On April 28, hundreds gathered outside Chicago Police Department headquarters, at 35th and Michigan, to show love and respect for Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and all the others whose Black lives matter. The crowd was largely young and multicultural. What is the truth about Freddie Gray’s death? The truth is that he was murdered by the notoriously racist and brutal Baltimore Police. Baltimore has exploded in anger because of the attempt to obscure this obvious fact, to pretend that the basic life experience of Black people over the last five decades, if not the entirety of U.S. history, can be dissolved into a social mystery. This generation serves notice: that shell game is over.
On March 19 hundreds of workers from the BP oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., massed in front of BP corporate offices in Chicago. The 1,100 workers’ strike has continued over unfair labor practices. The local issues centered on safety and staffing after BP rejected the pattern agreement of the industry with the United Steel Workers.
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.
Election Day in Chicago, Feb. 24, made the historic nine-day Chicago Teachers Union strike in 2012 a pivotal issue again as the candidate supported by the CTU forced Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff.
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.
Illinois Governor Rauner has made his living out of exploiting the disabled and elderly in his many nursing homes.
From the November-December 2010 News & Letters
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Editor’s note: For the centenary of Raya Dunayevskaya’s birth, we present excerpts from her March 21, 1985, lecture at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, at the opening of a three-month exhibition of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (RDC). The [=>]
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
U.S. CRISES: RACISM, POLICE, LABOR STRUGGLES
New York News and Letters Committee prepared a flyer on Eric Garner (see: “NYC Police murder Eric Garner” this issue) headlined: “Wanted For Murder: Daniel Pantaleo.” It denounced the fact that the cops who killed Garner are [=>]
Thousands of people packed into Daley Plaza on Aug. 14 for the National Moment of Silence. Observed in 90 cities, it was called to respond to the police killing of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American, in Ferguson, Mo.
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
Germany recognizes a third gender on legal documents such as birth certificates. Australia’s Sex Discrimination Amendment Bill 2013 makes Intersex people a protected class, with no religious exemptions. In the U.S., Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital has a Gender Identity Clinic which provides physical and mental [=>]
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
Chicago—On May 26, a group of 14 people from Chicago ADAPT went to Springfield, Ill., to push for the passage of House Bill #349 whose purpose is to make the 5% temporary personal income tax in Illinois permanent. Without that happening, we face huge cuts in [=>]
Chicago ADAPT, along with Community Alliance and Northside Action For Justice, held an action at the offices of the Department of Human Services, which also houses the office of the Department of Rehabilitation Services because of the conflicting and confusing information we were getting from the state heads of human services versus the various DRS offices throughout Illinois.
Two busloads of people from Chicago joined thousands gathered in Washington on March 15 to mark the third anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.
200 youths of all races gathered at the Norwalk Fusion Center on the First National Day of Protest. Protests were also held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, San Francisco and Oakland.
Report on a rally in Chicago for Equal Pay Day.
Demonstrators gathered in front of the Japanese Consulate in Chicago on the third anniversary of the first meltdown at the Daiichi nuclear plant at Fukushima. The purpose of the protest was to shine a spotlight on the continuing crisis: that radiation continues to be released into the water and into the air, despite the efforts of workers who at risk of life and health are quickly acquiring lifetime doses of radiation.
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
Cops beat deaf man in Hawthorne, Calif.; Assad’s forces torment man with Down Syndrome in Syria; South Carolina abuses mentally ill prisoners; disabled Chicago woman illegally evicted.
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.”
Close to 2,000 people rallied in Chicago against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Chicago: pediatric gender-identity clinic; Bisexual men more anxious and depressed; United for Marriage Coalition apologize to Transgender and undocumented immigrant supporters of marriage equality
Dozens of people gathered outside a resale store in Chicago to demonstrate against Goodwill Industries’ hiring disabled workers at steeply sub-minimum wages.
Walmart store and warehouse workers, with the support of several busloads of national NOW conference participants, rallied at the downtown Chicago Walmart store.
Participant reports from Trayvon Martin demonstrations in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Raleigh, and New York.
On April 9 rallies were held across the U.S. to mark the day women’s earnings catch up to what men’s were at the end of 2012.
The rulers are not about to sit back and let revolt freely develop. All sorts of reactionary ideas and attitudes have been ushered into the mainstream of politics and the media.
AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
When the Green Movement started in Iran over the 2009 election, the so-called leaders were part of the government who were against Ahmadinejad. The growth of the movement of women and youth got so big it became “out of control” by the so-called leaders. The government leaders got scared because [=>]
AMERICAN CIVILIZATION REMAINS ON TRIAL
American Civilization on Trial (ACOT) is not “Black history.” Rather, Blacks play such an enormous role in the U.S. that their history that is in ACOT is a history of America.
The movie Django Unchained could have been an ad for the NRA’s position on the current [=>]
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 [=>]
Chicago—At an Oct. 9 protest at the Federal Building, a Homeland Security officer had Occupy activist Marissa Brown charged with property destruction for writing political messages on the premises with chalk. (See “Chalking a felony?” in Nov.-Dec. 2012 N&L.) At her trial [=>]
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 [=>]
Chicago—Dozens of people marched on Chicago’s South Side to take a stand against violence on Jan. 15, followed by a speakout and vigil. Occupy the Southside organized this “King on King march” down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from 63rd to Emmett Till Road.
“We’re here,” explained a Black woman activist with Occupy the Southside, “because [=>]
Chicago—On Oct. 20 dozens of determined women and some men demonstrated against the war on women, this time spearheaded by the Catholic hierarchy in cahoots with crazy anti-abortion, anti-birth control fanatics. This was the same bunch who came out on June 8 (see “Fighting the war against women,” July- Aug. 2012 N&L) to try to [=>]
Slutwalk participants showing off their signs at the demonstration on Sept. 16. Signs read: “The only time that my body ‘shuts that thing down’ is when I go through menopause”; “My body is a flower, not to be exploited”; and “Girls just wanna have funDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS!”
Chicago—Picketers gathered in front of the only Chick-fil-A in Chicago to protest the company CEO using his chicken joint as a bullhorn to attack marriage and other civil rights for Gays. We were outnumbered by the customers who had streamed in for Chick-fil-A “Customer Appreciation Day,” an [=>]
You’re invited to a nationwide series of five Marxist-Humanist discussions on:
Global Crises, Global Rebellion, and the Needed Philosophy of Revolution
Central to today’s reality is the worldwide capitalist economic crisis, the deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the context for occupations and revolutions across the globe. We will explore the meaning of this [=>]
Chicago—On June 18, Occupy Chicago held the first of a series of discussions on “The Elephant in the Room: A workshop about dismantling racism in the Occupy Movement.”
Discussion was lively, and comradely, among the majority Black, Latino and Native American participants, but represented just the beginning of an effort to “voice the unvoiced.” One Latino [=>]
Chicago–“Some of us killed innocents. Some of us helped in continuing these wars from home. Some of us watched our friends die. Some of us are not here because we took our own lives. We did not get the care promised to us by our government. All of us watched failed policies turn into bloodshed. [=>]
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
II. In the belly of the beast
A. Occupy and anti-Occupy
The very new phenomenon of the Occupy Movement brought this moment of revolutionary new beginnings squarely to the U.S. Though not now a revolution, it nevertheless transformed the political atmosphere in the [=>]
From the March-April 2012 issue of News & Letters
Chicago—Several hundred people rallied against Chicago’s school “turnarounds” on Feb. 20 and marched to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house. Many marchers wore stickers over their mouths that read “Silenced” or “Excluded,” symbolizing how the mayor and his school board have run roughshod over schools without listening [=>]
Oakland–In the past I have been involved in a lot of struggles: workers’ and immigrants rights, animal rights, etc. They were all single issues, isolated by their demands. The Occupy Movement brings them all together and addresses the cause of the problems, the whole system.
What was most important during the encampment of Occupy Oakland was [=>]
Chicago—Dozens of activists from Occupy Chicago, Jobs with Justice, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Iraq Veterans Against the War, News and Letters Committees and other groups rallied outside the American Economic Association (AEA) conference here on Jan. 6.
The establishment economists were invited to share a sidewalk meal of Rahm-en noodles (named in honor of anti-labor [=>]
Chicago—About 30% of homeless youth in the U.S. are Queer. Many become homeless after being thrown out of their homes by families who reject them. And Queer youth are outing themselves at younger ages.
As homeless Queer youth Jeremiah Beaverly, who grew up in Wisconsin and Illinois, told NPR: “The day after my 18th birthday this [=>]
Chicago—Twenty-four Black men are still in jail almost 40 years after the first allegations of torture were brought against the Chicago Police Department.
In every case, their confessions were obtained illegally through torture.
On Nov. 5, 30 people, including the mother of Javan Deloney and family members of four or five other torture victims, met at the [=>]
New Russian edition of Marxism and Freedom
From Readers’ Views, January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters:
NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN RUSSIA: IN REVOLT, IN THEORY
I heard the news of the largest protests in Russia since the dissolution of the USSR twenty years ago at just about the same time I heard about [=>]
From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:
Chicago—Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made no secret of his contempt for City workers and his desire to weaken their unions. His attitude was perfectly captured in early September when he screamed “F—k you, Lewis!” at Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Karen Lewis during a meeting [=>]
Chicago–In a first, both the G-8 and NATO summits will be held in Chicago at the same time, May 15-22, 2012. Chicago’s Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has already threatened to restrict the civil liberties of demonstrators who will converge from around the world to confront the tottering high priests of capitalism and their dogs of war.
Chicago–The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services on May 1 implemented a five-year pilot program and the state’s first Integrated Care Program for older adults and adults with disabilities eligible for Medicaid but not Medicare.
The program is mandatory, no exceptions. You have to choose between two “medical homes,” Aetna and IlliniCare, and use only [=>]
Chicago—Editor’s note: News and Letters Committees hosted a forum in our Chicago office on Aug. 8 on the response within the Gay community to the Facebook page Take Back Boystown posting videos of Blacks fighting as a way to demonize “outsiders” coming to Gay institutions and bars. Below is part of the discussion among panelists [=>]
Chicago–On June 22 the police, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) security and construction crews showed up at La Casita, the field house on the grounds of Whittier Dual Language Academy in Pilsen (see “Chicago Latinas demand a library,” Nov.-Dec. 2010 N&L). As the construction workers set up fencing that blocked access to La Casita from three sides, [=>]