Tidbits - July 20, 2017 - Reader Comments: Capitalism?; Charters; Made in America or Internationalism?; Black Panther Party, Paul Robeson, Peekskill, Dashiel Hammett, IWW; Nuclear Weapons; Israel; Rasmea Odeh; Resources; Announcements; and more...

Reader Comments: Capitalism in our Future?; Bosses - Like Dictators - and now one is our President?; More on School Charters; Trump's Made in America or Working Class Internationalism?; Looking at Radical History - Black Panther Party, Paul Robeson, Peekskill, Dashiel Hammett, IWW; UN and Banning of Nuclear Weapons or a Return to "Duck Under Your Desk?"; South Africa, Israel; Rasmea Odeh; Resources; Announcements; and more...
July 20, 2017
Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - July 20, 2017
Portside

 

Resources:
Announcements:
 
 
 
 
 
YOUNG ADULTS VIEW CAPITALISM AS AN OLD FOGEY
 
This article repeats the research done in the United States that 51% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. The article adds that the numbers are higher in Britain and Germany; in Germany as high as 77%. If people are skeptical in Germany, the most powerful economy in Europe, capitalism will increasingly have to rely on force if it is to stay in power. What we wish the article would have addressed is how to present 21st century socialism to millennials given these statistics.
 
Read in Portside
 
 

 
 
 
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Nice to read an article, short that it may be, that goes straight the source of the problem.  Surely a rarity in journalism, even among those on the left.  I have been writing and talking about Capitalism being the source of the problem for decades it seems.
 
What I learned years ago are some basic definitions as they work quite well to define the problem  Capitalism, ending with the 'ism' suffix defines this as a belief system.  Thus it is the belief in capital and the power that derives from capital. It is a system that has no room for  humanistic values, much less democratic ones. It simply goes for the jugular in stealing people's labor and resources in the public sphere for individual profit  and power.
 
Democracy on the other hand is all about people centered values.  It is the voice of the people; it is a process based on that.
 
Democracy and Capitalism are in direct opposition to each other but given the myth building and propaganda machine of capitalism, one would never know these simple definitions.
 
It seems to me long overdue that progressive people on the left speak out more often and as clearly as possible to begin changing the mindset of the public which needs a lot of support in finding courage to change such a deep rooted paradigm as we have all been taught.
 
Pelosi's response was precious and truly helped make the point.
 
thank you
 
tanya marquette
new paltz,  ny
 
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Considering there is no such thing as "Capitalism" I'm not surprised. What we have is institutionalize robbery of the masses by a handful of people. And I do mean a handful. And these handful have perverted the entire governmental organizations of the world to facilitate this process.
 
You can not have a system, "Capitalism," when it is based upon erroneous and fallacious assumptions! And the whole theory is based on lies.
 
First, all people will always act in their own best interest. In other words, no one would ever drive drunk, smoke, drink or eat too much, eat greasy foods, too much chocolate, too many French fries, eat at McDonalds... Second, law of diminishing marginal returns. People will only purchase enough of an object to suit their needs, no more. Back to the burgers. You will only have the regular size, regular fries, regular water. You would never Super Size because no one needs that many calories, fats, nor sugars. No one would buy anything but a plain utility vehicle. There wouldn't be all these fancy Loki g over priced plastic pieces of junk driving down the road! And you would only own as many pairs of pants, shirts, blouses, underwear, dresses, socks, etc which you needed, no more. You would live in a 400 sq ft house you shared with three other people, because that's all the space you really need...
 
If you and everyone else on the planet doesn't live like this, there is no capitalism.
 
We have robbery.
 
David Peterson
 
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Robbery, capitalism. Not sure I see the difference.
 
Dale Jacobson
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
This explains Trump's business model for government.
 
Philip Specht
 
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Profound article. Should be passed out at factory gates. Oh yeah we'd be told "you can't do that, it's private property."
 
Judy Atkins
 
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All of this is true. With the decline of unions, millions of workers lost the few rights they had. The character of American corporations especially large ones is very harsh.
Most American politicians don't even talk about workers. The rhetoric these days is about the middle class.
 
"We must have democracy in industry," said the first Steelworkers' union President, Philip Murray. And in the 1930s and 40s American workers who experienced the Great Depression and fought in the Second World War built a massive democratic trade union movement that gave employees rights and dignity on the job.
 
That was adversely influenced by the emergence of multinational corporations, their political allies who were anti-democratic and anti working class interests and by neoliberals who celebrated the new stage of global capitalism but ignored labour and environmental clauses that might have maintained some kind of progressive social order.
 
We need many new changes to make life better for most people. We need international laws to regulate transnational companies, democratic politicians who take account of people's rights, and alternative economies that welcome small businesses, cooperatives and alternatives to the current large, fascistic companies who have so much power. We also need independent politicians who work for people not lobbyists.
 
Thanks for this interesting article.
 
Laurel MacDowell
 
 
 
 
 
I don't follow climate change issues as closely as poverty, but it's getting crazy.
 
ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron are among the highest emitting investor-owned companies since 1988. If fossil fuels continue to be extracted at the same rate over the next 28 years as they were between 1988 and 2017, says the report, global average temperatures would be on course to rise by 4C by the end of the century. This is likely to have catastrophic consequences including substantial species extinction and global food scarcity risks.
 
John Atlas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Good and on point. We need to fight the privatization of public assets and the diminishing of the Common.
 
Earl Marty Price
 
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Charter people have the Board now, in LAUSD!
 
Kathy Nolan
 
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In Oakland too. The NEA. Needs to help fight right wing money represented here by GO Oakland schools
 
Earl Marty Price
 
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If NEA/CTA stopped giving our money to Dem politicians who stab us in the back - we could fund all kinds of useful endeavors.
 
David Byrd
 
 
 
 
 
It would be great to read an article asking people to do something…
 
Lucy Fried
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
Surprised that you'd include in Portside an article with the redbaiting reference to Trump as "the president’s communist-dictator-esque photo opportunity".  He's a capitalist and imperialist real estate speculator. This is Portside redbaiting its own base.
 
The article implies that we should boycott products made in China, Vietnam, India, etc. This is not the kind of approach to international labor solidarity I'd expect from Portside.
 
David Bacon
 
 
 
 
 
For those people on the left who recognize that anti-communism is wrong, but seem to think, in the post-Soviet era, that Russophobia and neo-Cold War jingoism are just fine.
 
 
[here is the link]
 
Alan Hart
 
 
 
 
 
Portside readers may be interested in my new study of Dashiell Hammett: 
 
 
 
 
[order here.] 
 
Ken Fuller
 
 
 
 
 
This article truthfully states the enormous number in the hundreds of thousands of our brothers and sisters deported under the Obama administration, separating families even where no criminal offense was involved. It was not until the final years of his administration that there was a lessening of this effort. Those of us working in this field called him the deporter in chief. Unfortunately, immigration has always been political, with the lives of people being used as pawns to promote or appease a conservative agenda. No person is illegal.
 
Ollie R. Jefferson‎
 
 
 
 
 
I don't have an issue with the idea of them coming back. Someone needs to shock these idiots back into place. By any means necessary.
 
Tonya Allen
 
 
 
 
 
But the second amendment says we have the right to bare arms!
 
Michael McGonagle
 
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This should never be forgotten, particularly the next time the USA presumes to lecture North Korea or Iran about "illegal nuclear weapons programs."
 
The US response was rather telling in this regard and should be engraved on the walls of the United Nations building.
 
Joe Elegua
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It is unclear which is worse– the proper paranoia of Duck and Cover drills before our MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) modus operandi or having to hear the dated doo-wops for Bert the Turtle.
 
DCBarroco
January 26, 2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you S Africa Ruling party. True they have their own issues to address... but after a long history of Israeli ties to the old Apartheid regime, this diplomatic move makes much sense.
 
Larry Aaronson
 
 
 
 
 
Why are the Israeli soldiers allowed on American campuses. Who invited them? I guess it an indication of how weak they and their arguments are if they need Israeli soldiers to doing their fighting for them
 
Richard Fox
 
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IDF goons go home. You have no business here. Your fearful leader was obnoxious and interfering enough in Congress.
 
Martin Mould
 
 
 
 
(posting on Portside Labor)
 
 
Why try to destroy a movement with this kind of specious journalism? And if you are going to publish, why not include all the comments that ran 95% against Dayen's position. including comments from many in the Coalition. Dayen might be a friend of yours, but he has become an unethical journalist, using media as his personal bully pulpit for his own issues which are now serving the neoliberal agenda.  There are legitimate issues within the left, but this is not one of them. And this comes at a time when the movement for single payer needs to grow and deepen.  The Portside has (perhaps unwittingly) joined the other side.  Tragic.
 
Sand Brim
 
 
 
 
 
Erik Prince was head of Blackwater, military contracting company. He supplied mercenaries to the U.S. gov't, to fight in the Middle East. He made huge profits off the deaths of many civilians. (But hey, profits are what wars are all about.)
 
Diane Laison
 
 
 
 
 
As residents of the United States of America, we wake up each morning to a reasonably safe environment and follow the course needed to assure our survival. Unfortunately we weren't given any specific details on how our course would play out with the exception of a statement by our two-term President Dwight Eisenhower. In his farewell address upon  leaving office in January 1961, he warned: "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist".  Eisenhower then counseled American citizens to be vigilant in monitoring what he aptly named the Military-Industrial Complex". However the old General was not a "dove". He went on in his address to say: "only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together". 
 
It's now 56 years after the General's wise words and an agonizing reappraisal is in order.  What are we as a nation doing to insure our goals so that security and liberty may prosper. Certainly not by producing twice as many armaments as the entire world combined. Certainly not having 900+ US bases stationed around the world, not including NATO bases. So the big question remains: how did we get to the quagmire  we're in and how do we get out. Certainly not by feeding a foreign policy addiction based on perpetual war and xenophobia. One thing is for sure and that is that nothing can or will change until the working people of our country reach a level of cohesiveness as a voting block to be in a position to vote for politicians who will work in the interest of working people and not billionaires.   
 
In order to insure a better future we must learn from our mistakes and understand how and why we have been consistently duped by a majority of politicians who have learned the art of fundraising big bucks for their campaigns by  peddling fear, hatred and hostility. This has proven good for the offshore banking industry, but little help for the working people and it's got to stop. Every aspect of our quality of life is suffering from education to health care, unemployment, veteran PTSD, lack of affordable housing and much more. Television commercials are at record breaking levels selling anti depressants and stress related pain and discomfort pills.     
 
It doesn't have to be this way. The perpetual greasing of the killing machines of war must stop. Negotiations must become the order of the day. For those who say it won't work we must ask whether they have tried.  Going back in modern history soon after the Bolshevik revolution took place in 1918, several nations militarily confronted  the newly formed red army and their effort failed. After WW2, the US and the Soviet Union resumed hostilities for about another 40 years until Glasnost and the breakdown of the Soviet Union happened which was celebrated as a victory of the West. Hopefully what is happening now between our countries will turn to some form of negotiation rather than war.
 
Nothing was gained from our Korean or Vietnam wars. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest war we have ever fought and no military solution seems to be working. Many military experts are of the opinion that our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the hotbed of contemporary terrorism. In fact, U.S. foreign policy of propagating so many wars around the world has given rise to the growth of terrorism.  We are presently involved in far too much militarism with no end in sight. It is time for we the people to push our leaders to work seriously toward a solid well funded program of negotiated peace settlements. The flower of our youth must not be sacrificed to the unjust immoral plans of our war profiteers.     
 
Stan Maron
Northampton, MA
Member of Vets for Peace
Retired from New York City Department of Homeless Services
Korean era veteran peace activist
 
 
 
 
 
Wow! Never knew about this historic event. Courageous people
 
Karen Bock Provenza
 
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This is an excellent article, to which I have only a few things to add:
 
1. Solomon Mikhoels was purported to have been a victim of a car accident in Minsk, which my wife & I visited & photographed last year. There we learned from a theater director that a monument to him has not yet been erected, allegedly because agreement has not yet been reached as to whether he was murdered on the spot where his body was found or had been killed elsewhere and had his body dragged there. My mother, Emily R. Lehrman (1923-2015) was his first U.S. interpreter, at Symphony Hall in Boston and throughout New England, in 1943.  (She also interviewed Paul Robeson for her college newspaper, at Simmons.) Lawrence Shubow, who is mentioned prominently and quoted in the *Jacobin* article on Walter O'Brien to which this article is linked, saw to it that she got the Jewish Advocate Rose that year. (He also later became a Judge, and married my brother Paul D. Lehrman and his bride Sharon Kennedy.)
 
2. When I was in Moscow in 1985, as a delegate from West Berlin to the International Festival of Youth & Students, I was invited to sing and play at a concert, and chose to perform the Song of the Warsaw Ghetto, "Zog nit keynmol," announcing that I had learned it from Paul Robeson's recordings. Numerous Jewish people came up to me afterwards to tell me how they remembered Robeson singing that song for them, and how much it had meant to them at the time.
 
3. We sing this song, in Robeson's version, every year at home at our Seder, and on Yom Kippur at the Metropolitan Synagogue where I am Music Director for the High Holidays.  We sing it with militance, not mourning.
 
4. Lee Hays' memoirs reveal that his lyrics for "If I Had A Hammer" were inspired by the ending of Marc Blitzstein's AIRBORNE SYMPHONY and the words "Not without warning!"  When I told that to Pete & Toshi Seeger, driving them to the train after Dave Dellinger's memorial at Riverside Church, Pete told me he had not been aware of that, but also told me that Peter, Paul & Mary rather than the Weavers had made a hit of that song because manager Harold Leventhal had told Lee & Pete: "I got you guys off the blacklist. I don't want you going around now singing about hammers & sickles!"
 
As Pete would often say:  Keep on keepin' on, Portside!
 
Leonard J. Lehrman
 
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My Dad was at the second concert, one of those who went to protect the concert goers...
 
Amy Rolnick
 
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Paul Robeson.... OUR History...
 
Linda Crowley
 
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But especially The People..That's America to Me
 
Earl Clay
 
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My parents lived in Chicago. They couldn't go. They did however donate money. In the early 60's my family went to the East Coast for a vacation. As we passed through the area. My Dad told us about the riots. He was mad at himself for not going. However my Mother reminded him who was the REAL boss.
 
Cary Berkelhamer
 
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Both my parents were at Peekskill although they didn't know each other at that time. My mother was with a group of friends - their vans doors were pulled off but they got away. My father was on security and was in the first car out  - he barely survived.
 
Sandy Schaffer
 
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Were your parents involved with Followers of the Trail? It was a group of socialist garment workers who had a bungalow colony outside of Peekskill? They were involved in the planning and security for that show.
 
Kimberly Smith
 
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Hey my father was also on security. WOW
 
Jeanne H. Ross
 
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Were your parents at Peekskill was a frequent conversation starter.
 
Helen Wintrob
 
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Manus O'Riordan
 
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In 2009 I attended the concert marking the 60th anniversary of the Peekskill Riots at the Paramount Center  for the Arts in Peekskill. 
 
The crowd that came were astounding in that from all the local communities and from far reaches "seniors," old trade unionists, Old left and old new left people came. Silver haired folks with walkers, wheelchairs, portable oxygen tanks-it drew a tear from my eyes to see these many bent over but still proud warriors coming down the aisles finding their seats and greeting each other.
 
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"An Evening with Friends: A Celebration of the Legacy of Paul Robeson"
 
A fundraising commemoration the 60th anniversary of the violence-laden Peekskill concert, and the extraordinary life of Paul Robeson. The concert will feature David Amram, jazz legend Roy Haynes, Ty Jones, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, bass-baritone Kenneth Anderson, Jon Batiste Band, Roy Blue and special guests.
 
The concert will benefit local non-profits including: HRHC Hudson River Health Care; CHOP Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill; Peekskill, Hendrick Hudson, Lakeland, and Putnam Valley School Districts; The Peekskill Area Pastors Association; The Preservation Company; the Field Library; and Paul Robeson Foundation, a non-profit education organization, headquartered in NY and dedicated to preserving the legacy of Paul Robeson.
 
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Bass-baritone Kenneth Anderson sang many of Paul Robeson's songs.It gave us goose bumps.
 
“I was very excited to be a part of that important occasion,” said Kenneth Anderson, the octogenarian bass-baritone whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Robeson’s. “Paul was a giant. He was a Renaissance man. An artist, a statesman. He spoke truth to power and was unafraid.”
 
"Ol" Man River" from "Showboat" by Ken Anderson Bass/Baritone Singer
 
"Ol" Man River" from "Showboat" by Ken Anderson ...
youtube video featuring Kenneth Anderson singing "Ol" Man River" from "Showboat" by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein...
 
Gene Baumwoll
 
 
 
 
 
The history of unions is liberally splattered with injustice and death to workers. Companies own the government especially the GOP. From the Wobbles to today we are still here. I am a proud member of the Sudbury Mine Mill and Smelter Workers Union,Local 598, UNIFOR. We are a direct unbroken descendent of the Wobbles and the Western Federation of Miners. Solidarity and Fraternal greetings to all our Bothers and Sisters.
 
Gary Hrytsak
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
In a new report, EPI’s Josh Bivens explains how globalization has harmed the majority of U.S. workers and how trade deals have exacerbated this damage. Trade agreements have eroded American workers’ economic leverage and ability to claim higher wages while bolstering protections for the profits of U.S. corporations. Bivens outlines a progressive response to globalization that would protect workers’ wages and give the manufacturing sector a chance to reclaim some of the jobs lost to trade deficits in recent decades. 
 
 
Adding insult to injury -- How bad policy decisions have amplified globalization’s costs for American workers
 
Report By Josh Bivens 
July 11, 2017
Economic Policy Institute
 
Read more here
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
A new documentary well worth the watch.
 
 
Watch here
 
Nothing new here for anyone aware of ground zero in Palestine or has been awake the past 50 years, but footage of some heart-wrenching scenes reminds us all that there are real people behind the daily headlines and statistics.
 
To view official Israeli arrogance (a.k.a. hasbara), par excellence, view these two short segments:
 
12:37 - 13:40
26:45 - 28:05
 
Losing hope is not an option,
 
Sam Bahour
 
 
 
 
 
Sunshine Publishing announces the release of Andy Piascik’s novel In Motion

 
Summer 1976. A city deluged by plant closures and runaway unemployment; the despair of the young and the proliferation of hard drugs; police brutality and an arson wave that is burning people out of their homes. Unfolding during the country’s over-the-top celebration of the Bicentennial, this is the time, place and zeitgeist of In Motion.
 
In Motion, first and foremost, is a story of solidarity: the solidarity of two sisters, the solidarity of the sisters and their mother, the solidarity of the multi-racial residents of a city under siege. Most of all, In Motion is the story of the solidarity of Jackie and Jack, two passionate lovers on the cusp of adulthood seeking to live authentically.
 
“Piascik … has a fine eye for the detail and ear for the dialogue between the lovers and also various family members. There are no easy resolutions here, but the figures are drawn to the life, the story well told.” – Paul Buhle, CounterPunch
 
Andy Piascik is an award-winning author who writes regularly for many publications and websites. He can be reached at andypiascik@yahoo.com.
 
To order, mail check for $35.95, postage included, to:
 
Sunshine Publishing
610 Fifth Avenue, #2181
New York, NY 10185
 
You may also order at www.sunshinepublishing.org
 
 
 
 
 

 
Quit Images Featured Above: (Left) Nevertheless, She Persisted . Dawn Allen (Right) Still Yearning . Lyric Montgomery Kinard
 
 
Join Us for the U.S. Premiere
 
Premiere and Gallery Talk on Saturday, July 15 at 11 am 
 
Threads of Resistance
Presented by The Artist's Circle
 
This public program is free of charge to members and included in the price of admission for nonmembers.
 
On view at NEQM July 11 through September 9, 2017, this juried exhibition features 64 contemporary quilts, art quilts, and works of fiber art designed to protest the actions and policies of the Trump administration. Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” organizers created this platform for artists to make their voices heard. In response, they received 550 submissions from 45 states and 7 countries. The works selected express a range of emotions from anger and sadness to hope and empowerment. 
 
The New England Quilt Museum will host the premier of Threads of Resistance, July 11 through September 9, 2017. This national exhibition, organized by the Artist’s Circle, features 64 juried works of fiber art, contemporary quilts, and art quilts designed to protest the actions and policies of the Trump administration. The works in this exhibition express a range of emotions from anger and sadness to hope and empowerment. Inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” organizers created this platform for artists to make their voices heard. In response, they received 550 submissions from 45 states and 7 countries.
 
These quilt artists honor a long tradition of political activism that began with the abolition of slavery. Quilts through the past two centuries have spoken to many causes and have been a means of expression, especially for women, whose political voices were silenced.
 
“With this exhibition, we seek to address current issues including climate change, sexual assault, immigration, the refugee crisis, racism, and sexism. We take issue with the divisive actions of the Trump administration. Our art explores our emotional responses to these actions in the hope that it will encourage civilized, constructive conversation and, ultimately, better understanding of one another's viewpoints.” the Artist’s Circle.
 

 
Nevertheless, They Persisted . Do Palma
In hosting Threads of Resistance, the New England Quilt Museum does not endorse the individual views and opinions expressed by the artists. The Museum is proud to serve as a forum for free speech and uncensored artistic expression. Some of the images and words displayed in the quilts may be deemed inappropriate for young children.  All works with explicit language or images will be displayed in a gallery labeled with signage to assist adults visiting with children.
 
 
18 SHATTUCK ST - LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS 01852
978 452 4207
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Zinn Education Project teacher and writer Adam Sanchez will present "A People's History of the New Deal" on Tuesday, July 25, as part of the "Building Community with Place-Based Learning" conference. This 3-day conference is hosted by Teaching the Hudson Valley. Early registration ends Wednesday, July 19, then fees rise.
 
A People's History of the New Deal Workshop
 
Tuesday, July 25  --  1:15-2:45pm
(3-day conference runs July 25-27)
 
FDR Home & Presidential Library, Hyde Park, NY
 
Cost:
 
$45 one day
$85 two days
$125 three days
SPECIAL:   Get 25% off by using code FRIEND 
Credit:    NYS teachers can earn CTLE hours
 
After the workshop, FDR Library and Museum will give attendees a short intro to materials related to the New Deal and people can spend the remainder of the afternoon in the museum.
 
We hope you will consider attending.
 
Warmly,
 
Bill Bigelow
Curriculum Editor, Rethinking Schools
Co-director, Zinn Education Project
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Listen to trailer here
 
Never Turning Back: The World of Peggy Lipschutz is a 30 minute film celebrating the life and work of 90 year old Peggy Lipschutz. Peggy is an artist, book illustrator, political activist, labor unionist, feminist, pacifist, humanist. She pioneered the “chalk-talk”— a performance art form combining drawing and music before a live audience. This film explores Peggy’s unwavering commitment to art, peace, justice and social change.
 
The goal of this half hour film is not only to celebrate the life and work of this unique woman but to use Peggy’s life-long commitment to art and social change as inspiration for the next generation. We hope that a new generation of artists and activists will learn and carry on Peggy’s important work for peace and justice.
 
99 year old Evanston artist and political activist, Peggy Lipschutz, and her “chalk talks” ("Songs You Can See”) were part of the struggles of many of Chicago’s labor unions; anti-war campaigns; the civil rights movements of the 60’s, and others. For a generation of labor activists, her illustrations became synonymous with the messages of labor unity, democracy and struggle. Peggy has been called “a Chicago institution in the labor and people’s movement.” 
 
She traveled the country, performing with musicians and personalities such as Pete Seeger, EllaJenkins, Studs Terkel, Win Stracke, Arlo Guthrie, Holly Near and many others, some of which are featured in the film. 
 
Occupy Evanston’s Monthly Movie Series Presents: 
Documentary Film: Never Turn Back - The World of Peggy Lipschutz
 
THURSDAY, JULY 27th, at 6:30 pm
 
Evanston Civic Center  - Room 2404
2100 Ridge Ave. - Evanston
 
 
Film director Jerri Zbiral, along with Peggy Lipschutz, will be there for a discussion following the film showing.
 
Plenty of Parking in the Civic Center Parking Lot 
 
Sponsored by Evanston Documentary Film Group, Occupy Evanston, Democracy in Action, Chicago Coalition to Overturn Citizen United, and End Money in Politics, and the Chicago Women's Caucus for Art.
 
Bring a friend.
 
 
 
 

 
 
Join us for an evening of music, culture, and struggle to honor Palestinian icon Rasmea Odeh. With keynote address by former political prisoner Angela Davis
 
Saturday, August 12 at 6 PM
 
International Union of Operating Engineers
2260 S Grove St, Chicago, Illinois 60616
 
Ticket information - click here
 
A humanitarian, a human rights advocate, a teacher and a leading member of Chicago’s Arab and Muslim communities has been arrested and indicted based on political motives on October 22, 2013.
 
Our beloved Rasmea Yousef Odeh has changed the lives of many specifically disenfranchised Arab women and their families. She is the Associate Director of AAAN since 2004 and the founder of the Arab Women’s Committee.
 
Rasmea is a spokesperson for Arabs in Chicago and also nationally and internationally. She completed a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Governors State University in 2013 and continues her journey to exceeding success.
 
Most recently, Rasmea was awarded as an Outstanding Community Leader from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, which described her as a woman who has “dedicated over 40 years of her life to the empowerment of Arab women, first in her homes of Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon, where she was an activist and practicing attorney, and then the past 10 years in Chicago.”
 
Rasmea Odeh is a 67 year old Palestinian American community leader who was tortured by the Israeli government in 1969. On November 10th in front of supporters in the courtroom, Rasmea was unjustly convicted of one count of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization and sentenced to 18 months in prison and deportation.
 
On Tuesday, April 25, Palestinian American icon Rasmea Odeh was joined in Detroit by close to 150 supporters from across the Midwest, at a federal court plea hearing based on an agreement reached last month. Sentencing will be formally imposed on August 17 in Detroit, but its terms were discussed and approved by Judge Gershwin Drain at this hearing. Rasmea will be stripped of her citizenship, and have to leave the United States permanently. She will not be sentenced to any further prison time (Drain jailed Rasmea for five weeks in November and December of 2014 after her conviction at trial), and she will “voluntarily” depart the country without being detained by immigration authorities.
 
The courtroom was packed, leaving many supporters to watch the fairly straightforward proceedings from an overflow room. The government summarized the terms of the plea agreement, and Rasmea’s lead attorney, Michael Deutsch, added a few points. While the government was not asking for more prison time or a fine if the plea was approved, Drain informed Rasmea that he would determine the sentence, which normally would carry a maximum of 10 years imprisonment plus a $200,000 penalty. But, later in the hearing, he clarified that he intended to honor the terms of the agreement.
 
After a few other clarifications, Drain asked Rasmea if she agreed to the “factual basis” of the plea agreement. After a long pause, and some quiet exchanges with Deutsch, Rasmea said, “I signed.” This was not enough for Drain, who asked several times for Rasmea to say she was guilty. Each time, she answered, “Yes, I signed it.” Once more, he insisted that she must admit guilt. Rasmea paused again, then answered, “I signed this; it says I’m guilty.” It was clear that this was as far as Rasmea was willing to go, so Drain relented, and approved the plea agreement.
 
It is important to note that this agreement did not include the last minute submissions by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel, who attempted to put on the record that Rasmea had committed “terrorist” acts and was a member of a “designated terrorist organization.” One final time, Tukel was denied the opportunity to use the case against Rasmea as a platform to grandstand for Israel.
 
Everyone then rallied for a program on the steps outside the courthouse. Deutsch spoke first, explaining that because the government was prosecuting this simple immigration case as one related to terrorism, it was doubtful that Rasmea could receive a fair trial.
 
Hatem Abudayyeh, of the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), said, “We’re going to lose Rasmea, she’s going to leave [us]. We know that. But we also know that for three and a half years, we put Israel on trial in the United States. We put their treatment of Palestinians in 1948 Palestine, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in all the refugee camps on trial. We put their treatment of our political prisoners on trial. We put their military courts on trial. We put their torture on trial. We did incredibly valuable and valiant work.
 
“And because of her bravery, because she said from day one, ‘I’m not going to allow anyone to criminalize my people,’ we built support from the most important social justice movements in the country … anti-torture, women’s rights, sexual assault survivors, immigrant rights, Movement for Black Lives, anti-war… [they all] came out in support of Rasmea, and in support of Palestine, because of the brave woman who’s standing here today.”
 
Abudayyeh praised some of the individuals and groups that played a critical role in defending Rasmea over the years—her legal team (Deutsch, Jim Fennerty, Dennis Cunningham, Bill Goodman, and Huwaida Arraf); Arab, Black, and Latinx youth from the Arab American Action Network; members of the Arab Women’s Committee established by Rasmea back in 2004; organizers from the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) and the Anti-War Committees of Chicago and Minnesota; Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) activists; and leaders of the national organizations that anchored the political defense, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) and USPCN.
 
After a number of already emotional moments, Rasmea stepped forward to thank her supporters, speaking first in Arabic and then in English. “I believe my case is Palestine’s case,” she began, her voice cracking. “We have to continue our struggle to get our freedom and to have our Palestine [be free] and to go back. We have to go back to our villages. There is no choice. No choices. Like today in court, they gave me no other choice – [either] prison and then [get sent] back. Or [deportation] without jail.
 
“I think to continue my struggle, I chose this [even] if it’s hard. I don’t want to leave! This is my second country. But they want me to leave because they want to destroy us, to destroy our struggle. So we have to continue our struggle. Thank you for your support… your support is very important to me… to Palestine… to all countries struggling for freedom and justice.”
 
Rasmea's case is part of a larger campaign against Palestinian leaders, institutions, and community members; as well as an example of government repression waged against oppressed nationalities, anti-war, social justice, and international solidarity activists.
 
Justice4Rasmea
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July 20, 2017