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Nine Eleven

Before nine in the morning the great city shines in the sun. Against blue skies, innocent flights arrive and leave. The cry of a desperate bird on its escape to the ocean gets lost in the noise of the big metropolis. Tall buildings, like dark sentinels of order and efficiency, open their doors to a dance of tapping of heels, fingers on computers, the music of coffee pots, smiles and secrets. Schools are getting ready for their morning rituals, colleges are filled with laughter, songs, books and kisses. Factories, stores, street vendors, poets, lovers, smog-poisoned insects, struggling bees: foreign threats will not get through this hard-working army. The world has seen here the finest example of democracy.

2 weeks ago

“In the Fields of the North” photos on the border wall

"En Los Campos del Norte" or "In the Fields of the North" is an exhibition of photographs of farm workers in the U.S., almost all migrants from Mexico, taken by David Bacon. They are hung on the iron bars of the border wall, on the Mexican side of the wall between Mexico and the U.S. in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

2 weeks ago

New upsurge against racism and police crimes is being born

The African American Equality Commission of the Communist Party USA released the following statement on the killing of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Mo……

2 weeks ago

Primaries end with Scott Brown win but some tea party losses

The 2014 primary election season came to an end yesterday with the former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren, winning the GOP primary in New Hampshire.

2 weeks ago

Defending Colombian political prisoner David Ravelo, and others

David Ravelo, arrested on September 14, 2010, remains in a Colombian prison. He is innocent of any crime, yet received an 18-year sentence. Through independent thought, action, and courage, he confronted an oligarchic, militarized, U. S. backed regime. He attracted attention and so was vulnerable to political persecution.

A year ago, judges rejected his appeal, and news coverage of his case slackened even among leftist media. He now returns to the news: in late August the British Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC) sent an “amicus curiae” report to the Colombian Supreme Court. As indicated by lawyers handling Ravelo’s defense, “the Supreme Court has the opportunity to do justice in a case of obvious persecution against a defender of human rights in Colombia.”

2 weeks ago

Ferguson making changes in wake of killing of Michael Brown

FERGUSON, Mo. - Among early indications that things might change here in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown, the Ferguson City Council announced Monday that it will set up a civilian review board to oversee the Police Department.

The announcement, an effort to repair relations with residents, came in a little over a month since the brutal killing of Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, and as his family continues to wait for what they hope will be a grand jury indictment of their son’s killer.

The city council, the governing body of this small suburb of St. Louis, said the review board will be made up of citizens who are not part of either local government or the police department.

2 weeks ago

How a small town council routed the union busters

SEQUIM, Wa. —- The Sequim City Council voted unanimously Sept. 8 to kill two pending “Right to Work” (for less) ballot propositions, condemning them as “grossly invalid” and a flagrant violation of state law.

The action came during a regular meeting of the council in the Clallam Transit Center packed with union members and other foes of union busting.

2 weeks ago

"Echoes of Valour" in Newfoundland: A story of racism defeated

ST. LAWRENCE, Newfoundland - You may need to get out your atlas or do an online map search to really understand this story. Most of the population of the Canadian province of Newfoundland lives on the Avalon Peninsula, the easternmost hunk of Canada, and indeed of North America. Just west of Avalon is another sizable peninsula, Burin. I happened to travel there recently on my way to the ferry taking us over to the only remaining French territory in North America, the islands of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.

2 weeks ago

California to dispose of plastic bags

California may soon follow in the footsteps of its largest city: On Aug. 29, the state Senate voted 22-15 in support of a statewide ban on plastic bags. The bill, SB 270, will phase them out in grocery stores and pharmacies beginning in July 2015, and in convenience stores one year later, with the goal of making California a plastic bag-free state by the end of 2016. The legislation, which passed both houses of the state legislature, must now be signed by the governor. If that happens, the state will achieve a historical victory for the environment.

2 weeks ago

Ray Rice and his enablers: why men must speak out

On Sunday night, TMZ Sports released a new video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out Janay Rice, his then-fiancée and now his wife, on an elevator in a casino hotel. By Monday morning, sports networks and morning talk shows were abuzz, talking again about what is far too familiar in our national life - male violence against women - and the mishandling of this gruesome incident by National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ravens football team - not to mention the entire National Football League.

2 weeks ago

The people, Wall Street, and the planetary emergency

The growing planetary emergency brought on by climate change is placing the future of humanity and nature at stake. Awareness of the climate crisis has been growing rapidly and is reflected in the broad, grassroots movement in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the coalition emerging around the People’s Climate March, which is expected to be the largest demonstration on the climate crisis ever.

This movement has the potential to embrace the overwhelming majority of humanity, crossing class, race, gender lines and national boundaries.

2 weeks ago - 3

Activists eye anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban Five

Organizations and activists who have been fighting, for sixteen years, for freedom for the Cuban Five will descend on Washington D.C. during the week starting Thursday, Sept. 11, for a series of political actions. The events, which will be coordinated with similar ones in 38 countries around the world, are intended to mark the 16th anniversary of the arrest of the five.

2 weeks ago

Savoring burgers and labor victories

It was just another summer backyard barbeque. A few veggie patties followed by a few burgers on the grill. Some drinks. Some salads. Maybe a couple dozen people. There were neighbors, several community activist types, a couple of clergy and a handful of other religious folks, plus a few workers from a local hotel and some iron workers. Wait, who?

Yes, the gathering was called together by CLUE - Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice - in a supporter’s back yard. We met to share some summer food, deepen our friendships and to mark some victories that might otherwise go without notice - benchmarks that shouldn’t be forgotten so quickly.

2 weeks ago

Wages: How low can you go?

Whenever the subject of raising hourly pay to a livable level comes up in Los Angeles, you can expect two stalwart foes: The Chamber of Commerce and the Central City Association. They both represent business and they always argue that paying working people a wage they can live on will hurt business owners. I cannot recall a time they ever claimed anything else.

2 weeks ago

Homeless youth need support now more than ever

LOS ANGELES - This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), which has provided funding for services to youth experiencing homelessness across the nation. Forty years after the initial legislation, the services that RHYA funds are needed now more than ever.

2 weeks ago