The Sparks of Rebellion

The Sparks of Rebellion feature image
September 30, 2013
We need to be a nationally networked movement of many local, regional and issue-focused groups so we can unite into one mass movement. Research shows that nonviolent mass movements win. Fringe movements fail. By ‘mass’ we mean with an objective that is supported by a large majority and 1 percent to 5 percent of the population actively working for transformation.”
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Syria, Antiwar Movement, Internationalism

Syria, Antiwar Movement, Internationalism feature image
September 30, 2013
The peace movement is emphatically against US intervention, but where does it stand on the struggle to topple Assad's murderous dictatorship? How does it propose the bloodshed be brought to an end? What is to be done?
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Eliseo Medina Retires from SEIU

Eliseo Medina Retires from SEIU feature image
September 30, 2013
In today’s United States, labor unions and Latino voters are two key pillars of progressive politics. Yet when Eliseo Medina worked for the UFW from 1965-1978, the situation was very different. The UFW was the only union that prioritized grassroots electoral outreach, and among the few groups focused on registering Latino voters and getting them out the vote. Medina would play a key role in expanding this UFW model nationally, and through the broader labor movement.
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The NSA Deserves a Permanent Shutdown

The NSA Deserves a Permanent Shutdown feature image
September 30, 2013
At the top of the federal government, even a brief shutdown of “core NSA operations” is unthinkable. But at the grassroots, a permanent shutdown of the NSA should be more than thinkable; we should strive to make it achievable.
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The Simpsons: It's Written By Maths Geeks

 It's Written By Maths Geeks feature image
September 29, 2013
When one of Britain's best-known science writers went to Los Angeles to meet the show's writers for a new book, he found a team dedicated to inserting gags about complex math problems. And you thought it was just a cartoon…
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Impact/Echos of Wal-Mart Discrimination Case

Impact/Echos of Wal-Mart Discrimination Case feature image
September 29, 2013
The explicit and enduring ramifications of Wal-Mart v. Dukes are still to be determined. Two years later, it’s becoming clear just how much the ruling has reshaped the American legal landscape. But it’s not as though everyone is rolling up their tents and going home.
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Looting the Pension Funds

Looting the Pension Funds feature image
September 29, 2013
All across America, Wall Street is grabbing money meant for public workers. Not only did these middle-class workers already lose huge chunks of retirement money to huckster financiers in the crash, and not only are they now being asked to take the long-term hit for those years of greed and speculative excess, but in many cases they're also being forced to sit by and watch helplessly as Gordon Gekko wanna-be's are put in charge of their retirement savings.
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Government Crackdown on Greek Fascists

Government Crackdown on Greek Fascists feature image
September 29, 2013
Golden Dawn is both a political party and a gang – and outlawing political parties often proves problematic and ineffective. The law can prohibit but cannot eliminate fascist ideas; these must be confronted politically. Anti-fascism is a political struggle fought daily by citizens, activists, civil society groups and migrant communities. It is a battle for democracy, solidarity and social justice. It cannot be won unless the systemic injustice of austerity is defeated.
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Electrifying Africa–What Cost to Africans?

Electrifying Africa–What Cost to Africans? feature image
September 29, 2013
Two U.S. initiatives to provide Africans with electricity seem likely to lead to large, climate-polluting projects rather than the locally sourced renewable energy rural Africa needs.
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REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons

REWIND - A Week of Quotes and Cartoons feature image
September 28, 2013
Republicans, austerity,poverty, San Jose, Fidel Castro, pensions,Detroit,housing, San Francisco rents
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Pages

Portside Culture

A Novelist Revisits a Deadly Textile Union Strike From 1929

Amy Rowland
New York Times Sunday Book Review
A novel set in the context of the historic Gastonia strike of textile workers in 1929 and featuring labor songwriter and indigenous strike leader Ella May Wiggins, the book, based as it is on an actual struggle uniting black and white workers, speaks to contemporary concerns through a vivid portrayal of struggle against historical injustice.

We Love to Be Lied To: On ‘Bunk’ by Kevin Young

Nick Ripatrazone
The Millions
Kevin Young is a prolific and highly regarded poet, recently appointed the poetry editor of The New Yorker. He is the first African American to hold that post. His new book looks at such fakery as fake news.

Palestinian -Themed Films Draw Plaudits

Bill Meyer
There were three exceptionable and rewarding Palestinian themed films at the Toronto Interrnational Film Festival this year, and Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult has been selected to represent his home country of Lebanon at the Oscars. A more timely film could not have been made and selected, seeing that this film addresses most every area of conflict possible.

The Sad, Sexist Past of Bengali Cuisine

Mayukh Sen
Food 52
Party line suggested that widowhood made a woman’s sex drive fickle and vulnerable. A woman’s libido was a site of such agita that she couldn’t be trusted to keep it quiet, and so her body needed to be governed. The alienation imposed upon high-caste, Hindu Bengali women was meant to act as a hormonal suppressant, silencing the desire more dangerous than hunger for fish or meat: sex.

Anna Mae

Marsha de la O
Antidote for Night
Marsha de la O, a southern California poet, depicts most tenderly the hard wages of environmental pollution.

Trump's Itchy, Twitchy Finger

Scott McLemee
Inside Higher Ed
Focusing mainly on Trump's first year in office, the authors emphasize what they call a pattern of systematic reaction, where growing voter frustration regularly drives each party in and out of control. Trump arrived with scant political capital, amassed little and appears to have no strategic competence going forward. While the authors believe Trump can develop one, the essayist faults the authors for offering nothing but wishfulness to back up the assumption.

Portside Labor

This Thanksgiving, Break the Colonial Mold and Have an Earth Dinner

Jim Hightower
Alternet
When joined by family and friends for Thanksgiving, ask guests to tell stories about their very first food memory, or to recall any family member who was a farmer or a jolly cook. Invite people of diverse backgrounds and all ages. Ask a farm family to join you, or a cheesemaker or others involved in producing food. Then eat, talk, enjoy!

Number of Women, Minorities in Labor Leadership Called Dismal

Jaclyn Diaz
Bloomberg Law/ Daily Labor Report
Leaders must also know when it’s time for a new person to take the helm. To keep new blood flowing through the labor movement, older leaders have to make room for their successors, RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, said. “You have to get out of the way. You can’t just talk about it,” she said. “If you’re a leader, a strong leader, you step down and open that up to someone you believe reflects where this union needs to be.”

50 Years On, Steinbeck’s Classic Still Packs a Punch

Barry Healy
Green Left Weekly
This year marks the 50th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s great mythic novel of alienation under US capitalism, Of Mice and Men. The story is of lonesome labourers, reeling from the Great Depression, wandering from farm to farm seeking respite from their endless oppression.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

One year after the presidential election, John Oliver discusses what we've learned so far and enlists our catheter cowboy to teach Donald Trump what he hasn't.

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

"Down on Me" is a traditional freedom song from the 1920s or earlier that became popular following its remake 50 years ago (1967) by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company. (Wikipedia)

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

Charles Dickens connected Scrooge, greed and redemption to Christmas in a book that changed the holiday forever.
Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

The Paradise Papers exposed an unseen world of offshore accounts, hidden money and financial maneuvering at the highest levels of politics, business and finance.

Posted by Portside on November 17, 2017

The Senate holds a hearing to debate President Trump's power to use nuclear weapons without congressional approval.

Posted by Portside on November 10, 2017

Is there one person who can save us from Donald Trump. Schneider-man, maybe? Eric Schneiderman doesn't think so.

Posted by Portside on November 10, 2017

Music, where cultures meet and perform mad dances. Arabic, Spanish and Russian influences power this mashup.