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The MAGA storming of the Capitol is two years old. The attempted coup is still happening. The reshaping of the Republican Party as an insurrectionary force and the expansion of armed gangs aim to smash democracy. Please help us to inform, to mobilize and to inspire the forces of multi-racial, radical, inclusive democracy to defeat this threat in 2023.

Tidbits - November 20, 2014

Reader Comments- Keystone XL-What Next; Mexico; Elizabeth Warren; Voter Suppression; War and Democracy; A White Manifesto?; US-China Climate Accord; Responses to Naomi Klein; Schools and Prisons; Housing Discrimination; FBI Plot - Martin Luther King Suicide; Net Neutrality; Global Economic Divide; COSATU and NUMSA; Announcements - 2014 & Looking Forward to 2016- New York- Dec 2; Voter, Civil & Workers Rights- New York- Dec 11; She's Beautiful When She's Angry- showings

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - November 20, 2014 ,Portside

Keystone XL vote fails. Here's what's next:


Congratulations: thanks to your calls, emails and actions, a bill to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline just failed to pass the Senate. Again.

Even counting the new climate-denying members who will take seats in January, Big Oil could not override a Presidential veto of Keystone XL next year.

He has the support he needs -- from us, and from the facts. The only question is whether the President will hold true to his own climate test.

Last week the President struck a historic climate agreement with China. Approving Keystone XL now would be like pledging to quit smoking and then buying a new carton of cigarettes. Rejecting the pipeline would be a bold step forward to meet his new goals. Can you send a message to the President that now is the time to reject the pipeline?

Click here to tell President Obama that it's time to reject Keystone XL.

Over the last week, we've flooded the Senate phone lines. Today, activists occupied the offices of two Democrats, Senator Bennet and Senator Carper, who joined with Big Oil in supporting the pipeline. The pressure worked.

Next year we will face new obstacles -- incoming Majority Leader McConnell already promised today that it will be a top priority of the next Senate, but it appears he won't have the votes to override a veto.

Now is the time for leadership. President Obama should end this debate and reject the Keystone XL pipeline. This week he said "I won't hide my opinion about this, which is that one major determinant of whether we should approve a pipeline shipping Canadian oil to world markets, not the United States, is does it contribute to the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change."

That can only point to rejection. An 830,000 barrel per day pipeline of the world's dirtiest oil will obviously contribute to climate change.

Rejecting the pipeline would show the President's commitment to action, and open a new chapter in the fight against climate change.

It's time.

May Boeve,
Executive Director,

Re: This Mass Grave Isn't the Mass Grave You Have Been Looking For

Foto: Antonio Cruz, SinEmbargo

Demonstrations today throughout Mexico, supported by dozens of organizations, civil society, trade unions, students, activists and family members of the missing 43 students. The call for today's demonstrations went viral


Possible, but not with a nascent movement led by inexperienced students. Where are folks who want to reveal the hand of Uncle Sam.

Kat Beckelhymer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"Second"?    Been to Chiapas lately?

Randall Head
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Yes... I think we have had few revolutions in Mexico. I am not sure where they got this idea of a "second revolution"...

Luis Ramirez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I will be protesting this evening in front of the Mexican Consul on front St here in SD in solidarity with my Mexican sisters and brothers, Please take some time this eve and join us.

Darcy Leo Thiha Ike
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This is artical is a must read. Note that Mexican minimum wage has dropped 43% since NAFTA in real terms (adjusted for inflation). NAFTA has been bad for US workers too. The US war on drugs has used billions of tax payer dollars to only inflate violence that now stretches from one end of Mexico to the other.

Maureen McCormmach
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: End the Killing of Students Now: Peace, Justice, and Democracy for Mexico - please sign the statement

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this article/petition

So important. We called for and joined a rally in front of Senator Gillibrand's offices in New York City on the 8th year anniversary of the murder of Brad Will by Mexican government-backed paramilitaries. We urged her to oppose further militarization under the guise of the 'drug war' and an end of US training of and collusion with Mexican civil and security forces who are responsible for killing Mexicans fighting corruption and impunity in their government. The recent murders of 22 young people by military units whose members had received training by the U.S. is just the most recent example.

We sent Senator Gillibrand's office a letter before requesting she send a staffer to meet with us. We've sent a few follow-up letters. In 2008 we had conducted a hunger strike, no food no water for 4 days and nights outside the same offices when they were occupied by then-Senator Clinton with demands essentially the same as those in this petition.

Response of both leading Democrats? Nada. They could care less.

We are disgusted by our government's role, its silence for Brad Will's murder and many other innocents, its feigned concern for 'cartel' violence in Mexico, and its continued provision of military and diplomatic support for a thoroughly corrupt Mexican government apparatus fighting and killing its own people.

Where is Senator Gillibrand? Where Presidential-hopeful Clinton? These people don't represent the ideals and goals of the democratic party members.

Robert Jereski
Friends of Brad Will

Re: Midterm Lesson - Elizabeth Warren Should Run

Run Liz, run.

Jim Brough
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


No way she would win, with these dirty conservatives, and we need her in the senate. Don't do this to this wonderful women.

Nancy Linkin

Re: GOP Voter Purge Scheme's Impact on 2014 and Beyond

Someone should look into the disruption of the recent election in Chicago, which may have cost the Democrats the governorship and also affected some Congressional races.  Someone unknown sent out robo-calls to all election judges in Chicago the weekend before the election, telling them that they needed additional training before they could work on election day.  Over 2,000 election judges stayed home as a result, and many polling places in the city were unable to open or opened late.

Which precincts were affected the most?  Who stole the list of judges and their home telephone numbers from the Chicago Board of Elections?  Who paid for the calls?  Who set them up?  Authorities are investigating, but the same authorities were not greatly displeased by the results.  The hostility of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Democratic machine to Gov. Pat Quinn is widely recognized, and the personal friendship and political affinity between the mayor and Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner is also well known.

Ted Pearson

Re: Mass Mobilization to Shut Down Latin American Security Forces Training School, Largest For-Profit Immigrant Detention Center - Nov 21 - 23

Thank you for this e-mail.   I have been to this vigil a number of times in previous years, and can tell you that it is a well organized event.  there is an opportunity to meet and share ideas with activists from around the country.


Mark Bailey

Re: Do Wars Really Defend America's Freedom?

Good statement on use of war to crush civil liberties.

Bob Whealey

Re: What ever happened to 'of the people, by the people, for the people'? A manifesto

It is now of the people, by the people, and for the people with MONEY.

Kay Reese
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: A White Manifesto

Great article, although he omits election fraud/rigging. "One, the election made it plain that white men are the main roadblock to progress.

Sheila Parks
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Some Initial Thoughts on the US-China Climate Accord

Another climate treaty.........what does it really mean?

Actions to reduce climate chaos gases (and health damaging air pollution) are already taking place at the community level with the activism of committed groups on the front lines of the air pollution war.

Efforts to stop new smokestacks (of all types:  coal, gas, trash, and biomass) from being built, pull down old smokestacks, and replace that energy with demand-side management, conservation, and smokestack free renewables have been underway for numerous years now.

Efforts to create an electric car infrastructure have taken a great leap forward by the passage of legislation to put a million electric cars on the road in California.  Hopefully, this action will be replicated by other states and nation. The awesome efforts of many cities to create bike paths "fit for an eight year old" will do more to get folks out of their cars and into a healthy lifestyle and closer to a fossil free world than any treaty.

There is plenty of room for more actions on the ground, and that is where the hope lies. Treaties on climate have had dubious effect, it's at the community level and at the helm of those fortunate enough to see the horizon of the fossil fuel free world that defines our future.

Keep the oil in the soil and the gas in the ground!

Jane Williams
Executive Director
California Communities Against Toxics


The point about the trade deals is very important. They support ideologically conservative politicians and the multinationals, many of which are rogue corporations in their actions.

It is significant that two days after the American-China deal was announced, Harper of Canada and Abbott of Australia both did not want any mention of climate change at the G20 meetings. They are both climate deniers who have done nothing about climate change even though the weather in both countries has been extreme (hot in Australia and cold in Canada). Harper has always said he would follow the lead of the U.S. but that is obviously not going to be the case. He is up for election in a year, but one has to wonder about the Canadian electorate! Just to get the issue discussed will be difficult except on social media. And of course it may be the voting young who will break a few rules and insist on action on climate change. I hope but we shall see! Fundamentally climate deniers of any stripe are anti-social. They consciously place their own interests and their support of the economic status quo above the future for most people.

Laurel MacDowell

Re: An Open Letter to Naomi Klein, about "This Changes Everything"

So you decided to stop working for a multi issue movement and limit yourself to one issue.

Maybe that's why you believe capitalism can fix the climate.

Mike Munk


I agree with Ted Glick.  If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change we're going to have to do it within the context of existing social and political systems.  That means that some large capitalists are going to have to be part of the solution.  A carbon tax, which is arguably the only effective way available to restrict greenhouse gas emissions and incentivize alternative energy solutions, is fundamentally a means to force changes through (capitalist) market  mechanisms.

Let's get on with the work that is to be done building this movement.  New economic formations and political ones that will be needed to defend and extend them will necessarily follow.


Re: Why Many Inner City Schools Function Like Prisons

Looking back to the 1950's PS 26 in Fresh Meadows, Queens was actually a pretty subversive place-very internationalist and peace oriented in the middle of the Cold War.

Charles Nydorf
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


After nearly 40 years in the educational system ( not counting my own years as a "student"), I'm convinced that the whole "system" is nothing n more than a propaganda stunt. And for the "movement" for school reform? That's just a code word for "let's just suck as much public money as we can into private pockets". It disgusts me.

Jim Morehouse
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The reality is that schools reflect and reinforce society; they do not transform it. In the United States dating back to the 1920s high schools were organized on factory models to prepare working class immigrant youth for the tedium of factory work.

Cathy Talbott
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Schools are merely a reflection of society! Want to see a school that's taken it on "Go To Poughkeepsie High School!" I worked with them for two years! Went from metal detectors to a community!

Steve Carlson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


You have no idea how awful our education system currently is. I just attempted another round of employment in a state funded facility, again institutional violence, and this time it is being inflicted on three year olds. What can be done to transform our schools to nurturing and child centered environments? I seriously have been trying for almost thirty years. I am not going to give up now, but it would be nice to have an organized team to create a better educational system in our country. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi proposed a separate branch of government for education to allow educators to govern schools.

Sandy Lee-Shirley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Excellent post ... maybe your best ever.

Charles Wyatt Jr.
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"Brave new world" Aldous Huxley ...... Genetic manipulation of baby's preparing them for their future work!

Leonard Brown
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Adding to the convo...

Heather Ann Thompson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The state of kalifornia spends about six-billion dollars per year on their prison system instead of the school system.

Jorge Rivas
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The reality is that schools reflect and reinforce society; they do not transform it. In the United States dating back to the 1920s high schools were organized on factory models to prepare working class immigrant youth for the tedium of factory work .

Gregory Herndon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


1840s, not 1920s. I researched this for my master's essay; industrialists sent a mission to Europe to learn how different countries there dealt with their working class rebelliousness, esp with new industrial workers (mostly farm daughters and Irish immigrants) being rowdy and uppity in the new textile mills in New England. Result? Reformers like Mann recommended the German model; accepted and implemented. Not just repression, they respond to employers changing labor needs and parents wanting better jobs/careers... all within capitalism and wage slavery, of course.

Earl Silbar
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Federal Judge Guts The Nationwide Ban On Housing Discrimination

Here we go, continued. With thanks to Portside for this heads up: " A federal district court judge, in a recent ruling that could well presage a similar decision by the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority, disallowed the use of one of the primary tools for proving housing discrimination. If allowed to stand, the ruling would devastate the ability of fair housing advocates to prove discrimination by a realtor, landlord or lender."

Kipp Dawson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The disparate impact elements of the Fair Housing Act are at the core of providing fair lending practices. We are going to see a full frontal attack of the core of the civil rights gains made during the 60s and 70s . This Act, the Voting Rights act etc. leveled the "playing field" and made operational the concepts put forth in the 14th amendment in particular equal treatment under the law.

Alphonso Kijana Whitfield
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We are already seeing the resegregation of schools and now any mechanism for fair housing. I am fearful every day of the loss of the gains of the civil rights movement and so saddened that it is happening on our watch.

Ali Patterson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


if you can segregate people to certain areas and then control the vote no more Obama's! Just think of the power behind this move.

Elissa Jury
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: FBI's "Suicide Letter" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

This is still happening! Be careful my people.

Curtis Muhammad
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


What haunts me is that the technical capacity for this seems so much greater.

Avram Barlowe
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Another reason it's important to know our history. It repeats again and again. We can't change it if we don't know what we're looking at, though.

Lisa Husniyyah Owens Pinto
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Black America's Promised Land: Why I Am Still a Racial Optimist

Is the eternal optimism of racial equity in America a dream deferred?

Victor Davson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Net Neutrality: President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet

Some of you people are really clueless. "Leave the Internet alone" is what net neutrality means. Do you really think the big corporations will be fair and do the right thing without government regulation?

James Shell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Global Economic Divide

Remembering the Black Panther Party 48th Anniversary

Seeking revolutionary joy
tho anger with practical-positive action
can transforms phenomena,
can overcoming antagonistic and none-antagonistic contradictions
- can organize-discipline planning
whereby exploited and oppressed communities everywhere
can roll forward
can unify mind and body
can strengthens self
- as will connect to one's community
can successfully resist local capitalist fascist oppression
by building at all levels community sustainability
with the basic fundamentals: nutritional food, affordable housing, comprehensive healthcare and relevant education...

Melvin Dickson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Is there a problem here ?

As long as a Republican Congress and Senate "refuses" to increase the minimum, hourly wage to be "at least" $10.00 an hour, the middle class will continue to be "the working poor"!
At the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and the average 1 bedroom apartment rent is at least $800.00 a month...there is barely enough $$$$, left over in the budget for food, health insurance, utilities or a car payment, let alone gas and auto insurance...

Republican Congressmen and women and Senators, do not believe in "the concept of having a minimum wage" ...this explains "why" the Corporations spent MILLIONS putting them in Congress!

However, it does NOT explain "WHY" the working class of Republican voters, VOTED FOR THEM and AGAINST their own "best" self-interests.... I just don't get it, do you???

Charlie Lindamood
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Sounds like a French Revolution may be in order on a global scale.

Yo Meegs
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: South Africa - COSATU, NUMSA - What's Going On?

I appreciate the informative reports from Portside, but often would like to respond by signing a petition or do some kind of action in response.  

Nick Jones


I'm ignorant of many of the details of the split in the ranks of COSATU, but it reminds me of the fratricidal fracturing of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1949-50 in the USA, which was perhaps American labor's first serious attempt at suicide.

Jim Young
Harrisburg, PA

Labor to ban dredge spoil dumping in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (Australia)

Read more

A Progressive Conversation...2014 Elections & Looking Forward to 2016 - New York Forum - Dec. 2

This year's election results were disappointing nationally and here in New York. As the Republicans became the majority party in the US Senate, they also regained the majority of the NY State Senate.

Additionally, within the progressive movement this election cycle was not only disappointing in the results, but especially contentious. People who share the same goals such as income, racial and gender equality, immigrant rights, a raise in the minimum wage, fair contracts, etc., sharply differed over election strategy, mostly in regards to the Governors race and the fight for the State Senate.

The task before all of us, as we look forward to 2016,is how to maximize progressive unity so that the right can be defeated at all levels, and more independent and progressive candidates are elected.

This Dec. 2 forum represents an important cross section of some of the major progressive players from the 2014 elections. It will be an important discussion on the lessons of this last election and initial steps for 2016.

We hope you can attend.

2014 Elections & Looking Forward to 2016
A progressive conversation with:

  • Zephyr Teachout - Gubernatorial Candidate for Democratic and WFP Party Nominations
  • Gloria Mattera - Green Party
  • Wilfredo Larancuent - International Vice President Workers United/SEIU
  • Daniel Altschuler - Make the Road Action Fund, WFP Secretary

Please join us

Dec 2nd at 6:00pm
1199 SEIU 310 W 43rd St., 7th Floor
New York, NY 10036

RSVP here

RSVP is REQUIRED to gain entrance and tickets are going fast.

Light refreshments will be served.

NY Forum on Voter, Civil & Workers Rights in the 21st Century - Dec. 11

Thursday, December 11 at 6:00pm
Union Theological Seminary in New York, New York

Recent Supreme Court decisions have jeopardized basic voting and civil rights protections. The case of Shelby County v. Holder requires certain states and localities with a history of discrimination to seek pre-clearance prior to changing voting laws, no longer applies. Citizens United v. FEC (2010) gave corporations the right as "persons" to fund political campaigns without any limit or any type of disclosure. Harris v Quinn threatens the power of existing unions to collectively bargain for all workers.

Since the Constitutional protections of minority, poor and working class people have been debilitated in recent years by the US Supreme Court, a dynamic dialogue must be initiated among the ecumenical, secular and labor sectors of African American and Latino communities and others to create a joint strategy to prevent the further weakening of Civil and Human Rights in the US.


  • Rev. Dr. William Barber II, National Board Member NAACP
  • Craig Becker, General Counsel, National AFL-CIO
  • Juan Cartagena, Esq., President, Latino Justice PRLDF
  • Jerry Goldfeder, Esq., Strook & Strook & Lavan, LLP
  • Ana Oliveira, President & CEO, Women's Foundation
  • Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Evangelical Coalition


She's Beautiful When She's Angry - films showings around the country, beginning Dec. 5 in New York City

See the Film

SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY is currently playing at Film Festivals and Theatres in select cities.

Don't see your town or city? Please contact Wendy Lidell to book the film.

From 12/05/14 Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 143 E Houston St, New York, NY - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 12/12/14 Landmark Nuart Cinema, 11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles CA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 12/26/14 Real Artways, 56 Arbor St, Hartford CT - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 1/09/15 Center for Contemporary Art, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe NM - ONE WEEK ONLY
Jan-Feb (date TBD) Regal University Town Center, Irvine CA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 1/16/15 Landmark Varsity Cinema, 4329 University Way N.E. Seattle, WA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 1/23/15 Gateway Film Center, 1550 N High St, Columbus, OH - ONE WEEK ONLY
1/25/15 Hopkins Center - Dartmouth University, as part of Hear Me Roar series Hanover, NH - ONE NIGHT ONLY
1/27/15 Grand 3 Cinema Tacoma, WA - ONE NIGHT ONLY
Feb - March (date TBD) Music Hall, 28 Chesnut St, Portsmouth, NH - ONE NIGHT ONLY
From 2/6/15 Landmark Theatres, San Francisco, CA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 2/6/15 Landmark Shattuck Cinema, Berkeley, CA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 2/13/15 Landmark E Street Cinema, Washington DC - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 2/20/15 Landmark Theatres Minneapolis, MN  - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 2/20/15 Landmark Midtown Art, Atlanta, GA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 2/27/15 Coolidge Corner Cinema, Boston, MA - ONE WEEK ONLY
3/4/15 Spectrum 8 Theatre, Albany, NY - ONE NIGHT ONLY
From 3/6/15 The Amherst Theatre, Amherst MA - ONE WEEK ONLY
From 3/6/15 Water's Edge Cinema, Provincetown, MA - ONE WEEK ONLY

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