The second summit meeting between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi on Feb. 27, ended without any new agreement. But it achieved what it aimed for as theater.
In the Rukban camp along the Jordan/Syria border, at least 41,000 displaced Syrians, including women and children, are suffering the ravages of winter weather, hunger, lack of medicine, and the terror of being threatened by the forces of the genocidal Bashar al-Assad regime.
Sudan’s genocidal President Omar al-Bashir is being challenged by nationwide protests. The Sudanese people’s struggle is humanity’s struggle.
Some climate scientists estimate that the Arctic may be ice-free in summer within a few decades. Nations are already assuming this will happen, as seen by their competition for mineral rights.
Trump makea genocidal threats to “completely destroy” North Korea, as in a similar way, North Korea’s doctrine of “self-defense” is based on the threat to destroy Seoul, South Korea, and its 10 million people.
The social crisis in Venezuela has taken a toll and earlier this year, Health Minister Antonieta Caporale was fired for releasing statistics showing that the number of women dying in childbirth had increased by 65% and children’s mortality increased 30%.
Real possibilities for social transformation in Latin America, and with it an end to U.S. domination with iron fist or velvet glove, lie not in the choreographed dance between the U.S. and the Latin American governments, including “Leftist” or progressive ones, inside or outside the “Summit of the Americas.”
Contradicciones históricas en la civilización de los Estados Unidos. Las masas afroamericanas como vanguardia: New Spanish Translation of American Civilization on Trial: Black Masses as Vanguard by Raya Dunayevskaya.
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 [=>]
Oppression of women in tech industry; El Salvador demonstrations over miscarriage jailings; Brazilian Stop the Catcalls project.
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.
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.
Tom Gilliam, an activist and survivor of the Vietnam War, was run down from behind by a mini-van. Police are stonewalling the investigation.
Wages have stagnated for several decades— the standard of living of Americans today is less than it was in 1972. The average wage of a worker today is $20.39, not the $38 an hour it would be if wages had kept up with inflation.
“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.”
Review by Adele of “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels,” by Sikivu Hutchinson (Infidel Books, 2013).
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.
CeCe McDonald; Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act; Global Day of Action called by Solidarity Alliance in Nigeria.
Los Angeles—On Feb. 8, 50 activists of all races gathered at MacArthur Park to be part of freeing Leonard Peltier, who is starting his 38th year in a federal penitentiary for a crime he did not commit.
Jacqueline Jones’ new book, A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, is not a call to ignore effects of the concept of race in law and practice. She finds the definition of race repeatedly twisted to suit the needs of the ruling class and wielded as a tool for subjugation of Black and white labor alike.
Oakland City Council delayed voting on a Domain Awareness Center that would allow police and other agencies to deploy a network of cameras and computers to monitor Twitter and Facebook. If not for the mayor’s decision to delay the vote, the measure would have been defeated.
400 immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America and their U.S. supporters marched through downtown Los Angeles for “comprehensive and humane immigration reform now!”
Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.
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.
Obamacare responds to a serious problem, yet is a needlessly complex scheme that subsidizes insurance companies and has objectionable features.
Readers’ Views from the Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: SYRIA AND WORLD POLITICS; WARS PAST AND PRESENT; PHILOSOPHY AND MASSES; PRISONERS READ & SPEAK
Remembering Albert Murray, who set out a vision of the African American as the representative “American,” of Black freedom as the soul of this nation’s culture.
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.
Yesterday, a judge approved Detroit bankruptcy. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr outrageously claimed that the attack on workers’ pensions would be “thoughtful, measured and humane.” Read the News & Letters article for a view from the other side of the class struggle.
Whenever you go to demonstrations, whether it is fast food workers demanding a living wage and a union where they work, or immigrants demanding total legalization now instead of a phony 14-year “path to citizenship,” or marches after the Trayvon Martin verdict, young people are playing a major role in the struggles for social justice and equal rights.
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.
In a horrific attack on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Somalia-based Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab killed at least 68 men, women and children. The group claimed this atrocity was a reprisal for Kenyan troops being in Somalia.
Detroit Eviction Defense is fighting to keep Jerome Jackson in his home in Inkster, Mich. Jackson has been a leading fighter in Detroit Eviction Defense, active in many campaigns to keep others in their homes. We fight with the Hernandez and Orozco families in Southwest Detroit fighting Fannie Mae and its out-of-control efforts to throw families from their homes and cause further damage to our neighborhoods. Resistance is growing; join us! We demand no more foreclosures, no more evictions and good housing for all.
Kaiser imposed added staff cuts in the same breath as it announced the “Total Health Incentive Plan” campaign. While it is promoted as voluntary, the program hides the reality of the health of workers and patients sacrificed daily in the name of cost efficiency. Workers realize they risk their own health and the health of their patients when they come to work sick. Yet we are called into disciplinary meetings when we exceed the company set limit in the number of sick days.
That a minority faction of one party in one chamber of one branch of the U.S. government could pose a grave threat to the world economy reflects the depth of the capitalist crisis. The sheer nihilism of that Tea Party faction reflects the depravity of American racism, which, as Patrick Buchanan threatened, would not hesitate to “bring down like Samson” the world around it.
The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. [=>]
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I
Close to 2,000 people rallied in Chicago against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
“I Am Bradley Manning” has become a universal slogan of solidarity. Veterans For Peace Memphis posted its own. FREE BRADLEY MANNING.
Walmart store and warehouse workers, with the support of several busloads of national NOW conference participants, rallied at the downtown Chicago Walmart store.
An overflow crowd at Bluestockings Bookstore in New York City heard Hallie Boas speak on “Come and Take It: How the Fight to Protect Wom¬en’s Healthcare Is Launching a New Wave of Feminism in Texas.”
Participant reports from Trayvon Martin demonstrations in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Raleigh, and New York.
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.
A different Detroit is struggling to be realized in the minds and hearts of its citizens: individuals (unrecognized thousands of whom routinely maintain nearby abandoned property) as well as organizations—from churches and small businesses to youth and athletic programs, block clubs and neighborhood associations, and social and environmental justice organizations.
Detroit Eviction Defense came out of the Direct Action Workgroup of Occupy Detroit about two years ago. We work with people who want to save their homes. We have saved about 60 so far.
“Abolish the slums!” was so clearly and loudly the demand of the Negro Revolt in every single part of the country–North, South, East, West–that even President Johnson couldn’t pretend not to have heard it. In words, the President even claimed that that was part of his “war on poverty.” Hadn’t he asked for rat control, and hadn’t Congress denied him even that piddling sum? … As Commander-in-Chief he need not plead. He orders, and his orders were clear and unequivocal: 1) Shoot first…
People may imagine that teachers here hit the beach or kick up their heels poolside, sipping cocktails and working on a suntan. For me and many other teachers, though, Monday will be the kickoff to the summer routine of registering for unemployment benefits and looking for work, as, once again, a year’s contract has come to an end.
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.
We are living in contradictory times, especially when it comes to women’s struggle for freedom. On the one hand you have a Women’s Liberation Movement that has never been more radical, unified and global. On the other hand there is more repression, and the violence is more brutal and deadly than ever before.