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Tidbits - Mar. 5, 2020 - Reader Comments: 2020 elections, Bernie, the media; Coronavirus - Science, Trump, Pence, message from Wuhan, China; Iran Resources; Chile Webinar; Normalize US-Cuba Relations Conference; Rosenberg Fund 30th Anniversary; more....

Reader Comments: 2020 elections, Bernie, DNC, the media; Coronavirus - Science, Trump, Pence, message from Wuhan, China; Iran Resources; Chile Webinar; Normalize US-Cuba Relations Conference; Future of American Labor; Rosenberg Fund 30th Anniversary;

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements AND cartoons - Mar. 5, 2020, Portside

Re: The DNC and the Establishment Media vs Bernie's Campaign (Deborah Holmes)
Re: The Important Word in ‘Democratic Socialism’ is ‘Democratic’ (Jose Luis Vazquez; Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon)
Re: Civic Religion and the Secular Jew (Eugenio Hopgood Dávila; Aida Rivera)
What Bernie Said, What Trump Says  --  cartoon by David Whammond
Re: Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget (Mike Liston; Geoffrey Jacques; Mickey Gallagher)
U.S. Public Health Alert: Avoid the Dreaded Pendejovirus  --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
Re: Sick Employees Should Stay Home to Fight Coronavirus. But Many Don't Have Sick Leave (Laura Owen; Mike Glick)
Re: Sidelining Scientists Can Only Make COVID-19 Worse (Bequi Marie)
Re: The Fox-Trump Coronavirus Feedback Loop (Russell Antracoli; Karen Costanzo)
Re: Pandemic, Meet the Trump Personality Cult (Harlan Lovitt; Jacques Landry)
Pence rolls out plan for Coronavirus  --  cartoon by Dan Wasserman
Re: The Epidemic is Both a Challenge and an Opportunity (Steve in Wuhan)
Re: Sotomayor Issues Scathing Dissent in Supreme Court Order that Could Reshape Legal Immigration (Dickie Gonzalez; Margarita Rodriguez; Jose Santos)
Re: Bank Workers Unionize for the First Time in 40 Years (Henry Noble)
Re: Doctors Say They Face 'Moral Injury' Because of a Business Model that Interferes with Patient Care (Susan Rosenthal)
Re: Philippine Banana Farmers: Their Cooperatives and Struggle for Land Reform and Sustainable Agriculture (Food First)
Re: A New Pentagon Papers or the Same old Almost Endless War? (Aida Rivera; Luis Gerardo Cerra; Vernie Henry)
Re: Why Does Little Women Still Matter? Review of Little Women (2019) – Directed by Greta Gerwig (Suzanne Fox)

Resources:

Harvard Law Review Says BDS is Not Discriminatory
New IRAN content: Coronavirus, sanctions and Parliament in crisis (MERIP)

Announcements:

Webinar: Chile Awaken / Chile Despertó  --  March 14
International Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba Relations - New York - March 21 & 22
Book Talk - Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present and Future of American Labor by Steven Greenhouse - New York - April 15 (New York NewsGuild, the International Labor Communications Association, the Metro New York Labor Communications Council)
Rosenberg Fund for Children 30th Anniversary Celebration - Holyoke, MA - May 9

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Re: The DNC and the Establishment Media vs Bernie's Campaign
 

So ... we know the "lamestream media" are mobilizing against Bernie. For that reason, I didn't understand your point (in email earlier today) that Bernie will get more favorable media coverage than Corbyn did. Can you explain?

Meanwhile ... are reasonable people seriously claiming that the Russians aren't meddling in our campaigns?

The Democratic Party establishment ... spent nearly the next three years constructing "Russiagate" to claim it was Russian collusion that elected Trump, not Hillary Clinton's failed campaign, Russian collusion that exposed the corruption within official Democratic ranks. In the process, "journalists" like Rachel Maddow completely lost credit by buying into the Russiagate conspiracy hook, line, and sinker.

Deborah Holmes

 

Re: The Important Word in ‘Democratic Socialism’ is ‘Democratic’
 

Too late. People here have such a limited little attention span. He made a mistake by mentioning Cuba in Florida. Bad coaching within his team.

Jose Luis Vazquez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Jose Luis Vazquez The old "guard" of Cuban exiles, still rooted in pre-Castro, Batista and Mafia days, keep dreaming about a return to the "old good days" of the privileged few. Aside from that, current generations of Cuban youth and emerging professionals are not easily influenced by just anti-Castro rhetoric. They fairly acknowledge that despite an authoritarian inclined regime, their progress in education and health is unquestionable. So Bernie is on the right track. He is catering to those liberated minds not to the anachronic clan of aged Cubans still fantasizing a return to their Prado mansions.

Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Civic Religion and the Secular Jew
 

Bernie Sanders is indeed a modern day prophet. Very much into the Jewish tradition of prophets calling for justice. I hope the American People listen to him and elect him.

Eugenio Hopgood Dávila
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Sanders has never objected to prayers, he believes, like me, in separation of Church and state... it was the vision that our forefathers wrote into the Constitution. There is freedom to practice whatever religion any wish but that cannot affect the liberties and religions of others. That is what was meant when they wrote that Congress could not pass any law with respect to establishing any religion nor forbidding the free exercise of any religion.

Aida Rivera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

What Bernie Said, What Trump Says  --  cartoon by David Whammond

David Whammond
March 1, 2020
Yakima Herald (WA)

 

Re: Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget
 

Hedges speaks the hard truth. We gave them their out just as they were given their out with FDR. Next time, it won't be so nice, either 1984 US style (seems to me we're just about there) or a real government of the People, by the People and for the People! See you there folks, it's not me, it's us, and please think of our kids, 

Mike Liston

     =====

Reading this, I had to do a double-take when I read the name of the writer. I had thought Daniel de Leon died in 1914. "I never died, said he," has, it seems, more than one function as a poetic allusion. On the other hand, one should never underestimate the fury of a former priest (or, to be more accurate, minister); the passion of the convert is the hottest of all passions. It is also the passion that has the least concern with the realities of the material world.

Geoffrey Jacques
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I'm reminded of the famous quote from Lenin in his discussions with some students: "I don't know how radical you are, or how radical I am. I am certainly not radical enough. One can never be radical enough; that is, one must always try to be as radical as reality itself."

Mickey Gallagher
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

U.S. Public Health Alert: Avoid the Dreaded Pendejovirus  --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
 

Lalo Alcaraz
March 1, 2020
Pocho Ñews y Satire

 

Re: Sick Employees Should Stay Home to Fight Coronavirus. But Many Don't Have Sick Leave

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

Our country has never protected its workers, ever. And I doubt, unless this country takes draconian measures to make sick employees to stay home if they have covid-19. Which will never happen. Infectious sick workers, under the gun to come to work, no matter what, will bite the bullet and put on blinders like a horse . And do this because,

Laura Owen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Why we need Medicare for All AND paid sick leave for all! To protect ALL of us (even the one percent, lol)

Mike Glick
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Sidelining Scientists Can Only Make COVID-19 Worse
 

If there is anything I would like to see less when it comes to an outbreak such as this, it's a political voice that intentionally enables and causes harm.

The AIDS pandemic thanks to politicians, was tantamount to genocide in my view. Some lessons you only have to learn once.

A lot of people have started to share reliable and qualified medical sources for information and I think that effort needs to continue.

Bequi Marie
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Fox-Trump Coronavirus Feedback Loop
 

Wow his handling of this and turning it into a political thing, or a conspiracy against him, another so called hoax is another example of his narcissism, amazing, this may move many on the edge over to the anti-Trump column, he may be a victim this virus himself.

Russell Antracoli
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

we deserve so much better from our government during this crisis and all the other crap he has said and done

Karen Costanzo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

=
 

Re: Pandemic, Meet the Trump Personality Cult
 

Everyone use common sense. Wash your hands, use sanitizer, stay home if sick, avoid large crowds, etc.

Harlan Lovitt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

It seems we are in a dangerous and soon uncontrollable down spiral...

Jacques Landry
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Pence rolls out plan for Coronavirus  --  cartoon by Dan Wasserman
 

Dan Wasserman
March 2, 2020
Boston Globe

 

Re: The Epidemic is Both a Challenge and an Opportunity
 

Once again Portside promotes a Western, Eurocentric view of the corona virus situation, all due respects to Il Manifesto. There are Chinese English language sources that present a viewpoint of a non-white, non-European, anti-imperialist perspective, reflecting the experience of the Communist Party of China and the leading role it plays in the lives of about 25% of humanity. Might I recommend Global Times, XinhuaNet, and People's Daily Online. In particular, you might look at Anger grows over CDC recommendation of no mask needed and US politicizing of coronavirus. as in the not too distant future Americans will likely be facing a novel corona virus epidemic of your own, with only a rudimentary and politicized public health infrastructure incapable of implementing a patriotic health campaign. 

Steve in Wuhan

 

Re: Sotomayor Issues Scathing Dissent in Supreme Court Order that Could Reshape Legal Immigration
 

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Words being turned hollow by the current administration. I’m not singling out Trump ‘cause he’s not doing this all by himself.

Dickie Gonzalez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

God bless you, your honor for doing what’s right

Margarita Rodriguez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

The wise Latina, I love her

Jose Santos
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Bank Workers Unionize for the First Time in 40 Years

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

This is terrific. I remember supporting the Seafirst union years ago. The bank fought the workers all the way to the U.S.. Supreme Court.

Henry Noble

 

Re: Doctors Say They Face 'Moral Injury' Because of a Business Model that Interferes with Patient Care
 

As a physician with over 40 years in the Canadian medical system, I can totally relate to this article.

During the 1980s, the industrial model of "lean production" was imposed on the service sector. The result has been a massive deterioration in the quality of patient care and in the working environment for medical staff.  Today's hospitals function like factories, where different departments attend to different parts of the body in assembly-line fashion, moving patients through the system within predetermined time limits. In the US, the goal is to raise productivity and increase profits. In Canada, the goal is to raise productivity and cut costs.

Some physicians are eager accomplices. According to Canadian surgeon Dr. Frank Listra, "We need to treat patients like they are on an assembly line. We  need to create a team, an assembly line, and do it exactly the same way every time." (Quoted in The Medical Post, March 26, 2013, p.47)

Health Information Technology (HIT) is the key to raising medical productivity. HIT includes electronic health or medical records (EHRs or EMRs), computer-based diagnostic and treatment protocols, and radio-frequency identification tracking badges that reveal the wearer's location and how much time is spent on each task.

Skilled workers have more leverage on the job, and HIT degrades skills. Complex tasks are broken into smaller units that can be completed by less-skilled, lower-paid staff: physicians are replaced with nurse practitioners, registered nurses with practical nurses, practical nurses with orderlies, and so on, to the point that clerks with no medical training approve or deny access to medical treatments. This process of 'deskilling' reduces the complexity of tasks, making it easier to intensify and speed up the work or to automate it. The result for medical staff is exhaustion and demoralization.

A standardized, one-size-fits-all approach is medically dangerous. Information technology cannot recognize differences among patients that weren't programmed into it beforehand. It can only treat patients like machines, as if they always behaved as expected. In reality, no two patients are identical, no medical problem follows a fully predictable course, and people can respond very differently to the same treatments.

Standardization, under-staffing, and speedups combine to make 'medical error' the third leading cause of death in the United States.

No compassion

There is no room for compassion in standardized medicine. Income is not generated when staff take time to speak with patients and their families or to consult with colleagues. From management's perspective, this is 'wasted' time that could be more profitably spent moving more patients through the system. This approach is especially cruel in the 'mental health' sector.

Effective psychological support is tailored to the individual, helping them to identify the source of their suffering, make meaning of their experience, and move safely through their crisis. Such individualized care takes time and patience.

Employers and insurance companies want distressed people returned to work as quickly and cheaply as possible. To meet this demand, psychiatry standardized the response to suffering by grouping distressed people into DSM categories and treating everyone in the same category the same way. DSM checklists, Structured Clinical Interviews, tick-box questionnaires, and scripted interventions can be administered quickly, by non-experts, at low cost.

'Evidence-based psychotherapy' is a code phrase for manualized therapy that is conducted by following an instruction manual. Empirical research shows that such 'evidence-based' therapies are largely ineffective. When patients do not improve, they are told that 'therapy' does not work for them, and they need drugs. The drugs are also standardized, so that everyone in the same DSM category is prescribed similar drugs. If these drugs worked as promised, we would see a decline in mental distress, yet the opposite is true. No drug can relieve the misery of living in a social system that doesn't care about you or what you need.

Standardized, assembly-line 'therapy' is dehumanizing for service users and providers. People in distress need someone to listen patiently, empathize with their situation, and help them with their problems for as long as it takes. Such individualized care is impossible when the provider is not allowed to deviate from the manual in order to hear a story or explore a person's needs. Erasing the human connection turns a caring service provider into a technician and a distressed service user into a faulty machine that needs 'fixing.'

The solution favored by most doctors, including the ones in this article, is to demand a return to the previous, physician-dominated system. see https://fixmoralinjury.org/. This is, essentially, the cry of the small business owner being squeezed by the powerful corporation.

We cannot return to the small-business medical model (which generates its own problems), because the corporate demand for profit will not allow it. The only real solution is to eliminate profit from all human interactions and to provide everyone with what they need, simply because they need it.

Susan Rosenthal, MD
Socialism is the best medicine
(Much of this material is excerpted from my book, Rebel Minds).

 

Re: Philippine Banana Farmers: Their Cooperatives and Struggle for Land Reform and Sustainable Agriculture
 

Happy to have our report republished at Portside. Check it out if you haven't already!

Food First
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: A New Pentagon Papers or the Same old Almost Endless War?
 

All wars in the Middle East in which the US intervened were out of greed for those countries oil, never to do good for people that they felt were oppressed by those governments. Quite recently when Trump abandoned the Kurds that helped US defeat ISIS, he clearly said that “we are taking the oil fields”. Speaks loudly of true intentions and certainly are not humanitarian....

Aida Rivera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Most wars, are pure economics!..fought by young men who kill and die and don’t hate each other, sent to the battlefield by old men, who want to be richer, and hate each other!......

Luis Gerardo Cerra
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

For being a peaceful country we fight an awful lot of senseless wars. I remember George Bush going into Iraq and Afghanistan and I was shocked that he would get us into something we could never win. I also remember Obama saying he was going to end those wars and close Gitmo! Well, he did not do it! Both of the major parties are worthless because they have been in power way too long. I just wonder how long the citizens of this country will put up with them.

Vernie Henry
Posted on Portside's Facebook page
 

 

Re: Why Does Little Women Still Matter? Review of Little Women (2019) – Directed by Greta Gerwig
 

(posting on Portside Culture)

I appreciate your review and analysis. I did love the film!

Suzanne Fox

 

Harvard Law Review Says BDS is Not Discriminatory
 

With a Harvard Law Review legal opinion, opposition to the muzzling of pro-Palestine speech is growing, in both academia and wider society 

GOOD NEWS for freedom of speech and legal interpretation! 👏🎉 After years of attacks on BDS in academia, the Harvard Law Review issued a definitive statement - backed by legal references - stating that "anti-BDS laws are not backed by a valid anti-discrimination interest," and that BDS should NOT be banned!

Pro-Israel censorship takes a hit - pro-Palestine voices won't be silenced
By Nada Elia
February 27, 2020
Middle East Eye

Read full story here

 

New IRAN content: Coronavirus, sanctions and Parliament in crisis (MERIP)
 

Iran's “Resistance Parliament” and the Many Challenges Ahead

By Vahid Abedini and Razieh Armin

Recent parliamentary victories by Iran's conservatives have strengthened their hold on the institution.  But as the country grapples with a mounting list of crises -- from the effects of sanctions to a massive Coronavirus outbreak to Soleimani's assassination -- the government seems less equipped than ever to manage them.  How will conservatives handle mounting popular discontent?  Can these loyalists to the Supreme Leader sideline moderates indefinitely?  This must-read new article answers these questions and many more.

Read the article - click here.

Want more context about what's happening in Iran?  MERIP has lifted its paywall from four more essential articles:

Middle East Research and Information Project
1102 A St Ste 424
Tacoma, WA 98402-5010

 

Webinar: Chile Awaken / Chile Despertó  --  March 14
 

Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 5 PM – 6:30 PM (EST)

Register here.  

No doubt you have been following the incredible uprising in Chile over the past few months.  Ordinary folks have been braving tear gas, chemical sprays and military equipment to take to the streets to demand something different.  Chileans are on the verge of some real wins, including a constitutional assembly, pending on successful vote on April 26th.  Join us Saturday, March 14th at 5 pm Eastern/2 pm Pacific to hear from folks who have been at the frontlines of the uprising. 

Presenters include:

  • A Mapuche (Indigenous) leader
  • One of the organizers of the feminist movement
  • Someone who has been on the “front line” facing off with the police on a regular basis
  • A doctor leading a heath brigade assisting the “front line”

States to keep up the fight against the global forces right-wing fascism and neoliberalism while supporting the Chilean People.

You can register for the call here

Hear about what they are doing, and what we can do in the United States to keep up the fight against the global forces right-wing fascism and neoliberalism while supporting the Chilean People.

 

International Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba Relations - New York - March 21 & 22
 

Fordham School of Law
140 W 62nd St
New York City

March 22 - 22, 2020

In 2019 the Trump White House and State Department has escalated political belligerency, economic sanctions, and military threats against Cuba.

  • Cruise ship travel to Cuba from the US has been ended, as has educational travel to Cuba under the “People-to-People” license category. Meanwhile it has become extremely difficult for Cubans to get visas to enter the US for any reason.
  • Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act has been implemented, opening the floodgates for frivolous lawsuits by current US citizens regarding property nationalized by Cuba, in accordance with Cuban and international law, after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959-60. These property claims were all settled by the Cuban state with the rest of the world in the 1960s — Washington alone refused to settle. The policy of the US government was instead to seek the violent overthrow of the Cuban revolutionary government.
  • The Trump Administration, with bipartisan support, promoted a failed military coup in Venezuela. The Trump team then tried to blame Cuba for their own debacle. Washington also aims to increase economic pressure on Cuba by ending the extensive Venezuela-Cuba trade links. Washington has threatened to seize Venezuelan oil shipments to Cuba on the open seas. All of this under the cover of sanctimony and two-faced demagogy about “democracy” and “human rights.”

An effective, sustained, coordinated counter-campaign against all these measures is urgently needed -- especially inside the United States and Canada.

Washington’s escalating attacks on Cuba have seen parallel negative developments in Canada-Cuba relations. The closing of Canada's visa office in Havana has led to unreasonable delays and significant financial obstacles for those Cubans seeking to travel to Canada. It continues to cause significant damage to business, cultural, scientific, and sporting relations. This development represents a serious departure from the relations which Cuba and Canada have enjoyed, especially given their uninterrupted diplomatic relations since 1945. Opposition to these stances of the Trudeau-Freeland government in the Hemisphere – including the important political support given by Ottawa to Trump’s attempted military coup and intervention against Venezuela – have mounted inside Canada. Cuba solidarity and anti-intervention forces across Canada and Quebec join in this Call and united organizing effort.

Therefore, in this moment of new threats and attacks, we call on you to join with the broad national and international forces that defend Cuba’s right to self-determination and unconditionally oppose the US economic, commercial, financial, and travel sanctions – the blockade.

As the 2020 US Presidential, Congressional, State, and local elections approach, together let’s plan united actions and campaigns to end this historic injustice!

The below signatories are issuing this Call for a 2nd National Conference for the Normalization of US-Cuba relations over the weekend of
 

March 21-22, 2020 at
Fordham School of Law
150 West 62nd St.
New York City, New York

Having the International Cuba Conference in New York City, the seat of the United Nations General Assembly, will ensure the presence of a significant number of Cuban guests and authentic representatives.

VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES AT:
www.CubaSiNYNJCoalition.org
www.US-CubaNormalization.org

email: info@us-cubanormalization.org

Conference Panels Are Organized for Action Against the Blockade

 

Book Talk - Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present and Future of American Labor by Steven Greenhouse - New York - April 15
 

Presenting a reading and discussion of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020  --  6:30 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

The NewsGuild of New York
1500 Broadway
#900
New York, NY 10036

FREE  --  Register here.

This event is proudly co-sponsored by the New York NewsGuild, the International Labor Communications Association, the Metro New York Labor Communications Council, the National Employment Lawyers Association / New York, and the New York Labor History Association.

The sponsors thank the NY NewsGuild for donating the event space.

The International Labor Communications Association, founded in 1955, is the professional organization of labor communicators in North America. ILCA membership is open to national, regional, and local union publications and to media productions affiliated with the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the CLC, as well as to associate members not affiliated with those bodies. The ILCA’s several hundred members produce publications with a total circulation in the tens of millions.

 

Rosenberg Fund for Children 30th Anniversary Celebration - Holyoke, MA - May 9
 

Join Angela Y. Davis and others for a very special evening celebrating the RFC's 30 years of supporting the children of resistance!

Saturday, May 9, 2020
7:00 pm — 9:00 pm (doors & cash bar open at 6:15)

Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St., Holyoke, MA

$30 General Admission

$130 Anniversary Circle (Includes preferred seating, listing in program, and choice of complimentary Abel Meeropol book or Nields CD. $90 per ticket is tax-deductible.)

To buy tickets via check download an order form here.
 

Join RFC Advisory Board member, Angela Y. Davis, poet Martín Espada (also an Advisory Board member), folk rockers The Nields, Robert and Jenn Meeropol, Board of Directors member José Ayerve, and former RFC grant recipients Leah Grady Sayvetz and Davíd Morales, for this very special evening honoring activism, resistance, and the power of community across generations.

Guests are invited to mingle with RFC staff, board, and performers, and enjoy a cash bar following the program until 10:00 pm.

Parking is available on street, in nearby lots, and at the Proulx Municipal Parking Garage on Dwight St. (View parking map here.)

For pre-event, on-site dining info and other venue questions, visit Gateway City Arts or contact the venue at 413-650-2670 or hello@gatewaycityarts.com.

Seating is limited at this intimate event so early ticket purchase is recommended!

RFC Advisory Board member Angela Y. Davis is a scholar, activist, writer, and Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.

Leah Grady Sayvetz and Davíd Morales are former RFC grant recipients and have been peer mentors for younger RFC grantees.

Leah lives in Ithaca, NY, where she grew up in the Catholic Worker Community which follows Dorothy Day's call to follow the works of mercy and resist the works of war. Her education took place in courtrooms supporting civil resisters, at the White House, Department of Energy, Pentagon, and School of the Americas to protest US imperialism, making protest art and puppetry in the streets, visiting her mom in Federal prison during a six-month sentence for protesting the Iraq War, and in the garden growing food to share with neighbors in her low-income neighborhood. As an adult, Leah has carried on her connection to the land and to her family's tradition of activism, participating in a wide range of movements for justice.

Davíd lives in his hometown of San Diego, CA. As a teenager he was banned from his high school graduation after organizing against the militarization of his school and the marginalization of working class students of color. He’s now an educator in the same district, teaching, culture, language, critical thinking, and rebellion (via 9th and 12th grade Spanish), while continuing to be active with immigrants’ rights work, and organizations like Project YANO (Youth and Non-Military Opportunities) and Colectivo Zapatista.

RFC Advisory Board member Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His many honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, an American Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His book The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latinx community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Western MA-based folk rockers The Nields (sisters Nerissa and Katryna) have been lighting up the indie circuit with their sibling harmonies and generous and warm performance style, since 1991. They’ve produced 20 albums, scored major and independent record and publishing deals, and shared the stage with 10,000 Maniacs, The Band, James Taylor, and the Indigo Girls, among many others. Their latest album, November­­, tackles issues including the climate crisis, the situation at the border, and the fragility of our democracy with messages of hope that pulse like a strong and steady heartbeat.