Skip to main content

Tidbits – May 9 – Reader Comments: Graduation 2024; College Presidents Cave to GOP in Congress; Why University Divestment Matters; We Need “Outside Agitators”; Diary of a Palestinian Living in Israel; Lots of Announcements; Cartoons; More…

Reader Comments: Graduation 2024; College Presidents Cave to GOP in Congress; Why University Divestment Matters; We Need “Outside Agitators”; Diary of a Palestinian Living in Israel; Lots of Announcements; Cartoons; more.....

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Announcements AND cartoons - May 9, 2024,Portside





Graduation 2024  --  Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz
May 1, 2024
Lalo Alcaraz on X


Re: Calling the Police on Campus Protests Shows That College Presidents Haven’t Learned a Thing Since the 1960s

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

The lessons should be obvious. Bringing police onto a college campus on the pretext of preserving or restoring “order” is almost always inspired not by conditions on campus, but by partisan pressure on university administrators to act.



Re: Police Let Violent Mobs Attack UCLA Students. This Is What Lawlessness Looks Like

Portside is very good progressive online journal, with excellent reporters. Here is what one of them has reported of the violence at UCLA.

Cecelia F. Klein
Professor Emerita
Department of Art History


Since the previous Thursday, groups of ever-more aggressive counter-protesters had beset the Palestine solidarity tent village on UCLA’s Dickson Plaza. Then, just before 11pm on 30 April, at least a 100 masked young men stormed the camp. They announced their presence by blasting the sounds of screaming babies from loudspeakers. They shined strobe lights, sprayed irritant gases and launched firecrackers at the encampment. One landed in the middle of the tents, eliciting screams from the occupants. The besieged protesters called for help – at least five people were already injured – but none came.

The mob breached the metal barricades around the camp, kicked in its plywood walls, and began stomping and beating the campers with fists and poles. At this point, a two-sided melee began. The Daily Bruin, the student paper, reported that some blasts of gas appeared to come from inside the camp. A text from the UC Divest Coalition sent around 1140pm, however, said that the encampment members do not possess teargas and were using “community defense” and wearing goggles to protect themselves.

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


Liberty Values 2024  --  Meme



Re: Are Critics of Student Protests Anti-Semitic?

Right on!! Short and sweet!!!

The assumption that all Jewish people should support Israel and its genocidal mission is itself as anti-semitic as you can get.

Arlene Halfon


Why University Divestment Matters



Re: What’s Really Happening on College Campuses, According to Student Journalists

Good piece with lots of voices.

Richard Swift
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: We Need “Outside Agitators”

I would be there in a heartbeat were I physically able. I long to stand with the students.

"Pro-Palestine student protesters are being smeared as puppets of shadowy “outside agitators.” The presence of community members and experienced activists in the protests is nothing to be ashamed of: we need outside agitators to build a better world."

Jodda Mitchell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


No Removal  --  Cartoon by Mike Luckovich


Mike Luckovich
May 1, 2024
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Re: A Diary of a Palestinian Living in Israel



Her response is typical: A recent opinion poll shows that the vast majority of Jewish Israelis – 94% – believe the Israeli military has used “adequate or too little force” in Gaza. About 88% of Jewish Israelis believe the number of Palestinians killed or wounded in Gaza is justified. These are astonishing figures given the apocalyptic scale of death and destruction that Israel has meted out on Gaza and its people.

A friend warned me not to say anything to my neighbor. “Don’t express dissent,” she told me. “Your neighbor will just report you to the police.” My friend is right to worry. Alongside the genocidal frenzy, Israel has taken measures to crush any domestic dissent, including banning protests, passing a law to shut down Al Jazeera, and going after those who dare speak out against genocide, including professor Shalhoub-Kevorkian.

Since Oct. 7, hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel have been arrested for “incitement” and “supporting terrorism” as expressions of solidarity with Gaza are characterized, speaking out against Israeli state crimes, and, in some cases, for writing Quranic verses. Students – ratted out by fellow classmates – have been disciplined by their colleges or universities for “liking” social media posts, while those who openly advocate genocide remain free to do so. Armed militia groups patrol Israel’s streets and social media posts and report Palestinians, including doctors and professors, to police.

Dave Lott
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Save Gaza. Destroy Hamas!

Dennis Carman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Donald Trump’s Empty Promises on Jobs

During the four years of Trump’s presidency, the United States lost 2.7 million jobs. As a result, he was the only president since 1939, when the U.S. government began compiling such employment statistics, to preside over a net loss of jobs.

Norm Littlejohn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Mother's Day  --  Cartoon by Ali Solomon


Ali Solomon
May 2022
The New Yorker


Re: Shawn Fain: May Day 2028 Could Transform the Labor Movement—and the World

Yeah!!!!  Urgent to work on this powerful concept in a very disciplined and rational way!!!!

Kathy Lipscomb


Re: New York Care Workers' Fight To End the 24-Hour Workday Highlights the Cracks Within the Progressive Movement

(posting on Portside Labor)

Thanks for this article, though the authors clearly lean on one side of the split and probably could have explained the schism better. I have seen leaflets with pictures of NYC Council Speaker Adams (who is African American), blaming her for committing "violence against women of color." Some of these appeared while Speaker Adams was leading City Council overrides of vetoes by Mayor Adams (no relation) on issues of criminal justice, issues of prime concern to Black and Latino communities and all people who fight for social, racial and economic equality. The fact that the union representing many of these workers has issues with some of the positions, and that labor law really resides in the state, not the city, seems to fall on some deaf ears. Regardless of who is correct on the various issues of fissure, at the least, the leaflets and much of the rhetoric is so far removed from popular front strategy and tactics, it is damaging to larger causes and misreads the balance of forces and the state of affairs today.

Michael Arney
Bronx, NY


Are you aware that the UnitedHealth care people are part of a PRIVATE EQUITY firm as are many other health care facilities and organizations.  Their goal is profits, not people.

Norma Alarcon


Possible Veep Candidate Kristi Noem Admits She Shot Her Puppy  --  Cartoon by Jeff Danziger


Jeff Danziger
April 29, 2024
Rutland Herald (VT)


Re: The Refillery Is Coming for Your Grocery Store Routine

(posting on Portside Culture)

What's next, the customer has to stock the shelves? Just another way to get rid of workers and make the bourgies feel like they're "making a difference.:"

Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Webinar:  The Role of the Labor Movement in the Solidarity Economy  --  May 10  (Solidarity Economy Club at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)

Solidarity Economy is an internationalist framework that seeks to unify diverse community-based initiatives toward a values-centered alternative to capitalism. Some of these initiatives include cooperatives, community gardens, land trusts, tenant’s unions, care networks & more.

There has been increasing attention on the role of the labor movement in solidarity economy as union leaders seek new ways to fight back against the increasing precarity caused by neoliberalism, automation and AI. As evidenced by the Union Co-op Model, unions and the labor movement more broadly can significantly support solidarity economy initiatives. Meanwhile, the solidarity economy movement can benefit workers and unions by developing community-based support networks that create long-term stability and community empowerment.

How can these movements better collaborate? Where are the success stories? Where is there room for improvement?

Join us for answers to these questions and more.


  • Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Ph.D., is Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development, in the Department of Africana Studies, John Jay College, City University of New York. Author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice (2014), Dr. Gordon-Nembhard is an internationally recognized and widely published political economist specializing in cooperative economics, community economic development, racial wealth inequality, solidarity economics, Black Political Economy, popular economic literacy, and community-based approaches to justice.
  • Shaywaal Amin, Vice President of 1199SEIU-UHWE’s Nursing Home Division, is a dynamic Union leader that has proven history of successful contract negotiation and member strategies. He is still actively building consistent growth of members within the Union. Before devoting his work to the labor movement of 1199SEIU, Shaywaal worked at the Labor Research Association managing daily office operations, conducting research projects, and sales of the Publication Trade Union and the Economic Notes. Shaywaal is a poet, enthusiastic activist, and a visionary organizer who has spent time in the West African countries of Gambia and Senegal doing work with the operation crossroads.
  • Alexander Kolokotronis is Director of the Naugatuck Valley Project (NVP). NVP has 23 member organizations, including 8 churches, a mosque, and numerous labor unions. Alex is also Director of NVP's community land trust arm, through which he stewards and supports six limited equity housing cooperatives. Prior to NVP, Alex worked at the Connecticut AFL-CIO, supporting union affiliates representing 250,000 union members and co-running a statewide election program that successfully swept labor union members into the state legislature. He recently completed his PhD at Yale University in political science. Alex is also one of the leaders of the Emerson Tenants Union, recently formed in downtown New Haven.

Register for the event on Zoom


Virtual forum On the Rise: Doctors Unionizing & Organizing for Single Payer  May 14


On The Rise: Doctors Unionizing & Organizing for Single Payer

Tuesday, May 14
7:30-9:00 PM via Zoom

Closed Captions in English will be provided.

RSVP today to join us this coming Tuesday, May 14th at 7:30pm for our virtual educational forum On The Rise: Doctors Unionizing & Organizing for Single Payer.

Physicians and other healthcare professionals are unionizing. What is motivating this phenomenon? How and why do fiercely independent professionals get organized? What are the connections between this increasing interest in unionization and in advocacy for establishing an equitable, single payer healthcare system that prioritizes patients rather than profits?

Our May forum will feature frontline physicians who have been leaders in successful unionization efforts, in New York and from around the country, as well as professional labor union organizing staff. We will explore forces driving unionization, and the fight against both the corporate practice of medicine and broader financialization of healthcare.

Up to 75% of doctors are now employees of large corporate networks, often third-party investor-owned, for-profit entities. The resulting loss of professional autonomy contributes to worse care for patients and hostile work conditions for physicians. Every day, patients and doctors find themselves allied in opposition to long wait-times, narrow networks, needless prior authorizations, shortened patient visits, exorbitant billing, and ballooning administrative burdens. Communities face inadequate resources that are distributed inequitably because of a healthcare financing system that serves corporate interests while harming both doctors and patients.

It is the current U.S. system of healthcare financing and payments that incentivizes all hospitals and clinics – regardless of whether they are for-profit, not-for-profit, or even have a mission to serve the underserved – to behave badly toward both the healthcare providers they employ and the patients and communities they serve. With funding and budgets based on service reimbursement, healthcare organizations are incentivized to chase profitable procedures and preferential combinations of patients and insurance, and to win the billing game.

To fix this mess we need to eliminate fragmented, for-profit insurance pools and replace them with progressively paid for, universal, comprehensive, guaranteed healthcare. We need global budgeting to meet community healthcare needs. Investor-owned, third-party, for-profit hospitals and clinics must become illegal again.

Who better to advocate for a new system of healthcare than organized healthcare workers? Tune in to learn more on May 14!


  • Joe Crane started his union work around 2003 as a steward, union officer and volunteer organizer with Bakers Local 364 while working the Frito-Lay snack assembly line in Portland. Since 2005 he has been a full time professional organizer first his Bakers Local, then with Communication Workers of America, before shifting to healthcare workers first a nurses union with hospital technicians and nurses, and since 2017 with both Doctors Council/SEIU (DC) and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists/AFSCME (UAPD), leading successful organizing drives in numerous localities all across the U.S.
  • Natasha Khawaja, DO, is a Family Medicine physician at Unity Health Care an FQHC network in Washington DC, where she has also been a leader with its physicians unionizing with Union of American Physicians and Dentists/AFSCME (UAPD). After originally getting a degree in business and briefly working in the financial sector, she changed careers, went to medical school and has spent her career committed to under-served populations.
  • Alia Sharif, MD is an internist working as a hospitalist at Mercy Hospital/Unity Campus, part of the Allina Health system with sites throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin, where she was a physician leader in their recent unionization and recognition under Doctor Council/SEIU (DC).
  • Rex Tai, MD, is a third-year resident in the Primary Care/Social Internal Medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx NY, where he was also a founding organizer with the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU) and currently a member of the bargaining team. He has been active with PNHP since medical school and was a board member with SNaHP.


  • Roona Ray, MD, is Vice-Chair of Physicians for a National Health Program - New York Metro Chapter, is a Family Physician practicing urgent care at New York City Health and Hospitals and is a member of Doctor Council/SEIU (DC). Previously, she helped organize an unusual example of a wall-to-wall union (all workers including doctors under 1199-SEIU) and was part of negotiating their first union contract at an FQHC in Manhattan. Her first experiences as a labor activist were working on living wage and anti sweatshop campaigns when she was a student and organizing for a janitors union.
  • Michael Zingman, MD, is completing a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU-Bellevue, is the secretary-treasurer for Committee of Interns and Residents (CIRSEIU) nationally, and was a leader with Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) and PNHP when in medical school.

Forum Cosponsors Include:

Committee of Interns and Residents (CIRSEIU)
Doctors Council SEIU
Union of American Physicians & Dentists (UAPD) AFSCME, AFL-CIO

We invite you to RSVP to join us for this important discussion.

Thanks for all you do and keep acting for life-saving change,

PNHP NY Metro · 131 W 33rd St 4th floor, New York, NY 10001


Conference: No War But The Class War  --  Brooklyn, NY  --  May 31 - June 2  (Historical Materialism and The Institute for the Radical Imagination)


May 31 · 10am - June 2 · 6pm EDT

Long Island University Brooklyn
1 University Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The ongoing proliferation of violent conflicts and antagonisms has once again brought the question of warfare to the forefront. Unfortunately, the dominant discourse that has accompanied these antagonisms is simplistic moralism; war as a matter of good and evil. Relatedly, anti-war movements in the United States and beyond have waned, the fight against 'evil' overcoming all else. The startling lack of critical perspectives on and mass social movements against these recent and ongoing wars (from Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Gaza, and the West Bank to Yemen, Sudan, and beyond), as well as increasingly possible future wars (China, Russia), is a direct consequence of the Manichean perspective that has dominated the understanding of the many (including some on the left). Equally worryingly, the broader disruptions and impact of these wars, from rising poverty in the global south to the displacement of tens of millions of people, have not been adequately understood as one of the consequences of these ongoing antagonisms.

It is against this backdrop that a return to a more analytical and rigorous understanding of conflict and war is needed. More precisely, a class analysis of conflict and antagonism is necessary for understanding the complexity of these conflicts and the social conditions that engender them. The analysis of class is always concurrently an analysis of movement and struggle; there is no class without war, and there is no war without class. Thus, a class analysis of war also makes visible the deeper social agencies and stakes of these conflicts, highlighting the importance of anti-war movements as well as the necessity of class struggle from below. Similarly, a class analysis shows which conflicts extend and deepen the control and interests of the capitalist classes and which conflicts combat capitalism and benefit the working and other subaltern classes.

As in the past, the conference ethos is strictly egalitarian. This means everyone is invited to contribute in a comradely spirit, the conference is open to all currents of critical Marxist theory, and we expect all presenters to attend the entire conference, not just their own session (with no ‘cameo appearances’). We also expect all speakers to make themselves available for their sessions for the whole period of the conference (with only completely immutable circumstances constituting exceptions), as tailoring a conference of this size around individuals’ preferences and desires is not feasible or desirable. The conference is an important part of the broader Historical Materialism project – including the journal, the book series, and the global network of HM conferences – and we want to encourage all conference participants to get involved with these different elements, for example, by subscribing to the journal and submitting their conference paper to us for consideration. The Institute for the Radical Imagination is based in New York City and sponsors various seminars and classes throughout the year, including a yearly Marxist Summer School. It also publishes the journal Situations.

Tickets here


Teach Truth Day of Action 2024  --  June 8  (Zinn Education Project)


Sign Up to Host a Table or Event 

Join us on Saturday, June 8 to defend the freedom to learn.

Once again, we invite educators, students, parents, and community members to host an information table or event to defend the right to #TeachTruth (including about Palestine) and defend LGBTQ+ rights.

The right has declared war on teaching the truth about structural racism and sexism and on LGBTQ+ youth. Books by Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+, and Palestinian American writers are increasingly being banned.

While claiming to “protect” young people, the right-wing legislators block any efforts to address gun violence (the leading cause of death for young people) and the existential threat of climate change.

In this election year, we need to reach as many people as possible with information about the chilling effect of these laws and how they threaten any chance of an informed and engaged democracy.

Join the campaign to spread the word — it is easy to participate.

Host an information table at a public site (such as a library, bookstore, or farmers market) or organize a gathering at a historic site. Sign up today.

Event hosts can receive a Teach Truth pop-up installation box with banned books and other resources. All you need to do is select a site and register.

Action Plan Overview

While the step-by-step guide further below (after the co-sponsor list) is detailed, the process is simple:

  1. Select a public site. Host an information table at a public site (like a library, bookstore, museum, festival, or farmers market) or organize a gathering at a historic site. The group can be any size. Every voice and action counts!
  2. Select your activity. Information tables require just one or two people and you will receive a Teach Truth pop-up installation box with banned books and other resources. Or plan a history walking tour, book exchange, rally, etc. See ideas in the slides and detailed description further below.
  3. Post photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #TeachTruth

Sign up to receive resources and support.


The annual Teach Truth Day of Action is coordinated by Rethinking Schools’ and Teaching for Change’s Zinn Education Project and led by educators around the country with the support of the co-sponsors listed below.


Abolitionist Teaching NetworkAdvancement ProjectAdvocates for YouthAfrican American Policy ForumAFT Share My LessonAmerican Library AssociationAmerican Social History ProjectAmerican Youth Policy ForumAmplifierAnti-Racist Teaching and Learning CollectiveAsian Americans Advancing JusticeAsian Pacific American Labor AllianceBARWEBlack Lives Matter at SchoolBlackPastBlack Teacher ProjectCenter for Black Educator DevelopmentCenter for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy EducationCivil Rights Movement ArchiveCOLAGEColor of ChangeCommunities for Just Schools FundDefense of DemocracyEconomics for EmancipationEmpowering Pacific Islander CommunitiesThe Equity LabFaith & PrejudiceFoundation 451GLSENHEAL Together / Race ForwardHistorians for Peace and DemocracyHuman Rights CampaignInformation WantedInstitute for Common PowerKinfolkLabor Council for Latin American AdvancementLearning for JusticeMonument LabNAACP NYS ConferenceNational Council of Asian Pacific AmericansNational Education AssociationNational Equity ProjectNational Women’s Law CenterThe New PressThe New RepublicOur TurnProject 2043Pulitzer Center’s 1619 Education ProgramRed Wine & BlueRoots to RevolutionSeven Stories PressShout Mouse PressSNCC Legacy ProjectStonewall National Museum and ArchivesSURJTeach RockUnited States Hispanic Leadership InstituteVisiting Room ProjectVoice of WitnessWee Nation RadioWho We Are ProjectWomen’s Equity Center and Action Network, and more groups.

Interested in adding your organization as a co-sponsor? Sign up here.

Event hosts also reference the Teach Truth Media Guide.

Zinn Education Project

A collaboration between Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change
PO Box 73038 Washington, D.C. 20056


Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly & Moral March on Washington, D.C. & to the Polls  --  June 29


Join a historic assembly of impacted poor and low-wage workers, representatives from over thirty state coordinating committees, leaders from major religious organizations and denominations, labor unions, and other advocates as we kick off four months of outreach to 15 million poor and low-wage infrequent voters.

Sign Up  

Watch here  

“It does not stand to reason – morally, economically, or politically – that in the richest nation in the history of the world, 800 people die every day from poverty and low wealth!” - Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.

When one-third of the U.S. electorate is comprised of poor and low-wage people, we must be that movement that arrests the attention of the politicians and call on the nation to mobilize on June 29th to launch an intensive four-month effort to reach 15 million poor and low-wage infrequent voters ahead of this year’s general election.

“We are a resurrection of the unheard voices in this democracy, not an insurrection. After years of historic union drives and grassroots organizing, we are demonstrating our power at the polls in 2024. We will elect leaders with the courage to abolish poverty, raise wages, safeguard voting rights, and meet the basic needs of struggling families.” - Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis

RSVP today to join this historic assembly of poor and impacted people, clergy, and our advocates!

Poor People’s Campaign