With their wide range of styles and perspectives, these little memoirs give a good sense of the period and the issues, but their value is more than historic. As a new generation is being drawn to radical politics, today’s activists may be able to gain useful insights from the experiences of their predecessors.
Author Archive | David L. Wilson
The practice of citing conservative agitators is often characterized as “bothsidesism,” but here the news outlets only presented one side—the one on the far right—without even a hint that the claims might not have a factual basis.
Two of the immigrant rights movement’s historic demands provide a basis for actually closing the agency, and beyond that for building a movement to demand more fundamental changes.
We need to remember that these protests aren’t about political views: they’re about government officials violating international law, U.S. treaty obligations, and basic human rights.
The constant threat of detention and deportation discourages the undocumented employee from demanding or organizing for more pay and better working conditions—and this status is preferred by big corporations and the superrich, who profit handsomely as a result.
Here’s a list of some of the immigration absurdities now circulating in the media and in the political class.
There is no evidence that Donald Trump has ever in his life performed a single selfless act, let alone any act of heroism. Probably he wouldn’t be able even to imagine the nobility of character I witnessed among Port-au-Prince residents after the earthquake, and among “alien” activists like Ravi and Jean here in New York.
The AFL-CIO was one of the main supporters of employer sanctions back in 1986. It only took 13 years for the labor federation to learn its lesson: in February 2000 it officially called for the elimination of the policy. Another 17 years have now passed, and the case against the sanctions has only grown more […]
On June 20 The Atlantic posted an article by Peter Beinart claiming that the Democrats had “lost their way on immigration.” While the article has been lauded by Rightwingers, it is mostly a compendium of familiar sound bites on immigration, presented without much understanding of the issues.
What would happen to Trump’s support if more of us understood that the real effect of ICE raids is the transfer of money out of workers’ paychecks into the bank accounts of unscrupulous employers like Trump himself?
On April 24, 2013, some 1,134 people died in the collapse of the Rana Plaza complex outside Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The building housed factories where low-wage workers, largely women, stitched garments for the U.S. and European markets. For several years before the disaster a number of U.S. opinion makers — notably New York […]
On August 14 a federal appeals court dismissed as “speculation” one of the most persistent of the anti-immigrant right’s many fantasies: the claim that any sort of humane treatment of undocumented immigrants by the U.S. government will lead inevitably to a “flood” of foreigners pouring over our borders. At issue was a suit in which […]
Articles on income equality sometimes note that the U.S. economy hasn’t faced the current level of disparity since 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression. There has been much less discussion of the responses to the issue back then, even though income inequality was a major concern for policymakers as the Depression deepened and […]
Tansy E. Hoskins. Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Pluto Press, 2014. 254 pages. To say that Tansy E. Hoskins‘ Stitched Up deconstructs the garment industry would be a misrepresentation. What the British activist and journalist does is more like a controlled demolition, using facts and footnotes to strip away the apparel trade’s decorative […]
Consumers are ultimately the ones responsible for dangerous conditions in garment assembly plants in the Global South, Hong Kong-based business executive Bruce Rockowitz told the New York Times recently. The problem is that improved safety would raise the price of clothing, according to Rockowitz, who heads Li & Fung Limited, a sourcing company that hooks […]
Some 50 to 60 union meat cutters and their supporters turned out on the afternoon of April 6 for a noisy protest against what they said was a lockout by Trade Fair, a chain of nine small supermarkets based in Queens, New York. Standing in a picket line on a busy sidewalk outside a Trade […]
The anti-immigrant right has been mounting a scare campaign since late January about the supposed dangers of legalizing the country’s estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants. — “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally,” Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, announced on January 28, “it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers […]
Several thousand union and non-union workers came together in Manhattan the afternoon of July 24 for an unusual display of solidarity between people who until the 2008 economic crisis had often seemed to belong to completely different social classes. The event, the “New York Workers Rising Day of Action,” brought out a mix of low-wage […]
The 66-day hunger strike of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan brought overdue attention to Israel’s practice of detaining Palestinians for lengthy periods without criminal charges. It also brought attention to the same practice in other countries, including the United States, where, as Salon.com columnist Glenn Greenwald pointed out, indefinite detention is “now firmly in place” for […]
People in the United States may not be as rabidly anti-immigrant as we’ve been led to believe. An article posted on the Center for American Progress website in December, “The Public’s View of Immigration,” summarizes five recent U.S. opinion polls. Authors Philip E. Wolgin and Angela Maria Kelley find that while the media and the […]