VII. Tasks

May 17, 2017

Although we do not have a daily newspaper, this crisis-ridden period compels us to strive to act as if we do. Organizational tasks as always are meant to include, not exclude, friends and new contacts who are not yet Marxist-Humanists.

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Readers’ Views: May-June 2017

May 1, 2017

Reader’s Views on Women vs. Reaction; Women and Philosophy; Syria and Humanity; Support Trans Children!; Animals and Us; Repression vs. Justice; Why Read “N&L”; Voices from Behind the Bars

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Humanism: a way forward for prisoners

September 17, 2016

Prisoner and hunger striker Faruq looks at the way forward after the historic California prisoners’ hunger strike and emphasizes the importance of “the banner of our humanism that allowed the forging of a tremendous unification across the racial divides.”

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Black women express their thoughts at the Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam, New York City, April 15, 1967. Photo: crmvet.org

From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Racism, war and Muhammad Ali

July 4, 2016

On the same day that General William Westmoreland waved the flag before Congress, Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army. While the general was applauded even by the doves, Ali was, within hours, stripped of his title of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. War exposed the open nerve—”the Black Question”—which has always been the touchstone of U.S. history. It placed American civilization on trial before the world much more seriously than the “war crimes tribunal” in Stockholm.

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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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Throngs of youth, Black Lives Matter activists and others close down Donald Trump’s rally at the University of Illinois in Chicago on March 11, 2016. Photo by nathanmac87. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathanmac87/25619534911

V. Toward organizational new beginnings

May 13, 2016

Part V of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Together with the depths of counter-revolution, the passion for philosophy points to both the need for and the potential for totally new beginnings in the transformation of society, for new banners of freedom as a polarizing force.

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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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HugoPinellBW

Hugo “Yogi” Pinell (1945-2015)

September 3, 2015

On Aug. 12, Hugo “Yogi” Pinell (1945-2015) was killed in the California State Prison-Sacramento. Pinell was a comrade of George Jackson, W.L. Nolen, James Carr, and other founders of the modern prison movement.

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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

August 30, 2015

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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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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Transgender women must fight for rights

April 30, 2015

New York—Police here have been told to halt stop-and-frisk policies because they unfairly target Black and Latino youth. But the Transgender community in Jackson Heights, New York, is undergoing its own particular form of stop and frisk. Trans women, especially Trans women of color, are stopped on a daily basis, told that they have to submit to a search (which they don’t) and if they are found in possession of a condom (which is legal) they are arrested for loitering or prostitution.

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Chicago women holding signs where they had written what they pledge to do “for women’s rights” in 2015 at the UltraViolet Chicago meet and greet on Jan. 25.
News & Letters photo/Terry Moon

UltraViolet goes live

March 7, 2015

UltraViolet, a mostly online petition-generating organization, recently went out into the real world by holding 25 or so “meet and greet” events in 15 different states. The one I went to was on the north side of Chicago.

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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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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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Photo by Urszula Wislanka for News & Letters.

Prison hunger strike commemorated

November 24, 2014

From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—On Sept. 6 about 100 people in Mosswood Park commemorated one year since the suspension of the historic 60-day hunger strike, the third of its kind, by California prisoners opposing the torture of solitary confinement. The Security Housing Units (SHU) prisoners’ unprecedented cross-race [=>]

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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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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, 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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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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Readers’ Views, Jan.-Feb. 2014, Part 2

March 9, 2014

From the January-February 2014 issue of News & Letters:

Readers’ Views, Part 2

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 [=>]

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