Reader Comments: Impeachment; GOP Stunt; Witches; Medicare for All; Chile; Trade Unions; #MeToo, NBC; Houston Firefighters Need Your Help; New Social Contract for Workers National Tour; Announcements: Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles..
Lynching is the quintessential expression of American racism.Less attention is give to fact that lynching is also the quintessential expression of American lawlessness.Conservatives acknowledge the first since it validates their conception of human nature; they are less ready to acknowledge the second since it is ideologically unpalatable and involved so many of the respectable citizenry.Respectable, white citizens encouraged, condoned, and even organized lynchings.The father of the late Senator James Eastland organized one in which a black man and his female companion were burned to death, a result which did not prevent the respectable citizens of his county from electing him District Attorney.
We now have the most lawless Presidency in American history.Trump openly claims he can commit murder with impunity and his so-called Justice Department agrees.He calls the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause “phony” while his former Acting Attorney General says abuse of power is not an impeachable crime.
Last Wednesday, a mob of respectable, white Congress Members invaded a secure room in the basement of Congress to stop a legal investigation into the impeachment of the President in an attempt to thwart the workings of our system of justice.No white trailer park trash these. They were led by Matthew Gaetz (R-Fl), the rich son of a former Congressman who is well known for his moronic pronouncements.They sat down for hours in flagrant disregard of the rules established by a previous Republican Congress, objecting to “secret” proceedings which included over forty of their own Republican colleagues.One assumes they distributed cell phone images of the event, much as their forebears distributed postcards of black people hanging from trees.As was the case with many lynchings in the past, a good time was had by all; they ordered pizzas – Dominos for members of the press and gourmet pizzas for themselves.They left the cleanup to the maintenance staff, much as the rest have been trying ever since to clean up the mess left by the history of lynchings.
One assumes they were frustrated over their inability to hang someone.
The rules were written in January of 2015, and signed into procedure by GOP leader, John Boehner and was enacted by a Republican majority. These are not the impeachment hearings, those will be in the public. These are initial interviews and depositions, under oath, with witnesses questioned by committees including both Republicans and Democrats.
Truth doesn't seem to matter to these misinformed & misguided hooligans. Their "act of rebellion" against their own party's rules was a ridiculous stunt to misinform the public, draw attention to themselves, & stroke their own egos. What a waste of tax payers dollars.
Investigate how many women vs. men were burned alive in Spain. Inhumane Popes, corrupt Kings, whore and jealous Queens and, down and up the lane. Pope Francesfurer, will announce if the Vatican allows married men to priesthood after a 1,000 years prohibition. A long 1,000 years of being in the closet. Will it end pedophile crimes in the Christian Churches and all over the planet, where that religion is practiced? Hummmmm!
I don't think there are many people around the nation who like their insurance companies. Most people just want to have access to their preferred doctors. But the notion of forcing 150 million people to make a change in their medical coverage is bordering on insanity. This reality is what neither Bernie nor Warren are really addressing.
It is a phase-in. Most people who are covered through employment and especially if retired, must at age 65 go Medicare. With their plan age of Medicare would drop initially to 55, then 50, then 45, then everyone. It is not one shot and you are off your existing coverage.
With Medicare, I actually have access to some docs that my prior coverage did not cover.
Perhaps but it is the issue of forcing people to do so is my great concern and my belief that it would backfire dramatically against the Dems that would allow the Criminal Syndicate known as the GOP to rise back up.
What's your plan for aging? Judith and I plan to not get sick (We have great health insurance but no long term care plan). The current improved Medicare For All plans would be a blessing for us (and the children) if, by some miracle we are not killed by a truck and instead become frailer bit by bit. We are at a point where we can begin to win this struggle. Thanks to Meagan Day for setting out the problem in terms we can all grok to and to Portside for republishing this Jacobin link.
Need this Medicare4All right to provide Long-Term health care now as well as universally available family planning resources so women can make the decisions on reproduction, hopefully with the others in their lives but on their own as necessary.
The news media reports from Chile are grossly inaccurate. The vast majority of demonstrations are peaceful. 23rd October hundreds of thousands in Santiago, never properly shown on TV here either, and all this week totaling millions in every city and small town. Yes, there is looting, not unexpected when the poor see how the top military, police, pharmacies and big business in general loot the country every day
Thank you Dan! The uprising in Chile has seen violence but in some ways is more reminiscent of Paris '68 - it started from a minor issue - subway fares - and blossomed into mass democratic action, including major sympathy strikes. A historic event!
Thank you for this very important analysis. Here in Canada too people are being treated as consumers only rather than as persons with basic rights. This is what happens when the conservative pro-business conditions and priorities of the market as introduced by politicians become the norm. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile. Other commentators have correctly linked the many present issues in Chile to the after-effects of Pinochet and his 1970s Right-Wing regime that introduced major conservative changes to the legal framework that continues to influence the country.
Chile has been gripped by a nationwide movement against high living costs and inequality. A 30 peso fare increase, from 800 to 830 was the last straw after all the other abuses of this neoliberal economic and social model. The lid has blown off the pressure cooker of discontent. Only the political and economic elite could be surprised. We saw what happened in Ecuador – a social movement could produce change. On Facebook, Twitter etc everyone asked – if they can do it, what about Chile?
Try, why don't you this somewhat critical and useful account of how Marxists have thought about the role of women's unpaid household labor. It looks at a Monthly Review issue to which several friends have contributed. The links are very good and the journal Meeting Ground Online from which this article was taken which is well worth perusing. Thanks to Portside for the link.
Houstonians understand and appreciate the risks to life and health that firefighters take, both on the spot at fires, chemical spills, natural disasters and other emergencies and long-term in the form of increased incidents of heart attacks, strokes and cancer because of exposure to toxic substances and overwhelming stress.
Just recently, we mourned the death of Houston Firefighter Kenneth Stavinoha, who suffered a heart attack while on the job. More and more, the Texas Legislature has enacted laws that presume the causes of firefighter deaths are connected to risks that go with the territory.
The people of Texas recognized these special circumstances by enabling firefighters to speak up together and negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the city. A contract affords firefighters the ability to support their families and, with similar circumstances for police, provides Houstonians a First Responder force of the highest quality.
At this moment, the system for producing fair contracts is broken. Since 2017, close to 4,000 Houston firefighters represented by the Houston Professional Firefighters Association (HPFFA) Local 341 have worked without a written deal.Because negotiations stalled, the union exercised its right under state law to ask a state judge to declare an impasse and enter into neutral binding arbitration of remaining contract disputes. Take note: State law prevents firefighters from striking, so when negotiations are stuck, arbitration may be the only path to a fair contract.
Instead of agreeing to arbitration, the City chose to pursue a district court ruling that public-sector bargaining is unconstitutional. Such a finding would have major consequences for First Responders across the state, so it is fortunate that District Judge Wesley Ward rejected the City’s argument. The City has appealed.
In response to those developments, the Firefighters asked voters to approve pay parity with police, and Proposition B won overwhelming voter approval. Even as Houston negotiated a phase-in of the provision with Fire Fighters, the city challenged Proposition B and won a ruling from District Judge Tanya Garrison. The Fire Fighters have appealed. Non-binding mediation ordered by an appeals court has not produced results.
The Harris County AFL-CIO Labor Assembly in September unanimously added our name to a petition calling on Mayor Sylvester Turner to enter arbitration with firefighters.The petition calls for either a traditional three-member arbitration panel or for Houston to withdraw its legal challenge to public-sector collective bargaining, allowing a state judge to arbitrate the labor dispute.
As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Mayor Turner voted for the current law that grants firefighters and police collective bargaining rights, with local voter approval. Approximately 28 cities in Texas have collective bargaining for First Responders.The rights conferred in that law highlight our state’s support for police and firefighters and have afforded access to the middle-class for First Responders across the state.
Taxpayers clearly should examine the cost of a fair contract for Houston firefighters. But we also need to ask what the cost would be if the nation’s fourth-largest city does not invest adequately in our fire-fighting force. How many lives are saved and how much property is protected by having the capacity to respond rapidly and expertly to disasters, both of the natural and man-made variety? When Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Depression Imelda visited our city, whose lives were on the line in the rescue operations? Why does poll after poll confirm the respect Americans have for the profession of firefighting? We believe the price of a fair firefighter contract is fundamentally worth it.
Going without a contract can sap quality by persuading Houston firefighters to go elsewhere. That costs big money in the form of training costs and lost experience, and it undermines the infrastructure of our city. Allowing a public-sector collective bargaining dispute to linger this long is bad for Houston in ways we can calculate and in the intangibles.
We have a mechanism to end the impasse and work toward a fair contract for Firefighters. Mayor Turner, it is time to lead and move forward. Neutral arbitrators will sift through all the facts and, in good faith, lay out standards for a contract that firefighters and taxpayers can live with. Our city deserves nothing less.
Ginny Stogner McDavid, President
Harris County AFL-CIO Labor Assembly
2506 Sutherland, Houston, TX 77023
Ginny Stogner McDavid needs your help with “Mayor Sylvester Turner: Enter Arbitration with City Firefighters NOW!”. Join Ginny Stogner and 3,023 supporters today.
Fires continue to burn in Northern and Southern California history, and the fire season is now year round. Elsewhere, 100-year floods are happening annually. Super storms and record-breaking droughts are all becoming the “new abnormal.” This is not random. This was predicted. This is a result of climate change. This is due to our unabated use of fossil fuels.
Esso is the name under which Exxon/Mobil trades in many parts of the world outside North America. In 2001, a campaign to boycott Esso was launched in London by the Stop Esso Campaign, an alliance founded by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and People & Planet. The Stop Esso Campaign called on the public not to buy any Esso products until the US based oil company changed their stand on global warming. The campaign targeted Esso as the world's leading global warming villain because:
Esso donated more dollars than any other oil company to help Bush win the 2000 election and then reaped the rewards when Bush ditched the Kyoto protocol, an international agreement to stop global warming. Esso was the most active company to undermine this treaty.
Esso refused to accept the link between burning oil and global warming.
At the time, Esso invested none of their massive profits in renewable energy or green fuels.
Poor and working class Asian American, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in our communities are struggling. Without disaggregated data to tell the full picture of our communities, the issues our workers face often go unseen. That’s why we are proud to collaborate with AAPI Data to present this report on the state of AANHPI workers.
AANHPI workers are the fastest growing working age population in the United States, overrepresented at the lower and higher ends of the labor market - meaning that our communities experience wide income disparity. As we become a larger and larger share of the labor market, it is crucial that we call attention to the ways we can best build power for workers in our communities.
In September 1892, union workers in New York City took an unpaid day off and rallied in Union Square in support of a worker’s holiday. While continued agitations by the labor movement forced President Grover Cleveland to make it a federal holiday two years later, it has been labor and social movements that breathe meaning into our collective celebration of Labor Day.
More than 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King stated that “all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity” with a clear vision of the connections between labor conditions, human dignity, global peace and economic justice. In the midst of our severe national crisis of both rights and democracy, those connections are more significant than ever.
Big ideas are in the works – sectoral bargaining, a federal jobs guarantee, the growth of coops, and demands for universal systems from healthcare to family care that liberate workers from this abusive economy. These ideas are already being endorsed by some Presidential candidates and support for them is growing. But they come from the work of our partners, allies and social movements. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) increasingly successful fight to transform agriculture; Migrant Justice’s breakthrough in the dairy industry; CTUL’s (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en La Lucha) work to address severe abuses in construction; Raise the Floor Alliance’s statewide agenda for workers’ rights; The Chicago Workers Collaborative building power for temp workers; the New Economy Coalition’s support for worker coops; Rights and Democracy’s statewide agendas; and more.
These innovative efforts offer a foundation for a New Social Contract for our country by giving us a new vision for labor. On this Labor Day, we continue the unfinished business of building a human rights movement in the United States and celebrate and honor the efforts of working people across the country.
From the Center for Popular Democracy, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, Rights & Democracy Institute, Working Families Party, and organizations around the U.S.
This is an unprecedented historical moment. More than ever, people in the U.S. are hungry for transformative ideas that bring about lasting, comprehensive change. What would our values look like in practice if our whole society was built around them?
Our communities and movements have the solutions to even our deepest challenges. It is out of these solutions that we must build our future.
The New Social Contract Tour is bringing together national and local leaders to show how community and social-movement solutions will build what’s next. Be part of a defining conversation on what a new social contract holds for our future..
Linda Sarsour (Women’s March)
Maurice Mitchell (Working Families Party)
Jennifer Epps-Addision (Center for Popular Democracy)
Naomi Klein (author and journalist)
Detroit, Michigan. Details to come.
November 13-14, 2019: Las Vegas, Nevada. Details to come.
Spring 2020: South Carolina. Details to come.
Spring 2020: West Virginia. Details to come.
March 24-25, 2020: Columbus, Ohio. Details to come.
Spring 2020: Florida, Minnesota, California, Oregon, Georgia
* September 15, 2019 in Concord, New Hampshire.
* October 29, 2019: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
We had to do a quick rebrand on the #TickTockTimesUp actions (the white supremacists in Watchmen chant "tick tock" ... sigh). Now our goal is front and center: Remove Trump. We've updated our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But the changeover has left us behind where we had hoped to be with outreach and publicity, and we were already scrambling, so please help spread the word! I've attached a few graphics for sharing.
Quick recap of our plans: We'll be gathering in front of the White House every day from Nov. 2-11 at noon and 6pm to raise the call for Trump's removal. Meet at 16th and H. Bring signs, banners, noisemakers, and especially friends; this is a nonviolent convergence. Here's the Facebook event.
We are also holding a March for Removal on Friday, Nov. 8 -- we've joined forces with Jane Fonda, Greenpeace, and CodePink and are asking everyone to meet at their 11am #FireDrillFriday rally at the Capitol on militarism, war, and this toxic presidency before we all march together to the White House.
The Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference is an invitation-only gathering bringing together leaders in athletics, education, faith communities, and youth sports to discuss the power of sport to effect positive change in the world. The event features speakers, panels, and breakout groups focused on building a global movement to use the power of faith and sports for the common good.
The annual conference grew out of an initiative launched by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, which held the first global conference in 2016 at the Vatican. That event included two days of intensive conversation among a variety of stakeholders, focused on how sport and faith can drive positive social change. The discussion centered around three themes: inspiration, inclusion, and involvement, and how sports participation and fandom can build and nurture all three.
SPORT AT THE SERVICE OF HUMANITY (SSH) CONFERENCE
November 6 - 8, 2019 | Washington, D.C.
Registration for this invitation-only event is free, and includes conference materials and meals. Guests are only responsible for the cost of travel and lodging.
The 2019 Sport at the Service of Humanity (SSH) Conference will take place at exciting venues throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Capital One Arena, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and Georgetown University’s Main Campus from November 6th to 8th. It will feature dynamic speakers and panels, a Georgetown men's basketball home game, a tour of the newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and breakout groups focused on building a global movement to use the power of faith and sports for the common good.
For more information on the conference including speakers, agenda, and travel/accommodation logistics, please visit our website.
Expected to Attend: Director Ahmed Mansour, producer Jillian Karole, subject Khader El-Yateem
NYC PREMIERE Khader El-Yateem is a Palestinian American, a practicing Lutheran pastor and, he hopes, the first Arab American on the New York City Council. Having grown up amidst conflict before emigrating to the US, Father K works to alleviate the mounting fears of the diverse but marginalized Arab-American community of Bay Ridge following the 2016 presidential election. With the support of political activist Linda Sarsour, he mounts the campaign of a lifetime, taking viewers into the heart of identity politics.
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
FROM ROBESON TO BROWN – A MODERN CABARET OF PROTEST MUSIC
With Freedom Song Leaders and Maggie Brown
Our capstone concert in our On Whose Shoulders series on December 8 will honor two stalwarts of protest music – Paul Robeson and Oscar Brown Jr. The Artists performing will be announced at a subsequent date. The program will also raise funds for the Rosenberg Fund for Children. Rosenberg Fund Executive Director Jenn Meeropol will make remarks at the concert.
Paul Robeson is the son of a former slave turned preacher; Paul Robeson was an All-America football player but rejected a career as a professional athlete and instead obtained a law degree. Because of the lack of opportunity for blacks in the legal profession, he drifted to the stage, making a London debut in 1922. He caused a sensation as an actor and for his bass-baritone singing voice.
Increasing political awareness impelled Robeson to visit the Soviet Union in 1934, and from that year he became increasingly identified with strong left-wing commitments, while continuing his success in concerts, recordings, and theatre. In 1950 the U.S. State Department withdrew his passport because he refused to sign an affidavit disclaiming membership in the Communist Party.
Oscar Brown Jr. is renowned for having written the lyrics to Max Roach's 1960 protest album We Insist!: Freedom Now Suite, which Roach performed in its entirety the day before Brown's appearance at this 1964 Newport Jazz Festival. He also wrote the lyrics to the oft-recorded Bobby Timmons tune, "Dat Dere," and composed tunes for Mahalia Jackson, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln and others.
In 1944, at age 18, he hosted the nation's first black news radio broadcast and in 1948 ran for the Illinois state legislature on the Progressive Party ticket. Following a two-year stint in the Army, Brown became a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, ultimately resigning in 1956.
Featured artists included in the program are THE FREEDOM SONG LEADERS with Africa Brown, Wanda Bishop, Shanta Nurullah and Zahra Baker and MAGGIE BROWN with Africa Brown and friends.
FREEDOM SONG LEADERS. SHANTA NURULLAH, ZAHRA, BAKER, WANDA BISHOP, AFRICA BROWN AND TONI ASSANTE LIGHTFOOT WASHINGTON PARK FORUM: SOAP BOX ACTIVISM
The outpouring of speech and writing that accompanied the rise of North America's large industrial cities was diverse in its political orientation, form, and content. But much of it was offensive to the people who controlled society's political, economic, and cultural institutions. The conflict between advocates for change and defenders of the status quo would shape the possibilities for free speech and redefine the limits of government power over Americans' political debate and private behavior.
Radical and religious speakers leveled their appeals to passers by on street corners and at factory gates. On the southside, near the University of Chicago, the congregation of speakers in Washington Park called itself the "Bug Club.". Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and other leaders in the emancipatory struggle for justice made the Washington Park Forum and the soap box there their pulpit for activism. This concert celebrates this history.
SHANTA NURULLAH has distinguished herself as a sitarist and bassist exploring African-American improvisational music. A member of the legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Nurullah co-founded the all-women's bands Sojourner and Samana, and her current projects include the bands Sitarsys and Classic Black; the duo ShaZah; and Freedom Song Leaders, a vocal ensemble.
ZAHRA BAKER is an accomplished performer, recognized for her work as a folk and jazz vocalist, dramatic actor, and an engaging storyteller. Her performance history includes "In the Spirit" (Storytelling duo of African American stories and songs), Freedom Song Leaders (Co-founder), David Boykin's Outet (Jazz Vocal Improvisation), Othello at Shakespeare Repertory Theater (Vocalist/Actor), and Classic Black (Jazz and Storytelling Ensemble).
MAGGIE BROWN is a singer, songwriter, actress, producer, and director Maggie Brown is said to be "one of the most fiercely committed artists in Chicago" by Chicago Tribune's Howard Reich. Maggie grew up tuning into her father's methods on stage, at the typewriter and in the director's chair. One of seven children of singer, songwriter, and playwright Oscar Brown, Jr., Maggie started acting professionally at age 15.
Formative years in theater then shifted to performing as vocalist, band leader, recording artist, and songwriter. In 1995 Maggie launched her independent label MagPie Records and released her first solo project FROM MY WINDOW. Before her father's passing, Maggie produced a live concert recording with her father called WE'RE LIVE.
Maggie has recorded with Abbey Lincoln, Jonathan Butler, Ramsey Lewis, Stevie Wonder, and her father. In her hometown of Chicago, Maggie is called on to bring authenticity and integrity to whatever the job calls for and has worked with a diverse list of band leaders including: Tom Washington (South Side Big Band), Joan Collaso (11 Jazzy Divas), Douglas Ewart (AACM Inventions Ensemble), and Orbert Davis (Chicago Jazz Philharmonic). With an upbringing rooted in jazz, she is comfortable singing blues, gospel, pop, and even rapping-with impressive conviction and flow.
JENNIFER MEEROPOL is the Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children (RFC) and the granddaughter of both Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and Abel Meeropol (known for writing the anti-lynching anthem "Strange Fruit.").
The RFC is a public foundation created in 1990 by Jenn's father Robert, to honor her grandparents. The Fund makes grants to assist today's "children of resistance - kids of current activists who are experiencing repression, and youth activists targeted for their own organizing. The Fund currently grants close to $400,000 per year to aid hundreds of children in the U.S. whose parents (or who themselves) have been attacked for struggling to protect immigrants, combat racism and police brutality, safeguard the environment, preserve civil liberties, wage peace, and organize on behalf of workers, political prisoners, the LGBTQ community, and others whose rights are under threat.
What we do:
The mission of HOTHOUSE is to instigate, produce and otherwise facilitate participatory multi-disciplinary events that create opportunities for high caliber artistic practices; that extend our collective resources into underserved communities and foster the international exchange of ideas and methods within the context of progressive social change praxis.
We hope you'll join us and help spread the word. If you have any questions, please reach out to any of us at Labor Notes. And if you'd like any print materials (conference brochures) to help publicize in classes or other programs, let me know and I'll see if we have some leftover from our mailing.
It’s official! Registration is now open for the 2020 Labor Notes Conference.
WHEN: Friday, April 17, 9 a.m. - Sunday, April 19, 3 p.m.
WHERE: Hyatt Regency O’Hare at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!:Registration just $115 ($45 off the regular price of $160) until February 28! To register, click here.
Some scholarships are available. Please click here to apply. Please note that the Saturday night banquet is sold separately from registration for the conference and space is limited.
Labor Education and Research Project
Main Office: 7435 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48210; (313) 842-6262.
East Coast Office: 104 Montgomery St, Brooklyn, NY 11225; (718) 284-4144