March 2012, Week 2


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Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 9 Mar 2012 00:54:41 -0500
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Tidbits - Happy International Women's Day - March 8, 2012

* Saluting International Women's Day - We Were There by Bev 
* Re: Vermont Town Meetings Model People-Driven Democracy -
  reply to R Zwarich post in Tidbit (Stephanie Luce)
* Left Labor Project presents BOB CROW, BRITISH TRANSIT 
  UNION LEADER - New York - March 14
* New Web site on women in blue collar trades (Sisters in
  the Brotherhoods)
* Re: Lucy Gonzales Parsons, Labor Organizer and Orator 
  (Jess Crawford, Leonard J. Lehrman, David Reno)
* Birth control and the Catholic Church (Michael 
* Berkeley, CA: Dave Zirin, Political Sportswriter and
  Author, on Sports Under Occupation - Bay Area - March 14


* Saluting International Women's Day - We Were There by Bev 


Themesong, written for a multi-media show by the same name, about women's labor history.


* Re: Vermont Town Meetings Model People-Driven Democracy
(R Zwarich)

Zwarich expresses frustrations about the New York general
assembly that I think many people hold. However, I think his
description of the violence and critique of consensus is
exaggerated. OWS working groups continue to use the
consensus process and have dealt with very contentious
issues in large groups, even recently. I agree that there
are major problems with the GA, but it seems necessary to
have a more nuanced critique, including a race and class
analysis of OWS itself, as well as an understanding of the
rapid rise of OWS and the sudden collapse of the park and
the trauma that caused for many who had made Zuccotti a
home. These are challenging conditions for any social
movement. There are plenty of examples of unions abusing
Robert's Rules of Order to marginalize voices and keep out
dissidents, so I am not sure it by itself would have been
the solution to keep the OWS GA functional.

This article by Sonny Singh offers another critique of the
OWS process, but from a different point of view: Occupying
Process, Processing Occupy: Spokes Council Musings by One

Stephanie Luce



Hear Bob Crow, the tough and controversial General Secretary of Britain's  National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 6:00 pm

Professional Staff Congress, 61 Broadway, 16th floor

Crow is a major public figure in the UK. His union, which
represents subway (Underground) workers, has never flinched
from striking to secure wages and fight privatization of
public transit. Since his election in 2002, RMT's membership
increased from around 57,000 to more than 80,000 in 2008.

Crow will speak on the worsening economic situation in
Europe, and the role of unions in the public rejection of
austerity measures imposed by the European Union leadership.
A former EU Commissioner declared: "the age of pure
representative democracy is coming to an end." Since then,
the EU has threatened `steps and sanctions' against member
states that resist their directives, including replacing
elected governments, as has recently happened in Greece.

Crow and local union members will also discuss plans for May
Day 2012 protests internationally and in New York City.

Left Labor Project brings together union members and
supporters of the labor movement in the New York City area.
It seeks to build a mass movement of working people who
share the goals of progressive movements across the country
and the world.


* New Web site on women in blue collar trades (Sisters in
the Brotherhoods)

Anyone looking for material on women who broke down gender
barriers in traditionally male, blue-color jobs might be
interested in a collaborative on-line project that we just
completed. Talking History (University at Albany), as part
of its U.S. Labor and Industrial WWW Archive, and working
with Jane LaTour, has created a Web site that supplements
and complements LaTour's book Sisters in the Brotherhoods:
Working Women Organizing for Equality in New York City

Sisters in the Brotherhoods - book and Web site - profiles
the struggles of group of women who entered the blue-collar
workforce in New York City during the late 1970s and early
1980s. The Web site contains biographical sketches of the
many women LaTour interviewed in the 1990s and early 2000s,
photographs, documents, digital copies of LaTour's original
cassette tape interviews, as well as interview transcripts.
You might find the material we've made available especially
useful for research and teaching. The original documents and
recordings were deposited by Jane at the Tamiment Library
and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, NYU.

The URL for the Web site is: www.talkinghistory.org/sisters<
Your feedback is most welcome.

Gerry Zahavi
Talking History
University at Albany, SUNY


* Re: Lucy Gonzales Parsons, Labor Organizer and Orator

Thanks to Portside for the article on Lucy Gonzales Parsons.
I have known of Albert Parsons and the Haymarket "martyrs"
for many decades, but never knew (or forgot, telling in
itself, if the case) about Lucy and her struggle and
contribution to the progressive movement. It's fitting to
learn about this woman on International Women's Day. Occupy
the world!

Jess Crawford


Emma Goldman's take on the Haymarket martyrs, including
Albert Parsons, is spelled out in my & Karen Ruoff Kramer's
E,G.: A Musical Portrait of Emma Goldman, at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZiw9JWn1As and again at

The late Paul Avrich believed he had found the identity of
the man who had thrown the bomb that precipitated the riot:
Dyer Lum.

Leonard J. Lehrman


There is a book store in Boston named in her honor.

David Reno


* Birth control and the Catholic Church

There seems to be some confusion over freedom of religion
and who is violating whose civil liberties.  If a religious
institution finances an entity that also employs people be
it a hospital, college, health center, school or whatever
then they are an employer. As an employer they have a
fundamental moral obligation to provide certain basic
benefits to their employees. This of course includes
affordable health insurance. Any good insurance provides
birth control and this is not nor should not be an option.
If this is a hospital or a health center then they are of
course providing a public service and such they ethically
have no choice but to provide contraceptives to the public
that they serve. Employment and public service is a social
responsibility and religious conviction a personal choice.
It is the Bishops who are asking the hospital and health
care administrations to violate the religious freedom of
their employees and the public that they serve. This should
not be a matter of government intervention, but it is a
moral responsibility. Finally if the church is the body,
then it is the rank and file membership and not the
hierarchy that should determine what is doctrine. The
Bishops are the ones who are out of line.

Michael Francisconi, Ph.D.


* Berkeley, CA: Dave Zirin, Political Sportswriter and
Author, on Sports Under Occupation

Dave Zirin: Peace-and-Justice Sportswriter and Author

One of UTNE Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing our

Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 7:00PM First Congregational
Church of Berkeley 2345 Channing Way

Speaking on

    Sports Under Occupation

Benefit for Soccer Balls for Children in Palestine

Tickets: $15 general, $10 low-income/students

Buy tickets online today!

$15 tickets available at bookstores: (East Bay)
Pegasus/Solano; Pegasus/Shattuck; Books, Inc./Berkeley;
Books, Inc./Alameda; Diesel Books; Moe's Books; Walden Pond
(SF) Modern Times


If there was an award for 'Most Valuable Sportwriter,' I
would vote for Dave Zirin. His writing combines vivid
narrative, good humor...knowledge of the game, and a keen
awareness of the connection between sports and the world
outside. -- Howard Zinn

Dave will sign his new book (with John Carlos, Foreward by
Cornell West), The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That
Changed the World--nominated for an NAACP Image Award!--plus
his book A People's History of Sports in the US: 250 Years
of Politics, Protest, People and Pla

New York Times sports columnist Robert Lipsyte calls Dave
Zirin "the best young sportswriter in America," his Edge of
Sports Blog is read by thousands.

Cosponsored by Haymarket Books ASL Interpreted, wheelchair

Cosponsored by: KPFA, Al-Awda, Arab Film Festival, Arab
Resource & Organizing Center, Arab Cultural & Community
Center, US Palestinian Community Network, Jewish Voice for
Peace, CODEPINK, Global Exchange, Bay Area Women in Black,
San Francisco Women in Black, Northern California Friends of
Sabeel, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network



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