A remembering of the revolutionary life of Kei ‘Basho’ Utsumi (1935-2022), written by Buddy Bell, who knew Basho and worked with him in the last years of his life.
Kei Utsumi touched many lives before his death on July 15, a few days shy of his 87th birthday. In conversations with friends, in being present at countless demonstrations, or in putting pen to paper, his was a passionate, unyielding voice for freedom movements, which will be sorely missed.
Faruq takes up “Civil,” a new documentary about human rights champion Benjamin Crump. To do right in this world, Crump, a lawyer, filed suits in a variety of civil and human rights cases including winning large settlements for the families of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Readers’ Views on: Supreme Court’s Attack on Women’s Freedom; Abortion, Healthcare and Women’s Movement; Abortion Unseparated from All Freedom Struggles; Gay Pride: Whose Bodies? Ours!; Colonizers Past and Present; Let Them Eat Rockets; Oppression of Homeless; Only 14 More Mass Shootings!; Church, State and Football
The shooting of a former prisoner working to help homeless people revealed the prison outside, and a cry for a new humanity.
Readers’ Views on: Philosophy vs. Capitalism; Education for What?; Homelessness and Humanism; Religious Oppression; Voices from Behind Bars
Faruq observes that the money going into the “homeless problem” is spent on mediators, not the people who are homeless, who must be related to as human beings, as part of setting afoot a new human being for the whole world.
Readers’ Views on: Solidarity with Palestinians; Attacks on Democracy; Iranian Revolt; Musicians’ Labor; Damage to Homeless; Covid-19 Killers; Trump and Taliban; Far Right in Portland; Critical Race Theory; Prisoners under Fire; Voices from Behind Bars; Only the Dialectic Can Save Us
What is essential for capital to reinforce its authority and what is essential for people to live as human beings are very different things. Seeing through the rhetoric of the “privilege of having a job,” the reality of life under capitalism becomes clear.
“Queer Notes” author Elise explains how the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting minority communities especially hard and that the LGBTQ community is no exception.
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.
Faruq reflects on the question of social interaction in the modern capitalist world, seen from the point of view of someone who has spent several years in prison.
Readers’ Views on Philosophy and Revolution; disorder is the order; anti-Semitism; Black August, and voices from behind bars.
Former prisoner Faruq writes of how in prison he “figured out how to become truly myself” and how that is manifested while on parole.
Malcolm reflects on the increasing crisis of homlessness in San Francisco after the sudden death of a homeless man at the University of California-Berkeley.
Homelessness shot up in Los Angeles. A major reason is unemployment. Homeless people are harassed and criminalized, while an area near Skid Row is gentrified.
We look at the world economic situation that must be changed: the role of state-capitalism, labor, climate change, the law of value, exploitation, alienation, and revolution and counter-revolution in Syria.
Readers’ Views: facing far right’s threat; don’t scapegoat; Canadian strike; Transgender troops; women’s liberation; homeless in Los Angeles; defend dissidents; why read N&L.
On July 8, 60 residents and activists rode bikes from Skid Row to City Hall to protest the lack of bike lanes in their neighborhood, despite the large number of bicycle riders living there.
Readers’ Views on Cooperative Form of Labor vs. Abstract Labor; Marx vs. Trump-Putin; Voices From Behind Bars
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
The video of Cpl. Eric Casebolt’s June 5 attack on Dejerria Becton and other kids at a pool party in McKinney, Texas, went viral because it was simultaneously shocking and commonplace. In 2015 USA, protests were inevitable and were heard around the world.
Letters and comments sent in by readers or taken down, to and about the articles in News & Letters or current events.
As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?
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 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. [=>]
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Los Angeles—On Aug. 1, 30 Los Angeles Community Action Network activists of all races, including many formerly homeless, protested in Skid Row and adjacent downtown. We were demanding that the homeless be housed in the largely vacant Cecil Hotel, which had been designated low-income housing. [=>]
London, England–The UN’s own rapporteur for housing, Raquel Rolnik, has denounced UK government policy as creating a housing crisis for its most vulnerable citizens. Her findings were dismissed as a “misleading Marxist diatribe” by cabinet ministers. In a report detailing her investigation into the British housing sector, Rolnik specifically targets the government’s now infamous “bedroom tax.” She described it for Al Jazeera as having “an enormous impact on [a citizen’s] right to housing and also on other human rights, like the right to food [and] the right to education.”
THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION AS TEST OF WORLD POLITICS
I have been active in a number of student groups around labor and women’s issues. We always talk about “intersectionality” and recognizing different struggles. Somehow that didn’t seem to apply, though, when it came to the Syrian Revolution. Suddenly people didn’t want to talk about it. I [=>]
Just when Mandela has passed, the African National Congress is not even ashamed of the lives the poor are living, or the fact that the residents of Cato Crest will spend Christmas on the street.
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 [=>]
Los Angeles—On June 28, 75 people from the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN)—a Skid Row organization that agitates for the homeless—and Occupy LA demonstrated outside the downtown Sheraton Hotel where the Central City Association (CCA) was holding a conference. They chanted: “CCA, you won’t push us away!” and held a banner: “If you’re [=>]
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
III. Paths of destruction
A. From war to war to war
War is one of the rulers’ most potent counter-revolutionary weapons when faced with economic crises and revolt. With a military stretched thin, one eye on China, and the failures of Iraq and [=>]
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 [=>]