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Tidbits - Mar. 28, 2019 - Reader Comments: Preparing for 2020; Mueller, Barr Cover-Up; Trump Gift to Military; Worker Struggles; Brexit; Venezuela; Cuba; New Resources; Announcements; lots more....

Reader Comments: Preparing for 2020 - Unity, Challenge, Take Power; Mueller, Barr Cover-Up; Trump Gift to Military; Worker Struggles- Chicago Symphony, Amazon, UIC, Tipped Workers; Brexit; Venezuela; Cuba; New Resources; Announcements; lots more....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - Mar. 28, 2019,Portside

Re: "Speaking Truth to Power" Is No Substitute for Taking Power (Noel Ignatiev; Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?; Shelly Cotter; Brionna Nomi)
Re: 3 Ways Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats Are Changing What Is Winnable (Dan Jordan)
Re: The Many Problems With the Barr Letter (David Hahn; Rod Nelson; Alan Hart; Robert James Rawson)
Crimes  --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
Re: Mueller Says No Collusion, Barr Raises A Million Questions (Rosalina Rosario Melendez; Bobby Kennedy; Aaron Mendenhall; Bobby Kennedy; Gordon Fitch; Gerald Middlemist; Walt Alford)
Bill Barr Bites  --  cartoon by Mike Stanfill (Raging Pencils)
Re: Class Struggle at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (James David Walley; David Frazer; Cheryl Paley; Marcelle Lapointe; Ira Armstrong)
Re: Around the Globe, 1.4 Million Climate Strikers Raise a Single Demand (Disraelly Gutierrez Jaime; Brian Bond)
Re: Trump Wants to Give 62 Cents of Every Dollar to the Military. That's Immoral (Nancy Lenk; Mali Martha Lightfoot; Eric Niederkruger; Mike Diel; Clifton Neely)
Enough! (Fred Jerome)
Re: “We Demand Food for Thought”: UIC Grad Workers On Strike for Living Wages and Respect (Laura Friedman)
Re: Minnesota Amazon Workers Walk Off the Job over Speed-Up (Emily Rosenberg; Mary Christine Fitzhugh; Joshua Gordon; Edna Mckenna; David Frazer)
Re: Beware the Soft Hand of Capital (Susan Collier Lamont)
Re: Debunking the Capitalist Cowboy (Christopher Peragine; Dale Allen Boland)
Re: Worse Than the Wall (Joseph Maizlish)
Re: Venezuela, US Solidarity, and the Future of Socialism (Ethan Young)
Re: We Understand Our Parents' Pain, but the Cuba Embargo Continues to Hurt Our `Hermanos' on the Island (Carlos J. Sosa; Albert Corliss)
Re: One Million Join March Against Brexit (Reg McGhee; Albert Preston)
Re: Islamophobia is a Global Crisis - And It's Time We View It That Way (Mike Preston)
Re: Brecht's Poetry: Angry or Evil? (Leonard J. Lehrman; Rosa Squillacote)
State of Tipped Worker Movement- March 2019 (ROC Action - Restaurant Opportunities Center)


Teaching A People's History of Abolition and the Civil War (Rethinking Schools)
GOOD TROUBLE: A History and Handbook for Today’s Resistance (Hard Ball Press)


Sneak Preview - The Boys Who Said NO - A Documentary on Draft Resistance - New York City - March 30
On April 4th, Honor the FULL Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (United for Peace & Justice)
Red State Revolt: Book Launch - April 4 - New York (Verso Books)
Early Bird Registration for Left Forum 2019 Now Open! - Brooklyn - June 28 - 30


Re: "Speaking Truth to Power" Is No Substitute for Taking Power

"Speaking truth to power" is one of three catchphrases that collapse upon close examination: two others are "The revolution will not be televised" and "You can't destroy the master's house with the master's tools."

Noel Ignatiev
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Totally agree.

Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The truest statement in this article is power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

Our system has been flawed (understatement) for years and now it's so in our face we couldn't turn a blind eye. Folks are slowly awakening and at first turned on one another and caused division. Now we are seeing we must come together for human kind and disrupt this system.

Shelly Cotter
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"While harmful power is contemptuous of democracy, legitimate power requires it."

Brionna Nomi
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: 3 Ways Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats Are Changing What Is Winnable

New strategies and tactics. I love this phrase, "changing the common sense."

Dan Jordan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: The Many Problems With the Barr Letter

Just in case you may think that Trump is in the clear, this clarifies things.

David Hahn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


We still have not seen the Mueller Report, not even an Executive Summary which I suspect that Mueller provided but was ignored. Barr put his big fat thumb on the scale-and that mofo has one massive, heavy-duty thumb. While he said on Friday that he would consult w/Mueller and Rosenstein before acting, only his signature appears on the letter. He did exactly what he said he would do in the 19-page brief he submitted to Drumpf to get the AG gig. The Fix Was In.

"As an attorney in private practice, William Barr wrote a nineteen-page unsolicited memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, criticizing "Mueller's 'Obstruction' Theory."

As the attorney general, he wrote a three-and-a-half-page memo summarizing the entire investigation

Rod Nelson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


What is imperative is that we get Bernie Sanders nominated! The Democrats have spent two years obsessing on an imaginary Russian conspiracy rather than confronting the real reasons Trump won and fighting him on the issues. They thought Mueller would save them. If the Democrats nominate one of their own, Trump will win reelection.

Alan Hart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


What a farce. Does the US believe in the rule of law or not? How can the people have confidence in their institutions when so many of them in the last 2 + years have exhibited a lack of basic integrity?

Robert James Rawson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Crimes  --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz
March 26, 2019


Re: Mueller Says No Collusion, Barr Raises A Million Questions

Did people really think Trump was going to be charged with something? Come on, this is the USA and he is in charge. Also take comfort that the investigation happened, it's over and done with , I'm ready to move on.

Rosalina Rosario Melendez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The Biggest part and TWO WORDS that you all fail to Look at as you cheer innocent and waste of time and money is that, HE WASN'T EXONERATED, do you all see what you want and forget those two words, WASN'T EXONERATED

Bobby Kennedy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


“wasn’t exonerated.” Meaning what, exactly? He wasn’t implicated, either. Nor charged. Does that anger you? So, you have to pout and say “he wasn’t exonerated?”

Aaron Mendenhall
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


meaning that the investigation is on going and possible charges are/ may be forth coming. So in other words, future charges are pending

Bobby Kennedy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Do we really need Portside to reflect mainstream, ruling-class
narratives like Russiagate?

Gordon Fitch


not even close. Director Mueller has turned over his evidence to a dozen different jurisdictions. The mango moron is going to be spending the next 10years in court. AND its going to be hilarious to watch trump tower being auctioned off for back taxes.

Gerald Middlemist
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Individual 1, Donald Trump, is already an unindicted coconspirator for one of the crimes that Cohen is going to jail for. A felony campaign finance violation. Combine that with several cases of obvious Obstruction of Justice and donnie boy is in deep shit. All felonies just before and after the election.

Then there's the investigation by the Maryland AG looking into the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars from donnie's inauguration fund.

Then you have to SDNY investigation into donnie's finances including his so called Foundation.

Let's not forget the money laundering for the Russians.

New York state Department of financial services have trump organization under scrutiny for insurance policies

Hush Money Payouts

◦ On 11 different occasions while in office Trump issued personal checks to Michael Cohen meant as reimbursement for the hush money payments Cohen made to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election. The dates on the checks show Trump was simultaneously managing affairs of state while also repaying his former personal attorney for keeping Trump's personal secrets hidden from the public. Of the eight checks now available, seven were for $35,000 and another was for $70,000. Six were signed by Trump and the other two were signed by Trump Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's chief financial officer.

New York State regulators issued a subpoena to the Trump Organization's insurance broker. The request comes days after Michael Cohen testified that the Trump Organization inflated the value of its assets to insurance companies. The New York regulators are requesting copies of the insurance policies issued by Aon brokerage to Trump and the Trump Organization, as well as applications and financial statements used to secure the policies. The Trump Organization is now facing scrutiny from federal prosecutors, congressional Democrats, and insurance regulators.

Trump's inauguration fund took in tens of thousands of dollars from shell companies owned by foreign contributors and others with foreign ties. The three shell companies each gave $25,000 to the fund, and at least one contribution was made by a foreign national who is reportedly ineligible to make political donations under U.S. election law. One of the donations was made through a Delaware shell company on behalf of a wealthy Indian financier. Another was made by a shell company formed in Georgia on behalf of a lobbyist with ties to the Taiwanese government, and a New York-based shell company formed by an Israeli real estate developer made the third $25,000 donation.

Walt Alford
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Bill Barr Bites  --  cartoon by Mike Stanfill (Raging Pencils)

Mike Stanfill
March 26, 2019
Raging Pencils


Re: Class Struggle at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

I've heard of symphony orchestras going out on strike before, but never one as world-famous as the CSO! If their management succeeds in gutting their pension, what hope would there be for less-prestigious ensembles in smaller cities?

James David Walley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I think the professions that might have similarities to the professional musical life are a combination of how lawyers prepare their cases, athletes who prepare their bodies, and surgeons who execute intricate fine-motor actions. Most of the work happens before we get on stage.

There is much prep work to do: maintaining the fine motor skills, self-observation, and practice. We are like athletes in the sense that playing an instrument is a whole body endeavor. We do labor with our bodies in a profoundly concrete way. Many musicians end up injured and in quite a lot of pain, even with the best technique and form. It is physically exhausting and taxing to play an instrument.

Those observing us tend to be observing us in their leisure time, so they project that we as musicians are experiencing leisure when the audience members are enjoying the work that we do. When we are making music, we are laboring and working quite hard.

David Frazer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


When I was very young my dad played clarinet for the Chicago Symphony. He was also a great supporter of Unionizing for workers rights. This would make him very happy.

Cheryl Paley
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This article is a brilliant example of the power of unions and how, historically, unions have been at the forefront of progress in labour laws and protection for members. Ironically, most blue collar jobs in the US are no longer unionized, in some cases with disastrous results for the workers, and yet, musicians at a very prestigious orchestra are finding the power of organized labour protection.

Marcelle Lapointe
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"We do not easily fit into the capitalistic system. And this is a good thing. The best things in life - education, medical care, love, nurturance -also do not fit neatly into economic life."

Ira Armstrong
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Around the Globe, 1.4 Million Climate Strikers Raise a Single Demand

Youth demand radical action on climate change. They joined a chorus of young people across the United States and around the globe who walked out of school Friday in an international strike for climate action - reportedly the largest protest against global warming in human history. An estimated 1.4 million people in 123 countries took part.

Disraelly Gutierrez Jaime
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I will vote for anyone of them rather that the dinosaurs in government owned by the dinosaur industry .

Brian Bond
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Trump Wants to Give 62 Cents of Every Dollar to the Military. That's Immoral

This is why we don't have nice things like healthcare, infrastructure, clean water, nice roads, high speed rail etc etc..

Nancy Lenk
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


There is money for the Green New Deal, that's just not what this Administration wants to spend it on. Instead of preserving life for future generations and the living planet, the Trump Administration wants to spend it on destroying everything:

"With this budget, Trump takes more than $1tn in taxpayer money and disperses fully $750bn to the military. Out of every taxpayer dollar, in other words, 62 cents go to the military and our militarized Department of Homeland Security. (Veterans’ benefits take another seven cents.)

That leaves just 31 cents for all the rest: education, job training, community economic development, housing, safe drinking water and clean air, health and science research, and the prevention of war through diplomacy and humanitarian aid.

The budget also cuts billions from non-discretionary anti-poverty programs outside of this $1tn. Medicaid and food stamps would be cut and disfigured beyond recognition.

At every turn, the Trump budget finds vast billions for militarization, while it cuts much smaller poverty and other programs, claiming the goal is to save money..."

Mali Martha Lightfoot
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


A highly recommended read here. Follow the money.

Eric Niederkruger
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This is the guy who ran on stopping the stupid wars.

Mike Diel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Is he preparing a military cup?

Clifton Neely
Posted on Portside's Facebook page



Meanwhile. US Warplanes killed another group of Afghan women and children -- in this corporate-run country's continuing mineral-motivated murder of that country's innocent people (among others around the world).

The latest US murders in Afghanistan got a short item in today's Times headlined "Airstrike Said to Kill Afghan Civilians"

So maybe it didn't happen at all... it was just "said to" have happened, according to the headline..(The actual account in the Times leaves no doubt.)

Yet the media, including the Left media (or left-ish) gives us page after page, piece after piece non-stop about the Washington Circus and its Clowns  -- Trump, Cohen, Kushner, etc, etc.. While the big-money killers bag billions outside the media's news-tent . What ever happened to "Hey, Hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?"

Fred Jerome


Re: “We Demand Food for Thought”: UIC Grad Workers On Strike for Living Wages and Respect

Great slogan! Right up there with Harvard’s Clerical organizing drive  (years ago) which was “ Dignity, Democracy and a Dental Plan” and Columbia’s drive in the same period, with the same clerical workforce, “You can’t eat prestige “.

Laura Friedman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Minnesota Amazon Workers Walk Off the Job over Speed-Up

(posting on Portside Labor)

Good for these workers!

Emily Rosenberg


Good for them. Push back much needed. We’re not serfs yet! All success to them

Mary Christine Fitzhugh
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Sounds like the 1800's mills..

Joshua Gordon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


That is sweat shop working conditions.. If not criminal it borders on it. The workers were brave beyond words.

Edna Mckenna
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I talk to Amazon workers when they bring stuff into the main post office when I'm there loading. Sounds like prison.

David Frazer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Beware the Soft Hand of Capital

"Diversifying the face of power legitimizes power; the stereotypical mean-faced boss is not the only one to bring about exploitative and oppressive results. A world where Black and Brown femmes are your boss, your local cop, and your commander-in-chief is still a world with capitalists, violent state enforcers, and rulers.....

"A world where domination can be sustainable for long periods is possible — nothing about going green per se dictates that we will not still live under the boot of our bosses, that Black and Brown folks will not bear the brunt of systemic violence, or that the state’s baton will not come down on us and our resistive movements. With so many intersecting crises at this point in time, it is not hard to imagine a world where our rulers appease some of our greener and more social sensibilities to lay the groundwork for a new version of capitalism.

"If there were a possibility to create a softer, greener and more need-aware capitalism, this would almost certainly be created on the backs of low-income femmes of color largely in peripheral nations who continually pay the price without reaping its benefits. A sustainable, socially aware capitalism is likely impossible without the permanent, racialized underclass already manufacturing the solar panels, compost bins, and electric cars of a woke capitalism in the making."

Susan Collier Lamont
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Debunking the Capitalist Cowboy

“ ... With these cases, the ATC succeeded in using the Fourteenth Amendment to insist that the corporation not be seen as a public institution, chartered by a state for the public good, but as a private individual, deserving protection from the state. In the end, the ATC’s victory became part of the story of Reconstruction’s failures and unforeseen consequences: the Fourteenth Amendment had meant to create enhanced federal protections for individual private property rights in order to shield African Americans from state-level attacks after the close of the Civil War. Instead corporations immediately began using the Fourteenth Amendment to protect themselves from state-level regulations—and because corporations were chartered by states, all regulations at this time were at the level of the state.

The point was not whether corporations were persons, but what kind of persons they were, with what rights and protections.

The common law basis of the U.S. and British legal systems is based on the individual as the unit of law. The form of the corporation developed as a way to legally render a collective as a singular entity, or legal person. States chartered such corporations as public persons with obligation to the public good. A wide variety of projects took corporate form, from public works projects, to schools, to businesses. The British East India Company and Virginia Company are two examples of British corporations chartered to pursue colonization for the good of England. ...”

Christopher Peragine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


"enhanced legal personhood" .... ugh!

Dale Allen Boland
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Worse Than the Wall

It seems easier for many people trained in the conventional fragmentation of political thought to point to "the wall" while the incarceration/deportation terror continues than to focus on the human rights of the migrants AND their right to live in their lands of origin without destabilization and rigidification of their economies and governments with U.S. policy assistance.

That is rather similar to it being easier to focus on Russia while giving less notice to the constitutional rigging, the long tradition of disenfranchisement, the "foreign influence" of Wall St., corporations, and lobbyists, and the ongoing attempts to destroy what's left of the safety net and to convert everyone's interest in the environment's future into the immediate profit of the few.

The implication I find in the above is that we practice and teach ways to combine attention to detail AND comprehensive thinking at the same time, and teach others to look beyond the latest "breaking news."

Joseph Maizlish, Los Angeles


Re: Venezuela, US Solidarity, and the Future of Socialism

Steve Striffler seems to be saying that if the US left had been more supportive of Chavez, things would be less dire for Venezuela and Maduro. I don't see it. There are three positions among liberal-to-left thinkers on Venezuela. The first is to agree with the right: Maduro is the worst thing that ever happened to the country, and Guaido looks good by comparison. This view is not heard from the left very often. The second sees Chavez as the greatest thing to happen to Venezuela, and Maduro is carrying on his legacy. But that argument makes it hard to explain what's going on now, beyond saying that it's all about US sanctions and aggression, and we can ignore corruption, mismanagement and repression.

Solidarity will always be secondary, fairly or not. No point in blaming the US left for that. But opposing the threat of a US-engineered coup is something around which we can get maximum unity.

Ethan Young
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: We Understand Our Parents' Pain, but the Cuba Embargo Continues to Hurt Our `Hermanos' on the Island

The Cuba embargo accomplish nothing, just the Inflated ego of the pro Batista regime that's still languish among Cuban descent. After sixty years Cuba has become a votes getters for the republicans.

Carlos J. Sosa
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The damm embargo hasn't caused a dent in Cuba in 60 years! A retarded action by an opportunist, abusive misgovernment! Guantanamo should be closed and savings passed to taxpayers! Relations and trade should be normalized!

Albert Corliss
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: One Million Join March Against Brexit

And yet, the Labor Party is still hoping that somehow that Brexit will fail without them taking the lead in the House to clearly advocate for staying in Europe.

Reg McGhee
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


This is what happens, The insane Right wingers showed for the vote. And Labor\The Left stayed home. And now they have to pay the price. Does this remind you of anything?

Albert Preston
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Islamophobia is a Global Crisis - And It's Time We View It That Way

Does anyone understand the history which led to the Islamic revolution and thus to today's global catastrophe? The left has forgotten that the nations of Islam had banned hate speech and had separated church from state for a time. The entire region was thriving in tourism etc. That all changed when extremists took Mecca hostage in the early 70s. The Saudis could do nothing but give into their demands. Hate then spread thru Islam which led to the Islamic Revolution and total Shariah law. The thousand year conflict began in earnest again. All of these events have given rise to fear in the west. The Universe seeks balance. All hate stems from a fear of the unknown. 20 years of war has taught us that boots on the ground just unites Islam against all. As a 20 yr veteran i can say that. Canada made huge gains toward peaceful resolutions between tribal leaders and Taliban fighters. Not with guns. It was done with dialogue and understanding. This earned us great respect in Afghanistan. Fear kills all of that.

Mike Preston
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Brecht's Poetry: Angry or Evil?

(posting on Portside Culture)

It's good to have so much of Brecht's poetry available in English. But my primary peeve about the translations in this new volume is they pay absolutely no attention to the music to which many of these poems were set, especially those from the critical play about racism and the coming of fascism, THE ROUNDHEADS AND THE POINTEDHEADS. 

To hear the first complete recording of the Eisler score for the 14 songs in this play, go here.

Leonard J. Lehrman


    "Hatred, even of meanness
    Makes you ugly.
    Anger, even at injustice
    Makes your voice hoarse. Oh, we
    Who wanted to prepare the land for friendliness
    Could not ourselves be friendly"

Rosa Squillacote
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


State of Tipped Worker Movement- March 2019 (ROC Action - Restaurant Opportunities Center)

There is so much momentum for One Fair Wage right now!

"If you are living off tips it means you are not getting a living wage. It means you are dependent upon the kindness, or generosity of strangers."


Around the country, busloads of restaurant workers have been visiting their state capitols to demand One Fair Wage. Despite one New York Times article featuring the opposition, these workers' activities have resulted in lots of great coverage in the NY Daily News, Politico, Fox, City & State, and many other outlets.

Policy Shift

Federal News

We continue to build momentum toward April passage of the Raise the Wage Act, which would make history when the House becomes the first federal legislative body to reject the subminimum wage since the Emancipation of slaves in the US. In addition, on April 10, Senator Patty Murray will be introducing the BE HEARD Act, which addresses sexual harassment across many different sectors and includes One Fair Wage as the solution to sexual harassment in the restaurant industry! Sen. Murray’s bill will be an excellent vehicle to mobilize women and all restaurant workers around ending sexual violence and One Fair Wage together!

Federal legislators continue to work with ROC to raise the issue in various events. Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY) spoke passionately about the bill and her own experiences of sexual harassment at our NY One Fair Wage Ideas Conference on March 22.

In Pennsylvania, with leadership by Campaign Co-Manager Sigute Meilus and Pennsylvania Director Sam Jones, after Governor Tom Wolf introduced the most aggressive One Fair Wage bill in the country, ROC and SIX (the progressive state legislators' association) held a series of events at the State Capitol with Democratic legislative leadership on Thursday, March 21 

For more information:

One Fair Wage  
275 Seventh Ave., Suite 1703
New York, NY 10001


Teaching A People's History of Abolition and the Civil War (Rethinking Schools)

Teaching A People's History of Abolition and the Civil War

Teaching a People’s History of Abolition and the Civil War is a collection of 10 classroom-tested lessons on one of the most transformative periods in U.S. history. These lessons encourage students to take a critical look at the popular narrative that centers Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator and ignores the resistance of abolitionists and enslaved people.

The collection aims to help students understand how ordinary citizens — with ideas that seem radical and idealistic — can challenge unjust laws, take action together, pressure politicians to act, and fundamentally change society.

"A valuable blueprint for teaching the history of abolitionism and the end of slavery. . . . Coming at a moment of activism by modern descendants of the struggle for freedom, the book could not be more timely."

- Eric Foner
DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

“By debunking the false history of lone great men and restoring the role of diverse coalitions of ordinary people working together to make extraordinary change, these lessons provide a factual basis for hope and inspiration amid oppressive circumstances.”

- Chenjerai Kumanyika 
Assistant professor of Journalism and Media Studies, Rutgers University. Co-executive producer and co-host of Gimlet Media’s Peabody Award-winning podcast Uncivil

Buy Now  

Rethinking Schools
In the US or Canada: 1-800-669-4192
International calls: 1-802-862-0095
Fax: 1-802-864-7626


GOOD TROUBLE: A History and Handbook for Today’s Resistance (Hard Ball Press)…

New Book Demonstrates How Ordinary American Communities Challenge the One Percent and Win

Good Trouble: A Shoeleather History of Nonviolent Direct Action is a riveting chronicle of stories that prove time and again the actions of thoughtful, committed people can change their country and the world. It is a brisk, inspiring primer for veteran activists and newcomers alike.

Civil Rights struggles. “Fight for $15” strikes. Tenant occupations. LGBT campaigns. Each of the 40-plus examples in Good Trouble focuses on the power of organizing and mobilizing, relevant in any context, and serves as an “emergency tool kit” for nonviolent direct action.

“Good Trouble comes to us at a time when faith in our democracy is fading,” writes Rev. Damaris Whittaker, senior minister of Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York. “Change is the result of action, but those without hope do not act. Good Trouble is a tale of overcoming despair to beat the system,” says Jackie Allen-Doucot, lifelong member of the Catholic Worker Movement.

The book takes its title from a quote by John Lewis, member of congress and legendary civil rights hero, who led a 2016 sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House Of Representatives: “Dr. King and Rosa Parks inspired me to get into trouble. Good Trouble.”

Good Trouble author Steve Thornton is a retired union organizer who has spent forty-five years on the front lines of student, labor, community, environmental, and anti-racist struggles. This is his third book, the first with Hard Ball Press, publisher of a wide range of working class writings.

Available at Hard Ball Press, and independent booksellers everywhere.
Price: $10.00
ISBN: 978-1-7328088-7-4
Publisher: Hard Ball Press
Release date: March 15, 2019 – 917-428-1342
Page count: 100


Sneak Preview - The Boys Who Said NO - A Documentary on Draft Resistance - New York City - March 30



SNEAK PREVIEW MARCH 30 IN MANHATTAN of a nearly-completed documentary about draft resistance during the Vietnam War, with never-before-seen interviews with Joan Baez.

15th Street Quaker Meeting House
15 Rutherford Place, east of Union Square
Saturday, March 30, from 3 to 6 pm.
$25 donation requested.

Sample clip

More information and tickets


On April 4th, Honor the FULL Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 4, 2019 will mark the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tragic and untimely assassination, and the 52nd anniversary of his prophetic speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”. United for Peace and Justice encourages you to honor Dr. King’s full legacy by organizing a public reading of the speech in your community. We have prepared a “kit” to help you organize a reading. And you can download some printable posters here.

When Dr. King gave this speech, the United States was embroiled in the Vietnam War. The country was in turmoil as peace activists resisted the draft, and anti-war and civil rights protesters took to the streets. King’s speech laid bare the relationship between U.S. wars abroad and the racism and poverty being challenged by the civil rights movement at home. And it was controversial in some parts of the civil rights movement.

Dr. King’s words were both precautionary and prophetic, providing both a diagnosis and a cure – “a true revolution of values” – for our society’s gravest illnesses, “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.” And they have never been timelier.  

The U.S. has been at war in Iraq for more than 27 years. Today, the U.S. continues to wage wars around the world as tensions among nuclear-armed nations rise to levels not seen since the darkest days of the Cold War. The endless wars have cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars, while the needs of growing numbers of Americans go unmet.

The President’s budget request for 2020, released on March 11, would slash funding for nearly every agency except the Pentagon. Trump’s budget calls for $750 billion in military spending, a nearly 5 percent increase over 2019 spending. And it calls for a 9 percent cut in all other discretionary spending, including education, affordable housing, environmental protection, scientific and medical research, public health, diplomacy and more. It also calls for additional cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, Dr. King declared: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”

This year, we join with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, in working to achieve Dr. King’s “revolution of values”. And we associate ourselves with the upcoming Global Days of Action on Military Spending to demand: “Demilitarize: Invest in People’s Needs!”

On this day of remembrance honoring Dr. King, let’s call on our country to reverse course and turn towards humanity, law and decency. Let’s honor the full legacy of Dr. King’s work opposing militarism, racism and poverty - the “axis of evil” in the struggle for peace and justice.  

Click here for more Martin Luther King, Jr. resources.  

Thanks for all you do for peace and justice! – The UFPJ Coordinating Committee

United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ)
244 Fifth Ave,  Suite D55
New York, NY 10001

Call or leave a message at:
(917) 410-0119


Red State Revolt: Book Launch - April 4 - New York (Verso Books)


Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM

The People's Forum
320 West 37th Street
New York, New York 10018

Please join us for the launch of Eric Blanc's Red State Revolt (forthcoming from Verso) with a discussion featuring Eric, Jane McAlevey, and Emily Comer. Copies will be available for sale at the launch. 

Endorsed by the NYC-DSA Labor Branch and the Movement of Rank and File Educators. 

Thirteen months after Trump allegedly captured the allegiance of “the white working class,” a strike wave—the first in over four decades—rocked the United States. Inspired by the wildcat victory in West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and across the country walked off their jobs and shut down their schools to demand better pay for educators, more funding for students, and an end to years of austerity.

Confounding all expectations, these working-class rebellions erupted in regions with Republican electorates, weak unions, and bans on public sector strikes. By mobilizing to take their destinies into their own hands, red state school workers posed a clear alternative to politics-as-usual. This year, educators in LA, Oakland, Virginia, and Colorado have followed suit, demonstrating the power of working-class mobilization in transforming labor. 

A former high school teacher and longtime activist, Eric Blanc embedded himself into the rank-and-file leaderships of the walkouts, where he was given access to internal organizing meetings and secret Facebook groups inaccessible to most journalists. The result is one of the richest portraits of the labor movement to date. 

Red State Revolt: The Teachers' Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics by Eric Blanc is available from Verso on April 23rd.  Copies will be available for sale at the launch. 

Eric Blanc is the son of educators, a former high school teacher, a writer for Jacobin magazine, and a doctoral student in sociology at New York University.

Jane McAlevey is an organizer, author and scholar. Her first book, Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell), published by Verso Press, was named the “most valuable book of 2012” by The Nation Magazine. Her second book, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age, published by Oxford University Press, was released late in 2016. She is a regular commentator on radio and TV. She continues to work as an organizer on union campaigns, lead contract negotiations, and train and develop organizers.

Emily Comer is a teacher and union activist in Charleston, WV.


Early Bird Registration for Left Forum 2019 Now Open! - Brooklyn - June 28 - 30

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Left Forum 2019

What is left to be done?

One does not have to watch a film or read a novel to encounter the present dystopian reality of the world. Faced with ongoing economic and political crises, recent spikes in reactionary and fascist movements, and the prospects that we are/have reached a point of no return with respect to ecological destruction and life on this planet; one may wonder, “what is left to be done?” To begin to answer this question and find hope and potential despite catastrophe, the left needs to imagine and enact alternatives while recognizing those already in existence. At a time when it may seem that most alternatives and options have been exhausted, what types of progressive and radical responses and possibilities can be proposed? What can we learn from past and current struggles and traditions moving forward? With these questions in mind, this year’s Left Forum seeks strong and creative workshops and proposals which understand the myriad challenges we face and the urgent task at hand. We welcome and encourage submissions from a broad array of struggles and perspectives which can assist in radically imagining and building different presents and futures.

Fri, June 28, 2019, 4:00 PM – Sun, June 30, 2019, 7:00 PM EDT

Long Island University Brooklyn
1 University Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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