In From Roots Action. We feel very strongly about this issue and have published other essays on the same subject. Here is another.

Take Military Weapons Away From The Police

Throughout the Black Lives Matter movement, nonviolent protesters have been bombarded with armed tanks, rubber bullets, and grenade launchers containing toxic tear gas.

As we witnessed in Ferguson, Baltimore, Charlotte and elsewhere, peaceful demonstrations for racial justice and police accountability have been routinely met with large trucks of law enforcement officers dressed and armed for war-like combat.

The utilization of military equipment and tactics in local police departments fuels the widespread mentality that law enforcement officers, meant to protect and serve, are mere combatants in black and brown communities.

Police do not typically address white protesters in the same manner.

Consider the sharp contrast between these two events on the same weekend: Read the rest of this entry »


The Other Side of the Mountain

Posted: October 20, 2016 in art

The Other Side of the Mountain: Vibrating, Topped and Squared.


Where have I been? Part 2.

by Benny Bean

So here we are Part 2 getting this stuff out of me after being set off by a invite to my 50th class reunion. A news letter came out with classmates bringing us all up to speed on what they have done since we graduated from high school in 1966. Bringing us up to speed on all that they haven’t changed since patriarchy ruled the roost, most stood in line and didn’t mind the man’s thumb holding them down. Thanks my lucky stars that back in Goon City there was a group of let us say enlightened folks, the pharmacist who fought for Social Security when he was a representative at the state Capitol, called a Commie by the god-fearing righteous folks who when they retired said, “I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t for Social Security,” the art teacher in high school who had worked at the Masses Magazine back in the 30ties, a beat poet who was our high school English teacher, a man and his wife who had been in the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, a couple of ministers who were in the civil rights movement, Anne who was a member of the War Resisters League, and my close friend Eddie whose ancestors came to Goon City as free blacks when the town was founded. Eddies grandmother was a Wangunk Indian who was an herbalist, Eddie’s older brother Peter was the person that got me interested in going to NYC as he was back and forth hoping that someday he would be a famous folk singer instead of just playing Washington Square Park with a bunch of other hopefuls as they said singing for nickels and dimes. He learned all the songs of the day came home and sang them to us kids. One song that sticks in my mind and I just listened to it again was Woody Guthrie’s I ain’t got no home in this world anymore. It says a lot in a few lines.

I want to go back a bit to the period right after I fled Goon City for the streets of NYC turning tricks out of the Times Square area, hanging out on the Lower East Side and meeting the first man that I was thought of as more than just quick sex. Ethan was his name came up to me when I was out sitting on a bench in Tompkins Square Park. working on my drawings. Fall was falling and I was getting scared. What will I do when winter comes? Freeze out here on the street. Go down to 1st street and stay in the city shelter? Chance getting bugs all over my body. What a fucked up state that would be. Crabs are not a thing that one would want to catch if ones main job was turning tricks. Get religion and join the Catholic Worker movement, I am sure that they would have a bed for a willing worker.  I knew about them from some of the folks who had sat out during the air raids when everyone else was suppose to hide from the Russian bombs, my grandmother once said, bull on that it won’t matter if I am in under the stairs in the cellar or upstairs in the kitchen, if I duck and cover or stay put in my chair, as when the bomb drops it will be all over no matter if you are upstairs or downstairs. What we have to do is stop the bombs from dropping.” That was my introduction to why must we be anti-war. It wouldn’t matter where we where, or what we were, how much we had or how much we didn’t have it wouldn’t matter if we were a man women or child, cat or dog, pig or cow it would be all over. Everything that is blameless would cease to exist. We all know that those who are to blame for war always seem to escape. I have always agreed with Frank Little, IWW organizer who said, “Either we are for their capitalist slaughter fest or we are against it.” Why would any working class person want to fight for those pigs is beyond me. Willie’s older sister Anne had been on the Ban the Bomb march and had sat out with Dorthy Day and members of the War Resisters League during the air raid drills in NYC, came back to Goon City one summer and told us all about it. How inspiring it was to hear about people taking a stand and fully understanding that war wasn’t any good for anything.

Writing the above reminded me of when as school kids we had to hid under our desks. As if that would save us.

Ethan began by admiring my drawings. I told him I am working on some musical compositions. He said, they look more like art than music, I said well I suppose can they be both? Why not I guess. Want to come to my place I really would like to make love to you. Sure I would love to. Easy as that. Ethan was going to Columbia with plans on being a doctor. His parents were flipping the bill but didn’t know that he was living on the Lower East Side among the hippies and poor people. Nah, they don’t have the time to come to the city for a visit, just want me to call home every so often, and then check in with them for at least a weekend a month. Do they know you like men? No and I wouldn’t dare tell them. I told Ethan my story and how I came to NYC and soon had to find a place to live and a job. Don’t you think you should be going to school? Going to school. Christ I was living from one dick to the next, out on the street, and you ask me if I should be going to school. Right there I knew of the divide, the divide that separated people. Yeah I know all about “someday” but I had to just get past the today. I hadn’t really thought about school one way or another but would consider ruling it out as I really hated high school. I hated having anyone lord over me with any control. I just wanted to do what I had to do and then forget it until the next day. Like just a job or you know I wonder how easy it is to collect unemployment from the job I had in Goon City before coming here? I should check it out. Ethan had a contact at the employment office and he said that maybe she could help me. It was pretty easy to collect back in those days. At the very least it would be something coming in and you could spend your days drawing and maybe consider going to art school. You want to stay with me until you can get on your feet it will be okay. So that was settled. Now I didn’t have to worry about freezing on the streets.

Mary a girl I had met back in Times Square told me the 42nd street Automat was hiring. Some of the boys were drafted and they needed a dishwasher, a couple of people to restock the compartments and if the boss liked you there was room to advance. Added bonus any left over food was given to the employees to take home. The pay was $1.05 per hour, the hours 10-6 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Maybe I thought I should try for it. The only thing I knew about the Automat was making soup out of hot water and ketchup when a person had no money, yes, friends it was true. and when they did the food was cheap and good.  I met with Mr. Barley the next day, was hired and began working on Friday. I got a job stocking the compartments with pies. Yum, Yum how I liked pies. Give me any kind of pie and I would eat it. One rule was no eating on the job unless you were on break. Mr. Barley said I don’t care if it looks good enough to eat right then and there and your stomach is growling wait until you are on break.  I didn’t mind work even if it did get in the way of living. Mr. Barley smoked cigars and liked to talk dirty. Didn’t care if it was a boy or girl, hey look at him, nice ass, she got big tits get between them you may not wake up, Man I would love to hump that. Today those words in the work place could get a person fired. I liked Mr. Barley and he liked me and more than once I ended up in his apartment after my shift was over. Ethan didn’t expect monogamy and I didn’t either, but as the days went by we began to see that we really were in love. Hard for me to comprehend as I had never been in love with a real man before. Sure I had told man after man how much I loved him during hot sex but after the sex was over we both went our merry ways sometimes hoping to see each other again and more times then not wishing never to. I can’t count the number of men I had sex with but I can count the ones I remember on two hands. Read the rest of this entry »

This in today:

The fight isn’t over in Massachusetts! And now we are working in Connecticut to stop the pipelines. Tell your elected officials you don’t want fracked gas pipelines in Connecticut.

Consumers for Sensible Energy works on behalf of consumers by promoting responsible energy policies that assure adequate energy supplies at fair prices.

We have joined with like-minded organizations (Allies) in the fight against the proposed natural gas pipeline in the Northeast because of their impact on consumers.   In fact, in these proposals consumers would get socked twice: once for the $3 billion cost of construction, and a second time for the cost of the gas on the global market…which experts predict will raise the prices of gas at home, once gas is exported to other countries.  It is, in effect, a pipeline fee on monthly electric bills.

For more information and how you can get involved go to HERE.

In From the Daily Kos. A big Thank you to Rachael Rose Luckey for this information.


Here is what you need to know in a nutshell:

If any poll worker gives you grief, either present this to them or read it aloud to them. They must comply.  If they do not, talk to the person in charge of the polling place.

(The following is courtesy of the National Center For Transgender Equality)


The voter you are talking to is transgender, meaning that their gender identity is different than the gender that was recorded on their birth certificate. Transgender people may not have been able to update their IDs to reflect their identity for a number of reasons. This is not illegal. As long as the relevant voter data (usually the name and address) matches one of the acceptable forms of ID, the voter has the right to vote. Please do not be distracted by gender presentation when you are evaluating a voter’s identity and eligibility to vote.

Here is other information that might be useful to you:

■ Gender discrepancies on ID are not a valid reason to deny a regular ballot. Transgender voters may have ID that indicates a different gender than what they look like. They may not have had the opportunity to update their ID yet, or may not be able to do so in your state. This does not mean their ID is invalid or fraudulent for voting.

■ Different clothing, makeup or hairstyle on an ID photo is not a valid reason to deny a regular ballot. Voters may look different today than on their photo ID for many reasons. The photo on an ID may show a different gender presentation. As long as you can identify the voter from their picture, the ID is valid for voting.

■ A voter’s transgender status and medical history is private. Although you may be curious or confused about a voter’s appearance, asking personal questions is offensive, inappropriate, and not relevant to their right to vote.

■ Transgender voters are not doing anything wrong or trying to deceive you—they are just being themselves. Transgender people have the right to vote just like everyone else, and it is your responsibility to ensure they are able to do so without hassle. If confusion about this person’s right to vote persists, please speak to an election supervisor or election judge in your area to resolve any remaining questions.

These are the basics you will want to know if hassled by poll workers.  Other things you should do before going to the polls in just 5 short weeks.

Verify you are registered here.  If not, register here.  And bone up on your voting rights in your state here as they will vary depending on where you live. Read the rest of this entry »

Charlotte Moorman performing on Nam June Paik’s TV Cello wearing TV Glasses,
Bonino Gallery, New York City, 1971
Photo: Takahiko iimura. © Takahiko iimura

Video Screening: Rarely Seen Moorman
Television Performances @ EAI

Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, Fifth Floor

This screening will present documentation of Charlotte Moorman’s performances for and with television and video, including 26ʹ1.1499ʺ for a String Player, in which she collaborated with Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut to stage John Cage’s composition for broadcast television.
Introduced by Barbara Moore, independent scholar and a close associate of Moorman’s.

Titles to be screened include:

26’1.1499” For A String Player
Jud Yalkut (1973), 42 min., color, sound

Rare Performance Documents 1961–1994 Volume 1:Paik-Moorman Collaborations
Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik (1965–73), compiled 2000, 25:08 min. (excerpts),
black-and-white and color, sound.

Organized by EAI and co-sponsored by NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. Admission $7/$5 Students.
Free for EAI members. RSVP: Information:
Information: greyartgallery.nyu.edugreyartgallery@nyu.edu212/998-6780. Read the rest of this entry »