From the September-October 2016 issue of News & Letters
POLITICS, REVOLUTION AND THE POWER OF PHILOSOPHY
I love that News & Letters printed Raya Dunayevskaya’s writing on Muhammad Ali’s anti-war stance. It shows a side of Ali that many of the eulogies on him minimized—his fierce anti-war position. It also showed a side of Dunayevskaya that is not put in print often enough: not alone her deep philosophic roots in the dialectic of Marx, Hegel and others, but her most concrete political analysis of ongoing current events.
Activist and thinker
Enclosed is $15 for the “special offer” in the July-Aug. N&L to acquire Ms. Dunayevskaya’s book The Power of Negativity and a year’s subscription to News & Letters. In addition, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation as to the quality of revolutionary coverage/insights and the general humanistic emphasis foundational to your bimonthly.
I’m sorry I was unable to attend the memorial for Olga Domanski. She was a lovely person and a first class freedom fighter. In person and in correspondence her human warmth and revolutionary dedication always came through loud and clear. She is dearly missed.
THE SPORTS SECTION
I’ve always been critical of the Olympics, but seeing Rafaela Silva, a defiant Black woman and survivor of racist bullying, return to her Favela; seeing her surrounded by the residents who nurtured her and were filled with joy brought me to tears. They always look at the Favela as an embarrassment—until it’s Olympics time. That is the day the dispossessed of the earth rise to the fore and inherit the earth that they built.
On that same note the Ethiopian Olympian Feyisa Lilesa—who courageously raised up his arms and crossed
them to protest the oppression of the Oromos at home—was also possessed by the spirit of freedom, the same spirit that pushed Tommie Smith and John Carlos to raise their fists in a Black power salute at the Olympics of 1968.
Over 2,500 people, most of them young and Black, were murdered by the Brazilian police to make Rio a “safe city”—100 this year alone, up to August. When we celebrate these acts of resistance, let’s not forget them.
Some people think that protesting against injustices, as Colin Kaepernick did, means you’re practically a terrorist. In high school I did not want to recite the hypocritical pledge of allegiance, but they required us to stand up for it. Two friends and I took advantage of a visit by foreign exchange students to our homeroom to remain seated during the pledge. Our reactionary teacher was shocked but didn’t say anything in front of the visitors. But what Kaepernick did took way more guts than that, or than any of the echo-chamber screaming and whining by the mindless super-patriots.
High school survivor
San Diego County
NATIONAL PRISON ACTION
For the 45th anniversary of the Attica uprising on Sept. 9 [after press time], prisoners planned a national action. Their call said:
“Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves… To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement. This is a call for a nationwide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on Sept. 9, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.”
I’m a prisoner who stands against capitalism. I located you in a new directory and would like to obtain a copy of your publication. Please place me on your mailing list. Additionally, please provide me if possible with any information you can on Marxism and all that N&L stands for. If I can assist in any way, please tell me.
I am optimistically enduring my harsh conditions of incarceration on the modernized slavery complex. I’m delighted to have received my first copy of the newspaper and you all have touched some profound subjects that interest me. Black Lives Matter is a powerful movement and I sincerely support it because “Black Lives Really Matter” and should be sincerely loved, cherished, nourished, appreciated, educated and protected.
El Roderick McKissic
A firm revolutionary salute is extended to all of the participant contributors of the N&L. The W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program is a community-based pen pal service constructed to provide the people of our communities with an opportunity to connect with and engage New Afrikan Black Revolutionaries on several fronts. You can find more information at http://sfbayview.com/2013/03/the-w-l-nolen-mentorship-program/ or: W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program, Attn: Central Texas ABC, c/o John S. Dolley, P.O. Box 7907, Austin, TX 78713
Thank you for sending the July-August N&L. I have enjoyed reading the wonderfully composed articles and find within them a greater call to reason than some of the other newsletters I have read. Violence and oppression is not overcome with more of the same, but with education and activism. The belief that what happened in Orlando and, recently, Dallas is a good thing has been expressed by several other inmates here and it absolutely disgusts me.
I believe in freedom of choice in regards to living in accordance with personal or sexual identity and being able to determine what’s best for oneself regarding their bodies. Because I support the LGBTQI movement, I get a lot of harassment but I won’t sacrifice my ideals or morals due to pressure from others who fear what they don’t understand or are unwilling to try to. All lives matter, even the ones I disagree with or are of a different orientation/viewpoint than my own. Together we can stand united for freedom in the face of oppression.
Hey, I saw a paper someone had here but they got it from someone else. So I have little info. I’m locked up for about 12 more months here. Anyway, the paper is very well written and I enjoyed it a lot and was hoping to get some reads from you! Please. Thanks a lot for your time.
TO OUR READERS: Can you donate $5 for a prisoner who cannot pay for a subscription to N&L? An $8 donation makes it possible to give a subscription plus the Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers pamphlet to a prisoner where it will be widely shared. You can donate via Pay Pal by clicking here, or sending your donation to: News & Letters, 228 S. Wabash Ave., Room 230, Chicago, IL 60604.