Archive for April, 2017

We went to the Immigrant Rights Rally yesterday in Hartford. We have long been supporters of immigrants. When Obama was deporting, and given the title of Deporter in Chief we stood up and out and demanded an end to his policies. Our comrade Jennicet Gutierrez of Familia Trans Queer Movement spoke out during a White House PRIDE celebration against the deportation of immigrants and the detaining of Trans women in ICE facilities. Ms. Gutierrez was escorted out to cheers from the crowd of Lesbians and Gays. We stood with Jennicet and will continue to stand with her and our other comrades who speak the truth.

The important thing to remember about this action is Ms. Gutierrez was not afraid to speak out and the most important idea is she was not afraid to speak up even to a democrat president in the White House. She knew while elite members of the LGBT community were fawning all over the Deporter in Chief that there was a real problem, a problem that would not be solved by pretending that the problem did not exist and that everything was okay.

We thought of Ms. Gutierrez and many other trans people who not only fight daily for their lives but who at anytime may be rounded up, detained and deported by ICE. Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement has this to say, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (Familia: TQLM) is the only national organization that addresses, organizes, educates, and advocates for the issues most important to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and Latino communities. Familia: TQLM is inclusive and serves of all LGBTQ Latinos, Latinas, and gender nonconforming individuals. We also collaborate with non-LGBTQ families and friends who support our vision of a united LGBTQ Latino and Latina community. They stand up and speak out when any injustice comes their way. (more…)

Thank goodness for Scientists who explain these things to us. Just think what we would get or where it would get us if the right wing Christians told us what this is all about. Honey, they probably would hang all of the rainbow people.

Why it rains spiders in this Australian town.

Providing nightmare fodder for arachnophobes everywhere, millions of spiders floated down from the sky recently in a phenomenon known as “spider rain.”

Pity the poor spider-fearing souls with the misfortune of living in the arachnid-rich town of Goulburn, Australia. Last week, millions, yes millions, of tiny spiders reportedly fell from the sky along with swaths of their silky threads.

“If you look toward the sun there are millions of them and really high up here, like over 100 meters [325 feet] or more up, there is also a cotton like substance coming down that is kinda like spider web but not exactly…” wrote local resident Ian Watson on a Goulburn Community Forum Facebook page.

Cloudy with a chance of spiders. Egad. How in the world do millions of spiders pour down from the heavens? If this doesn’t scream “the end is near,” nothing does.

To read the full and amazing story go to HERE.

Next we have to find out where all of those frogs came from.

The Frog Song

“One morning king Pharaoh woke in his bed 

There were frogs in his bed and frogs on his head

 Frogs on his nose and frogs on his toes

 Frogs here. Frogs there

Frogs just jumping everywhere!”

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Environmental Sustainability Through Economic Democracy

The IWW Environmental Unionist Caucus seeks to unite the labor movement and the environmental movement to take direct action to transition unsafe and unsustainable industry to an industry that meets the best labor and environmental standards.

To learn more about this caucus go to HERE.

This wonderful review of Clara Bingham’s book is a must read.
Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year American Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul by Clara Bingham (Random House, 2016)
Review by Andy Piascik
 
Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year American Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul by Clara Bingham is a valuable contribution to further understanding and popularizing the radical upsurge of the 1960s. The book is an oral history and we hear from well-known figures of the time such as Ericka Huggins, Tom Hayden and Robin Morgan as well as others like Vivian Rothstein, Wesley Brown and Jan Barry who did significant work mostly behind the scenes in one or more of the movements that together made up The Movement. Though the focus of the book is the one-year period from the summer of 1969 to the summer of 1970, the interviews cover ground going back much earlier and thus provide many important insights about context and individual development.
The primary focus of Witness to the Revolution is the movement against the war in Vietnam. There’s a great deal about the white Left as well as the counterculture and nothing about free jazz, DRUM, AIM, Stonewall or Black Arts. This was a conscious choice. The author explains in an Introduction that Witness to the Revolution is “a selective history” and the book “touches only lightly on the black experience, feminism, and the music scene” because there “just wasn’t room enough in one book.”
Even within that dramatically reduced landscape, Bingham covers a great deal of ground. Many of the seminal events of that one-year period are explored in depth: the Chicago Conspiracy Trial, Kent State, the Resistance, the extensive activism at the University of Wisconsin up through and including the bombing of the Army-Math building, Woodstock, Jackson State, the expose of the massacre at My Lai, Altamont, the Pentagon Papers and more.
Vietnam Vets
Some of the best sections of the book are the stories of the Vietnam veterans who came home and built organizations in opposition to the war. They did so as they often struggled with serious physical and psychological problems while having to live the rest of their lives with memories of atrocities they observed and sometimes participated in. As the interviews reveal, some vets found a degree of healing through activism. Others expanded popular awareness of the true nature of the war by shedding valuable light on war crimes by way of investigative reporters like Seymour Hersh.
Throughout, Witness to the Revolution repeatedly underscores how much vitriol some had to endure as elites attacked both the messengers and the message in the student, vet, Black Power and anti-war movements. Even as late as 1970, when many in the upper levels of government, business and planning had concluded that Vietnam was lost, those who showed that the war was not a righteous cause gone awry but consistent with U.S. foreign policy different only in scale were spied upon, harassed, imprisoned and killed.
Popular Power
As elites today move dramatically to make dissent ever more costly and dangerous, it is  inspiring to read of the courage and endurance of those from an earlier time of discord. Fundamental to the success in stopping the war as well as resisting attempts to suppress dissent were the existence of massive movements of a galvanized population that was in many ways at war with its own government. One of the book’s biggest strengths is that the power of the collective Movement is always present even when it’s not front and center. And while Witness to the Revolution was published before the ascension of Trump, the thread linking the popular power of the time to the tasks we confront today is inescapable.
There are anecdotes and surprises both amusing and moving. It’s hilarious in the extreme, for example, to imagine Mick Jagger’s reaction to the vision some had of the concert that became Altamont, as recounted by Peter Coyote, as that of a collective experience where the Rolling Stones would be one of five acts performing simultaneously on separate stages. We also hear poignantly if indirectly from Stephanie Fassnacht, the widow of Robert Fassnacht, the graduate student killed in the Army-Math bombing. Bingham also provides important history of organizations and efforts such as that of the Diggers that deserve more attention and which may stimulate greater exploration by others.
Bingham’s introductory qualifier notwithstanding, it is still unfortunate that she excluded important pieces of the history of that time. This is especially so since she devotes so much space to the sorry tale of the completely marginal Weather Underground. Lots of people worked to stop the war in Vietnam even if that may not have been the specific focus of their activism; couldn’t we have heard something from some combination of Elizabeth Martinez, Mike Hamlin, Frances Beal and Dennis Banks? Maybe a little something about the August 29th Chicano Moratorium, which was within the time frame Bingham covers and drew upwards of 25,000 people to the streets of Los Angeles?
 Instead we once again get page after page of Mark Rudd, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. Rudd’s regrets and likening of himself to a police agent are to his credit; too bad the Weather Underground’s story couldn’t have been left at that and some space been granted to the original Rainbow Coalition, say, that was working at the same time and in the same city where Rudd and his comrades were carrying out the senseless Days of Rage. Juan Gonzalez is quite visible and not difficult to locate; wouldn’t it have been more valuable to hear him on his experiences both as a student activist at Columbia and as a leading figure in the Young Lords?

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Greetings from furbirdsqueerly to all of our comrades worldwide on May Day 2017. We speak to expand the idea of May Day to everyday this month and throughout the year building a people’s powers that will tear down walls of hate and fear, will end once and for all the Capitalist class and their state, will demand and get justice for workers, and that will build in place a just and peaceful world for all. We are workers and as the old saying go “we have nothing in common with the employing class.” This nothing in common is not just one day but everyday of our working lives, from the first day that we enter the workplace to the last day on the job. We must in all of our hearts and minds keep the slogan, Workers of the World Unite, close by as that is the only way for all of us to realize a just future.

As workers we can not support a government that drone attacks or drops bombs on other workers around the world. Frank Little once stated about workers and WW1, “Either you are for their Capitalist slaughter fest or you are against it.” We remain against it. We join with workers around the world who denounce their governments and free themselves and other workers.

A few questions.

So today what does all of this mean for us? Does it mean we chase after what some banners read in support of achieving the American dream? And what is this americkkkan dream? Is it exploitation of workers around the world, is it drone attacking workers and families around the world, is it fighting in unjust wars just to have the americkkkan dream? Is it supporting politicians no matter how good they sound and how bad they are if they support our dream? Is our dream enough? Is my freedom and rights enough?  Does it mean that at the expense of others we get ahead no matter who we step on?  Do we allow unions to make deals with the company owners that are not in our best interests as workers? How do we educate the massive middle class in americkkka to look at themselves as workers in common with all other workers so that they too may have an understanding of the slogan, An Injury to One is An Injury to ALL?  How do we put aside our fears of loosing our jobs if we speak up about the injustice towards others who lose theirs? How do organize the thousands of contracted service employee workers who are at the mercy of corporate americkkka with no support from any unions or other workers? How do we destroy classism once and for all within the work force?  How do we build  an economy that is not based on war and exploitation? We know that many times it comes down to, “No savior from on high delivers.” We must do it ourselves along with our working comrades.  These are just a few questions that we have this May Day 2017. We dedicate this wonderful song to all workers around the world.

No matter what we can not let the employing class step on us. That is in our minds one of the great ideas of our collective past.

 

Here is a song for this day when we remember workers killed on the job.