National Days of Solidarity with #DefendDurham

first_imgIn Durham, Freedom Fighters Kintasha Hall and Takiyah Thompson (r) get ready for more struggle, as SNCC founder and Civil Rights icon Ella Baker watches over them.Baker called the first Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee conference in 1960 at Shaw University, a historically Black college in Raleigh, N.C.An uplifting Bull City Block Party was held on Sept. 9 to celebrate Durham’s continued resistance and tenacity against white supremacy, including the toppling of a Confederate statue on Aug. 14. Some 200 people showed up for the event, held in the parking lot of the Hayti Community Center in the heart of Durham’s Black community.WWP organizer and 2016 vice-presidential candidate Lamont Lilly emphasized “Activism is going to the people. Activism is feeding the people and meeting the people where they are.”Participants in the “block party for activism” were treated to delicious Southern food, music, speeches and bouncy houses for the children. The event was co-sponsored by WWP, the Durham Solidarity Center, the Youth Organizing Institute, Duke Grad Student Union, Fight for $15 and Alerta Migratoria.The block party was just one event in the Sept. 11-17 National Days of Action called by a broad national coalition in solidarity with the Durham Freedom Fighters. The week continued with the court appearance of arrested Fighters on Sept. 12.For updated coverage, go to workers.org and to tinyurl.com/yctq5t64.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Baseball’s next big player, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., was in Syracuse this weekend

first_img“The biggest thing is bat speed,” Meacham said. “He can really whistle it through the zone. The reason he doesn’t chase is because he seemingly has more time than everybody else. He can get the bat to the ball quicker than everybody else. And he understands the crush on him, but he doesn’t get too lost in what others think of him.”An hour and a half before the first game of the series, Guerrero Jr. was leaning back in a chair inside the clubhouse, playing cards. He had a straight face then, wearing flip flops with No. 27 written in sharpie. He wears the same number that his father, his hero, wore. He said the only advice his father has offered is to be humble and work hard. At the plate and in the field, he said, he tries to model parts of his game after Adrian Beltre and Manny Machado, both All-Star infielders.Guerrero Jr. flipped on a smile while warming up in right field, when the Chiefs announced on the video board in left-center field that he was that night’s “Taco Bell K-man.” Guerrero Jr. hardly strikes out and can hit to all fields.Now, as he stepped to plate at NBT Bank stadium, he swung a Louisville Slugger 34-inch, 32-ounce Model C243 — the same type of bat he was holding in the Expos clubhouse 17 years ago. Guerrero Jr., 19, is the top prospect in all of baseball and plays for the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons. He made a four-day stint in Syracuse last weekend indicative of what he may do someday in the major leagues. He entered the Labor Day weekend series at Syracuse hitting .387 with 19 homers and 76 RBI across four levels of play. Over four games in Syracuse, he went 6-for-17, with a home run.“It has been a really good year,” he said Sunday afternoon, through an interpreter. “I was born for this.”Friday afternoon, as the best teenage prospect since Bryce Harper emerged from the dugout, a small group of fans stacked the first-base line and began to chatter. They had arrived about three hours prior to first pitch on Friday night for autographs outside of NBT Bank Stadium, in search of the new arrival. Now, they assembled near the Buffalo Bisons dugout, because they didn’t want to miss it: the first sighting of Guerrero Jr. in Syracuse.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Vladdy!” fans yelled from the stands.“Junior!”“27!”In his first at-bat, he swung at the second pitch he saw, a 1-0 fastball, and whacked a line drive up the middle. The ball went to center field, yet he hustled out of the box and headed for two — a head-first dive, during which he fooled the infielder by pulling his right arm back and reaching to the bag with his left arm, deemed him safe with an RBI double.Guerrero Jr. made it look simple. He has a swing that is fluid and effortless, and a follow-through alone that looks pretty, with both hips open to the field, marking the end of a perfect swing. He plays with a striking ease and confidence, his manager said, that belies his youth.Few people at the professional level have seen Guerrero Jr. as much as Bisons Manager Bobby Meacham, a former New York Yankees shortstop. Meacham has followed the young player for a couple of years.“He moves really, really good,” Meacham said. “He’s a big kid, his feet work really well around third base. The first time he got on base for us, he went first to third on a single to left field. He moves pretty good. And he has a true arm, a really good throwing arm.”Guerrero Jr. is so powerful he hits home runs to the opposite field — even off a batting tee. One home run he hit earlier this season caromed off the fifth-floor windows of a nearby hotel in left field of a ballpark in New Hampshire. In his first few games in Buffalo, after dominating for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Guerrero Jr. saw few strikes. Pitchers opted to walk or pitch around him.He is more selective than his father, a Hall of Famer who was known for his violent swing and a propensity to swing at just about everything. Comments Published on September 3, 2018 at 11:03 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21center_img Before the final Syracuse Chiefs series of 2018 began on Friday, Chiefs Manager Randy Knorr looked back to the 2001 season, which he spent as a player with the Montreal Expos. Also on that team was Vladimir Guerrero, the Dominican outfielder who hit 449 career home runs. Knorr remembers a young visitor who often roamed around the clubhouse: Guerrero’s son, who was born in 1999.“I knew him as a little guy running around the Expo clubhouse, with his dad,” Knorr said. “He was hitting good at 3 years old in our clubhouse. When we were trying to get dressed, he was actually hitting baseballs in the clubhouse like, ‘Hey Vlad, come on,’ swinging his daddy’s bat at 3 years old.” Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more