959 | contactus@obs-stl.org

Revisiting Gary 1972: Re-energizing the Movement for Black Political Power in 2021

Revisiting Gary 1972: Re-energizing the Movement for Black Political Power in 2021

The National Black Political Convention was a critical milestone in the struggle for Black political power. Members of the Congress of African People played a key role in organizing for the convention as well as for the assemblies around the Black agenda that followed. This panel will explore the need for a renewed call for a national political agenda, learning from the lessons of Gary and other subsequent gatherings.

Rukia Lumumba

People’s Advocacy Institute & Movement for Black Lives

Taalamu Holiday

CAP veteran organizer for the Gary convention

Larry Hamm

People's Organization for Progress (POP) in NJ

Kelly Harris

Africana Studies Department, Seton Hall University

Rev. Estelle (Akiba) David

CAP veteran who staffed the Gary convention

For more info, email us at congressofafricanpeople50@gmail.com.

Recent Posts

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

Read More »

Sign up for Updates

Organization for Black Struggle
P.O. Box 5277
St. Louis, MO 63115
(314) 367-5959 | contactus@obs-stl.org

The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS)Demands Justice for the St. Louis Justice Center Residents Subjected to Inhumane Conditions

The Organization for Black Struggle (OBS)Demands Justice for the St. Louis Justice Center Residents Subjected to Inhumane Conditions

For Immediate ReleaseFebruary 8, 2021

Contact Person: Velta Smith (314.367.5959)

The insurrection that occurred on Saturday, February 6 at the St. Louis Justice Center in response to COVID-19 has been boiling for almost a year. The prolonged neglect by city officials starting with Mayor Lyda Krewson and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards is unconscionable and unacceptable. OBS must always remind the public that the city jail and the workhouse are holding facilities until citizens are arraigned and charged. They are innocent until proven guilty.

Last summer, the Organization for Black Struggle began getting calls from inmates who were confined to the St. Louis City and County jails. There were growing concerns about the pandemic and whether these institutions were following CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of both residents and staff. OBS reached out to the directors of both facilities to provide testing through Affinia Healthcare who was committed to sending its mobile units out.On June 29, OBS held a press conference to announce its efforts to get inmates tested at these facilities. We reported that the County used its own Department of Health to perform the COVID-19 tests but that city jail officials were unresponsive.

The new year began with OBS again receiving calls and emails from family members whose loved ones were confined to the Justice Center. We were informed that a guard had been taken hostage and inmates were protesting conditions in the jail that was potentially spreading the deadly virus. On January 1, OBS held a press conference in front of the St. Louis City Justice Center to report what was going on inside the facility. We implored the mayor to investigate and take appropriate actions to maintain order and the safety of parties. Subsequently, we requested a number of documents relative to the incident through the Sunshine Act. To date, no documents have been received.

It was no surprise when we received early morning calls on February 6 that inmates had taken over the fourth floor of the facility, knocking out windows for better visibility and begging for relief. The uprising made national news, once again projecting the city’s racist views in policy and practice. It was also clear that nothing had been done in the last 30 days to rectify the housing situation. Retaliation by staff since the weekend incident have further put the health and safety at risk of those entrusted to their care. It is reported that inmates are being forced to sleep on the floor, some in the cold water left from the fire department putting out fires which had been set. Others have been without food and water for two days.

These incidents underscore the incompetence and indifference of the Krewson administration. The lack of resolution is only escalating the tensions inside. The situation is grave and demands immediate action. We ask the citizens of St. Louis to demand the mayor cease and desist the litany of lies coming out about the situation. The conditions require a committed approach to a healthy and human resolution.

Recent Posts

Black Workers Matter! Workers Unite!

For the past six years, OBS has participated in the National Black Worker Center’s Black Labor Day. This year’s theme was “Show Me the Money!” We also endorsed its Black Workers Bill of Rights because Black workers matter.

Read More »

Sign up for Updates

Organization for Black Struggle
P.O. Box 5277
St. Louis, MO 63115
(314) 367-5959 | contactus@obs-stl.org

All Out for O-22!

Tuesday, October 22 at 6:00 pm Carpenter Library, 3309 S. Grand Blvd.

The Coalition Against Police Crimes & Repression (CAPCR) has invited outspoken police abolitionist, Derecka Purnell, to facilitate a community discussion on Oct. 22 National Day Against Police Brutality.

Derecka is a human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer who works to sustain social movements. She served on the founding steering committee for Law for Black Lives and is Deputy Director of the Spirit of Justice Center.

Joint Statement in Condemnation of Jimmy Edwards’ Comments

In recent months, St. Louis has experienced a series of tragedies stemming from fatal gun violence in our communities. Most heartbreaking of all, many of the lives lost have been those of children. In St. Louis City alone, fourteen children age 17 and younger have been shot and killed since April. Seven of those children have been age 11 and younger. This painful reality has been a call to action for so many in St. Louis, including those who came together just over a month ago for a rally that centered the voices of young people growing up in this city and demanding a change.

Signatories to Statement

Read full statement here.