April 2012, Week 2


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:36:38 -0400
text/plain (397 lines)
Tidbits, Reader Response & Announcements
April 10, 2012

* Re: Why Campaigning for Democrats Cripples Labor Unions
  (Marieme Helie Lucas, John Talbutt, John Case)
* Deported from Bahrain: An Eyewitness Account of an Ongoing
  Revolution - New York - April 16
*  "Occupy The Justice Department" For The Release Of
  Mumia Abu-Jamal
* Rabbi Lerner in Washington State
* May 5 - The Next Day of Global Action
* * Re: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy. Again?


* Re: Why Campaigning for Democrats Cripples Labor Unions

While one can indeed understand the frustration at Obama's
policy short comings of many voters in the USA and of union
activists in particular, it is hard to understand how they
can now incite to vote against him. Are they seriously
thinking it makes no difference to have the starkest
conservatives in power again? Would those conservatives give
more rights to workers? Or did they think Obama was going to
govern by decree, like a king, when they elected him? Hadn't
he his hands tied by democracy?

Looking at it from the perspective of an anti fundamentalist
Algerian, such critics in pre electoral times seem as
counter productive as those in the Arab spring who did not
see as a problem the fact that the fundamentalist Muslim far
right joined into the people' protests against authoritarian
regimes in North Africa and the Middle East... and hijacked
the movement. With the consequences for democracy and human
rights of ordinary people that are now so visible.

marieme helie lucas


Right!  Labor has nothing at stake in the outcome of
November's election.  Sleep on.

John Talbutt


I have a local banker, and state republican candidate, who
appears occasionally on my radio show in Shepherdstown, WV,
who agrees completely with the conclusions of this article.
He feels sure that if "Big Labor" would stay out of the
election his right wing, market fundamentalist views would
fix the nation's ills in no time. The article below is
studded with Republican talking points:

" Millions of union and non-union workers have seen their
lives worsen under Obama ..."

".. millions of workers will now be 'subjugated' to pro-
Obama door knockers ..."

"... Trust was also lost when working people witnessed many
unions publicly supporting Obama's health care plan ..."

"... Obama's deceitfully named "Race to the Top" education
program. "

The writer's real message is: Workers -- stay out of
politics! Do not contend for political power in the
Democratic party! -- even though third graders know ITS A
TWO PARTY, WINNER TAKE ALL, SYSTEM. What should workers do
instead? Stay home from the elections! Let the latter day
fascists and their hangers on win. They are advised:
"Labor's real power will thus remain unused. The inherent
power of unions lies in their numbers, organization, and
ability to collectively assert themselves in the workplace
and streets. This is how labor became strong; the mass
strikes and street demonstrations". Syndicalism, pure and
simple, the most suicidal form of unionism.

The "mass strikes" the writer's dreams of (Has Mr Cooke
ever been on a 'mass strike'?) can never even win a
worthwhile contract since, Zoots Alors!, a DEAL with a
boss would have to be concluded. In my years in the
labor movement, I was always thankful when I could be
spared the 'support' of labor 'supporters' like this.

John Case


* Deported from Bahrain: An Eyewitness Account of an Ongoing
Revolution - New York - April 16

Come hear Radhika Sainath, a civil rights attorney, speak at
Columbia University. Sainath and a small team of monitors
were able to gain entry and document the regime's repression
of democracy activists. Just a day after announcing the
Witness Bahrain initiative, she was arrested in the midst of
a police attack on a nonviolent march and deported the next

Monday, April 16 at 7:30pm

Middle East Institute at Columbia University, 501 Northwest
Corner Building, 550 West 120th Street, Manhattan

Sponsored by the Middle East Institute at Columbia
University and American Council for Freedom in Bahrain Co-
sponsors (in formation): Witness Bahrain, Campaign for Peace
& Democracy, Global Justice Working Group at Occupy Wall
Street, Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution

Light refreshments will be served. This event will also
kick-off a new initiative initiated by our co-sponsors --
Bahrain Solidarity Campaign NYC. Please contact them at
[log in to unmask], if you would like to join the campaign
or would like ideas on how to start one in your own city.
More information will be provided at the event.

Joanne Landy

Danny Glover, Frances Fox Piven, M1 of Dead Prez and
Others Will


Major Protest and Civil Disobedience Planned at the
U.S. Department of Justice: April 24, 2012, 11:00 am

New York, NY

A broad coalition of community organizers, activists,
artists, students, scholars, celebrities, and concerned
individuals will hold a national rally and protest at
the headquarters of the US Department of Justice (DOJ)
on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 11:00 am in Washington, DC
(located at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW). The purpose
of the protest is to call for the release of political
prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the day that is his 58th
birthday. Renowned activists Frances Fox Piven, and
Norman Finkelstein; actor Danny Glover; hip hop artist
M-1 (of the duo dead prez); and others will engage in
acts of civil disobedience at the protest. Organizers
hope that the planned civil disobedience will dramatize
their formal request that US Attorney General Eric
Holder meet with a delegation to discuss systemic
police corruption and civil rights violations in Abu-
Jamal's case and in the cases of hundreds of others
across the nation.


Organizers will make seven core demands of US Attorney
General Holder:

1. Release Mumia Abu-Jamal

2. End mass incarceration and the criminalization of
Black and Latino Youth

3. Create jobs, education, and health care, not jails

4. End solitary confinement and stop torture

5. End the racist death penalty

6. Hands off immigrants

7. Free all political prisoners

Attorneys will be available to answer questions.

ENDORSED BY: International Concerned Family and Friends
of Mumia Abu Jamal -- Educators for Mumia Abu-Jamal --
Coalition to Free Mumia (NYC) -- Occupy Philly -- OCCUPY
General Assembly (NYC) -- Occupy DC Now -- Occupy DC
Criminal Injustice Committee -- Occupy the Hood --
Decarcerate PA -- Supporting Prisoners and Acting for
Radical Change [SPARC] -- Millions for Mumia/Int'l Action
Center -- dead prez (Sticman and M1) -- John Carlos --
Talib Kweli -- Immortal Technique -- Angela Davis --
Danny Glover -- Alice Walker -- Francis Pixen --
Amiri Baraka -- Marc Lamont Hill -- Cornell West --
Vijay Prashad -- Norman Finkelstein -- ANSWER
Coalition -- Prison Radio

For more info, call 215.600.6626 or send an email to
[log in to unmask] Media inquiries
are directed to Chantel Bell or April R. Silver at
AKILA WORKSONGS at 718.756.8501 or
[log in to unmask]


* Rabbi Lerner in Washington State

Do you have friends in Seattle or Bellingham who might
be interested in hearing Rabbi Lerner speak? Next week,
Rabbi Lerner will speak in these locations about his
new book, Embracing Israel/Palestine. Each presentation
will be followed by a Q&A and book-signing.

Rabbi Lerner is the editor of Tikkun magazine and the
author of eleven books, including a bestseller, The
Left Hand of God. His latest book has received
enthusiastic reviews from former World Zionist
Organization Chair Avrum Burg, from Muslim Congressman
Keith Ellison, from globally respected academics Robert
Bellah and Zygmunt Bauman, from Rabbi Arik Ascherman of
Rabbis for Human Rights, from Gush Shalom Chair Uri
Avnery, from diverse faith leaders, and from Israeli
and Palestinian peace activists. Click here to read
their reviews.

The following is Rabbi Lerner's upcoming schedule of
events. Rabbi Lerner's full schedule can be found here.
Please contact me at [log in to unmask] or 510-644-1200
if you're interested in hosting Rabbi Lerner in your

7pm, Tuesday, April 17: University Temple United
Methodist Church, 1415 Northeast 43rd Street, Seattle,
WA. Contact [log in to unmask]

12pm, Wednesday, April 18: Fairhaven College
auditorium, Western Washington University, 516 High
Street, Bellingham, WA. Contact
[log in to unmask]

7pm, Wednesday, April 18: Village Books, 11th Street,
Fairhaven, Bellingham, WA. Contact [log in to unmask]

* May 5 - The Next Day of Global Action

Dear friends,

"What can we do to create the public outcry that we

That's the big question President Mohammed Nasheed of
the Maldives asked me when he was in New York City last
week. His country, just 1.5 meters above sea level, is
in imminent danger of disappearing beneath the Indian
Ocean. Nasheed is an inspiration and a true climate
champion, and his question has stayed with me as we
prepare for Climate Impacts Day on May 5th.

We have just one month to go until 5/5, the next big
global day of action where together we will try to
answer President Nasheed's question. Already hundreds
of local communities are on the map for Climate Impacts
Day on 5/5, all of them busily planning actions that
will help wake the world up to our new shared reality.

All sorts of local events are in the works -- from
presentations to protests, from climate solutions to
community rebuilding. In Jammu, India, a local group of
350 activists will spend 5/5 rebuilding homes destroyed
in record-breaking storms. In New Mexico in the USA, a
group of firefighters who are fed up with drought are
switching to solar energy, and will put up big "climate
dots" on their fire station where they'll be installing
solar panels. The list of incredible events just goes
on and on -- and it's growing every day.

Each event will feature a huge "climate dot"
representing the local impacts being felt around the
world -- and together we will connect those dots to
make something truly unignorable.

Visit ClimateDots.org to join in, and register your
local event or search the map to find one in your

A month might not seem like much time, but organizing a
local event doesn't need to be hard. Our team will
provide you with everything you need in our
downloadable "Event Toolkit", complete with
customizable posters, banner templates, sample press-
releases, action plans, and an easy way for your
friends and neighbors to sign up to join you. We've
also got a guide to making you can take a great photo
of your local Climate Dot, no matter the size of your

Perhaps the most useful way to think of a month is as
four distinct weeks, more than enough time to plan a
great local event. Here's how:

Week 1: You just need to get your community on the map
by registering your event on ClimateDots.org. It only
takes 5 minutes and you can change your information
later, so if you've been thinking about hosting a local
action you might as well register your event right now.

Week 2: Link up with friends or neighbors and decide
what kind of action you're going to have -- it could be
a climate solutions project (like planting a community
garden) or some grassroots climate education (like
presenting the "Connect the Dots" slideshow our team is
putting together.) Or really anything that connects the
dots between extreme weather and climate change.

Week 3: Work out the logistical details, spread the
word in your community, and start planning out your big
"climate dot" to display at your local event.

Week 4: Make sure absolutely everyone knows about your
local event (including media and local politicians!)
and get ready for the big day!

(All of this is covered in the super-helpful 10-step
Action Plan in the Climate Impacts Day Event Toolkit)

That's it. And while the month might pass by in a
flash, the real ticking clock is the looming climate
crisis. We must do everything we can with the time we
have to rise to this planetary challenge -- to move
from disbelief and desperation to solidarity and
solutions. As a global movement, we can help answer
President Nasheed's question by raising a public outcry
on climate change too big to be ignored.

We'll start by connecting the dots. All of us, all
together, all around the world.

Please join us on May 5 and help Connect the Dots.



May Boeve for the whole 350.org Team


P.S. Whether you can host a local event or not, it's
important that you spread the word about the day of
action -- sometimes a little nudge can go a long way in
moving your friends to take action with you. Click here
to share the day of actions with your friends on
Facebook, and click here to share with your followers
on Twitter.

350.org is building a global movement to solve the
climate crisis. Connect with us on Facebook and
Twitter, and sign up for email alerts. You can help
power our work by getting involved locally and donating
here. What is 350? Go to our website to learn about the
science behind the movement.

* Re: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy. Again?

The solution Mr. Solomon proposes, i.e. supporting UN
intervention - is another example of leftist muddled
thinking, and explains better why the peace movement is
ineffective rather than pointing the way to a coherent
policy alternative.  The answer, abhorrent to both left
and right in the United States, is what Ron Paul has
been advocating: complete withdrawal from all foreign
interventions, humanitarian or otherwise.  The excuse
that imperialistic actions are at the root cause of the
problems in the middle east is a bogieman that that
exempts from responsibility the participants that have
in fact sold out their own people after the loosening
of the imperial rule in those countries.  Until the
left concentrates on formulating a winning political
platform at home and disavows the old values of
international communism, we will not see an effective
peace movement here in the United States.

David Arocho


Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]

Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3

Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq

Sub/Unsub: http://portside.org/subscribe-and-unsubscribe

Search Portside archives: http://portside.org/archive

Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate