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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – August 1, 2023

Summer of our discontent

Ben Jennings, The Guardian
  1. What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Revolution?
  2. ERA Centennial Convention
  3. The New Fascist Order for Kids
  4. A Bakery Challenges Ableism
  5. Rightist Leaders Out of the Shadows
  6. Prisoner-Led Organizing Saved My Life
  7. GOP: Slavery Was a Jobs Skills Program
  8. McDonald’s Walkout in LA
  9. Cop City Referendum in Atlanta
  10. Democracy Denied in an Alabama Town


What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Revolution?

By Wen Stephenson
The Baffler

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The task for those of us who refuse to settle, and who choose to engage, is to urgently shift our social movements, in broad solidarity and coalition, toward the making or remaking of a revolutionary left politics. This means building a “movement of movements,” committed to rupture, ready to take power democratically, and ready to use it effectively.

ERA Centennial Convention

By Carrie N. Baker

On July 22, 1923, the National Women’s Party unveiled the Equal Rights Amendment at the First Presbyterian Church of Seneca Falls in New York. Precisely 100 years later, contemporary ERA advocates gathered to mark this important historic milestone and plan for the final push for recognition of the ERA as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The New Fascist Order for Kids

By John Knefel
Media Matters for America

PragerU Kids is a made-for-students video series from the right-wing propaganda organization PragerU. Florida has just approved it for use in its public school classrooms, reflecting and potentially accelerating the state’s hard conservative turn. 

A Bakery Challenges Ableism

By Pepper Stetler

Invictus Bakery was founded in 2018 to prepare people with intellectual disabilities to be part of an inclusive workforce as the legal landscape opens up more work for them. The idea of bakers with autism seemed far-fetched. “We needed to show businesses how precise and skilled our bakers were,” said Molly Sebastian, one of the founders.

Rightist Leaders Out of the Shadows

Prisoner-Led Organizing Saved My Life

By Darrell Jackson
Waging Nonviolence

To survive in prison, inmates usually accept a “convict code” that demands toughness and makes us wary of others. To thrive in prison, I learned to embrace organizing for social change and discovered the rewards in thinking of others first. Contributing to a collective has helped me find deeper purpose in my life, even while serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

GOP: Slavery Was a Jobs Skills Program

By Chauncey DeVega

Fascists and authoritarians do not believe in empirical reality and independent truth. Instead, reality and facts and the truth are contingent, malleable, inconveniences to be twisted and distorted to fit the fascist project and revolutionary struggle. DeSantis' Orwellian thought crime campaign and targeting of African-American history fits firmly within that mold.

McDonald’s Walkout in LA

By Kevin Smith
Los Angeles Daily News

Cooks and cashiers walked off the job at a McDonald’s in Los Angeles on Friday, July 20, claiming the restaurant’s broken air conditioning system was forcing them to work in sweltering conditions amid Southern California’s relentless heat wave. They staged a lunchtime rally outside the restaurant and said they don’t plan to return until management addresses the problem. 

Cop City Referendum in Atlanta

By R.J. Rico
Associated Press

Clipboards in hand, canvassers Sienna Giraldi and Gabriel Sanchez approached shopper after shopper at a Kroger supermarket lot on a recent evening collecting signatures for a referendum over whether to cancel the city’s lease of a proposed police and firefighter training center that’s become a national rallying cry for environmentalists and anti-police protesters.

Democracy Denied in an Alabama Town

Equal Justice Initiative

Patrick Braxton, the first Black mayor of Newbern, a small town in Alabama’s Black Belt region, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging the white former mayor and city council members violated the Constitution when they locked him out of the Town Hall and barred him from office.