It’s been one of the pleasures of my life to attend the annual Socialism Conference in Chicago the past couple of years. Socialism 2015 is July 2nd through the 5th. Click the banner below for details.
There needs to be a discussion of how to solve these problems without hurting our pensioners and workers.
What happens when you’ve been kicking the fiscal can down the road for years, but the road suddenly hits a dead end? That’s what Chicago – and the state of Illinois – are about to find out.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is demanding cutbacks and concessions, but teachers are pushing back amid a wider attack on public-sector unions. Lee Sustar reports.
May Day Celebration – Noon to 1: 30 PM Haymarket Memorial, Corner of DesPlaines & Randolph
May Day 2015 March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration – 2:30 PM Union Park
Illinois Labor History Society Annual Membership Meeting – 5 to 7 PM Chicago Federation of Musicians, 656 Randolph Street, Haymarket Square
The Joe Hill Roadshow – 9 PM Hideout, 1354 West Wabansia Avenue, Chicago
On a windblown, gray Chicago day 100 years ago, January 17, 1915, Ralph Chaplin left his home on the South Side for a raucous, poor person’s rally at the city’s famous women’s center, Hull House. He asked a visiting friend he’d met organizing coal miners with Mother Jones to listen to the lyrics of a new tune he had been working on. Here’s the story behind one of the most beloved Labor Hymns.
Read the article: ‘Solidarity Forever’ Written 100 Years Ago, Today | Labor Notes.
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Fred Hampton by the Chicago Police. Five years ago, on the fortieth anniversary, Democracy Now aired a retrospective.
On December 4th, 1969, Chicago police raided Fred Hampton’s apartment, shot and killed him in his bed. He was just twenty-one years old. Black Panther leader Mark Clark was also killed in the raid.
While authorities claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, evidence later emerged that told a very different story: that the FBI, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the Chicago police conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton. Noam Chomsky has called Hampton’s killing “the gravest domestic crime of the Nixon administration.”
Chicago-based artist Amie Sell talks about her work, the censorship of her installation, and the relationship of art, social class and gentrification.
Read the Interview: Art (as Social Organism) vs. Gentrification – Red Wedge Magazine Red Wedge Magazine.
Here are some links to articles that caught my eye this week.
6 Ways Wall Street Is Hosing Chicago Teachers – Matthew Cunningham-Cook unpacks how the country’s biggest investment firms are endangering the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.
We Need to Fight for Equality – William Spriggs reflects on how the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement must be united.
Catholic Social Teaching and Adjunct Faculty Organizing – John Russo writes about Catholic Universities and the Social Teaching of the Church.
Some Facts That Poverty-Deniers Don’t Want to Hear – Three-quarters of conservative Americans think poor people have it easy. Paul Buchheit shows that they don’t.
Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society – Professor Reich imagines.
Films that Debunk Corporate Education Reform – A list of must-see videos from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.
Israel/Palestine FAQ – Who are the Palestinians? Who are the Israelis? Is Folk Singer David Rovics a self-hating Jew? Find out in this FAQ.
Do Palestinians Really Exist? – When he was nine years old, Dean Obeidallah finally learned about his father’s people.
I’ll be attending the Socialism 2014 conference in Chicago June 26th through the 29th. Here’s the schedule for the event.
See you in Chicago!
Labor Notes 2014 in Chicago was an incredible weekend of inspiration and activism. This was my first Labor Notes, and I hope to make in an annual ritual. Highlights, for me, were the Friday afternoon Chicago Labor history tour (conducted by the ILHS), the Saturday afternoon STOP Staples protest, and (of course) the Friday and Saturday night Folk Music singalongs, spearheaded by members of the Seattle Labor Chorus and Anne Feeney.
How could I forget to mention the incredible and boisterous impromptu singalong in the Crowne Plaza lobby into the wee hours of Sunday morning with young Wobblies and Occupy kids from Portland, Chicago and the Twin Cities?
Labor Notes has the first videos from the conference posted on their site now. I’m looking forward to more.
Need an inspiration fix? Here are a few video highlights for those who couldn’t make it to the record-breaking 2014 Labor Notes Conference—or those already ready to relive it.
See them here: First Videos from the 2014 Labor Notes Conference | Labor Notes.
Date: May 4, 2014
Location: Forest Home Cemetery, Haymarket Martyr’s Monument
Join the IWW and many other radical, anti-capitalist, and labor organizations at Forest Home Cemetery to eat, drink, talk, and make new friends and connections. This will be a pot-luck style event so please bring food to share. This event is open to all who are interested and is family friendly.
Learn More: May Day Events 2014
The full schedule of workshops, sessions, and performances for the 2014 Labor Notes Conference April 4-6, Chicago is now available online.
If you’ll be attending the conference, I’d love to meet you. Get in touch by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Moore and Rachel Cohen hack through the lies being used to promote charter schools in Chicago.
One of the biggest misconceptions about charters is that the funds to run them come from private sources. While charters do receive donations and some private grants, 75 percent of their total funding comes from public resources.
Another lie that charter school opponents are unmasking is the claim that charters perform better than neighborhood schools. In reality, according to researchers on the forum panel, 80 percent of charter students showed no improvement or a worse performance in reading, compared to students in traditional public schools. For math, the figure was 63 percent.
Gun violence in Chicago has gotten so bad this summer that members of Congress (including Bobby Rush) are convening a “summit on urban violence,” and Illinois State Representative Monique Davis is demanding that Governor Quinn send in the National Guard “to protect our children so they can go to the park and swim and play and have a childhood.”
For his part, Mayor Rahm Emaunuel wants to continue to focus on “the four P’s – policing, parenting, prevention and penalties” as solutions to the problem. Considering the probable effects of His Honor’s war on children and teachers, they’re likely to need a lot more of the policing and penalties part of that equation in the near future.
I would humbly suggest that someone ought to begin focusing on the most important “P-Factor” relating to violence in our cities: POVERTY.
Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor, Cedric Johnson, Martha Biondi and Barbara Ransby take a look at the true roots of urban violence in their panel discussion presented at the Socialism 2013 Conference: Poverty Pulls the Trigger.