Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part 2

August 31, 2014

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. [=>]

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Voices From the Inside Out: On prison and race

July 7, 2014

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

by Robert Taliaferro

Race has always been at the forefront of this nation since its founding. It seems ironic that the generation that produced the country’s first Black president is also the generation that is seeing the advances made in civil rights during [=>]

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No rehabilitation

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—On June 14 Critical Resistance (CR), an organization working for the abolition of the prison system, held a community forum on California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr). (Prisoners refuse to capitalize the “R” because there is no “rehabilitation.”)

The forum took up new [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 2

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

UNCHAINING THE DIALECTIC

Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1953 breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolute Idea enabled her to illuminate a path not traveled by previous generations of revolutionaries. She is quite emphatic in raising the importance of “Unchaining the Revolutionary Dialectic” (May-June 2014 N&L), and capturing what [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 1

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

RESPONSES TO MARXIST-HUMANIST PERSPECTIVES

The Marxist-Humanist Perspectives (N&L, May-June 2014) give a critical assessment of the polarization between the oppressive forces of capital’s social relations and humanity’s efforts to realize human dignity. It shows humans are not just passive victims of capital. First [=>]

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Low-wage workers strike, reach for a new way of life

July 1, 2014

The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.

A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.

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Readers’ Views, May-June 2014

May 25, 2014

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 [=>]

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Handicap This! May-June 2014

May 24, 2014

Hungary’s discrimination; violence against women with disabilities in EU; Jenny Hatch wins right to make her own decisions; death of Michael Anthony Kerr, a North Carolina prisoner with disabilities.

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‘We do change in prison’

May 15, 2014

“When I came to prison, I was angry. I was hurt—physically, mentally and spiritually. I have fought very hard to become a person who lives with dignity.”

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Revolt and retrogression at home

May 6, 2014

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

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California legislators ignore hunger strikers’ voices

March 19, 2014

Sacramento, Calif.–At the Legislative Hearings on Feb. 11, experts presented their analyses, which showed that even the very small changes California Department of Corrections (CDC) said they were implementing, in fact they are not. No policies are being changed to address the problems brought out by prisoners and their families. One family member was taking the legislators to task, saying that the promises of reform the legislators vow to make now, they made 10 years ago. Nothing changed. Things got worse.

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Readers’ Views, Jan.-Feb. 2014, Part 2

March 9, 2014

ENVIRONMENT UNDER THREAT

Recently I attended a talk near Berkeley, Calif., by a retired professor about the effect of environmental damage on political instability in the Middle East. He spoke disparagingly of Arab countries, but was full of praise for Israeli technology and “adaptive science.” He stated that autocracy was the best way to confront [=>]

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Prison privatization is a crime

February 13, 2014

On Dec. 1, Aramark Correctional Services will begin running Food Service for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), creating another sector of low-wage workers in Michigan. In a state struggling with a high unemployment rate and flooded with low-wage dead-end jobs, 60,000 in the fast-food sector in the metro Detroit area alone, why would the state government choose to add to these statistics?

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January-February 2014 News & Letters online

February 4, 2014

The January-February issue of News & Letters is online. Rampant U.S. surveillance slouches toward totalitarianism; Tahrir three years later; Charles Denby, worker-editor; Syrian revolution ‘brought us together’; Communization theory’s missing link: dialectical mediation; what happens after; Language and death in Juárez; Let RNs give care; …

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Readers’ Views, Nov.-Dec. 2013, Part 1

December 14, 2013

Readers’ Views from Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: U.S. RACISM AND BLACK AND LATINO STRUGGLES; LABOR UNDER ATTACK; CTA vs. THE HOMELESS; DISABILITY AND HUMANITY; ABORTION IS A HUMAN NEED; EGYPT’S CONTRADICTIONS; DETROIT CRISIS; NUCLEAR PERIL; WHY A NEWSPAPER LIKE N&L?

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Catch-22 for prisoner with disabilities

December 7, 2013

The only way to get out of Administrative Segregation is by attending the Gang Renouncement and Dissociation Process. After many months I was told that I could not attend this program because the units do not house inmates with wheelchairs and don’t have cells or showers for the handicapped.

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Maroon the Implacable

December 6, 2013

Faruq, a prisoner at Pelican Bay State Prison in California, reviews “Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz” (PM Press, 2013), written by a revolutionary theorist forced to endure the psychological and physical torture of solitary confinement for the past 40 years.

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Support prison truce

December 5, 2013

Alex Sanchez, co-founder of Homies Unidos in Los Angeles, spoke in support of prisoners’ call to cease hostilities, backing the solutions arrived at by those who used to be part of the problem.

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No new LA jails!

October 4, 2013

Over 100 activists held a “no new prison” press conference and rally to stop plans to spend over $2 billion to build two new Los Angeles County jails. Rather than caging people, grant the money to community-based organizations and alternative solutions.

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Families stand up for prisoners’ rights

September 21, 2013

Editor’s note: Marie Levin spoke at many of the demonstrations. This statement is from July 31.

Oakland, Calif.—My name is Marie Levin. My brother, Sitawa Jamaa, is in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay. He has been on hunger strike since its beginning, 24 days now. It’s a shame that our government has allowed [=>]

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News & Letters banned in Pelican Bay

September 19, 2013

On July 8, 2013, another hunger strike was launched here inside the security housing unit (SHU) in an ongoing effort to try to bring an end to the injustice of long-term SHU confinement. On July 12 I was prevented from receiving the July-August issue of N&L because page 9 had an article on the Pelican Bay hunger strike.

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Racism and the fight against it take center stage in the U.S.

September 5, 2013

Nationwide protests erupted immediately after the outrageous July 13 acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering 17-year-old African-American high school student Trayvon Martin last year. Within three days, thousands of protesters came out in dozens of cities, and a new group called the Dream Defenders began a 31-day occupation of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

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September-October 2013 issue of News & Letters available

September 3, 2013

The new September-October 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 5

Lead
Racism and the fight against it take center stage in the U.S.

Nationwide protests erupted immediately after the outrageous July 13 acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering 17-year-old African-American high school student Trayvon Martin last year. Within three days, thousands [=>]

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Support striking prisoners!

July 4, 2013

Since February, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have carried on a massive hunger strike to protest indefinite detention in abusive conditions with no end in sight…. On July 8th California prisoners being held in solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay “security housing unit” (SHU) for indeterminate periods will resume their hunger strike.

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July-August 2013 issue of News & Letters is now online

July 1, 2013

News & Letters, July – August 2013. Lead: Turkey, Syria and Iran at crossroads of world revolt; From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: ‘Russia more than ever full of revolutionaries…’; Editorial: Support striking prisoners!; Essay: Communization theory and its discontents truncate Marx’s dialectic; Workshop Talks: The boss is spying; Revolutionary from Turkey speaks; Brazil’s uprising; Teacher and school struggles; and more…

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Judging workers for control and profit

May 6, 2013

The phenomenon of human beings losing a race with machines is especially pernicious in the healthcare workplace. The computer has become the virtual boss of everyone in the shop, by setting the pace of everyone’s job.

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May-June 2013 issue of News & Letters is out

April 29, 2013

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view

The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse [=>]

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Readers’ Views, March-April 2013, Part 2

April 26, 2013

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 [=>]

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California hearings on prison torture

March 24, 2013

Sacramento, Calif.–On Feb. 25, around 100 people, mostly family members of prisoners organized as California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC), gathered on the state capitol steps. They shared their stories before a historic second legislative hearing on California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDC) policies regarding prisoners held in the Security Housing Units (SHUs). An [=>]

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March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web

March 16, 2013

The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013

Lead

From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedom

Two recent events have shown the deep and seemingly intractable worldwide oppression of women and, at the same time, revealed women’s militancy and determination to [=>]

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Readers’ Views, January-February 2013, Part 2

March 10, 2013

ARCHIVES AS LIVING

I have been following the readings for the 2012-2013 Marxist-Humanist discussions with great enthusiasm. I was especially energized by the “Women as force and reason of revolution” selections. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1970 piece “The Women’s Liberation Movement as Reason and as Revolutionary Force” was fresh and relevant to today. This is no surprise [=>]

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Pelican Bay families support prisoners

February 21, 2013

From the January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:

Pelican Bay families support prisoners

Editor’s note: California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC) came together during the prisoners’ 2011 hunger strike initiated by prisoners in Security Housing Unit (SHU). To support the prisoners’ ongoing movement, specifically the Agreement to Cease Hostilities (see Nov.-Dec. 2012 N&L), CFASC [=>]

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Pelican Bay prisoners aim to end hostilities

December 11, 2012

Hunger strike unity logo created by a Pelican Bay prisoner

Agreement to End Hostilities

(NOTE: All names and the statement must be verbatim when used and posted on any website or media, or non-media, publications)

August 12, 2012

To whom it may concern and all California Prisoners:

Greetings from the all PBSP-SHU [Pelican Bay State Prison-Security [=>]

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2012, Part 2

October 16, 2012

From the September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters:

Readers’ Views, Part 2

REVOLUTIONARY SYNDICALISM DISCUSSION CONTINUES

The discussion article on “Revolutionary Syndicalism” (July-August N&L) reminds me of when it was considered a major force of revolution. There was a syndicalist party, the Socialist Labor Party (SLP), that thought we could vote in socialism. [=>]

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Mock SHU draws crowds

October 3, 2012

Photo by Urszula Wislanka for News & Letters

San Francisco—The San Francisco Mime Troupe invited the Pelican Bay Hunger Strike Support Coalition (PBHSSC) to put up a mock Security Housing Unit (SHU) cell at their performances of “The Poor of New York,” a satire on bankers. The SHU is where prisoners are kept in [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2012, Part 2

August 15, 2012

RICH AND DUNAYEVSKAYA: A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

Thanks for your In Memoriam to Adrienne Rich. It revealed a dimension that many who were appreciative of her poetry and feminism may not have known—Rich’s exploration of Marx’s ideas through her reading of Raya Dunayevskaya. One piece Rich wrote was titled “Dunayevskaya’s Marx.” It was crucial how you [=>]

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Tasing prisoners

August 13, 2012

Kincheloe, Mich.—Recently, as I was awaiting a visit at the Control Center at Chippewa Correctional Facility, I observed three facility staff members around a computer monitor. I heard sound from a video they were viewing of an incident earlier that day involving staff use of TASER-manufactured electro-shock weapons on a prisoner in one of the [=>]

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Latino voice reaches beyond SHU walls

August 12, 2012

Pelican Bay, Calif.—I have been a prisoner at Pelican Bay State Prison Security Housing Unit (SHU) for well over 20 years. As is the case with so many, contact with the outside world is rare. I hope my voice brings an awareness to those who may care to listen.

The struggle for justice and equality carries [=>]

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End prison media ban!

August 11, 2012

photo by Urszula Wislanka/News & Letters

On June 12 prisoners’ families and prison reform advocates demonstrated on capitol steps in Sacramento, Ca. to urge the lifting of the media ban, which prevents press access to report on prison conditions.

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From the belly of the beast—Pelican Bay prisoners speak

August 10, 2012

A new pamphlet

Pamphlet front cover

From the Introduction:

Hunger strikes by California prisoners, fighting perpetual solitary confinement, arose in mid-summer 2011 and the fall just when the Occupy movement took off. The prisoners’ thoughts and actions put the criminal justice system on trial in the same spirit as the Occupy Everywhere movements put [=>]

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Red Onion prisoners STRIKE!

August 9, 2012

Wise County, Va.—On May 19 an inmate from Red Onion State Prison (ROSP) phoned a member of Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change (SPARC), informing her that on May 22 at least 11 inmates were going on hunger strike to protest the inhumane conditions of Red Onion.

The group of participating prisoners spanning two cell [=>]

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