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New Ground 102

September - October, 2005

Contents

  • What Does Peace Look Like? by Tom Broderick
  • Economic Development or Robbery? by Stan Rosen
  • Resurrecting West Suburban Hospital's Commitment to the Oak Park / Austin Community by Bill Barclay
  • Introducing the New YDS Organizer: Elizabeth Rothschild
  • YDS Summer Retreat a Memorable Success by Ben Hyink
  • So They'll Have No Karl Rove, Then by Hugh Iglarsh
  • Other News compiled by Bob Roman
  • New Ground Email Edition

    Contribute to Katrina Relief Through the DSA Fund

    IUPSS Celebrates Social Security

    Illinois' Chance at Health Care Justice

    Chicago, Evanston, and Gary: Give Peace a Chance

    UMWA Community Organizing Position

    Labor Solidarity: Korea

    IUF Protests Colombian Trade Union Assassinations

  • A Letter From the Editor
  • New Ground 102.1

    New Ground 102.2

    New Ground 102.3

    New Ground 102.4

    New Ground 102.5

    New Ground 102.6

     


    What Does Peace Look Like?

    by Tom Broderick

    It's a vision that many are working to make real, in different ways, but not without common hunger.

    The Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice (OPCTJ) proposed a Peace Fair and Town Hall Meeting where an interactive public space would allow groups and individuals to share visions of peace. Groups were invited to offer their thoughts on what makes a just and peaceful world. Musicians, spoken word artists and dancers were invited to showcase their talents. On Saturday, September 10th, respondents answered at Scoville Park in Oak Park, Illinois.

    They were disparate in background but unified in outlook: Justice is key for peace to be manifest. After several passes through the Fair, I looked up at the bright sky and thought I glimpsed the rallying cry "No Justice, No Peace" flashing along the sides of one of those blimps that fly overhead at sporting events. With its "something for everyone" appeal, this Fair brought to mind Jim Hightower's Rolling Thunder tour that stopped at Union Park in Chicago a few years back.

    More than fifty groups tabled at the event and estimates on the visitors ranged from two to three thousand. Given that this was the First Annual Peace Fair and Town Hall Meeting, that's a success. Nearly everyone I spoke with expressed a sense of "good energy" or "good networking" or "satisfying a need to connect with others" at the Fair. And that is success. Others called it fun, which is still success.

    DuPage Against War Now (DAWN) showed spirit with a booth that featured anti-war art, music, voter registration and a game of chance, where everyone who took a chance won. The prizes were all peace focused, reinforcing the theme of the Fair. Kathy Slovick of DAWN said "the peace movement isn't restricted to liberal communities. We hope that this openness about peace will encourage people to speak out for peace and justice." Ms. Slovick said that they have had many people who call themselves conservative attend their meetings because they are concerned about this war. DAWN's web site is http://www.d-a-w-n.org.

    Other peace groups at the Fair were Chicago Area Code Pink, Chicagoans Against War and Injustice (CAWI), DuPage Peace Through Justice Coalition, Lincoln Park Neighbors for Peace, North Suburban Peace Initiative and West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition. This last group was one of several groups signing up Fair visitors to travel to Washington, DC, to protest this war on September 24th.

    The flamboyant Chicago Area Code Pink sported a brilliant pink tent and bright articles of PinkWear clothing. They were selling their new book Stop the Next War Now. They were also signing people up to travel to the anti-war march in Washington. When you march against this war, why not march with style? Code Pink has plenty of this.

    The Oak Park River Forest Students for Peace & Justice (SPJ) is a high school student group that sponsored the Fair. Rachel Baiman of SPJ told me "As long as war is considered as a way to solve conflict, there cannot be peace. Beyond that, peace means everybody is well taken care of, fed, clothed and able to live in safe, healthy conditions." They offered information about V-Day, a movement to stop violence against women, as well as alternatives to military service and ways to fight world hunger. They also painted the peace symbol on the face of every agreeable Fair visitor who passed their booth.

    Other groups dealing with American youth as cannon fodder included American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Chicagoland Coalition Opposed to the Militarization of Youth and the Militarism Education Project (MEP). West Suburban Faith-Based Peace Coalition is involved with this last project. These groups had literature dealing with the pressure and marketing by military recruiters, and they provided options to military service for our youth.

    Web sites for the AFSC "Do You Know Enough To Enlist" program are www.afsc.org/youthmil or www.youth4peace.org. MEP material can be located at http://www.forusa.org and at http://www.faithpeace.org.

    The AFSC set up (down?) a version of their Eyes Wide Open Exhibit at the Fair. Eyes Wide Open features military boots placed on the ground. The boots have ID tags showing the rank, name, city and state of U.S. military personnel who have been killed in Iraq. Walking among the boots is an emotional experience.

    This version of featured 72 pairs of boots, one for each of the 72 young men and women from Illinois who have been killed as a result of our unprovoked aggression in Iraq. They have been killed in a war engineered by the lying and illegitimate administration of George W. Bush. These deaths and those of Iraqi civilians should be treated as war crimes. The deaths of Iraqi civilians, since we started of our war, are difficult to quantify. Estimates range from 26,000 to 100,000.

    AFSC suggests that the dollars spent on this war could be better used. For the state of Illinois, they propose that:

  • 1,336,321 people could receive health care, or
  • 209,590 elementary school teachers could be hired, or
  • 1,673,734 children could be placed in Head Start programs, or
  • 5,815,127 children could receive health care, or
  • 87,908 affordable housing units could be built, or
  • 1,076 new elementary schools could be built, or
  • 1,631,944 scholarships could be awarded to university students.
  • These are not the priorities of this or any recent administration. Tax cuts that benefit the well to do, bankruptcy reform laws to increase credit card company profits and the sucking up to global corporations are the struggles that our elected officials have chosen to engage in.

    The permanent repeal of the Estate Tax was supposed to be an agenda item for our federal legislators during their first week back in Washington. This tax repeal would let the wealthiest 2% of our citizens avoid taxes on increased wealth. If Hurricane Katrina has any silver linings, one is that these snake oil tax repeal peddlers have to postpone their boo-hoo claims that we are unjustly savaging the lives of the richest Americans. We need to make sure that this is not just a delay. The Estate Tax is a progressive tax that must be fully re-implemented, not repealed.

    The west suburban branch of Amnesty International, Chicagoland Coalition for Civil Liberties & Rights (CCCLR) and Muslim Civil Rights Center were among the groups at the Fair with an emphasis on human rights. CCCLR circulated petitions for a State resolution to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act. They have support for this from State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25), but apparently need to find others. Representative Currie wants at least one Republican to sign on as a sponsor.

    The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ICADP) and its local chapter, West Suburban Committee Against Capital Punishment (WSCACP) had a booth displaying photographs of seven men currently condemned to death in Illinois. They also had a bowl of Lifesaver candies for the taking, a nice touch. Some Fair visitors were surprised that we still condemn people to death in Illinois.

    Illinois State Senator Don Harmon (D-39), whose district includes part of Oak Park, addressed the Fair. Senator Harmon has spoken against this war at other OPCTJ events. When I talked with him, he told me he "is in opposition to this recreational war." Responding to a question about what impact the Illinois State Legislature could have on the war, Senator Harmon answered "the administration in office does not feel impacted by state legislatures." Stating that he is not a foreign policy expert, he wondered if it would be possible to recall the Illinois National Guard. He feels the deployment to Iraq of the Illinois National Guard "poses needless risk to fellow citizens. The events in Louisiana and Mississippi show the vulnerability we all face."

    Justice for the rights of workers and communities was in evidence. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) was a Fair participant. Officially they sponsored as AFSCME ­ Friends of Heart. HEART is Healthcare Employees Acting at Resurrection Together. Working with the South Austin Coalition, they have formed the Oak Park/Austin Health Alliance (OPAHA) to improve the healthcare delivery system for patients, workers and the community. West Suburban Hospital was once an independent hospital that has been purchased by Resurrection Health Care. OPAHA has put together a "Community Benefits Agreement" that wants to: ensure access to health care for residents in need; provide community benefit programs; recognize employees' right to organize; and create community outreach/input programs.

    Wal-Mart Watch sent organizer Tim Sheehan from Washington, DC. Wal-Mart Watch unearths the real costs of the low prices at Wal-Mart. In their annual report, Wal-Mart Watch shows how the bargains we find at Wal-Mart actually rip us off. Wal-Mart pays many of its employees a wage that keeps them poor. They also offer health benefits that employees can't afford. This one-two punch means that we have to kick in $1.5 billion in annual federal taxes to cover Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance. This allows Wal-Mart to show a healthy balance sheet to their investors.

    Committee for New Priorities/Chicago Jobs With Justice (CNP) and Chicago Labor for Peace, Prosperity & Justice (CLPPJ) were joint sponsors of the Fair. They want "to connect the dots between the war and its domestic social cost and point to a better way." Their vision of a peaceful society is one that "makes human needs the first priority and protects the rights of all people." They wonder what happened to the "peace dividend" that should have come with the end of the Cold War. "Without the huge military expenditures for nuclear weapons and wars of conquest, we could easily provide for jobs, health care and education for all." This last line may well be the link for all participants of the Fair.

    Pat Vogel, of Military Families Speak Out, was a featured speaker. She went to Camp Casey in Crawford Texas last month to support Cindy Sheehan's attempt to engage George W. Bush in discussion. Ms. Vogel and her husband began speaking out against this war when soldiers in her son's unit were killed in Iraq. Her son, Aaron, joined Iraq Vets Against the War after finishing his time in Iraq.

    DSA was among the groups sponsoring the fair, and several DSA members worked to organize it. Well over a hundred people stopped at our table for literature, exhausting our entire supply of "No War" buttons. Nearly everyone else stopped and grinned at our effigy of Dubya with pants afire.

    One of the things that made this Fair more appealing was its activities for children and musicians, dancers and poets for the not-as-young. Children were treated to storytelling and encouraged to sing and engage in crafts. A peace fair in Oak Park would not forget about children.

    The music covered a wide spectrum. The Michael Levin / Donald Neale Ensemble started us out with jazz. Laura Good and Friends was certainly aiming at my (over 50) memories with their renditions of CSNY songs like "Chicago" and "Ohio". Whether they were pandering or not, I enjoyed their song set. The Wandering Endorphin (Jim Green) played (?) guitar, alternating between a traditional style and one that had him slapping the strings, body and neck. His performance was fun to hear as well as wild to watch. It was unfortunate that the musicians had to play through a problematic sound system, but perform they did.

    Nahui Ollin Quetzalyolotl was a group that performed dances based on Azteca-Mexican traditions. This was a fascinating plus, that involved sound, movement and costumes. During their performance, one of the performers announced that they came to this Peace Fair, because they knew about invasion and occupation. They dance as a prayer for peace and justice.

    Poets made their words felt throughout the day. AvantRetro, which is a poetry duo made up of Charlie Rossiter and Al DeGenova started it up with energy. Mr. Rossiter is the force behind the Oak Park Unity Temple performance nights. Several of the wordsmiths at this Fair have previously performed there. One of them was Quraysh Ali Lasana, who has a great book of poems based on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems. We were also able to hear some of the best of Oak Park River Forest High School's Spoken Word Club. These wordsmiths spoke their thoughts and feelings ­ speaking openly as an example of what peace must look like.


    Economic Development or Robbery?

    by Stan Rosen

    The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation by Greg LeRoy. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler 2005; 290 pp; $24.95

    This is a well documented study, typified by incisive analysis, numerous dramatic specific examples of developer scams, and proposals for action. This comprehensive presentation was researched and prepared by former Chicago activist, Greg LeRoy, who is now the Director of the national organization, Good Jobs First. It is must reading for any activist who wishes to play a progressive role in understanding and shaping economic development at the national, state, and local levels.

    In the introduction, LeRoy sets the challenge. The competition for employment among cities, counties, and states is so intense, the companies (who often have already decided on a site) arrange an auction among them to see which will pay the greatest bribe. The result is bidding up the prices that the taxpayers must pay. This book should broaden the ranks of Americans who are actively involved in stopping these crimes and restore meaning to the processes of economic development. Economic development should be devoted to public purposes, ideally to long term improvements that can be expected to benefit everyone, including future generations. At the core of this scam are corrupted definitions of competition that obscure cause and effect. The book makes it clear that economic development as practiced in the United States destroys communities and jobs and serves instead mainly selfish and profit oriented objectives.

    Each of the nine chapters discuss, in detail and through examples, the problems to be faced. Each provides a primer for progressive action. The topics covered include: tax dodges, job blackmail, site location (expansion or relocation), the rising economic war among the states, the corporate assault on the income tax, property tax abatement, subsidizing sprawl, looting and the economics of sports stadiums, and shifting the tax burden. Each chapter is readable and provides the information and tools to fight back.

    The most powerful tool for activists is the final chapter, "Building a Consensus for Reform". This chapter suggests ways to encourage a serious involvement in the process. Democratic socialists and coalition friends need to better master the issues, and give full time and continuing attention to the task. Reacting campaigns, which often influence but not prevent the various scams, are too little too late. Proaction is required if we are to insure that economic development is for the benefit of the citizens and not for narrow special interests. The twelve suggestions in this chapter and allied materials are an important start.

    I was particularly excited by Reform 12: Community Benefits Agreements.

    "Pioneered by the Los Angeles Alliance for the New Economy, these are legal contracts negotiated between community coalitions and developers to make sure that city residents benefit from the redevelopment of their neighborhoods. Each contract is tailored, but they often include provisions for first source hiring (to give local workers the first choice to qualify for the jobs), living wage job quality standards, affordable housing assistance, environmental and open space allowances, construction and support for child care centers or health care clinics."

    Once the community coalition and the developer agree on the Community Benefits Agreement, the coalition supports the developer's application to the city for subsidies and the agreement is attached to the redevelopment agreement between the city and the developer, making it legally enforceable. Such a process, similar to collective bargaining, makes the citizens full partners in the process.

    In Sweden, economic policy goals are established by the national government and provide comprehensive and coordinated support to local governments. We need to support the development of economic development policies that encourage and permit our government leaders to administer such programs in the public interest. Like Michael Harrington's book The Other America, this book lays down in dramatic and easily understood language, a challenge in terms of economic development. Hopefully, democratic socialists will spearhead this campaign.

    Editor's Note: Stanley "Rosebud" Rosen is a founding member of Chicago DSA, Professor Emeritus University of Illinois at Chicago, presently retired in Santa Fe, New Mexico. See "Resurrecting West Suburban Hospital" below for a local example of a "Community Benefits Agreement".


    Resurrecting West Suburban Hospital's Commitment to the Oak Park / Austin Community

    by Bill Barclay

    In 2004, Resurrection Health Care acquired West Suburban Hospital, a long time independent hospital on the east side of Oak Park. "West Sub", as the hospital was (and still is) known, served both Oak Park and Austin residents as a primary source of health care. Over the years, West Sub had grown into one of the largest employers in the two communities. The acquisition continued Resurrection Health Care's rapid growth into the second largest provider of health largest providers of health care in the Chicago metropolitan area. It also accelerated a shift already underway, moving West Sub further away from being an institution with important ties to the local community to that of a business with greater focus on the bottom line.

    At the time of the acquisition, there was significant community concern about the impact of the deal on the quality and availability of health care for Oak Park and Austin residents, particularly the provision of charity care for the growing number of uninsured. The concern drew the attention of Attorney General Lisa Madigan who intervened by requiring Resurrection to agree that the level of charity care provided and its availability would not be lower under the new ownership than it had been prior to the acquisition.

    By late spring of this year, the experience of residents in Oak Park and Austin with the new entity, Resurrection West Suburban (RWS), was sufficient to raise questions about the adherence of RWS to the terms of the Madigan agreement. In response to this growing concern, four organizations came together to form the Oak Park / Austin Health Alliance (OPAHA): the South Austin Community Coalition, Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice, GOP DSA, and AFSCME Council 31. Research undertaken by AFSCME staff provided empirical support for what community members had experienced: WRS's level of charity care had declined 23% on a dollar-measured basis when the first 6 months following acquisition were compared to the 6 months prior to acquisition.

    The first action of OPAHA was to develop a proposed Community Benefits Agreement. The agreement proposed:

    (i) that RWS return at least to the level of charity care provided prior to the acquisition;

    (ii) that RWS work with OPAHA in developing an outreach program to educate residents about the availability of charity care;

    (iii) the RWS develop additional health programs for the surrounding community, and

    (iv) that RWS recognize employees' right to organize.

    During early August, OPAHA members went door to door in both Austin and Oak Park, educating the communities about the issue and collecting more than 10,000 signatures on a petition to the Attorney General's office. The petition asked the Attorney General to investigate RWS's performance to date vs. the terms of the agreement. In mid August, a community meeting was held that drew more than 200 people to discuss RWS and the health care situation in the area. This event was followed up by a visit to the Attorney General's office in September where the petition was presented and community concerns with RWS's performance were discussed with senior members of the Attorney General's staff. At this writing, OPAHA is still awaiting a response from Madigan's office but believes that the issue has been taken very seriously by staff. OPAHA is not, however, simply waiting for Madigan's office to respond but is continuing to apply pressure to RWS: there is another community meeting scheduled for October 25th at which senior executives of RWS will be invited to respond to the issues and concerns of Oak Park and Austin residents.

    For more information, contact the Oak Park / Austin Health Alliance at 773.287.4570.


    Introducing New YDS Organizer: Elizabeth Rothschild

    Hey YDSers! I'm the new National Organizer! I just settled into NYC from the Northern Virginia/DC area in June. I'm a little bit of an artist and a hip hop dancer and I love all kinds of music. I'm a tad bit silly and extremely passionate and I can't wait to begin working with all of you. Now let me tell you a little bit about my background in politics.

    My last two summers were spent teaching in a program called Freedom Schools in NYC, which is run by the Children's Defense Fund and modeled after the Freedom Schools from the Civil Rights Movement Freedom Summer of 1964. The program integrates reading, conflict resolution and social action in an activity-based curriculum that promotes social, cultural, and historical awareness. Working with the Freedom Schools has helped me develop ways to connect large macro-level ideologies informed by my socialist vision, to a micro-level (classroom) experience. But the Freedom Schools were more than a classroom experience, they were about building a movement: linking schools across the nation together, creating an alternative educational institution, and engaging in political struggles for progressive change. (We participated in voter registration in the community last year, protested at City Hall against Bush's tax cuts, and worked with an ex-felon rehabilitation program learning about the cradle-to-prison pipeline.)

    I have also worked with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and I did extensive Affirmative Action organizing around the Michigan case several years ago. I recently graduated from the University of Virginia where I majored in African American Studies and Sociology with a minor in Politics and was involved in anti-racist organizing through both leadership in groups such as the NAACP and Sustained Dialogue. I worked as a liaison between many different groups and coalitions on campus as we tried to bring structural changes to the rather minority-unfriendly university.

    I believe deeply in the importance of political education, self-criticism and constant re-evaluation to the movement for social justice. There is a lot of work to be done to build a stronger Left in this country, especially towards connecting anti-racist, feminist, labor, queer rights, environmental, community and electoral activism in a much more meaningful and effective way. I'm definitely looking forward to working with many of you, traveling to campuses and communities around the country, and working to strengthen YDS and the democratic socialist movement. Onward!

    Editor's Note: This first appeard in the email YDS Update. Elizabeth Rothschild can be reached at: elizabeth@dsausa.org or 212-727-8610 ext. 24. She will be working with YDS' outgoing organizer, Lucas Shapiro, through the fall.


    YDS Summer Retreat a Memorable Success

    by Ben Hyink

    This summer's YDS retreat in Ossing, New York, was well worth the travel costs. The location, a small castle once owned by Corliss Lamont, was near the city but still rural (and quiet) enough to feel like a true "retreat." A section of the building is open to the elements because a fire destroyed the roof long ago, but it was redesigned to serve as a patio instead; I heard that it might be repaired with the help of some trade unions in the future. Foam and "regular" mattresses were available for approximately fifty participants over the weekend, and there was a surplus of extra blankets, bug spray and other materials for forgetful attendees (myself included). The hot weather was the only subject of common complaint.

    After helping to set up the area or collecting groceries, we heard Joseph Schwartz (DSA National Political Committee and past YDS organizer) speak on, "The State of the American Left/Socialism." Two points I recall Schwartz making were that we happen to live in "the most anti-socialist nation in the world" (not hard to accept if one is paying attention to media ideology and "mainstream" political rhetoric) and that if we want to not only slow right-wing erosion of the what remains of the welfare state but actually reverse course by changing hearts and minds, "some people have to be the ["out"] socialists." A lively Q & A session set a precedent that was continued throughout the retreat. Conversations on political theory, activist experiences and future organizational strategies continued late into the night both Friday and Saturday.

    On Saturday I attended a fascinating led by former YDS National Organizer Eliyanna Kaiser on the historical relationship of feminist and socialist theory. At the end she spoke briefly about her new role as the Senior Editor and Ad Director of Spread magazine, a publication by and for the sex worker community. She felt that offering people a means to express their own voice is critical to empowering them, and that as a group sex workers (broadly defined) remain one of the populations most vulnerable discrimination, exploitation, violence, and suppression of basic human rights, including police abuse.

    The second session I attended was "Learning About and From the Christian Right," led by Amanda Singer and (YDS co-President) Maria Svart. In analyzing the activities of the Christian Right base, we agreed that valuable activities such as the provision of community service were often used as leverage for political gains, while the political privatization of social service in turn helped such charity organizations to gain influence. Much of the discussion focused on ideological trends in the Religious Right.

    Christian Parenti's account of his experiences in Iraq and Venezuela, and his analysis of the historical context, current conditions and possible futures were engrossing and highly informative. He provided first-hand accounts along with historical context that rarely, if ever, appears in print or on television in America, as well as independent assessments of questions frequently debated in the media. When we were asked at the end of the conference for recommendations to improve future events, my only one was to invest in a good camcorder to preserve the wonderful talks.

    On Sunday, the conference concluded with Bob Lidel's speech on the "Politics of Prisons." While I knew we had a major problem, I did not realize its extent before his talk. While crime rates have not changed dramatically since 1970, the U.S. prison population has risen from 300,000 to over 2 million. Of this population, 1.2 million are locked up for non-violent offenses and the majority of drug offenses are marijuana-related. The U.S. system accounts for one quarter of the imprisoned population worldwide! A key factor in this unprecedented rise in incarceration is the privatization of U.S. prisons; after the prisons are built, there is political pressure to fill them by criminalizing more people and mandating longer sentences. The towns that welcome prisons for economic reasons ultimately lose as well, since the institutions soak up public utilities, scare off other investors, and the prison population cannot spend money in the town. Much more was covered, including the high incarceration rates of racial minority populations.

    While there I also shared booklets explaining the "democratic transhumanist" movement to people who asked about it. James Hughes, PhD, a longtime DSA member and founder of the YDS club at the University of Chicago, the Executive Director of two transhumanist organizations and the recent author of, Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, is the one person most responsible for my conversion to democratic socialism through arguments in his online articles. Two weeks after the retreat he did an interview with then-YDS National Organizer Lucas Shapiro on his left-futurist program "Changesurfer Radio" (the recording is available online, see http://www.changesurfer.com).

    Many hands made light work of the castle clean-up. After staying overnight at Lucas Shapiro's apartment, I continued visiting friends and family on my way home.

    While gas prices are making travel prohibitive, it would be great if a group of Chicago YDS members could travel to the retreat as a group next year, perhaps by train. Please join the yahoo group "YDSChicago" (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/YDSChicago) to strengthen our local network and make coordination and local announcements possible ­ such as the dates when YDS leaders Lucas Shapiro and Maria Svart will be in town this October.


    So They'll Have No Karl Rove, Then

    (with apologies to Lord Byron)

    So they'll have no Karl Rove, then
    To paint the night more black.
    Though the war's still going badly,
    And the White House still needs its flack.
     
    For the facts outwore the lies,
    And the feds wised to his schemes,
    And we all must pause to wonder
    If anything's as it seems.
     
    Though the news was made for spinning,
    And the polls are looking poor,
    Yet they'll have no Karl Rove, then,
    To justify their war.
     

    by Hugh Iglarsh


    Other News

    compiled by Bob Roman

    New Ground Email Edition

    For the past month, as an experiment, Chicago DSA has been publishing an email edition of New Ground, more or less weekly. Email newsletters are becoming increasingly common, and the format for our experiment is pretty typical: mostly teasers and links, very few articles. Unlike most organizational email newsletters, most of the links in our publication do not point to our own web site. With the entire World Wide Web available, why should it?

    Like the print edition, the email edition does cover news about DSA, local and national. And likewise, we do cover the politics of issues we're involved in. With many email lists, blogs and email newsletters, those links or articles tend to be affirmations, tending to confirm to the reader that we are right and they are wrong. We've tried to our material more informational. Finally, we've been doing something we have not had the resources to do in print: include an ongoing discussion of democratic socialism, both as an ideology and as history. The web enables us to draw upon the work of others without having to deal with "intellectual property" issues. Nor do we have to worry about the constraints of space; the print edition increases in increments of 4 pages and it gets expensive quickly.

    For several years now, we've been posting the contents of the print edition on our web site. The contents of the email edition are also posted to our web site. Eventually we may post to the web articles written especially for New Ground that are too long for the print edition.

    Here is what you can do to help. First, if you are not yet on our email distribution list, add yourself by sending an email to ng@chicagodsa.org with "add" in the subject line. Second, forward some or all of the email newsletters to people and email lists that you think would find the newsletter interesting or useful. "Viral marketing" has always been a feature of human affairs, but the internet offers expanded opportunities! Third, if you run across articles that you think appropriate, please forward the links to us. Links to articles about democratic socialism and its history, particularly with respect to Chicago and Illinois, would be especially welcome.

     

    Contribute to Katrina Relief Through the DSA Fund

    In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the DSA Fund has established a special fund to accept tax-deductible donations from DSA members and friends. This fund will be used primarily to provide help to community-based and other social change organizations in the affected area recover from the storm and its aftermath. It will bring palpable aid to those who continue to defend the interests of poor and working people in the devastated states along the Gulf Coast. We are currently attempting to assess whether the DSA members residing in the affected area have unmet needs resulting from the storm; this fund will also be used to provide humanitarian aid to such individuals.

    This fund will also provide a vehicle for people who do not wish to give to established charities or who want to be sure that the gift will reach grassroots organizers and organizations in need of support, precisely those often ignored by mainstream foundations and charities.

    The DSA Fund has already designated an initial beneficiary of this fund: ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) saw its national headquarters in New Orleans destroyed. ACORN has a long history of defending the interest of the poor and working people of New Orleans. The group is attempting to re-establish its headquarters in Baton Rouge so that it will be able to continue to address the needs of the displaced population of the region. Other organizations will be added to the list as they are identified and approved by the Fund. A report on the distributions that are made will be made available to donors and posted on the web site.

    To contribute, go to http://www.dsausa.org/LatestNews/2005/Relief.html or send a check or money order payable to DSA FUND, 198 Broadway, Suite 700 New York, NY 10038. Indicate that it is for the Katrina Relief Fund.

     

    IUPSS Celebrates Social Security

    Illinois United to Protect Social Security celebrated the 70th anniversary of Social Security in mid-August with events in Chicago, Joliet, Bloomington, and Champaign. The events in Joliet and Champaign were particularly pointed, politically, with birthday cakes and cards being delivered to Representatives Weller and Johnson. In Bloomington and Chicago, there were educational and celebratory dimensions as well.

    Over a hundred people attended the Chicago celebration. It was a noon hour event held at Roosevelt University on Monday, August 15. Participants included William McNary (Co-Director, Citizen Action/Illinois), Charles Middleton (President, Roosevelt University), Professor Margaret Rung (Director, Center for New Deal Studies), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Tim Leahy (Secretary - Treasurer, Chicago Federation of Labor), and Hal Gullett (President, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans). A very special guest was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as portrayed, convincingly, by actor and historian RJ Lindsey.

    Most of the speakers discussed Social Security in the context of present day politics. And they made an effective case for preserving Social Security and why they felt Republican proposals were essentially attempts to destroy Social Security. But Professor Rung's presentation was valuable for placing Social Security in the context of the politics of the 1930s. And RJ Lindsey portrayal of President Roosevelt relied heavily upon excerpting Roosevelt's speeches about Social Security, giving one a sense as to how the public and Congress were persuaded to support it and how opposition to the program has not significantly changed.

     

    Illinois' Chance at Health Care Justice

    The "Adequate Health Care Task Force" mandated by the Health Care Justice Act (see New Ground 99, most recently) is beginning to organize hearings in Congressional districts around the state. At press time, the schedule for these hearings had not been released, but the first hearing is tentatively planned for somewhere in the 1st Congressional District on October 5. The tentative plans aspired to three hearings a month. From the testimony gathered and from studies commissioned by the Task Force, a set of recommendations toward resolving the health care crisis will be presented to the Illinois General Assembly.

    Why is this important? The project is a long shot. Unlike the originally proposed Health Care Justice Bill, the product will be only a recommendation not legislation the legislature is mandated to pass. The Task Force itself is genuinely a bipartisan. And while the health care crisis is huge, it looks rather different depending upon your position in the economy. These hearings should be an education for the Task Force.

    Your participation in these hearings, even if only as part of the audience, can make a difference in how the Task Force perceives the scale and nature of the problem and in how the Illinois legislature receives their recommendations. If the health care crisis has come home to you, whether it is as a consumer or as a service provider, your testimony could be crucial.

    The Campaign for Better Health Care's Health Care Justice Coalition is indeed working to collect and coordinate testimony for the hearings. They now have 27 different types of testimony from a wide range of groups and individuals. If you are going to give testimony, please let them know by contacting Megan Meagher at mmeagher@cbhconline.org or 312.913.9449. As the hearing dates and venues become available, they will be posted on the Illinois Department of Public Health (http://www.idph.state.il.us), the Campaign for Better Health Care (http://www.cbhconline.org), and the Chicago DSA (http://www.chicagodsa.org) web sites. The Campaign for Better Health Care is planning phone banks to encourage turn out, and Chicago DSA is planning targeted postcard mailings.

     

    Chicago, Evanston, and Gary: Give Peace a Chance

    As New Ground went to press, the Chicago City Council passed a resolution demanding the removal of our troops from Iraq. Passing by a Council vote of 29 to 9, with 12 abstaining or not voting, the resolution urges "the United States government to immediately commence an orderly and rapid withdrawal" from Iraq. In addition to the death and suffering of the war, the resolution stressed that "Chicago residents' share of monies appropriated for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now exceeds $2.1 billion." Chicago is now the largest U.S. city to take this stand. The only other major U.S. city to pass a similar resolution is San Francisco. The Evanston City Council voted against the war earlier in the week, and Gary, Indiana, did so last month.

    The passage of this resolution represents as much an internal victory for the peace movement in Chicago because it brought together pretty much all its various wings. Getting them to agree on language is an accomplishment. But it's worth being skeptical as to its value in actually ending the war. On one hand, it increases the legitimacy of opposition to this war, and that is a good thing indeed. But the war will deescalate only to the degree that Republicans and Congressional incumbents generally begin to see it as an electoral liability. Which is to say, look for some high profile moves, genuine and otherwise, toward "Iraqification" in ten or eleven months, provided the civil war doesn't spiral out of control.

     

    UMWA Community Organizing Position

    Community organizing position available in Terre Haute, Indiana, on an organizing campaign with the United Mine Workers. Calls for a person with initiative and ability to build support among religious leaders, community and union leaders for coal miners and their right to form or choose a union. If interested send a resume to Robert Gaydos, Deputy Director of Organizing, United Mine Workers of America: bgaydos@umwa.org.

     

    Labor Solidarity: Korea

    The Korean Federation of Service Workers' Unions (KFSU) is calling for international support for their struggle against an insidious form of union busting at the Hotel Riviera in Daejeon City. In the past, such support has been vital in getting governments and companies to obey the law and to accept the rights of workers to form unions.

    Union members at the Hotel Riviera have been struggling since August last year against the owners' contrived closure of the facility, which the union has proven was carried out on fraudulent grounds in order to close the facility long enough to break the union. Their struggle is now at a crucial turning point. And your help is needed-right now.

    The National Labour Relations Commission has ruled in favor of the union's contention that the closure was a fake designed to break the union. The owners should now reinstate all dismissed union members with full back pay and resume normal operations. But Korean law is full of loopholes.

    Please write now to the President and Labour Minister of Korea, demanding that they act to ensure the decision of the National Labour Relations Commission is quickly and effectively implemented. Go to: http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=57

     

    IUF Protests Colombian Trade Union Assassinations

    The serial murder of Colombian trade unionists continues with no letup. Luciano Enrique Romero Molina, a former Nestlé employee and leader of the foodworkers' union SINALTRAINAL, has become the latest victim of Colombia's deadly anti-union violence and the judicial and political impunity which nourish it. He was murdered sometime between the evening of September 10 and the morning of September 11, when his dead body was discovered in the city of Valledupar bearing multiple knife wounds and signs of torture. The fact that Molina was living under the protective measures program of the Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States shows that the Uribe government continues to fail to implement the most basic measures needed to stop the war against Colombian union members and officers.

    The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) has protested this latest assassination to the Colombian government, demanding a full and open investigation of Molina's murder, prosecution of the perpetrators and an end to the reigning impunity. We urge you to send similar protests. To send a message to the government of Colombia go to http://www.iuf.org/Colombia.


    Letter from the Editor

    This is our 10th annual Labor Day issue of New Ground. As Editor and as Treasurer of Chicago DSA, thank you. Your assistance, however great or small, is crucial to this project.

    This year's participation is about average. Considering that the summer is never a good time for fundraising, I'm not unhappy with whatever we get. Considering that the appeal to unions went out at a time when most its leadership were distracted by the looming split within the movement and generally dismal circumstances, I'm proud of what support we received. It's particularly difficult to be writing even small checks (and on the scale of political money, we're asking for small checks) when your colleagues are being laid off. Considering the destruction of the Gulf Coast, I'm touched by the support we've none-the-less received from individuals around the country. Thank you!

    It would probably be too much to give Dubya some of the credit. But when he said he's taking "personal responsibility" for the slow response to Hurricane Katrina disaster, I'm sure most of you feel as I do: well whooptydoo! Personal responsibility! What does that mean? Does it mean he's going to commit ritual suicide? Does it mean he's going to jail? Does it mean he's going to resign? Does it mean he's going to donate his personal fortune to those families who watched relations die while waiting for help?

    Fat chance. Every indication at present suggests that neither Dubya nor his cronies in Congress have abandoned their agenda of cutting benefits (Medicare and Food Stamps, most notably) and financing the war and reconstruction through borrowing and taxes on everyone but the rich. Maybe they think we won't notice. Or maybe they figure to get what they can, while they can. Then use the technique of requiring a supermajority for new or increased taxes to preserve their gains.

    But Dubya's not the first American politician to use the ploy of "personal responsibility" as another way to say "shut up". Our nation has a problem here, and it's bigger than any runty shrub. And I think that's one reason why so many people have contributed this effort even in the face of so much immediate human need. Events have a way of educating people, of creating "teachable moments". And if Katrina has done that, now is the time to make our voices heard.

    In solidarity,

    Robert Roman


     

    New Ground #102.1

    09.26.2005

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Planning the 2006 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner
    U of Central Oklahoma YDS in the News

    1. Politics

    Health Care Justice Hearing
    Congressman Jerry Weller Caves on Social Security

    2. Upcoming Events of Interest

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DSA News

    Planning the 2006 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner

    Calling all Chicago DSA members and friends! We're beginning to plan the 2006 Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner. Our first meeting will be on Saturday, October 1, 1 PM at the Chicago DSA office, 1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403, Chicago. We are in the Northwest Tower Building (aka Coyote Tower) at the three way intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen avenues, next to the Damen Avenue stop on the CTA Blue Line to O'Hare. Regardless of whether you can attend this meeting, we'd appreciate your thoughts on honorees, speaker, theme, and all other aspects of the event. Send us an email at chiildsa@chicagodsa.org or give a call: 773.384.0327.

    University of Central Oklahoma YDS in the News

    The campus press, anyway. See
    http://www.thevistaonline.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/20/432f2e946e90e

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Politics

    Health Care Justice Hearing

    Those of you who have been following Illinois' Health Care Justice Act know that the "Adequate Health Care Task Force" has been appointed and hearings on the health care crisis in Illinois are to be held (see http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng99.html#anchor222323). Plans are that there should be one hearing in each of Illinois' congressional districts.
    The first hearing, for the 1st Congressional District, has finally been scheduled. It will be Wednesday, October 5, 4 PM to 7 PM at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St in Chicago.
    If you are at all concerned with the issue of health care justice, it is vital that you attend at least one of these hearings. If you have had problems obtaining or paying for health care, this is your opportunity to have your voice heard. For more information, go to the Health Care Justice Coalition web site at http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm or call the Campaign for Better Health Care at 312.913.9449 or 217.352.5600.

    Congressman Jerry Weller Caves on Social Security

    Hannah Lehman of Illinois United to Protect Social Security reports that On Monday, September 19, the 11th District Committee of Illinois United to Protect Social Security met with Congressman Jerry Weller at his district office in Joliet. The meeting with Congressman Weller came after a multi-month campaign in the 11th District coalition partners submitted many letters to the editor, participated in multiple call-in days, collected thousands of petition signatures, and ate Social Security birthday cake with Rep. Wellers staff in Joliet. We held press conferences, organized rapid-response rallies with our 11th District mascot Jerry the Duck, released reports detailing the devastating impact of the Republican plans for privatization and benefit cuts, and publicized poll data showing that 70% of 11th District voters oppose privatization.
    And after months of requesting Rep. Wellers position on President Bushs privatization proposal, and calling on him to take a stand on H.R. 3304, we finally got word that the congressman had time to meet with us. In response to thoughtful and direct questioning by the local leaders, Rep. Weller stated during the meeting that he is opposed to H.R.3304, the McCrery-Shaw Social Security privatization bill. During the 35 minute meeting, he also expressed opposition to proposals that would not improve Social Security's long-term solvency and stated opposition to proposals that would cut guaranteed Social Security benefits. Weller is the first Republican member of the Ways and Means Committee to publicly state his opposition to the legislation currently embraced by the House Leadership, H.R. 3304!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Tuesday, September 27, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    The Great American Jobs Scam
    DePaul University DePaul Center, 25 E. Jackson Blvd, Ste 11013, Chicago
    The Chicago Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO along with the Illinois AFL-CIO and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability invite you to attend an evening with Greg LeRoy, who will be speaking and signing his new book "The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation". For more information, go to http://www.cflonline.org

    Tuesday, September 27, 6 PM
    University of Chicago YDS Orientation Meeting
    UofC Reynolds Club South Lounge, 57th & University 2nd Floor, Chicago
    A conspiracy of the willing to plan activities for the new academic year. For more information email jpayne4@uchicago.edu

    Friday, September 30, Noon to 1:30 PM
    Forum on Racial Profiling
    DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson, Room 8010 on the 8th floor, Chicago
    Featuring Alexander Weiss, the Director of Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety, which analyzed data on traffic stops by governmental police forces throughout Illinois and Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor, Mandel Clinic, University of Chicago Law School and former Cook County Public Defender. You may bring your own lunch. There is no charge for this event, but please RSVP to
    312-988-6565 or ccl@chicagocouncil.org

    Wednesday September 28, 7 PM - 10 PM
    Forum on Venezuela and Haiti
    No Exit Café, 6970 N Glenwood, Chicago
    Kari Lyderson will serve as facilitator for information j-pendergast@northwestern.edu, 773-973-6529

    Thursday, September 29, 7 PM
    Fire in the Lake: the Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam
    Acme ArtWorks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    Hugh Iglarsh on Frances FitzGerald's Fire in the Lake, a masterful history of the American war in Vietnam from the point of view of Vietnamese history and culture. Published by Vintage Books, 1972. This powerful book won both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. It has become a classic: a historical, political, and cultural portrait of a nation at war. Tuition $5 but no one will be turned away. For information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773-384-5797.

    Friday, September 30, 7:30 PM
    Bait and Switch: the (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
    Swedish Museum, 5211 N. Clark, Chicago
    Author & activist Barbara Ehernreich discusses her new book. Sponsored by Women & Children First, Info: 773.769.9299

    Sunday, October 2, 4 PM
    Human Dignity Under Assault: the Use of Torture in the War on Terror
    St Paul's United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard, Chicago
    Keynote speaker: U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky. Others include Joseph Margulies, Maria LaHood, Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris. Organized by Amnesty International, Protestants for the Common Good, and the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago. For information call 312.427.2060 or email aiusamw@aiusa.org

    Saturday, October 8, 5 PM
    20th Annual Mother Jones Dinner
    U of IL Springfield Public Affairs Center Cafeteria, Springfield, IL
    Featuring writer John Nichols and singer - song writer Anne Feeney. Tickets $25 each, check or money order payable to Mother Jones Foundation, PO Box 20412, Springfield, IL 62708-0412. For information, call Mettie Funk at 217.652.0481


    New Ground #102.2

    10.01.2005

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Mid-South Conference on the Left

    1. Politics

    Change to Win Founding Convention
    Speaking Truth to Power in Washington, DC
    Cannibals in Congress Eat Working Families!
    International Labor Solidarity

    2. Democratic Socialism

    "Participatory Economics"

    3. Upcoming Events of Interest

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DSA News

    Mid-South Conference on the Left
    On October 15, the University of Central Arkansas YDS is hosting a one day conference at UofCA in Conway, Arkansas, focusing on the struggle for justice and equality in the American South. The conference will feature panel discussions, interactive workshops and grassroots trainings from groups such as Planned Parenthood, Not With Our Money, the AFL-CIO, the Democratic Party, and various local progressive organizations dealing with the issues facing southern activists. Topics to be addressed include the South's ongoing legacy of racism, the politics of Katrina, the abundance of anti-union legislation, widespread rural poverty, Wal-Mart and the low-wage economy (Wal-Mart's HQ is in Arkansas) anti-gay ballot initiatives, the local costs of the war in Iraq and the power of the religious right. For more information, go to http://www.dsausa.org/yds/confreg-ar.html or email red_riot83@yahoo.com.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Politics

    Change to Win Founding Convention
    Andy Stern's new labor federation had its founding convention in St. Louis this past week. Those of you who took our advice to bookmark Eric Lee's LabourStart web site were able read about it as it happened. The rest of you can read his "New Hope for American Workers?" at http://www.ericlee.me.uk/archive/000134.html
    DSA's Harold Meyerson also covered the convention for The American Prospect. Read his "The Second Front: Change to Win's Plans Come into Focus" at http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=10357

    Speaking Truth to Power in Washington, DC
    DSA's Midwestern rabble rouser Bob Fitrakis covers the spectacular September 24 peace demonstration in DC: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0926-23.htm

    Cannibals in Congress Eat Working Families!
    According to the Fair Taxes for All Coalition (http://www.fairtaxes4all.org), conservatives are pressing for spending cuts even deeper than $35 billion as part of budget reconciliation, despite increased need in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Additionally, House and Senate Republican leaders still intend to move forward with additional tax cuts in reconciliation, despite concern for growing budget deficits.
    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH) wrote to Senate committee chairman this week, directing them to identify programs that could be cut to help offset some of the hurricane relief costs, as part of reconciliation or in separate bills.
    House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R-IA) has proposed a plan to cut discretionary spending next year by 2% and make additional unspecified cuts to entitlement programs as part of the budget reconciliation process. Acting House Majority Leader and Whip, Roy Blunt (R-MO) told CongressDaily the "best spending offset is to maximize the opportunity of reconciliation." Blunt has encouraged committee chairman to approach the $35 billion target spending cut as a "floor", not a ceiling for cuts.

    Join the National Call-In Day October 17th and 18th!

    Take Action! Tell Congress This Is No Time for Cuts in Vital Services or Taxes

    Call your Senators and Representatives at 1-800-426-8073.

    Use this toll-free number (generously provided by the American Friends Service Committee) to be connected to the Capitol Switchboard

    International Labor Solidarity
    The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Worker Associations (IUF) has called on the government of the Philippines to undertake a full investigation into the murder of a trade union leader at the Nestlé factory in Cabuyao, Laguna, the largest Nestlé plant in the Philippines. Unidentified gunmen shot Diosdado Fortuna on September 22 while he was on his way home from the factory picket line. To learn more, and to send a protest message to the government of the Philippines, go to http://www.iuf.org/den2330
    The international trade union movement today stepped up the pressure on the Eritrean government to obtain the release of three trade union leaders held without charge in a secret prison in Asmara. The IUF, ICFTU and ITGLWF today filed a formal complaint against the Eritrean Government with the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO). The complaint, jointly filed before the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association, says that Eritrea is in violation of ILO Conventions by imprisoning trade unionists Tewelde Ghebremedhin, Minase Andezion and Habtom Weldemicael. In addition, the three internationals vowed to use "all available means" in order to secure the rapid release of the union leaders. To read the full text of the three unions' joint press release, go to http://www.iuf.org/den2331

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Democratic Socialism

    "Participatory Economics"
    You may notice, below, a teach-in on "participatory economics". The temptation may be to mutter about the title being so sixties (as in "participatory democracy"). But if you can resist that, "participatory economics" is actually one of the epicenters of the market vs. non-market socialisms debate that was reflected, over several issues, in past numbers of New Ground (see, for example, http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng68.html#anchor338886 or http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng64.html#anchor714070). So what is "participatory economics"? You can find out just about everything you'd want to know here: http://www.zmag.org/parecon/indexnew.htm.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Sunday, October 2, 4 PM
    Human Dignity Under Assault: the Use of Torture in the War on Terror
    St Paul's United Church of Christ, 2335 N. Orchard, Chicago
    Keynote speaker: U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky. Others include Joseph Margulies, Maria LaHood, Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Rev. Dr. Calvin Morris. Organized by Amnesty International, Protestants for the Common Good, and the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago. For information call 312.427.2060 or email aiusamw@aiusa.org

    Monday, October 3, 6 PM
    Cross Border Organizing Forum
    CLEP Offices, 815 W. Van Buren, Ste 110, Chicago
    Chicago Labor Education Program hosts a forum with organizers from the United Electrical Workers (UE) and the Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT), the Authentic Labor Front, of Mexico. This forum will present and discuss the realities of building a strategic organizing alliance between these two unions in two different countries. The Mexican and U.S. organizers have met to Chicago to engage in a cross-border joint organizing training, the first to be held in the U.S. in over 50 years. The forum will be fully translated and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Joe Berry at 312.996.8562.

    Wednesday, October 5, 4 PM - 7 PM
    Hearing on Solving the Health Care Crisis in Illinois
    Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St, Chicago
    Being the first in a series of public hearings by the "Adequate Health Care Task Force" charged by the Health Care Justice Act with coming up with proposals resolving the health care crisis in Illinois. Your participation is important. For information, contact the Campaign for Better Health Care at 312.913.9449 or go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm.

    Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8
    JERUSALEM: Will Justice and Peace Embrace?
    Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 E. 55th St, Chicago
    A conference initiated and coordinated by Sabeel Center, Jerusalem, and Friends of Sabeel North America. For more information, go to http://www.fosna.org or email chicagosabeel@gmail.com or call 312.427.2533x18.

    Saturday, October 8, 5 PM
    20th Annual Mother Jones Dinner
    U of IL Springfield Public Affairs Center Cafeteria, Springfield, IL
    Featuring writer John Nichols and singer - song writer Anne Feeney. Tickets $25 each, check or money order payable to Mother Jones Foundation, PO Box 20412, Springfield, IL 62708-0412. For information, call Mettie Funk at 217.652.0481

    Saturday, October 8, 8 PM
    7th Annual Matthew Shepard March and Rally
    Roscoe & Halsted, Chicago
    Organized by the Gay Liberation Network, an annual march for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual rights and safety. For more information, go to http://www.GayLiberation.org.

    Saturday, October 15, 1 PM - 3 PM
    Activists: Know Your Rights!
    DePaul University College of Law, 25 E. Jackson, Room 803, Chicago
    Sponsored by National Lawyers Guild Chicago Chapter (http://www.nlgchicago.org) and NLG DePaul Law Student Chapter. Deals with questions like: What are my rights to rally and pass out leaflets on public and private property? How does the "Patriot Act" change my rights? What happens if I get arrested? If I'm not a citizen, will an arrest or conviction affect my immigration status? What's going on in other cities? What's up with surveillance of activists?

    Tuesday, October 18, 6 PM - 8 PM
    Participatory Economics Teach-In
    University of Chicago Social Science Research Building Room SS122, 1126 E. 59th, Chicago
    Featuring Robin Hahnel. For more information, go to http://www.chicagoparecon.org.

    Thursday, October 20, 5:30 PM
    Ward Churchill
    DePaul University Student Center, Sheffield & Belden, Room 314a, Chicago
    Brought to you by DePaul Cultural Center and DePaul Students Against the War.

    Friday October 21 - Saturday, October 22
    Tell the Story: the Chicago SNCC History Project, 1960 -1965
    Roosevelt University, Chicago
    A conference examining the role of the Chicago Area Friends of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Chicago's civil rights movement during the early 1960s, a largely untold story. Preregistration is required. For more information, call 630.829.6248 or go to http://www.chicagosncc.org.


    New Ground #102.3

    10.15.2005

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    DSA National Convention

    1. Politics

    Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities

    A Socialist in the Senate?

    "Baghdad on the Bayou": Poverty, Corporate Welfare, and New Orleans

    Health Care Justice Hearings

    2. Upcoming Events of Interest

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DSA News

    DSA National Convention
    The upcoming DSA National Convention now has its own corner of the DSA web site:
    http://www.dsausa.org/convention2005/convention.html
    Note that you don't necessarily have to be a delegate to attend the Convention, so check it out.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Politics

    Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities
    In late October, Congress plans on cutting at least $35 billion in critical programs that primarily benefit the poor and middle class such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, and student loans. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership is pushing for another $70 billion in tax breaks which overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest among us. These cuts are unjust and reflect the wrong priorities - it is monstrous for Congress to give more tax breaks to the wealthy on the backs of poor and middle class families.
    Here's what you can do to help fight these cuts.
    You can join a "Virtual March on Washington" by going to the Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities web site: http://www.actnow.org.
    Better yet, on Monday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 18, you can participate in a national call in day against these cuts. Call your Senators and Representative at 1-800-426-8073. Use this toll-free number (generously provided by the American Friends Service Committee) to be connected to the Capitol Switchboard.
    And best of all, write to your Senators and Representative, in addition to doing all of the above.
    Tell them:

    • Congress must abandon, not merely postpone, plans to cut $35 billion from vital support programs such as Medicaid and Food Stamps.
    • With glaring unmet priorities, it would be an outrage to impose the biggest sacrifices on the most vulnerable while expanding tax cuts for special interests.
    • Congress must not, in the name of stimulus or otherwise, exploit the national tragedy of Hurricane Katrina by enacting tax breaks for special interests that will do little to help the devastated Gulf region or strengthen the national economy.

    A Socialist in the Senate?
    Who is this Bernie Sanders guy, anyway? If you're a DSA member, there's a good chance you're hip, but read about his next campaign:
    Jon Margolis on Bernie Sanders
    http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=9636
    John Nichols on Bernie Sanders
    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050815/nichols
    Joel Bliefuss on Bernie Sanders
    http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/print/sanders_steps_up/

    "Baghdad on the Bayou"
    Judging by the statistics from September for the Chicago DSA web site, poverty and class have become a larger part of the national conversation as a result of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Here are two more articles on the subject that also serve as good introductions to two interesting and useful web sites:
    "Big, Easy Iraqi-Style Contracts Flood New Orleans" by Pratap Chatterjee
    http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12647
    and
    "Exiles from a City and a Nation" by DSA member Cornel West on poverty and Katrina
    http://www.classism.org/article.php?id=35

    Health Care Justice Hearings
    According to the Campaign for Better Health Care, several hundred people attended the first hearing on the health care crisis in Illinois. Mandated by the Health Care Justice Act, the "Adequate Health Care Task Force" is charged with recommending a solution to these problems for the Illinois legislature to act upon. The first hearing was for the 1st Congressional District. A hearing for the 4th Congressional District is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, 4 PM to 7 PM at the Pulaski Park Auditorium, 1419 W. Blackhawk in Chicago. A hearing for the 7th Congressional District is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19, 4 PM to 7 PM, at Stroger Hospital, 1900 W. Polk in the 2nd Floor student lounge in Chicago. For more information, call the Campaign for Better Health Care at 312.913.9449 or 217.352.5600 or go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Tuesday, October 18, 4 PM - 7 PM
    Health Care Justice Hearing
    f
    or the 4th Congressional District
    Pulaski Park Auditorium, 1419 W. Blackhawk, Chicago
    For more information, call the Campaign for Better Health Care at 312.913.9449 or 217.352.5600 or go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm.

    Wednesday, October 19, 4 PM - 7 PM
    Heath Care Justice Hearing
    for the 7th Congressional District

    Stroger Hospital, 1900 W. Polk - 2nd floor student lounge, Chicago
    For more information, call the Campaign for Better Health Care at 312.913.9449 or 217.352.5600 or go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm.

    Tuesday, October 18, 6 PM - 8 PM
    Participatory Economics Teach-In
    University of Chicago Social Science Research Building Room SS122, 1126 E. 59th, Chicago
    Featuring Robin Hahnel. For more information, go to http://www.chicagoparecon.org.

    Tuesday, October 18, 7:30 PM
    The Law in Shambles
    Left of Center Books, on Granville between Broadway & Sheridan, Chicago
    Author Tom Geoghegan speaks about his latest book. For more information, call 773.338.1513 or e-mail leftofcenterbooks@att.biz

    Thursday, October 20, 7 PM
    The War at Home
    ACME Artworks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    An Open University of the Left film showing. An acclaimed documentary, The War at Home reveals what happened in Madison, Wisconsin, during most of the 1960s and the early 1970s when students and the community began to protest the Vietnam War. Directed by Glenn Silber and Barry Alexander Brown, the documentary won a Special Jury Prize at the U.S. Film Festival and was nominated for "Best Documentary" at the 1979 Academy Awards. Tuition $5 but no one will be turned away. for more information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773.384.5797.

    Friday, October 21 - Saturday, October 22
    Tell the Story: the Chicago SNCC History Project, 1960 -1965
    Roosevelt University, Chicago
    A conference examining the role of the Chicago Area Friends of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in Chicago's civil rights movement during the early 1960s, a largely untold story. Preregistration is required. For more information, call 630.829.6248 or go to http://www.chicagosncc.org.

    Saturday, October 29, 6 PM
    Eugene V. Debs Foundation Annual Dinner
    Hulman Center, Terre Haute, Indiana
    The Eugene V. Debs Foundation's annual banquet will be Saturday, October 29, at the Indiana State University Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. This year's event will honor Chicagoan Thomas Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas, and the featured speaker will be Cecil Roberts. Tickets are $30 from The Debs Foundation, PO Box 843, Terre Haute, IN 47808. The Debs Foundation maintains the Debs family home in Terre Haute, Indiana, as a museum. A plaque sponsored by the United Mineworkers honoring William "Big Bill" Haywood will be added to the museum's memorial wall the day before. For more information, go to http://www.eugenevdebs.com.

    Sunday, October 30, 2 PM
    The Corporation
    Oak Park Public Library, 634 Lake St - Veterans Room, Oak Park
    An Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice film showing. The Corporation explores the nature and the spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time: the corporation. Taking the corporation's legal status as a "person" to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask, "What kind of person is it?" 145 minutes. For more information, go to http://www.opctj.org/ or email contact@opctj.org or call Kevin at 708.615.1603.


    New Ground #102.4

    10.24.2005

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Chicago DSA Web Site Updates

    1. Politics

    Emergency Coalition for America's Priorities
    Health Care Justice
    Solidarity Forever Again?
    Gate Gourmet Again

    2. Democratic Socialism

    Social Europe

    3. Upcoming Events of Interest

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DSA News

    Chicago DSA Web Site Updates
    We're continuing to work our way backward, posting information about the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner's history. Three more years have been posted:
    The 1983 Dinner honored Joyce Miller, the first woman elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council. The featured speakers were Congressman Ron Dellums and newly elected Mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington. Photos (by Syd Harris) and other materials at
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1983/index.html.
    The 1982 Dinner honored Carl Shier. Machinists President William Winpisinger was the featured speaker, though Michael Harrington and others also spoke. Photos (by Syd Harris) and other materials at
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1982/index.html.
    The 1981 Dinner honored Italian-American trade unionist Egidios Clemente. Canadian New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent and UAW leader and feminist activist Mildred Jeffrey were the featured speakers, though the Master of Ceremonies, Congressman Harold Washington, also spoke. Photos (again Syd Harris) and other materials at
    http://www.chicagodsa.org/d1981/index.html.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Politics

    Emergency Coalition for America's Priorities
    The Fair Taxes for All Coalition (http://www.fairtaxes4all.org) reports that Congress received over 200,000 calls in opposition to the proposed deeper cuts in the Federal budget. Your efforts are making a real difference. House leaders delayed a planned vote on an amended budget resolution calling for deeper cuts in vital programs because they knew they didn't have the votes. Cuts to Food Stamps were dropped by the Senate Agriculture Committee. This fight is far from over. House leaders are saying that they will try again this (10/26-30) week with a resolution that includes, in addition to the $15 billion increase in mandatory cuts, an across-the-board cut in non-combat discretionary spending, rescission of unspent appropriations, and de-authorizing "unnecessary" programs. A similar vote is not expected to be picked up in the Senate if it passes the House, but the House vote is an important test of whether there are enough votes in that chamber to pass deeper cuts than are already planned.
    On the Senate side, committees continue to work on reconciliation bills in time for the Budget Committee markup on October 26. The Agriculture Committee approved its portion of a reconciliation bill, with $3 billion in cuts in farm and conservation programs over the next five years, but only after Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) dropped a planned $574 million cut to the food stamp program from the bill. It is unclear if the House Agriculture Committee will include cuts to the food stamp program in its final bill. On Monday, the Finance Committee will meet to consider a bill that makes about $10 billion in net cuts to Medicaid and Medicare spending. The gross cuts are $22.8 billion and include some new funding, including about $1.8 in Medicaid support for Hurricane Katrina victims, an amount far below the $9 billion called for by the bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Max Baucus (D-MT). While the cuts in the Senate reconciliation bills are less draconian than were feared, the cuts could get worse on the Senate floor or in a conference with the House. And, any savings from these measures will go to finance more tax cuts, not improvements in services or deficit reduction.
    The toll-free number, 1-800-426-8073, has been extended through October 24th for calling the Capitol switchboard. You can also visit the Emergency Coalition for America's Priorities web site, http://www.actnow.org, for other opportunities for action and more information.

    Health Care Justice

    The Campaign for Better Health Care (http://www.cbhconline.org) reports that interest in and attendance at the hearings of the Illinois Department of Public Health's "Adequate Health Care Task Force" remains high.
    over 80 individuals participated in the public hearing at Pulaski Park Auditorium in Chicago. The recurrent theme of "Everybody IN and Nobody OUT" was clear in the 4th Congressional District as 21 folks gave testimony. Most of those who testified represented community organizations. In addition, several organizations that provide health care to the uninsured and the undocumented gave moving testimony. Several undocumented workers came out to testify that they need to be included in the health care system as well. The consensus at the hearing: any plan that is developed must provide for all the people of Illinois, including the undocumented. 31 people came out to testify at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County to a crowd of over 100 people. Many medical providers (clinicians, pediatricians, nurses, medical students) as well as administrators came out to share their views. Congressman Danny Davis representative Dan Cantrell testified to the Task Force. He pledged Davis' support for the Health Care Justice Act and willingness to help in the pursuit for health care reform in the state of Illinois. Several striking testimonies brought to light that many health care providers are unable to receive health insurance and thus are often stuck in giving but never getting care.
    The Illinois Department of Public Health has finally put up pages on their web site addressing the Health Care Justice Act. For the most up to date information regarding future hearings under the Health Care Justice Act, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/hcja/index.htm.
    For information about how you can participate in bringing about health care justice in Illinois, you can also go the the Campaign for Better Health Care's Health Care Justice Coalition pages: http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm.
    In the meantime, the health care access through the workplace continues to disappear. Read about from the most recent update from the Economic Policy Institute: "Prognosis Worsens for Workers' Health Care: Fourth Consecutive Year of Decline in Employer-Provided Insurance Coverage" by Elise Gould
    http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/bp167

    Solidarity Forever Again?

    The split in the AFL-CIO continues to generate news and commentary. Former In These Times editor Jim McNeill provides an account that focuses on each organizations' own assessments of strengths and weaknesses as well as something of an historical perspective on the situation in the latest issue of Dissent:
    "Labor Divided" by Jim McNeill:
    http://www.dissentmagazine.org/menutest/articles/fa05/mcneill.htm
    It's clear that while passions may be high at the top leadership levels of some unions, other union members and leaders are rather less enthusiastic, if not downright disgruntled. In response, both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win are making efforts to reach some sort of working arrangement for the labor "grass roots". Here are updates from Jonathan Tasini's "Working Life" blog and veteran labor journalist Harry Kelber's column:
    Jonathan Tasini "Working Life"
    http://workinglife.typepad.com/daily_blog/2005/10/more_on_aflctw_.html
    "Rival Groups 'Agree in Principle' to Allow CTW Unions to Join AFL-CIO Local Bodies" by Harry Kelber
    http://www.laboreducator.org/rivalgps.htm
    For an excellent example of how local union leadership is attempting to cope with the mess, including both moves toward movement peace and potential flash-points for conflict, check out the most recent (and possibly the last for this year) meeting minutes of the Chicago Federation of Labor:
    http://www.cflonline.org/news.php?id=370

    http://www.cflonline.org/news.php?id=371

    Gate Gourmet Again!

    Eric Lee reports that over 8,000 of you sent off email messages in what turned out to be LabourStart's largest online campaign ever. Your efforts were hugely appreciated by the workers and their union, the Transport and General Workers Union. But according to the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Worker Associations, within days of the Heathrow dispute drawing to a close, a fresh dispute between unions and the global catering company broke out at Dusseldorf airport in Germany. Gate Gourmet workers went out on strike on 7 October following a deadlock in collective bargaining. You can learn more about the dispute and send a solidarity message to the workers by going here:
    http://www.iuf.org/den2376

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Democratic Socialism

    Social Europe

    The recent rejection by referendum of the European Union constitution in France and in Netherlands has put the process of unification on hold. It also has put the European left in some confusion, especially as French Socialist Party leadership had largely campaigned for passage while its electorate tended to vote against it. Nonetheless, Robin Blackburn explores the possibility for a positive, transformative program for the left in Europe in "Capital and Social Europe":
    http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR26804.shtml

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Wednesday, October 26, 4:30 PM
    Funeral March and Burial for the Bill of Rights
    Funeral March will begin at 4:30 PM at Tribune Plaza 411 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
    (Come early to assemble)
    Burial will be at Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn), Chicago at 5:15PM
    (where the eulogy will be read)
    Proceedings will end at 5:30 PM
    We are encouraging all people to march with us to mourn the terrible loss of freedom and liberty brought about by an aggressive administration that falsely accused the Bill of Rights of conspiracy in perpetrating "terrorism" and the tragedy of September 11, 2001 in New York City. The negligence of our elected officials made the death of the Bill of Rights inevitable. We encourage people to dress properly for a funeral or to don the various historical dress of the United States. We even encourage people to dress as historical personages and workers to remind us of the struggles that the people of the United States to maintain our liberties and to gain new ones through additions to our constitution like the XIII, XIV, IXX, and the XXIV Amendments.
    Brought to you by Chicagoland Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. For more information, go to http://www.ccclr.org or http://www.bordc.org.

    Saturday, October 29, 6 PM
    Eugene V. Debs Foundation Annual Dinner
    Hulman Center, Terre Haute, Indiana
    The Eugene V. Debs Foundation's annual banquet will be Saturday, October 29, at the Indiana State University Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. This year's event will honor Chicagoan Thomas Frank, the author of What's the Matter with Kansas, and the featured speaker will be Cecil Roberts. Tickets are $30 from The Debs Foundation, PO Box 843, Terre Haute, IN 47808. The Debs Foundation maintains the Debs family home in Terre Haute, Indiana, as a museum. A plaque sponsored by the United Mineworkers honoring William "Big Bill" Haywood will be added to the museum's memorial wall the day before. For more information, go to http://www.eugenevdebs.com.

    Sunday, October 30, 2 PM
    The Corporation
    Oak Park Public Library, 634 Lake St - Veterans Room, Oak Park
    An Oak Park Coalition for Truth and Justice film showing. The Corporation explores the nature and the spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time: the corporation. Taking the corporation's legal status as a "person" to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask, "What kind of person is it?" 145 minutes. For more information, go to http://www.opctj.org/ or email contact@opctj.org or call Kevin at 708.615.1603.

    Sunday, October 30, 6 PM - 9 PM
    Dance Party!
    UE Hall, 37 S. Ashland, Chicago
    Latin dance lesson, 6-7pm, live band Mitote playing Cuban son, cumbia, chacha, rhumba from 7-9pm. Refreshments downstairs. See the hot pink flier! $10 requested donation, $5 youth. New Garden Community Church, Chicago's labor church. For more information, go to http://www.newgardenuu.org

    Thursday, November 3, 7 PM
    What Went Wrong in Ohio?
    ACME Artworks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    Anita and Jordan Miller speak on their book What Went Wrong in Ohio? From testimony taken from hearings by Representative John Conyors of Michigan, it provides new insights into the abuse and manipulation of electronic voting machines and the arbitrary and illegal behavior of a number of public officials that effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters, affecting the outcome of the election.
    Tuition is $5, but no one is turned away. For more information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773.384.5797.

    Friday, November 4, 6:45 PM
    The Annual DePaul Labor Education Scholarship Awards
    Teamsters Local 705 Hall, 1645 W. Jackson back building, Chicago
    Former Labor Center Director, Jack Metzgar, will speak on Greg Leroy's new book, "The Great American Jobs Scam". A wine and cheese reception will follow. A $10 donation is requested. For more information, call 312.362.5823


    New Ground #102.5

    10.31.2005

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Chicago DSA Membership Meeting

    1. Politics

    Republican Burglary in the House

    The Truth About Wal-Mart

    2. Democratic Socialism

    Marxists!

    3. Upcoming Events of Interest

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DSA News

    Chicago DSA Membership Meeting

    will be on Tuesday, November 15, 7 PM, at the Chicago DSA Office. We expect to have a report back on the DSA National Convention, as well as other business. The Chicago DSA office is at 1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403 in Chicago, at the 3 way intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen avenues, next to the Damen Avenue stop on the CTA Blue Line to O'Hare. Guests are welcome. For more information, email chiildsa@chicagodsa.org or call 773.384.0327.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Politics

    Republican Burglary in the House

    Right about now, eight U.S. House Committees will be adopting proposals that would reduce spending in a wide range of mandatory (or "entitlement") programs. These proposals will be combined into a single reconciliation bill by the House Budget Committee. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a new paper analyzing these proposals: "Who's Hurt, Who's Helped, and What's Spared Under the Emerging House Budget Reconciliation Plan"
    http://www.cbpp.org/10-28-05bud.htm

    Truth About Wal-Mart

    Wal-Mart dropped the truth on its foot when a confidential memo on employee benefits was leaked to Wal-Mart Watch. It hurt. The intended audience was the Wal-Mart Board of Directors so the emphasis was on cutting costs, but the memo also covered employee and public perceptions and employee preferences. One of the interesting aspects is just how clueless the author of the memo is on the actual living conditions of Wal-Mart employees. Not that a better comprehension would probably change much, and not that such ignorance among the ruling class is new. But still interesting, especially as Wal-Mart put some effort into studying the matter. Rather more interesting is an acute awareness of the political implications of their benefits decisions, both as it affects public and governmental relations with their corporation and as it affects the broader debates over health care and retirement. (Not that there's any indication of support for anything beyond "consumer based" solutions. In other words: lotsa luck, sucker!)
    http://walmartwatch.com/home/pages/myths_shattered

    http://www.truthout.org/issues_05/printer_102605LA.shtml

    The memo leaked just in time to torpedo Wal-Mart's public relations offensive on a new, less expensive (indeed, cheaper in all respects) health care benefit, "green" stores and more. It was also pretty much in time to coincide with the release of a new documentary about Wal-Mart from Brave New Films by Robert Greenwald (Out Foxed). Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices will be shown at the DSA National Convention in Los Angeles, but it will have its Chicago premier (by a half hour) at the Open University of the Left on November 13 (see "Upcoming Events" below). The documentary will be at the big screen commercial houses soon, but for a complete listing of the grassroots showings, go to:
    http://www.walmartmovie.com/find.php

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Democratic Socialism

    Marxists!

    It's been on line for years, so maybe you know about it. Then again, maybe not. But the Marxist Internet Archive (http://www.marxists.org) is hardly a secret, and if you haven't paid it a visit, you should. There are two features of particular interest. One is the Encyclopedia of Marxism:

    http://www.marxists.org/glossary/frame.htm

    Some of the definitions express a politics (though the Archive does not consider itself to be a "political" site) that some may find... quaint. But it is nonetheless an impressive and valuable resource on the web.

    The other feature of particular interest is the Early American Marxism Archive. This is a compilation of documents relating marxism and marxist groups in the United States, 1864 through the 1930s:

    http://www.marxists.org/subject/usa/eam/index.html

    The documents include more than just pamphlets, photos, and newspapers. It also includes minutes, organizational reports, correspondence: pretty much what you might expect to find in a library archive.

    All aspects of the Marxist Internet Archive are works in progress, and new material is added pretty much daily.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Tuesday, November 1, 4 PM - 7 PM
    Adequate Health Care Task Force Public Hearing 3rd Congressional District

    Village Hall Auditorium, 53 S. La Grange Rd, LaGrange
    For more information, go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm

    Tuesday, November 1, 4:30 PM
    Funeral March and Burial for the Bill of Rights

    Funeral March will begin at 4:30 PM at Tribune Plaza 411 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
    (Come early to assemble)
    Burial will be at Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn), Chicago at 5:15 PM
    (where the eulogy will be read)
    Proceedings will end at 5:30 PM
    (this event rescheduled from October 26)
    We are encouraging all people to march with us to mourn the terrible loss of freedom and liberty brought about by an aggressive administration that falsely accused the Bill of Rights of conspiracy in perpetrating "terrorism" and the tragedy of September 11, 2001 in New York City. The negligence of our elected officials made the death of the Bill of Rights inevitable. We encourage people to dress properly for a funeral or to don the various historical dress of the United States. We even encourage people to dress as historical personages and workers to remind us of the struggles that the people of the United States to maintain our liberties and to gain new ones through additions to our constitution like the XIII, XIV, IXX, and the XXIV Amendments.
    Brought to you by Chicagoland Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. For more information, go to http://www.ccclr.org or http://www.bordc.org.

    Thursday, November 3, 7 PM
    What Went Wrong in Ohio?

    ACME Artworks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    Anita and Jordan Miller speak on their book What Went Wrong in Ohio? From testimony taken from hearings by Representative John Conyors of Michigan, it provides new insights into the abuse and manipulation of electronic voting machines and the arbitrary and illegal behavior of a number of public officials that effectively disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters, affecting the outcome of the election.
    Tuition is $5, but no one is turned away. For more information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773.384.5797.

    Friday, November 4, 6:45 PM
    The Annual DePaul Labor Education Scholarship Awards

    Teamsters Local 705 Hall, 1645 W. Jackson back building, Chicago
    Former Labor Center Director, Jack Metzgar, will speak on Greg Leroy's new book, "The Great American Jobs Scam". A wine and cheese reception will follow. A $10 donation is requested. For more information, call 312.362.5823

    Sunday, November 6, 2 PM
    Memorial and Reception in special tribute to the late Harry Gaynor.

    Third Unitarian Church, 301 N. Mayfield Av, Chicago
    http://www.thirdunitarianchurch.org/

    Monday, November 7, 7 PM
    Haiti: the Untold Story
    ACME Artworks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    An Open University of the Left film showing, followed by a discussion with independent journalist and filmmaker Kevin Pina.
    Tuition is $5, but no one is turned away. For more information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773.384.5797.

    Wednesday, November 9, 4 PM - 7 PM
    Adequate Health Care Task Force Public Hearing

    Homewood (Venue TBA)
    For more information, go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm

    Thursday, November 10, 9 AM - 1 PM
    Campaign for Better Health Care Annual Meeting
    Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N. Orleans, Chicago
    $50 registration. Speakers, panel discussions, banquet. For more information, go to http://www.cbhconline.org or call 312.913.9449.

    Saturday, November 12, 9 AM - Noon
    Community Transit Summit
    Plumber's Hall, 1340 W. Washington, Chicago
    Neighborhood Capital Budget Group's Campaign for Better Transit's 2005 citywide transit summit is co-sponsored by the Amalgamated Transit Union L241 and L308. Participate, plan and connect with fellow transit riders, community groups, labor unions, disabilities rights advocates, environmental groups and our state legislators to learn about the future of mass transit in Chicago and Illinois. For more information call 312-939-7198 or go to:
    http://www.bettertransit.com/

    Saturday, November 12, 6:30 PM
    Honor the Warrior, Not the War
    Countryside Unitarian Church, 1025 North Smith Road in Palatine
    Screening of the film The Ground Truth followed by two speakers from Military Families Speak Out. Doors open at 6:30 PM; program starts at 7:00 PM. This event is free and open to the public; free will donations appreciated. Sponsored by the Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project. For further information write nwsubpep@comcast.net

    Sunday, November 13, 2 PM
    Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices
    ACME Artworks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    The Open University of the Left presents the Chicago premier of Robert Greenwald's new documentary. Rent a tux!
    Tuition is $5, but no one is turned away. For more information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773.384.5797.


     

    New Ground #102.6

    11.11.2005

    Contents

    0. DSA News

    Chicago DSA Membership Meeting
    Timuel Black

    1. Democratic Socialism

    Remembering Haymarket

    2. Upcoming Events of Interest

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DSA News

    Chicago DSA Membership Meeting

    will be on Tuesday, November 15, 7 PM, at the Chicago DSA Office. We expect to have a report back on the DSA National Convention, as well as other business. The Chicago DSA office is at 1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403 in Chicago, at the 3 way intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Damen avenues, next to the Damen Avenue stop on the CTA Blue Line to O'Hare. Guests are welcome. For more information, email chiildsa@chicagodsa.org or call 773.384.0327.

    Timuel Black

    DSA member, historian, and activist Timuel Black is the subject of an exhibit at the Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted, Chicago. The exhibit opens Sunday, November 13 and runs through July 31, 2006. It consists of "more than 125 rare and unique photographs, correspondence, programs and memorabilia" that "trace seven decades in the Chicago struggles for human rights through the eyes of Timuel Black, Jr., a noted teacher, historian and wide-ranging activist. The exhibit highlights 1930s Bronzeville, Professor Black's service in World War II, the Chicago civil rights movement of the 1960s, and the election of Mayor Harold Washington." For more information please call (312) 745-2080.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Democratic Socialism

    Remembering Haymarket
    We generally think of the Haymartket Affair in connection with May 1st, the day Labor is celebrated in most of the world. It was those first four days of May in 1886, after all, that the campaign for an eight hour day provided an occasion for the Chicago Police to kill to strikers outside the McCormick reaper works. This inspired the protest rally in the Haymarket on West Randolph Street where the protesters were attacked by the infamous Captain Bonfield and 170 Chicago Police. Ten people, all active in the Central Labor Union, were indited for the murder of one of the police: August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Samuel Fielden, Louis Lingg, Oscar Neebe, Rudolph Schnaubelt, and William Seliger. Schnaubelt was never exactly located and Seliger turned state's evidence. Neebe was sentenced to hard labor, the other seven to death. Lingg apparently committed suicide. Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby commuted Fielden and Schwab to life imprisonment.
    For many years, though, the Haymarket Affair itself was commemorated on November 11, the anniversary of the day in 1887 when the anarchists were executed in the alley behind the old courthouse (both still there on Chicago's near north side).
    The libertarian socialist movement represented by the eight defendants was small, but very much a part of a labor movement that had just begun to gain legitimacy in our country. But if unions as organizations were just gaining some acceptance, strikes were generally regarded by the middle and upper classes as insurrection. In this context, a trial and execution after the "riot" were almost inevitable and the specific individuals involved almost did not matter. As Carl Smith in Urban Disorders and the Shape of Belief describes it:

    The trial and executions that followed the Haymarket riot were "written" and "performed" to be viewed and reported in a way that would fulfill the authorities' and the public's aesthetic as well as legal standards for justice. The very staginess of the course of events was what made them seem most satisfying. At the time of the trial, the overwhelming majority of Americans, including many working people and virtually all middle class citizens, ignored or applauded the procedural irregularities of the case in order to view the participants imaginatively and simplistically as actors in a morality play."

    Carl Smith is a professor of English and American Studies at Northwestern University. In 2000, he was the curator of the Chicago Historical Society's award winning site on the Haymarket Affair, "The Dramas of Haymarket":
    http://www.chicagohistory.org/dramas/overview/over.htm
    The plural "drama" stems from Smith's observation that the trial was very much a "media event" for both sides, and that the contest perhaps more over the meaning of the riot and the trial than over the legal outcome. Politics in the 19th Century had long adapted to mass media, even if the telegraph was the only electronic form at that point. For another look at this aspect of 19th Century politics and culture, check out Elliot Gorn's Mother Jones: the Most Dangerous Woman in America.

    The Chicago Historical Society maintains an impressive digital collection of documents related to the Haymarket Affair at:
    http://www.chicagohistory.org/hadc/

    One of the more interesting items is Governor John Peter Altgeld's justification for pardoning the surviving defendants, Fielden, Neebe, and Schwab. In it, he places the blame for the death of the policemen squarely on Captain Bonfield. Read it here:
    http://www.chicagohistory.org/hadc/books/b06/B06.htm

    The Library of Congress was involved in digitizing the Haymarket documents, and it maintains its own collection where you can find, among other things, the autobiographies of Albert Parsons and August Spies:
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award98/ichihtml/hayautobiog.html

    The travesty justice took place in the Circuit Court of Cook County, and yes, the Court's web site makes trial documents available on the web. Caution: the page was not particularly well proof-read, so you'll need to edit some of the links for them to work:
    http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/Archives_/Famous_Cases/HayMarket_Affair/haymarket_affair.htm

    Two other sites are worth mentioning. One is devoted to the widow of Albert Parsons: Lucy Parsons. Go to:
    http://www.lucyparsonsproject.org

    The Illinois Labor History Society has title to the Martyr's monument in the old Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park. For a map to that location, see:
    http://www.kentlaw.edu/ilhs/chimap.htm

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Upcoming Events of Interest

    Events listed here are not necessarily endorsed by Chicago DSA but should be of interest to DSA members, friends and other lefties. For other events, go to http://www.chicagodsa.org/page9.html.

    Saturday, November 12, 9 AM - Noon
    Community Transit Summit

    Plumber's Hall, 1340 W. Washington, Chicago
    Neighborhood Capital Budget Group's Campaign for Better Transit's 2005 citywide transit summit is co-sponsored by the Amalgamated Transit Union L241 and L308. Participate, plan and connect with fellow transit riders, community groups, labor unions, disabilities rights advocates, environmental groups and our state legislators to learn about the future of mass transit in Chicago and Illinois. For more information call 312-939-7198 or go to:
    http://www.bettertransit.com/

    Saturday, November 12, 6:30 PM
    Honor the Warrior, Not the War

    Countryside Unitarian Church, 1025 North Smith Road in Palatine
    Screening of the film The Ground Truth followed by two speakers from Military Families Speak Out. Doors open at 6:30 PM; program starts at 7:00 PM. This event is free and open to the public; free will donations appreciated. Sponsored by the Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project. For further information write nwsubpep@comcast.net

    Sunday, November 13, 2 PM
    Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices

    ACME Artworks, 1741 N. Western, Chicago
    The Open University of the Left presents the Chicago premier of Robert Greenwald's new documentary. Rent a tux! For information about other showings in Chicago and around the nation, go to http://www.walmartmovie.com/find.php.
    Tuition is $5, but no one is turned away. For more information, email oulchicago@yahoo.com or call 773.384.5797.

    Wednesday, November 16, 4 PM - 7 PM
    Adequate Health Care Task Force Public Hearing 11th Congressional District
    Olivet Nazarene University, Wisner Room 137 (Auditorium), 1 University Av, Bourbonnais
    For more information, go to http://www.cbhconline.org/HCJC/index.htm

    Wednesday, November 16, 7 PM
    Social Security Reform
    Citizen Advocacy Center, 238 N. York Rd, Elmhurst
    Explores the basic question of whether Social Security is in fact in trouble, and if so, the variety of reform proposals put forth. For more information, go to http://www.citizenadvocacycenter.org.

    Thursday, November 17, 6:30 PM
    Universal Health Care:
    What Does the Rest of the World Know That the U.S. Does Not?

    UofC Stuart Hall Room 105, 5835 S. Greenwood, Chicago
    The University of Chicago Young Democratic Socialists hosts Dr. Basil Bradlow of Physicians for a National Health Program, who will discuss health care in the industrialized world and the need for the U.S. to do as well. Stuart Hall is located at http://maps.uchicago.edu/mainquad/stuart.html. For more information, contact John Payne at windmillchaser@gmail.com.

    Friday, November 18, 8:00 PM
    Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776
    Left of Center Books, 1043 W. Granville, Chicago
    DSA Member Ian Williams talks about his new history. For more about the event call 773.338.1513 or e-mail
    leftofcenterbooks@att.biz.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2:20 PM
    Dominican University Hosts Consul General of Venezuela in Chicago
    Fine Arts Building, Eloise Martin Recital Hall, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest
    Martin E. Sanchez, Consul General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Chicago, will discuss democratic initiatives and social change in Venezuela in a lecture. The Sanchez lecture will be followed by the screening of the film The Revolution Will Not Be Televised at 7:00 PM. in the recital hall. Both events are free. For more information about Martin Sanchez lecture or the free screening of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, call Dr. Christina Perez, assistant professor of sociology, at (708) 524-6693.

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