La Botz, Dan
|Dan La Botz June 5, 2016|
After Muhammad Ali refused induction--we had the champ in our corner.
When in June of 1963 I graduated from Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, just south of San Diego, California, I went to my local Selective Service Board—the draft board—and registered as a conscientious objector. My paternal grandfather, a Dutch immigrant and baker, was a socialist pacifist and his four sons had registered as conscientious objectors (C.O.s) in World War II and two of them—my father Herb and my uncle Bert—had been drafted and had done what was called alternative service (the alternative to serving in the military) at a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Big Flats, near Elmira, New York.
|Dan La Botz June 3, 2016|
Douglas Schoen, a former advistor to Bill Clinton, predicts in a column in the Wall Street Journal that Hillary Clinton may not be her party’s nominee. He suggests that if Sanders wins California, which he may well do, Clinton, with her legal problems and negative ratings in the polls, may be dumped and the convention could choose Vice-President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Schoen says in a Fox News interview that Biden is “chomping at the bit.”
This scenario may be unikely, in a year when politics has brought us many unlikely developents, but it's worth thinking through. Certainly Sanders' supporters should think about how they would react to such a development.
|Dan La Botz May 31, 2016|
The National Coordinating Committee (la CNTE) and allied dissident groups in the Mexican Teachers Union (el SNTE) declared a general, indefinite strike on May 16. Tens of thousands of teachers left their classrooms, shutting down many schools in four states: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Michoacán. There have also been protests in the State of Morelos and the State of Mexico.
|Dan La Botz May 15, 2016|
Luiz Bernardo Pericás, Caio Prado Júnior uma biografia política. Sao Paulo, 2016. 484 pp. Photos. Illustrations. Acronyms. Chonology. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Available only in Portuguese at this time.
Pericás’ Caio Prado is a well researched, well documented biography of Caio Prado, the renowned and important Brazilian historian. This biography is distinguished by the author’s concern to present Prado not only as a Marxist intellectual but also as a member of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) and a committed political activist--and to show the relationship between the two. The author argues that Prado’s politics were integral to his work as a historian.
|Dan La Botz May 11, 2016|
Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) will very likely be impeached today, leading to her immediate, temporary removal from office and to a trial that could remove her permanently. Waldir Maranhao, the acting speaker of the lower house, had annulled the impeachment process just a couple of days ago, but then Renan Calheiros, the head of the Senate, said that he would proceed with the impeachment anyway, and it is going forward. This impeachment, which the left calls a kind of golpe de estado or coup d’état could be the end of Dilma’s presidency and the beginning of a new rightwing government that will impose greater austerity and do so by repressing the social movements.
|Dan La Botz May 10, 2016|
What can we in the United States learn from the left in Europe and Brazil?
During the last two weeks of April I visited three European countries speaking about Bernie Sanders and the American elections. I spoke in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and in French-speaking Switzerland, while in May I spoke in four Brazilian cities: Rio de Janeiro, the Rio suburb of Niteroi, Vitoria, and Fortaleza. In Paris I spoke to Ensemble, part of the Front de Gauche, in the suburb of Bagnolet. In Madrid and Barcelona, I spoke at meetings organized by the journal Viento Sur which is linked to Anticapitalistas, the leftwing of Podemos. In Switzerland, I spoke at the Spring University of solidaritiéS Suisse, an independent, multi-tendency left wing group.
|Dan La Botz May 9, 2016|
Teachers in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and in the state of the same name, have been on strike for more than two months now. More than a month ago students at one high school occupied their school in support. The student occupation spread to other schools and are there are now 76 schools occupied throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro and as many as twenty in other states to which the movement has spread. Students have been joined by parents and teachers and by volunteers from left political parties and individuals.
|Dan La Botz May 3, 2016|
I was invited to speak here in Rio de Janeiro by the Socialism and Freedom Party (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade, PSOL) and spoke last night to an enthusiastic and very well informed crowd of about 200 students at the university (UFRJ). I also sat down to talk with PSOL leaders and activists here about the local political situation and the social movements. So here are my impression, though they are just impressions of the political situation, of the teachers' strike, and of the school occupations.
|by Dan La Botz and Hector Grad May 1, 2016|
Podemos, meaning “We Can,” is one of the most exciting developments taking place on the left in Europe today. For years politics in Spain had been dominated by two parties: the conservative the People’s Party (Partido Popular or PP), headed by Mariano Rajoy, and the Socialist Workers Party of Spain (PSOE), led by Pedro Sánchez. But, in the last election held in December of 2015, the new left party Podemos won five million votes, fundamentally votes by the lower classes against the economic elites and their austerity plans. That represents 20% of the electorate, and 69 out of 350 seats in the house of deputies.
|Dan La Botz April 22, 2016|
I am in Switzerland to attend the Spring University of Swiss Solidarity, a radical socialist group most active in the French speaking region, for whose newspaper solidarities I write regularly. I’ve been talking to some of the group’s activists about the situation here, and they have given me some impressions of the situation of the left here. So these are my impressions, just impressions.
|Dan La Botz April 21, 2016|
In Madrid to give a talk on American politics and the Bernie Sanders campaign at , I took time to meet and converse with some young organizers of Anticapitalistas and one longtime leader of the left who had to go into exile toward the end of the years of the Franco dictatorship.
|Dan La Botz April 20, 2016|
I spent a few days in Barcelona, meeting with older and younger activists, some of them former members of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), others younger activists in the group Anticapitalistas or in Procés Constituent. I also joined two protest demonstrations and gave a talk at the Ateneu Rebel for the journal Viento Sur for which I write. Here are my impressions, just impressions.
|Dan La Botz April 18, 2016|
While in Paris in mid-April, I had conversations with a number of mostly older, leftist intellectuals: professors, publishers, editors and writers. These are men and women who historically have had close ties and involvement in the labor and social movements. I also went to political protests and attended a socialist meeting. Here are my impressions, just impressions of a few days in Paris.
|Dan La Botz April 6, 2016|
This is the third and last of three book reviews that look at what Mexican intellectuals on the left have written in an attempt to understand Ayotzinapa and what it symbolizes and signifies for their country and its future. The first review appeared here and the second here.
Adolfo Gilly and Rhina Roux. El tiempo del despojo: Siete ensayos sobre un cambio de época. Mexico: Editoria Ithaca, 2015. 191pp. Bibliography. Available only in Spanish.
|Dan La Botz April 3, 2016|
“We’re going all the way to the convention,” said Larry Cohen, former President of the Communications Workers of America and Senior Advisor to the Sanders campaign. “We’re working to see that Sanders wins the Democratic Party nomination, but that’s not all we’re doing. We’re going beyond to build a democracy movement in this country.”
Cohen was speaking, just before the opening of the Labor Notes Conference, to some 125 union activists and local leaders who gathered for four hours at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago on Friday, April 1 at the Labor for Bernie and Beyond meeting. They met to discuss the next stages and of the Sanders campaign as well as the future prospects for the movement of union activists who support him. The meeting was convened by Cohen and 23 other national or local union offices.