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Tidbits – Apr 18 – Reader Comments: Trump on Trial; Bombing Embassies; Ending Property Taxes; Alabama Communists in the Jim Crow South; Israeli Pavilion Remains Shut at Venice Biennale; Earth Week; John Brown Day; Nakba Days of Action; More;,,,

Reader Comments: Trump on Trial; Bombing Embassies You Are Not At War With; Ending Property Taxes; Alabama Communists in the Jim Crow South; Israeli Pavilion Remains Shut at Venice Biennale; Earth Week; John Brown Day; Nakba Days of Action; more;

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Announcements, Shorts, AND cartoons - Apr. 18, 2024,Portside









Re: Where Is America’s ‘Rules-Based Order’ Now?

"The US is deploying forces to the Middle East to deter Iran from retaliating against Israel's strike on the embassy in Syria that killed a number of Iranians." Law? Bombing countries you aren't at war with? Bombing embassies? S'cool, if we or our friends do it. But don't you DARE raise your hand in retaliation.

Law? As Sylvester Stallone (as Judge Dread) put it, "I YAM DA LAW!!!"

Jack Radey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Iran Attack  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers


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Rob Rogers
April 16, 2024


Trump on Trial  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson


Nick Anderson
April 15, 2024


First Things First  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich


Mike Luckovich
April 11, 2024
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Re: Can Grocery Workers Take Back Their Union?

(posting on Portside Labor)

What a great meaty detailed article!

L A Kurth


Re: It’s Time To End the Quiet Cruelty of Property Taxes

I'm speculating here, but I'll bet that the person who owns a $500.000 house earns less than a third what the person who owns a $1.5 million house. Even if properly assessed, I'd guess that the more well-off a person is, the less they contribute, as a percentage of their wealth, to their local community in terms of taxes - both property and sales taxes. Anyone know for sure?

Susan Collier Lamont
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: How Alabama Communists Organized in the Jim Crow South

I was somewhat shocked by the very insignificant mention of Joseph Gelders, a Birmingham native, physics professor, and extremely active Communist activist who eventually became a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Additionally his daughter Marge was a major activist who later became a professor at the University of California.  Furthermore Virginia Durr, the sister-in-law of Supreme Justice Hugo Black, may not have been a CP member, but was certainly a major force for civil rights in Birmingham.

Nora Lapin


Trump Criminal Trial Recap: Day Two  --  Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz


Lalo Alcaraz
April 17, 2024

Re: Global Left Midweek – April 17, 2024

I wrote a polemic for this one.

Ethan Young
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Note:  There will be no Tidbits next week, April 25


Israeli Pavilion Remains Shut as Artist Ruth Patir Calls for a Ceasefire and Hostage Release

The curators and the artist representing Israel have decided to keep the doors to the Israel pavilion closed.

by Kate Brown
April 16, 2024

The artwork is installed, a video work is playing, but the show cannot go on. Artist Ruth Patir, who is representing Israel at the Venice Biennale, and the exhibition’s curators have decided to keep the doors to the Israel pavilion closed as the 60th Venice Biennale opens this week.

A sign was left on the door to the pavilion, which is located beside the U.S. pavilion in the historic Giardini, stating that “the artist and curators of the Israeli pavilion will open the exhibition when a cease-fire and hostage release agreement is reached.”

Patir, who was announced as the country’s representing artist one month before Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, made the decision together with the exhibition’s curators, Tamar Margalit and Mira Lapidot, following weeks of calls from pro-Palestine activists to boycott the pavilion.

“We (Tamar, Mira, and I) have become the news, not the art. And if I am given such a remarkable stage, I want to make it count,” said Patir in a statement on Instagram. “I firmly object to cultural boycott, but since I feel there are no right answers, and I can only do what I can with the space I have, I prefer to raise my voice with those I stand with in their scream, ceasefire now, bring the people back from captivity. We can’t take it anymore.”

Visitors will only be able to catch a glimpse of the artist’s work through the windows of the pavilion where her project “(M)otherland” sits under lock and key.

Ruth Patir. Photo by Goni Riskin  //  artnet

Representatives of the Venice Biennale did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the closure.

“In contrast to the political arena, the art world [has in the past] pretended, or aspired, to present something more complex, ambiguous, which could contain internal contradictions – and suddenly in a single blow, the perception changed. You can either be on this side or on the other side,” Lapidot, a curator at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, said to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in an interview published on Monday in which she said the show would open as planned.

Lapidot added: “There is no longer a way to express empathy and a position that is more than for or against, and that fundamentally contradicts everything I understand about what art is.”

The newspaper also reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry had confirmed there would be additional security in place at the pavilion.

As art world insiders were pulling up to Venice in vaparettos on Sunday and Monday in Venice, the question circulating was about what kinds of protests may transpire on the grounds of the Giardini this week. For months, pro-Palestinian organizations have been calling on the Venice Biennale to exclude Israel from the prestigious exhibition and for other participating artists to boycott the entire event.

On Tuesday, other national pavilions at the biennale had flyers on view indicating support of Palestine, titled “The Palestine Pavilion: What is the Future of Art—A Manifesto Against the State of the World.” Palestine does not have a pavilion at the event since Italy does not recognize it as a sovereign state.

In an open letter issued at the end of February, the Art Not Genocide Alliance (ANGA) stated that “any official representation of Israel on the international cultural stage is an endorsement of its policies and of the genocide in Gaza.” Its signatories included the photographer and activist Nan Goldin and artists representing other countries in the Biennale, including artists representing Chile, Finland, and Nigeria. ANGA did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

In response to the open letter, Italy’s culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano ruled out the possibility of barring Israel from the Biennale. “Israel not only has the right to express its art, but it has the duty to bear witness to its people precisely at a time like this when it has been attacked in cold blood by merciless terrorists,” stated the politician.

Margalit told the New York Times that calling for a cease-fire at such an official capacity, as an artist representing the country, could draw criticism from Israeli lawmakers—the government has covered about half the pavilion’s costs and did not know of the planned protest ahead, Margalit said.

“(M)otherland” explored the patriarchal gaze on motherhood and the pressure on women to become mothers. It draws on her own experience of the medical world and pressure from doctors for her to preserve her chance to become a mother in spite of a medical condition. She recorded her medical appointments for use in her work. A video, slightly viewable from outside in the Giardini, shows broken up fertility goddess sculptures with broken limbs crying out in anguish. Patir told the New York Times that the artwork also reflected her sadness and frustration over the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Jo Lawson-Tancred provided additional reporting. This is a developing story and will be updated.


Join Campaign Nonviolence for our first annual Earth Week mobilization between April 22–May 1



Join Campaign Nonviolence for our first annual Earth Week mobilization between April 22–May 1. 

Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement to build a culture of peace and active nonviolence, free from war, poverty, racism, and environmental destruction. For 10 years, we have mobilized thousands of actions and events during our Action Days September 21–October 2. With the extreme urgency of the climate crisis and the growing concerns about escalating war, we are asking people to take action in April 2024.

In solidarity and partnership with climate justice and peace groups, we are asking you to plan a nonviolent action between April 22nd (Earth Day) and May 1st (International Labor Day). This period, known as Earth Week, is a time when social justice groups take action on the systemic, interwoven injustices that are driving the climate crisis, including economic injustice, environmental racism, colonialism, militarism, and labor injustice. 

We encourage nonviolent action on all aspects of environmental justice, and especially those with a focus on the connections between peace and planet. In numerous ways, militarism and fossil fuels go hand-in-hand. To stop them, peace and planet must forge an unbreakable alliance. This Earth Day to May Day, we encourage you to take action with us.

Here are 3 ways to join in:

  • Option 1: Peace & Planet Solidarity
  • Option 2: Connect the dots between climate and militarism.
  • Option 3: Celebrate Peace & Planet with children.


Join the Movement Here



John Brown Day 2024  --  Lake Placid, NY  -- May 11  (John Brown Lives!)


In today’s ever increasingly diverse world, it is imperative that we engage in meaningful dialogue around the legacies of slavery, human rights, racism, incarceration, and climate justice in order to address the critical and complex issues of our times.

We serve as the official Friends Group for the John Brown Farm State Historic Site carrying forth the spirit of abolitionist John Brown in today’s world. Through education, history, and the arts we believe we can bend the moral arc of history towards justice and equity. By having difficult and honest conversations about complex issues we connect the lessons of the past to the present to create a more just society.

John Brown Lives!
PO Box 357
Westport NY 12993


NAKBA DAYS OF ACTION: STOP ARMING ISRAEL  --  Washington, DC  -  May 14-15, 2024  (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)



Join the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Action on May 14-15 for “Nakba Days of Action: Stop Arming Israel” focused on the ongoing struggle to end U.S. military funding to Israel, once and for all.

This year, we’re commemorating 76 years of the ongoing Nakba, at a time in which Palestinians in Gaza have now lived through a six-month-long genocide. In the midst of this devastation, people around the world have risen up, building spaces fighting toward Palestinian liberation. Join us in community in Washington, DC. You'll build with movement organizers, who will share the tools to organize with your community and create pathways for ending U.S. military funding to Israel.

Registration is only $50, which includes meals.

If you’re interested in a scholarship to cover registration and/or housing, please apply here by Wednesday, May 1.

We are unable to provide scholarships for travel at this time. Learn more about how to cover your costs with this grassroots fundraising toolkit.

Questions? Contact us.

Registration deadline: May 7, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET

Register Now  


Over the course of two days, you’ll take part in the following events. This is a draft schedule with exact times and topics subject to change.

  • Tuesday, May 14: A day of organizing skills workshops and an evening Gaza teach-in, encompassing ways you can take action and build campaigns to end U.S. military funding to Israel.

  • Wednesday, May 15: A day on Capitol Hill to take our demands to members of Congress, including a permanent ceasefire across Palestine and an end to U.S. military funding to Israel. Make sure Congress hears our voices loud and clear. Advocacy meetings will run from about 9 AM to 4 PM, depending on the timing of your scheduled meetings.

You’re invited to take action in all sessions over the course of the two days, but we also understand if you can only make it to some portion. We look forward to seeing you in DC. Let's lean in to this extremely important moment and keep pushing toward total liberation.


We keep us safe! For your own health and our collective safety, masks are required during the teach-in/workshops on the first day and highly encouraged on Capitol Hill on the second day. Please wear a mask while traveling to the event, test for COVID-19 prior to the event, and cancel your registration in the event you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the latest bivalent booster is also recommended. Thank you for your commitment!

Register Now  

Registration deadline: May 7, 2024 at 11:59 pm ET

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
(703) 312-6360

PO Box 3609
Washington, DC 20027


Memorial for Marcia Rothenberg & Mel Rothenberg  -  Chicago  -  May 26


Sunday, May 26 from 10:45 am to 2 pm

Promontory Field House
5491 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615

We hope you will join family and friends in celebrating and honoring the Rothenbergs, their 70 years together and the contributions they made to the worlds around them.

Please share this announcement with others who would want to know.

For those unable to come in person, there will be a Zoom option.

For more information, and to send written or recorded remembrances, contact:

Julia Rothenberg

Please note: there is no designated parking for this venue. You will need to park in the parking lot or street parking about ¼ mile from the fieldhouse and walk under the viaduct to the Eastern end of Promontory Point. Please allow adequate time


Note:  There will be no Tidbits next week, April 25