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Tidbits - August 15, 2013

Reader comments: Prisons; Labor Unions; Banning Russia from the Olympics - a Very Bad Idea; Remembering Viola Liuzzo; Bayard Rustin & '63 March on Washington; American Jews & Israeli Racism; Student Debt; Announcements: FREEDOM '63 REMIXED - Legacies of the March on Washington - Aug 16 -New York; The Forgotten History of the March on Washington, Aug 22 -Washington, DC - two events; Walmart Workers are Standing Up!; CCDS 7th Convention; Useful graphic on Climate Change

Reader Comments,http,//
A lot has been reported about our nation's prison system and its bloated population, but this is what it looks like when you take all of the countries that jail more people than we do and put them into one GIF.
Yeah, we're actually number one and that's not a good thing.
No country incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than the United States. At 716 per 100,000 people, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies, the U.S. tops every other nation in the world.
(posted on Portside Labor)
Bill Fletcher's remarks on the need for the AFL-CIO to emerge from September's convention with commitments to actions, as well as good intentions, strikes at the heart of the current internal dimension of labor's crisis.  And, as he suggests, the actions must relate to at least two targets: 1) An ongoing and intense effort to educate members about the whole environment that affects their worklives and the rest of their lives; and, 2) The reflection of that knowledge in the unions' relationships with the entire community of working America in the development and furtherance of organized labor's role as chief advocate for all working people.
Obviously, care -- as well as boldness -- must be exercised in this undertaking, but I see no viable substitute for this dual approach.  The attempt to expand unions' role in the larger field will fail if a preponderant majority of members don't understand and support the effort as the pursuit of enlightened self-interest, for example.  Yet, the expanded role cannot be permitted to render the organizations' activities as nebulous do-gooder effects.  Much remains to be done.
James Young
According to Wikipedia there are 68 countries in the world in which the practice of homosexuality is punished with prison or even death penalty. In contrary to that: In Russia only propaganda for homosexuality is forbidden - not the practice itself! People who want to exclude Russia from Olympic Games because of Russian's restrictions - and who don't demand at the same time exclusion for those 68 countries with far far worse laws - prove what they are in reality: anti-Putinists and nothing else.
Dieter Sauerwald
i totally agree. we cannot focus on only one issue. while the anti-lgbt laws recently enacted in russia are abhorrent,  russia has nevertheless given temporary asylum to eric snowden. banning russia would be counterproductive. making a splash on worldwide media, a la tommie smith and john carlos, may be more effective.
Jonathan Rivin
We need a book w/ every shred of her life! 
Amiri Baraka
Some of us were young adults then, and we remember her vividly.
Ellen Cantarow
I was there.
I am writing on my own take regarding the March on Washington. In checking three books, tonight, my wife's book, the book by John Lewis, and the book by James Farmer.  My preliminary argument is that Bayard Rustin - on behalf of A Phillip Randolph, was an agent on behalf of Big Labor - both the AFL-CIO and the UAW, and was using the "March on Washington", to be a controlled outlet to pacify the growing anger of both Black and white youth involved in the Freedom Movement, growing more alienated, because of failure of the Federal Government to protect non-violent protest against segregation enforced by the south and did not punish the white southern violence and resistance.  
One strategy of Big Labor and the Kennedy's was to use CIA fronts to fund civil rights organizations to participate in what they believed would be peaceful voter registration projects that would provide a peaceful outlet for this pent-up anger.  The Southern Regional Council, a study organization with state and local human relations councils, would be the instrument to sponsor these voter education projects and use its new staff to monitor these projects, make sure these projects would not carry on political action activities that would violate the meaning of "charitable activities".
But preliminary to this strategy, Big Labor would sponsor the civil rights organizations in a massive demonstration similar to the demonstration similar to the 1943 Washington DC demonstration demanding equality of employment in the new defense industry - by A Phillip Randolph carried out by his institute.  Such a demonstration would safely release the pent up anger by the Black and white students engaged in the southern freedom movement,  with the substitution of a "Jobs" demand.   The "Jobs" demand is a a non-racial demand that whites and blacks could come together to support--and their mass numbers, black and white, which needed this token to pacify the guilt and anger, out-weighed the numbers of the Black and white freedom students and modify their angry mood.   
It was important for MLK to be the last speaker with his anxiety of trying to bridge these two conflicting emotions -who would not present a plan as did Randolph and Whitney Young, but a "Dream", of about 6 minutes, about the same length of Abraham Lincoln's- speech, at Gettysburg, which was also a "Dream ", speech.    
Just like history has not recorded the speech of the main speaker at Gettysburg, we have forgotten - or, I should say, intentionally forgotten the speech of John Lewis, who promised, "We shall march through Georgia as Did Sherman, or Else".
I was there. 
John Due
I expect nothing from the ADL - but I am really delighted with some of the material in the Jewish Daily Forward. Am sending this on to my little Middle East list.
David McReynolds
the student debt has surpassed a trillion, not a billion!
Margaret Hanzimanolis
An Evening of Dialogue Inspired from the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Dick Gregory, Dorothy Zellner, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons
With: Boots Riley, Hari Kondabolu, Jeanne Theoharis
50 years after the historic 1963 March on Washington, movement veterans and the new generation of activists and artists meet for an inspired evening of conversations. Through personal narratives of the March and the civil rights movement to an analysis of the challenges of war, Trayvon Martin, "post-racial" America and creating a new movement for racial equality, these dialogues will speak to the state of the dream and the soul of the nation.
Download the leaflet. 
August 16, 2013 6:30 PM (Doors open at 6:00PM)
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
Harlem, NY 10039
Please RSVP to secure your seat. Thank you
Organized by The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is an internationally operating, progressive non-profit institution for civic education. In cooperation with many organizations around the globe, it works on democratic and social participation, empowerment of disadvantaged groups, alternatives for economic and social development, and peaceful conflict resolution. The New York Office serves two major tasks: to work around issues concerning the United Nations and to engage in dialogue with North American progressives in universities, unions, social movements, and politics.
William P Jones will discuss and sign his new book, The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights (W.W. Norton & Co)     
Two Events on Thursday, August 22
901 G St. N.W.
6:30 PM -- Busboys and Poets 
1025 5th Street N.W.
A brilliant history that goes beyond the dazzling "I Have a Dream" speech to explore the real significance of the massive march and the movement it inspired.
Brothers and Sisters:
We need UAW members to spread the word: Help us let every Walmart worker in America know about the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart)   
Walmart workers across the country are speaking out and standing up for change at the worlds' largest retailer. At OUR Walmart, workers are building a national movement to end Walmart's poverty wages, out of control schedules and disrespect.
Go to the Our Walmart page and share the news with current and former Walmart workers who are your Facebook friends. Just login to your Facebook account by clicking the login button on the OUR Walmart page, and it will tell you which of your friends work or have worked at Walmart. You can then send them a message, with a link to the Organization United for Respect website so that they can learn more and join in.
In Solidarity,  
Bob King
UAW Solidarity House 
8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214 
(313) 926-5000
Nearly 100 delegates, observers and friends gathered in Pittsburgh, PA for the 7th Convention of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism over the July 18-21, 2013 weekend. The goals of the gathering were to take stock of the political battles since their last convention in 2009, to assess the organization's strengths, weaknesses and ongoing challenges, and to chart a path of unity and struggle for the upcoming period.
The participants came from all sections of the country: from California to Florida, from Texas to Boston, and many points in between. Almost all were deeply embedded in mass struggles - trade unions and community organizations, women's groups, civil rights organizations and peace and justice coalitions. Many had also taken part in a variety of independent electoral battles against the GOP and the right, and everyone had been in the streets during the battles against the wars, the Occupy upsurge and for justice in the Trayvon Martin case.
Kicking off the meeting was a "School for Young People." That innovation started a day before the main sessions of the convention. The presence of 20 young activists - men and women, of several nationalities, fresh from many battles, especially in the South - added a dynamic quality to all the discussions for the entire weekend.
Read more, see the pictures here
Paul Garver, attending as a representative of DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) said (in response to posting of the full report:
Very impressive your exhaustive reporting and summaries of the debates and workshops at the convention. A model of transparency and openness.
Carl Davidson
Thanks to extensive research and noticeable changes in weather and storm prevalence, it's getting harder to turn a blind eye to the reality of climate change. Since the Industrial Age spurred the increasing usage of fossil fuels for energy production, the weather has been warming slowly. In fact, since 1880, the temperature of the earth has increased by 1 degree Celsius.
Although 72% of media outlets report on global warming with a skeptical air, the overwhelming majority of scientists believe that the extreme weather of the last decade is at least partially caused by global warming. Some examples of climate calamities caused partly by global warming include:
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Drought in desert countries
  • Hurricane Sandy
  • Tornadoes in the Midwest
These storms, droughts, and floods are causing death and economic issues for people all over the world - many of whom cannot afford to rebuild their lives from the ground up after being wiped out by a tsunami or other disaster.
Evidence also indicates that the face of the Earth is changing because of warming trends. The ice caps of the Arctic are noticeably shrinking, the ice cap of Mt. Kilimanjaro alone has shrunk by 85% in the last hundred years, and the sea levels are rising at the rate of about 3 millimeters per year because of all the melting ice. Climate change is also affecting wildlife - for instance, Arctic polar bears are at risk of losing their environment; the Golden Toad has gone extinct; and the most adaptable species are evolving into new versions capable of withstanding warmer water.
Click here to view graphic, which can be enlarged, uploaded and shared.
Climate Change by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at
[Thanks to Allison Lee for sending this to Portside.]