February 21, 2015
Malcolm X was a unique person. His transition from Malcolm Little to the internationally renowned Malcolm X--with the development in his final years of uncompromising opposition to all forms of national/international oppression, exploitation, and discrimination--is truly exceptional.
Malcolm was never a criminal. Instead I see the anti-social behavior of his early life as being the result of his victimization by the most criminal, inhumane, hypocritical, ruling class and society that...
February 17, 2015
Activists and candidates from around the country will come together on May 2-3 in Chicago to share their experiences and to launch a network for future cooperation at the Future of Left/Independent Electoral Action Conference.
Left to right: Brian Jones, Kshama Sawant, and Howie Hawkins. Sawant and Hawkins have endorsed the conference.
The past few years have seen a significant uptick in independent political initiatives on the left, from election campaigns to new local electoral and social...
February 12, 2015
So the battle lines seem to be drawn. Is that simply posturing in order to raise the stakes, or is any dialogue really impossible?
Alexis Tsipras of Syriza and Pablo Iglesias of Podemos.
I tend to lean towards the latter. Syriza proposes two fundamental things: First, maintain budgetary balance—something few European governments can boast of doing—but redistribute the costs differently, lightening the burden on victims of the crisis while increasing it for those who have benefited from it....
February 2, 2015
The Black Lives Matter Movement is alive and well. If it has for the moment—under political attack and facing the winter’s sub-freezing temperatures—withdrawn from the streets, it has done so to plan a new stage in the fight for justice for African American victims of police racism and violence. As many as 400 people, mostly young people of color, attended the eight-hour long Black Lives Matter Gathering at the famous Riverside Church in Manhattan on January 30 where in...
February 1, 2015
Since the attack against Charlie Hebdo, France has been the scene of a veritable outpouring of Islamophobia: accusations of culpability, amalgams, violence. But the least that can be said is that the ground had been largely prepared. We could almost have forgotten, in fact, that on the morning of January 7, a few hours before the attack against Charlie Hebdo, the "special guest" on the morning programme of France Inter was Michel Houellebecq, author of a "novel of anticipation" in which a Muslim...
January 29, 2015
From a political point of view the Greek bourgeoisie and its political representatives are stunned and voiceless. All their hopes of heading off Syriza rely on Europe’s leaders--and ruling classes. For their part, the line seems clear enough: it is the politics of the ‘iron cage’, seeking to shut down a Syriza government as quickly as possible. The spearhead of this effort is the attempt to force Syriza to request an extension of the current ‘assistance programme’, which runs out on 28...
January 22, 2015
After the passage of so many restrictions on abortion procedures and increasing attacks on contraceptive information, the right seems to feel wind in its sails and various spokespeople—including the former Lieut. Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst, an oil and gas businessman—have called for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The House of Representatives plans to vote on the 20-week abortion ban on the 2015 anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This ban is similar to one passed in Arizona that a federal...
January 19, 2015
There were many small and large victories. This was the beginning of desegregation. There were civil rights bills, a tremendous expansion of the African-American middle class, the massive entry of women into the labor force, and the end of the war in Vietnam. Radical Black youth begin to talk to one another across borders of race and class. But over the 50 years since we've seen that the struggle for justice has many layers, some that we addressed in the 1960s and some that we did not.
January 2, 2015
Against the Current: Mass incarceration has suddenly gotten quite a lot of attention in the media and in the political mainstream. Why has it become a high profile issue all of a sudden?
James Kilgore: Lots of things have happened. The first, and most important, is that people in the critically impacted communities have started to fight back. We’ve had a lot of mobilization around the War on Drugs, some of it sparked by the wonderful book by Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow. She has helped...
December 24, 2014
The resumption of diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba as well as the release of three Cubans sentenced to life imprisonment in the USA for espionage constitutes a victory for the Cuban people. For more than 50 years and under a dozen presidents, the US administration has tried everything to destroy the Cuban revolution. Military intervention in 1961 at the Bay of Pigs, conspiracies to assassinate Cuban leaders, an economic embargo to strangle the life of the island, pressures of all...
December 17, 2014
Two current high-profile stories--police killings of Black people and the secret torture prisons run by the U.S. military and CIA in the “war on terror”-- might seem separate and distinct. In truth, the path between them is short. A system that tortures prisoners abroad will murder people at home, and the targeted populations are not randomly chosen. There are several common elements:
1. Dehumanization. In order to subject someone to waterboarding, sleep deprivation, freezing, or stretching...
December 17, 2014
I created #BlackLivesMatter with Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, two of my sisters, as a call to action for Black people after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder and the killer, George Zimmerman, was not held accountable for the crime he committed. It was a response to the anti-Black racism that permeates our society and also, unfortunately, our movements.
Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives...
December 11, 2014
Responding to Mayor de Blasio’s obvious point, the New York City police “union” head said the mayor had thrown all cops under the bus by implying that police practices are racially based. Mayor de Blasio, a white man with a Black son, expressed a bitter truth that most white people deny: race and racism underpin police practice and U.S. society.
Significantly, the “Black Lives Matter” campaign is being joined by a growing number of whites. Most whites still believe, however, that race...
December 10, 2014
I think the issue is not so much the number of police per se, although that is a factor, but what is their role. What are our expectations about the role of the police in managing crime and disorder problems, which can be real problems that need to be managed? But what we've had is a deeply conservative theory that becomes the kind of hegemonic way to think about crime and disorder, and that's the Broken Windows theory.
It is a product of neoconservative intellectuals in the early 1980s trying...
November 24, 2014
Finally, even if at least three decades too late, America’s politicians are beginning to take notice of the fact that we have become the country on the planet locking up more people than any other.
It would be nice to think that these elected officials are now discussing our historically unprecedented rates of incarceration because there has been some sort of moral awakening, some new degree of discomfort if not outright dismay that the United States now has more than seven million people,...
October 25, 2014
According to the latest predictions of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if the Ebola pandemic continues to progress at the current rhythm, it could affect 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone between now and January 2015, leading to the deaths of 700,000 in a year, and thus making Ebola the third leading cause of death from infectious diseases in Africa, after AIDS and respiratory diseases. The two countries most seriously affected could suffer the loss of 10...
October 23, 2014
It has been two years since the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) struck for the first time in over 20 years and changed the discourse on education in the United States. The strike was historic in making issues of race and class central to a contract struggle and in garnering public support to defend public education.
The CTU strike confronted the attack on public education championed nationally by Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education, and the national forces in favor of privatization, from...
October 20, 2014
On Sunday, October 12, Bolivians voted to re-elect Evo Morales Ayma, Bolivia’s incumbent president, with an overwhelming 60% of the vote. Morales has indeed gained widespread popular support through his anti-imperialist and socialist policies, with even the World Bank forced to recognise the successes of his social programmes. His government has fallen short, however, of the revolutionary promises it was first elected on. That is why it is important to ask: how far do Morales’ reforms truly...
October 17, 2014
The weekend's events began with a protest in Clayton, MO, outside the offices of county prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Clayton is the county seat for St. Louis County, where Michael Brown was killed. It is a government and financial hub characterized by the type of highrise office buildings we in the Midwest associate with downtowns.
Over 500 people assembled in the rain to demand an indictment against the cop who killed Michael Brown. Police and civic leaders throughout the St. Louis area were...
October 10, 2014
Our campaign plan extends past the election. The post-election focus will be on building the Green Party as a mass party in New York for all progressives and socialists who agree on the need for united political action independent of the two-party system of corporate rule.
Our campaign organization is built around local campaign committees open to all supporters, who range from members of socialist organizations to disgruntled Democrats and Working Families Party members to unaffiliated...
October 7, 2014
Darren Wilson, the killer of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, continues to receive full pay and freedom. At the Ferguson police department many cops are wearing “I am Darren Wilson” bracelets to mock the chants of Black men and women who chant “I am Michael Brown” at city council meetings and on the street.
Cops and prosecutors assume that Wilson used “reasonable force” and only faces scrutiny because of the public...
September 30, 2014
We are in a movement moment.
What began as a local call for Justice for Mike Brown has grown into a nationwide shout for justice. Mike Brown falls in a long line of others killed as a result of systemic racial bias and violence against black and brown communities. John Crawford, III, Ezel Ford, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Marilyn Banks and countless others named and unnamed have been killed through the excessive use of force by law enforcement.
As droves of people, many of them...
September 12, 2014
Imperialism creates crises that it cannot solve. That’s the ultimate takeaway from president Obama’s September 10 speech – and the entire series of cascading catastrophes from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond. As the United States slip-slides into its next Middle East war, are there any reasons to expect this time will turn out differently?
Leaving aside the boilerplate twaddle about U.S. “leadership” in combating every global crisis from terrorism to Ebola...
August 19, 2014
Two Americas. Two realities. Race matters. Us against them.
The mass media have swarmed all over Ferguson, Missouri for one reason: The Black community went into the streets after the police murder of Michael Brown, and refused orders to leave. They have inspired solidarity actions taking place all over the United States and internationally, including Latino, Asian and white young people along with African Americans.
“Hands Up, Don't Shoot” spread across the country. It reflects...
August 13, 2014
Cease-fires--brief interruptions in Israel’s destruction of Gaza--come and go, for one simple reason: Israel will not lift the blockade, the siege, the strangulation of Gaza, and the United States will not force it to do so. Officially, the line is that the blockade won’t end “until the rockets stop and Hamas is disarmed.” The reality is that if Hamas were disarmed and the rockets stopped the blockade would continue anyway, and the people of Gaza know it, because the real...
July 25, 2014
It’s official now, as if it weren’t obvious the whole time: Israel is hitting what it aims at, including housing blocks with dozens of trapped families inside, hospitals, schools, mosques, and even places where its air-drop leaflets had told Gaza residents to shelter. These places are hit, says prime minister Netanyahu, because that’s where Hamas hides its rockets to fire into Israel.
Even if that’s true--which, in part at least, it probably is--it simply puts Israel and Hamas on the...
July 10, 2014
There should never have been any doubt that another Israeli assault on Gaza would occur, with the inevitable accompanying mass atrocities. That’s not necessarily because it serves anyone’s strategic interests--but simply because Israel’s brutalities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the strangulation of Gaza by Israel, the new military-dominated regime in Egypt, and the latest collapse of the absurd “peace process” exercise would inevitably produce a triggering event one way or...
June 25, 2014
Just two weeks after the August 28, 1963 March on Washington, four girls aged 11-14 — Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair — died in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
The year 1963 was marked by assassinations and at least 35 bombings. Among those murdered were William Moore, a white civil rights activist who was assassinated on April 20, and Medgar Evers, a NAACP leader in Mississippi, who was...
June 18, 2014
“WE HAVE TO liberate ourselves from the idea that we caused this,” says Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, referring to the present disaster in Iraq. The first question this raises is why anyone would ask for Tony Blair’s opinion on anything. George W. Bush, at least, seems smart enough to hide out in a bramble patch on his ranch and say nothing.
Of course, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 with Britain’s support “caused this” – by creating the al-Qaeda outfit now called...
May 29, 2014
Note: Solidarity has also signed on to this statement from the Not1More campaign, and we encourage you to have your organizations do the same.
Earlier this week, a number of organizations claiming to support immigration reform—including SEIU (Service Employees International Union), National Immigration Forum, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Sojourners, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights—signed a letter to...
May 20, 2014
The National Committee of Solidarity has endorsed the statement below from An Attack On Us All:
On May 2, 2014, in the Zapatista territory of La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico, the group CIOAC-Histórica [with the participation of the Green Ecological Party and the National Action Party (PAN)], planned and executed a paramilitary attack on unarmed Zapatista civilians. An autonomous Zapatista school and clinic was destroyed, 15 people were ambushed and injured and Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano),...
April 8, 2014
On April 5, undocumented organizers and allies gathered for actions in more than 70 cities calling for an end to deportations. The date was chosen because it’s the estimated date for when the Obama administration will deport its two millionth person. Obama has officially overseen more deportations than any other President in U.S. history, with almost three years left in his second term, earning him the title “Deporter in Chief.”
April 5 action in Columbus, OH.
If deportations continue at...
March 21, 2014
This article appears in the March/April 2014 issue of Against the Current.
Three Years Ago, Tamesha Means was rushed to Mercy Health Partners Hospital in Muskegon, Michigan after her water broke 18 weeks into her pregnancy. The hospital diagnosed a premature rupture of membranes but sent her home, saying there was nothing to be done at that stage.
The next day she returned with painful contractions, bleeding and elevated temperature. She was given two Tylenols and, after her...
March 8, 2014
This article is an edited version from “Twenty-first Century Socialist Feminism,” Socialist Studies, (Spring 2014). It appears in the March/April 2014 issue of Against the Current.
Pakistani women celebrate International Women's Day.
In the 21st century, women of the working classes — employed in the formal economy, the informal economy, working in the countryside or doing unwaged labor — have entered the global political stage in an astonishing array of movements. Sparked by the...
March 1, 2014
Freedom Fighter Chokwe Lumumba died suddenly on February 25, 2014 at the age of 66. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the New Afrikan People’s Organization.
February 20, 2014
Solidarity supports Dr. Anthony Monteiro, and urges others to do the same. The text below is republished from a petition statement by Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal (EMAJ). To see the list of signers and information about how to sign the petition, please visit the EMAJ website. Also see this article for more background information.
We unite with Philadelphia faculty members, labor, community and student organizations to call for the immediate reinstatement of Professor Anthony Monteiro as...
February 7, 2014
In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted growing inequality in the U.S. He also pledged to take steps to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. What has the Obama administration done recently on both counts?
First, it has agreed to a new budget with the Republicans that didn’t renew benefits for the long-term unemployed. This will immediately impoverish 1.3 million workers. Every day a new batch of the unemployed becomes part of the long-term unemployed.
January 29, 2014
Tributes are pouring in to honor the memory and legacy of Pete Seeger. Among so many other contributions to the movements for social justice, he was a supporter of the struggle for rank and file union power. Ken Paff, national organizer of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, recalls his support of TDU with a Detroit benefit concert in April, 1985.
Seeger is famous, of course, for making “We Shall Overcome” a civil and human rights anthem. The story of where he found that song is told below by...
January 20, 2014
On the occasion of the Martin Luther King holiday, we present this exploration of the unfinished economic and social justice agenda of the Civil Rights Movement. It was written as a review of a new book by Paul LeBlanc and Michael D. Yates, A Freedom Budget for All Americans, and appears in the January-February 2014 issue of Against the Current.
The Freedom Budget for All Americans was issued at a broadly endorsed conference in 1966. It was initiated by civil rights leaders A. Philip Randolph...
January 6, 2014
A politically weakened U.S. president is pulled by a powerful domestic lobby and influential foreign governments toward launching a war that U.S. imperialism right now doesn’t want, that the world doesn’t want, and that the large majority of the American public doesn’t want — what will be the outcome?
Top officials and negotiators announce a deal between the U.S., Iran, and European allies.
It’s an interesting, if dangerous and scary, test of how U.S. politics...
December 6, 2013
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
Amandla! does not believe in miracles. Mandela is not immortal. He has lived the fullest of lives. Amandla! stands with his family, the ANC (the organisation he lived and died for), his closest comrades, especially the surviving Treason Trialists and Robben Island prisoners, the South African people as well as millions of people around the world to mark the passing of a great man.
Yet Mandela was no God, no...
November 14, 2013
The members of AF3IRM, each of whom remains connected to an ancestral homeland often visited by crises and calamities, share the distress of the people of the Philippines; we stand in solidarity with them; we send their sympathy for this unparalleled tragedy for the archipelago.
We urge all those who have compassion in their hearts and spirits, who wish to honor the steadfastness with which men, women and children clung to one another in the teeth of the strongest recorded storm of human history...
November 11, 2013
The piece below was submitted to us by a member of the New York City branch of Solidarity, originally developed as a short presentation on the realities of police brutality and the character of organized opposition in the city.
I want to explore a political question I've found more and more important to have an answer to: the role of current police repression in the US. Maybe I should say this differently, since I think we'd all agree capitalists will use various state apparatus to accomplish...
October 31, 2013
[The following article will appear in the November-December issue of Against the Current.]
MALCOLM X BY 1964 had broken with the Nation of Islam, a religious-centered Black Nationalist group. He remained an orthodox Muslim and Black Nationalist, but advocated a broader strategy to win Black freedom by supporting wider unity of all oppressed ethnic groups. He also, in a shift, supported united front efforts with progressive whites.
Yet his “Ballot or Bullet” speech, where many of these ideas...
October 17, 2013
It took some serious ruling class intervention to finally present John Boehner with an instruction he couldn’t refuse: get the Reid-McConnell Senate deal to the House floor for a straight vote to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. You can tell the Tea Party that you know where they’re coming from, and they need to crawl back under it – and if you’re soon-to-be SPINO (“Speaker in Name Only”), that’s tomorrow’s problem. We run this damn country, and we don’t care...
October 1, 2013
For the first time in many years, there are not one, but two exciting new campaigns that have great potential to put unions back on the map of public consciousness. The efforts to organize workers at Walmart as well as workers at fast food restaurants and other big box stores in cities across the US have caught the attention of millions of people who previously had little to no connection to organized labor.
In this article, I offer some thoughts on what makes these campaigns so exciting,...
October 1, 2013
UPDATE: The Shutdown Showdown
Updated October 1, 2013
Yes, they did it: over the edge and down the ravine, into the “partial government shutdown.“ If you need help from your local Social Security or Veterans Administration office, forget it. Calling Fannie Mae for a loan modification? Don’t bother – those notoriously cynical bureaucrats aren’t even there. Camping in a national park? Pack up and get out. Even if you want to stage an antiwar protest at your downtown Federal Building, you...
August 28, 2013
McCain, Boehner, Graham, Kerry, Biden...the call of U.S. war hawks from both parties is growing louder. Their pretext, of course, is the chemical attack that killed hundreds of civilians near Damascus, adding to tens of thousands killed, and millions of refugees displaced, all manifestations of the cruelties of the Syrian civil war.
According to a senior administration official, President Obama has made "no decision" on military intervention (Reuters), but warplanes and military transporters are...
August 20, 2013
[The following statement was originally issued in Arabic by the Egyptian Revolutonary Socialists on 14 August 2013. It was subsequently published in English on Socialist Worker.]
Down with Military Rule! Down with al-Sisi, the Leader of the Counter-Revolution!
The bloody dissolution of the sit-ins in Al-Nahda Square and Raba'a al-Adawiyya is nothing but a massacre—prepared in advance. It aims to liquidate the Muslim Brotherhood. But, it is also part of a plan to liquidate the Egyptian...
August 8, 2013
Over the last week, President Obama has kicked off a series of speeches on the subject of the economy. The deeper purpose of his speaking tour is to stake out his position for the upcoming budget and deficit cutting battle that will likely occur within the next few months, as both the new budget year begins on October 1 and a new "debt ceiling" extension deadline concurrently approaches.
July 1, 2013
By a narrow majority, 5-4, the US Supreme Court overturned the crucial enforcement provisions of historic 1965 Voting Rights Act. The ruling issued on June 25 is a major defeat for not only voting rights but civil rights.
Some have argued that it is not as bad as civil rights leaders proclaim -- only a setback. But only those unfamiliar with grim realities of US history could make such an argument. What’s been won in the past has several times been reversed or so eroded it lost its...
May 28, 2013
Medgar Evers was assassinated on June 12, 1963 by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, who was convicted of the crime three decades later in 1994. This 50th anniversary tribute was written by Evers’ friend and fellow organizer John R. Salter, Jr. for Against the Current, where it will appear in the forthcoming issue #165.
We are also posting this on a week that is now noteworthy for another event in Jackson, Mississippi, the May 21 primary victory of Chokwe Lumumba for Mayor. Lumumba, a...
April 26, 2013
ON APRIL 10, PRESIDENT Obama released his formal budget for Fiscal 2014 beginning this October. Liberals should not act shocked and surprised: Obama’s repeated offers to cut
Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, and other yet undefined Medicare measures, are a continuation of his practice and approach for the past two years.
[This article was written by Paul Prescod for the Solidarity Political Committee. For information on the April 20 Ecosocialist Conference in New York City, please see their "call to conference" here. A statement by Solidarity’s Ecosocialism Working Group on the Superstorm Sandy disaster is online at the Webzine, as well as an announcement by Nick Davenport of the “Ecosocialist Contingent” here.]
EARTH DAY BEGAN on April 22, 1970 as an environmental teach-in modeled after those on the...
Is it the stupidity of dysfunctional bureaucrats? The tactical blundering of a likeable president facing an irreconcilable congressional divide? Or is this the cleverest maneuver yet from the self-proclaimed defenders of democracy and the American quality of life? My vote is for clever.
For the moment we are talking about the Sequestration crisis, just the latest of what president Obama himself called many manufactured crises in his inauguration speech. Though it may seem like he is distressed...
WE KNOW ABOUT heroes of social justice and liberation who come “organically“ from the movements: Nelson Mandela. Rosa Parks, Ella Baker and Martin Luther King, Jr. Eugene V. Debs. Chico Mendes. Bernadette Devlin McAliskey. Heroes of grassroots resistance in Palestine, in the Philippines, in Central America and so many other struggles, those with names we know and so many more we don’t.
Then there are those heroic individuals who seem to come out of nowhere, perhaps influenced in some ways...
The Forward on Climate demonstration in Washington, DC on Sunday, February 17th will be a landmark event in the history of the US environmental movement and a major step forward for the struggle. Radicals and revolutionaries, including Solidarity along with other socialist organizations, are organizing an Ecosocialist Contingent at the demonstration. (Details of the contingent are at the end of this article.)
Despite great advances in changing popular consciousness on the gravity of the...
This editorial statement appears in the January-February issue of AGAINST THE CURRENT. It went to press before the full horror of the fire and heat crisis in Australia – with recorded temperatures of up to 129 degrees Fahrenheit! – had unfolded. We hope very soon to have reports on the Australian situation. We also draw readers’ attention to the Webzine report on the Idle No More mobilizations in the Canadian state, which includes a critically important focus on environmental degradation...
The following article was written prior to the resolution of the so-called "fiscal cliff:" a term used to describe the across the board tax increases and would have forced spending cuts on midnight of the new year. The House of Representatives passed a Senate bill on January 1st, 2013 which temporarily avoids this event with President Obama signing it soon afterwards. Rasmus outlines the fight and probable future sell-outs.
LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON, December 28, President Obama held a press...
November 26, 2012
THE UNITED STATES government, following an old and well-rehearsed script, declared its full support of “Israel’s right to defend itself.” This is a rather technical term, which requires translation into ordinary English: It means “Israel’s right to routinely squeeze and starve the population of Gaza and assassinate their leaders until they attempt to fight back, at which point Israel is fully entitled to massacre them from air, sea and land.”
Other specialized language needs...
November 15, 2012
WHAT WAS THE 2012 election about – and what did it ultimately show? Many fundamental issues were never even raised – climate change and environmental catastrophe, poverty and inequality, to name a few. On issues that were debated, like the economy and the deficit and the endless and endless chatter about “middle class jobs,” the presidential candidates largely avoided presenting their real positions. On the right of the United States to rule the world, their positions were almost...
November 7, 2012
The superstorm was a catastrophe waiting to happen in the era of global warming. Rather than an ordinary late-season hurricane, Sandy became a monster fuelled by the heated waters of the Atlantic. It smashed through the Caribbean, causing massive damage and dozens of deaths both in Cuba (which is generally well-prepared for such disasters) and Haiti (which isn’t). But destruction in the global South is all too quickly forgotten, and would have been in this case if not for what happened next....
August 31, 2012
The U.S. presidential, congressional and state elections have been dominated by the two major political parties, Republicans and Democrats, and by the financial, corporate, and wealthy interests who fundamentally control them. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision of 2010 this year’s election campaigns are more than ever financed by Wall Street, produced by Madison Avenue, disseminated by the corporate media and increasingly by the internet’s social media as well. While...
By Rob Bartlett
August 10, 2012
Updated for ATC 160. The Chicago Teachers Union, taking on “Mayor 1% Rahm Emanuel, is preparing its members and the community for a possible fall strike in defense of quality public education. Download the PDF of this story here.
WHETHER OR NOT the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) will strike this September is an open question. But the issues they raise are gaining national attention. Although the CTU has not been out on strike since 1987, 23,780 out of 26,502 union...
A Solidarity Pamphlet
by Marc Aaron, Warren Davis, Dianne Feeley,
David Finkel & Kit Wainer
Download the PDF here.
AT THIS MOMENT, the central issue facing our society is how to respond to the deepest crisis of global capitalism since the 1930s. Unfortunately, we won’t be hearing a substantive debate about this in the 2012 elections. The Democratic and Republican parties both favor austerity — in short, making working-class people pay to bail out the corporations and get capitalism back on...
May 1, 2012
MAY DAY 2012 is part of an ongoing process of “the 99%” reclaiming the heritage of this International Workers’ Day. On May 1, 2006 and again in 2007, immigrant communities and allies boldly took to the streets against government and police harassment. Now, the Occupy movement is seizing the opportunity of May 1 as a next step to reclaiming the legacy of this day. In the past year we have witnessed the emergence of nationwide mass movement of a kind not seen in the United States for many...
March 21, 2012
It has been several weeks since Obama announced that the G8 will be meeting at the militarized Camp David, rather than in Chicago. Activists are still ambiguous about the move, even as we publicly declare victory. On one hand, the withdrawal of G8 demonstrates the power of the protestors, and Chicago-area organizers in particular, to kick out this monstrous budget-draining summit. In addition, Mayor Emmanuel ends up looking like a fool, which benefits anyone fighting austerity in Chicago....
March 8, 2012
AFTER LOSING A war, one of the worst things that can happen to a society is for its people to be told it was a “victory.” The inability or failure to learn the lessons of the United States’ defeat in Iraq enables the plunge into the next disastrous adventure: Can you say “Iran”?
Veterans mobilize at Occupy Wall Street last Fall
Is a U.S. and/or Israeli direct military attack on Iran really as imminent as recent reports might indicate? We think probably not, but the...
February 15, 2012
AS 2011 CLOSED, the mainstream press was awash with ominous, dark assessments of the state of the relationship between the United States and Pakistan. After a cross-border NATO air strike in November resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan responded forcefully, closing the Af-Pak border to NATO traffic, expelling the U.S. military from an air base inside Pakistan,(1) and boycotting the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, which had been tasked with outlining the...
January 30, 2012
THE QUESTION ISN’T whether the magnificent “Occupy” movement will continue after police action and the onset of winter have largely emptied the encampments. The righteous rage that made the movement possible, and the enormous social and economic crisis that made it necessary, are not going away anytime soon. Quite the contrary — capitalism’s inherent contradictions, made worse by economic policies in Europe and the United States that seem calculated to maximize the...
January 3, 2012
IT TOOK ABOUT twenty minutes after the last official U.S. combat troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait for the Potemkin village of “Iraqi stability and democracy” carefully constructed by the American occupation to fall apart. The regime of prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has brought a terrorism indictment against the vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi, who promptly headed north to autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan where the central government’s hand doesn’t reach. Purges of university...
November 4, 2011
And some of the Pharisees among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.—Luke 19:39-40
Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt
Where does the tremendous power of the occupation of city spaces, particularly the square, come from? The occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo brought down the Mubarak dictatorship, theindignados in assembly in the plazas shook the...
November 1, 2011
Occupy Oakland is calling for no work and no school on November 2 as part of the general strike. We are asking that all workers go on strike, call in sick, take a vacation day or simply walk off the job with their co-workers. We are also asking that all students walk out of school and join workers and community members in downtown Oakland. All banks and large corporations must close down for the day or demonstrators will march on them…
October 5, 2011
Occupy Wall Street is just about the best thing that’s happened to America since the economic crisis first broke. Occupation is spreading. We’re standing up and fighting back. And we’re showing that another way of living together is possible.
We’re a movement of the underdogs. We embrace the unemployed, the homeless, the ex-offenders, the down-and-out and the downtrodden. We welcome those who are discriminated against, those who are outcast. That’s what democracy is all about. And...
September 26, 2011
While I was cursing the inane mainstream commentary on the global economy recently, I was reminded of a pivotal scene in the 1976 movie, All the President’s Men. As two young reporters investigate the burglary of Democratic Party offices in the Watergate Hotel, a disgruntled, high-ranking FBI agent, code-named Deep Throat, advises, “Follow the money. Always follow the money.”
They did. And, in the process, the real-life journalists, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, blew the lid off one of...
“This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.” -Troy Davis
The hypocrisy of the United States was on full display late Wednesday night, "International Peace Day," as the Supreme Court ruled that Georgia should proceed with the execution of Troy Davis. His body was strapped to a...
BREAKING: The scheduled 7pm execution of Troy Davis has been temporarily delayed by the United States Supreme Court while they decide whether to rule on his case. The streaming video feed at Democracy Now! has constant updates live from the maximum security prison in Jackson, Georgia. Call the United States Supreme Court at (202) 479-3000 and urge them to rule in Troy's favor. There are reports of a spontaneous demonstration at the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.
On Tuesday Morning,...
by Isaac Steiner
On September 21, the state of Georgia intends to kill a 43-year old man named Troy Davis who has spent nearly half his life on death row. This is the fourth time Davis has faced the executioner's needle. A powerful international movement, fueled by the lack of evidence linking Davis to the 1989 murder he's accused of—and by simple opposition to the barbaric death penalty—has pushed back the state's previous attempts.
Troy Davis with his mother in 2002Now that same movement...
by Ricardo Levins Morales
The Madison worker uprising shook up the US political landscape. State governments that were peacefully going about their business forcing workers and communities to pay for upper class gluttony are facing resistance on a scale they had not imagined. Instead of letting their fellow workers be picked off and destroyed sector by sector, a wide swath of the working public rose in support of Wisconsin teachers and state workers. This, in turn, has given new juice to efforts...
IS THERE ANY ruling class in history that would sit by as its country went bankrupt, not by necessity but to serve the ideological agenda of a political fringe? It seems incredible, yet at face value it seems that this perspective is looming on August 2 – and not to just any country but to the world superpower, the United States of America.
Legislation to raise the U.S. debt ceiling is usually a routine procedure whose necessity is well understood. The Republicans’ position is to hold this...
May 4, 2011
“U-S-A! U-S-A!” The celebrations – in gatherings in front of the White House, at Ground Zero and around the country as the news spread of the U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden – are understandable, after a decade in which the mass murderer OBL was portrayed as the incarnation of all things evil. The popular euphoria will fade quickly. The triumphal comment by the President of the United States – “The U.S. has shown it can do whatever it wants to do”...
April 4, 2011
For socialists and for antiwar forces, the events in Libya have presented — and continue to present — agonizing political and ethical choices. It is entirely logical and inevitable that thoughtful activists find themselves in disagreement among each other, and indeed in internal conflict within themselves, over questions raised by the Libyan popular uprising and by the military intervention of the western powers. Recognizing the difficulties of the situation is the essential first...
by Stephanie Luce
I spent the last few days in Madison, returning to the city where I lived for many years in the 90s. I hadn’t been back there in almost 10 years, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The major event was the rally on Saturday, March 12. This started off with a tractor-cade around the Capitol Square at 10 am. Dozens of tractors came from around the state in protest of Governor Walker’s proposed cuts and attacks on democracy. The streets were lined all the way around the square...
By Santiago Alba Rico & Alma Allende
Rebelion, March 3rd 2011
We have the impression that a great worldwide liberation process may be aborted by the unappeasable ferocity of Gaddafi, U.S. interventionism, and a lack of foresight in Latin America.
We might describe the situation like this: in a part of the world linked once again to strong internal solidarities and from which only lethargy or fanaticism was expected, a wave of popular uprisings have arisen which have threatened to topple the...
January 27, 2011 -- The revolt spreading from Tunisia to Algeria, Egypt, Yemen and beyond inspires both hope and fear. Hope, because so many tens of millions of people are taking to the streets at the risk of beating, torture and death to liberate themselves and their country. But also fear, because of the chilling reality that for every democratic victory -- such as we’ve witnessed so far in Tunisia, or the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 or the political revolution that ended...
by David Finkel
AFTER THE INITIAL horror, the responses to the massacre in Tucson have settled into the usual political dialogue-of-the deaf, and like most such discourse these days it is pretty much useless all around.
THE SOCIAL SECURITY “reform” proposal by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, in advance of the December release of the “bipartisan” deficit reduction commission appointed by president Obama, is only the preview of a coming series of savage attacks on programs that working people in the United States have counted on for decades. These assaults in the name of “budget discipline” will dominate the legislative agenda for the next Congress, and for dozens of state legislatures as they face...
NOVEMBER 3, THE DAY AFTER -- Several points stand out from the long-predicted results of the midterm election. The Democrats, of course, took a big hammering -- and quite frankly, they deserved it. If it weren’t for the gift of a few whacked-out Tea Party candidates in critical races, they’d have lost the Senate too.
A line of voters file into New York City polling station
By Dan La Botz
Socialist Party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Ohio
The following essay represents a distillation of my basic stump speech over the past nine months of the campaign. Visit my YouTube page to watch me giving speeches very much like this one around Ohio - or follow my campaign on Facebook.
In recent weeks, millions of French workers and students have gone on strike and participated in massive demonstrations against proposed changes to the country's pension system. President Nicolas Sarkozy wishes to push through a change to that would raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. This attempt has become a social clash over which class will pay for the ongoing economic crisis: the rich elite, or the working majority.
The union leadership, tied to the Socialist Party and its perspective...
by the Solidarity Political Committee
Update: List of Protest Actions at FBI Offices
On Friday, September 24, the FBI used search and seizure warrants to raid the homes of several antiwar and socialist activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Subpoenas were delivered to activists in other states. The charges related to supposed "material aid to terrorist organizations." In this case, the activists appear to have been targetted because of their active support for organizations in Colombia and...
—by Isaac Steiner
From Manhattan to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the right wing’s efforts to demonize Muslim people has turned mosques and Islamic cultural centers into political battlegrounds. All progressive people have a responsibility to stand against the spread of this hatred, and we support all of the mobilizations that have been organized in defense of religious freedom and the Muslim community.
The impact of this was made painfully clear on August 30th when a cabdriver, Ahmed Sharif, was...
ARIZONA’S VERSION OF ethnic cleansing, SB 1070, came into force on Thursday, July 29, minus those provisions halted by a federal court injunction – notably the requirement that police check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being “illegal.” The ruling by federal judge Susan Bolton is heading for appeals that will almost certainly wind up in U.S. Supreme Court. That body has recently distinguished itself by upholding the “personhood” rights of corporations, but not those...
President Obama and the Congressional Democrats have been stern in their condemnations of BP. Yet their responses to the greatest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history show the Democratic Party’s unwillingness to challenge not only the logic of private profitability, but also the short-term prerogatives of corporate interests.
The President’s June 15 Oval Office address met a wide array of critics. Some questioned his lack of specificity, others the tardiness of his response. But Obama...
by the Socialist Project in Canada
The massive police presence in Toronto over this week has been officially justified on the basis of protecting the leaders of the G8 and G20 countries meeting in Huntsville and Toronto. We were told that the creation of the fenced-in fortress, the massive mobilization of police (estimates ranging from 10-20,000) from across Canada, and even the passing of a secret law on policing (by the executive of the Ontario government without reference to the Legislative...
This week, Solidarity members will join thousands of other activists and organizers at the second United States Social Forum in Detroit, June 22-26. The USSF will combine educational and organizing workshops, protest, People's Movement Assemblies and cultural events, all focused on connecting and advancing the struggles of working and oppressed people, and against war and ecological destruction.
The 2007 USSF in Atlanta succeeded in bringing together new networks dedicated to everything from...
The Israeli Navy’s murderous assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has been described as a bungled and botched operation and a diplomatic disaster for Israel. It is all of that, but more important, it is a crime against the law of the sea in the context of a larger crime against humanity – the siege of Gaza.
Statement for March 21 [Español abajo]
View our previous front page, They're President Obama's Wars Now, here
Is this what people voted for? Bring all the troops home now!
The voters in november 2008 spoke loud and clear: They rejected the disastrous wars of George W. Bush, the lies, the torture, the horrible waste of lives and resources. President Barack Obama, on his first day in office, promised that the Guantanamo prison would close within a year. “Gitmo” was created by the Bush-Cheney regime, on U.S.-occupied Cuban territory, to make sure the torture and military “trials” there would be...
Delivered to the Solidarity National Committee in February 2010
Dan La Botz, Cincinnati School Teacher, Socialist Party Candidate for U.S. Senate.
by Enku Ide
The 7.0 earthquake that razed much of the Haitian capital on January 13 has led to a uniquely devastating humanitarian crisis.
— Wesley Strong
While President Obama unveiled his plan to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan last week, anti-war activists were finishing the organization of protests for the following
A Statement by the Solidarity Political Committee
Statement adopted by the Left Unity Commission of Solidarity (November 2009)
— Ron Lare
AUTO WORKERS WERE supposedly whipped, tamed and back in their cages. But “No”! The beast has raised its head again.
— David Finkel
For the Solidarity Political Committee
— Jonah McAllister-Erickson
Activist with the Thomas Merton Center (writing in a personal capacity)
The Case for Out Now
Read the new statement by the Solidarity Political Committee on the case for immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, issued on the day the occupation entered its ninth year.
Check back in the upcoming days for reports on the October 17 mobilizations on the Solidarity Webzine. For more information about Solidarity's perspectives and work in the anti-war movement,...
Delivered to the Solidarity National Committee in Sept. 2009
- by Dan La Botz, June 28
THE UNFOLDING EVENTS in the Iranian crisis remind us, on the one hand, of the magnificent democratic mobilizations in Iran’s own history, and globally over the past century and in our own time
This December in Copenhagen, the United Nations Climate Conference will determine the international agreement on climate change to succeed the expiring Kyoto Protocol.
In their essay “Reimagining Socialism,”
New! scroll down for videos from a recent forum on Gaza at NYU...
Stand with the people of Gaza!
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS see the election of Barack Obama as a referendum on white supremacy and today we join in their celebration.
[To download and print a 4-page foldable leaflet, click here. Some printers have difficulty with the file.
by Charlie Post
IS THE BANKING crisis the end of capitalism as we know it?
Download a .pdf of the document
Lawyers’ leadership on the road from resistance to reconciliation
By: Farooq Tariq
We started our Long March from Lahore around 6pm on 12 June 2008. Four vehicles were carrying around 100 Labour Party Pakistan activists. The destination was Islamabad, where leaders of the lawyers’ movement announced a picket of parliament. This was to put pressure on the Pakistan Peoples Party government to fulfill their promise to restore the country’s top judges.
Statement by Cynthia McKinney, Power to the People Candidate for U.S. President, on the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic Party's Presidential Candidate in 2008
(statement issued June 9, 2008)
Solidarity congratulates the Cynthia McKinney "Power to the People" presidential campaign on winning the Green Party endorsement.
Motion from Solidarity National Committee
Solidarity endorses the Cynthia McKinney campaign in the Green Party as the most viable option for an independent political alternative in the 2008 presidential election. We make this choice in the context of the following considerations:
by Marc Johnson
Media reports have neglected the most important source of aid to victims of cyclone Nargis - spontaneous donations from their fellow citizens.
With the Burmese regime continuing to deny the true extent of the catastrophe, and army factions vying to appropriate as much of the aid as possible, food, clothing and money gifts from private Burmese citizens probably represents over 80% of the aid actually received by victims of the cyclone, which killed over 30,000 people when it hit...
Nakba Day, 15 May, means "Day of the Catastrophe" and marks the beginning of the Palestinian exodus following Israel's creation in 1948. Solidarity salutes the brave struggle of the Palestinian people with these reflections:
Why We March On May Day
(Op-Ed for L.A. Daily News)
By: Nativo V. Lopez, National President, Mexican American Political Association (MAPA)
The immigrant vote will increase to unstoppable heights in four short years across California's political landscape, a veritable big-foot electorate, according to a recently released study commissioned by the Grantmakers Concerned With Immigrants and Refugees. Fully one-third of California voters by 2012 will be comprised of immigrant voters - naturalized...
Watch it online here!
Last month, March 13-16, hundreds of soldiers gathered in DC to disclose the realities of U.S. war policy in a public investigation called Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans and civilian survivors of both conflicts gave public testimony and shared the eyewitness stories that have been censored from the American public about the true human cost of these occupations. The Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) are turning a page, and writing a new chapter in the...
Farooq Sulehria is a prominent radical journalist and leading member of the Labour Party Pakistan.
Liaqat Bagh: On February 18, as the night set in, the lush green garden in Pakistan's northern town of Rawalpindi was witnessing a very different scene. Unlike the December 27 bloody Benazir tragedy staged on its gates, this scene featured a crowd of several thousand cheering and chanting. Waving Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) flags, chanting “Jeay Bhutto” (“Long live Bhutto”) youth embraced...
January 25, 2008
About 3:00 am on Wednesday morning Jan. 23, well-coordinated explosions demolished the iron wall built by Israel to seal the southern border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt (the Philadelphi axis). Tens of thousands of Palestinians streamed across the border and entered the Egyptian side of the town of Rafah, which had been bisected by the wall, in search of food, gasoline, and other basic commodities which have been in short supply for many months in Gaza. The first wave of...
January 23, 2008
Jeff HalperThe people of Palestine have done it again, taking their own fate in their hands after being let down by their own "moderate" political leadership and, indeed, the entire international community in their struggle for freedom. Early this morning they simply blew up the wall separating Gaza from Egypt, breaking a siege imposed on them by an Arab government in collaboration with Israel.
THE UNAUTHORIZED OPENING of Gaza’s border with Egypt may be known to later historians as the beginning of the Third Intifada of the Palestinian people. That remains to be seen. What should be clear to everyone -- with the Egyptian border now re-closing and with the Israeli assassinations of resistance leaders back in full operation – is that Gaza under closure and blockade is an open wound on the body of the “international community,” and the deliberate starvation of its people by the...
Boris KagarlitskyThe strike at the Ford factory in Vsevolozhsk, located right outside St. Petersburg, ended on Dec. 14. It was the longest and most intense standoff in post-Soviet times. The strike began on Nov. 20 and continued for three weeks. According to union activists, the plant's conveyors came to a full stop. Then management threw together one shift mainly composed of office workers and, toward the end of the strike, a second shift to keep the assembly line running. But the quality...
The following contributions reflect a partial cross-section of the rich and complex discussion taking place in the Venezuelan and international left just before and immediately after the narrow defeat of the Constitutional referendum. Undoubtedly the discussion will continue among all of us who view the social process in Venezuela as a beacon of hope in the resistance to savage neoliberalism and U.S. imperial domination.
Earlier this month, we featured coverage of events in Pakistan after President Musharaff declared martial law. As events have heated up again following the assassination of Pakistan People's Party leader Benazir Bhutto, be sure to look at our International Spotlight on Pakistan page. We also have a section on the Venezuelan referendum.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) four-year contracts with General Motors, Chrysler and Ford contain cuts that mark the end of high-paying jobs in the U.S. auto...
On November 3, Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, declared a state of emergency and suspended the constitution in the face of protests against his attempted re-election while remaining army chief. Musharraf came to power following a 1999 military coup d'etat and since 2001 has been a key U.S. ally in the region. These recent actions lay bare the hypocrisy of the supposed democratic aims of the "War On Terror." Below, British socialist Tariq Ali reflects on the meaning of the state of...
Bush, Democrats and the War that Won’t End:
OUT OF IRAQ – NOW!
Download a copy of this statement in .pdf format
In November 2006 the U.S. electorate repudiated the Bush regime’s war in Iraq and put the Democrats in control of Congress, with a clear mandate to bring this disastrous imperial adventure to an end. A year later it is clear that Congress under the Democratic leadership could – but won’t – end the war. It’s even becoming apparent that the leading Democratic presidential...
August 25, 2007, Newark, New Jersey
by César Rosado
The sweltering, above 95-degree heat did not deter the about 1,000-1,500 people that congregated today at Lincoln Park, in Newark, New Jersey, for the “People’s March for Peace, Equality, Jobs and Justice.” The march commemorated the 44th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 40th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion, and the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Solidarity held a 3-day conference on "Socialism and Environmental Justice" in New York City, July 20-22. Joel Kovel, author of this article, and other socialist, labor and environmental justice activists presented on topics ranging from the Uneasy Alliance of Labor and Environmental Justice to Feminism, Reproduction and the Environment. Some of the resources gathered by the summer school committee, grouped under several themes and questions, are available at the bottom of the page.
The second annual May Day mobilizations for immigrant rights brought an outpouring of 100,000 people into the streets of Chicago; tens of thousands in Los Angeles, where peaceful marchers with their families, as well as journalists, were met with a police riot at MacArthur Park; five thousand or more in Detroit; and thousands or tens of thousands in many other cities.
— Charlie Post
What follows is not a definitive analysis of the 2006 elections. Instead, I want to spark a discussion on several questions:
Why did the Democrats win a majority of the House and Senate?
THE CRISIS IN the Middle East deepens as the Bush regime twists in the wind, offering non-solutions that even the establishment media openly question. The new Democratic majority in Congress has neither unity nor a coherent alternative. Republicans lost the November 2006 midterm election for one overwhelming reason-the U.S. population's repudiation of the war in Iraq and the leadership that produced this disaster. Now both pro-war parties share responsibility for continuing a war that the...
--from Solidarity’s Anti-War Working Group
With the recent leak of the National Intelligence Estimate, the Bush administration’s own intelligence agencies have confirmed what the anti-war movement has been saying since 2003—the US invasion and occupation of Iraq have not promoted peace and democracy either in Iraq or around the world. Even on its own terms, the US war has been a failure-- providing a fertile environment for the growth of terrorism around the world. (Mark Mazzetti,
Artwork: Megan Finn
August 29th marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's destructive landfall in New Orleans. For five endless days the nation watched while 100,000 people, trapped by the floodwaters, struggled to survive. "They just left us here to die" remarked one woman in the Superdome. Her words captured the sentiment of many survivors -- that those too poor, too old, or too Black were just abandoned by the government.
Rarely have the savage inequalities of race and class in...