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Tidbits - Apr.16, 2020 - Reader Comments: COVID Crisis: Congress Must Lead; This is Our Future; Massive Unemployment, Third of Young People Lost Jobs; Sanders Campaign; How Fragile Capitalism Was; Bailout the Pension System; Workers Fightback; Farm Crisis

Reader Comments: COVID Crisis: Congress Must Lead; This is Our Future; Massive Unemployment-One-Third of Young People Lost Jobs; Sanders Campaign; Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Was; Bailout the Pension System; Workers Fight Back; Farm Crisis;

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Apr.16, 2020, Portside

Re: We Cannot Rely on Trump. Congress Must Lead The Way in This Unprecedented Crisis - Bernie Sanders (Carl Davidson; David Zaiss; Bequi Marie; JD Scot; Hoanh Phan)
Re: Sanders/Jayapal Bill Provides 'Medical Care for All During Pandemic' (Rosie Calderon)
Re: Read Bernie Sanders's Full Speech on Ending His Campaign (Henry Rumler; David Alman)
New Yorkers - How to Get Your Absentee Ballot
Trump wants his name on everything. Well, not quite everything.  --  cartoon by Tom Toles
Re: 'Return to Normalcy' Not Going to Be Enough to Win Our Support, Young Progressives Tell Joe Biden (Karen Lee; Shirley Paz; Craig Carl)
Re: A Letter from Locked Down Italy: This is What We Know about Your Future (Hanne Baier; Aida Lu; Miriam Peña Valdivia; Barbara Bambi Sweet-Hansen)
The Whopper King  --  cartoon by Dave Whamond
Re: Almost a Third of Young People Have Lost Their Jobs So Far (Miguel Tamargo; Misa Joo)
Rainbow Appears at 7:00 as Manhattanites Cheer for Essential Workers (Jen Carlson - Gothamist)
Re: Readers Respond Reflections on the Sanders Campaign so Far (Michael Munk; Peter J. Nickitas)
Re: `Never in my country': The COVID-19 Pandemic and US exceptionalism (Hilda Marshall)
Remember to Wash Your Hands  --  cartoon by Jules Feiffer
Re: The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was (Steve Roberts; Rafael Rivera)
Re: Hit Hard by Covid-19, Transit Workers Call for Shutdowns (Philip Specht)
Re: Federal Prison Factories Kept Running as Coronavirus Spread (Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; Ellen Dana Olian Bate; Dennis Brasky)
Climate change advocacy continues during Pandemic (Chuck Woolery)
Re: At 90, Dolores Huerta Is Not Done Inspiring Labor Activists (Dolores Longoria)
Re: Bailout the Pension System (Daniel Millstone)
Re: Why GE Workers Walked Out in Lynn (Magali Cardec)
Re: Farmers are Forced to Let Crops Rot and Throw Away Milk While Food Bank Demand Soars (Jeanne Caciopski; Eleanor Roosevelt; Fernando Medina; Cliff Gulliver; Ricardo Rodriguez; Daniel)
Re: 'Beyond Predatory': Trump Treasury Department Gives Banks Green Light to Seize $1,200 Stimulus Checks to Pay Off Debts (Hilde Edler Souweine; Judyth Hollub)
Re: Interview: Noam Chomsky on How Bosses Are Making Coronavirus `Worse, for Their Benefit' (David Frazer)
Re: Planned Explosion Covered Little Village In Dust During Respiratory Pandemic (Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon; Modesto Feliciano; Helen Donovan)
Re: Math in Music (Peter Wardrop)
Social Distance: Then and Now (Fred L. Pincus)
Report from Austria (Stan Nadel)

Resources:

Organize your Workplace against COVID-19 / Organice su lugar de trabajo contra el COVID-19 (United Electrial Workers (UE) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA))

Announcements:

Special Virtual Events in May! - with Angela Davis, Dolores Huerta, Sonia Sanchez and Sonya Renee Taylor - May 1, 5, 7 and 14 (Speak Out Now)

 

Re: We Cannot Rely on Trump. Congress Must Lead The Way in This Unprecedented Crisis - Bernie Sanders
 

THE LATEST WORD FROM BERNIE. Still leading, even with a 'suspended' campaign. Pass it around.

Carl Davidson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Unprecedented moments require unprecedented leadership and mutuality. We're all in this one.

David Zaiss
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

To be honest, I'm not real wild about this prospect much either, given how many are beholden to corporate overlords. :/ I wish there was a better means to force them to actually do what we need them to.

Bequi Marie
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Republicans already PROVED they can't lead from Nixon to the current president tweet

JD Scot
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Saw this on another post. Copy and Repost. Thank You? 

"I wrote this to my senators and congressional rep last night:

"I am sure, truly, that you are doing everything you can to protect the American people in this time of crisis, but I am at a loss as to why we continue to let President Trump to continue to ramble on as he is, publicly defying common sense, logic, and science. I understand the desire to not politicize a global pandemic any more than it already is, but this man is endangering the health and safety of our people with his foolishness. Why can't he be called to account?

I can't believe there is nothing to be done. If there was ever a time to stand up, it is now.

Thank you."

Hoanh Phan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Sanders/Jayapal Bill Provides 'Medical Care for All During Pandemic'
 

As the number of Americans without health insurance continues to rise rapidly due to ongoing mass layoffs across the nation, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Friday introduced emergency legislation that would empower Medicare to cover all healthcare costs for the uninsured and all out-of-pocket expenses for those with insurance for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Rosie Calderon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Read Bernie Sanders's Full Speech on Ending His Campaign
 

Thanks Bernie and stay active and put all your people who have voted for you and have support Biden our next president. Because 4 more years of trump and there will be nothing left but a complete new dictator named Donald trump.

Henry Rumler
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I first voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, and did so until he died. So I've seen 80 years of political dreams, political corruptions and maneuvers. I ask myself who the 2020 parties in the corona19 years are.  First, The Republican Party, whose Wall Street managers pull all the strings. Then, the Democratic Party, whose Wall Street managers pull somewhat fewer strings. The no-strings majority in the Democratic Party are just plain folks, honest liberals, a bevy of progressives who want to  make fundamental or nearly fundamental, changes on behalf of the majority of Americans, the poor and middle class and the discriminated against.  

The two Wall Street string puller groups have much in common, but differ on quality and quantity scores. What they have in common are reductions in the taxes of the rich, freedom of business to have ultimate control of the holy grail (private property) and a heavy hand in foreign policy, war and peace. The  Wall Street string pullers in the Democratic Party believe in moderately different versions of what they have in common with the Republicans. They would not go anywhere near the taxes imposed by FDR and his early successors, but, say, a small fraction larger than they are now.  They have no wish to weaken business's freedom to move in any direction it wishes, but they believe that actions resembling a weakening of this freedom for business would quiet some of the growing  resistance to its' freedom to throw men and women into poverty and American boys in uniform into wars to claim other nation's oil and other resources. 

I have seen, as I said, 80 years of political corruption, and I wonder whether when the  Rep/Dem string pullers watched Bernie Sanders amass primary votes, they realized that Sanders had wakened the hopes of Americans and would be Mr. Trump's opponent and would likely win. And suddenly Mr. Biden was resuscitated and in the next set of primaries he amassed votes far beyond his own expectations or, for that matter, in my opinion, far beyond the truth. The string pullers of both parties did a primary election coup d'état.  That is where we are now. The maneuver may work, and the winner will be Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden and, in either case, the loser will be the middle class, the workers, the poor and the discriminated against.

David Alman

 

New Yorkers - How to Get Your Absentee Ballot
 

Here's the link to request your absentee ballot. You have to fill out the Absentee Ballot Application first. When you fill it out, check the box for "temporary illness or physical disability" as the reason you're requesting the absentee ballot.
https://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/download/voting/AbsenteeBallot-English.pdf  

 

Trump wants his name on everything. Well, not quite everything.  --  cartoon by Tom Toles
 

He likes credit, of both sorts.

Tom Toles
April 15, 2020
The Washington Post

 

Re: 'Return to Normalcy' Not Going to Be Enough to Win Our Support, Young Progressives Tell Joe Biden
 

Thank you to all who participated in the sunrise movement. We see you and we thank you!

Karen Lee
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I will be voting for Biden but I think it will be status quo. Get progressive Joe for the 99 percent.

Shirley Paz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Well then, what about replacing the psychopath in the White House? How does that grab you, kids?

Craig Carl
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: A Letter from Locked Down Italy: This is What We Know about Your Future
 

This is exactly how I feel facing a uncertain future, don't really knowing who will have one. It is a weird feeling.

Hanne Baier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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Many people already know this including me, that the world as we knew it will never be the same. This has changed our lives already and after it's over it will change even more.

Aida Lu
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

This is a must read article. Read it!!!

Miriam Peña Valdivia
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Amazing... we're already living it like this...

Barbara Bambi Sweet-Hansen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

The Whopper King  --  cartoon by Dave Whamond
 

Dave Whamond
April 14, 2020

 

Re: Almost a Third of Young People Have Lost Their Jobs So Far

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

The undocumented among us will suffer more than anyone else due to their social invisibility. They have for the most part not only lost their income, they do not qualify for unemployment compensation, will not be included in the federal or local stimulus payments, and generally do not have private health insurance.

Miguel Tamargo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

This is shameful

Misa Joo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Rainbow Appears at 7:00 as Manhattanites Cheer for Essential Workers
 

Every night at 7:00 New Yorkers turn out to clap, bang pots, make music in tribute to all the city's essential workers.

Rainbows And Hendrix Join The 7 O'Clock Cheer
By Jen Carlson
April 13, 2020
Gothamist


 

On Monday night (April 13) after a full day of dark skies and unrelenting rain, right as the nightly 7 o'clock cheer took place, the sky turned blue and a full rainbow appeared over New York. If you missed it...scroll down for a special 7 p.m. fire escape homage to Jimi Hendrix).

The daily 7 p.m. clapping started on March 27th, and as each day passes the cheers seem to get louder and more creative. In some areas you'll hear Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," and on Sunday night - somewhere on East 7th Street - one man (who goes by John the Baptist) took his guitar out the fire escape to pay tribute to Jimi Hendrix (filmed by Rainer Turim and shared with Gothamist):

Listen here

Read more - See more here

 

Re: Readers Respond Reflections on the Sanders Campaign so Far
 

Perhaps some of these comments do not give full weight to why those voters declined Bernie. We should not assume that all of them pay such close attention to politics as we do. Most form their views from brief encounters with the media and the media-- once they woke up after Nevada to the nightmare of a Bernie presidency--, did all they could to depict him as a cranky old socialist weak on Castro and therefore "unelectable"  Whether in the popular press like USA Today or the elevated NYTimes, the message was the same and it had an impact on SC and later more importantly in Virginia.

Michael Munk

     =====

I would like one commentator to clarify the label "Whig Option".

History shows that the Whig Party collapsed in the 1850's, between the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.  Northern Whigs who opposed the extension of slavery, and abolitionists, coalesced to create the Republican Party.  1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin are the generally accepted founding year and place of the Republican Party.  The Republican Party ran John Fremont for President in 1856, unsuccessfully.  In 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln won a splintered election with 39.4% of the popular vote.  VP John Breckenridge of Kentucky ran as a Southern Democrat, Stephen Douglas ran as a Northern Democrat, and former Whig John Bell ran as a Constitutional Unionist.  Lincoln won in the Electoral College because he scored a plurality in the overwhelming majority of free states.  Douglas won only two states in the north, Bell won two states, Kentucky and Tennessee, and Breckenridge won the electoral votes of most of the south.

Peter J. Nickitas, attorney,
St. Paul, MN

 

Re: `Never in my country': The COVID-19 Pandemic and US exceptionalism
 

Realizing how fast our healthcare system is overwhelmed should trigger demands for deep sustained cuts in an engorged security budget. But the obscene cost of the world's military hegemony exists on the edge of most Americans' self-understanding.

Hilda Marshall
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Remember to Wash Your Hands  --  cartoon by Jules Feiffer
 

New cartoon from Jules Feiffer, 91 and still going strong

Jules Feiffer
April 1, 2020

 

Re: The Coronavirus Crisis Exposes How Fragile Capitalism Already Was
 

As long as we return to normal when virus in retreat. And, the monetary and ownership losses experienced by individuals and businesses will never be recovered. Our Constitutional freedoms better return soon or we're headed for chaos and eventual anarchy.

Steve Roberts
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I hope this to be the last nail to the coffin of capitalism.

Rafael Rivera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Hit Hard by Covid-19, Transit Workers Call for Shutdowns

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

"In New York City, 50 MTA workers have died as of April 13, more than triple the combined mortality rates of the New York City police and fire departments so far."

Philip Specht
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Federal Prison Factories Kept Running as Coronavirus Spread

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

Prisoners have made furniture, license plates and government uniforms during the pandemic. In a factory, social distancing is almost impossible. At some factories still operating, workers did not get paper face masks until this Monday.

Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

This is the slave labor our pharaoh, Trump, would love to see grow, to enhance his coffers!

Ellen Dana Olian Bate
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

NY State prisoners under Cuomo are being paid $1 per hour to make hand cleanser - and they cannot use it!

Dennis Brasky
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Climate change advocacy continues during Pandemic
 

But the virus sure clipped climate change activists success in generating public and political attention their single minded focus. Hopefully it will wake them up to the fact that our global problems need a comprehensive approach that includes human needs and even other environmental needs if they plan on sustainably protecting us and nature, from government's similar single minded reactionary habits.

"A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe'; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security." 
     
-Albert Einstein. As quoted in Quantum Reality, Beyond the New Physics, p. 250. 
     
Connect the dots! See the web of life! Achieve `justice for all'. Or, prepare for the catastrophic consequences.

Chuck Woolery

 

Re: At 90, Dolores Huerta Is Not Done Inspiring Labor Activists
 

Happy Birthday! I have the GREAT honor of sharing your first name!! I am age 77 and I was born in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. My family and I moved to Washington State in 1959. My 4 younger brothers, my parents and I picked potatoes and blocked beets in that state. When we got older my brothers and I proudly displayed the UFW symbol on our cars and trucks. My brothers were marching with signs. You and Cesar are still our heroes. Y la lucha sigue! Si se puede! I am a registered voter and ready to vote!! Thanks for all your sacrifice!

Dolores Longoria
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Bailout the Pension System
 

Ed Ott, long time labor & progressive activist has the first part of a very important essay here about the looming collapse of private and public pensions. Underfunded, many are headed to insolvency. When that happens old people and workers will be SOL.Many workers (most I think) get no pension at all Missing? How do we begin to fix this? (i, little Johnny one-note, think defeating trump is an essential first step). Thanks to Portside for sending this along.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Why GE Workers Walked Out in Lynn
 

GE Aviation had already announced the layoff of 10 percent of the division workforce. GE Healthcare already produces ventilators, but rather than place new work in GE shops, the corporation struck a deal with GM and Ford instead. GE unions suspect that the corporation, in typical "disaster capitalism" fashion, will take advantage of the crisis to switch more production to nonunion locations

Magali Cardec
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Farmers are Forced to Let Crops Rot and Throw Away Milk While Food Bank Demand Soars
 

the price of milk and meat are skyrocketing.

Jeanne Caciopski
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Enjoy Capitalism.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Our government must also find a way to finance the harvesting and distribution of our farmers' products so that they can be come available for consumer consumption. The government cannot stand idle and let the market prices rise because the little money that the american people have will be taken away by higher prices, and less food. We need action now before its to late.

Fernando Medina
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

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So, we have plenty... yet, hunger...

Cliff Gulliver
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Farmers bailed out while people go hungrier. Mobilize the National Guard NOW to distribute the product to those in need, not to those looking to gouge food prices. Start by offering it free to your farmworkers & surrounding community of unemployed neighbors.

Ricardo Rodriguez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

We have pastures of plenty but people cannot get food. We can fix this but, as a first necessary but not sufficient, step we must defeat trump and his allies everywhere. Thanks to Portside for sending this along.

Daniel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: 'Beyond Predatory': Trump Treasury Department Gives Banks Green Light to Seize $1,200 Stimulus Checks to Pay Off Debts
 

This will be so helpful - for banks, that is.

Hilde Edler Souweine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

How much more proof do we need of Trump's and the Republicans' amorality and avarice? And yet Trump supporters will probably not recognize that they are amongst the groups that are being victimized the most. Let's hope they wake up to these facts before the election.

Judyth Hollub
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Interview: Noam Chomsky on How Bosses Are Making Coronavirus `Worse, for Their Benefit'

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

After the SARS epidemic in 2003, also a coronavirus, it was well understood by scientists that other recurrences of one or another coronavirus was going to come, probably more serious. Well, understanding is not enough. Someone has to pick up the ball and run with it. Now there are two possibilities. One is the drug companies, but they follow normal, capitalist logic. You do what makes profit tomorrow. You don't worry about the fact that in a couple of years everything's going to collapse. That's not your problem. So the drug companies essentially did nothing. There were things that could be done. There was plenty of information circulating. Scientists knew what to do. There could have been preparations. Somebody's got to pay for it. Not the drug companies. Well, in a rational world, even a capitalist world prior to Ronald Reagan, the government could have stepped in and done it...

David Frazer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Planned Explosion Covered Little Village In Dust During Respiratory Pandemic
 

At times it is inevitable to either assume there are inept people or that they hate people.

Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Is the coronavirus do not kill them, the dust from old Crawford coal plant will.

Modesto Feliciano
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Totally unacceptable in the middle of a pandemic!! If I were living in that neighborhood, I would be calling an attorney .. just in case. LEAD, ASBESTOS, and who knows what else!?!?! That dust is going to kill people!! I feel sorry for those who already have respiratory problems.
Take care & God bless all of you!

Helen Donovan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Math in Music
 

I have been a professional musician on and off for 40+ years, and was always lousy at math. But, as I became a better musician, I began to understand the logic aspect of math better. That being said, the thing I like the most about playing music, is improvising, and being unpredictable, which is anti logic.

Peter Wardrope
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Social Distance: Then and Now
 

With all the talk about social distancing during the last two months, I can't help thinking about my graduate school days when I learned about the Social Distance Scale developed almost a century ago by sociologist Emory Bogardus.  Although the times and conceptions of social distance are quite different then and now, issues of racism, xenophobia, anxiety and fear connect the two.

Today, because of the COVID-19 threat, we are all encouraged to practice social distance, meaning keeping physical space from people to protect ourselves and others from the virus.  This makes sense to slow the spread of the virus.  Fortunately, the Trump administration is finally taking COVID-19 more seriously, sort of. Fear of getting sick and anxiety over staying healthy, but isolated, are rising.

In the 1920s, when Bogardus developed the Social Distance Scale, he was concerned with race and ethnic prejudice.  It was a time of immigration restrictions and legalized Jim Crow segregation, especially in the South.

Respondents were given a list of different race and ethnic groups and were asked to indicate "the most intimate relationship that you are willing to accept with a member of each of the groups indicated -- as close relatives by marriage, as close personal friends, as neighbors on the same street, as co-workers in the same occupation, as citizens in the country, as only visitors in the country, or by excluding them from the country." A score of 1 was given if an individual would accept someone from another group as close relatives by marriage (i.e., low social distance/low prejudice).  A score of 7 would be given if an individual would exclude someone from a different group from the country (i.e., high social distance/high prejudice).

In addition to measuring individual prejudice, Bogardus could also measure how different groups were seen by the general public.  People of color were generally given high social distance/high prejudice scores by the rest of the population as were many non-protestant, white immigrants to the United States.  They were seen as immoral, disease-carrying people who would disrupt American culture.  This reflected the immigration restrictions against Chinese and Japanese in the 1920s and the institutionalized racism against blacks.  Jews, Irish and Italians were seen as racially different and inferior to white Protestant Americans.  Fear of the "other" escalated.

Today, some aspects of the current pandemic policy also reflect the original social-distance-as-prejudice concept.  President Trump's first response to the growing pandemic on January 21 was to ban travel from China where COVID-19 originated.  At the time, public health experts were critical of the president, saying other policies like testing, self-quarantine, increasing hospital capacity and not shaking hands were more important.  More recently, news outlets have shown that tens of thousands of people traveled to the United States from China, in spite of the ban.

President Trump announced the European travel ban March 12, although the United Kingdom and Ireland were inexplicably exempted from the ban in spite of the rising number of cases in these two countries.  (The ban was extended to the UK and Ireland several days later). American citizens and legal residents traveling from Europe, who could also bring the virus to the United States, were also exempted from the ban.  Later in the month, the Trump administration closed the border with Mexico and began deporting asylum-seekers who entered the country illegally without any due process. (Mexico had around 100 reported cases of COVID-19 on the time.)  Trump's actions were motivated by xenophobic, tough-on-immigrants policy, including the Muslim ban in addition to his public health concerns?

The President and some other conservatives, also frequently refer to COVID-19 as the "foreign" or "Chinese" or "Wuhan" virus even though it exists around the world. This helps to stir up xenophobic prejudice and practice.  Many Asian Americans, who have never been to China, are reporting being shunned on the streets or being accused of infecting white Americans.  How much of this is due to the fact that COVID-19 originated in China and how much is due to historical anti-Asian prejudice and discrimination as well as the current U.S. - China trade war?

On April 14, Trump announced the freezing of funds for the World Health Organization for causing the spread of the virus.  They were too cozy with China.

While we should continue to observe physical social distance to confront the pandemic, we should also be aware of how social-distance-as-prejudice creeps into the Trump administration's public health policy and other "America First" policies.  It's unfortunate that the Bogardus Social Distance Scale can still be used to measure racist attitudes almost a century since its inception.

Fred L. Pincus
Emeritus Professor of Sociology
University of Maryland Baltimore County

 

Report from Austria
 

The shut down here isn't too bad.  Masks are required in the supermarkets and bakeries (which with the pharmacies are the only shops open for now), but generally we don't wear them outside--sunshine is a very effective disinfectant when combined with a bit of distance. We have some young guys downstairs who have done a major shopping for us--especially heavy liquids like beer and juices--but I'm going pretty regularly for fresh bread, sweets, milk, eggs & such like (probably too often, but with mask and contactless payment I feel like it's not too risky). The path along the river is a bit crowded for proper distancing--especially from idiot bicyclists--the other day I heard one coming up close behind me and put up my hand, smacking into the cyclist's arm...and then she had the nerve to call ME an asshole.

Austria is far less social than it used to be, but far more so than the US.  The government is picking up part of the difference to keep a lot of people working short time--businesses don't loose their employees and the employees get more money this way than from unemployment benefits (though like the health system those are also much better here than the US--& we have 10X as many intensive station beds per 100,000 than the US along with nearly 100% insurance coverage with only minimal co-pays for visits or medicines).  When they instituted the mask requirement for supermarkets they also required the markets to provide free masks.  The Greens have the Health Ministry which helps, but the Conservatives dominate the national government and the Greens have uncritically swallowed some nasty bits regarding helping migrants in Greek camps or refusing to criticize Orban's effective dictatorship in Hungary rather than risk rocking the coalition boat. The Conservative are playing some nasty games too. The Agriculture+ Ministry controls some large parks in Socialist/Green ruled Vienna and had refused to open them for the people of the city (city parks are open for family groups keeping distance, but the 2 million people need more room to get air and get out of small urban apartments while they don't have lawns and gardens like small town people who vote Conservative do), but the ministry has opened similar parks that it controls in Conservative ruled Wiener Neustadt and the national forests so that those who vote for them get better treatment (the Vienna Greens in the city government couldn't convince their fellows in parliament and the government coalition to join the Socialists in objecting to this--but the growing outrage among potential voters has finally made the Conservatives agree to open the parks after Easter.

Stan Nadel

 

Organize your Workplace against COVID-19 / Organice su lugar de trabajo contra el COVID-19
 

The Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee

A project of the Democratic Socialists of America & the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America

Workers across the world are actively organizing on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. For some, that means shutting down their workplace with full paid leave; for others it means demanding full equipment and hazard pay and staffing levels for essential workers.

In any case, workers are in motion, and could use more resources to win against capitalists and bosses who would risk our lives to make a buck.

Our job as organizers is to build the resources, the networks, and the training workers need to win their demands in this crisis. This fight begins at the workplace.

That’s why DSA & UE have teamed up to launch the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee [EWOC]. We are building a distributed grassroots organizing program to support workers organizing at the workplace.

It will be front-line workers who lead the way during this public health, economic, and political crisis. Fill out the form below and we will be in touch.

** If you'd like to join this project as an organizer, please read through our Orientation Guide and fill out our registration link within!: tinyurl.com/EWOCoverview **

 

Special Virtual Events in May! - with Angela Davis, Dolores Huerta, Sonia Sanchez and Sonya Renee Taylor - May 1, 5, 7 and 14 (Speak Out Now)
 

Check out these powerful and inspiring events from SpeakOut speakers and artists.

All events $5 - $25 Sliding Scale, and take place at 1pm PT / 3pm CT / 4pm ET.

All registrants will receive a link to watch live or later.

click here for more information

 

click here for more information

 

click here for more information

 

click here for more information

Speak Out - The Institute for Democratic Education and Culture is a national non-profit organization that educates, inspires and empowers young people to become activists for social justice.

Committed to social, political, cultural, environmental and economic justice, Speak Out encourages critical and imaginative thinking about domestic and international issues through artistic and educational forums nationwide.

Speak Out
P.O. Box 22748
Oakland CA 94609

Phone Number: (510) 601-0182 or (510) 647-9115
Email: info@speakoutnow.org