The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.
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.
Part I of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Discontent is seething in the U.S. among workers, youth, Blacks, women, LGBTQ, including elements of the new society. Fear of revolution is powering neo-fascism opposing the revolt.
Thousands take part in a wave of protests against North Carolina’s House Bill 2, one of the most anti-LGBTQ laws to ever hit the books in our country.
On the deadly racism of the Chicago and U.S. police and the creative response from those struggling against it.
Workers and residents reacted to the huge explosion of Tianjin in China of a hazardous chemical warehouse that killed and injured hundreds of firefighters, neighbors and factory workers. At the same time, Chinese economic troubles engender revolt.
Although the Greek masses reject the austerity program imposed on them by the European institutions, Syriza inexorably took a path to capitulation because it is rooted in the search for state power rather than the power of mass self-activity.
In Chicago, thousands march for a living wage, while in Los Angeles, protesters of all races marched downtown on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s 1968 assassination. They included low-wage workers campaigning to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, uniting with the movement against police killing of unarmed Black and Brown youth.
Another savage sexual assault and murder—this time in Turkey—brought forth thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, throughout the country and beyond. Özgecan Aslan was a student taking a bus home. Worldwide, women are not only railing against sexism and challenging men to change what is often deadly behavior and when not deadly, deeply oppressive; they are as well explicitly extending their critique to the state itself.
The U.S. government took an ominous, reactionary political turn in the 2014 midterm elections, with Republicans taking control of the Senate. Extreme pro-war Senators like Joni Ernst in Iowa and Tom Cotton in Arkansas join veterans like Senator “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” John McCain, who will now control the Armed Services Committee and is hell-bent for new “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq. The whole Republican campaign—including these pro-war, pro-fossil-fuel, pro-“fetus is a person” candidates—ran on a cynically deceptive anti-Obama mantra….
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Regarding “New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, police show pattern of violence against Black people” (Aug. 11 N&L web statement): In 2009 in the UK we saw something similar. Police officers killed a man in the vicinity of a political protest, then told the press [=>]
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
New York—It insults our intelligence to claim that the proposed increase in the minimum wage from the existing $7.25 an hour to $10.10 in 2016 is enough to keep a family above the poverty line. President Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage [=>]
It’s been dubbed a “political earthquake” that has struck the heart of the European Parliament. Yet this surprising victory for the right—where Britain’s own United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) made unprecedented electoral gains–signifies not merely disillusionment with mainstream politics, but growing intolerance across Europe.
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 [=>]
New York—Last year, when thousands of fast food workers walked off their jobs defying their corporate bosses and marched and rallied for a $15 minimum wage and the right to organize a union, many people who have spent their lives fighting for justice in the workplace were excited.
The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.
A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.
Wages have stagnated for several decades— the standard of living of Americans today is less than it was in 1972. The average wage of a worker today is $20.39, not the $38 an hour it would be if wages had kept up with inflation.
Report on a rally in Chicago for Equal Pay Day.
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015: From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy. II. Revolt and retrogression at home. A. Women under attack. B. Many dimensions of revolt
People shared stories about their experiences with Medicaid, the minimum wage, disability rights, and talked about the importance of seeing the human side of issues. The only things the legislators would say was that “revenues were the problem.”
That there are two Americas when it comes to the economy and the wealth of our nation is no mystery to anyone. Everyone now knows the top 1% have essentially been the only beneficiaries of the latest “boom.” Journalists and economists take pains to point out how this jobless expansion has allowed the investors to recover from their losses of the 2008 financial collapse. Workers, though, are still left holding the bag.
Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.
Cambodian police attacked workers on general strike, whose nationwide demand was for the minimum wage to be doubled to $160 a month.
NY rally demands $15 minimum wage, fast-food workers’ right to organize a union without fear of being fired.
Readers’ Views from Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: U.S. RACISM AND BLACK AND LATINO STRUGGLES; LABOR UNDER ATTACK; CTA vs. THE HOMELESS; DISABILITY AND HUMANITY; ABORTION IS A HUMAN NEED; EGYPT’S CONTRADICTIONS; DETROIT CRISIS; NUCLEAR PERIL; WHY A NEWSPAPER LIKE N&L?
Dozens of people gathered outside a resale store in Chicago to demonstrate against Goodwill Industries’ hiring disabled workers at steeply sub-minimum wages.