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Geography Archives: Puerto Rico

The Americas Summit on the Border of an Imperialist Abyss

Two features of contemporary imperialism are key to explaining the importance — or actually the relative unimportance — of the VII Summit of the Americas (organized by the OAS) recently held in Panama.  One is that, in the post-World War II period, imperialism has operated in a context defined by the prevalence of relatively sovereign […]

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Kaiser Election Results KOed: Judge Orders Rematch between SEIU and NUHW

When the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) defeated the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) in balloting among 43,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente (KP) last October, SEIU Executive Vice President Dave Regan was exultant.  SEIU’s victory was “a huge achievement,” he said.  “NUHW is now, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant.  We’re thrilled.” On a […]

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Presentation to the United Nations Decolonization Committee Hearings on Puerto Rico

  The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color.  The National Lawyers Guild is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States.  With headquarters in New York, it has chapters in every state.  From its […]

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Dial 1-800-Unionism Is Not the Answer

When the history of public sector de-unionization in the Midwest is written, its sad chroniclers will begin their story in Indiana.  That’s where Governor Mitch Daniels paved the way, six years ago, for more recent attacks on workers’ rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan. Daniels, a right-wing Republican, was elected in 2004.  He got plenty […]

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Puerto Rico: ACLU Delegation Criticizes Abuses

  Following up on earlier efforts to highlight human rights abuses in Puerto Rico, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) hosted a high-publicity fact-finding delegation in San Juan on May 2 and 3.  The group, which included ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero, political scientist Angelo Falcón, actress/choreographer Rosie Perez, and recently retired baseball player […]

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What Wisconsin Means for Immigrant Rights

A few weeks can do a lot to sweep away old assumptions.  Last year U.S. leftists were wondering why the worst economic crisis in 70 years hadn’t inspired a stronger response from its victims; now Arabs have toppled neoliberal regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and U.S. workers have fought cutbacks and union-busting in Wisconsin with […]

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Crisis, Chains, Change: The American Exception to Marxism

A Plenary Address at the American Studies Association Presidential Panel, San Antonio, Texas, 18 November 2010 For Ruthie Gilmore. I am an imposter here: not a real American Studies scholar.  I went to graduate school in the late 1980s to study History and Anthropology.  My interest was in the contemporary history of India.  When I […]

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SEIU Buys Its Own Version of History

In the last five years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has gone from being a media darling to generating more bad press for itself than any other labor organization.  Some of SEIU’s negative publicity is a product of right-wing union bashing.  But a huge amount is self-inflicted — the result of conflicts with other […]

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Puerto Rico: Student Victory Batters Government’s Credibility

  The government’s credibility and strategy were battered by the overwhelming victory of the student strike which had paralyzed the entire University of Puerto Rico system and surprised everyone with its legal and technological mastery, its willingness to resist the police, and its model of direct democracy which made the national political institution look bad. […]

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