Tidbits - November 17, 2016 - Reader Comments: Analyzing a Very Close Election; What Now, What Next?; Revenge of the Forgotten Class; Announcements: and more...
Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - November 17, 2016, Portside
- MoveOn to Democrats: No Collaboration With Trump's Hate
- Re: Politics Is the Solution (William Proctor)
- Re: Donald Trump's Victory is Not the Last Word; 'Not My President': Anti-Trump Demonstrations Swell Nationwide (Peter Marcuse)
- Worth remembering...from A.J. Muste (Douglas Taylor)
- You're Fired
- Re: Welcome to the Fight (Larry Sherk)
- Re: Steve Bannon the Appointment of 'White Nationalist' Must Be Reversed, Critics Declare (Charles Black)
- Re: Notes From a Very Close Election (Roger Benson; John Case)
- Re: Not a Revolution -- Yet (Frances O'Brien)
- Re: Harry Belafonte: What Do We Have to Lose? Everything (Betty Reid Soskin)
- Re: #our100: An Open Letter to Our Nation from 100 Women of Color Leaders (Martha Bragin)
- Re: Revenge of the Forgotten Class (Skip Roberts; Daniel Millstone; Tom Cooke: Peggy Kane; Tim Brown; Lisa Barton; Lewis Ward; Anthony Lysenko; Richard Butsch)
- Re: Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election (Bill Barclay)
- Re: Why this Maine town pivoted from Obama to Trump (Daniel Millstone)
- Re: How Political Science Helps Explain the Rise of Trump: The Role of White Identity and Grievances (Claire O'Connor)
- Re: The Work of the Labor Movement Continues with Fresh Urgency': Trumka Statement on 2016 Election (Lisa MaKarrall; Fred Whitehead; Marilyn Albert)
- Re: The Man Hoping to Counter President Trump (Michael Arney)
- Re: Quick reflections on the November 2016 elections (Mark A. Bailey)
- Re: Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit (Claire Carsman)
- Re: Trump Says Go Back, We Say Fight Back (David Makofsky)
- Re: Big Tobacco Loses in California, Eyes Rise of Big Marijuana (Olivia LaRosa)
- Labor Notes seeking feedback on Secrets of a Successful Organizer
- 2016 Election Debrief - New York City - November 18
- Announcing the AltoTrump.com Website & Campaign! Join us. (Pablo Alvarado)
- The Spanish Civil War & the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: 80 Years Later - New York - November 29
- Puerto Rico: Facts and Realities of Living Under PROMESA - New York - December 2
- Clemency for Leonard Peltier - Washington, DC - December 4-10
- To Have Been There Then Book Launch w/ Gregory & Margaret Randall - New York - January 8, 2017
Statement from Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, in response to reports that Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats are looking to "align with many proposals of President-elect Donald J. Trump" in coming months:
"It is unacceptable for Democratic leadership to normalize Trump and collaborate with him so long as he continues his bigotry, hatred, and division.
"Across the country, we're seeing an unprecedented amount of grassroots progressive energy: people are activated, justifiably terrified, and outraged at the outcome of the election, and they're ready to fight back against and resist Trump's harmful and bigoted agenda, which lost the popular vote. Americans are looking for and expect leadership from Senate Democrats.
"Trump, for his part, has continued to show in the week since the election that he has no intentions of backing down from his most threatening proposals: appointing a white supremacist as his top advisor, attacking the media and peaceful protesters' First Amendment rights, filling his transition team with far-right advisors, reportedly liaising with conspiracy theorists, and threatening immigrant and Muslim communities. It's clear that Trump is not interested in uniting Americans around policies with wide public support, and Democrats would be making a tragic mistake to make compromising with, instead of standing up to, Trump their focus.
"Millions of MoveOn members and Americans nationwide are preparing to spend the coming weeks building broad-based and peaceful, nonviolent resistance to Trump and preparing to defend vulnerable communities, civil rights and liberties, and the Constitution. Requiring grassroots progressives to divert their energy to holding Democrats accountable would be a serious mistake."
email from Brian Stewart. Thursday, November 17 2016
For those that say they hate politics, you best take a gander at this and then try and align yourself with those disenfranchised by the process we just went through that put a fascist in charge of OUR nation!
Re: Donald Trump's Victory is Not the Last Word; 'Not My President': Anti-Trump Demonstrations Swell Nationwide
If Donald Trump really wants "to bind the wounds of division" and bring together the people of this great country, shouldn't he begin by apologizing to Hillary Clinton for having called her "crooked?"
He's gotten what he wanted: the Presidency. Now he should give the rest of the country what it wants so badly: a return at least to civility and humanity in the continuing debate.
If the street demonstrations around the country need a demand that is at all within the range of the feasible, perhaps they should demand Trump issue specific targeted apologies from those he has blatantly and wrongly insulted during his campaign, and a suspension of the "First Hundred Days List" until there has been time for reasoned debate.
One day, when picketing the White House in opposition to the Vietnam war, a journalist asked A.J. Muste:
"Why do you demonstrate in the rain?
Do you think you will change the country this way?"
"No," replied Muste, "I don't do this to change the country. I do this so the country doesn't change me."
Douglas Taylor, Executive Director
credit: EKPA Punk (Greece)
Just as in foreign policy, lets remember to try reconciliation and mutual learning before we try to solve problems by fighting. We Americans have a lot of maturing to do fast, and learning to solve problems without creating a fight is a big piece of it.
The nation must find a way to keep this very dangerous man and his gang of thugs out of the White House, especially since the election outcomes were most probably the result of the election rigging of which Trump himself warned us.
A thorough investigation would surely prove that Trump, his Russian cohorts, Wikipedia and election computer executives were complicit in programming voting machines to flip votes for Clinton to Trump.
Donald Trump and his co-conspirators rightly belong in PRISON, not the White House.
I am a strong supporter of Portside and regularly forward articles to friends and colleagues.
The EC was a compromise between the large states and small states (Conn, RI, Mary, Del) during the construction of the Constitution in the mid-1780's to give the small states disproportionate voting power for president. While these states certainly had slaves, they were not primarily concerned with protecting slave ownership. So I view it my duty to correct Mr. Fletcher and other's drumbeat that the Electoral College is a creation of slavery, but rather it represents a political compromise to prevent small state populations from not being overwhelmed by the voters of large states such as NY and Virginia.
I agree that the EC is undemocratic and violates the concept of one person-one vote, but small state members of congress like those from Wyoming will never support changing this 230 year old anachronism. Bottom line, it was the intent of the intent of the framers and would take a constitutional amendment to abolish, in my opinion.
With the exception of this sentence ("We don't know whether Bernie Sanders would have done any better, but we do know that his message is the one that needs to be articulated.") -- this article is mostly a list of EXCUSES for a Fascist force rising to power and dominating all three branches of the US government. THERE CAN BE NO EXCUSES FOR A RESULT THAT WILL COST, CONSERVATIVELY, MILLIONS OF LIVES. Indeed, Bernie's own message needs to be amplified and expanded. Race and Gender issues will be at the cusp of the Fascist attacks soon to be unleashed in the first 100 days. However -- the class approach of Bernie's essential message must come FIRST FIRST FIRST -- if the anti fascist movement is to be broadened and given the muscle it needs. Brother Fletcher's list of movements to unify is insufficient -- all of them voted for Hillary anyway, except for the Left wing scabs. And he doesn't even mention labor
Good analysis. It's refreshing to read an article that makes sense
Harry Belafonte is one of my heroes, and he continues to be a voice that stop me in my tracks whenever he weighs in on the questions that have been so illusive throughout my lifetime. Combining that powerful voice with that of the prophetic poet, Langston Hughes, can provide the guidance through this period of chaos that is so needed.
This is the way I can remind myself that it is not me that needs fixin'!
Betty Reid Soskin
I showed up! I signed the pledge! Show up to protect! Show up to organize!
Excellent article on both the Obama voters and first timers all going for Trump.
Since my short stint canvassing in Ohio, I have become very interested in the political stance of working class white folk many of whom supported Donald Trump with spirit ranging from gusto to embarrassment. They should be, could be staunch left voters if there were a left campaign (it feels to me). The counter argument (advanced by many friends) -- that the 9 million voters who turned out for Obama but stayed home for HRC were crucial -- has merit, too; there was also an enthusiasm gap. Here Alec MacGillis writes about some of his experiences in Ohio which feel consistent with my very limited time and conversations there. Thanks to Portside for the link. https://portside.org/2016-11-12/revenge-forgotten-class
Sad, but true
The Democratic party abandoned economic justice years ago. A predictable result.
Good article. I've spent a lot of time in Ohio in the last couple of years, and some of those cities and towns are in pretty rough shape. What the article described fits what happened--Trump came in with a different tack, sells his angle, and finding a really eager audience, wins them over. They could not know, did not know, that the emperor had no clothes, and now the Republican establishment is just stepping in to take over both houses of congress and the Executive, and all of the "help the forgotten" talk will evaporate. Akron was the rubber capitol of the world, now no rubber there at all, major steel in Youngstown, Lorain, mostly gone, autos in many cities now assembled elsewhere, and Michigan is the same. Tens of thousands were once employed in each of these cities in those factories.
Those people were irrational because the blame lies with obstructionist Congress, not Hillary. Their Republican "hero" could not care less about their problems.
Great article. I just read a strong supporter of Hillary who stated (based on looking at a map) that the Bernie supporters voted for Trump were the reason that Hillary lost the election.
Forgotten my arse. These people kept voting for laissez faire politicians, now that they got impacted by the consequences of their own choices, they've turned racist. This is just stupid ignorance of Trump voters
All the Democratic organizations that sent out canvassers to support Hillary and to get out the vote, should now send the canvassers (preferably the very same people to the very same houses, with instruction to simply listen and learn, to say "the Democratic party has went awry from its decades as the working family party, but we are here to lead a movement to correct that and to listen to you and to learn."
The simple act of listening (not talking at or down to them, not telling them they are wrong), alone will go a long way to getting them back. Many in the Rust Belt remember when the Democrats were for the workingman. A little listening is the first step.
AND he lost the vote - by more than Kennedy beat Nixon in 1960 or Nixon beat Humphrey in 1968. Trump is an illegitimate president and we owe no loyalty to him or his ilk.
(posting on Portside Labor)
If, as people constantly tell me, all politics is local, perhaps Eric Russell's look at a Maine town that switched from Obama to Trump will be useful. Perhaps because it confirms many of my beliefs, i believe it. Thanks to Portside for the link.
Re: How Political Science Helps Explain the Rise of Trump: The Role of White Identity and Grievances
Who benefits from the culture of white identity and how did it come about?
(posting on Portside Labor)
Seriously Mr. Trumka? Half of union members voted for racism, misogyny and anti-immigrant appeals and they're going to fight for us? I've worked for fifteen years for the AFL. I went to them once for help and they did nothing. I had reported sexual harassment and lewd talk by a co-worker. I reported it right before I was laid off. When I was called back I was met with a very hostile work environment and come to find out it was over me reporting what that co-worker had said and done, not only to me but to other women, who in his words, "couldn't take a joke." This co-worker had been written up several times at his former employment, also unionized, for sexual harassment. He kept his job there too.
Please don't tell us you'll protect us when your members are some of the worst abusers. Their vote for Trump doesn't surprise me one bit.
same old, same old, no wonder people tune it out
Trumka kept saying "Our members won't vote for Trump" -- look again, Richard. If unions would do better education on what the WORKING CLASS is, we might be able to climb out of this mess.
Why does Portside publish articles that every time Keith Ellison is mentioned, a necessary descriptive is Muslim? Why do all of the authors of these articles find it necessary to describe him as Muslim? Is it related to his left of center politics?
If that is so critical, why not mention in every article about Schumer that he is Jewish? Why not a descriptive of "Christian" to all of the Christian congressmen, "atheist" to any atheist politician (if we have any and if they are courageous enough to mention it), "Hindu" to every mention of Pramila Jayapal from Washington, etc.?
Is the answer that Trump proposed extra harsh immigration measures for Muslims? I suppose that might work for some, but quite frankly, the left shouldn't care, or it should be consistent and throw the religious descriptive for every politicians every where in the world. The fact that Ellison is Muslim has zero bearing on his policy proposals, and if we searched worldwide trends, we might discover that it puts Ellison in the minority of Muslim politicians.
Christian liberal politicians versus Christian conservative politicians, or Jewish liberals versus Jewish conservatives (Schumer versus Cantor)? Let us then name the religious background of every act of terrorism: Christian burning of the church in Mississippi; Muslim terrorists organization ISIL; etc. Do readers see the inconsistencies and the slippery slope I am pointing to?
The two party system is a failure. The Clintons under Bill brought us NAFTA, CAFTA, while Hillary was a corporate lawyer for big Agri-business and sat on Wal Mart's board of directors. According to Z-Magazine, in the 239 years of US history since 1776, the US government has been at war somewhere in the world for 222 years serving corporate interests. Let's not forget that the Clintons and Trumps were close personal friends before the campaign. We need the Green Party and Jill Stein. Next election, please don't waste your vote on a Democrat or a Republican.
Mark A. Bailey
There is a lot to say about what went wrong in this US election. Enough already with this blame game. Brexit didn't elect Trump. Time to move forward and stop examining the past. Time to move forward, change Congress, organize, march, give people options and stop banging ourselves up. The Democrats blew it. Now put this racist, fascist Trump into the trash can of history. It took a lot of people but we did end that War in VietNam, got Civil Rights. We can do it again if we remember our own history. BTW, Mr Trump, our Founders were immigrants.
Clinton's arrogance, incompetence, and all around low moral character explains a lot of her loss. Portside's bull headed support was also a problem - remember MILLIONS who voted for Obama did not vote for Clinton - including Portside readers who had to bear their way through "the left can do better than Jill Stein" Is Clinton better than Jill Stein? Well we did not get either one, and I think Clinton is to blame.
I see that Dr. Glantz is a highly-regarded anti-smoking scientist. I agree with most of his conclusions, but have to disagree about the effect of e-cigs. I undoubtedly have been able to stop smoking cigarettes due to e-cigs. Every day that I don't smoke a cigarette is a good day. I feel better every month. As to e-cigarette addiction, nicotine alone is not that good a high to induce kids as teens. The good dfinitl6y outweighs the harm. Dr. Glantz is sure that bad effects of cannabis use will show up. A public health official would take any problems that come with use of cannabis over the problems caused by cigarettes. Plus it isn't just about the nicotine. Nicotine alone does not make you sick.
Labor Notes is conducting a survey among readers of our recent book, Secrets of a Successful Organizer. I've attached the e-mail below, but in case it doesn't go through, here is the link to the survey.
I'd also be happy to hear your thoughts over the phone. Call me anytime at 617-599-3026.
Assistant Editor, Labor Notes
Friday, November 18, 9:30am-11:30am
25 West 43 St, 18 Floor
New York, NY 10036
This forum provides an occasion to assess the surprising outcome of the 2016 elections, particularly the triumph of Donald Trump. To what degree is the election outcome attributable to an anxious and enraged white working class that has come to feel by turns neglected, misunderstood and insulted by mainstream and progressive organizations and pundits? Is a progressive politics built on the Obama coalition? dependent as it is on demographic changes presumed to be advantageous, rather than on birthing a multi-racial working-class movement? either strategically or politically defensible? What explains 29 percent Latino for Trump? Has the AFL-CIO become a political non-entity? A group of prominent journalists will discuss what the primaries and the general election tell us about the current political landscape, especially with regard to racial, gender and class voting patterns.
- Laura Flanders @GRITlaura
Laura is a best-selling author and broadcaster. After many years in public and commercial radio, she founded The Laura Flanders Show / GRITtv in 2008 to serve as an online channel for in depth conversations with forward-thinking people from the worlds of politics, economics, business and the arts
- Jamilah King @jamilahking
Jamilah King is a writer based in New York City. Currently a senior staff writer at Mic.com, she was previously senior editor at Colorlines, where her work focused on race, arts and culture. Her work has appeared on Salon, MSNBC, the American Prospect, Al Jazeera, The Advocate, and in the California Sunday Magazine.
- Harold Meyerson @HaroldMeyerson
Since 2001, Harold Meyerson has been an editor of The American Prospect, the Washington-based liberal magazine, oscillating between the post of executive editor (his current position) and editor-at-large. From 2003 through 2015, he was a weekly op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, writing chiefly on politics and economics
- Julio Ricardo Varela @julito77
As Digital Media Director and Political Editor for The Futuro Media Group, Julio (Julito) Ricardo Varela works with all of Futuro's shows and is a key voice is shaping the company's digital vision. He is also a frequent contributor to Latino USA and the editor of LatinoUSA.org, AmericaByTheNumbers.org, InTheThick.org, HumanizingAmerica.org and FuturoMediaGroup.org
- Ed Ott, Moderator
Ed Ott is a Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies at the Murphy Institute.?? Ed has over 40 years of experience in the labor movement, most recently as Executive Director of the New York City Central Labor Council, which represents 1.3 million trade unionists from over 400 affiliated organizations.
Just yesterday, I sent a message about the important work that lies ahead for us. Many of you responded positively, asking how you can get involved. We listened and we have important news to share with you.
We are excited to announce the newly launched campaign website titled AltoTrump.com. http://altotrump.com/
This website, like AltoArizona.com, NoPapersNoFear.org and NotOneMoreDeportation.com before, will serve as a hub of organizing information for visitors to get informed, download resources, ask questions, and, most importantly, to learn how to get involved locally, statewide, and nationally in campaigns of resistance against Trump's policies and ideology of hatred, bigotry, xenophobia and racism. The website/campaign will continue to develop and grow rapidly in the coming days and weeks. Please follow us for updates.
This is a national effort and we're prepared to exert all of our capacity, with you, to defeat hatred and Trump's extremist policies.
Thanks for your solidarity and we'll see you online and on the ground everywhere, across the country.
Commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War - Join us for "The Spanish Civil War and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: 80 Years Later," a discussion with William Loren Katz and Josephine Nelson Yurek.
Tuesday, November 29 (6:00 PM)
Tamiment Library, home of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012 £ USA
This event is sponsored by the Frederic Ewen Center.
William Loren Katz is the co-author of The Lincoln Brigade: A Picture History (WPF & Stock, 3rd edition, 2013). Katz, a highly-acclaimed author of forty books on American history, and Marc Crawford twice traveled to post-Franco Spain (1986, 1988) with veterans of the racially-integrated Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Using interviews with veterans and rare photos, this Third updated edition carries the Brigades' heroic struggle for civil rights, and peace and against U.S. interventions abroad into the 21st century.
Josephine Nelson Yurek is a member of the Board of Governors of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, and is active in the "Friends and Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade." Her father, Steve Nelson, was a volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. She retired as a New York City school administrator.
Copies of The Lincoln Brigade: A Picture History will be available for purchase.
RSVP: email email@example.com with guest name(s) & title of event.
New York City Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement in conjunction with the Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies
Presents a Forum and Panel Discussion
December 2, 2016, 8:30AM -10:00AM
25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor, Bet. 5th & 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
- Jose La Luz is credited as a key strategist and architect of the campaign for passage of Law 45, granting bargaining rights for over 120,000 public employees in Puerto Rico. Associate Director of the AFSCME Leadership Academy.
- Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is an International human rights lawyer. Litigates and advocates on gender, racial justice, reproductive rights, sexual violence, environmental justice and labor rights. President, National Lawyers Guild; Associate Counsel, Latino Justice/PRLDEF.
- Nelson Denis, author of War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror In America's Colony, Attorney, Playwright, film director, and former representative to the NYS Assembly
Please RSVP here.
2016 Human Rights Week:
Indigenous Rights and Clemency for Leonard Peltier
December 4 - 10, 2016
Sunday, December 4 - Friendship/Welcoming Circle
From 1:00-3:00 p.m., join us at the National Museum of the American Indian (outdoor space), 4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20560.
Monday-Saturday, December 5-10 - White House Vigil
Join us daily for a vigil at the White House for Executive Clemency for Leonard Peltier, peak hours from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and a candlelight vigil on Saturday, December 10, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 6 - Evening screening of "Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier"
Join us at the George Washington University Amphitheater, Cloyd Heck Marvin Center, 3rd Floor, 800 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052.
The event is open to the public and the doors will open at 6:00 p.m. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with filmmaker Suzi Baer.
Friday Evening, December 9 - "Indigenous Rights and Environmental Issues: Problems and Solutions"
Join us at the Continental Ballroom, George Washington University, Cloyd Heck, Marvin Center, Floor 3, 800 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052 for presentations by and discussion with Indigenous organizers and advocates from across the country. Topics will include a range of environmental issues and updates on how Native communities are addressing them. From resource extraction, to transport of oil and nuclear waste, and to deforestation how are the country's earliest residents and their ancestral homelands affected? How is colonization still happening today and what can be done about it?
- Leona Morgan of Din, No Nukes
- Jasilyn Charger of the International Indigenous Youth Council on the Dakota Access Pipeline
- and other special guests.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Human Rights Day, December 10 - "U.S. Prisons: Conditions of Confinement"
Join us for a conference at the Washington College of Law, American University - Tenley Campus, 4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW, Yuma Building, Claudio Grossman Hall, Washington, DC 20016.
- Daniel McGowan, former federal prisoner, on Communication Management Units and First Amendment rights of prisoners;
- Robert King of the Angola 3 (former Louisiana state prisoner) on solitary confinement;
- Pooja Gehi, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, on aging prisoners in the U.S., and early release options, as well as an update on activists' rights;
- Jamelia Morgan, American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, on an array of prisoners' rights issues including medical neglect;
- Lenny Foster, Navajo Nation Corrections Project and International Indian Treaty Council, on infringement of spiritual/religious rights of Indigenous prisoners;
- Belva Janis on incarcerated Native women;
- Danika Littlechild, International Indian Treaty Council, on the Native American experience with the criminal justice system (e.g., police brutality/homicide, other victimization of Indigenous Peoples, disproportionate sentencing of reservation Natives as compared to other populations, etc.); and
- Jasmine Heiss, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, on Leonard Peltier and conditions of his confinement, including current health-related concerns.
Doors will open at 8:00 a.m.
The conference will be followed at 4:00 p.m. by a walk/march to the White House for Indigenous rights and clemency for Leonard Peltier. A candlelight vigil will follow at the White House (5:00-8:00 p.m.).
For more information on the week's events, lodgings, rideshares, etc., please visit www.whoisleonardpeltier.info.
Indigenous Rights Center
202 Harvard SE,
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 6 PM - 8 PM
Bowery Poetry Club
New York 10012
The Operating System is thrilled and honored to present this very special evening of reading and conversation with Gregory Randall, author of "To Have Been There Then," a memoir of growing up in revolutionary Cuba, with Margaret Randall, his mother and translator of the book from its original Spanish. The event will be moderated by Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, OS Founder/Managing Editor.
The book is currently available for preorder here.
Advance praise for To Have Been There Then:
"Gregory Randall grew up in revolutionary Cuba. He left in 1983, and later he and his wife Laura relocated to Uruguay and Gregory established himself within the academic world there. Revolutionary Cuba's literacy campaign in 1960-61, which sent young people into the mountains during a period that included the Bay of Pigs invasion, is generally recognized. Cuba's far flung medical assistance in situations like the recent Haitian earthquake is also well-known. This book explores the more comprehensive Cuban effort to create what the Zapatistas call un otro mundo, another world. I know of no other book that so richly provides an empathetic view of the twentieth-century socialist project from both within and without.
"To Have Been There Then is an extraordinary book. Gregory Randall recreates scenes from a revolutionary childhood and youth in Mexico and Cuba during the 1960s and 70s with brilliant vividness that brings an adult's wisdom to the child's perspective. He evokes the spirit of revolutionary consciousness of the era, when Cuba's radical experimentation and commitment to building a new world intersected with revolutionary dreams and movements throughout Latin America. Randall's childhood was peopled with artists, intellectuals, and revolutionaries from throughout the continent who shared a deep belief in the possibility for radical social change. Cuba's revolutionary history is told here with verve and drama, through personal detail of a child and young man coming of age in truly historic circumstances."
-Aviva Chomsky, author of The Cuban Revolution, co-editor of The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics.
"Here is the perfect book for this time of change in US-Cuban relations, and when a new generation in the United States has embraced the idea and goals of socialism and human solidarity. Gregory Randall's exquisite coming of age story, set in Cuba during the second decade of the Cuban Revolution, is unflinchingly truthful and compassionate."
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, historian and author most recently of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States.
"Gregory Randall has done it: written a captivating, ethically humane, and inspirational memoir of growing up in revolutionary Cuba as a child of exiled political activists. He is able to tell forthright yet loving stories of his engaged life with multiple fathers, escaping the 1968 military crackdown in Mexico as an eight year-old in charge of his younger siblings, forging friendships in Cuban boarding schools, and living his adolescence as an intellectual and political coming-of-age banquet among artists and revolutionaries from across the continent. He sees dogma and cant yet remains deeply committed to the vision of a liberated space and new women and men. Read this powerful book and be stirred anew to live fully in harmony with your values." -Bernardine Dohrn
Gregory Randall was born in New York City in 1960, then lived eight years in Mexico, fourteen in Cuba, eleven in France and since 1994 has resided in Uruguay. He and his wife have three children and one grandchild. He did his undergraduate work in telecommunications in Cuba and earned his doctorate in information technology from the University of Orsay, France. Since 1994 he has been a professor of electrical engineering at the University of the Republic in Montevideo. From 2007 to 2014 he was also that institution's vice president for research, during which time he promoted and oversaw the establishment of several university campuses in the interior of the country. To Have Been There Then is his first book, a memoir of childhood and young adulthood in the Cuba of the 1970s and `80s, with moving, often breathtaking stories of what it was like for a young boy to grow up in revolution.