By Mumia Abu-Jamal for CounterPunch. To those of us who were alive–and sentient, the name Huey P. Newton evokes an era of mass resistance, of Black popular protest and of the rise of revolutionary organizations across the land. To those of subsequent eras, youth in their 20s, the name is largely unknown, as is the name of its greatest creation: The Black Panther Party. To those of us now known as ‘old heads’ and elders, such a transition from then to now seems almost unimaginable, but alas, looking out into the present is proof positive that the old saying, “History is written by the victors” has more than a grain of truth to it. History, it seems, is many things, but kind to the oppressed, it is not. It never has been.
By Brian O’Connell for Business Insider – Your 17-year-old son comes home from his part-time job and says the family car he uses to get to work developed a “clunking” sound underneath the vehicle when he hits the gas pedal. Turns out he hit a pothole, and the left front tire is now damaged beyond repair. OF course, the tire rim may be damaged, too. Total cost of repair: $500. Or, you play flag football on Sunday afternoons, and you break your tibia diving for the end zone. A trip to the hospital emergency room sets the damaged leg, but not before emergency room fees hit $1,000 — and your health insurance plan’s deductible won’t cover the charge.
By Harry Targ for Diary of a Heartland Radical. In sum, theories of imperialism, hegemony, dependency need to be complemented by an understanding of the theory and practice of resistance. Mobilizations as varied as the thousands of groups attending the World Social Fora to the politics of the Bolivarian Revolution, to Arab Spring, to Occupy are all part of the story of the twenty-first century. However, narratives of imperialism and resistance must also be sensitive to “counter-resistance.” History does not move in a steady course. Conflict and struggle are experienced all along the way. And therefore theorists and advocates of twenty-first century socialism must be cognizant of and be prepared for counter-resistance and reversals in the progressive flow of history.
By Liz Pleasant for YES! Magazine – A few years ago, Maral Kharadjian decided to join the women in her family—including her mother, sister, sister-in-law, aunts, and cousins—at their monthly get-togethers at her aunt’s Los Angeles home. She was looking for a way to stay connected with the women in her extended family, despite her busy schedule. Each month the 10 women get together, cook food, and exchange stories. And one ends up with $1,000. Each woman puts $100 into a pot every month, and at the end of the night the host keeps the money. Most recently they met at Kharadjian’s house, so she got to keep the $1,000. She plans to use that money to pay a credit card bill. Next month someone else will host the party and keep the cash.
By Les Leopold for Alternet – The United States is among the richest countries in all of history. But if you’re not a corporate or political elite, you’d never know it. In the world working people inhabit, our infrastructure is collapsing, our schools are laying off teachers, our drinking water is barely potable, our cities are facing bankruptcy, and our public and private pension funds are nearing collapse. We – consumers, students, and homeowners – are loaded with crushing debt, but our real wages haven’t risen since the 1970s. How can we be so rich and still have such poor services, so much debt and such stagnant incomes?
By Chris Kromm in Southern Studies – In 2010, on the heels of the Great Recession — the nation’s biggest economic calamity since the Great Depression — one out of 10 people looking for work couldn’t find a job. The crisis was widely felt in communities large and small across the country. But the effects were far from equal. For example, the peak of unemployment for white workers who were unemployed in 2010 soared to 8 percent. But as Algernon Austin, a researcher at the Economic Policy Institute, noted in the report “#BlackWorkersMatter” [pdf] earlier this year, such devastating levels of joblessness were nothing new to African Americans. Over the last 52 years, Austin writes: [T]he annual unemployment rate for blacks has averaged nearly 12 percent. The typical African-American community faces a severe unemployment crisis year after year after year. The key role of race in chronic joblessness is just one of the reasons that African-American, labor and community leaders are calling for a new national commitment to organizing black workers.
By George Lakey in Waging Non-Violence – Another indication of how crazy this country has become: Some people are coming out against solar energy. Solar technology has dropped in cost to become competitive with other sources for electricity. Some energy companies are apparently worried that their fossil fuel and nuclear sources will become financial liabilities; coal already is with the new EPA regulations. Instead of welcoming the opportunity to come into the new age of renewable energy, the dinosaurs among us are resisting the change. In over 20 states there is push-back, reportedly coordinated by the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, supported by fossil fuel kings the Koch Brothers. One method is to take away subsidies given to homeowners who want to solarize their roofs. Another is to charge an additional fee for homeowners who succeed.
By Million Man March. Washington, DC – On October 10, 2015 in Washington, D.C., at the National Mall, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will convene the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March under the theme: Justice or Else! We want justice! We want equal justice under the law. We want justice applied equally regardless to creed or class or color. Justice is the birthright of every human being. Justice is a prerequisite to life. We cannot live without justice and where there is no justice there is no peace. Justice is one of the eternal principals that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth has decreed that every creature should have the freedom to be what God created it to be. Freedom, Justice and Equality are not conferred on us by the Constitution, but the Creator confers Freedom, Justice and Equality on every human being.
By Ethel Long-Scott of the Women’s Economic Agenda Project – The fight on America’s streets against police killings and for decent wages and job security cannot be won without a conscious fight to change the system. The old social order is in the grip of a revolutionary change. Work is changing forever as human labor increasingly cannot compete with robotics. Late stage capitalism with automated production simply does not need people in the paid workforce in the way that it used to, and permanent poverty is growing. What automation is exposing is what our national social discourse doesn’t discuss, the role class plays in keeping the rich richer and the poor poorer. The struggle for economic and social justice is taking many different forms but fundamentally, the poor of all races and ethnicities are hurting the most. More and more people are falling into poverty.
By Aaron Mair, Estela Vazquez, and Lenore Friedlaender – This Labor Day, we are joining together to celebrate the contributions of workers of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities to the struggle to hold our country true to the promise of a political and economic democracy, “with liberty and justice for all.” We recognize that the movement for a truly just society is much stronger when we join forces. The same interests who stand in the way of workers’ struggles for economic justice are standing in the way of environmental justice and a clean energy economy, and they are standing in the way of racial and immigrant justice. Together, we are celebrating the burgeoning movements, many led by youth, people of color, and women but benefitting all of us. We embrace those who work to build bridges between our movements and reject the legacy of an outdated agenda that fosters institutionalized police violence, and social, economic and political inequalities that have systematically disempowered Native Americans and Communities of Color.
By Daniel Marans in The Huffington Post – The Fed Up campaign, a coalition of groups led by the nonprofit Center for Popular Democracy, will converge on Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week to urge the Federal Reserve to be more responsive to the needs of American workers. In doing so, it will focus on both “economic and racial inequality,” campaign director Ady Barkan told reporters on a Monday press call previewing the campaign’s plans. The gathering is aimed at influencing Fed officials attending the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium. A major theme of Fed Up’s parallel conference on Thursday and Friday will be “Whose Recovery,” based on the premise that the economic recovery has yet to reach many workers, particularly those of color. They note that the official African-American unemployment rate — 9.1 percent — is much higher than the 5.3 percent rate for the overall population.
By Sarah Jaffee in Rolling Stone – Roz Brown, one of the activists who spoke at the protests, tells Rolling Stone that racism is “embedded in the infrastructures” of St. Louis, from business to education to the judicial system. She points to the way police lined up to protect business headquarters when the protesters arrived last week — the same police who, in Ferguson, stared down protesters behind armored vehicles and riot shields. Unequal systems reinforce each other, Brown says. Frankie Edwards says he’s troubled that these executives make a lot of money, but don’t put enough of it back into the community in ways that help people like him: young black men who are constantly harassed by police. To him, they have a responsibility to build a city that works for everyone.