Political Parties

Read the latest issue of the International Socialist Review

International Socialist Organization - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 03:14

Issue number 105 of the International Socialist Review is out now , with articles by Sharon Smith on Fighting for reproductive rights in the age of Trump , Ashley Smith on Trump and the crisis of the neoliberal world order , Lance Selfa on Trump's first 100 days , Phil Gasper on The Russian Revolution: A Brief Reading Guide and an interview with Justin Akers Chacón on...Read more

Categories: Political Parties

This is the time to unite and fight far-right terror

International Socialist Organization - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 04:01

After the violence and hate of Charlottesville, the International Socialist Organization appeals for mass protest and solidarity to defeat the rising far right.

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THE MASK has been ripped off the supposedly new "alt-right" movement to reveal the familiar and horrifying face of fascism that most people thought was a relic of history.

Last weekend's "Unite the Right" rally in...Read more

Categories: Political Parties

Socialist Party California Locals on the Far-Right Terrorist Attacks in Charlottesville

SP-USA: California - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 02:40

Socialist Party Los Angeles Local

“Terrorism. The media and our elected officials will work very hard to maintain the ‘lone wolf’ narrative. We will reject that narrative. This was terrorism. The history of the United States is a history of white supremacy, and while today’s terrorist attack was a tragedy and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, we are as unsurprised as we are disgusted. Until systems of oppression are addressed, systems that transcend partisan politics, we will continue to suffer the effects of white supremacist terrorism.

The Socialist Party Los Angeles Local stands in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, with those affected by today’s terrorist attack, and with the people as they fight the systems of oppression that are the keystones of capitalism.”

Socialist Party Bay Area Local

“The Bay Area Local of the Socialist Party USA unequivocally stands against the white nationalist terrorist attack today in Charlottesville, Virginia. While we wait for details on the total number of dead and injured, we express our solidarity and heartfelt condolences to those victims of the attack as well as their families, friends, and loved ones. Rather than intimidating us, this terrorist attack reaffirms our commitment to the fight against white supremacy, in all its forms.

History shows us that when we let fear from these attacks silence us, it only emboldens and encourages and reinforces their power. The time has come to fight back against fascist forces that are gathering to harm people. The capitalist state, and its protectors such as the police, will not defend us as long as it serves the interests of the rich and powerful; namely dividing the working class and attacking community leaders, organizers, and activists. The task falls to us confront white nationalism in our own towns and cities, as we know this is not an isolated incident, but is part of a long history of racist violence which our fellow community members face in every corner of this nation. We must fight for a socialist and democratic future free from racist terror.

We know that if allowed to continue unchecked, the many groups on the far-right responsible for this terrorist act will grow and continue to murder leftists, women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ folks, the disabled, Muslims, Jews, trade unionists and others. In short, we are all targets. The fact that white nationalists have chosen to take on such a large majority of Americans should give us hope, for we far outnumber them, and our collective strength is greater than anything they could imagine. We know when all is done and the dust has settled, we will win.

Today we grieve, and tomorrow we fight. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. That world is growing in this minute.”


Socialist Party Orange County Local

“The tragic events that occurred today in Charlottesville, Virginia echo similar outbursts of far-right terrorism seen in cities like Portland and Berkeley. Just like Portland and Berkeley, those in power will continue to ignore and redirect the heart of the issue — the bedrock of white supremacy that the United States is built upon. The same white supremacy,that for decades, was bubbling beneath the surface of our society has now boiled over with the election of Donald Trump. These events will not stop until the institutions that uphold this violence and oppression are torn down.

The Socialist Party Orange County Local stands in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, the victims of today’s terrorist attacks, and with all oppressed and marginalized peoples. We will continue to fight against systems of injustice that are the keystones of capitalism.”

Categories: Political Parties

Support the anti-racists injured in Charlottesville

International Socialist Organization - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 08:23

A member of the Athens, Ohio, branch of the International Socialist Organization participating in the anti-fascist counterprotest in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 was among the 20 people injured by a fascist vigilante who drove his car into the counterprotest, murdering at least one person and injuring several others.

The Athens branch of the ISO has created a YouCaring page where you can donate toward the comrade's medical expenses. A GoFundMe page has been set up to take donations for everyone injured in Charlottesville.Read more

Categories: Political Parties

Aug 22: Who’s to Blame for the Housing Crisis? A Socialist Analysis of Gentrification

Seattle ISO - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 18:37

Tuesday, August 22
7:00 p.m.
Common Good Cafe
(Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle, WA 98105

RSVP on Facebook

Seattle is facing a major housing crisis. The median home price in the city in June was $729,000 and the average rent for a one bedroom apartment was $2,063. While the population of the city is rapidly increasing, it is becoming increasingly impossible for working class people to afford the cost of housing. The homeless population is increasing in size and many people are newly facing poverty, but yet the priorities and profits of developers continue to guide city policies at every level.

Join us for a discussion about the housing crisis and gentrification from a Marxist perspective. We’ll look at how these housing trends fit in with the capitalist system and neoliberalism, as well as whose interests are served by gentrification.

Categories: Political Parties

Aug 15: Seattle ISO Working Meeting

Seattle ISO - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 18:14

Tuesday, August 15
7:00 p.m.
Common Good Cafe
(Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle, WA 98105

This week’s meeting will be a working meeting. We’ll be discussing our plans for building at the UW campus this fall, as well as continuing our discussion about our general perspectives for our local work.

Categories: Political Parties

ABC and L.A. Times Coverage of Stop LAPD Spying Coalition Call to Action: Stop LAPD Drones

SP-USA: California - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 12:49

ABC (with video) – http://abc7.com/protesters-shut-down-la-police-commission-meeting/2287083/

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Los Angeles Police Commission meeting was twice interrupted on Tuesday by people protesting drones and continued funding being approved for the cadet program.”Three hundred and eighty thousands dollars to do more of the same,” one man said during the meeting.

The commissioners had to leave the room due to the protesters, and one of the men threw his notebook at the commissioners. Others stood up and began chanting, “Fire Chief Beck.” The meeting resumed at about 10:45 a.m.

The LAPD cadet program has been plagued with problems, including a scandal involving a veteran officer and an underage girl. But Chief Charlie Beck has said that the program is “here to stay.”

The original reason for the protest was a presentation and discussion of a proposal for a pilot program using drones. About two dozen protesters held signs before the meeting outside police headquarters to say that LAPD should not be using drones as a tactical tool.

“None of the communities of color were surveyed to see if they were OK with this drone situation,” said Martha Camacho-Rodriguez, a special education teacher.

Beck said today was only the beginning of the discussion as to where and how drones would be used. Since the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department began using them in January, deputies have used them for search and rescues.”

Los Angeles Times – http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lapd-drones-20170808-story.html

“For more than three years, a pair of drones donated to the Los Angeles Police Department were locked away, collecting dust after a public outcry over the idea of police using the controversial technology.

Seattle police saw a similar backlash when they wanted to use the devices, grounding their drone program before it even took off. And recently, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s use of a drone has been criticized by activists as well as civilian oversight commissioners who want the agency to stop.

On Tuesday, the LAPD again waded into the heated debate, as department brass proposed testing an “unmanned aerial system” during a one-year pilot program.

Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala told the Police Commission that the idea was to use a small drone to help officers during certain types of incidents, such as and reports of potential bombs or active shooters. The devices, she said, could help gather crucial information as such situations unfold, without putting officers at risk.

The LAPD would draw up clear guidelines before flying the drone and each use would require the approval of a high-ranking department official, she said.

Before the meeting, roughly three dozen activists from various groups — including the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, Black Lives Matter and Los Angeles Community Action Network — stood outside the LAPD’s downtown headquarters, denouncing the use of drones by police.

The Police Commission should “completely reject LAPD’s latest attempt to revive its drone program,” said Hamid Khan, founder of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, an anti-surveillance group that frequently criticizes the LAPD.

”L.A. does not need further militarization by the LAPD,” said Paula Minor, an activist with Black Lives Matter.

Drones have been hailed by law enforcement across the country as a crucial technology that can help find missing hikers or monitor armed suspects without jeopardizing the safety of officers. But efforts to adopt the unmanned aircraft have frequently drawn fierce criticism from privacy advocates for whom the devices stir Orwellian visions of inappropriate — or illegal — surveillance or fears of military-grade, weaponized drones patrolling the skies.

“People are concerned because they associate the drones that police might be using with the drones that are being used by the military,” said Dan Gettinger, codirector of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. “The word ‘drone’ just has that implication.”

Almost 350 public safety departments in the U.S. have acquired drones, nearly half of them last year, according to a study Gettinger’s center published earlier this year. Many of those drones are no more advanced than those used by hobbyists, he said.

Some agencies have adopted the technology without much public reaction. Still, Gettinger said, skeptics have expressed apprehension not just about how police use drones today, but how they might use the technology in the future.

“We’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “The systems are going to evolve, and that’s going to bring with them questions about how they’re going to be used.”

In an attempt to strike a balance between privacy and public safety, more than a dozen states have adopted rules requiring law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants before using drones to conduct surveillance or searches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A similar proposal by the California Legislature was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014.

The LAPD’s dance with drones began in 2014, when the department received two Draganflyer X6 drones from police in Seattle — drones the Washington agency unloaded after heavy criticism from the public.

Although the LAPD said it would deploy the drones for “narrow and prescribed uses,” civil liberties advocates questioned their use in even a limited fashion.

Less than a week after getting the drones, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he would not fly the unmanned aircraft until the department had sought public feedback as well as approval from the Police Commission.

“I will not sacrifice public support for a piece of police equipment,” Beck said at the time.

The drones were then locked away in the office of the LAPD’s inspector general. Department officials said the move was a response to public perception and federal laws limiting use of the unmanned aircraft.

Earlier this year, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced his agency’s plans to use a $10,000 drone to help deputies responding to arson scenes, suspected bombs and hostage situations. McDonnell said the drone would not be used in surveillance but could provide critical information from previously inaccessible vantage points.

Civil liberties advocates expressed concern over privacy as well as what they described as a lack of public input in the sheriff’s abrupt announcement. The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition staged a protest blasting the department’s use of drones.

On July 27, the majority of the Civilian Oversight Commission also expressed their desire for McDonnell to stop flying the drone, citing concerns over surveillance and safety.

The Sheriff’s Department still plans to use its drone, a spokeswoman said Monday. Deputies flew the device last week, she said, during an East L.A. standoff with a gunman who shot two people and refused to surrender.”

Categories: Political Parties

August issue of Socialist Worker out now

International Socialist Organization - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 03:26

The August issue of Socialist Worker is out now and available from ISO branches around the country.

The front cover headline is "The GOP's health care hunger games: Health care should be a right, not a business." Articles in this special section include "The way out of the health care hunger games," "Obamacare vs. Trumpcare: From bad to worse?" and "How the Democrats killed single-payer."

Featured on the back page is "When the right ran into a fight in Charlottesville," leading off a special section on fighting the right that includes: "How we organized for left...Read more

Categories: Political Parties

Protesters Demand Long Beach Become a Sanctuary City

SP-USA: California - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 22:13

By Barry Saks

About 20 people, mostly young and of color, stood on the corner of Willow Street and Santa Fe Avenue on Friday, Aug. 4, and chanted pro-immigrant slogans and demands for the Long Beach to become a sanctuary city.

The Filipino Migrant Center, which is part of Sanctuary LB (Long Beach), organized the protest.

The chants were in English, Spanish and Tagalog, also known as Filipino.  While most of the chants were in English, many were in Spanish and a small number in Tagalog.  Interspersed among the chants, the honking horns in solidarity could be heard, and at least once a hostile voice was heard out of a car.

One chant was “No Ban, no wall, sanctuary for all.”  Another chant was “What do we want?  Sanctuary.  When do we want it? Now.”  A third chant was “Move ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), get out the way ICE, get out the way.”  Another chant was “Education, not deportation.”  A fifth chant was “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”  A sixth chant was “When immigrant rights are under attack, what do we do?  Stand up, fight back.”  A seventh chant was “ICE out of Long Beach.”  And still another chant was “No borders, no nations, stop the deportations.” A ninth chant was “Tell me what you want, what you really want?  Justice.  Tell me what you need, really need?  Sanctuary.  How are we going to get it?  People power.”

Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, during a phone interview, after the protest, said, “I don’t oppose a local (sanctuary city) ordinance.  I don’t know what a local ordinance honestly would do….We can do one, which would be symbolic, but it’s not going to…really have an impact….We have so many individuals that are not only living in Long Beach, they may be undocumented but working outside the city.  So what good is it for us just to have a local Long Beach ordinance per se than a statewide one, where everyone is covered?”

Neither the Mayor, nor any of other eight City Councilmembers of Long Beach were available for comment.

Alex Montances, of the FMC, in an email before the event, said, “Long Beach should be a place where all its residents are cared for and protected, not a place where immigrant mothers, fathers, and children are afraid to walk to school, work, or even outside their house because they fear ICE and deportation raids. Mayor Robert Garcia and City Council need to pass a local Sanctuary City policy here in Long Beach to protect our immigrant community.  We need to make sure that our City is not participating, funding, or assisting Federal immigration enforcement.”

Leanna Noble was at the protest.  Noble said, “We need a local sanctuary city ordinance that’s got teeth, that will make sure that all of the residents…have their rights protected and that they can live here in peace and safety.”

Tamara Romero was also at the protest.  Romero said she was there in solidarity with the immigrant community and wanted Long Beach to have its own sanctuary ordinance because many immigrants live here in fear.

According to the Facebook event page of Sanctuary Long Beach, events are planned for Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 5:30 p.m., at Del Amo Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, and Wednesday, 5:30 p.m., at Pine Avenue and Broadway.

Meanwhile, according to a Los Angeles Times story in early August, that Federal immigration agents have shown up twice at California labor dispute proceedings to apprehend undocumented workers and that California officials sent a memo in July instructing staff members to refuse entry to ICE agents who visit its offices to apprehend illegal immigrants.

The California Assembly Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday, July 5, passed California Senate Bill 54, known as the California Values Act, and the California Senate, on Monday, April 3, passed it.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday, June 13, passed SB 31, known as the California Religious Freedom Act, and the California Senate on Monday, April 3, passed it.

The about page of the Sanctuary Long Beach reads, “(T)he Long Beach City Council passed a resolution in support of SB 54…which limits information sharing with state and local law enforcement and immigration enforcement agencies. While…this is a step in the right direction, we know from previous statewide legislation that addresses law enforcement, local policies are more effective for accountability, efficiency, and building trust with local leaders and (the) community.”

The Long Beach City Council, on Tuesday, Feb. 7, voted seven to zero with two absent to support SB 31, known as the California Religious Freedom Act, and to support as amended SB 54.

Those in favor were 1st District Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez, 2nd District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, 3rd District Councilwoman Suzie Price, 4thDistrict Councilman Daryl Supernaw, 7th District Councilman Roberto Uranga, 8th District Councilman Al Austin and 9th District Councilman and Vice Mayor Rex Richardson.  Absent were 5th District Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and 6thDistrict Councilman Dee Andrews.

SB 54 would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest people for immigration enforcement.  However, SB 54 provides two allowed exceptions.  First, it allows efforts to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of a violent or serious felony and second it allows the transferring of an individual to federal immigration authorities who has been previously convicted of a violent felony.

SB54 would also require by April, 2018, the California Attorney General to publish policies limiting assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible for use by public schools, public libraries, health facilities operated by the state or a subdivision of the state, and courthouses and would require them to implement those policies.  It would also encourage other organizations providing services related to physical or mental health and wellness, education, or access to justice, including the University of California to adopt the policy.  SB 54 would require every six months, that a law enforcement agency participating in a joint task force with Federal immigration enforcement to submit a report to the Department of Justice and would require the California Attorney General by March 1, 2019, and twice a year after to report the types and frequency of those task forces, and to post those reports on the California Attorney General’s website.  SB 54 would require the Board of Parole Hearing or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to notify ICE of the scheduled release of all people confined to state prison serving for a conviction of a violent or serious felony or who has a prior conviction for a violent or serious felony.

SB 31 would prohibit a state or local agency or a public employee from providing the federal government information regarding a person’s religious beliefs, practices, or affiliation when the information is for compiling a database.  It would also prohibit a state agency from using its resources to assist in compiling such a database.  However, one exception is for targeted investigations of individual based on reasonable suspicion that the individual has engaged or have been the victim of criminal activity and there is a clear connection between the criminal activity and the information collected.  A second exception is to provide religious accommodations.



Categories: Political Parties

8/5 – Socialist Party Los Angeles Local Monthly Meeting

SP-USA: California - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 01:24

This is our monthly meeting, held every first Saturday of the month. We talk about current campaigns, actions and events on a both local and national levels. Some political discussion. This is a good meeting to come to if you’re interested in socialism and/or are interested in getting involved in grassroots efforts to effect change from the bottom up.

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

2617 Hauser Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90016

Open to the public, except racists, fascists, sexists, Islamaphobes, neo-Nazis, the alt-right, provocateurs, moles and other assholes.

Categories: Political Parties

WFP Endorses Shontá Browdy for Hartford Board of Education

Working Families - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:23

Hartford, CT – Local educator and parent activist Shontá Browdy has received the unanimous endorsement of delegates from the Connecticut Working Families Party for her campaign for Hartford Board of Education. She will run solely on the Working Families Party ballot line for the election taking place on Tuesday, November 7th.

Shontá Browdy: “It is an honor to accept the Working Families Party endorsement. Now more than ever, our families and students need representation that will keep corporate interests out of our schools and give all parents a real seat at the table. Growing up in Hartford, my teachers shaped my life for the better. As a proud parent of two children in Hartford public schools, I want to ensure that today’s kids have the opportunities to reach their potential and contribute to our community.”

Shontá believes in the potential of our city’s schools to better lives and empower our youth. She stands firmly against school closures and school privatization, instead focusing on improving the quality and care of our public school system. To achieve opportunities for our kids, she advocates smart investments in skills training, nutritional education via urban agriculture programs, and greater transparency between parents and the Board of Education. As a parent, she has held the Board of Education accountable for over a decade. Now she is running to maximize that accountability and give parents real representation.

Carlos Moreno, Interim State Director, CT Working Families Party: “Working Families is proud to endorse Shontá Browdy, an educator, parent, and community activist who has truly shown up for our kids. Being a parent of two children in Hartford public schools herself, she knows just how important the stakes are for our children and our economy. Over the past decade, she has rarely missed a chance to fight on behalf of parents and students at Board of Education meetings. Now, Hartford voters have the chance to elect her to a real seat at the table, where she can fully represent the voices of parents like her.”

Robert Cotto, Jr., current Working Families Party elected on the Hartford Board of Education: “In my experience, I know that Shontá Browdy has what it takes to be a great member of the Board of Education. She has a passion for public education and a deep knowledge of our community and schools. I’ve seen her at school board meetings over the years asking the right questions and showing up for kids and families. She won’t stop until all kids have a great public education.”

Shontá Browdy grew up in Hartford, where she says public school teachers made all the difference in her life. When she left the city for college, she swore that she would come back to better her community. She has done just that. An education advocate for over a decade, Shontá has taught our kids as a substitute teacher, served as the Education Committee Chair of the Greater Hartford chapter of the NAACP, worked to remove barriers in the lives of children as the Director of P.U.R.P.O.S.E., and empowered young activists as the Co-Advisor for the Greater Hartford NAACP Youth Council.

A proud mother of two children in the Hartford public school system, Shontá holds an almost perfect record of meeting attendance holding the Hartford Board of Education accountable. Each spring, she leads a community gardening project focused on exposing children to healthy eating and an agricultural curriculum. She has resisted school closures and worked to elevate the role of parents in the education system.

The Working Families Party endorsement comes with strategic campaign support and candidate training. All candidates are carefully vetted to ensure that they reflect the views and goals of Working Families’ members. Recent polling affirmed Working Families’ members vote for candidates who fight for economic justice, tax fairness, living wages, and workers’ rights. They also want affordable healthcare, strong public education, and immigration reform.

In the last election, the Connecticut Working Families Party garnered its strongest showing to date, having received over 5% of the vote on its line for U.S. Senate. Approximately 87,948 votes were cast for Richard Blumenthal on the Working Families Party ballot line.

The post WFP Endorses Shontá Browdy for Hartford Board of Education appeared first on Working Families.

Categories: Political Parties

Union Workers Stepped Up – Again, Now It’s the 1%’s Turn

Working Families - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 19:43
It is time for the Connecticut’s wealthiest residents to take some responsibility for the health of our state.

In response to today’s Senate vote to ratify the SEBAC union deal:

Carlos Moreno, Interim State Director of Connecticut Working Families:

“The State Senate did the right thing today in ratifying the SEBAC deal, despite the efforts of a unified Republican opposition that would rather play politics with the lives of thousands of Connecticut workers for presumed political gain in 2018. Today, we heard Republicans pit public and private sector workers against each other. Rather than vilify state workers, who have reached into their pocketbooks for a third time since 2009 in order to help the state. Republicans should be asking why every worker in our state can’t make a living wage, and why every worker in our state can’t retire with a pension. State workers have stepped up – again. With 30% of the budget deficit closed by 2% of Connecticut’s working families, it is time for the wealthiest few to step up and pay their fair share to help close the rest.”

“Our Republican legislators in particular have failed to demonstrate the courage and honesty needed to step away from the race-to-the-bottom politics of harmful cuts, regressive taxes, and unjust corporate subsidies. At a time when working families are taking all of the hit, their only suggestion is to hit them harder.”

“We need a real vision for the future centered on investment in urban spaces, maintaining and growing Connecticut’s high quality of life, and developing the kind of modern workforce that today’s employers require. Though we are proud of public sector union workers’ continued willingness to sacrifice for the sake of us all, we also recognize that continuing this cycle of cuts is disastrous to the future of our state. We need revenue and meaningful investment, not cuts. It is time for the 1% to step up and pay their fair share.”

“There are common-sense ways that Connecticut can fix its fiscal crisis and truly invest in a brighter future. The Carried Interest Loophole costs our state $520 million per year, letting hedge fund managers pay a 19.6% lower tax rate than ordinary taxpayers. Massachusetts has created positive growth by partially closing that gap with a 12% capital gains tax. In New York, a higher marginal tax rate of 8.82% on millionaires helps to ensure the health of the state. Here in Connecticut, our legislature fails to invest in infrastructure and growth, while passing the burden of budget cuts onto our workers and towns. This is despite the fact that much of the fiscal burden has been caused by a decline in corporate tax collection caused by massive business tax credits and sophisticated corporate tax avoidance, dropping corporate tax collection from 13.2% of the budget in 1991 to less than 4% of the budget in 2015.1”

Source: 1 http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/Revenue%20Options%202017%20FINAL%20updated.pdf

The post Union Workers Stepped Up – Again, Now It’s the 1%’s Turn appeared first on Working Families.

Categories: Political Parties

August 8: Intersectionality, Privilege, and Marxism

Seattle ISO - Mon, 07/31/2017 - 00:24

Tuesday, August 8
7:00 p.m.
Common Good Cafe
(Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle, WA 98105

RSVP on Facebook

Activists engaged in struggles against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other oppressions often reference the terms privilege and intersectionality. Privilege is a concept intended to highlight the concrete ways in which people’s lives are changed by oppression, but it is often focused on individuals and their ideas, rather than systems of oppression. Intersectionality, on the other hand, is a term used to indicate the way that different systems of oppression interact with each other to create particular forms of oppression for people who exist at the intersections of different types of oppression.

Join us for a discussion about these concepts and their relationship with Marxism, so that we can better understand how socialists should engage with fights against all forms of oppression in our society.

Suggested background:

Categories: Political Parties

Aug 1: Seattle ISO Working Meeting

Seattle ISO - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 00:13

Tuesday, August 1
7:00 p.m.
Common Good Cafe
(Downstairs at the University Temple United Methodist Church)
1415 NE 43rd St.
Seattle, WA 98105

This week’s meeting will be a working meeting. We’ll be devoting some time to discussing our national and local perspectives for building the ISO and other activist campaigns.

Categories: Political Parties

What happened at Evergreen State?

Seattle ISO - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 00:26

From SocialistWorker.org:

Patrick Edward H. writes from Washington on the events at Evergreen State College that led to a right-wing media crusade and threats of violence from the alt-right.

July 26, 2017

Students rally against racism at Evergreen State College (The Cooper Point Journal)

EVERGREEN STATE College in Olympia, Washington, made national headlines at the end of the school year over student protests that provoked violent threats from the far right, leading to a three-day campus shutdown in June.

Much of the media depicted the controversy as a story of political correctness gone haywire, with student demonstrators attempting to stifle a professor’s harmlessly stated opinions. But there’s more to the story than what the press chose to focus on.

The facts need to be made clear, not only to set the record straight about what happened at Evergreen, but because the events of the spring raise questions that the left needs to discuss: about how we take on the growing threat of the far right and what methods can best challenge racism–for example, calling for firings and suspensions or confronting and politically defeating reactionary ideas.

Evergreen is a small alternative college known for its progressive faculty and its founding goals of changing the dynamic of higher education towards group learning, ecology and social justice. Not surprisingly, it has long been a target of the right wing and regularly faces threats of defunding and privatization from the Washington state legislature.

Tensions between students and the administration have been high for some time, with, just in the past, women on campus protesting how staff conduct rape investigations; Black students objecting to inadequate training and over-arming of the campus police; and LGBT students challenging the understaffing of the trans and queer center. A majority of students has been sympathetic to these grievances.

These tensions came to a head following the night of May 14, after two Black students were woken in their dorm by officers at 11 p.m. and taken to campus police headquarters, where they were questioned until 2 a.m.

The interrogation stemmed from an online Facebook debate about what many people perceived to be a racist comment–and, later, an in-person argument in the cafeteria, though many witnesses stated it “was very far from physical.” Police singled out the Black students involved in the debate for hours of questioning, yet never formally detained the two or charged them with anything.

The following day, 100 protesters assembled near the campus administration building to stand up against this act of police harassment.

“Students involved cited the general distrust and dislike for police services, the administration and the general treatment of [people of color] on campus as reasons for gathering,” read a report in the Cooper Point Journal, Evergreen’s student-run newspaper.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

MEANWHILE, BRET Weinstein, a professor of biology at Evergreen, wrote an e-mail that would dominate media coverage of the Evergreen controversy afterward.

Weinstein’s e-mail objected to a change in a campus tradition called the “Day of Absence,” in which, in the past, staff and students of color left campus and congregated separately. This year, organizers of the Day of Absence instead called for whites to leave campus and discuss race issues separately.

Though participation in the Day of Presence has always been voluntary, involving several hundred students at most, Weinstein called this year’s plan “a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself.” Weinstein said he wanted to lead a “discussion of race through a scientific/evolutionary lens”–a proposal taken by many as intentionally provocative, given the shameful history of pseudo-scientific explanations to justify racism.

Weinstein is also known on campus for, late last year, publicly opposing a recommendation from the college’s Equity and Inclusion Council, designed to encourage diversity, for a formal “equity justification/explanation” process for all new faculty hires.

Protests around the previous questions, and now incorporating outrage at Weinstein, continued to build through May 24, when students occupied an administration building and demanded to be heard.

During the occupation, Weinstein and some of his supporters attempted to block students from passing through the building. Students say this wasn’t the first time Weinstein tried to confront students–throughout the previous week, he had approached protesters to engage in yelling matches, they say.

A coalition of students of color leading the occupation developed a wide-ranging list of demands that included disarming of Evergreen police and a ban on any expansion of their facilities or powers, along with numerous measures to add staff and services for LGBTQ undocumented and other groups of students.

The coalition also called for Weinstein to be suspended without pay, along with the suspension of an Evergreen police officer who had acted aggressively during the previous week’s protests, and the firing of an administrator involved in student conduct.

The protests continued outside the administration building until May 26, when Evergreen President George Bridges held a six-hour discussion with students to air their grievances with the administration. By the end, he rejected the demands involving the disciplining of staff and disarming of police, but agreed to meet the other demands. After Bridges’ concessions, protests continued, but were smaller.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

IN THE meantime, Weinstein made himself a prominent figure on Fox News and other right-wing media with his claims that he was the victim of persecution by student “mobs” intent on a “witch hunt.” Always on the lookout for a right-wing cause to promote, Fox News compared Weinstein’s treatment by students to the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Right-wingers began to focus on Evergreen, subjecting students to online harassment. On YouTube and Facebook, there were comments calling for “a new Kent State”–referring to the National Guard shooting of antiwar protesters in 1970–and other threats against the campus.

On June 1, following Weinstein’s claims of persecution being publicized on Fox News and in the Wall Street Journal, the local county hotline received an anonymous call saying, “I’m on my way to Evergreen University (sic) now with a .44 Magnum. I’m going to execute as many people on the campus as I can get ahold of.”

The local “alt-right” moved into action when the group Patriot Prayer announced what it called a “Free Speech Evergreen State College” rally for June 15.

The day before, several dozen people turned out in downtown Olympia to show community support for the college. The next day, about 120 counterprotesters gathered to oppose Patriot Prayer, which finally arrived an hour after its announced starting time.

The two groups were kept separate by a line of state troopers in riot gear. Patriot Prayer’s chief organizer Joey Gibson and others were sprayed with Silly String, but that was the extent of the confrontation.

Ironically, President Bridges used the June 15 protest and counterprotest as an excuse to call for more police on campus. “Our hard-working law enforcement officers need the training, equipment, and staffing levels necessary to ensure their continued ability to protect all on our 1,000-acre campus,” Bridges said in testimony to a state legislature committee. “I will be seeking help from the Legislature to meet the challenges of campus safety.”

So a sequence of events that began in part with protests against the police presence on campus ended up being used as a justification for more police.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

OBVIOUSLY, FOX News and various right-wing organizations jumped at an opportunity to push their claim that right-wingers are being persecuted, especially on college campuses, just for expressing their opinions. They twisted the facts to suit their crusade against the left.

But students and activists could have responded to the right differently.

For example, when Weinstein started pushing his claims in the media, the reports on Fox and elsewhere included clips of students heatedly denouncing him. While highly edited and lacking context, some of the statements made by students in those clips were counterproductive to the goals of the protesters.

Likewise, the demand that Weinstein be suspended only lent credence to the idea that protesters were attempting to limit his “free speech”–for certain, it made it easier for Weinstein to play the victim. Plus, there is the long history of authorities using rules and laws intended to control the right against the left instead.

Activists could have focused on challenging Weinstein’s statements and exposing them as leading to reactionary conclusions. As students have shown in recent protests, they have plenty of evidence to show the existence of racism on campus and the need to challenge it.

Even the idea for the Day of Presence, while well intentioned, tended to lead toward the conclusion that students want “free speech” to be restricted or segregated. By focusing on this largely symbolic day, Weinstein successfully diverted attention from the many legitimate student demands driving the protests.

To raise these points is not to condemn the demonstrators, but to ask how we can strengthen our movements and avoid playing into the hands of the right. We know from all that has taken place since Trump’s election that the right wing and its media mouthpieces have found a new organizing strategy by claiming to be victims of left-wing oppressors who want to stop them from speaking out.

The controversy at Evergreen will die down over the summer, but since administrators are talking about adding more police and other student demands have gone unmet, the discontent is sure to surface again. In the meantime, the summer break provides an opportunity to reflect on what happened and strategize as to next steps.

Evergreen student Jacqueline Littleton–who received numerous racial slurs, and rape and death threats, and had her personal information posted online after defending the protests–reflected on the experiences of the spring in a New York Times op-ed article:

While recent events may have brought negative attention to my school, I am proud of students here who found a way to create change. In the movies, protests always look heroic, but they tend to be messy in real life. Weren’t the protests of the 1960s unpopular and messy sometimes, too?…

Mr. Weinstein’s story about Evergreen’s regressive campus culture fit neatly into many misconceptions about the “new left,” so it seemed to go unquestioned. However, for many students, staff and faculty at Evergreen, the harassment that came after the negative coverage of the protesters was a shocking and bitter twist. It is not lost on us that students of color are the ones who have been disproportionately targeted.

Littleton’s comments show the commitment of those who demonstrated at Evergreen not to be intimidated by the right, but to continue the struggle.

Alan Maass and Leela Yellesetty contributed to this article.
Categories: Political Parties

From Hiroshima To WWIII, August 5 in Berkeley

Peace & Freedom - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 04:00

Posted on July 23, 2017 by the Alameda County Central Committee

On Saturday, August 5 the Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party and Movement presents "From Hiroshima to WWIII: If Workers Won't End These Wars, Who Will?"

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 2:00pm to 4:30pm
Where: Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley(MAP)
What: speakers and discussion
Sponsor: Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party and Movement
Contact: call 510-332-3865 or email cuyleruyle - at - mac.com
Cost: Free, but please buy food and drink at the pub

Hiroshima was not so much the end of WWII as the opening salvo in a series of new wars which must be ended if humanity is to survive. Will the working class fulfill its historic mission and end this madness? Or must we look elsewhere? We are inviting speakers to address this question.

Categories: Political Parties

Alisha Blake Running on WFP Ballot Line for New London BOE

Working Families - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 06:50
Alisha Blake to Run for New London Board of Education Seat on Working Families Party Ticket for 2017 Municipal Election Campaign kickoff set for Sunday, July 23rd, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Washington Street Coffee House in New London

New London, CT – Local hospital worker and small business owner Alisha Blake has received the unanimous endorsement of delegates from the Connecticut Working Families Party for her campaign for New London Board of Education. She will run solely on the Working Families Party ballot line for the election taking place on Tuesday, November 7th.

Alisha Blake: “It is an honor to accept the endorsement of the Working Families Party. I proudly send my children to New London public schools, and I believe in the potential that our school system has to set the foundation that our students need to lead productive and successful lives.”

Alisha believes New London can do better for its children. As such, she has actively shown her support for an improved education budget. Outspoken on behalf of New London’s children, she is advocating for greater access to nutrition through the federal Universal Free Breakfast and Lunch Program, preservation of funding for public schools, better budgeting for better schools with more teachers, and staff more representative of the students they serve. She strongly opposes the privatization of schools, instead fighting to improve standards and access in our public schools.

Alisha Blake: “There are common sense measures we can take to better invest in and take care of our children, and I intend to put my full support behind such proposals. If our children matter to us, then we need to show it to them by truly giving them the nutrition, attention, and educational opportunities they need. I believe in a real path forward for New London based on public investment in our own people, and that’s exactly why I accepted the Working Families Party endorsement for my campaign.”

Carlos Moreno, Interim State Director, CT Working Families Party: “Working Families is proud to endorse a candidate as deeply reflective of her community as Alisha Blake. Alisha carries the spirit of New London with her in all that she does, whether it’s fighting for common sense food programs for students or volunteering to help incarcerated women facing motherhood. She is a tireless worker with a great passion for families and her community – exactly the kind of representative that the Board of Education needs.”

Alisha Blake laid her roots in New London 14 years ago. Today, she is a mother to three children, the two oldest of which attend C.B. Jennings Elementary school. She has served at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for over a decade, and in 2015, she founded New London Birth Services which provides pre- and postnatal services to clients all around New London and neighboring regions.

Alisha also provides her professional childbirth services pro bono to women in need throughout New London. She volunteers and helps incarcerated women in childbirth, assists a childbirth education group based in Niantic, and facilitates a Baby Cafe program for breastfeeding mothers in Norwich. A nationally certified birth and postpartum doula and lactation counselor, she helps businesses to comply with breastfeeding standards and state regulations. In addition, she volunteers her time serving breakfast for the Boys and Girls Club’s summer program.

The Working Families Party endorsement comes with strategic campaign support and candidate training. All candidates are carefully vetted to ensure that they reflect the views and goals of Working Families’ members. Recent polling affirmed Working Families’ members vote for candidates who fight for economic justice, tax fairness, living wages, and workers’ rights. They also want affordable healthcare, strong public education, and immigration reform.

The post Alisha Blake Running on WFP Ballot Line for New London BOE appeared first on Working Families.

Categories: Political Parties

WFP Endorses Rose Reyes for Windham Town Council Seat, Running on WFP Ballot Line

Working Families - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:03
Rose Reyes to Run for Windham Town Council Seat on Working Families Party Ticket for 2017 Municipal Election

First WFP Candidate for Willimantic District Seat on Windham Town Council

Willimantic, CT – Rose Reyes, a lifelong educator and teacher at the Windham Center School, has received the unanimous endorsement of delegates from the Connecticut Working Families Party for her campaign for Windham Town Council. She will run solely on the Working Families Party ballot line for the election taking place on Tuesday, November 7th.

Rose Reyes: “I am honored today to accept the endorsement of the Working Families Party. As a bilingual educator who has worked in the Windham district for over 20 years, I have seen firsthand the need for progressive change and different perspectives in our local government. We need new leadership that actively encourages advocacy, transparency, and inclusivity. Our community has the potential to be one of the most forward-thinking cities in Connecticut, especially on issues such as education, immigrant rights, and economic growth that affords every resident of Windham a chance to succeed. To achieve that goal, we need competent leadership and bold action. Although I have been a lifelong registered Democrat, I believe that the Working Families Party perfectly embodies the working-class values for which I am fighting.”

After a year of working with the Windham Town Council, Reyes helped build public support for the passage of a “sanctuary city” resolution. Her activism helped attract hundreds of supportive local activists to Town Hall, signalling the community’s appetite for strong progressive leadership.

Carlos Moreno, Interim State Director, CT Working Families Party: “Working Families is proud to endorse a candidate as committed to community-based leadership as Rose Reyes. Rose has been an advocate for as long as she has been an educator, and her passion for issues of social and economic justice make her an ideal candidate to fight for working people. At a time when the national government is in turmoil and the state government is in fiscal crisis, Windham more than ever needs Council representation with a real vision for the future and the courage to get it done.”

Rose Reyes’ commitment to Willimantic spans more than twenty years. Currently, she is a bilingual educator at Windham Center School and an active member of the Willimantic NAACP.  Previously, Reyes served as a commissioner for the Willimantic Housing Authority and on the Windham 2000 Commission, a committee charged with making recommendations to improve economic development and quality of life investments.  In 2000, she helped found the Windham Parent Network, an educational advocacy organization that mobilized activism among parents. Reyes has lived in Willimantic with her daughter Ava for 20 years. She currently serves as a member of the Willimantic Food Co-Op.

Recently, Reyes helped lead local advocacy efforts to pass the Windham education budget in a public referendum this year. Strong turnout for the budget referendum showed just how much the Windham community values having a well-funded, well-resourced school system for children.

Reyes serves as vice president of the Windham Federation of Teachers Local 01577 chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). She has also served as an AFT state legislative advocate. Reyes is an active member of the CT Puerto Rican Agenda, a statewide effort to unite, educate, and advance progress for Puerto Rican people in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The Working Families Party endorsement comes with strong grassroots field support, candidate training, and strategic campaign support. All candidates are carefully vetted to ensure that they reflect the views and goals of Working Families’ members. Recent polling affirmed Working Families’ members vote for candidates who fight for economic justice, tax fairness, living wages, and workers’ rights. They also want affordable healthcare, strong public education, and immigration reform.

In the last election, the Connecticut Working Families Party garnered its strongest showing to date, having received over 5% of the vote on its line for U.S. Senate. Approximately 87,948 votes were cast for Richard Blumenthal on the Working Families Party ballot line.



The post WFP Endorses Rose Reyes for Windham Town Council Seat, Running on WFP Ballot Line appeared first on Working Families.

Categories: Political Parties

Support the People's Congress of Resistance!

Peace & Freedom - Tue, 07/18/2017 - 12:13

Posted on July 20, 2017 by the webmaster

On September 16 and 17, 2017, in Washington D.C. at the Blackburn Center at Howard University, activists from around the country will hold the first ever People's Congress of Resistance. This is a critical opportunity to bring together voices from various movements all across the country to establish a program and strategy for what the people need and what we are fighting for: A vision for a better society.

The Peace and Freedom Party is a proud endorser of the Congress. We call on all of our supporters to register and attend the first gathering in D.C., submit delegates from your local movements to attend, or if you cannot attend, to sponsor another activist to go in your place.

The political leadership of the Republicans and Democrats in Washington D.C. does not represent working class, middle class or oppressed people. It's time we build our own People's Congress of Resistance!

Go to CongressOfResistance.org to register today.

Categories: Political Parties