Unions and worker cooperatives have a lot in common when it comes to passions and principles for democratic workplaces. Where they differ is in strategy and tactics. At this moment in history, it is clear to many that much needs to be torn down and much needs to be built up. To face this challenge and change our economic system to achieve genuine workplace democracy requires new ways of doing business and a multi-pronged approach. To explore these issues in greater depth, the Community and Worker Ownership Project at the City University of New York (CUNY) published a report titled A Union Toolkit for Cooperative Solutions, which highlights seven case studies of how unions and worker co-ops have together built worker power.
September 17, 2021 Stephanie Atkinson, Courage to Resist. Educate! Ed Asner, Obituary, Social Justice
Ed Asner was beyond a gifted actor who created an identifiable, singularly American cultural character. He was also “one of us”–a veteran and a person of conscience. After the US illegally invaded Iraq, Ed Asner wrote the following: Our citizens either will not or cannot go to the streets until catalyzed by someone or something to motivate them. Courage to Resist accomplishes one part of this program of resistance by speaking for and defending the brave souls in the military who do not wish to be part of the perfidy of this administration. It behooves us to do all we can to support Courage to Resist with money and with spine. He was drafted during the Korean War in 1951 to the Army Signal Corps and served two years in Europe. As a veteran, it’s what he did after his time in service and during the course of his career that demonstrates who he was as a human who supported civil rights, the women’s Equal Rights Amendment, the rights of workers and labor, and his stand against war and militarism.
September 14, 2020 Justine Coleman, The Hill. Resist! Football, Police violence, Social Justice, Systemic Racism
NFL players marked the first full weekend of professional football by participating in social justice demonstrations, with various teams opting to stay in the locker room, link arms or kneel during the national anthem. All eyes were on the NFL players after a summer of protests against racial injustice years after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling during the anthem to demonstrate against police brutality and racial injustice.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created several shifts across the labor landscape while exposing how piecemeal family care policies have left workers in precarious situations. The closure of schools at the end of the spring semester and uneven plans for reopening this fall have prompted questions about how a society and economy can function without sustainable care work. In this interview with M.A.R.CH. co-founder Phuong Nguyen, we discuss what the Memphis-based organization has meant within the vibrant social justice scene and how developing care policies in a right-to-work state could impact the future of childcare movements, both in and out of academia.
July 28, 2020 April M. Short, Local Peace Economy Create! Defund the police, Economic Justice, Police violence, Social Justice
This is a moment of contention and restructuring in America. Mass public outcry is exposing the long-buried, problematic foundations of a nation built on human trafficking, commodification and enslavement of people from Africa, and on the genocide and attempted erasure of Indigenous societies. Protesters across the country are tumbling the statues of profiteers and benefactors of those atrocities, and pushing the nation to dismantle its many false narratives and systems of power. This uprising asks for an acknowledgment that the police force, in particular, is a direct extension of a problematic history, which has vilified and punished Black and Brown Americans disproportionately from the beginning. And they are revisualizing the ways in which true safety and equity can emerge. What will stand in the place of the outmoded, harmful emblems and institutions? What can and should new systems look like? What new programs and justice models can replace the police?
September 16, 2019 Azucena Rasilla, Zora.medium.com Create! Activism, Identity Politics, Social Justice, Youth
Anayvette Martinez wanted to start a different kind of girl scout troop after her then fourth-grade daughter expressed her desire to join one. What Martinez found, however, was that her daughter Lupita would have been one out of two Brown girls to join. She knew this statistic had to change. “The traditional scouting model wouldn’t center her experience as a woman of color, and it would have been a watered-down version of what she could be exposed to,” says Martinez (who identifies herself as Queer) of the idea of starting the Radical Monarchs. She wanted the troop to truly center women of color’s identity.
June 15, 2019 Pasqualina Curcio, Redangostura.org. Organize! Bolivarian Process, Democracy, Social Justice, Venezuela
In 1999, we decided, as a nation and democratically, to be independent and sovereign, to move towards a model of social justice and equality, as well as to freely make use of our vast wealth. We agreed that such a transition would be made peacefully and democratically. This, our decision, became a threat for the United States administrations, loyal representatives and spokespeople of large capital. They declared war on us since that moment. That war intensified since 2013, when Hugo Chavez passed away. This is not unconventional warfare, they are not launching missiles, nor are they bombing military zones. This is even a more fateful war, causing affliction and damage to the whole population, to boys, girls, women, the elderly, men, civilians, and also to soldiers. It is a war that is leaving appalling injuries.
February 2, 2019 Kimberley Richards, Huffingtonpost.com Resist! Atlanta, Civil Rights, Protests, Social Justice, Super Bowl
Organizers will stage a rally to call for the removal of Confederate monuments and symbols on the eve of the big game. A group of civil rights organizations is planning to hold a rally in Atlanta to denounce white supremacy, among other themes, ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl 2019. On Saturday, organizations, community members and activists will take advantage of the Super Bowl’s spotlight on Georgia’s capital to launch a movement calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and symbols in the state. Demonstrators at the “United We Shall Stand Rally,” set for noon at Piedmont Park, will also address voter suppression and police brutality, according to Richard Rose...
Olympia Assembly started in March of 2017, amidst ecological and political catastrophe. It was created as a communal assembly project, coalescing around points of unity such as direct democracy, non-hierarchy, ecology, mutual aid, and direct action. The goal of the organization is to build the new world in the shell of the old by creating the building blocks of a libertarian socialist dual power project. It seeks to meet people’s needs and decentralize power, leading to a crisis of legitimacy for the state where people powered institutions are posed against hierarchical structures.
As The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights Turns 70, It’s Time To Resurrect Its Vision Of Global Sharing And Justice
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is one of the most translated and celebrated documents in the world, marking its 70th anniversary this year. But relatively few people are aware of the significance of its 25th Article, which proclaims the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living—including food, housing, healthcare, social services and basic financial security. As our campaign group Share The World’s Resources (STWR) has long proposed, it is high time that activists for global justice reclaim the vision that is spelled out in those few simple sentences. For in order to implement Article 25 into a set of binding, enforceable obligations through domestic and international laws, the implications are potentially revolutionary.
February 16, 2018 Staff, Portside.org Create! Academia, Higher Education, Research, Social Justice, Trump Administration
Scholars for Social Justice (SSJ) is a new formation of progressive scholars committed to promoting and fighting for a political agenda that insists on justice for all, especially those most vulnerable. We are clearly living in dangerous times with the election of Donald Trump and the empowerment of a set of rabidly right wing and racist forces. Trump, Pence and the Republicans have made it clear that not only will they usher in a radically conservative policy agenda threatening any incremental advances won under the Obama presidency, but more fundamentally reactionary right-wing supporters will directly target the rights, status and lives of people of color, Muslims, women, immigrants, LGBT communities, the poor, indigenous and differently-abled and all who have been forced to live on the margins in this country.
TITUSVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA — Shoehorned between the state line and the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania’s northwest corner, the city of Titusville is as red as America gets, a place where virtually every one of its 5,601 residents identified his or her race as “white” on the 2010 U.S. Census, and a few storefront windows, rather bewilderingly, display Confederate flags and “Trump: Make America Great Again” campaign banners even now, more than a year after the 2016 presidential election. Unsurprisingly, African-Americans across the state, if they’ve heard of it at all, tend to view the bucolic enclave and its environs with some trepidation, peppering their goodbyes with so many warnings to “be careful” and “be safe” that black students enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh’s feeder campus in Titusville often joke that their parents think that Crawford County is a combat zone in Kabul or Fallujah.
December 27, 2017 By Jean Trounstine, Truthout.org Create! Class Struggle, Community, Injustice, Social Justice
Lillie A. Estes calls herself a "community strategist." Others see her as a force of nature. She has lived in Richmond, Virginia, for 35 years, where she builds and develops innovative alliances between organizations and people. Estes is well-known and respected both in the public housing project where she lives and by many public officials in Richmond. She has been a pioneer in race reconciliation work in the heart of the Confederacy, and is on what she calls a "spiritual journey" to improve her community. This began with her first efforts as a high school student in Newport News, Virginia, and as an active member of the NAACP Youth Council.
August 14, 2017 Jordan Riefe, www.truthdig.com Educate! Documentary, Ferguson, Film, Michael Brown, Social Justice
By Jordan Riefe for Truth Dig - On Aug. 9 three years ago, unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo. The killing took place under disputed circumstances, and Wilson was never charged for the shooting. In the days that followed, peaceful demonstrators were met by a military show of force that escalated into violence, mayhem and looting. “A riot is the language of the unheard” is Martin Luther King Jr.’s answer to those who ask why the disaffected don’t pursue justice through established channels. “Ain’t no Constitution in Ferguson,” says a protester in the gritty new documentary “Whose Streets?” as he ponders Barack Obama’s days as a constitutional law professor. “Tell that n—– he needs to teach a new class and bring his ass to Ferguson, Missouri, and tell us why there ain’t no Constitution.” While a wide majority of protests in the wake of Brown’s killing were peaceful, the media focused on looting and destruction of property. In the eyes of the public, the images shown on TV rationalized the militarization of police forces, newly fortified after the Department of Defense 2013 decision to provide surplus MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush protected military vehicles), bayonets, grenade launchers, assault rifles and other tactical weapons to local law enforcement.
By Nika Knight for Common Dreams. Arizona state representative Bob Thorpe, a Republican, has just proposed a bill that would ban any school courses or extracurricular activities that "promote" any kind of "social justice" or "solidarity" based on race, class, gender, politics, or religion. The legislation, House Bill 2120, also appears to connect classes on social justice and solidarity with "promotion of the overthrow of the United States government," which it also explicitly outlaws. Tucson.com reports that "Thorpe said Thursday his bill is aimed specifically at things like a 'privilege walk' exercise (pdf) sponsored by the University of Arizona and a course entitled 'Whiteness and Race Theory' at Arizona State University." The law is sweeping yet fails to define many of its tenets—for example, it allows the teaching of "accurate" history of an ethnic group, but doesn't define who or what would determine what is accurate.