I campaigned for governor with the slogan of “Demand More!” because Gov. Cuomo has governed as a social liberal but as an economic conservative. Although he touts the agenda he outlined in his January 15 State of the State and Budget presentation as “progressive,” New York progressives should not be satisfied. It is still a conservative economic program. Progressives must demand more.
The deaths of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht have haunted the imagination of the left for a century. Joe Sabatini reviews a recent publication exposing the events of their deaths, Klaus Gietinger’s The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg, as well as providing an introduction to some of the literary works inspired by the events of 15 January 1919.
The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), the city’s teachers union, has now reentered negotiations with a school board chastened by a strike that has shown the movement’s political power in massive demonstrations with community members and parents.
Here is a timeline of how the mainstream U.S. capitalist media has covered the issue of Trump’s financial ties with the Russian mafia capitalist class. This timeline is significant, because it provides a clue to the thinking of the mainstream of the U.S. capitalist class as well as how that thinking is now changing.
With the revival of the socialist movement in the U.S., and the phrase “political revolution” having briefly entered the political mainstream as a result of Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign, it’s a good idea for contemporary socialists to look back upon the political strategies of our predecessors to examine what they thought “revolution” signified, and to draw appropriate conclusions.
The January 14 strike date announced by the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) has heightened tensions in an already contentious dispute with Los Angeles Superintendent Austin Beutner, who represents the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in negotiations. However, far more is at stake in Los Angeles and for the rest of us than a traditional contract struggle.
Randy Shaw, Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. University of California Press, 2018. 304 pp.
When millennials head home for the holidays this month, many who are city dwellers will be hosted by parents or grand-parents whose housing is far more spacious and financially secure than their own. Even guests with well-paid jobs in relatively stable rental markets will cast an envious eye at the benefits of baby boomer house buying decades ago.
Rob Walsh, originally from a small town just outside Utica, is a material handler at the Tesla plant just south of Buffalo, New York’s downtown—dubbed Gigafactory 2—and part of the joint United Steelworkers/International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers organizing committee. One of plant’s earliest hires, he works 12-hour shifts three to four days a week, making $16.50 an hour. He is one of roughly 400 employees that work around the clock at the plant producing Tesla’s solar roof tiles. During those shifts, Walsh delivers production from the warehouse to the floor and then takes the finished product out to be shipped.
We, the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists, support the ongoing uprising which erupted across Sudan starting December 19th, 2018. The protests were set off by the lifting of subsidies on bread, wheat, and electricity as well as spiking inflation. The United Nations Development Program has estimated that nearly half of the population, i.e. 20 million, live below the poverty line. However, their demands go much deeper and call for the downfall of the regime of Omar al-Bashir because of its decades of economic, political, and social repression. The dictator al-Bashir was also on the verge of obtaining constitutional amendments allowing him to run in the presidential election in 2020.
While a Single Payer healthcare system is on the table nationally (in the form of several bills, but perhaps more importantly, in the platforms of nearly all the top presumptive Democratic presidential nominees), the actual creation of such a system is perhaps more likely to be accomplished at the state level first, and it’s possible New York and California are tied for “most likely to succeed.” Even as some advocates caution that we should only fight for a national single payer plan, despite there being even less of a “pathway to victory” in the short-term, I see these campaigns as complimentary. Ambitious and aspiring New York State politicians are well-attuned to what constitutes “progressive” on the national scene, and it is to everyone’s advantage if supporting single payer is viewed as part of proving their credentials.
Perhaps the difficulty in capturing and defining the phenomenon of white supremacy lays in its ubiquity. Throughout American society (and more generally, across the Western world), ‘whiteness,’ symbolizes a status quo, a dominant set of norms and behaviors to which individuals are expected to adhere.
Kim Moody’s “Rank and File Strategy” has influenced much of DSA’s approach to labor organizing. To draw out what he calls socialist “class consciousness,” Moody recommends fomenting member-led struggles in unions that advance self-empowerment. By joining “transitional organizations,” or rank-and-file reform caucuses such as Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), he believes, workers gain experience directly confronting management over working conditions. These organizations prepare workers for larger fights to come.
It has been two years since the explosive surge of the Democratic Socialists of America, now the largest socialist organization in the United States and the largest since the 1940s. And DSA has had some remarkable successes. Today as the country turns its attention to the presidential election of 2020, we ask: How DSA is doing? What is it accomplishing? And where is it going? What do the various caucuses and political tendencies within DSA propose as a future direction for the group? Is there a genuine left wing of DSA, and if not, what is the alternative?
Is the Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) rebellion, now in its seventh week, “petering out?” Such was the near-unanimous pronouncement of the mainstream media, when I returned home to Montpellier, France, eager to participate and to observe first-hand this popular insurrection which I had been afraid of missing.
The environmental policy centerpiece of the incoming Democratic House of Representatives is what’s now known as “The Green New Deal.” But it’s already hit deeply polarizing pushback from the old-line Democratic leadership. And it faces divisive jockeying over the future of nuclear power.
The White-Hot Anger of French Working People as a Real Fact
After rumbling on social media for weeks, the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement emerged suddenly on November 17, when no less than 300,000 protestors occupied roads, traffic circles in exurbs and rural areas. They wore the yellow safety vests the government requires all motorists to purchase, and which immediately became the emblem of the movement. That week and the next, Yellow Vests also ventured into the heart of Paris, blocking the gilded Boulevard Champs-Elysées and almost reaching the nearby presidential palace. From the beginning, women were unusually prominent in the local occupations and the street marches. At the same time, the Yellow Vests chased away many politicians who visited their protest sites, including some from the left.
For some eighteen months now, ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang in northwest China have been living through unprecedented wave of repression. The most extreme element of this crackdown is a network of camps across the region, designated “re-education and training centres,” where anywhere from a few hundred-thousand to upward of a million Muslim minorities have been indefinitely interned. Most victims are Uyghurs – the main non-Chinese ethnic group of the region, but the sweep has also caught Kazakhs and Kirghiz, who, like the Uyghurs, practice Islam.
Militarist hawks and liberal pundits alike are up in arms (figuratively speaking, of course) over Donald Trump’s “victory” proclamation and announcement of U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Syria. Howls of Republican outrage may signal a further deterioration of the big twit’s shrinking political support on the home front. The Trump gang’s crisis of legitimacy deepens by the day. But what does it actually mean for the cascading disasters in the Middle East?
Donald Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria is a green light to Recep Tayyip Erdogan to decimate the Kurds in what remains of Rojava in northern Syria. Earlier this year, Turkey invaded the Afrin area with the assistance of Syrian reactionary armed opposition groups, leading to the forced displacement of large sections of Afrin’s Kurdish population and continuous violations of the human rights of the local population.