Author: Lois Weiner

Firing Up the House of Labor to Fight for Racial Justice: Confronting Hard Truths

Defending truths about union democracy and the inseparability of racial and economic justice in our society has shown to be extraordinarily demanding work, yet it is an unavoidable goal if the organized power of the working class is to (help) free the human race.

Building an Alternative to the Democratic Party

Bernie Sanders has ended his candidacy
When we feel our lives are in danger as they are in this pandemic, it can be very hard to look critically at national politics, by which I mean the end of Bernie’s candidacy and . . .

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Philly Educators Have a Chance to Make History

Members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) have a chance to improve lives of Philly school educators and students, challenging control of schools by corporate elites, as did Chicago teachers when they elected a new generation of leaders from . . .

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Writing an Obituary for Neocons

The New York Times obituary of neocon historian Gertrude Himmelfarb shows why  neoconservatives remain a potent political force in U.S. politics: many liberals can’t imagine a socialist challenge to capitalism that doesn’t apologize for authoritarianism.
The NYT’s sentimental gloss of Himmelfarb’s . . .

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“Joker” and the Crisis of Capitalism

The idea of the Batman franchise being associated with expressions of popular discontent is something which has already become familiar to us, thanks to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and the responses it generated, including a much-read review of . . .

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French Yellow Vests Celebrate First Birthday, Converge With Planned Labor Strikes

Montpellier, France, Nov. 18, 2019
 
This weekend the Yellow Vests celebrated their first birthday, with convivial barbeques on traffic circles (roundabouts) all over France followed by direct actions like liberating tollbooths. Although number of protestors has declined to about 10% of . . .

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Members of the Professional Staff Congress should vote no on the proposed agreement with City University of NY

Editor’s note: Members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing professional staff and faculty at City University of New York (CUNY), are voting on a proposed agreement, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)  with CUNY.   The argument to endorse . . .

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In support of the Professional Staff Congress/City University of NY tentative agreement: Vote yes

Editor’s note: Members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), the union representing professional staff and faculty at City University of New York (CUNY), are voting on a proposed agreement, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)  with CUNY.   In this piece,  Steve . . .

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Election Victory in Seattle

The left and workers in general won a significant victory in Seattle on Nov. 5. Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for Seattle City Council won her third consecutive term against a concerted and well-funded business offensive. At the end of . . .

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The Power of Revolutionary Imagination

A review of Revolutionary Love: A Political Manifesto to Heal and Transform the World, Michael Lerner (University of California Press, 2019).
In 1923 the feminist Bolshevik, Alexandra Kollontai, wrote a letter to Russian socialist youth. This was a time when the . . .

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UK University Workers Set for Strike Action

Members of the University and College Union (UCU), the national union for academic staff in the UK, are set to strike at 60 universities for eight days between 25 November and 4 December 2019. This follows a highly successful pair . . .

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‘Other Than Honorable’? Veterans with ‘Bad Paper’ Seek Long Overdue Benefits

On Veterans Day this year, in a nation now reflexively thankful for military service of all kinds, nearly 500,000 former service members are not included in our official expressions of gratitude.
These forgotten men and women had the misfortune to leave . . .

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Parents’ huge stake in the Chicago Teachers Union strike

A harsh reality of teachers’ strikes is that they hit parents – moms especially, who still do most of the work of caring for kids and housework – the hardest. Parents are left frantically searching for childcare options, especially if . . .

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Education Workers in Chicago Are Challenging the U.S. Ruling Class

Though the media is casting the strike of education workers in the Chicago Public Schools as (just) another episode in the wave of teachers’ strikes, and the press in Chicago is doing its best to defeat the union, this contract . . .

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More on the Oakland Teachers’ Strike

Editor’s note: This article responds to analysis New Politics has already published on the Oakland teachers’ strike. In hosting different viewpoints on the strike, New Politics continues its tradition of opening its pages (and now its website) to debates about . . .

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Oakland teachers’ strike: Balance sheet, lessons, and what next?

Jack Gerson, retired Oakland teacher and former executive board and bargaining team member, analyzes what occurred and why in the Oakland teachers’ strike.

U.S. Labor, Boycotts, and BDS: Defending Workers’ Rights

Guest blog by Stan Heller

Image In 2017 the Texas legislature passed a law forbidding the state from contracting with companies that refuse to do business with Israel.  Some interpreted this broadly.  After destructive flooding in Houston that year, one town told homeowners that if they wanted aid in rebuilding, they’d have to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel.  After another type of flood – of bad publicity – the town said the boycott only applied to actual businesses in the town.

Why New York City’s teachers should vote “no” on the proposed contract – By Dan Lupkin

ImageNote: While teachers in Los Angeles Unified School District have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, members of the largest teachers union local in the US, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City, are debating a proposed contract settlement. In this guest blog, UFT activist Dan Lupkin explains why he wants the proposed contract to be voted down. We invite other opinions on this debate underway in the UFT. – Lois Weiner

Liberal fear about teaching a "people's history": Sam Wineburg on Howard Zinn

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The Zinn Education Project has published a fine response to an article based on Sam Wineburg’s book, “Howard Zinn’s Anti-Textbook.”

Clever Corporate Criticism of U.S. Schools – by Gerald Coles

ImageNote: In this guest blog, Gerald Coles, known for his work in literacy education and disabilities, describes capitalism's love/hate relationship with public education.

The AFT, Janus, and the fall of the Berlin Wall

Reflections on AFT's national convention

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Reflecting on the days I spent as a delegate during the AFT national convention in Pittsburgh (held July 13-16), I was reminded of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet Communism in 1989-90. No one predicted it, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. But peace activists in the West who organized international support for struggles of dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe saw the social ferment.

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