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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

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The Zimmerman Trial: When the Prosecution is the Defense

By Kamau Franklin
Organizing Update: Engaging Left Organizers in Strategic Dialogue
The idea that our youth are captured animals who can turn dangerous at any time when they are not under supervision has almost become an instinct to the larger white society.

Book Review: Union City Blues

Richard D. Kahlenberg
Washington Monthly, July-August 2013
How a poor New Jersey town and its teacher's unions turned around its schools.

BART Strike Illustrates Heated Debate Over Public-Sector Work Stoppages

Josh Richman
San Jose Mercury News
"Union struggles reflect on all jobs," said Jane Smith, 30, a data scientist from San Francisco. "Unions won the struggle for a 40-hour workweek, and we are all benefiting from that still. Unions also fight for higher wages, which translate to higher wages for all Americans." The BART strike is a symptom of "the income and wealth inequality that is plaguing our nation," she said.

Paid by Fee-Laden Debit Cards; Lessons from History

Stephen Brier; Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stephanie Clifford
Submitted by author; New York Times
The New York Times reports on the growing trend of workers getting paid via fee-laden debit cards. In a letter to Portside, historian Stephen Brier notes the "eerie parallels" to the 1800s.

We Are All Aboard the Pequod

Chris Hedges
truthdig
Melville, who had been a sailor on clipper ships and whalers, was keenly aware that the wealth of industrialized societies came from the exploited of the earth. “Yes; all these brave houses and flowery gardens came from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans,” Ishmael says of New England’s prosperity. “One and all, they were harpooned and dragged up hither from the bottom of the sea.”

Paid by Fee-Laden Debit Cards; Lessons from History

Stephen Brier; Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stephanie Clifford
Submitted by author; New York Times
The New York Times reports on the growing trend of workers getting paid via fee-laden debit cards. In a letter to Portside, historian Stephen Brier notes the "eerie parallels" to the 1800s.

Wall Street Journal says Egypt needs a Pinochet – can it get away with that?

Martin Pengelly
The Guardian
I am not an expert on Egypt, or Chile – most of my knowledge about General Pinochet comes from a book by a Guardian writer, Andy Beckett. But I know enough that when Margaret Thatcher died, reminders of her enduring support and praise for Pinochet left a nasty taste in the mouth. While people are dying in the streets of Cairo, to read an expression of the same sentiment from a respected, globally-read newspaper is repellent.

What Would an American Left Look Like?

Van Gosse
The Rag Blog
I propose that a consequential Left can only proceed as a project for reconstructing American democracy, root and branch. We are not finished with making this country a real democracy. We need to complete the process of Radical Reconstruction that began after the Civil War, and stalled until the Second Reconstruction of the mid-twentieth century.

Chicago Cabbies Fight for a Fairer Fare

Moshe Z. Marvit and Vincent Mersich
The Nation
No one is responsible for paying cabbies a “minimum wage,” because these drivers are not considered employees. But Callahan and a group of Chicago cab drivers are challenging that long-held assumption. Under the name “Cab Drivers for Justice,” or, as most call it, “Cabbies for Justice,” they are pursuing what could be a landmark legal case.

MLK's Forgotten Plan to End Gun Violence in Chicago

Simon E. Balto
History News Network (HNN)
The calls for stricter gun control laws are not enough. Although the gun murder rate in some large cities is down, the causes of urban gun violence remain the real problem. At the June 1966 gang summit, Dr. King asked Chicago’s gangs to channel their energies into nonviolent protest of poverty and inequality. He tried to imprint upon the young men gathered at the Sheraton that violence was futile, and would likely get them nowhere but a grave or a prison cell.

Los Infiltradores

Michael May
The American Prospect
How three young undocumented activists risked everything to expose the injustices of immigrant detention—and invented a new form of protest.

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