Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Autism and Anticapitalism

I only figured out that I am on the autism spectrum in the last year. So this is the first time I’ve heard of #WorldAutismAwarenessDay on April 2. That’s why I’m writing this article one day late.

What a time to be on the autism spectrum! Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden has inspired young people around the world. On March 15, over 1 million joined the #FridaysForFuture school strikes. Thunberg is the most prominent activist I’ve ever seen who is openly and visibly on the spectrum.

Monday, April 15, 2019

More Hate Group Fliers Appear in Twin Ports

Last week a number of activists posted pictures on social media of fliers that were posted around Duluth's Leaf Erickson Park by a white supremacist group called the Patriot Front.  Fox 21 covered the story, and just this past weekend, community activists gathered at the Central Hillside Community Center to express their outrage and plan a response.

Unfortunately, it was just discovered that more Patriot Front fliers have been found, this time in Superior on the UWS campus.  A member of Socialist Action encountered the flier posted above on April 15.  Unlike the fliers posted at Leif Erickson park, which had a populist anti-money message, these fliers contained a crude red-baiting message that suggests that socialists should be murdered.  The right-wing slogan of "Better Dead Than Red" was a common one used during the McCarthy witch-hunts of the 1950s that saw thousands of communists and socialists fired from their jobs, black listed and harassed.  Hundreds more had to flee the country, and dozens were sent to prison on absurd charges.

We reject these reactionary attempts to divide working people.  Groups like the Patriotic Front, while posing as part of the working class, push a poisonous, divisive message of racism, bigotry and red-baiting.  Their ideology is the anti-thesis of the progressive values and tradition of solidarity that the working class movement was built on.  We call on folks to tear down these fliers when they encounter them, and to contact us whenever you encounter members of this group organizing or holding meetings, so that we can organize public counter-mobilizations against them.  We ignore the organizing efforts of reactionary groups like this at our own risk.  SAY NO TO RACISM, BIGOTRY AND RED-BAITING!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Feminists Lead in the Global Class Struggle

We are the feminist, trans feminist, anti-racist, antifascist tide that will take over Verona, opening up liberating spaces which were born from the global power of the International Women Strike!” So concludes the call for action that put 30,000 feminists and their allies on the streets on March 31 to protest a meeting of the World Congress of Families (WCF), a virulently anti-LGBTQI and anti-abortion organization.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

When you corner a rat, it lashes out. The rats in charge of the U.S. empire are cornered by the contradictions built into their own system: increasing economic inequality, regular depressions and recessions, declining profit rates, perpetual austerity, and endless wars promoted to stave off increasing global competition. The current vicious U.S. assault on Venezuela—along with the ongoing attacks on working people here at home—are what it looks like when the imperial rat lashes out.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Democrats Fail Symbolic Vote on Green New Deal

The political theater of the U.S. Congress lurched through yet another performance on March 26, as the Senate decisively rejected a bill put forth by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell that copied Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and Senator Ed Markey’s February non-binding resolution calling for a Green New Deal. Forty-three Democrats, including all Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate, voted “present” on the measure—in effect, abstaining—while four Democrats crossed the aisle and joined all 53 Republican Senators in voting against.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Brothers & Sisters in the Building Trades: Time is Running Out for the Planet

I’ve been a carpenter my whole adult life. I worked nonunion before I joined the Carpenters’Union—easily the smartest thing I’ve ever done. For a working-class person, a union is still the best anti-poverty program.

Recently, the heads of the Building Trades unions, alongside the leaders of the United Steelworkers and the United Mine Workers (UMWA), spoke out against the proposed Green New Deal. They claim that the GND will “cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families.” Right-wing climate deniers immediately seized on union opposition to the GND as proof that proponents are out of touch with reality.

AFSCME After the Janus Decision

The labor union in the crosshairs of the right wing-led effort to gut public sector unions through a landmark Supreme Court case released new membership data Wednesday showing a decline that experts say could mark the beginning of larger losses, but is far shy of a fatal blow.  

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) reported a 6 percent loss last year, down from 1,411,877 members, agency fee payers and retirees in 2017 to 1,329,594 in 2018.

Solidarity With the Algerian People in Their Struggle for Sovereignty!

Algeria is experiencing a popular uprising that is unprecedented since the proclamation of national independence. Since 22 February 2019, following calls launched on the Internet, large rallies, with a massive presence of women, have been organized in all cities, followed by workers and young students.

A Healthcare Industry Built on Premature Death

In Indiana, a school superintendent is facing three felony charges after using her son's insurance in January to help a sick student access a doctor and prescription antibiotics. Dr. Casey Smitherman, who on February 1 resigned from Elwood Community School Corporation, has helped the 15-year-old student before, according to reports: She purchased his clothes, and even helped clean his house. This time, she had noticed his absence from school and took it upon herself to bring him to a medical center. In an apologetic public statement, the superintendent explained that she was aware that the student didn't have insurance and so, out of concern for his well-being, wanted to do all she could “to help him get well.” Court documents reveal the total insurance claim was $233.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Chelsea Manning Jailed — Again

Chelsea Manning, a transgender U.S. soldier who blew the whistle on U.S. war crimes and spent 2013 to 2017 in an army stockade as a result, is back in prison again. This time, it is because she refuses to join a bipartisan campaign against Wikileaks that seeks to bring Julian Assange from his refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to the U.S. in order to put him on trial and send him to prison.

The Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution

A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the working class shaped the guerrillas’ victory,” by Steve Cushion. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2016.)

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. Given its durability, revolutionaries should pay close attention to both its successes and failures. This is not always easy to do, given the deluge of propaganda we in North America have been exposed to over the last 60 years.

When Sex Workers Do the Labor of Therapists

Sky is a professional escort. She’s been working at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel located in Pahrump, Nevada, for a little under a year. A few months back, a man came in asking for a group session with Sky, who prefers to be identified by her professional name, and one of her colleagues. He had come around a few times before. He made it a point to keep in touch through Twitter. This time, however, the session took a dark turn. He came in to tell them he was planning on killing himself.

Ilhan Omar and the Perils of Criticizing Israel

On March 7 a resolution condemning both anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim prejudice was passed by the House of Representatives, 407-23.

The vote was taken after several weeks of tense negotiations within the Democratic Party and arguing among left Democratic Party voters. The resolution was a thinly veiled rebuke of Somalian-American Rep. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota’s 5th District, whose tweets about Israel touched off a frenzy of condemnations among both Republicans and Democrats.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Trump declares Fake ‘National Emergency’ to Build Wall

On Feb. 15, President Trump declared a National State of Emergency in order to appropriate billions of dollars to build his much-touted wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Even though Congress had granted him $1.375 billion for the border wall in the latest federal budget bill, this wasn’t enough for Trump. He wanted $5.7 billion!

Since Trump started campaigning for the presidency in 2016, he has been vilifying immigrants as dangerous criminals and rapists, here to steal jobs and corrupt U.S. society. This most recent maneuver is just the latest tactic in an ongoing campaign to scapegoat immigrants and to keep them too afraid to fight back for their rights.

Lesbophobia Past and Present

Lesbians resist and rebel against institutions and belief systems that oppress us. Starting as young girls we fight against the tyranny of pink. Today, the situation is worse than ever for all girls, as multi-million-dollar corporations become the enforcers of oppressive sex stereotyping.

Over the last 10 years, Disney has marketed over 26,000 “Princess” items. This has not only become the fastest growing brand for Disney, it is also the largest franchise in the world for girls ages two to six. The products are all about clothes, jewelry, makeup, and of course, being rescued by the prince.