Subjects Archives: Movements

  • Organized Labor to Women: “You’re on Your Own in Reproductive Rights Struggle”

      “You will never solve the problem until you let in the women.” “Women win all strikes!” — Mother Jones Mary Harris (Mother) Jones predicted over 100 years ago that, if organized labor didn’t embrace gender equality within the unions and in society in general, the problems faced by labor would not be resolved. But […]

  • Meeting Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution

    Chávez, Venezuela, and the New Latin America is a modest documentary directed by Che Guevara‘s daughter, Aleida Guevara. Through extensive interviews with Hugo Chávez Frías, president of Venezuela, the film chronicles the coming to consciousness of the Latin American leader, describes the U.S.-backed attempt to topple his government, and raises the question of what a […]

  • Labor: Engaging the Community and Building Grassroots Legitimacy — a Report from Northwest Indiana

    While I have been critical of developments in the labor movement at the national level for quite a while, there are stirrings at the local levels in some places that are encouraging. I want to report on a recent effort by the Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor. Indiana, as many know, strongly supported President Bush […]

  • Successful Student Walkouts across the Country, 2 November 2005: Reports from Seattle, Twin Cities, Tacoma, Boston

      On November 2, 2005, thousands of students from across the country walked out of class and onto the streets to protest Bush’s war in Iraq and military recruitment in their schools. In August, the call went out from Youth Against War and Racism chapters across the country to mobilize for student walkouts and protests […]

  • Commodity Fetishism: A Concept for Organizing against Sweatshop Labor and Neoliberal Globalization

    Two URPE Insights First, I should start by assuring you that I have not gone round the bend. I am not about to suggest that we dust off our volumes of Capital, corner some poor unsuspecting soul, and then launch into some long-winded exegesis of the concept of commodity fetishism. That sounds more like a […]

  • Bolivia: Elections and Left Strategy

    The small Andean nation hit the news again on October 31, 2005 with the announcement that elections originally scheduled for December 2005 were to be postponed indefinitely. This most recent political crisis was orchestrated by the agro-industrialist elite from Santa Cruz, who are using procedural rules to thwart the move towards the deepening of democracy. […]

  • Democratic Economies

    The impasse of the authoritarian command economic systems in the communist zones of the 1970s brought a great deal of rethinking about economic planning and co-ordination in non-market societies within the East Bloc and outside.  As well, the acceptance of capitalism by the social democratic parties in the Western countries, and their accommodation to neoliberalism, […]

  • Labor: Eyeless in America

    Whoopee! The Change to Win Coalition has established itself in the labor movement! Happy Days are here again! Andy Stern’s going to lead us to the promised land! And the overwhelming response by American workers: yawn. At the time when American workers — indeed, US society as a whole — so much need a new […]

  • Fifty One American Revolutions

    50 AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW: Reclaiming American Patriotism by Mickey Z BUY THIS BOOK In his new book, 50 American Revolutions You’re Not Supposed to Know, Mickey Z has authored yet another incisive examination of the political and social landscape.  This time his focus is on people’s victories that have been won […]

  • Protect UAW Retirees: Their Future Is Our Future

      [The UAW New Directions Movement (NDM), founded in the 1980s to challenge the auto union’s policy of “jointness” and lack of internal democracy, is experiencing a new burst of support from the union’s rank-and-file membership. The movement’s revitalization comes as workers in the auto industry are facing unprecedented health care concession demands by General […]

  • Disgrace of the Week: Senate Republicans Stop Minimum Wage Increase

    It will be hard to find a Capitol Hill vote any more shameful than this one. . . . Click on the graphs to enlarge them. Real Value of the Federal Minimum Wage, 1950-2004 Annual Minimum Wage Earnings in 2003 Dollars and the Poverty Level for Family of Three Source: Economic Policy Institute Senate Republicans […]

  • An Open Letter to the Labor Movement regarding Katrina

    Brothers and Sisters, The crisis for the working class (whether employed or not, waged or not) continues to grow. Even as the nation, and especially the poor and Black working class of the Gulf states and New Orleans in particular, tries to pick up the pieces after Katrina’s (and Rita’s) devastation, the assault by capital […]

  • Southern Hospitality: Life in a “Right-to-Work” State

      [What follows is an essay written in response to Michael D. Yates’ call for essays on work. — Ed.] My name is Jeremy Evanchesky. I’m originally from Central City, Pennsylvania and now live in Lakeland, Florida. I work as a teacher at the Homer K. Addair Career Academy. When I first came to the […]

  • “BC Teachers Backed by All of Us Can Win against This Government!”

      UPDATE, 13 October 2005, 8:45 PM, EST A BC Supreme Court judge ruled that the teachers’ union cannot use its own financial reserves, donations from supporters, or other assets for strike pay or other strike-related purposes, and appointed a monitor to oversee the ruling. On Friday, October 7, 38,000 teachers in public elementary and […]

  • Thinking and Acting Locally: Institutional Flaws of the Electoral System in Afghanistan

    Much of the discussions surrounding the Afghan legislative elections on September 18, 2005 has centered on poll-related violence, logistical obstacles, and potential frauds.  Lost in the discussions is a problem of much greater significance to the future of Afghanistan. The institutional arrangements of Afghanistan’s political frameworks are incapable of solving its most debilitating problem — […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Six

      In the last four parts of this series, I gave many examples of the alienating and degrading nature of work in capitalist societies. Even “good” jobs, such as college teaching and nursing, have lost whatever luster they once had. Part-time teachers teach an increasing fraction of all course while struggling to make ends meet. […]

  • A New Labor Federation Claims Its Space: If Enthusiasm on Display Were Substance, CtW Could Claim a Good Start

    Jerry Tucker The founding convention of the Change-to-Win labor federation held in St. Louis on September 27, 2005 was, if nothing else, filled with enthusiasm and efficiently managed.  The founding unions’ top leaders put forward a lean and specifically organizing-focused agenda, and it was adopted without even a hint of dissent.  The longer-term question is […]

  • We Are Just Getting Warmed Up:Notes on Civil Disobedience (Monday, 26 September 2005)

      We gather provisions. In my pockets are only a key to the house, $50, and an energy bar — somehow in my careful adherence to the recommendations I have neglected to bring my driver’s license — and in my shoe are a pen and a makeshift notebook. I am ready for this. We drink […]

  • A Story of Resistance: How a Conservative Rural Community Repudiated the Administration’s Effort to Criminalize Dissent

    On March 17, 2003, Saint Patrick’s Day, only days before “Shock and Awe,” four Catholic Workers entered the U.S. Military Recruiting Station in Ithaca, NY, and spilled their blood to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq. They knelt, read a statement in opposition to the war, prayed, and waited to be arrested. Ithaca is home […]

  • Democracy, Density, and Transformation: We Need Them All

    Part 1: AFL-CIO Debate Fizzles…and Why This is Hard The debate over the future of the AFL-CIO has taken a wrong turn.  The original argument offered by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to increase labor’s bargaining power by increasing union density (the percentage of organized workers in a particular industry or sector of the […]