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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

Folk Singer Arlo Guthrie Reflects On A Life Spent Making Music

Lauren Daley WBUR
Born in Brooklyn in 1947, the oldest son of folk icon Woody Guthrie and professional dancer Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, Arlo grew up surrounded by folk legends — Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, to name a few.

books

The Revolutionary Life of Dr. Alan Berkman

Michael Steven Smith Mondoweiss
Susan Reverby’s riveting biography of Alan Berkman is a magnificent book. Berkman was imprisoned in the 60s, convicted for his political work. On regaining his freedom he devoted his life to public health and helping those the system abandoned.

books

Los Angeles Is Burning

Sasha Frere-Jones Bookforum
This is a new history of the radical and emancipatory movements of the 1960s, as those struggles emerged in and helped define Los Angeles during that era.

Coalitions of Convenience, Periods of Polarization

Van Gosse Organizing Upgrade
The Democrats are the through-line in U.S. political history, which is the first reason we need to understand them. A second reason is that figuring out the left’s relationship to the Democratic Party is crucial for left strategy today.

Noel Ignatiev, Scholar Who Called For Abolishing Whiteness, Dies at 78

Sewell Chan Los Angeles Times
Noel Ignatiev, a provocative scholar who argued that the idea of a white race is a false construct that society would be better off without, died Saturday in Tucson. His best-known book, “How the Irish Became White,” was influential and controversial

The New Age of Protest; Veteran Activists Express Hope, and Caution

Ethan Sacks; John Feffer
People are hitting the streets to protest government inaction, repression, and corruption. Youth have "unbounded energy and optimism coupled with idealism." That energy, however, can't be sustained without organization, activists warn.

Fifty Years of Fred Hampton’s Rainbow Coalition

Jacqueline Serrato South Side Weekly
A look back on how multiracial Chicago-style coalition building has influenced organizing to this day. The trajectory of fearless grassroots, youth-driven, intersectional organizing set in motion by the 1969 Rainbow Coalition still resonates today.
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