ACT UP Chicago grew out of an organization that began in 1984 of Dykes and Gay Men Against Racism and Repression. We became an AIDS activism organization, first called Chicago For Our Rights, then by spring Chicago for AIDS Rights. We pushed for lowering the prices of AIDS drugs, and the release of more of them. By October and the national action in Washington, D.C., we had become ACT UP Chicago. AIDS is a global issue today. This time around, I’d like to see an AIDS activist movement that’s organized by poor, working-class, mostly people of color.
In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.
Revolt and Counter-Revolution, from Greece to Syria; Here Come the Reformers; Women’s Freedom; Against Racism
Readers’ Views on the 60th anniversary of News & Letters and Terry Moon’s column on it.
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.
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny (Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2014) describes how neoliberalism is the new face of capitalist patriarchy. Even feminism has been repackaged once again as the opportunity for middle-class women to climb the corporate ladder and earn more money with which to buy more products.
Another savage sexual assault and murder—this time in Turkey—brought forth thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, throughout the country and beyond. Özgecan Aslan was a student taking a bus home. Worldwide, women are not only railing against sexism and challenging men to change what is often deadly behavior and when not deadly, deeply oppressive; they are as well explicitly extending their critique to the state itself.
Preview of article on women’s oppression and freedom struggles worldwide for March-April issue. Comment now so that your thoughts can be taken into account in the finished article.
As we celebrate 60 years of publishing News & Letters, a look back at the Women’s Liberation Movement encountering Marxist-Humanism and how the women’s movement was anticipated as well as documented in its pages. It is an ongoing perspective.
In celebrating 60 years of publishing News & Letters we reprint an article from the first, June 24, 1955, issue written by a columnist for the paper about her confrontation with a union official in her factory.
In celebrating 60 years of publishing News & Letters we reprint an article about Kenyan woman activist Njeri from the first issue, dated June 24, 1955.
A roundup of women’s news including the beating death of Tugce Albayrak who was attacked for stopping the harassment of two young girls in Germany; the attack against the film, “Vessel” at the Abortion Rights Festival in Stockholm, Sweden; and how at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine the most intense conversations were among women.
“Men Explain Things to Me” by Rebecca Solnit is a book of seven essays that eloquently describe how patriarchy attempts to distract us from the fact that seemingly isolated incidents and seemingly separate oppressions are part of a system of profound and devastating violence.
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Readers’ Views, Part 1
WOMEN FIGHT RAPE, HARASSMENT AND ABUSE
When I voted, many posters reminded folks that within 100 feet of the polling place you may not “interrupt” a person, nor “harass” nor even speak about your political views. [=>]
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
In Guatemala, the Mayan Women’s Movement (MWM), a part of the Council of K’itche People, works with trade unions and farmers to stop mining, hydroelectric dams, monoculture crops, mega-tourism, and infrastructure-building by corporations that destroy natural resources and push them [=>]
Thuma and Kaba focused on reviving a strong movement against the imprisonment of women who have defended themselves against violence—who have injured or killed men who raped and/or abused them. They presented as a model the defense of women of color in the 1970s, like the campaigns for Joanne Little, Inez Garcia and Yvonne Wanrow, all prosecuted for killing men who had attacked them or their children. (All three spoke for themselves in News & Letters.)…
The vicious gang rape and murder of a young student, Jyoti Singh Pandey, on a Delhi, India, bus in December 2012 was the moment when Indian women’s simmering anger boiled over into rage and a determination to transform society…. Now another militant movement against abuse of women has erupted in Kolkata (Calcutta), where over 100,000 people marched on Sept. 20 for women’s freedom and against police violence. This new eruption began on Aug. 28 when a woman student at Jadavpur University was sexually assaulted and the University’s response was worse than insufficient….
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 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. [=>]
The work of Syrian poet Alisar Iram, who died in July, made a vital contribution to my understanding of the meaning of Syria’s Revolution, seeing it as she did against the backdrop of thousands of years of human civilization and values.
A slideshow presented in Oakland Aug. 16 displayed a range of carefully stenciled graffiti, one of the last forms of open dissent
Protect Aminetou Mint El-Moctar in Mauritania; female genital mutilation in the U.S.; Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win “Nobel Prize of mathematics.”
Review of the book “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” by Gloria Anzaldúa, 25th anniversary 4th edition.
Since the beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the early 1960s, we have been fighting rape, and rape culture. Finally, 50 years later, a U.S. president issued some mild recommendations on how to fight rape on college campuses, and two Democratic women have introduced legislation to make colleges more accountable for preventing and dealing with campus rapes.
Review of “Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement” by Sarah Erdreich
Oppression of women in tech industry; El Salvador demonstrations over miscarriage jailings; Brazilian Stop the Catcalls project.
When you are despised for who you are, as those murdered by Elliot Rodger were—and women are not the only ones on a list that includes any differently sexed person, immigrants and all minorities but especially Blacks, people with disabilities, and that’s only in the U.S.—then a revolution has to be more than an economic change, it even has to be more than “from each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need.” Revolution has to be so deep and total that all human relationships are transformed. To do so, it must be total from the start…
On April 12, 2014, Kiev hosted a conference The Left and the Maidan which brought together activists from anarchist, socialist and communist organisations that had been involved in the Maidan movement in late 2013–early 2014. The large number of participating activists who represent the various political groups and initiatives evolving as a part of the Maidan movement is clear evidence against the alleged absence of the Left in the Maidan movement. The discussion was centered on why the Left failed to take an organisational form and become as visible a factor of the Maidan as the right.
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 Family!” Separation of family members has serious adverse effects [=>]
Report on a rally in Chicago for Equal Pay Day.
Women’s Memorial March in Canada, and Save Wiyabi Project; premiere of docudrama film “¡PODER!” on girls in Concepcion Chiquirichapa, Guatemala; Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s “Stop Telling Me to Smile” project.
Review by Adele of “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels,” by Sikivu Hutchinson (Infidel Books, 2013).
Narendra Modi states openly that his program will be to unleash “free market” reform coupled with authoritarianism in government. Modi’s history tells us what his authority portends: the massacre of 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat.
The war against birth control is a war against the idea that women are actually human beings who have a right to control their fertility and plan when and if to have a child.
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
May-June 2014 News & Letters online: “From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy”; “Unchaining the revolutionary dialectic”; much more…
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, part 2.
Women worldwide, March-April 2014: Sexism in chemistry profession; Shulamit Aloni; Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot.
“Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk,” by Melinda Chateauvert, is a valuable history of the Sex Workers’ Rights Movement in the U.S. from its start in the 1960s to the present and its intersection with other social justice movements.
In June the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if buffer zones around clinics that offer abortion are a violation of freedom of speech. Court watchers say they look ready to rule the zones illegal. That would be a tragedy.
In Ukraine, an unexpected eruption of mass struggle led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s corrupt, oligarchic, and ultimately murderous President Viktor Yanukovych. In Bosnia, at the same time, massive, nationwide discontent with the corrupt system left in place when the 1995 Dayton Accords partitioned the country has led to the equally unexpected creation of new forms of democratic organization.
While experiences in the squares of the Arab Spring, in Turkey’s Gezi Park, in the streets of Spain and Greece, and in the U.S. Occupy Movements have revealed moments of what new human relations between women and men could look like, those moments of hope and exhilaration have been followed by devastating reaction and retrogression.
March-April 2014 News & Letters: Women fight for freedom against growing retrogression; On THE Philosophic Point and Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy; Capitalist economy is failing; Ukraine and Bosnia: historic uprisings; more…
A pedestrian walking by our clinic summed up the absurdity of anti-abortionists: “Why would you take life advice from someone screaming standing on a sidewalk corner?!”
A.H., Clinic escort
Here’s my favorite quote from our favorite protester this morning “I bet you guys voted for that Halfrican American Obama!” What is wrong [=>]
Doris Lessing; Margherita Hack; gender segregation at UK universities
The way we construct experience with language has effects on its transmission and on the configuration of subjectivity, not only in aesthetics and ethics, but also in understanding politics. That is the case in the crimes committed against women in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and other states in Mexico.
Women Worldwide: Ada Lovelace Day; Diana Nyad; FEMEN
Review of “Christian Nation: a Novel” by Frederic C. Rich, a work of speculative fiction in which the religious Right takes over the U.S., turning it into a brutally totalitarian state.
Women are not only fighters in Sudan’s battles to overthrow al-Bashir, but they are also determined to continue the great tradition of women of the Arab Spring: to make sure that their revolution does not stop until all human relationships are transformed.
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I