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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – October 24, 2023

A month of renewed protest and repression

  1. Responses to the Siege of Gaza
  2. Pipeline Plugged
  3. The Anti-Abortion Movement’s New Campaign
  4. Has Chick-fil-A Gone Woke?
  5. A Historic Climate Fight in North Carolina
  6. A Long Game to Undercut Democracy
  7. Labor Education Starts in School
  8. Cornel West’s Erratic Campaign
  9. GOP, UAW and China
  10. Ursula Le Guin’s Radical Utopias



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Responses to the Siege of Gaza

Pipeline Plugged

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

Navigator CO2 Ventures said it was abandoning plans to build the $3.5 billion, 1,300-mile Heartland Greenway pipeline project—whose backers included investment firm BlackRock and Valero Energy—after South Dakota regulators denied a permit. Advocates credited campaigning by residents who spoke out against the company's plan to potentially use eminent domain to gain access to land.

The Anti-Abortion Movement’s New Campaign

By Jessica Valenti
Abortion, Every Day

More than a year after Roe’s demise, Americans are still furious and Republicans are still losing at the polls—but the anti-abortion movement is full steam ahead. They’re thinking bigger than ever, cultural and political backlash be damned. The activists that decimated abortion rights have quietly rolled out a new initiative to force American women to carry doomed pregnancies to term. 

Has Chick-fil-A Gone Woke?

By Veronika Bondarenko

Chick-fil-A became the subject of a national firestorm when, in 2012, then-CEO Dan T. Cathy made a number of comments against LGBTQ people and some customers dug up that the chain regularly donated to Christian charities campaigning against same-sex marriage. The chain committed to fully divesting from organizations opposing same-sex marriage in 2019.

A Historic Climate Fight in North Carolina

By Rund Abdelfatah, et al.

People like Dollie Burwell had figured out a way to reach people “the old-fashioned way,” Dollie Burwell says — door to door, church to church, friend to friend, cousin to cousin. It was understood that the county being mostly Black and poor probably had a lot to do with why PCBs got dumped there, and why a landfill was now being built.

A Long Game to Undercut Democracy

By Cullen Peele
Human Rights Campaign 

The Alliance Defending Freedom is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yet many judges and lawmakers continue to welcome its influence and guidance. This guidance includes the peddling of false or misleading information to develop case law restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ people through the courts.

Labor Education Starts in School

By Sonali Kolhatkar

Teaching students about the rich history of labor organizing in the U.S. can offer a solid foundation upon which to inform them about their own rights in the workplace. AB 800, which California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed into law, does precisely that: teaching younger generations about labor in a way that doesn’t reinforce capitalist values and corporate ethos.

Cornel West’s Erratic Campaign

By Calder McHugh

West thinks the Greens can’t take him where he wants to go. The Greens think West is throwing away movement politics and blowing up his own campaign to boot. With some remove, it’s easy to see the split as the latest example of the narcissism of small differences that’s plagued segments of the modern left in recent years.

GOP, UAW and China

By Jeff Schuhrke and Sarah Lazare
In These Times

Rather than actually supporting auto workers in their strike against billionaire CEOs at the Big Three, GOP officials are instead using the labor action to rail against electric vehicles and stoke conflict with China.

Ursula Le Guin’s Radical Utopias

By Nick Hubble

Only the reality of the past and the future, held within human memory and intention, makes the present real. Not only does Le Guin’s fiction symbolize the possibility of change for socialist readers, then; it also gives some idea of the sheer degree of the mental work required for us to comprehend the radical difference that would be entailed by that change.