Readers’ Views on: Iran and Philosophy of Revolution; Corruption of ‘Justice’; Prisoner Unity; Voices from Behind Bars
Youth in Action: January-February 2023
Takes up: graduate researchers and academic student employees’ strike of the University of California’s campuses won a contract on Dec. 23, 2022; Students at Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago walked out of class on Dec. 19, 2022, to protest gun violence; and DACA recipients and other young in Phoenix, Arizona, made 60,000 phone calls and knocked on 4,000 doors to pass ballot measure 308.
Handicap This!: January-February 2023
Takes up: Vanuatu, a Pacific island country, developed a national sign language, Storian wetem han; in Minnesota personal care assistants have won a wage increase through the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota union; the UN celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Dec. 3.
Essay: Ukrainian self-determination and idea of freedom
Ukrainians’ self-organizing drew in all layers of the population, acting on their passion for independence and freedom from imperial overlords. The new life they have brought to the idea of democracy is deeper than political democracy. Marx’s humanist idea is a future determined by fully realizing that deeper content.
Thoughts from the Outside: Football and capitalism
The reality of football was brought home when Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. Football is a distraction every bit as crucial to propping up this system as circuses were in ancient Rome.
World in View: Israeli fanatics threaten Palestine, IsraelJanuary 23, 2023
For the sixth time Benjamin Netanyahu has become Prime Minister of Israel. This time he returned to power by bargaining for a government of the most extreme right: an ultranationalist, ultra-Orthodox coalition.
World in View: Right-wing Brazilians storm the capitol
Days after Lula da Silva had taken office as President of Brazil, right-wing supporters of former President Bolsonaro stormed the Congress, Presidential Office and Supreme Court in Brasilia.
World in View: After Brexit come strikesJanuary 22, 2023
Great Britain is in a cost of living crisis. Newspapers are publishing “Heat or Eat Diaries.” Brexit has been an important catalyst for Britain’s dire economic situation. Hopefully the labor militancy now taking place can show a way forward.
World in View: Migrants die in Qatar
Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world, runs on sweated migrant labor. Since Qatar was awarded the World Cup over 6,500 migrant workers have died there building the infrastructure for the games.
COP15 and COP27: Ecology summits hide two worlds clashing
Two hotly anticipated global summits on ecology and climate papered over a raging war of capital against humanity and Planet Earth—a war manifested in open conflict between “developed” and “developing” countries, but more deeply in a war of the two worlds of rulers and ruled within each country.
China’s white paper revolution scares Xi Jinping
In October Xi Jinping cleared the inner circle of the ruling Communist Party of all but lackeys. In November his lifetime rule became much more precarious as protests broke out across the country over his draconian zero-COVID policies.
Editorial: Iranian masses deepen their revolution
Since Sept. 16, 2022, protesters in Iran have carried out remarkable revolutionary protests. The women remain both numerous and radical in the constant demonstrations and actions, and have drawn in many layers of the masses while explicitly calling for the revolutionary downfall of the Islamic Republic’s regime.
Michigan workers’ victoryDecember 16, 2022
At last over 600,000 Michigan workers will receive increased minimum wages and earn paid sick leave, thanks to a court ruling this summer overturning a 2018 law the state legislature had quickly and cynically passed four years ago.
Farsi translations of Marxist-Humanist writings on IranDecember 15, 2022
Here are links to a number of Farsi translations of Marxist-Humanist writings.
El régimen iraní teme la revolución, las mujeres lideran el camino
El régimen iraní debería tener mucho miedo. Los gritos de: “¡Mujeres, vida y libertad!” “¡Muerte al hijab!” “¡Muerte al dictador!” llenan las calles. Las mujeres iraníes han inspirado al mundo y han advertido a los oligarcas de Irán que su régimen represivo está en grave peligro.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Iran: Unfoldment of, and contradictions in, Revolution, parts III and IVDecember 10, 2022
Today’s revolt in Iran is illuminated by Raya Dunayevskaya’s March 1979 Political-Philosophic Letter, “Iran: Unfoldment of, and Contradictions in, Revolution.” The first two parts were published in the November-December 2022 issue. The concluding two parts are published here. Written shortly after the massive women’s revolt that tried to open a second chapter of the revolution, this letter was part of a series written during and after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and published in both English and Farsi.
Handicap This! December 2022December 8, 2022
Asian-American disability rights activist Alice Wong’s memoir “Year of the Tiger”; In Poland, caregivers of children with disabilities called for the right to work part-time jobs while keeping government stipends; and disability rights activists critique California’s CARE Courts Act, where courts can order involuntary treatment plans for people with psychotic disorders.
Congress breaks railroad workers’ strikeDecember 3, 2022
Congress has done its best to become the nation’s strikebreaker by forcing a five-year contract on railroad workers who had been set to go on strike on Dec. 12. Union members in four of the 12 unions had voted to reject a tentative agreement that negotiators had reached with six major rail carriers in September.
National Costco pactNovember 12, 2022
Unionized Costco workers achieved their first national master contract. This needs to form the basis for reaching out and organizing the majority of Costco warehouses that remain non-union.
World in View: Saied buries Tunisia’s Arab Spring Revolution
Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has completed a counter-revolution aimed at ending the Arab Spring that the Tunisian masses launched in December 2010. He has gotten rid of Parliament and ended judicial oversight, and now has maneuvered a new constitution for the country. This gives him almost total power.
Michigan MAGA threats
Curtis reports on the state of electoral politics in Michigan, including racism, violence, misogyny and fraudulent Trump supporters.
Prison and structural racism
Prisoner Comrade Easley argues that structural racism and the prison industrial complex thrive on over-policing and racial profiling Black and Brown communities.
Review of: ‘Unsilenced: Our Refusal to Let Torturer-Traffickers Win,’ whose authors worked out therapy for victims of what they called Non-State Torture (NST) which goes beyond abuse. Perpetrators of NST employ the same “classic” torture techniques, especially rape, used by state representatives—police, military, or prison guards.
Women prisoners scammed at CCWF
Prisoners at Central California Women’s Facility paid for Jpay and U-Tab tablets. Some spent thousands of dollars for content and then we were told we must destroy, erase, or send out our paid-for, allowable property and all content without compensation!
Indigenous Resistance in MexicoNovember 11, 2022
The Xonacatlan Indigenous Council (Juanacatlán, Jalisco State) issued a declaration establishing their territory “free of industry, free of megaprojects, free of mining and material banks.”
Shower or cesspool?
A prisoner speaks out about lockdown conditions with rancid food and unclean showers.
Thoughts from the Outside: ‘If We Must Die’
Claude McKay’s poem “If We Must Die” spoke to hunger strikers at Pelican Bay. We were dying anyway and had nothing to lose with our movement to end perpetual solitary confinement in California prisons. “If we must die,” let us fight back with Marx’s universal of what makes us human, freedom.
Queer Notes: November-December 2022
The Ohio LGBTQ+ community protested a meeting of the Ohio State Board of Education delaying a vote on a “don’t say gay” bill; Israeli playwright Yochai Greenfeld’s autobiographical play about conversion therapy opened in Israel; there was a memorial on Chicago’s south side for several LGBTQ+ people killed by a hit-and-run driver; and murdered Palestinian Gay man Ahmad Abu Marhia’s body was found in Hebron in the West Bank, and a suspect has been arrested.
Xi Jinping’s precarious hold on China
The coup that Xi Jinping had long planned to cement his control of the Communist Party of China went according to script: Xi was re-elected to a third five-year term as leader at the Party Congress that ended on Oct. 23.
Women Worldwide: November-December 2022
Women students protest rape culture at Stanford; feminists in Gaza face backlash for campaigning against family violence against young women; Tunisian feminists protest male-dominated election structure; first woman appointed to Yemen’s Supreme Judicial Council, and women activists there win passport rights.
Readers’ Views: November-December 2022, Part Two
Revolutionary Thinkers’ Dialogue; Trans and Queer Solidarity; U.S. Slavery Today; Prison Kangaroo Courts; Guilty Police and State; FBI’s Aretha Files; Why Read N&L?; Voices from Behind Bars
Leading Canadians off the cliff
Canada’s Conservative Party and Alberta province’s United Conservative Party have both chosen racist, anti-immigrant leaders, moving Canada to the Right.
Readers’ Views: November-December 2022, Part One
Readers’ Views on: Iran: Woman, Life, Freedom; Election Threats and Battles; Women’s Marches and Enemies; Sexist Supreme Court; Ukrainians Fight for Freedom; Para-Transit Disservice; Mike Davis; Labor Struggles, from Amazon…to the Bank.
Handicap This!: November-December 2022
Disabled women have joined anti-U.S. Supreme Court demonstrations as they are eleven times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth; Disabled South Koreans protested in subways over lack of access to essential services, abuse in institutions, and elevated death rates; a disabled woman in Pakistan founded two organizations which manufacture and donate wheelchairs, employing mostly the disabled.
60th International Antiwar Assembly
Excerpts of the appeal from the Executive Committee for the 60th International Antiwar Assembly, together with the message of solidarity sent to the Assembly from News and Letters Committees. Against Putin’s war and for revolutionary new beginnings!
Youth in Action: November-December 2022
U. of Florida students protest choice of reactionary Ben Sasse as university president; Virginia high school students protests anti-Trans plan; Greek students protest police sent onto campuses by the government.
World in View: Haitians demand self-determination
When the U.S.-imposed non-elected, illegitimate government of Ariel Henry decided to raise highly subsidized fuel prices in September, all hell broke loose in Haiti. Mass protests occurred everywhere, particularly on the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
World in View: Lebanon’s citizens deal with failing state
People are robbing banks in Lebanon as the only way to get to their own money. The economy has experienced a meltdown. Years of war, sectarian violence, and rampant corruption have led to extreme poverty for Lebanon’s citizens and thousands of Middle East refugees there.
World in View: Europe’s racist leaders
In both Sweden and Italy neo-fascist leaders have won great influence: Jimmie Akesson in Sweden and Giorgia Meloni in Italy. They have in common vicious anti-immigrant and other racists beliefs and actions.
Election shows women feel the hate
It wasn’t alone the question of abortion rights that helped Democrats do so well in the midterm elections, but also what made women and so many others furious was the extreme cruelty and sickening glee with which Republicans imposed their draconian abortion laws and bans. Women could feel the hate.
Attitudes to the climate crisis and technologyNovember 10, 2022
Today’s divide in attitudes to technology and climate solutions is more than a political question. It is a deep divide in philosophy. As crucial as are technological advances and the “energy transition,” they are liable to turn into their opposite if they are the focus instead of struggles of people trying to take control over their own lives.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Contradictions in Iranian Revolution
Today’s revolt in Iran is illuminated by Raya Dunayevskaya’s March 1979 Political-Philosophic Letter, “Iran: Unfoldment of, and Contradictions in, Revolution,” published here in two parts. Written shortly after the massive women’s revolt that tried to open a second chapter of the revolution, this letter was part of a series written during and after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and published in both English and Farsi.
Amazon Prime Day is for job actionsNovember 8, 2022
On “Prime Day,” Amazon warehouse workers in Moreno Valley, Calif., filed enough signatures to schedule a union vote at their facility. On the same day, dozens of non-union Amazon workers walked out of warehouses in Stone Mountain and Buford, Ga., to rally for $24 per hour.
Votes that matter
The election of 2020 gave a giant push for the Right to turn elections into weapons for abrogating rights and freedoms, especially those of women and minorities. It is a primrose path to outright fascism.
‘Exceptions’ are a lie
So-called “exceptions” for rape, incest, and the health or life of the women to draconian abortion bans are a cruel joke, and a means to make rabid anti-abortion Republicans appear “reasonable.” These laws are purposely written to make using these “exceptions” almost impossible.
Women organize and educate for abortion rights
The Women’s March and other groups held A Women’s Wave Day of Action on Oct. 8, 2022, demanding a nationwide right to abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted that right. Women, youth, and allies are aware of the importance of reproductive justice to our lives and democracy and are motivated to organize and creatively fight back.
Editorial: Ukraine makes gains, Putin brandishes nukesNovember 6, 2022
Putin failed to terrorize Ukraine into submission with massive bombing of civilians and social infrastructure. Ukrainian social solidarity, resilience and massive participation of all layers of the population inspired the world that a people do not have to cave to extortion and terror.
Iranian regime fears revolution while women lead the way to total changeOctober 22, 2022
The Iranian hard-line regime should be very afraid. The cries of: “Women, life and freedom!” “Death to the head scarf!” “Death to the dictator!” fill the streets. Iranian women have inspired the world and put Iran’s oligarchs on notice that their repressive regime is in grave danger.
Discussion article: Gavur Imam: The “sung” hero of CypriotsOctober 17, 2022
Gavur Imam and his liberation struggle are a great example of a deliberately hidden past that could help all Cypriots to unite and fight for the island against its occupiers.
Queer Notes: October 5, 2022October 5, 2022
Rainbow Migration demanded the UK Prime Minister “end immigration detention for all LGBTQ+ people,” “scrap the Rwanda plan” and “reverse changes to the standard of proof for LGBTQ+ people’s asylum claims”; Twelve Republican-led states banned Transgender girls and women from competing in sports; and a long awaited center serving LGBTQ+ people opened on Chicago’s South Side.