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March 2012, Week 1

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Tidbits - March 5, 2012
* Jobs with Justice, San Francisco
* A Call to Action from Hyatt Housekeepers
* Re: A Letter To Other Occupiers - Staughton Lynd (Steve
  Meacham)
* Re: Living Wage Laws: Worth the Effort? (Tim Kearney)
* Last German Spain Fighter Dies (Victor Grossman)
* Racism, Resistance, and Workplace Organizing: Workers of
  Color and OWS - New York - March 7th
* Re: For America's Least  Fortunate, The Grip Of Poverty
  Spans Generations (David Arocho)
 
==========
*Jobs with Justice San Francisco

Of Immigrant Women Workers, Past and Present

Wednesday, March 7th, 6:30 - 9:00 P.M. City College of
San Francisco Mission Campus 1122 Valencia Street, Room
109

We Will Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Bread
and Roses Strike of Immigrant Women Workers in
Lawrence, Massachusetts and Connect the Spirit of that
Important Victory to the Campaign for a California
Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights Today.

Artists, Speakers and Performers Sing the Praises of
Women Workers

Join us for this exciting evening.

For more information, please contact Bill Shields,
Chair of Labor and Community Studies, City College of
San Francisco at 415-550-4459 or [log in to unmask]

Solidarity Forever!

Download the flyer HERE:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_wSXv80gyoeSk96MTk1N21TZkdzZXVnTGhsMGt2QQ/edit

_________________

*A Call to Action from Hyatt Housekeepers

Speakout against the mistreatment of women workers on
International Women's Day!

Thursday, March 8th

Grand Hyatt San Francisco 345 Stockton Street (at
Sutter) 12:00 - 1:00pm

Hyatt Regency Santa Clara 5101 Great America Parkway
8:00 - 10:00am

Women workers of Hyatt Hotels struggle daily with an
employer that injures their bodies, disrespects their
rights as mothers, and treats workers as if they are
disposable. Hyatt housekeeper injury rates are high,
and its subcontractors exploit immigrant women. Hyatt
has opposed legislation in California that would make
housekeeping work safer.  In San Francisco, Hyatt
threatened to fire Victoria Guillen when she could not
return to work three days after a Caesarian Section.
Last October, Hyatt fired Martha and Lorena Reyes, two
sisters with 30 years of combined experience, after one
objected to the posting of demeaning pictures of
housekeepers in bikinis on a company bulletin board.

Now Hyatt workers are speaking out to demand respect
for all women and their bodies in the workplace.  We
invite you to join us at two Bay Area actions on March
8.  Taking Inspiration from the Clothesline Project, we
will erect clotheslines that will bear messages and
stories of the struggles women face at work.  We invite
everyone to bring their own symbolic items to hang on
the clothesline to share their stories as well.

How to Participate:

    Join us at the actions in Santa Clara or San
    Francisco on March 8! Make a T-Shirt or other
    article of clothing for the clothesline!  We'll
    have clothing and art supplies at Local 2 (209
    Golden Gate) on Tuesday, March 6 from 5:00 PM -
    8:00 PM.  RSVP to Julia Wong at
    [log in to unmask] or 203-915-9572

You can see pictures of our growing clothesline here.

For the latest news and updates, like us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter.

Download the flyer HERE:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_wSXv80gyoeQlpYR2lVTVhRd0dBRi1vc09xakUxdw/edit


===

* Re: A Letter To Other Occupiers - Staughton Lynd

The points raised by Staughton Lynd are extremely important
for the future of the movement.  I note 3 in particular that
have been part of many friendly discussions in Boston
between members of Occupy and member of City Life's anti-
foreclosure movement.

(1) Tactical actions should serve base-building.  City Life
has emphasized the need to do anti-foreclosure and anti-bank
eviction work that is centered on those directly affected.
Although we have engaged in a lot of CD, we are careful to
make sure decisions about tactics are supported by the vast
majority of people in our movement.

(2) The contradiction between mass democracy and autonomy.
Autonomy as a principle is fine as long as the decisions
made don't drag along a larger group who didn't make the
decision.  In this light, City Life has asked everyone
palliating in our CD actions to respect our discipline -
frankly, no autonomy within the action.

(3) The relationship of the organized left to a mass
movement.  How will the opinion of radical (and
radicalizing) grass roots activists be shaped in the coming
period about the role of and need for an organized left.
Will they appreciate the urgent need for non-sectarian, non-
dogmatic left formations, or will they be soured by
sectarian behavior.  We are now creating the left that will
exist a few years from now.

I am not particularly well versed about plans for Chicago
and my comments are not directed at those plans; but
discussing these important issues has allowed our base to
make common cause with a significant section of Occupy, both
in actions and political discussion such as the upcoming
Radical Organizing Conference.

Steve Meacham

=========

* Re: Living Wage Laws: Worth the Effort?

Thanks for the nice summary of this important issue.
I appreciate your experience and incite and some of the
facts, especially, how many states have an indexed minimum
wage.

Tim Kearney

==========

* Last German Spain Fighter Dies

Death of the Last German Volunteer, Fritz Teppich

Yes, it was inevitable. Fritz was 93, it was known he was
fading after his wife passed away - but the news of his
death hit hard. Fritz Teppich was the last of the German
volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

He was born in Berlin. When Hitler took over his mother was
far-sighted enough to send his older brother and him - a 14-
year-old Jewish "Red Pioneer" - to Paris as an apprentice
cook, and later to Belgium. She and his younger brother were
murdered by the Nazis. When the war began, Fritz, at 17,
found his way to Spain and immediately enlisted on September
5 1936. In April, stationed on a mountain nearby, he watched
helplessly as Guernica was destroyed. After a perilous
voyage to France, one of the last to escape the Basque
country, he rejoined what was left of his unit in Barcelona
and fought on as an officer in the Spanish Republican army
until the end.

After an incredible trek and escape from imprisonment he
made it back to Belgium and France, where he was soon
interned as a foreign alien. Just before his work unit was
sent to Auschwitz he slipped away and with the help of a
business suit and false ID traveled through Franco Spain to
Portugal where he was interned.

After the war he became a journalist in West Berlin. Always
strong-willed when defending his principles - some said
(with a grin) cantankerous - he did not have an easy time,
but played a key part in building a West Berlin peace
movement. He was always a convinced leftist fighter for a
better world - active almost till the end. He will be missed
by all who knew him.

Submitted by Victor Grossman, Berlin

===

* Racism, Resistance, and Workplace Organizing: Workers of
Color and OWS

March 7th, 6:00-8:30pm

at CWA1180:
6 Harrison St, (near Hudson St, in Tribeca)
New York NY 10013
Take #1 Train to Franklin St

Open to all!

Following up from the December Racial Justice Workshop,
organizers from the People of Color Caucus have joined with
the Rank and File Committee (of the Labor Outreach
Committee) for an exciting event on how racism has been
essential to Wall Street's historic roles in the US economy,
and how workers of color have fought back throughout.

Ai-jen Poo (Director of the National Domestic Workers
Alliance) will lead us through this history, highlighting
the key roles that workers of color have played in the US
Labor Movement, even when they had to fight racism within
the movement.

The second half will be a panel discussion with rank and
file leaders from New York's labor struggles and how Occupy
Wall Street can help them win against the corporations that
profit off of their labor:
 Sotheby's Workers (Teamsters, Local 814),
 Domestic Workers United and TWU local 100 ,Teamsters Local
 808 Woodlawn workers and others!

How can OWS support those on the front-lines of the fight-
back against the corporate attack? Join us

==========

* Re: For America's Least  Fortunate, The Grip Of Poverty
Spans Generations

The problem with statistics is that they can accurately
describe a set of circumstances, but they offer little clue
as to the causal factors involved in bringing those
circumstances about.  As a consequence, people - whether
your average citizen or an expert in the material - will
fall back on their prejudices and biases to explain the
statistics.  Sadly, those biases and prejudices tend to
influence public policy more than scientific studies and
analysis based on such studies.

It is therefore not surprising that those policies which
have been employed to alleviate poverty over the last
century have failed to make any significant difference.
Having grown up in the fifties, from a very poor family and
brought up in very poor neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York,
I am of the opinion that in spite of many injustices and
much discrimination, the policies in place in the fifties
yielded better results than what came after, beginning with
the war on poverty.  The essence of what those policies of
the fifties entailed included a much healthier public
education, liberal access to libraries, and a barebones
safety net of limited welfare services and unemployment
insurance.  As Malcolm X so forcefully preached, self-
reliance was the only way out for blacks, and by extension
the same can be said of the poor.

The combination of a welfare system that habituated the poor
to a state of dependence, the erosion of the public school
systems and the promotion of a drug culture that destroyed
the family in the poorest neighborhoods, have proven a
deadly combination for those mired in poverty.  During the
eighties and nineties, with the Reagan and Clinton onslaught
on the threadbare social safety net that still remained,
those on the margins of poverty have had their legs cut out
from under them.  After 2008, however, the middle class is
also beginning to feel the pinch, and the wealthier
Americans start to throw up the barricades.  The
republicans, and especially Mitt Romney, represent that
wealthy elite.  Mr. Obama is likewise beholden to the monied
interests which run the banks and Wall Street, though his
solutions are more geared to keeping something of the
threadbare safety net in place.

For people like the Brooklyn of this article the author
holds out little hope, and he seems to disparage the very
lifeline he has - access to breakfast, a computer and a
possible job.  Without meaning to do so, the author states
as a fact the futility of even trying to do for himself.
That is the same message I got when I was finishing high
school and I wanted to go on to college.  I was a poor
Puerto Rican, blind to boot, and not college material.  I
should just go into a workshop where I would be paid less
than the minimum wage, and accept the hopeless lot which
society was handing me out.  I rejected that alternative,
and poor people wherever they find themselves, should do the
same.

David Arocho

===

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