Oscar Lopez Rivera: Continue Fight

 Continue Fight  feature image
May 22, 2017
The former political prisoner thanked progressive movements for supporting his decades-long struggle for a free Puerto Rico. Plus articles related to Lopez Rivera's release.
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‘Crimmigration’ Need Actual Sanctuary Cities

‘Crimmigration’ Need Actual Sanctuary Cities feature image
May 22, 2017
“While many officials champion their status as ‘sanctuary cities’ and have taken meaningful steps to protect immigrant communities, sweeping criminal laws in these places leave many immigrants trapped within an arm’s reach of deportation.”
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Chelsea Manning is Free!

Chelsea Manning is Free! feature image
May 22, 2017
In a just world, Chelsea Manning wouldn’t have been jailed and tortured, but celebrated as a hero for alerting the public to the crimes of its government.
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China Funds Infrastructure, So Can We

China Funds Infrastructure, So Can We feature image
May 22, 2017
In effect, the Chinese government decides what work it wants done, draws on its own national credit card, pays Chinese workers to do it, and repays the loans with the proceeds.The US government could do that too, without raising taxes, slashing services, cutting pensions, or privatizing industries.
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America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa

America’s War-Fighting Footprint in Africa  feature image
May 22, 2017
Secret U.S. military documents reveal a constellation of American military bases across Africa. With the Trump administration escalating its wars in Africa and the Middle East, and the potential for more crises -- from catastrophic famines to spreading wars -- on the horizon, there’s every reason to believe the U.S. military’s footprint on the continent will continue to evolve, expand, and enlarge in the years ahead, outpost by outpost and base by base.
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More Sweatshops than Starbucks in Chicago

More Sweatshops than Starbucks in Chicago feature image
May 21, 2017
A bill recently introduced in the state legislature by the Illinois AFL-CIO could address some of the problems around reprisals. The Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act, supported by Raise the Floor Alliance and NESRI, would force employers to provide fired workers with a clear and legitimate reason for the discharge, essentially proving that it was not done in retaliation.
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Extreme Maps

Extreme Maps feature image
May 21, 2017
To gauge where this type of gerrymandering is taking place and its magnitude, this report used election results [from 2012, 2014, and 2016] in states with six or more congressional districts to assess the extent and the durability of “partisan bias” — the degree of systematic advantage one party receives over another in turning votes into seats . . . It also looked at the relationship between the body that drew the maps and the degree of bias observed.
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Black/Hispanic Pockets of Unemployment Left

Black/Hispanic Pockets of Unemployment Left  feature image
May 21, 2017
The African American unemployment rate is at or below its pre-recession level in 11 states: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina. However, a return to pre-recession levels in these states is barely a recovery: in all of these states, black unemployment rates were above 8.0 percent before the recession.
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Oscar López Rivera Returns Home to Chicago

Oscar López Rivera Returns Home to Chicago feature image
May 21, 2017
My brother, who is coming home almost 36 years after being incarcerated, will come out becoming the emblematic figure of Puerto Rican unity in a country that has historically experienced deep political divisions that have totally torn families apart. My brother is coming out where every political party and every political tendency [supports him].
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Sanders Urges Workers To Seize Means of Produ

Sanders Urges Workers To Seize Means of Produ feature image
May 20, 2017
The first, the WORK (“Worker Ownership, Readiness and Knowledge”) Act, would direct more than $45 million in funding to state-level employee ownership centers, aimed at providing training and technical assistance to current and prospective worker-owners. A second piece of legislation would establish something called the U.S. Employee Ownership Bank, via $500 million in funds for low-interest rate loans and financial assistance for workers who want to buy out the business
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Pages

Portside Culture

Suffer the Children, Forbid Them Not

J. David Cummings
portside
"a mirror/ if our eyes are strong enough," so the poet J. David Cummings evokes the death of children: at Hiroshima, on the Mediterranean today.

Terror in the French Revolution and Today

Samuel Farber
International Socialist Review
The author argues that the Terror of the French Revolution was a price worth paying, and that the lessons from overthrowing the old regime should temper today's trend of maligning oppressed people's resort to violence as itself a rationale for ongoing class injustices. The reviewer, no critic of revolutionary struggle, argues that the author overemphasizes the pursuit of vengeance then and now involved at the expense of politics and a weighing of class forces.

The Book Beneath the Noise

Jennifer Helinek
Open Letters Monthly
In these early days of the Age of Trump, there is an upsurge of interest in Margaret Atwood's 1985 harrowing dystopian novel. Jennifer Helinek reminds us why this book has become a modern classic.

The Superfood Gold Rush

JAMIE LAUREN KEILES
New York Times Magazine
The latest entrant to the superfood contest is Brazilian açaí, a purplish, antioxidant-rich stone fruit — though most call it a berry — foraged from trees in the Amazon River basin.Surprising parties become heroes and scoundrels as the coveted berry changes hands in different ways. Global consumption has further increased demand, but because of the high value of good vibes, some superfood exporters have an incentive to hew to best practices.

Portside Labor

In Grim Times, Brazil Young Workers Take Charge of Future

Tula Connell
Solidarity Center
U.S. and Brazilian union activists joined May Day celebrations in São Paulo. More than 14.2 million Brazilians were without a job in March. With young workers and workers of color especially hard hit by rising unemployment and proposed legislation that would undermine fundamental worker rights, they are standing up for the their future by mobilizing in the streets, through their unions and other associations.

Mothers Are Paid Less Than Fathers in Every State and at Every Education Level

Dayna Evans
New York Magazine
Mothers who work full-time and have a high-school degree make 67 cents for every dollar made by a dad with a high-school degree. More staggering is that mothers have to earn a bachelor’s degree or more in order for their earnings to outpace fathers with only high-school degrees. At every education level and in every state, mothers are paid less than fathers. On average, a mother makes about 71 cents to a father’s dollar.

AT&T Workers Start 3-Day Strike in Contract Impasse

Noam Scheiber
N.Y.Times
Workers are also frustrated that they are being asked to pay more of their health-insurance costs, he added, and that changes in retail workers’ commissions have limited or reduced their take-home pay. As part of its next contract, the union wants to bar AT&T from changing its commission structure unilaterally.

Reactionary Working Class?

Asbjørn Wahl
Spectrezine
That millions of workers worldwide become "losers" in the process of globalization, should not surprise anyone. Nor that many react with mistrust and blind rebellion. That part of the working class – lacking left political parties with strategies to address this crisis -- are attracted by the extreme right’s verbal anti-establishment rhetoric, is against this background understandable. To understand, however, is not the same as to accept, let alone support.

White Working-Class Voters and the Future of Progressive Politics

Michael Zweig
New Labor Forum Blog
The working class constitutes roughly 63 percent of the U.S. labor force. Crucially, it consists of both men and women and is multiracial and multiethnic.2 White people are, of course, a big part of the working class, but if we settle on “the white working class” as a class in itself, and with the force of white supremacy, even a class for itself, we lose track of the role blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other non-whites play in the working class.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

Stephen's stance on the White House's proposed slashing of the food stamp program and children's health insurance program is somehow radical in 2017.

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

What does it sound like when three guitar greats "take a break"? Epic, as you can experience in this outtake from the movie Hail Hail Rock n Roll. 

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

The former president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, explains what it means to be president and why Donald Trump is doing it wrong.

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

A true story of resistance to Nazism based on the diaries of Antonina Żabiński, now in theaters. A review and comment on its relevance to Israel/Palestine here.

Posted by Portside on May 26, 2017

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu powerfully explains why the Confederate statues had to go. 

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

The Trump-Russia probe gets a special prosecutor, and Fox News downplays a purported memo from James Comey suggesting Donald Trump may have committed obstruction of justice.

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

Political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullshit