One of the 250,000 demonstrating against Trump in the Chicago Women's March. News & Letters photo by Terry Moon

Inauguration of neo-fascism faces widespread revolt

January 23, 2017

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.

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prisonPen

Voices From the Inside Out: Prisoner’s ‘worth’

July 5, 2016

Prisoner Robert Taliaferro discusses the profit made from prisoners by the prison industrial complex and the shame of supposed rehabilitative programs that in reality are required, not for rehabilitation but for continued punishment of prisoners and profit for the prisons.

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For prisoners, ‘lack of education is education’

May 18, 2016

The Berkeley Human Rights Center hosted a talk, “The (In)Justice System: Incarceration, Education, and Reentry: Reversing the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” part of a series about imprisonment, arbitrary and racist “mass incarceration.” The primary purpose—to create different realities for the incarcerated, the formerly incarcerated, and those yet to be incarcerated—was not made central.

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Readers’ Views, May-June 2016

May 17, 2016

Readers’ Views on Women as Reason; Harriet Tubman; Racism and Internationalism; Bisexual Health; Trans Liberation and Feminism; Chinese State vs. Workers; Nuclear Arms Threaten All; Ireland’s Red Banner; Remembering Olga Domanski; Haggard but Not Tired; Voices from Behind the Bars.

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The Raza wants theory

December 13, 2015

The Raza needs theory that includes struggles within U.S. borders, not simply how to support other people’s struggles. There are issues unique to our existence. Nationalism of the oppressed is applied Internationalism.

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rm 18 archÌv - Na snÌmke bez udania d·tumu, ktor˙ poskytol Washington Post 21.aprÌla 2004, americk˝ vojak drûÌ psa pred irack˝m v‰zÚom vo v‰znici Ab˙ Ghraib. Washington Post ˙dajne zÌskal stovky fotografiÌ a kr·tkych digit·lnych videoz·znamov, doteraz nezverejnen˝ch, na ktor˝ch americkÌ vojaci na jeseÚ 2003 citovo a telesne zneuûÌvaj˙ irack˝ch v‰zÚov vo v‰znici Ab˙ Ghraib z·padne od Bagdadu. TASR/AP
This undated still photo made available by The Washington Post on Friday May 21, 2004, shows a U.S. soldier holding a dog in front an Iraqi detainee at Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad. The Washington Post has obtained what it says are hundreds of photographs and short digital videos - as of yet officially unreleased - depicting U.S. soldiers physically and emotionally abusing detainees last fall in the Abu Ghraib prison. (AP Photo/The Washington Post) ** MANDATORY CREDIT: THE WASHINGTON POST ** INTERNET OUT, NO SALES **

Philip Zimbardo and Marx’s Humanism

A discussion with Philip Zimbardo followed the San Francisco premiere of “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” a movie based on his notorious 1971 experiment. It raises questions about the meaning of being human, which for Marx turned on needing human beings as free beings whose self-determining, free, conscious activity is not a mere means but the first necessity of life.

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Women prisoners and allies create health fair

July 8, 2015

Prisoner-advocates in Central California Women’s Facility initiated a health information exchange, not just sharing information about health, but acknowledging people taking care of each other under the worst conditions. Such care does exist in the prison and it needs support to strengthen and reinforce it.

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2015

July 4, 2015

Black lives as Subject; Russia in crisis; Nothing about us without us; Homelessness in L.A.; Central Canada Alliance; Perspectives and philosophy; Elderly to the streets?; Women and Yemen half-peace; Labor and climate justice; Dialectic and women’s liberation; Voices from behind the bars

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“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

12 years in the SHU

May 1, 2015

Pelican Bay Prison, Calif.—Twelve years have passed since I entered the Security Housing Unit (SHU) on gang validation. This year I turned 53 years old. My cognitive skills over this past decade have taken an odd turn. The deterioration is discernible. When I first arrived I was attentive and, if you’ll excuse the expression, bright-eyed. I thought I could beat this thing, whatever this thing was. I confess—I was ignorant.

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“Trapped, Isolated” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP Z-168, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

What solitary means

January 30, 2015

Nothing can prepare you for entering the Security Housing Unit (SHU). It’s a world unto itself where cold, quiet and emptiness come together, seeping into your bones, then eventually the mind.

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DISABLED WHEELCHAIR

Journey to Death’s door

January 29, 2015

Stepping across the threshold of this particular Death’s door, I was greeted by the spectacle of ancient and sick prisoners in wheelchairs being rolled silently through the hallways, looking like so many ghosts in some haunted asylum.

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Frantz Fanon

Essay: ‘We all can’t breathe’–Reflections on Marx’s Humanism and Fanon

As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?

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Demonstration on Nov. 28 in New York City in solidarity with Ferguson, Mo., protesters and encouraging a boycott of Black Friday Consumerism. The All-Nite Images,https://www.flickr.com/photos/otto-yamamoto/15305646874

Revolt surges against racist system destroying Black lives

January 27, 2015

Protests erupted following the decision by a St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the cold-blooded murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Thousands marched under the slogan “Black Lives Matter!” These demonstrations grew in the wake of the equally outrageous decision of a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the murder of Eric Garner.

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Ferguson solidarity marchers walking on FDR Highway, New York City, Nov. 25, 2014. Photo by Resa Sunshine, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nomadnewyork/15261839893

From Ferguson to Staten Island: The logic of racism is genocide

December 5, 2014

Protests erupted after the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner were let off. They mark a new moment of rebellion against a social order in which Black youth are made to live continuously suspended over an abyss of non-existence.
The passion to tear up this deeply racist society by the roots calls for the fullest development in activity and thought.

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Memphis, Oct. 22, 2014. Photo by MarQuita Bradshaw.

Michael Brown rally

November 25, 2014

A participant reports on demonstrations in St. Louis and Memphis over the killing of Michael Brown and others by police.

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Readers’ Views, November-December 2014, Part 2

November 23, 2014

From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters

Readers’ Views, Part 2

PHILOSOPHY, ACTIVITY, ORGANIZATION AND SOCIALISM

I appreciate how Dunayevskaya relates Hegel’s Absolutes with the concrete tasks of building a revolutionary organization. History is the process of becoming. Hegel said that Being and Nothing are abstractions, whereas [=>]

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Solidarity had the might to move the mountain of prison torture that kept us isolated and voiceless. ­ We still need you now, even more

October 13, 2014

An appeal from prison hunger strike activists Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa and Jabari Scott about the unlawful and inhuman conditions at Tehachapi State Prison and the non-implementation of the agreements worked out between prisoners and California Gov. Jerry Brown. News and Letters Committees has been covering the prisoners’ hunger strike even before it began (see Pelican [=>]

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House of no justice

September 1, 2014

I am an inmate at New Folsom State Prison and was personally involved in the statewide hunger strike that started on July 1 in protest of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitiation’s (CDCR) practices of cruel and unusual punishment.

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Prisoners’ food and mail cut

From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters

Amarillo, Texas—The Texas prison system cut the total number of first-class letters that indigent prisoners are allowed to send from five per week to five per month. This has backed up my correspondence. By the end of the first week I have already posted my [=>]

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part 2

August 31, 2014

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. [=>]

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Voices From the Inside Out: On prison and race

July 7, 2014

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

by Robert Taliaferro

Race has always been at the forefront of this nation since its founding. It seems ironic that the generation that produced the country’s first Black president is also the generation that is seeing the advances made in civil rights during [=>]

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Art by Michael Russell, Pelican Bay SHU

No rehabilitation

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—On June 14 Critical Resistance (CR), an organization working for the abolition of the prison system, held a community forum on California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr). (Prisoners refuse to capitalize the “R” because there is no “rehabilitation.”)

The forum took up new [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 2

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 [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 1

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

RESPONSES TO MARXIST-HUMANIST PERSPECTIVES

The Marxist-Humanist Perspectives (N&L, May-June 2014) give a critical assessment of the polarization between the oppressive forces of capital’s social relations and humanity’s efforts to realize human dignity. It shows humans are not just passive victims of capital. First [=>]

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Milwaukee fast food wks color

Low-wage workers strike, reach for a new way of life

July 1, 2014

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.

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Readers’ Views, May-June 2014

May 25, 2014

From the May-June 2014 issue of News & Letters:

Readers’ Views

LABOR AND IMMIGRATION

On April 8, about 100 people, the majority young Latinas/os, gathered in front of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the deportation of immigrants. Obama’s administration has aggressively deported 2,000,000 immigrants. We held signs reading: “Not Even One More!” and “No Separation of [=>]

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Handicap This! May-June 2014

May 24, 2014

Hungary’s discrimination; violence against women with disabilities in EU; Jenny Hatch wins right to make her own decisions; death of Michael Anthony Kerr, a North Carolina prisoner with disabilities.

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‘We do change in prison’

May 15, 2014

“When I came to prison, I was angry. I was hurt—physically, mentally and spiritually. I have fought very hard to become a person who lives with dignity.”

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Revolt and retrogression at home

May 6, 2014

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

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