About Portside - Comments on our 10th Anniversary
From:Conn Hallinan, Bill Henning, Gerald
Horne, Jane LaTour, Robert Meeropol
Starting in 2001 I began writing columns on foreign
policy, first for the San Francisco Examiner, than for
Foreign Policy In Focus, as well as other outlets.
There are a number of websites that make my columns
possible, including ZNet, AlterNet, Commondreams, Japan
Focus, Upside Down World, and Counterpunch. But the
site that I simply cannot do without is Portside. I
read it every day and generally download two or three
articles. Many become the starting points for my
columns. In terms of solid facts and ideas, Portside is
unique. Indeed, it is always a wonder that a handful of
volunteers can do as much as they do to keep the site
up and running. I write four to five essays a month,
and each of the folders that I collect my material in
will have several Portside printouts. Its contribution
to the Left is considerable. Its contribution to my
work is inestimable.
Best, Conn Hallinan Author, columnist, Foreign Policy
In Focus and Berkeley Daily Planet
Hundreds of e-mails find their way into my Inbox daily.
I can never keep up with all of them but I am glad
Portside makes it easier (sort of) to sift through
important opinions on the topics I care about. I
especially find Portside Labor a critical source of
information on important debates, and I really enjoy
the weekly Rewind quotes and cartoons for the week.
While I do not claim agreement with every piece I read,
the vitality of the diverse points of view make it must
reading for someone who aspires to influence others.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital; that,
in fact, capital is the fruit of labor, and could never
have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is
the superior of capital and deserves much the higher
consideration." Abraham Lincoln (1861)
Bill Henning Vice President, Communication Workers of
America Local 1180 (CWA)
Portside is valuable in so many ways--not least as a
diverse source of information on matters national and
global. Still, two things stand out when I ponder
Portside: first, the attempt to transcend the
sectarian differences on the left that have been our
bane in recent decades. Seemingly, affirmative action
has been taken by Portside to seek out materials from
virtually every trend on the left; it reminds me of
Robeson in his concerts singing in numerous languages,
in part to signify the underlying unity of humanity.
Second--and in aid of this trend--is the studied
attempt by Portside to maintain a certain decorum and
politesse, which is all too necessasry on a medium like
email. Too often the absence of simple courtesy has
been the downfall of many a movement, as this dearth
signals disrespect--and basic respect is so, so
important nowadays. We build the future we crave by how
we treat one another today. To its credit, Portside
has not cast aside this elementary lesson.
Gerald Horne Chair of History and African American
Studiesm University of Houston; Author of The End of
Empires: African-Americans and India, The Final Victim
of the Blacklist: John Howard Lawson, Dean of the
Hollywood Ten, Black & Brown: Africans and the Mexican
What I value about Portside:
* It's eclectic; it's indispensable; it's easy to
access; and it supports the work that I do - on every
* Work that I do as an author and preparing for the
lectures I've been giving for the past two years about
gender, race and workplace equality;
* Work that I do on behalf of the New York Labor
* Work that I do in collecting data for my second book,
an oral history about union dissidents, the labor
movement, and "the limits of reform;"
* Work that I do in preparing the stories I write for
my "day job" and all of the different beats I cover for
the newspaper - women and children; poverty; the green
beat; war/anti-war; safety and health, etc.
I especially appreciate the broad scope of the clips
included in the Portside postings - and the variety of
sources they come from - on corruption in the labor
movement, such as the Brian McLaughlin clips and the
Carpenters clips, the building trades, the maritime
trades, etc. and the generic clips about wages and
Thank you all for the work that you do, keeping up
up-to- date on so many fronts!
Jane LaTour Author, "Sisters in the Brotherhoods:
Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City"
Associate Editor, Public Employee Press, District
Council 37, AFSCME
Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. In just ten
short years Portside has become an indispensible
resource for a growing network of thousands of
progressive individuals and activists across the
country. It provides a broad spectrum of vital
information to help those who wish to move the nation
to the left. The articles offer incisive and in- depth
analysis of events at home and abroad that are moving
people to action. Here's hoping that your next decade
will be even better than your first.
Robert Meeropol Executive Director, The Rosenberg Fund
for Children; younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg
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(Signed) The moderators of Portside and Portside Labor
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