September 2010, Week 5


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 30 Sep 2010 21:35:26 -0400
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Tidbits - September 30, 2010

* Re: Join the Socialist Contingent on October 2 - 
  Socialists Don't Necessarily Agree (Carl Davidson and Daniel Berger)
* Re: The Great Divergence and the Death of Organized Labor
  (Cyril Robinson)
* Emergency in Ecuador (Alfredo Lopez)
* It's Time We Drop the I-Word!  (Rinku Sen)
* Pacifica National Board Members Demand Purge of Dissenting
  KPFA Staff (Jon Fromer)
* International Law & the United States- Principles &
  Practice: The Evidence that US Elected Officials, Employees & Contractors Have Broken & Continue to Break 
  International Law. )Oct. 19 - Brooklyn, NY)
* Turning Park51 Into a Teachable Moment: Curriculum Guide
  and Fact Sheets for Middle Schools and, High Schools


* Re: Join the Socialist Contingent on October 2 -
Socialists Don't Necessarily Agree

What most interesting about this socialist contingent is the
subtext. It's not really interested in uniting socialists at
this march, but dividing them, not only from each other but
from their closer allies, such as the labor unions and civil
rights groups. In this case, to join their contingent, you
have to agree with the notion that it doesn't matter to us
whether the GOP and the far right sweeps the 2010 elections.
Not only that, but if you do think it matters, then there's
something wrong with you.

So thanks, but no thanks. Even though I'm socialist to the
core, I'll find another contingent--jobs not war, windmill
not weapons, out now! Something along those lines. But I am
a critic of the 'One Nation' theme. I'd say we have two
Americas--the America of Empire vs. the America of popular
democracy. But it's not something I'll get into a tizzy
over. It's the American of popular democracy that's being
assembled here, regardless of the packaging, and I'm quite
pleased with it.

Carl Davidson


You are theoretically correct but you are reducing the
Democratic vote. The Socialists and Communists couldn't
unite against the Nazis and look what happened.

Daniel Berger


* Re: The Great Divergence and the Death of Organized Labor

What you say about Taft-Hartley is correct but T-H could not
have passed if it had not been preceded by an anti-communist
drive 1930-1950s. Communists were the best organizers and
the most hard-working and dedicated union members and
officers. AFL-CIO cooperated in the outing of CP members.
Once these people were out of unions, much of the militancy
disappeared and unions organizers became business agents.
See my forthcoming book, to be published by Prager Press
later this year, Marching with Dr.King, the biography of
Ralph Helstein, a Jewish lawyer who became president of the
United Packinghouse Union of America (UPWA), and led them in
a struggle for the rights of blacks and women.

Cyril Robinson


* Emergency in Ecuador

There's a coup attempt underway in Ecuador. Because of its
borders and the political perspective of its fairly recent
government, this is a major one for us. It was a direct,
physical attack on the President there and the take-over of
many institutions. The mainstream media positions it as a
protest over wages, etc. but that's garbage: this is am
attempted coup and you just know our own government is
lurking somewhere in the background.

Here's the BBC link to the story and you can probably search
for more.


[Moderator's Note: this post is part of a separate Portside
post of tonight, "Coup Attempt in Ecuador.]

We also need to respond and we'll communicate on any
response campaigns upcoming but let's all keep an eye out
for that.


Alfredo Lopez
May First/People Link
Growing Networks to Build a Just World

Chair -- Information Communications and Technology Working
United State Social Forum 2010


* It's Time We Drop the I-Word!

Dear colleagues, allies and friends,

Today we are excited to announce the launch of Drop the I-
Word, a national public education campaign focused on
eradicating the racial slur "illegals" from media use and
public discourse.

The i-word is a damaging term that divides and dehumanizes
communities and is used to discriminate against immigrants
and people of color. It is shorthand for "illegal alien,"
"illegal immigrant" and other racially charged terms.

This campaign is an extension of the work of the Applied
Research Center and ColorLines.com, to popularize racial
justice and give people the tools they need to make
structural changes together. This is a cross-generational,
multiracial initiative aimed at raising the public awareness
of, and commitment to, human rights, dignity and racial
justice for all people.

We can stop unintentionally fueling racial profiling and
violence directed toward immigrants when we Drop the I-Word
as a designation for our neighbors, children and families.
We can encourage others to uphold the same human values and
professional journalistic standards.

Take the pledge to stop using the i-word and ask media to do
the same.

Visit droptheiword.com today.

Rinku Sen
Executive Director, Applied Research Center
Publisher, ColorLines Magazine


* Pacifica National Board Members Demand Purge of Dissenting
KPFA Staff

In case anyone thought I was exaggerating the danger KPFA is
in from sectarian, union-busting board members who control
the KPFA and Pacifica boards, please read the following. -

Jon Fromer


Pacifica National Board Members Demand Purge of Dissenting
KPFA Staff - List Includes Staff of the Morning Show,
Against the Grain, and the News Department

(BERKELEY, CA - September 29, 2010) Three members of KPFA's
Local Station Board who sit on the Pacifica National Board--
Tracy Rosenberg, Joe Wanzala, and Shahram Aghamir--have
drawn up a list of their staff enemies who they are
demanding be laid off, according to a misdirected email.
The three are affiliated with a slate that has a majority on
the KPFA board. Their targets appear to be their political
opponents on the board and in the station.

The purge list includes the staff of some of the most
successful programs at KPFA - both in terms of popularity
and fundraising - including Aimee Allison, Brian Edwards-
Tiekert, and Laura Prives of the Morning Show; Sasha Lilley
of Against the Grain; News Anchor John Hamilton, the only
two paid reporters, Christopher Martinez and Max Pringle,
and News Engineer Rose Ketabchi. All of these staff members
have signed statements in opposition to the actions of the
board majority.

Rosenberg, Wanzala, and Aghamir are also insisting that the
Morning Show, which raises three times what it costs, be cut
to one hour and that the Evening News, which is one of the
few remaining sources of local and regional news, be cut to
half an hour.

Such a purge would decimate KPFA's ability to fundraise,
eviscerating some of the largest income-generating programs
at a time of financial crisis.  The move by the three
national board members contravenes the Pacifica bylaws and
disregards KPFA's local autonomy, by taking the power over
the station's budget out of the hands of the KPFA Local
Station Board and decisions on layoffs out of the hands of
the station's General Manager. The purge would also violate
KPFA's contract with Communications Workers of America Local
9415, which represents the paid staff of KPFA.

The members of the Pacifica National Board are demanding
KPFA make deep cuts to it staffing, claiming that the
station owes Pacifica $300,000 and must pay that money back.
However, during the crisis of 1999, KPFA lent Pacifica
almost $1.5 million dollars, which it has still has not
repaid.  Pacifica is also holding $150,000 of KPFA's money
as collateral for a line of credit. And KPFA has been paying
a disproportionate share of listener income to Pacifica,
compared to the four other stations in the Pacifica network.

KPFA staff are asking listeners and subscribers to email the
Pacifica National Board to demand that these cuts not take
place and that Pacifica honor KPFA's union contract. Emails
can be sent to the Pacifica National Board through a contact
form on the website <kpfaworker.org> .


* International Law & the United States- Principles &
Practice: The Evidence that US Elected Officials, Employees
& Contractors Have Broken & Continue to Break International

    October 19 -- 7.00 - 9.00 pm

    Brooklyn Law School - Brooklyn
    250 Joralemon Street
    Brooklyn, NY

The second of a three-part series co-sponsored by War
Criminals Watch, Brooklyn for Peace, the Brooklyn Law School
and New York City chapters of the National Lawyers Guild and
the Brooklyn Law School International Law Society:  The
Evidence that US Elected Officials, Employees & Contractors
Have Broken & Continue to Break International Law.

Presenters are:

Shahid Buttar, Executive Director of the Bill of Rights
Defense Committee

Tina Monshipour Foster, Founder and Executive Director of
the International Justice Network

Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for
Constitutional Rights

RSVP IS REQUIRED for non-BLS students at least 5 days before

For further information, contact
[log in to unmask]

Directions by subway: ##2, 3 and 4 to Borough Hall; M and R
to Court  Street; and A, C and F to Jay Street/Borough Hall.

The event will be in the Subotnick Center, on the 10th

Food and beverages provided from 6:30 on.  The program
begins at 7:00.


* Turning Park51 Into a Teachable Moment: Curriculum Guide
and Fact Sheets for Middle Schools and, High Schools

The controversy surrounding the Park51 Cultural Center in
lower Manhattan has been at the forefront of the media and
the nation's consciousness recently.  Tanenbaum, an
interfaith organization that promotes tolerance and dialogue
has created a free curriculum <
for middle and high schools which includes goal setting,
webbing and charting tools; instructor notes; student
worksheets; activities and handouts to be used as an
introductory tool to exploring controversy over the proposed
Islamic Cultural Center and a general discussion about
personal perceptions of conflict.




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