Skip to main content

The MAGA storming of the Capitol is one year 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 2022.


Tidbits - December 29, 2016 - Reader Comments: Working People of All Colors; Retirement Inequality; No Rockettes and the Inauguration; UN Resolution; Anti-Russia Frenzy; History, Political Strategy; and more...

Reader Comments: Calling Working People of All Colors; The Scandal of Vast Inequality in Retirement Pay; Ohio Factory Workers Fight for a Union; No Rockettes Will Be Required to Perform at Inauguration; 25 Places That Raised the Minimum Wage in 2016; The UN Security Council Resolution; Israeli Hysteria Over UN Vote; Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy; History, Political Strategy - for the Future; Resources; National Single Payer Strategy Conference; and more...

printer friendly  
Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - December 29, 2016, Portside

Re: Calling Working People of All Colors

Not only do we not have 80 years we barely can survive 4 years of Trump.  All people of every color and belief have skin (no pun intended) in this.  It's time for people, regardless of ethnicity, to build a united political and powerful movement against this rise of fascism, that's happening not only in the US and Europe.  It won't be easy and it does mean changing our thinking on how to do it. The intellectual Left sometimes mistakenly contributes to this with how we classically define working class." We need to drop this non-definition of "white working class."  There is no such thing. Many of the people who voted for Trump were certainly white.  Many of those who voted period were white.
In the 50's, when I was a member of the Young People's Chorus we sang this song:
"Last night I had the strangest dream...
I dreamed the world agreed to put an end to war...
And the people on the streets below
Were dancing round and round...
And guns and tanks and armaments
Were scattered on the ground."
We need to stop dividing ourselves. That is precisely what let's fascists like Trump in.
Claire Carsman
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
"The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Barbara K. Hickernell
(posting on Portside Labor)
The race to the bottom: lower wages and worse working conditions can make a company more competitive in the market place. Add state support (tax benefits) for non-union companies and you can see how the alliance between the state and the corporations can undermine unions and reduce wages industry wide. Jeff Schuhrke, reports on workers and union efforts to respond at one Ohio auto glass fabricator. Pay serious attention to state and local elections in Ohio (and everywhere else). Thanks to Portside for the link.…
Daniel Millstone
(posting on Portside Labor)
After massive pressure, both Radio City Music Hall (James Dolan) and the union, have backed down, saying that no Rockettes will be required to perform. AGVA (American Guild of Variety Artists) which represents the dancers came in for massive criticism for saying that members of the world-renown dance troupe would be "forced to perform," since it is in their collective bargaining agreement. But also in their collective bargaining agreement is that no dancer will be required to perform in a "hostile work environment," and performing for Donald Trump who has verbally attacked women, and also bragged about sexually assaulting women, is such a dangerous and hostile work environment. AGVA, one of the smallest of the performance units (and not known for progressive politics) was forced to back down under pressure from the dancers - their own members, and from the public via social media.
Jay Schaffner
The AGVA also clarified the (TRULY AWFUL) language of their Thursday email, stating:
The Union never "demanded" that the Rockettes perform at the inauguration. A message was sent to the Rockettes last evening that stated the terms of their contract. There is a small group of year round Rockettes who are contractually obligated to perform at scheduled events throughout the year. We are pleased that Radio City has agreed that for those Rockettes with year-round employment, participation in this event will be voluntary as well.
Meredith Lee Schafer-Garza
Another victory for the working class....we need to count every one of them these days!!
Leslie Cagan
A small symbolic victory but better than no victory--and for the individual Rockettes, maybe, a big one!
Rachel Kranz
Something good that came in 2016!
We are proud to be a part of the Fight for $15 Movement. Now we are going to have to fight like hell to protect these new wages and to get living wages for everyone. #JewishResistance…
I am afraid that this is just the beginning
Vincent Sylvain
Brilliant explication of the painting. One picture definitely IS worth a thousand words. However, isn't everyone overlooking the obvious, unless I read the piece too fast? The Time Cover refers to Trump as newly elected President 'OF THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA.' That says it all, gang. Was it so obvious no one read it?
Jane Carnell
This is the primary way in which the election was rigged.
Benjamin Blount
And in states where felony convictions bars one from voting? Simple task, arrest him for something, get a conviction or a plea, and he no longer votes.
John Wayne Blount
(posting on Portside Labor)
Unpredictable funding thwarts planning. Bean counters lay off support staff. Useless bureaucrats make up onerous tasks for teachers. Ask teachers what they need to make them stay.
Sonia Collins
Israel's self marginalization regarding its provocative land grabs and it's predacious development of housing settlements in the Occupied West Bank is utterly unsustainable and delusional given the rapidly changing demographics both locally and globally. European colonial settlements is supremacist wherever it rears its ugly head!
Larry Aaronson
But what Shalev and many supporters of this resolution neglect is that it does far more than condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It also implicitly ratifies the Jordanian's ethnic cleansing of Jews from eastern Jerusalem in 1948--so ethnic cleansing is now unacceptable unless it is of Jews. Nor does this resolution promote a 2 state peace given that such a peace would have to involve compromises by both Israelis and Palestinians--and Palestinian leaders will now find it very hard to compromise on eastern Jerusalem or anything else east of the old armistice line (and remember it was just that, not a border) given that the UNSC has just defined everything east of that line to belong to the Palestinians--the Israeli right wing will of course win a lot of m"derate Israeli support from Israelis unwilling to give up the old Jewish part of Jerusalem.
Stan Nadel
"Indeed, in many ways the Security Council vote is Obama's last hurrah, the swan song not only of his presidency but of unequivocal American support for a two-state solution and opposition to Jewish settlements, a policy which, one must admit, Obama was better at formulating than actually achieving. Trump made clear immediately after the vote that "things will be different after January 20th" and Netanyahu quickly said that the day couldn't come soon enough. But make no mistake: the Security Council's deed cannot be undone. Whatever price Israel will pay for it will not change, with or without Trump."
John Jernegan
The article "The Invention of the White Working Class" speaks of "white indentured servants" in "Bacon's Rebellion (1675)."
The anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual Theodore W. Allen, who pioneered class-based "white skin privilege" analysis in the mid 1960 and who authored the "classic" two-volume "The Invention of the White Race" (Verso Books, 1994 and 1997; 2012) makes clear that Bacon's Rebellion occurred in 1676-77, that the word "white" as a symbol of social status did not appear in a Virginia colonial record until 1691, and that "a small minority of the bond-laborers arrived in the tobacco colonies with written indentures specifying the duration of their servitude. By far the greater number who arrived in Virginia in the seventeenth century came without indentures; the duration of their bondage was specified by law under the rubric "custom of the country.'" Theodore W. Allen is crucial for understanding U.S. labor history and I encourage people to become familiar with his work.
For writings by and about Theodore W. Allen see here.
For a recent presentation on "Theodore W. Allen and `The Invention of the White Race'" at a "Multiracial Organizing Conference" in Greensboro, NC. 
For the fullest treatment of the development of Allen's thought see Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy," available in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at or at "Cultural Logic".
Jeffrey B. Perry
...Now We Will go Backwards.....Teaching Critical Thinking to GO ? ....started some years ago when in Arizona and other states, They had Removed Ethnic Studies ! Don't let Folks Know They Had a Distinct, Special History,...suffered for Much and have their Own Icons of Struggle ...Take Away one's Past, History, Culture...White Wash All....
Linda Crowley
A very appropriate meditation to read on Christmas Day.
Margaret White
A great illustration of the importance of "Telling Local People's History."
Horace Huntley
Look what happened when Gary privatized garbage collection...The original "charge" was covered in taxes. Taxes certainly didn't decrease after the direct fee was attached to everyone's sanitary district bill--& that fee nearly doubled in no time at all. Then an additional fee was also attached to the water bills.
Connie Mack-Ward
The charge went up and even after they left the charge never went down again
Ruth Needleman
Up to 3,500 workers in Bangladesh fired for demanding living wages so that US stores like Gap and H&M can profit
Lisa Husniyyah Owens
"This week began with a mass email from the head of the Democratic National Committee, who declared..."The integrity of our elections is too important for Congress to refuse to take these attacks seriously." This coming from a woman who used her position at CNN to steal debate questions during the primaries and pass them on to the Clinton campaign.
Alan Hart
Stop playing international politics. Russia is historically apprehensive about it's southern borders, yet NATO, and the EU began to grow a taste for Ukrainian wheat and other resources - with its trade intrigues, stimulating Russia's paranoia. Russia never invaded Europe. It countered two invasions ( from France and Germany). People should be having honest and frank negotiations, instead of wasting the World's time with psychological warfare.
Roy Schulman
"Of all the good reasons to "delegitimate" Trump, alleged Kremlin intervention in the election should rank quite low. Trump's evils are huge, with a very incomplete list including vast greed, pathological lying, contempt for facts, enthusiasm for oligarchy, bigotry, environmental destruction, racism, misogyny, economic injustice, voter suppression and rampant conflicts of interest.
While echoing the anti-Russia themes belted out by Democratic Party officials and loyalists, the chorus on the left may think it's merely grabbing the low-hanging political fruit of this historical moment. But the fruit is already turning rancid, and apt to become poisonous. It won't be the first time in recent decades when liberals and others thought they were being clever and politically adroit as they aided and abetted the suppression of principles found in the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, while helping to gear up the machinery of war."
Lynne Turner
Kudos:  Too often we forget that the working class in America is a class.  Our unions have not taught this to its members, and continue to push the "middle-class" status of its members. Now the Dems are talking about pandering to people of color to counter Trump's support from white working class voters. This would be a divisive path that only plays into he hands of the Trumpites and Republicans.  Divide and conquer has always been the tool of the ruling class. Early industrialist Jay Gould said,"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half." 
Lincoln Smith
(posting on Portside Labor)
Union Power
Muata Greene
Personally, I think the left has to be strategic. I don't believe that we should put ourselves in a box by saying what we can and cannot do. We should be flexible. I believe that, in the end, street heat is more important than electoral campaigns for those of us who struggle against war, racism and capitalism.
My 2 cents.
Dave Schraeger
Gallagher says he voted for Hillary Clinton in California, a safe state for strategic voting, instead of Jill Stein whom he acknowledges had positions much closer to his own. Why doesn't he recognize that the Stein/Baraka campaign's focus on a Green New Deal as a solution for climate change coupled with a profound critique of militarism was imperative to share in this national election, given the urgent challenges humanity face ? 
Nevertheless, he argues that the Green Party should stop running Presidential candidates, rather focus on local elections. Missing from his analysis is the fact that the views he supports reached tens of millions of potential voters. Such political education is essential to empower resistance to the Trump regime. Further, only by running for President did Jill Stein have the legal standing for her recount initiative in three swing states that selected Trump by virtue of the white supremacist Electoral College. This recount effort revealed to millions of voters, especially rank-and-file Democrats whose donations made this possible,  that Jim Crow voter suppression determined the Trump selection; see Greg Palast's well documented evidence for this election as well as for those in 2000 and 2004. This outcome alone will boost the ranks of the Green Party and make possible election success in local races.
David Schwartzman
Washington, DC
"Jill Stein's positions were certainly much closer to mine than those of Hillary Clinton, the candidate I actually voted for." Yeah, sorry, you lost any credibility right there.
Michael Popowich
(posting on Portside Culture)
One of the things I liked about this movie is that it is about working class people living ordinary working-class lives.  Very few films portray average people.
James H. Williams
Here is a link to the three union-forward diversity films I've produced and directed.  They are all about implicit bias and microaggressions.  I have been working with unions on developing employee-forward diversity toolkits and action plans and find the films are very helpful to motivating union people to take more action.  I've also used them to teach a full-day seminar for Oregon LERC.   Please let me know if you have any feedback or thoughts!
Barbara J. Diamond
Diamond Law
Sorry to intrude on your holiday celebrations but it is time to face facts.  On January 20, Donald Trump will be inaugurated President of the United States. His Cabinet of billionaires will likely be approved by a rubber stamp Congress shortly thereafter.   Those who hoped that Trump's "populist" side would prevail over his right wing racist authoritarianism have seen the writing on the wall with his appointments and policy statements.
That's why we are starting our upcoming National Single Payer Strategy Conference with a demonstration in front of Trump Tower at 4 PM on January 13.  And that's why the theme of this year's conference is Building the Resistance--Fighting for Healthcare Justice in the Era of Trump.
We believe that a powerful resistance movement anchored in the labor and other social movements can turn the tables on Trump and all that he represents.  To win, we must inspire Americans to fight for what they need, not what the political establishment tells them they can get. In New York City this January, we will discuss how the fight for Medicare for All can be a central focus of this movement.
If you haven't done so yet, please register today. December 31 is the cutoff date for hotel reservations.  To guarantee the $149 per night rate, reserve your  room at the Wyndham New Yorker here
Last week I visited the picket lines at Momentive Performance Materials in upstate New York where 700 IUE-CWA members are on strike to protect active and retiree healthcare. A delegation of Momentive Strikers and locked out UAW Honeywell workers will join us in New York City.  They know that we can't wait four more years to take healthcare off the bargaining table by making it a right for everyone in America.
Speakers at the Strategy Conference will include former Ohio state senator Nina Turner. She can tell us, from her own life experiences, why we need Medicare for All. Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn how telling their own healthcare story can help them organize their neighbors and co-workers.
A full conference agenda is posted here. If you believe the American people can't wait for healthcare justice, join us in New York City this January 13-15. Register today
No more mourning. It's time to organize!
In Solidarity,
Mark Dudzic
National Coordinator, for the National Advisory Board and Steering Committee
Jan 12, 2017 at 7 PM to Jan 15, 2017 at 11 PM 
Knockdown Center
52-19 Flushing Ave, Queens, New York 11378
Calling All Nasty Women Artists
This is a group exhibition that serves to demonstrate solidarity among artists who identify with being a Nasty Woman in the face of threats to role back women's rights, individual rights, and abortion rights. It also serves as a fundraiser to support organizations defending these rights and to be a platform for organization before the Trump Presidential Inauguration.