Youth in action: September-October 2020

August 29, 2020

Starbucks barista fired for demanding that police also wear masks in the store; California State University in Los Angeles students rally in support of hiring organizer Melina Abdullah as Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies; Dallas, Ga., high school student suspended and threatened by classmates for taking a picture of a crowded school hallway and posting it on social media.

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Detroit teachers vote safety strike

The Detroit Federation of Teachers voted to authorize a safety strike, which means they will not teach face-to-face but are willing to work remotely. Most parents, students, and educators want to return to classroom learning, but COVID-19 forces everyone into choices unthinkable six months ago, choices that could mean life or death.

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Fracking cannibalizes our future

The fracking boom turned to bust and a wave of bankruptcies reveals the current operation of decaying capitalism in miniature: cannibalizing the economy, people and the planet, destroying our future, in order to funnel wealth to the favored few.

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COVID-19 at San Quentin

Several hundred people, including many family members of prisoners at San Quentin Prison, Calif., demonstrated for the fifth time in the last three months to protest the state’s murder of prisoners by COVID-19.

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Handicap This!: September-October 2020

Handicap This! takes up: The staggering COVID-19 death toll among nursing home residents in New York State as well as in nursing homes housing the disabled nation wide; how the closure of schools due to COVID-19 has been especially difficult for special needs students; and that In the world of United Kingdom auto racing, Team Brit was created in 2015 to allow people with disabilities to participate in motorsports.

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Women worldwide, September-October 2020

Diana Russell remembered; Hawaii’s Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for COVID-19; Turkish women protest moves to withdraw from Istanbul Convention; women social health workers strike in India; women contest stolen election in Belarus; demands for release of Sanaa Seif in Egypt.

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Detroit dispatch #9: Children learning during the pandemic

July 25, 2020

Educator Susan Van Gelder breaks down the difficulties and political realities of what happens to school children, teachers, and others trying to educate children during the crisis caused by the pandemic and Donald Trump’s and Betsy DeVos’ attempts to destroy public education.

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Hong Kong: Year two of revolt

Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a ban on demonstrations to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Thousands came out to oppose the Beijing government’s intention to impose a National Security Law directly on Hong Kong.

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Women worldwide, July-August 2020

Nigerians protest rape and violence against teenage girls; Feminist Coalition Feministe statement on Nova Scotia mass killings; Texas Equal Access Fund sues anti-abortion group for defamation; NatCen Social Research finds girls between 16-34 from the poorest backgrounds more likely to harm themselves; a rally demands action on the year-old proposals by Canadian inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

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Detroit dispatch: ‘Mourning delayed’

Detroit is still struggling with the pandemic as water is still shut off to over 3,000 residents. Funerals and hospitalizations are the most difficult for families because they can’t be together in a meaningful way.

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Migrant workers in India face lockdown

In India, labor in general, migrant workers and daily wage earners in particular, are vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are desperately trying to return to their hometowns, battling hunger and scorching heat.

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Free Chanthon Bun! Stop ICE transfers!

Protesters in front of San Quentin prison demanded freedom for Chanthon Bun. Instead of honoring the board’s decision that he was suitable for parole, the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation intends to transfer him to an ICE detention center.

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Latin America under COVID-19

Capitalism is exacerbating the havoc being wreaked by COVID-19 in Latin America. In the projected largest recession in its history, 12 million more people will lose their jobs, leaving 29 million more in poverty.

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Detroit dispatch #7: art, protests and evictions

June 29, 2020

Detroit dispatch #7 saw a multiplicity of daily Black Lives Matter protests, in both city and suburbs, illuminating revelations of and resistance against systemic racism. Art flourishes while evictions loom, Fiat-Chrysler workers walk out while speed-up of workers continues and social distancing and mask wearing fall by the wayside.

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Being LGBTQ in the COVID-19 era

June 8, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting minority communities especially hard. The LGBTQ community is no exception and Transgender people are particularly hard hit. This is an international phenomenon.

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Special coverage of COVID-19 pandemic

May 31, 2020

Special coverage of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Watch this space for periodic additions. Latest: Detroit Dispatch #6: Hospitalizations, funerals and the need for justice; Discussion article: Neoliberal necropolitics and Indian migrant workers; Detroit Dispatch #5: Education and individualism; COVID-19 has generated a lot of “free time” for workers, but how can we create full, human “free time”?; Detroit dispatch #4: The rush to reopen; Detroit dispatch #3: a pall over the city; Woman as Reason: Abortion in the time of COVID-19; Detroit Dispatch: Easter Sunday.

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Detroit Dispatch #6: Hospitalizations, funerals and the need for justice

May 26, 2020

In Detroit most people have been practicing social distancing, enforced by the police who recovered from their own COVID-19 outbreak. The most difficult situations are hospitalizations and funerals, and sadly, Detroit’s “Right to Literacy” case was short-lived, overturned by the full panel of judges. Plaintiffs are regrouping to resume the struggle.

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COVID-19 has generated a lot of “free time” for workers, but how can we create full, human “free time”?

May 12, 2020

The measures adopted in the face of the spread of COVID-19 in the world have caused billions of people to suddenly have excess “free time.” But this is not a full “free time,” conducive to the enjoyment and development of new skills, but a “time without work” that is exacerbating the enormous economic contradictions already existing in our society. Is it possible to imagine and bring about a form of free time that is truly human time?

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Voices from the inside out: COVID-19 in prison

May 3, 2020

Depending on the state and their prison system, healthcare inside is marginal during the best of times. Some prisons in Wisconsin are better than in most states, but that care is not consistent throughout Wisconsin’s facilities.

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Queer notes: May-June 2020

Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling against Peruvian government in favor of Trans woman Azul Rojas Marin; LGBTQ Asians fighting hate crimes; and a coalition of LGBTQ people demanding California enact the Emergency Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund.

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Youth in action: May-June 2020

Dominican-American youth protest in New York City; Emma Theofelus, 23, Namibia’s youngest cabinet member; and Sudanese dancers, DJs, and musicians performing in public after a popular women’s and youth movement toppled the regime of al-Bashir and its “morality police.”

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Global pandemic indicts capitalism

May 2, 2020

The economic system leaves us all vulnerable and requires sacrificing healthcare workers, delivery drivers and other people doing essential work. I hope that this experience wakes more people up to the dangers and inhumanity of living under capitalism.

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Meatpacking workers sacrificed

May 1, 2020

Workers in meatpacking plants across the country are being sacrificed to what Karl Marx called capital’s “werewolf hunger for surplus labor” as packing companies try to reap the benefits of the prevailing level of automation—but substituting intensified sweated labor for the capital investment of automation. If workers die from COVID-19, the capitalist doesn’t care.

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Women worldwide, May-June 2020

Women seize homes in Los Angeles for the homeless; Rachel Lloyd awarded for services for victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking; huge increase in domestic violence intensified by COVID-19; and the Colabo organization in Tokyo, Japan, helps teen girls fleeing home due to abuse, poverty or other reasons.

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Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2020-2021: Shattered by pandemic, world needs new beginnings in revolutionary activity, thought

April 30, 2020

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Introduction: Even after the pandemic subsides, society will be very different. We are already in the midst of a battle over how society will change in responding and adapting to the pandemic. That calls for the deepest solidarity, internationally as well as at home, participation in liberatory social movements and battles of ideas, and theoretical preparation for the battles ahead, including revolution, counter-revolution and the question of what happens after the revolution.

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IV. What to do in the face of compounding crises—medical, economic, political, and the philosophic void

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part IV: In the absolute opposite of today’s society, one based on freely associated labor instead of slavery to capi­tal’s production for production’s sake, we can leave behind pervasive misery, precarity and antagonism, and self-development and cooperation can flourish, as can a rational relationship to nature. We can see the beginnings in self-organization from below and the ever-growing rejection of capitalism. Against the large part of the Left that focuses on the power of the state to combat disasters, we must bring out the self-activity of mass­es in motion and not disarm ourselves by separating mass struggles from dialectical philosophy of revolution.

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III. Pandemic sets in motion the latent economic collapse

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part III: The Great Recession intensified the crises but also the revolt and, because of that, the counter-revolutionary trends that led to the Tea Party, Trumpism, and their analogues internationally.

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Handicap this!, May-June 2020

April 29, 2020

April Dunn, advocate for alternative ways for students with disabilities to get a diploma; workers and disabled adults in group homes don’t get medical equipment they need to avoid COVID-19 and to care for those who have it; the fear that the disabled have that they are disposable in the COVID-19 pandemic; and how pediatricians are considering denying organ transplants to kids with disabilities.

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Duterte uses COVID-19 pandemic to further fascist rule

The Filipino people stand together with the rest of the people of the world in battling the COVID-19 pandemic that takes lives especially among the poor and the working class. This health crisis is doubled by the authoritarian and militaristic approach of the Rodrigo Duterte administration.

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