Refugee Crisis - Police Ink Numbers on Skin

Refugee Crisis - Police Ink Numbers on Skin feature image
September 3, 2015
Images of Czech police inking the skin of newly arriving Syrian migrants, and the government says they were unaware that this brought back memories of the Holocaust, when prisoners at Auschwitz were systematically tattooed. While in the north of Europe, in 24 hours, responding to a Facebook campaign, 10,000 Icelanders opened their doors to their Syrian brothers and sisters.
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Europe's New Barbarians

Europe's New Barbarians feature image
September 3, 2015
The EU's belt-tightening measures are cutting holes in Europe's social-safety net. Austerity as an economic strategy is more than just throwing a scare into countries that, exhausted by years of cutbacks and high unemployment, are thinking of changing course. It's laying the groundwork for the triumph of multinational corporate capitalism - undermining the social contract between labor and capital that's characterized much of Europe for the past...
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The Phenomenal Life and Legacy of Leon Letwin

The Phenomenal Life and Legacy of Leon Letwin feature image
September 3, 2015
[M]inority candidates will, with some frequency, come with unconventional political backgrounds and views as judged from majority perspectives. Regentally imposed political tests which assault the academic freedom of all will fall upon such candidates with unusual severity. (Leon Letwin's letter in defense of Angela Davis in 1969, relevant today as we defend faculty members such as Steven Salaita.)
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New Film Should Give NFL Night Sweats

New Film Should Give NFL Night Sweats feature image
September 3, 2015
The forthcoming film Concussion, starring Will Smith, is coming for the NFL. If Concussion came out now, it would get less coverage than the Washington quarterback controversy. But tragically, we know that by December, another season of injuries, another season of tragedies will be winding down and the film will amplify all of those renewed concerns.
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Tidbits - September 3, 2015

Tidbits - September 3, 2015 feature image
September 3, 2015
Reader Comments: U.S. Trade Union Support for BDS; Pacific Coast Farm Worker Rebellion; Cornel West - Sanders, Trump and BLM; Selma - Site of National Dumping; North Dakota Legalizes Drone Strikes; Solidarity Confinement Victory in California; Israel, Iran; Sex Trade, Sex Workers and Amnesty International; Announcements: - New App for Worker Rights; Charleston, Chicago, Brooklyn, Bay Area, New York
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Art Show Captures Effects of Closing a School

Art Show Captures Effects of Closing a School feature image
September 2, 2015
The exhibition, in a converted basement space at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in North Philadelphia, is a model of a classroom at Fairhill, a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school a mile away that closed at the end of the academic year in 2013. "reForm" captures the outpouring of protests, grief and tears in response to the closing of 31 publics schools in Philadelphia three years ago.
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Alabama's Black Communists and BLM

Alabama's Black Communists and BLM  feature image
September 2, 2015
On the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking history, Hammer and Hoe, author Robin D.G. Kelley discusses the lessons Alabama’s forgotten black communists can offer today’s activists.
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How Prisoners Organized Against Solitary

How Prisoners Organized Against Solitary  feature image
September 2, 2015
In a landmark court settlement in California, most inmates currently serving time in solitary are expected to qualify for removal under the settlement agreement—including all who have served more than 10 years—and they will be transitioned out over the next year.
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The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolutio

 Vanguard of the Revolutio feature image
September 2, 2015
Kathleen Cleaver, who is featured in a new documentary on the history of the Black Panther Party, talked to The Root about the past and present civil rights movements of African Americans.
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Portside Culture

An Indigenous People's History of the United States

Andrew Epstein; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
New Books in American Studies
The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples. Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. 2015 Recipient of the American Book Award.

Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention That Launched the Military-Industrial Complex

Sam Kean
The American Scholar
Ernest Lawrence was a leading member of the scientific community that invented the atom bomb. He was also a pioneer in the growth of the military industrial complex. Michael Hiltzik tells this history in his new book. Sam Kean observes in this review that "there is much to admire and much to mourn" here, as we continue to live with the complex legacy of Big Science three quarters of a century after its emergence.

Review: ‘Rosenwald' on a Philanthropist Who Created Schools for Blacks in the Jim Crow South

Kenneth Turan
LA Times
It was when philanthropist Julius Rosenwald read Booker T. Washington's 'Up From Slavery' and then met the celebrated black educator on the campus of Tuskegee Institute that his life work came into focus. Rosenwald became passionate about providing funding for more than 5,300 schools in the Jim Crow South. At one point in the pre-civil rights era, it was estimated, one in three black youths in the South attended a Rosenwald school.

Menus of Change gives kudos to restaurants

Bret Thorn
Nation's Restaurant News
Menus of Change conference discusses sustainability, ecology, water sourcing, the benefits of “plant-forward” diet, and food culture.

Review: Narcos is the Next Great Netflix Show

Kwame Opam
The Verge
Led by executive producer and director José Padilha (2014's RoboCop), the series tracks the rise and fall of "King of Cocaine" Pablo Escobar, and the bloody drug war between the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Colombia’s notorious Medellín Cartel. A well-crafted blend of The Wire and Goodfellas, Narcos takes an unflinching look at one of the War on Drugs’ single most violent conflicts.

The Pope and the Planet

Bill McKibben
The New York Review of Books
The pope's contribution to the climate debate builds on the words of his predecessors...He also cites the pathbreaking work of Bartholomew, the Orthodox leader sometimes called the "green patriarch"...Still, Francis's words fall as a rock in this pond, not a pebble...He has, in effect, said that all people of good conscience need to do as he has done and give the question the priority it requires.

Give Us the Ballot

Michael O'Donnell
Barnes & Noble Review
The Voting Rights Act (VRA), passed by Congress in July, 1965 and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson fifty years ago this month, has had a storied history. This basic achievement of the Civil Rights Movement has also seen conservatives, including long-time anti VRA campaigner and now U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, fight it tooth and nail.

Portside Labor

Over 1,000 Arrested in Bengal Amid Violence During Trade Unions’ Countrywide Strike

Kolkata, Kochi, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Chandhigarh
The Times of India
Millions responded to a strike called by seven trade union centers in India. According to one union leader, "this is reflection of disenchantment of the working class. The government should learn its lessons from the strike. We are ready to discuss and reach a consensus. If the government does not take its lessons, the movement will be intensified.

SEIU Battles Over Bernie

Annie Karni
The Service Emlpoyees International Union Executive Committee is meeting in the mid-September and is expected to endorse Hillary Clinton. "Internal polls show Clinton coming out on top, SEIU officials told POLITICO - 75 percent of members felt favorable about her, when compared to the other candidates." Bernie Sanders supporters are circulating a petition requesting that the union hold off an endorsement at this time.

Fight to Preserve Blair Mountain, Labor History, Continues

Paul J. Nyden, Staff Writer
Charleston Gazette-Mail
Mullins asked for their latest comments on current proposals to preserve the area, focusing on the 1,600-acre Blair Mountain Battlefield National Register of Historic Places Nomination Area, or the BMBNA. The companies interested in mining the area include: Aracoma Coal Co., a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources; Mingo Logan Coal, a subsidiary of Arch Coal; and WPP LLC, a coal-leasing company with offices in Delaware.

NLRB's New Joint Employer Standard: Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask

Cole Stangler
International Business Times
Last week the NLRB issued a major ruling that corporations can be considered "joint employers" of workers hired by franchisees or subcontractors. There has been relatively little attention to the ruling in many places, but the business press is paying close attention. Here is a piece from the International Business Times, trying to make sense of the ruling.

How the Ruling Class Remade New Orleans

Thomas Jessen Adams
The language of social justice has been used to sell intensified neoliberalism in post-Katrina New Orleans. On the tenth anniversary of the failure of the federally maintained levees, the keynote speaker at the annual Rising Tide Conference on the Future of New Orleans was DeRay Mckesson, a standard-bearer for Teach For America and the New Teacher Project — education “reform” organizations that played a crucial role in the destruction of the black middle class.

UE Becomes First National U.S. Union to Endorse BDS

Alan Hart, Managing Editor, UE News
Published by Portside
The resolution also endorses the worldwide BDS movement – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – to pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians just as similar tactics helped to end South African apartheid in the 1980s. UE is now the first U.S. national union to endorse BDS.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on August 28, 2015



Washington DC experiences taxation without representation. It's also missing from rhyming state songs. John Oliver and a group of singing children fix one of these problems.

Posted by Portside on August 28, 2015

When the then 28-year-old Bryan Stevenson was threatened with a gun by a police officer, he knew better than to run away. But, he argues, young black men are still presumed guilty and dangerous by many Americans. Now executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and part of President Barack Obama’s policing task force, he says only transitional justice can begin to heal America’s racial wounds.

Posted by Portside on August 28, 2015

Released just 50 years ago this month as the last track on Highway 61 Revisited, Desolation Row is a complex and enigmatic meditation on the cultural chaos of the times. It is also a cultural break point in its own right, a nostalgic goodbye, as Dylan's sole acoustic riff on an album that transitions to electronic rock.

Posted by Portside on August 28, 2015

More New Yorkers than ever are struggling to keep up with rising rents, leaving less and less of their paychecks for food and healthcare. 

Posted by Portside on August 28, 2015

Dewey Smith, Jr., the Senior Pastor of The House of Hope Atlanta, has some impassioned words on sexuality, keeping it real, religion, and the real life of the church.

Posted by Portside on August 21, 2015

This is a profile of Ricardo Aca, a young undocumented immigrant who works in a Trump Hotel and who has decided to speak out against Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants.


Posted by Portside on August 21, 2015

Cultural critic and gamer Anita Sarkeesian explores how the Damsel in Distress became one of the most widely used gendered clichés in the history of gaming and why the trope has been core to the popularization and development of the medium itself.