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Tidbits - Aug. 20, 2020 - Reader Comments: Defeat Trump, Kamala Harris; Dismantling of Post Office is Dismantling of Democracy; Joan Baez' Open Letter Tribute to Dr. Anthony Fauci; How to Vote Early; Don’t let Facebook determine the news you see; more...

Reader Comments: Defeat Trump, Kamala Harris; Dismantling of Post Office is Dismantling of Democracy; Joan Baez' Open Letter Tribute to Dr. Anthony Fauci; How to Vote Early; Don’t let Facebook determine the news you see; Lots of Announcements; more..

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, Shorts, AND cartoons - Aug. 20, 2020, Portside

Re: A Message to the Left About Kamala Harris — And Us (Christopher Calkins; Joe Maizlish; James Young; Edward Miessner)
What Ava DuVernay said (Beth Edelman)
Agitators  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Why I Am Voting No on the Democratic Party Platform (Gloria Messer; Eleanor Roosevelt)
Mailboxes removed in Wisconsin last week
Only Fascism  --  cartoon by Clay Jones 

#MyBestUSPSMail
Re: 'It Means Nothing': Trump’s Pledge to Aid Tenants Won’t Halt Evictions (JoAnne McIntire; Dalinda Jett Thompson; Tom Simpson)
Joan Baez' Open Letter Tribute to Dr. Anthony Fauci
Re: Dispatches From the Culture Wars - QAnon, the Party of Paranoia (Paul Stamler)
Re: MA. Dems Help Orchestrate Anti-Morse Campaign (Joe Allen)
Re: Risking Death for Tomatoes (Sarah Grey)
Re: The Largest Private-Sector Strike of the Year Is Headed for Union Victory (David Bacon)
Re: Belarus: A New Country on the Map of Europe (Sonia Collins; Gavrielle Gemma)
Re: What Should Replace Confederate Statues? (Rosalina Rosario Melendez; Mike Horner; Lizzi Azalia Swane; Rafael Rivera; Andrei Jodinskas)
Re: Judas and the Black Messiah | The Story of Fred Hampton (Claire O'Connor)
Re: From Police Reform to Police Repression: 50 Years After an Assassination (Ruth Needleman)
Re: An Interview with Karl Marx (Dan Morgan; Roberto Buxeda; Mike Liston)

 

Things to Do - Take Action

#SavethePostOffice Saturday - National Day of Action - August 22 (MoveOn, RuralOrganizing.org, NAACP, Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, SEIU, and Working Families Party)

Don’t let Facebook determine the news you see

How to Vote Early
 

Resources:

What Are Payroll Taxes and Who Pays Them? (Tax Foundation)
Eviction Moratorium Extended in New York to October 1 (Right to Counsel NYC Coalition)

 

Announcements:

Tomorrow - Friday, August 21st March for the Dead: Fight for the Living - New York, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego
Organizing for Safe School Openings: Lessons for Labor - August 25 (Labor Notes)
Defend the Election: Fight Fascism - Mass mobilization call - August 31 (Showing Up for Racial Justice)
Amazon, workers' rights, and our community - September 3 (East Side Freedom Library)
Brooklyn for Peace is Cooking Up Something Delicious! - September 10

Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition - September 29 - October 13 (Critical Resistance)

 

Re: A Message to the Left About Kamala Harris — And Us
 

Bottom line, if Trump gets another term, America is doomed.
Preferences, Favorites, Likes, 'Wants', are sophomoric and irrelevant at this circumstance.
We are charged with saving our Republic.
Glove-up.

Christopher Calkins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

For me the question of who can or can't be moved in the direction I prefer is secondary.  This time (and most times) it's a matter of who will be more destructive of the values and social arrangements I'd like to see enacted or preserved.  I don't like saying it in such negative terms, but that's what the current environment calls for.

Joe Maizlish, 
Los Angeles

     =====

Richard Eskow's "Message to the Left . . ." nails it:  With Biden/Harris there will be windows of opportunity and influence; with inaction there will be Trump; with Trump, barbarism. Let's get going.

James Young
Harrisburg, PA

     =====

If tRump gets another term, we will lose our Republic, Constitution, and even our flag (for the thin blue line one). Once the Constitution is gone, our rights, immunities, and privileges go with it. It means we will be stripped our rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Only the "rights" to obey and to live in fear and terror will remain.

Edward Miessner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

What Ava DuVernay said
 

Beth Edelman

 

Agitators  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
 

Rob Rogers
August 19, 2020
robrogers.com

 

Re: Why I Am Voting No on the Democratic Party Platform
 

Ro Khanna is absolutely right.
The majority of people in this country want Medicare for all.

Rather than toy with the current plan, why not put Medicare for all to a vote.

Gloria Messer

     =====

Having just received another medical bill I can't afford to pay, and do not expect being able to afford to pay at any time in the foreseeable future, I 100 percent agree with this. The American Health Care Industry and all of its corporate-bourgeois enablers must be liquidated.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Mailboxes removed in Wisconsin last week
 

 

Only Fascism  --  cartoon by Clay Jones
 

Clay Jones
August 18, 2020
Claytoonz

Click here to see artist commentary on this cartoon.

 

#MyBestUSPSMail
 

Yesterday, we asked people to share the best mail they’ve ever received. I knew the stories would be special, but I had no idea how special. Please look at some of the hundreds of tweets on this hashtag. They are heart breaking. Heart warming. Funny and sad. And they speak to the shared community, love and aspiration that people feel and enjoy thanks to the Postal Service. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/search?q=%23MyBestUSPSmail&src=typeahead_click

 

Re: 'It Means Nothing': Trump’s Pledge to Aid Tenants Won’t Halt Evictions
 

I’m almost 70 and I’ve never seen a politician who panders like this. Now that it’s re-election time, it’s become non-stop and absolutely unbelievable. Are his voters not observing and going “WTF?” as well?

JoAnne McIntire
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

no they believe every single word he utters is the truth and the sad things it's hurting them as well as everyone in our home land....

Dalinda Jett Thompson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Yep. Far too many people started claiming that the news is all lies and being pretty clueless about what was happening in their own country a long time ago. Trump has taken complete advantage of that and played it for all it’s worth. That’s what evil people do and their news denial made it easy.

JoAnne McIntire
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

A veritable permanent address is needed for valid voter registration.
Think about an extra 10++million unable to vote-regardless of Method.
What’s your guess on the new homeless’ political leanings?
What would Landlords like Trump and Kushner prefer?

Tom Simpson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Joan Baez' Open Letter Tribute to Dr. Anthony Fauci
 

Dear Dr. Fauci,

I’ve painted your portrait to honor you and all you are doing for us and for the world. It will be a part of my second art exhibit of “Mischief Makers,” paintings of people who have made meaningful social change without the use of violence.

I don’t imagine you’ve ever thought of it this way, but you are engaging in nonviolent resistance every time you stand in front of the cameras and attempt to educate the public on how to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. You cheerfully continue your task, surrounded by people who are dreaming up every way possible to discredit you and what you bring to us: common sense, scientific facts, some warmth, a bit of humor, and towering moral fortitude. Telling the truth is out of favor with the rich and powerful, particularly these days. You speak truth to their dominion. You take a big risk in doing so.

Corragio, Dr. Anthony Fauci!

If my friends and I can ever be of help to you, you need only let us know. We’ve got your back.

Sincerely,

Joan Baez

posting on Facebook

 

Re: Dispatches From the Culture Wars - QAnon, the Party of Paranoia
 

For anyone with a good memory: a lot of these peoples' ideas are straight out of the paranoia of Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society. They were nutcases before nutcases were popular.

Paul Stamler
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: MA. Dems Help Orchestrate Anti-Morse Campaign
 

The central role of Jim Roosevelt, a grandson of Franklin D., in this nasty little affair should tells us something about the rotten state of Massachusetts 'liberalism.'

Joe Allen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Risking Death for Tomatoes
 

Read this story and know the lives of families providing us with tomatoes year round. When our own tomato plants are exhausted, we can thank the Marias and Angels for an easy supply at the grocery. Easy for us.

Sarah Grey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: The Largest Private-Sector Strike of the Year Is Headed for Union Victory

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

The victory by any group of workers is something to celebrate, especially a large union up against a rich defense contractor.  But William Winpisinger, former president of the IAM, would have     reminded us that we need also to demand the conversion of Bath and     other defense plants to manufacture products we truly need, rather     than the weapons of war.  The IAM had a proud history of speaking     out on this.  At Bath it would be good to hear how these workers see     the question of conversion, and if they can use the power gained in     their strike to advocate for it.  Winpy was one of the most     far-sighted and courageous labor leaders that challenged the cold     war, and we need to hear his voice again.

David Bacon

 

Re: Belarus: A New Country on the Map of Europe

(posting on Portside Labor)
 

Belarus has a tradition of resistance to authoritarian rule. Happy to see it continues. In my grandmother's village in Belarus everyone was herded into a church and burned alive by Nazis in WW II. The movie "Come and See" depicts that period.

Sonia Collins
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

you better be careful about Belarus. Regardless of major problems with the present leadership this is an imperialist backed movement to destroy what is left of state ownership and to open the country to western penetration. Remember that never brings rights of any kind. Because some have union signs remember what happened in Poland. Solidarity ushered in capitalist dismantling on behalf of the banks. It was financed by, imperialism, and backed a union person Lech Walesa, who served as a capitalist puppet. (when do genuine trade unionists ever got applauded by the U.S.?) Now in Poland, Hungary, etc. there are right wing governments and countries whose rights and living standards plummeted, and are basically neo colonies of western capital.

This is why the president said we will not have a Maiden (fascists) moment here, referring to the U.S.  coup in Ukraine which instilled a neo nazi regime (under Obama and Clinton).

Of course they play on genuine complaints but so did the Nazis.

Feel free to run this in your comments.

Gavrielle Gemma,
Louisiana

p.s. Mother was born in Minsk, Belarus fled anti Jewish pogroms before consolidated into USSR.

 

Re: What Should Replace Confederate Statues?
 

Nothing leave the space empty.

Rosalina Rosario Melendez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Some historical, some art, some trees. I think that the statues should not be displayed as heroes, but that the art of the Statue, as well as its emotional relationship to power and privilege be looked at. Save them, but right now, too many still want them as racial heroes, and too many want to destroy something that has caused pain.

Mike Horner
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Nothing. Move on.

Lizzi Azalia Swane
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Maybe slaves who fought slavery. Or white persons who helped them in their struggle. Not Lincoln, please.

Rafael Rivera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

With statues of the first African Americans to hold office in the house and senate of various state houses during reconstruction or better yet African American soldier who fought for the Union.

Andrei Jodinskas
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Judas and the Black Messiah | The Story of Fred Hampton

(posted on Friday Nite Videos)
 

At last Fred Hampton https://portside.org/video/2020-08-14/judas-and-black-messiah-story-fre… is recognized as the revolutionary and positive force that he was. What an amazing man. And the forces that exist to preserve the status quo take any measures available to kill (literally and figuratively) the movement and its leaders. Our best defense is stay non violent and to share that leadership among all members

Claire O'Connor

 

Re: From Police Reform to Police Repression: 50 Years After an Assassination
 

The Office of Public Safety taught torture. Not reform. Readers should watch the film by Costa graves called Tupamaros

Ruth Needleman

 

Re: An Interview with Karl Marx

(posting on Portside Culture)

What a man! In 1880 he saw the revolutionary potential of Russia. And recommending a translation (French) of Capital instead of the original German! I think that was probably because it's easier to read. Marx is difficult to read sometimes.

Dan Morgan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Remarkable interview that is loaded with truth and irony.

Roberto Buxeda
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Thanks for the Swinton article. Swinton sounds like a model journalist and always glad to see comradely cooperation between Portside and People's World

Mike Liston

 

#SavethePostOffice Saturday - National Day of Action - August 22 (MoveOn, RuralOrganizing.org, NAACP, Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, SEIU, and Working Families Party)
 

You can find our tweet announcing the mobilization here: https://twitter.com/MoveOn/status/1295053566801924097
 
We are inviting people to show up at local post offices around the country to save the post office from Trump and declare that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must resign. 
 
We invite you to join us as partners. If you're interested, please fill out this form ASAP so we can add you.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fOb6QY13foiHyxbSodzG-HVwnQxpHwbEznO8gRQqCjA/edit?ts=5f36acd9

 
MoveOn's Community Support team will vet events and help out with preparing event hosts. We're encouraging people to keep the events fully socially distanced and grassroots-y.

MoveOn will be recruiting via email, SMS, and social media. We'll be developing recruitment emails we can share with you to help with turnout, and we will share graphics for social media and for posters. 

 
Please note that while MoveOn is anchoring these events from our PAC, we have received guidance from our counsel that C4 entities may participate as partisan political activity and C3 entities are not able to participate.
 
Thank you,

Rahna Epting
Executive Director, MoveOn

 

Don’t let Facebook determine the news you see
 

Since Trump took office, Facebook has continually limited your access to progressive media. Last month alone, traffic to Truthout fell by over 37%

Facebook is limiting the reach of independent media and censoring your access to the news you want. Liking our page no longer guarantees that you’ll see our posts.

Here’s how you can help.

 

How to Vote Early
 

As it has become clear that Americans will need to vote this November while still in the midst of a pandemic, there have been several interconnected goals:

  1. Maximize Mail Ballots - Through policy action, administrative changes, and civic engagement, ensure as many Americans as possible are teed up to receive mail ballots to minimize burden on in-person voting.
  2. Protect Safe In-Person Options - Sufficient locations, PPE, compliance with social distancing will all require intentionality by local administrators and plenty of available poll workers.
  3. Get Votes Cast as Early As Voters Can - Early mail return and attempts to vote in-person give us plenty of time to correct any issues and ensure those ballots are accurately counted.

The vast majority of state and local election officials (including many in both parties) are doing everything they can to make this election go smoothly, but their offices are underfunded even as they are implementing an historic number of election administration changes in record time. 21 states have expanded access to vote-by-mail for November (NY, notably, has not yet taken action but presumably will). Against this backdrop, we have some risks:

  • Late Voter Registration / Vote-by-Mail Forms - Historically, many Americans wait until deadlines to update their voter registration or request mail ballots. In primaries so far, later applications have been fulfilled late and had much lower turnout rates and more challenges voting.
  • Insufficient Poll Workers - Election officials report longtime poll workers are declining to work the election this year due to COVID risk. If we don't replace these workers, polling places will either be closed in advance due to shortfalls or not open on Election Day itself or face long lines to being short staffed.
  • Mail Delays - While USPS is typically great and takes election mail seriously, even in states with long histories of VBM, local organizers usually start telling voters to switch to alternatives to mail to return their ballots just to be safe - walk to a dropbox, take to a polling location, etc.

Fortunately, there are things we can do as individuals and as organizations

Individuals

  • Request a mail ballot using http://www.vote-absentee.com/ - one step on this tool is confirming your voter registration is up-to-date
  • If you're at low risk of COVID-19 due to age and health factors, I recommend signing up to work the elections using PowerThePolls.org
  • Ensuring your family, friends, and colleagues also know about Vote-Absentee.com and PowerThePolls.org by emailing, texting, sharing on social media, etc.
  • Make your plan to return your ballot via drop box, at an early vote location, or at your elections office.

Organizations

  • Vote-Absentee.com - BallotReady provides the tech powering http://www.vote-absentee.com/ - via The Movement Co-operative, America Votes, or State Voices, I think most progressive organizations should be able to leverage this tech to have an instance of this tool that lives on your own site. Getting the tool live and starting promotion ASAP for folks to sign up for mail ballots should be top priority
  • PowerThePolls.org Partnerships - Your org can help sign up election workers and get analytics and data back. Partnership details here
  • Save the dates of key activations:
    • Sept 1 - National Poll Worker Recruitment Day - Organized by the US Election Assistance Commission, Power the Polls, and others, this event will attempt to recruit as many people as possible to ensure that all million poll worker positions in the US are filled this year.
    • Sept 22 - National Voter Registration Day - A great excuse to remind everyone to update their voter registration information. Any organization can sign up to be a partner here. Historically, over 4,000 community orgs, companies, election administrators celebrate.
    • Oct 9 - Kentucky's Online Mail Ballot Request Portal Closes - This is the first of the official deadlines to request a mail ballot. That also makes it a helpful time to have mail ballot request pushes wrap and pivot to promotion of in-person early voting options. Kentucky has set this date to ensure that election officials
    • Oct 24 - Vote Early Day - A new event planned for the first time for 2020. While plans started before COVID, this event is more critical than we could have known. To be ready, folks should be encouraged to request mail ballots well in advance, but October 24th is after all presidential debates and should be a good time to chase all voters to return ballots or go to an in-person early vote location.

Here's the good news - over 53 million Americans are already signed up to receive mail ballots, either due to state policy of mailing ballots to all voters or due to opting in. States like Michigan and Pennsylvania have created online portals to request mail ballots.

A reader and voter

 

What Are Payroll Taxes and Who Pays Them?
 

By John Olson
July 25, 2016
Tax Foundation

Chances are, if you were to pull out your latest pay stub, you would see two important lines among the list of taxes taken out of your wages: FICA and MEDFICA. If you were to do the math, these two lines, standing for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and Medicare Federal Insurance Contributions Act respectively, take up 7.65 percent of your wages.

However, when it comes to these payroll taxes, as they are commonly known, there is a lot more than meets the eye. In two separate blog posts, we will dive into several important issues: what payroll taxes are exactly, who pays them, how effective they are, and some of the controversy that surrounds them. This blog post covers the first two topics, while the next will cover the latter two.

What are Payroll Taxes?

Put simply, payroll taxes are taxes paid on the wages and salaries of employees. These taxes are used to finance social insurance programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. According to recent Tax Foundation research, these social insurance taxes make up 23.05 percent of combined federal, state, and local government revenue – the second largest source of government revenue in the United States.

The largest of these social insurance taxes are the two federal payroll taxes, which show up as FICA and MEDFICA on your pay stub. The first is a 12.4 percent tax to fund Social Security, and the second is a 2.9 percent tax to fund Medicare, for a combined rate of 15.3 percent. Half of payroll taxes (7.65 percent) are remitted directly by employers, while the other half (7.65 percent) are taken out of workers’ paychecks.

Who Really Pays Payroll Taxes?

Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of payroll taxes is that employees effectively pay almost the entire payroll tax, instead of splitting the burden with their employers.

This is because tax incidence is not determined by law, but by markets. In fact, the person who is required to pay a tax to the federal government is often different than the person who bears the tax burden. Usually, the marketplace decides how the tax burden is divided between buyers and sellers, based on which party is more sensitive to changes in prices (economists call this “relative price elasticities”).

In summary, payroll taxes are a significant source of government revenue, but the burden of the payroll tax and the government programs they pay for may not be entirely apparent to taxpayers, due to how the taxes are levied. In the next blog post on this topic, we will cover how effective these taxes are, as well as other potential issues they may have.

Read full article here.

Tax Foundation
1325 G St NW
Suite 950
Washington, DC 20005

202-464-6200

 

Eviction Moratorium Extended in New York to October 1 (Right to Counsel NYC Coalition)
 

After a powerful week of action where New Yorkers consistently took to the streets to demand an end to evictions, NYS courts extended the #EvictionMoratorium until October 1! NO EVICTIONS, FOR ANYONE IN NY STATE FOR ANY REASON

While the moratorium is extended, it doesn't last long enough and it's not the full court closure we need. Read our full statement and a good article in The City, featuring many coalition members! 

Let's use the #EvictionMoratorium to FIGHT to #CancelRent, #HousetheHomeless and win a REAL #EvictionMoratorium! Call your state representatives TODAY to ask them to sign on to our important bills!

What Does The Moratorium Mean For You? See Our Updated Resources: 

  • Eviction Moratorium FAQ
  • Know Your Rights on pre-covid cases, new filings, and court openings. 

When we fight, we win! 

Right to Counsel NYC Coalition
121 6th Avenue 6th Floor
New York, NY

 

Tomorrow - Friday, August 21st March for the Dead: Fight for the Living - New York, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego
 

MORE THAN 173,000 AMERICANS HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO COVID-19.

And nearly 5.5 million infected. Our grandparents, our fathers and mothers, our sisters and brothers, our neighbors and friends.   But the disease alone did not kill them. 

THE PANDEMIC HAS BROUGHT INTO SHARP RELIEF A NUMBER OF STARK REALITIES THAT PLAGUE THIS NATION. WE DEMAND:

  • New federal leadership. Now. We can’t wait until November. Donald Trump should resign.

  • Stop denying the right to vote and stop stymying efforts to make participation safe.

  • Sound federal and state coronavirus policies based on the best scientific information available.

  • Address profound inequality and inequity in access to healthcare and basic services.

  • Launch a permanent public health workforce for contact tracing, testing and isolation support that then organizes to fight health disparities inflicted on communities of color.

  • Release incarcerated people and detained immigrants, all at greater risk for COVID. Do not leave them to die. Stop deporting COVID-19 sufferers.

  • Support international open-access non-profit development of medicines and vaccines that are free and available to all, rather than hidden behind Big Pharma patent monopolies.

  • Stop the defunding of the World Health Organization. Fund all impoverished countries to have the health systems they need to stop pandemics where they start, before they spread.

  • No in-person return to school without adequate funding and safety measures in place, and insure all families have the resources necessary for virtual learning.

  • Provide ample monetary relief to the unemployed, sick, elderly, communities of color, and all people in need.

  • Stop climate-change corporations from selling products in the U.S. if they are putting the world at risk for new zoonotic outbreaks due to deforestation.

ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 21ST WE WILL MARCH TOGETHER- TO HONOR THE MEMORY OF THE DEAD, AND TO DEMAND CHANGE FOR THE LIVING.

More information here

IN NEW YORK CITY:
6:00 PM: Gather at Barclay’s Center to remember the dead
Register here

IN SAN FRANCISCO:
5:30 PM: Gather at the Warming Hut, 983 Marine Drive, San Francisco
Register here

IN SEATTLE:
6:30 PM – 9 PM  Gather at Drumheller Fountain
Register here

IN SAN DIEGO: 
5:30 PM  Gather at Balboa Park, 6th Avenue & Laurel
More information on Instagram

 

Organizing for Safe School Openings: Lessons for Labor - August 25

Tuesday, August 25th, 7PM EDT

Workers across the country are taking up the fight for health and safety and against furloughs, budget cuts and concessions.

Faced with unsafe school openings, educators are at the forefront of these struggles - and we can learn a lot from them.

Please join us next Tuesday, August 25 at 7:00 pm EDT for a Labor Notes Webinar. We will hear from educators organizing for safe school openings, how they've been building power and why it matters to all workers. Please register here... and forward this invitation to others.

Educators are in a fierce struggle to demand that school buildings reopen only when it is safe, while policymakers and administrators are desperate to open schools in the name of restarting the economy - at whatever cost to human lives.

The pandemic has exposed how racism and economic injustice permeate our lives. Yet the battle educators are waging teaches how we can organize for collective action for workers' rights and the common good.

We will hear from educators and other labor activists who've been involved in this struggle. Register here. 

Labor Notes
7435 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48210

 

Defend the Election: Fight Fascism - Mass mobilization call - August 31 
 

As the Democratic convention kicks off this week, the Republican party is ramping up their work to suppress the vote. This is the most important election of our lifetimes — and is on track to be one of the least democratic in recent U.S. history. Trump has threatened to postpone the election, is defunding the Post Office, and criminalizing protest. He’s deployed Border Patrol agents in Portland, and since the summer over 10,000 protestors have been arrested, many of them facing federal charges.

Trump is counting on these tactics to win over enough people to keep him in power. And he is especially set on maintaining the loyalty of his largely white base. It’s our job to interrupt white allegiance to an agenda that targets people of color and goes against the interests of all who are not part of the corporate elite.   Those of us who are white and support a country that works for all of us need to boldly show up alongside movements led by people of color, centering those who are most targeted and suppressed in this moment. Mass mobilization is one of our most powerful tools to ensure that Trump’s tactics are not normalized or accepted in white communities. By being bold in our resistance, we can expose how his strategy hurts us all and do our part to build the multiracial power necessary in these times.

Will you join SURJ’s new project to defend the election and fight fascism?

Together we are going to move 100,000 people to fight back against Trump’s fascist agenda. When you sign up, you’re joining a community of people who are committing to take action to defend the election before, during, and after election day. You will be connected with others in your community and supported by a team of experienced organizers to take action to fight Trump’s repressive moves. Now is the time. We have to take up our part of this battle — one that will continue to escalate in the lead up to the election.

Will you join us?

Historically, when Black-led movements make gains, state repression and extreme voter suppression follows. This moment is no different. Let’s get to work defending this election and flanking our comrades!

In solidarity,

Erin Heaney
SURJ National Director

 

Amazon, workers' rights, and our community - September 3 (East Side Freedom Library)
 

A century ago, farmer, labor, and community activists  used an octopus to depict the ways they saw capitalist greed grasping control over work, business, community, and political life.  Today, it is hard to imagine a more appropriate metaphor than such a creature for Amazon.  Yet, the very breadth of its reach makes possible the weaving of intersectional and international alliances.
 
Join the East Side Freedom Library for a special pre-Labor Day conversation, online, on Thursday evening, September 3, at 7pm.  Broadcasting on our Facebook and YouTube pages, we will convene a group of activists who are using research, social media, art, and on-the-ground organizing to rein in the modern-day octopus. Learn what they are doing and how we can get involved in ways that, as ESFL’s mission statement says: “inspire solidarity, work for justice, and advocate for equity for all.” Please register today! 

This event is made possible by our presenting sponsor, Cummins and Cummins.  We are very grateful for their support!

Presenters include:

Our lead presenters are Dania Rajendra, director of the Athena Coalition, which brings together more than 50 organizations that are wrestling with different aspects of Amazon’s power and influence, and Stacy Mitchell, co-director of one of those organizations, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.  Graduates of Macalester College, both have deep connections in the Twin Cities and to the East Side Freedom Library. Dania is a poet, essayist, and journalist. She served in the early 2000s as the editor of both the St. Paul UNION ADVOCATE and the Minneapolis LABOR REVIEW, then moved to New York City to be associate editor of THE CLARION, the newspaper of the faculty union at the City University of New York. She taught at the Institute for Labor Relations at Cornell University, and, recently, contributed an essay to the book, WHAT GOD IS HONORED HERE? WRITINGS ON MISCARRIAGE AND INFANT LOSS BY AND FOR NATIVE WOMEN AND WOMEN OF COLOR, edited by Twin Cities writers, Kao Kalia Yang and Shannon Gibney.

Stacy is a researcher and writer, author of HOME-TOWN ADVANTAGE: HOW TO DEFEND YOUR MAIN STREET AGAINST CHAIN STORES AND WHY IT MATTERS (2000) and BIG-BOX SWINDLE: THE TRUE COST OF MEGA-RETAILERS AND THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA’S INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES (2006).  Last year, Stacy was a significant voice in CNN’s documentary film, “The Age of Amazon,” and in April 2020 the New York TIMES did an in-depth profile of her on the front page of its Sunday Business section.

COVID-19 has greatly expanded Amazon’s reach and CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth, making him the richest man in the world. It has also revealed the corporation’s disregard for workers’ safety and security, their resistance to workers’ efforts to organize, their economic impact on independent small businesses, and their political influence with city, state, and national governments. Dania and Stacy will discuss their work to weave together the wide range of people whose lives are being undermined by the modern-day octopus, and they will be joined by some of the grassroots activists with whom they have been working.
 
Grassroots responses to both COVID-19 and the murders of George Floyd and others have revealed the potential power that still exists across this country, across this world. Learn how organizations like Athena and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance are amplifying this power, and learn how we can become involved in productive and constructive ways to promote economic and political democracy.

All proceeds from this fundraiser with be evenly split between the East Side Freedom Library and the Education Minnesota Foundation School and Child Care Worker Relief Fund.

 

Brooklyn for Peace is Cooking Up Something Delicious! - September 10
 

Join Us for Our "Virtual" Fundraiser!

Due to the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 Brooklyn For Peace is unable to do our annual Spring Fundraiser, and will also be unable to host our annual PathMakers to Peace. These two events account for a large sum of the funds that we need to ensure our financial stability and, therefore, continued existence. With this in mind we have created an amazing event that allows for social distancing and delicious food: 

BFP Board member Mukti Banerjee has generously offered to do one of her amazing cooking classes on Zoom exclusively for BFP supporters. She believes that cooking is therapeutic and can do wonderful things for your health. If you make your own food, especially Indian food, the aromatics that come with it ease stress. Mukti presents her culinary talents with Mukti’s Kitchen, offering hands-on Indian cooking classes, lecture-demonstrations and catering services. Mukti focuses on Indian food, Indian cooking and healthy eating. She uses authentic, modern Indian techniques, with adjustments for American kitchens. Mukti utilizes whole spices and teaches her students how to use them as well as teaching about healthy habits.

An ingredient list and the zoom link will be sent 10 days before the event so that you will have time for shopping and preparation. All ingredients are easily available. The event will be recorded (exclusively for registrants only) so that you can refer back to it later.

Cost of admission will be $25. Any donations over $25 will be tax-deductible. All the proceeds will go to Brooklyn For Peace. Learn more about the event.

Thursday, September 10th, 2020 
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Host: Mukti Banerjee

Register Here

 

Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition - September 29 - October 13 (Critical Resistance)
 

Critical Resistance and the Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition Host Committee are enthusiastic to invite you to engage with Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition, an online fundraising exhibition and art auction presented by Critical Resistance + Artsy.net from September 29 - October 13, 2020.
 

We are excited to have confirmed participation from a myriad of intergenerational, interdisciplinary visual artists including Domineco Villeda, Lava Thomas, Leslie “Dime” Lopez, Emory Douglas, Ferrari Sheppard, Sadie Barnett, and Theaster Gates, to name a few. Please see full list below!

Through Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition¸ Critical Resistance and these bold artists will uplift the freedom dreams that communities have nurtured for generations and are unapologetically demanding be recognized and enacted in 2020. In tandem with the 2-week online auction, we will also be hosting some programming featuring artists, our amazing Host Committee cast, and more. Full program calendar coming in September—stay tuned. We look forward to Imagining Freedom with you!

Featured Artists

Adia Millett
Ainsley Burrows
Ali LeRoi
Andrew Wilson
Ariane Vielmetter
Awol Erizku
Bob Williams
Brett Cook
Chanell Stone
Christine Wang
Courtney Desiree Morris
Dana King
Demetri Broxton
Domenico Villeda
Ed Ntiri
Emanuel Tegene
Emory Douglas
Erica Deeman
Favianna Rodriguez
Gavin Benjamin
Githinji Mbire
gloria galvez

Hank Willis Thomas
Jesus Barraza
Joshua Mays
Kate DeCiccio
Lava Thomas
Leslie “Dime” Lopez
Lewis Watts
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo
Mario Ayala
Melanie Cervantes
Melinda James
Mieke Marple
Ricky Weaver
Rodney Ewing
Sadie Barnette
Sam Vernon
Shanna Strauss
Shaun Leonardo
Shawn Theodore
Sydney Cain
Traci Bartlow
Zahyr Lauren

Bid on over 40 artworks September 29 through October 13 on artsy.net.
Purchase Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition special limited-edition gear from the Critical Resistance shop. Coming soon!
Spread the word and invite your community!

Critical Resistance
1904 Franklin St.
Suite 504
Oakland, CA 94612