Southern Movement Assembly Creates a Framework With a Labor Sensibility for Southern Struggles

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Libby Devlin, Saladin Muhammad and Rita Valenti participate in the Worker Justice Assembly at SMA VII. (Photo: Southern Movement Assembly [SMA Vll])

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. We’re now several months into the Trump administration, and activists have scored some important victories in those months. Yet there is always more to be done, and for many people, the question of where to focus and how to help remains. In this series, we talk with organizers, agitators, and educators, not only about how to resist, but how to build a better world. Today’s interview is the 90th in the series. Click here for the most recent interview before this one.

Today we bring you a conversation with Libby Devlin, Saladin Muhammad and Rita Valenti of the Southern Movement Assembly. In this interview, they discuss the importance of a movement in the South to create framework and tie local organizations and struggles together.

Libby Devlin: I am Libby Devlin. I am the southern region director for National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC)/National Nurses United (NNU). I am on the governing council of the Southern Movement Assembly and I am on the coordinating committee for the Southern Workers Assembly which runs the Southern Workers School.

Saladin Muhammad: I’m Saladin Muhammad, retired international rep for the United Electrical Workers union, founding member of the Black Workers for Justice and co-coordinator of the Southern Movement Assembly.

Rita Valenti: I am Rita Valenti. I am a registered nurse. I work with National Nurses Organizing Committee. I’m on the board of Healthcare-NOW! I am a Project South founder.

Sarah Jaffe: We are talking a little while after the Southern Movement Assembly happened. Tell our readers what that was.

Muhammad: It is a convergence of organizations, grassroots organizations, largely anchored in the African American grassroots struggles in all of the states in the South creating a movement framework to tie what essentially has been a…

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