Participants report on the April 22 Science Not Silence demonstration where about 1,000 people rallied at the campus of Cal Tech and made ready to march in defense of science and of rational thought itself.
Readers’ Views on: environmental and social crises; Martin Luther King Day; healthcare crisis, Donald Trump and the election; brutal “justice”; and who reads News & Letters.
Readers’ Views on: Racism and Revolt Put U.S. on Trial; Life and Death Under the Class Divide; Environmental Struggles; War and Atrocities; and Women’s Lives at Stake.
Philosophy, theory and News & Letters; Flint Part Ii; Mumia Abu-Jamal; Voices from behind the bars.
McGill Univ. tent city for fossil fuel disinvestment; New Delhi College of Art protest; Westmount High School student picket supports teachers; Beirut “You Stink!” protests
Governments which could never have come to power without the social movements’ mobilizations are using vague expressions of anti-capitalism, socialism, resource nationalism, anti-imperialism, etc., to impose developmentalism on their populations, often in collaboration with neoliberalism.
Don Blankenship—owner of the Upper Big Branch Massey mine in West Virginia in 2010 when the mine exploded, killing 29 coal miners—was indicted. Nevertheless, the coal lobby still exerts considerable power in the state, and uses that power to support mountaintop mining and to thwart environmentally progressive programs that try to minimize the many dangerous aspects of coal mining.
A correspondent writes: For years now Rojava (“Syrian Kurdistan”) has been making perhaps the most advanced revolution we will see anywhere in our lifetimes practically alone.
Central Park in New York City was filled with hundreds of thousands at the People’s Climate March on Sept. 21.
From the September-October 2014 News & Letters
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION
I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
The People’s Climate March will be hitting the streets of New York on Sept. 21. It will precede the Sept. 23 Climate Summit called by the UN supposedly to “mobilize action and ambition on climate change.” The march will call for “a world with an [=>]
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
UNCHAINING THE DIALECTIC
Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1953 breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolute Idea enabled her to illuminate a path not traveled by previous generations of revolutionaries. She is quite emphatic in raising the importance of “Unchaining the Revolutionary Dialectic” (May-June 2014 N&L), and capturing what [=>]
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, part 2.
Chicago–“Say NO to KXL!” was the message of 100 protesters outside the local State Department offices on the bitter cold night of Feb. 3, demanding that President Obama reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry extra-dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. It was one of 283 actions across the U.S. and Canada organized in three days after the State Department released its fake environmental report on the pipeline–a report crafted by cronies of TransCanada, Keystone’s owner, with the imprimatur of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
ENVIRONMENT UNDER THREAT
Recently I attended a talk near Berkeley, Calif., by a retired professor about the effect of environmental damage on political instability in the Middle East. He spoke disparagingly of Arab countries, but was full of praise for Israeli technology and “adaptive science.” He stated that autocracy was the best way to confront [=>]
THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION AS TEST OF WORLD POLITICS
I have been active in a number of student groups around labor and women’s issues. We always talk about “intersectionality” and recognizing different struggles. Somehow that didn’t seem to apply, though, when it came to the Syrian Revolution. Suddenly people didn’t want to talk about it. I [=>]
Protesters in Nashville, Tenn., in one of the 400 demonstrations of the second Global March against Monsanto on Oct. 12. Protests were held in 52 countries on all inhabited continents. They were calling for the permanent boycott of genetically modified organisms and harmful agro-chemicals.
About 90 members of environmental and community groups gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza for “Oakland Frackdown” to protest passage of State Senate Bill 4 authorizing hydraulic fracturing in California.
Occupations of planned fracking sites in Canada and Romania showed the intensification of struggles against the damage fossil fuel exploitation is inflicting. The urgency of stopping the headlong rush to extract and burn fossil fuel was underscored by the latest comprehensive report from the International Panel on Climate Change.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) attacked men and women of the Mi’kmaq and Elsipogtog First Nation for blocking a New Brunswick highway in protest of Southwestern Energy doing seismic testing to determine whether local shale gas deposits merit fracking.
Close to 2,000 people rallied in Chicago against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
On July 6, around 1:15 AM, an unattended 74-car freight train filled with crude oil derailed and exploded in the center of the town of Lac Mégantic, Québec. This catastrophe was avoidable with even the slightest attention to safety, and is a result of cutting corners to save money, and the lack of anyone in charge taking responsibility for any aspect of the negligence, including those in the government.
From the March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Chicago–“Hey! Obama! We don’t want your climate drama!” we chanted at the Forward on Climate rally here on Feb. 17. There were at least 20 rallies that day, with 40,000 people in Washington, D.C. Most of the 400 here were college students brought out by Chicago [=>]
40,000 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.–I drove from Memphis to Washington with three others and joined the 40,000-plus people there on Feb. 17 for the Forward on Climate Change rally, the biggest ever held on climate change in this country. Yes, the 15-hour drive was long. Yes, it was super cold. Yes, we stood for a [=>]
RAVAGES OF CAPITALISM SHOW NEED FOR NEW WORLD
The article on “Climate chaos and capitalism” (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L) is very relevant, especially the conclusion about how capitalism’s contradiction is that the growth of the economy, of capitalist production, means more global warming and climate change worldwide.
Activist for humans and environment
The technologies we [=>]
Chicago—Anyone who has lived through a homeless winter on the streets of a Midwestern city knows the value of a warm night. It means you die a little less. Maybe get to stay out of a shelter, or avoid the humiliation of the Mission. Maybe talk with a friend in peace.
We’ve had a lot more [=>]
Chinese officials in Sichuan province bowed quickly to mass protests and withdrew plans on July 3 for construction of a $1.6 billion molybdenum copper processing plant in Shifang town. Thousands of demonstrators faced tear gas and police batons beginning on July 1, surrounding government buildings and installations in Shifang to stop the project and the [=>]
Climate chaos takes an ever increasing toll. In this year of extremes: the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is at a record low; July was the hottest month on record for the U.S.; almost 80% of U.S. agricultural land is in a drought comparable to the 1930s Dust Bowl; this year is on track [=>]
To mark the 20th anniversary of the original “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, here is what I wrote about it at the time (from the July 1992 News & Letters):
Ideological pollution at ‘Earth Summit’
by Franklin Dmitryev
The UN Conference on Environment and Development (or Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, began June 3 with [=>]
Tar sands pipeline vs. human future
The battle over the Keystone XL pipeline reveals two opposite futures. The push to complete the pipeline, which is to carry tar sands oil 1,980 miles from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, represents capital’s drive to keep expanding production for production’s sake, no matter how disastrous it may be [=>]
From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
World in View: Students awaken Chile
Hundreds of thousands of students–teenagers, and college students–have taken to the streets of Santiago, the capital, and the cities of Concepción, Valparaíso and Temuco, among others, to demand a decent public education. Hundreds of schools have been taken over. Students have been [=>]
You don’t need a weatherman to know the wind has blown in another year of disasters: record flooding of the Lower Mississippi River, a record Texas drought, a record Arizona wildfire, the worst fire season in U.S. history. This comes after 2010, the planet’s hottest year in history, which brought record flooding in Pakistan and [=>]
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, by Bill McKibben (Times Books, 2010).
Bill McKibben made up the word Eaarth to relabel a planet that is no longer the one where his Baby Boom generation was born. Modern societies have unintentionally engineered the planet’s exit from a 10,000-year period marked by a relatively stable climate [=>]
The world food crisis, which was hot in 2008 and then subsided temporarily, is getting worse again. It was one of the factors in Tunisia’s revolution, along with recent revolts in Algeria. The piece below, published in the June-July 2008 issue of News & Letters, is still quite germane.
World food crisis stirs [=>]
FBI RAIDS–AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US
On Sept. 24, teams of FBI agents from the “Joint Terrorism Task Force” served search warrants and grand jury subpoenas on anti-war and solidarity activists in Illinois and Minne-sota. This attack on the First Amend-ment rights of peaceful activists must be opposed and we should stand with them [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:
Hungary’s red sludge
Red sludge flooded several villages in Hungary on Oct. 4, killing nine people, sending 80-90 to the hospital, destroying animals, houses and cars, and making farmland unusable. It killed all life in the Marcal River, a tributary of the Danube. The sludge, a by-product of [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters: “Superheroes in Honeywell lockout” – Metropolis, Ill. at the uranium conversion plant.
Superheroes in Honeywell lockout
Metropolis, Ill.–As you approach the tiny town of Metropolis, as far as 25 miles out you begin to see the lawn signs declaring “Proud Supporter of USW Local 7-669.”
Metropolis is known as [=>]