619 posts categorized "Politics and Current Events" Feed

A Q&A with Amy Caldwell and Perpetua Charles | I’d worked with Ra Page, Atef Abu Saif’s editor at Comma Press in the UK, on a previous book, The Drone Eats with Me, which chronicled Abu Saif’s experiences on the ground in Gaza during the 2012 Israeli incursion. And then last fall, after the post-Oct 7 Israeli campaign and invasion of Gaza began, Ra reached out. I didn’t know Atef had been visiting Gaza on October 7, and it was, of course, distressing to hear. Read more →


By Frederick S. Lane | The name “Anthony Comstock” has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks. That’s really something of a surprise, given that Comstock died almost 109 years ago in his Summit, NJ, home. But he left behind a legacy of legislative and cultural activism that increasingly resonates with the country’s growing Christian nationalist movement.  Read more →


By Frederick S. Lane | For millennia, childless couples were told that their nurseries were empty because of “God's will,” or that it was “all in God’s plan.” Similarly, empty condolences were offered when infants or children died of preventable diseases, unsanitary conditions, unhealthy foods, or foreseeable negligence. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | Three years of rank-and-file Starbucks worker organizing has produced a historic union breakthrough: a commitment by the implacably anti-union company to bargain a national contract for 10,000 workers and negotiate a process for additional workers to organize. Remarkably, though, this victory came about in part because of a serendipitous boost from the Palestine justice movement. It’s proof of the power—and indeed, necessity—of international working-class solidarity in taking on today’s leading fights against the giants of capitalism. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | Imagine it’s the evening of April 30, 2028. The nation is roiling as millions of workers coast to coast prepare to walk off the job in an unprecedented May Day national strike. Workers in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, grocery, high tech, hospitality, and public services have mobilized and committed to bring the economy to a halt unless their bold demands are met: Medicare for All, a $30/hour minimum wage, and a tax on billionaires to massively increase public education funding. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | When loved ones perch at the table together for holiday gatherings, it’s not just the star protein with fixings that gets served. Whether it’s on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion for feel-good feasting in big company, those mashed potatoes and greens come with a side of divergent viewpoints on touchy, real-life subjects. Sometimes they’re served respectfully, sometimes with vitriol, but on many occasions, they stir up tough conversations, and the meals become so ideologically fraught that digestion seems out of the question. Read more →


By Leigh Patel | As child in elementary school, I distinctly remember being excited every time my teacher passed around the Scholastic Magazine. The paper of the magazine was thin, like newsprint. I’d fold the corners of the pages that had books I was interested in. Many times, I didn’t see anything and folded zero corners of the pages. It would be some time before I came to understand and question the power of a large corporation and its selection of what books it deemed worthy, in essence, to sell to young readers, teachers, and schools. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | There’s a whole truckload of things to celebrate in the new tentative agreements won by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors (GM). The deals were wrested from the Big Three companies after 46 days of expanding strike action—what new UAW President Shawn Fain dubbed the “Stand Up Strike,” in which workers incrementally extended picket lines to more plants, slowing turning the vise tighter on the companies. By the time the last holdout, GM, settled this past weekend, close to 50,000 of the UAW’s 146,000 autoworker members had walked off the job. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | It’s not just actors, writers, and autoworkers powering this year’s strike wave in the United States. Healthcare workers, too, are flexing their collective muscles in greater numbers. And for good reason. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.” Those were the chilling words of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in the wake of the murderous Hamas attack on Oct 7 that killed more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers. Read more →


By Rashid Khalidi | Why is the study of the failure to achieve Palestinian statehood important? It is important, first, because Palestinian history has significance in its own right. It is a hidden history, one that is obscured, at least in the West, by the riveting and tragic narrative of modern Jewish history. Where it is recognized at all, it tends to serve as an appendage or feeble counterpoint to that powerful story. Palestine is a small country—and the Palestinians even today number perhaps only 9 or 10 million people—and yet the people and the land of Palestine loom large in world affairs beyond all consideration of their size. Their drama has been a central one. Read more →


A Q&A with Nora Neus | This decision was a key component of the book from the very beginning, and the thing I thought could (and almost did) sink the whole project. Prevailing wisdom from experts in this space say that interviewing and quoting white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of other hate groups either (1) gives them a “platform” from which to spew their hateful ideology or (2) minimizes the threat they represent if treating them as just another actor in the story. Read more →


By Margaret Peacock and Erik L. Peterson | “No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become,” Matthew Desmond says in his transformative book, “Evicted.” Six million Americans are out of a job. Many are surely losing healthcare, unable to pay the rent, have children going hungry. But this situation has been happening to the poor in our major cities long before the pandemic. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | More than 1 million US workers are employed at Amazon today—the majority at its vast network of more than 1,300 warehouses and logistics centers, with tens of thousands in tech centers around the country. That’s more workers than UPS and FedEx combined, more than the entire US auto manufacturing industry. Another 600,000 work internationally for the company. Read more →


By Meghan Privitello and Abbey Clements | When a child hears gunshots, she will say Mom is beating the pots and pans. She will say It sounds like home. Let’s keep it this way; our children misinterpreting the sound of dying as a crude percussion. Read more →


By Alicia Kennedy | The day after category 1 Hurricane Fiona had left the entire archipelago of Puerto Rico with no power, caused destructive flooding, and generally unleashed catastrophe in most places, tourists were back to normal in Old San Juan. My husband and I biked throughout the metro area to take stock of the damage and hear just how many generators were running—the hum and smell of burning diesel were constant—and when we returned, we saw the photo shoots continuing as planned: Women in their best dresses with full faces of makeup, flip-flops on their feet and Instagram-ready heels in hand; men attempting to keep up, carrying heavy cameras or maybe just a selfie stick. Bars were full because what else were we going to do? But you could tell who wasn’t local: They’d showered, their hotels being outfitted with cisterns for occasions such as this. The rest of us had no water. We couldn’t find a reason to put on our nicest clothes, but we could certainly find a reason to have a drink. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | Surrounded by the vistas of western Montana, the generals of the war against Starbucks baristas will gather on August 3 at a swanky Rocky Mountain resort for three days of discussing labor-management relations. Big Sky Resort is hosting the confab, and when attendees aren’t meeting, they can avail themselves of golf, guided trout fishing, luxurious dining, and spa treatments before retiring to their $600-a-night hotel suites. Read more →


This is not the time warp we want to do again. Or ever. The conservative-majority SCOTUS wants to take us on a detour back in time when folks who aren’t straight white cis men didn’t have rights. A time when we thought of the planet as nothing more than an ashtray. A time when . . . you get the idea. Overturning Roe v Wade was the lowest of blows. Gutting the Clean Air Act stripped power from the EPA to curb greenhouse gas emissions. What’s next? Read more →


By Eboo Patel | Do you remember the first demonstration that your mother and I took you to? It was the fifty-year commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march through the South Side neighborhood of Marquette Park. Do you know what King endured that day? Five thousand people lined the streets of the neighborhood to scream racist slurs and throw bottles and bricks at King and a few hundred peaceful marchers. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Take a breath. The end of May and the start of June have been brutal. Ten Black citizens died in the white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Nineteen children and two teachers died in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary mass shooting. And despite the pandemic that has become a smoldering backdrop, the shootings have not stopped. We are already up to 233 this year. It’s . . . a lot. So much grief. Read more →