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Tidbits - June 24, 2021 - Reader Comments: Juneteenth; Teaching About Racism Being Banned; I-Hotel; Policing; Myth of 'Good Billionaires"; Global Left - new thinking and strategizing; Syringes for Cuba; lots of announcements; more ...

Reader Comments: Juneteenth; Teaching About Racism being Banned; Labor and NASA; I-Hotel; Policing; Myth of 'Good Billionaires"; Global Left - new thinking and strategizing; Syringes for Cuba; lots and lots of announcements; more ...

Tidbits - Reader Comments and Announcements - June 24, 2021,Portside

Re: The Hidden History of Juneteenth (Daniel Millstone)
Re: Texas Governor Signs Law to Stop Teachers from Talking about Racism (Jon Lubar)
Re: Houston, We Have a Labor Dispute (Sal Mangiagli)
Fiddling Joe  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: Coming Home: Jeanette Lazam Returns to the I-Hotel (Carol Lambiase)
Re: How the Father of Modern Policing ‘Abolished’ the Police (Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression)
First Openly Gay NFL Player  --  cartoon by Dave Granlund
Re: Warren Buffett and the Myth of the ‘Good Billionaire’ (Kipp Dawson)
Re: Israel and Its Allies’ Profit from Oppressing Palestinians (Joy Ann Grune)
Re: Global Left Midweek - Analyses From Elsewhere (Ethan Young)


SYRINGES FOR CUBA! (Global Health Partners; Center for Cuban Studies)
Rise Up Weekend - June 25 & 26 (The Andrew Goodman Foundation)
Break The Siege: Medical Relief for Gaza - World Premiere Saturday - June 26 and 27 (Hot House - The Center for International Performance & Exhibition)
Book talk: ""A China Reader" - Duncan McFarland - June 28 (Online University of the Left)
Emergency National Town Hall-- Support Striking Nurses - June 29 (Labor Campaign for Single Payer)
Anne Sebba, author of “Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy” - June 29 (Rosenberg Fund for Children)
Queer Rights Are Human Rights: Posters of LGBTQ+ Struggles & Celebrations - June 30 (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)
Webinar: Was Mao a Marxist? - Session with Dr. Jenny Clegg - July 1 (The Marx Memorial Library)


Re: The Hidden History of Juneteenth

Power concedes nothing without a demand. Juneteenth, celebrated as an official holiday today, shows us how resistant to the end of slavery, enslavers were. The landing of Federal troops at Galveston Island marked the beginning of the fight for freedom in Texas. That fight has continued in various forms over the whole of our history. Here via Portside and Greg Downs some of the stories of Juneteenth.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Texas Governor Signs Law to Stop Teachers from Talking about Racism

Why did all those Rethuglicans vote for a national Juneteenth holiday? Did this happy surprise not also raise a giant red flag with you? Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. The ONLY DAMN REASON that the Rethuglicans voted unanimously to pass this was to further advance a set of their Big Lies. 

Those lies are that racism no longer exists here, that there’s no such thing as structural racism, that we all need to “move on” from any public discussion about any of it, and that we don’t need any (fact based) additions to history classes having anything to do with America’s long, vile history of structural racism. It will also be claimed, as is being done now, that any discussion of these things is the only real racism and that the only reason for any of it is to blame white people and make them feel guilty for the crimes of the past that they themselves didn’t commit. 

These are their lies, these are the lies that give comfort to their base. They are throwing black people a well gnawed on bone so they can then turn around and beat them down with it as they have always done in the past. Everyone needs to get ready to slam back against the blatant, bald faced lies that will now undoubtedly be spewed out to the nation and the world. 

I do celebrate the fact that the Replutocrats allowed a small sliver of truth to be told, but I know for damn sure that it was not done out of the goodness of their hearts but in the service of the perpetuation of structural racism and the simultaneous denial of it as a way of trying to stay in power. If this doesn’t start soon all that that means is that they are holding it in reserve for the midterm elections, and will no doubt try to use it to get more black people to vote for those who would make structural racism the de facto law of the land. The Replutocrat Party are servants of evil, do not be fooled by the hissing of their serpents tongues.

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Jon Lubar
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Houston, We Have a Labor Dispute

(posting on Portside Labor)

Why are we not organizing?

And Gibson’s account still confirms that even a whiff of collective action can shift the balance of power in workers’ favor.

Sal Mangiagli
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Fiddling Joe  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
June 4, 2021


Re: Coming Home: Jeanette Lazam Returns to the I-Hotel

Thanks for posting the piece on the I Hotel. In 1974 or 1975 some of us from the Agbayani Village crew went to the Bay Area to help KDP get a building habitable and up to code to allow residences there and it must have been that one.  I worked on installing plumbing, and had forgotten about it until now.

It was quite a struggle then as they worked to rehab it on a shoestring budget using volunteers and donated materials wherever possible while needing to get the work approved by a hostile building inspection department not inclined to give any reasons for failing to sign off.  I loved the folks from KDP, mostly young women, who had no construction experience but were very savvy and strategic in guiding the effort.

Carol Lambiase


Re: How the Father of Modern Policing ‘Abolished’ the Police

"August Vollmer has been hailed by many in law enforcement as the father of modern American policing. He has also been criticized for pioneering the militarization of the police and espousing the racist theories of eugenics. What’s rarely talked about, however, is that he began his tenure as the head of the police department of Berkeley, Calif., in 1905 by forcing all of his deputies to resign — arguably a kind of early experiment in abolishing the police. He eventually replaced them with college-educated people, hoping they would usher in a new, progressive era in policing.

In Mr. Vollmer’s ideal world, cops would never have to bust heads; instead, they would use their smarts to bring about social reforms that prevented people from becoming “crooks” in the first place. “You prevent people from doing wrong,” a protégé recalled Mr. Vollmer saying in a speech to a group of officers. “That’s the mission of a policeman. I’ll admire you more if in the first year you don’t make a single arrest.”

A 1916 article that Mr. Vollmer co-wrote disparaged traditional police departments as corrupt, inept and violent, with officers chosen for their “political pull and brute strength.” His solution, which became a reality at the University of California, Berkeley, was “a school for the special training of police officers,” which would grant the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in criminology.

It sounds like an uncontroversial suggestion. But Mr. Vollmer’s police school was actually part of a radical plan to dissolve the Berkeley Police Department and rebuild it as a better organization."

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


First Openly Gay NFL Player  --  cartoon by Dave Granlund

Dave Granlund
May 13, 2014


Re: Warren Buffett and the Myth of the ‘Good Billionaire’


“[As] America slouches toward plutocracy, our problem isn’t the virtue level of billionaires. It’s a set of social arrangements that make it possible for anyone to gain and guard and keep so much wealth, even as millions of others lack for food, work, housing, health, connectivity, education, dignity and the occasion to pursue their happiness.

“There is no way to be a billionaire in America without taking advantage of a system predicated on cruelty, a system whose tax code and labor laws and regulatory apparatus prioritize your needs above most people’s. Even noted Good Billionaire Mr. Buffett has profited from Coca-Cola’s sugary drinks, Amazon’s union busting, Chevron’s oil drilling, Clayton Homes’s predatory loans and, as the country learned recently, the failure to tax billionaires on their wealth.”

Kipp Dawson
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Israel and Its Allies’ Profit from Oppressing Palestinians

Thank you for this well documented & astounding piece. YES BDS.

Joy Ann Grune


Re: Global Left Midweek - Analyses From Elsewhere

June 23 Global Left Midweek includes several very thoughtful pieces, but I want to call your attention to our translation of 15 Theses on the Party-Movement, by Boaventura de Sousa Santos (from Portugal); and Global Solidarity: For an Internationalism of the Future, by Boris Kanzleiter (from Germany).

The first speaks to the question of political organization in the 21st century, drawing on theory and experience of the last 25 years. What he calls 'party-movement' is what I would call a united front of the political and social movement left.

The second is about the changes in world politics that are demanding a reinterpretation of international solidarity. Issues of democracy, human rights and state sovereignty require new insights and new kinds of demands.

Please give a look to these articles. They could help deal with big questions coming up this summer of confusion and new Cold War.

Ethan Young
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


SYRINGES FOR CUBA! (Global Health Partners; Center for Cuban Studies)

The syringes for Cuba campaign is going great: so far, all of the organizations collecting funds in the U.S. for the syringes have raised more than $400,000 and 4 million syringes are being shipped to Cuba through Global Health Partners before the end of the month! But we still have a way to go, so on the eve of another historic UN Vote on the U.S. Embargo against Cuba (the vote is Wednesday, June 23rd), I'm asking you to please send what you can for the syringes, if you have not already done so.

The Center for Cuban Studies is joining Global Health Partners, Code Pink, and dozens of other organizations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to raise the necessary funds to send syringes to Cuba. That will mean that everyone can be vaccinated with one of the vaccines currently being produced in Cuba. Cuba needs at least 33 million syringes to vaccinate every man, woman and child in the country. It only has 1/3 of that number.

One organization, Global Health Partners, has obtained the necessary license from the U.S. Commerce Department to send 10 million syringes to Cuba. The Center and Code Pink will be bundling donations that will be forwarded to GHP once we’ve raised our goal amount. We at the Center hope to solicit enough contributions to buy ONE MILLION SYRINGES: our intermediate goal is to raise $15,000, enough to vaccinate 150,000 Cubans with the Soberana-2 or Abdala vaccines.

This will help save the lives not only of Cubans, but of all those who travel in and out of Cuba. It will help insure that Center trips to Cuba can start once again. It will help improve the devastated Cuban economy. The U.S. embargo against Cuba has meant the devastation of many aspects of daily life in Cuba, none more so than the current food and medicine shortages.

Let’s do what we can to fight against Covid-19 and the embargo. Please contribute as much as you can, as soon as you can. Thank you for all you do to help.

Here’s how you can donate:

Through our Network for Good Syringes Campaign page:


You can send a check made out to “Center for Cuban Studies,” and note that it’s for the SYRINGES. 
Send the check to Center for Cuban Studies, 20 Jay Street, Suite 301, Brooklyn NY 11201.


Sandra Levinson
Executive Director
Center for Cuban Studies / Cuban Art Space
20 Jay Street, Suite 301
Brooklyn NY 11201
917.224.0578  cell
535.258.1494  cell in Havana


Rise Up Weekend - June 25 & 26 (The Andrew Goodman Foundation)

2021 National Civic Leadership Training Summit

The 2020 election was one of the most important elections in recent history, and for the first time, Millennials and Gen Z constituted 37% of the electorate. Amongst a global pandemic, overt racial injustice, and sweeping voter suppression tactics, the youth vote was and will continue to be critical.

Join the Andrew Goodman Foundation at 2021's Rise Up Weekend as we rise up against the alarming increase in voter suppression bills, and rise up in support of each other, an inclusive democracy, and expanding voting rights for all Americans. Rise Up Weekend will educate, motivate, and inspire college students across the country to rise up, act, vote, and lead at the ballot box and beyond.

FREE  --  Register here

The Andrew Goodman Foundation
P.O. Box 394
Mahwah, NJ 07430
(201) 995-1808


Break The Siege: Medical Relief for Gaza - World Premiere Saturday - June 26 and 27 (Hot House - The Center for International Performance & Exhibition)


Break The Siege: Medical Relief for Gaza

World Premiere Saturday June 26

Re-stream Sunday June 27, 2021 

7pm CST 

Via HotHouseGlobal online streaming platforms 

Featured in the program are:

James Falzone, Michael Miles, George Crotty/Oisin Hannigan, + AZIZ, The Canadian Arabic Orchestra, Marty McCormack, El Wadi Ensemble, Nedal Hamdan, Clarissa Bitar, Caravan of Praise, Ronnie Malley, Hani Dahshan, Omar Offendum, Kayem, Brooklyn Nomads, Vijay Iyer, Frank Waln, Hadi Eldebek, Amir El Saffar, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Abuseraj Nader /PCRF, Norman Finkelstein, Paula Roderick, Siham Rashid, Marc Lamont Hill and Sim Khalidi. 

The program will raise funds for the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF ) and the Al-Awda Hospital in Gaza via Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sin Frontieres). 

Direct Donations may be sent to: 

  • The Chicago Chapter of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Mailing Address is 65 E Scott Street, Unit 11A, Chicago, IL 60610 

Link to donate to PCRF Chicago

The organizers of the concert and the assembled presenters have donated their labor to create this event. 100% of money raised will directly support the beneficiaries. The event is free to ensure access for everyone, however a minimum suggested donation of $25 is encouraged. RSVP via the Eventbrite link. The non-profit concert producers are also accepting donations to offset the production expenses via HotHouse.  

The ad-hoc committee organizing this event are: 

Ronnie Malley - Marguerite Horberg - Mona Khalidi - Camille Odeh - Leena Odeh - Tarek Kishawi 

Free with Registration Here | or Donate Here

Where to Watch

The Center for International Performance and Exhibition
c/o 5555 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60640


Book talk: ""A China Reader" - Duncan McFarland - June 28 (Online University of the Left)

Monday, June 28  --   9 PM EDT

Book talk: "A China Reader" published April 2021 by the SEP, edited by Duncan McFarland. A power point presentation about the book will be presented by the editor, followed by Q&A and discussion.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 868 0223 3036
Passcode: 317342

New from Changemaker Publications

More on the China Reader

Edited by Duncan McFarland
A project of the CCDS Socialist Education Project and Online University of the Left
244 pages, $20 (discounts available for quantity), order here

The book is a selection of essays offering keen insight into the nature of China and its social system, its internal debates, and its history. It includes several articles on the US and China and the growing efforts of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.

China's rise in the 21st century is of great significance for the world, socialism and communism, and the US Left, as well as the Chinese people. Yet understanding of China, even basic facts of Chinese history, is not good. The text provides historical background and political education by reprinting valuable articles and publishing new material. The book is based in the struggle and opposes imperialism and a new cold war on China. Contributors come from many backgrounds. We regard it necessary to consider both Chinese perspectives and US and Western views for balanced understanding.

Topics: New cold war and China's foreign policy; China's economy, socialism and capitalism; women founders of people-to-people friendship; towards a democratic and socialist way of life.

Authors and reviews include: Samir Amin, Gordon H. Chang, Carl Davidson, Cheng Enfu, Gary Hicks, Paul Krehbiel, Norman Markowitz, Duncan McFarland, VJ Prashad, Soong Qingling, Al Sargis, David Schweikart, Agnes Smedly, Helen Foster Snow, Anna Louise Strong, Harry Targ, Jude Woodward, Xi Jinping and others


Emergency National Town Hall-- Support Striking Nurses - June 29 (Labor Campaign for Single Payer)

June 29  --  8 pm EDT/5 pm PDT

700 nurses represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association have been on strike at St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester, MA since March 8. The hospital is owned by Tenet Healthcare, a notorious healthcare profiteer with nearly 600 facilities nationwide.

Tenet has announced that it will begin hiring permanent replacements for the striking nurses. This must not stand!

The nurses are striking for the safe staffing levels that we know are needed to protect patients and the community. Tenet knows this fight is bigger than one hospital. The nurses at St. Vincent hospital are challenging Tenet's profit-driven, dangerous, and exploitative business model. We must not allow Tenet to beat down these heroic nurses.

Nurses haves been on strike for over 100 days, and they need our support now more than ever.

The Labor Campaign for Single Payer and other labor support groups will have a National Solidarity Emergency Town Hall on June 29, 8:00pm (ET)). You'll hear from nurses on the picket line and learn how you can help #TakeOnTenet in your community.

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Tenet is one of the biggest corporate backers of an anti-Medicare for All front group, the Partnership for America's Healthcare Future. The Massachusetts Nurses Association has been a core supporter of the fight to win Medicare for All. The stakes in this fight couldn't be clearer.

Take a stand with these brave workers fighting for the safety of their patients, respect on the job, and people over profits. Can we count on you to join us?

Join us on on June 29, 8:00pm (ET) for a National Solidarity Emergency Town Hall, and we'll #TakeOnTenet together!


Anne Sebba, author of “Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy” - June 29 (Rosenberg Fund for Children)

Join us for a Conversation with Anne Sebba, author of Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy

On Tuesday, June 29th at 7:00 PM EDT we invite you to attend a live, online conversation with Anne Sebba, author of Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedyand RFC Founder Robert Meeropol. 

New York Times bestselling author Anne Sebba's new biography focuses on the life of Ethel Rosenberg, the wife and mother whose execution for espionage-related crimes defined the Cold War and horrified the world.

Seventy years after her trial, this is the first time Ethel Rosenberg’s story has been told with the full use of the dramatic and tragic prison letters she exchanged with her husband, her lawyer and her psychotherapist over a three-year period, two of them in solitary confinement. Hers is the resonant story of what happens when a government motivated by fear tramples on the rights of its citizens.

This event is free and open to the public via Crowdcast, hosted by Odyssey Bookshop (South Hadley, MA). Please register in advance to receive login information.

More details about the event and speaker bios are available on the event page, here. Questions about joining the event? Email for support.

Register now

Rosenberg Fund for Children
116 Pleasant St., Ste. 348
Easthampton, MA 01027


Queer Rights Are Human Rights: Posters of LGBTQ+ Struggles & Celebrations - June 30 (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)


Digital Exhibition Premieres: Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Panel Discussion Webinar: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | 3 - 4 pm PDT

Stencil-Making Workshop: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | 4:30 - 6 pm PDT

For more than 50 years, poster art has been central in fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. Whether homophobia is institutionalized through legislation or conducted culturally through physical, psychological, or emotional violence, it is a human rights violation. Queer Rights Are Human Rights: Posters of LGBTQ+ Struggles & Celebrations will show the power of graphics to expose injustices, defend rights, and celebrate victories.


  • Loni Shibuyama (she/her), Archivist for ONE LGBTQ Archives at the University of Southern California Libraries
  • Jordan Peimer (he/him), Artist and Executive Director of ArtPower at UC San Diego, an early member of ACTUP/LA and associated art collectives
  • féi hernandez (they/them), Trans, Inglewood- raised, immigrant artist, writer, healer, and Board President of Gender Justice LA
  • Rommy Torrico (they/them), Formerly undocumented, queer, trans/nonbinary visual artist
  • Carol A. Wells (she/her), Founder and Executive Director, Center for the Study of Political Graphics (Moderator)

Afterwards, join us for a printmaking workshop guided by artist and community organizer, Ernesto Vazquez (he/him).

Please email if you have any questions about accessing this event.

This exhibition, panel, and workshop are supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

Register here for "Queer Rights Are Human Rights" Webinar and Poster Making Workshop

Center for the Study of Political Graphics
3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 103
Culver City, CA 90230


Webinar: Was Mao a Marxist? - Session with Dr. Jenny Clegg - July 1 (The Marx Memorial Library)

Thursday, July 1  --  14:00 EDT

Register here

A session with Dr. Jenny Clegg on how Mao adapted Marxist ideology to drive the Chinese peasant revolution 1925-1949.

Was Mao a Marxist? Mao and the Chinese peasant revolution (1925-1949)

One hundred years ago, on July 1st 1921, the Communist Party of China was founded by a handful of people who, for the sake of secrecy, held their first meeting on a boat on a lake to the south of Shanghai. Today, the CPC is a huge organisation with a membership of 91 million people.The CPC came to power with the support of the vast majority of the population: the peasants. The Party had come to understand that agrarian transformation was the main content of the Chinese revolution and the peasants its main force. Many on the Left still to this day under-rate Mao as little more than a peasant leader.This session will on the contrary discuss how Mao, through the sinification of Marxism, came to develop his distinctive policies and ‘mass line’ approach as he figured out ways to address the challenges of the Chinese revolution and social transformation through engaging in the revolutionary process in the countryside. Marking out the differences between Mao, Stalin and Trotsky, it will further consider the relationship between the national and the agrarian revolution.What are the lessons for us to draw on today from the Chinese experience of revolution?

Dr Jenny Clegg is an academic, activist and long term China specialist. Her PhD on China’s peasants in revolution was awarded by the University of Manchester in 1989. A revised version will be published later this year by Praxis Press.

Marx Memorial Library & Workers' School was founded in 1933 with the aim of advancing education, knowledge and learning in all aspects of the science of Marxism, the history of Socialism and the working class movement.

At the heart of the British Labour Movement for over eighty years, the Library is home to a unique collection of published and archival sources on related subjects including the trade unionism, peace and solidarity movements and the Spanish Civil War.

The Library’s education programme – online and onsite – examines subjects ranging from Marxist political economy to socialist art. The Library itself is a historic building rooted in Clerkenwell’s radical tradition. We are a charity, financed by members and affiliates.