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New Ground 114

September - October, 2007

Contents

New Ground 114.1 - 10.02.2007

0. DSA News

Fall Out Against the War
Greater Oak Park DSA
National Convention

1. Politics

Send In the Clowns. . . Don't Bother; They're Here
And the Winner Is. . .
Wal-Mart's Giant Sucking Sound
Death Penalty

2. Upcoming Events of Interest

New Ground 114.2 - 10.16.2007

0. DSA News

Pols in Protest
2008 Debs Thomas Harrington Dinner
DSA Marching
Booger King

1. Politics

October 27 Volunteers
Nikolai Alexeyev
Toxic Imports
Cook County Emergency

2. Democratic Socialism

Capitalism v Socialism

3. Upcoming Events of Interest

New Ground 114.3 - 11.01.2007

0. DSA News

Kingdoom Days of Action
Fall, 2007, "Democratic Left"

1. Politics

October 27 March for Peace
Movement for a Democratic Society
Doomsday
More "Free" Trade
Locals 6 and 2293 On Strike

2. Upcoming Events of Interest

New Ground 114.4 - 11.12.2007

0. DSA News

    DSA National Convention

    Chicago DSA Executive Committee

1. Politics

    Exploitation King

    Wins of Change?

    Peggy Lipschutz

2. Democratic Socialism

    Watermelons, Anyone?

3. Upcoming Events of Interest

 


Blood on the Leaves and Blood at the Root.

by Tom Broderick

Just over four years ago, Oak Park resident, Catherine McAvinchey was brutally murdered. She returned to her apartment and surprised a burglar, who had already been through other apartments in the building.

Rodney Adkins was arrested for burglary by the Forest Park Police a few days later. They noticed similarities between the Forest Park crime scene and the one in Oak Park and contacted the Oak Park Police. Mr. Adkins quickly confessed to the murder. Four years later, after an unremarkable and seemingly fair trial, he has been sentenced to death.

Mr. Adkins has spent most of his adult life behind bars for multiple burglaries and non-violent drug-related crimes. There is no history of violence in Mr. Adkins' criminal record. In fact his many years in prison are also free from confrontation. A rarity.

When he burgled Ms. McAvinchey's apartment building, Rodney had no weapon. After Catherine entered her apartment, Rodney jumped on her, breaking her back. He took a kitchen knife and slit her throat. Mr. Adkins is accountable, but execution is the wrong sentence.

Mr. Adkins was charged with a capital offense because he murdered Ms. McAvinchey during the commission of a felony (the burglary). This is known as an eligibility factor. Illinois has 21 eligibility factors that can make a defendant face death, an unusually large number.

Eligibility factors are exploited by prosecutors in plea-bargaining, which is how most criminal cases are settled. In potential capital cases, a prosecutor threatens death and a suspect gives up something to stay alive. The use of eligibility factors is arbitrary and justice can't be arbitrary.

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales notwithstanding, as a culture, we are moving away from the death penalty. Former Governor George Ryan appointed a Blue Ribbon Panel to look at problems with capital punishment in Illinois. After two years, the Panel made more than 80 recommendations for reform. Even so, they declared if all recommendations were implemented, the system could not be trusted.

Our State Legislature responded by enacting a scant few. One they ignored was that the number of eligibility factors be reduced to five clear factors. Felony murder, where the arbitrariness of the system is most pronounced, should not be one of them. But, thanks to our lightweight Legislature, we still have those 21 factors.

Mr. Adkins was most likely charged with felony murder to coerce him into confessing to several unsolved burglaries in the Western suburbs. If he would have confessed to these, he could have been prosecuted for them, as well as the murder, and been sent to prison for the rest of his life. Mr. Adkins refused to help the prosecutors close the cases, so they dug in their heels and sought death. Given that the McAvinchey victim impact study did not ask for the death penalty, life without possibility of parole should have been sufficient. But the prosecution had an agenda.

Two days after Adkins was sentenced to die, Juan Luna got life in prison without possibility of parole. He had been found guilty of seven murders in the well-publicized "Brown's Chicken Massacre." In this case, Mr. Luna was convicted of going armed, to a Brown's Chicken restaurant, and committing robbery and multiple murders. People eating and working at the restaurant were herded into a storage locker and murdered, one after another. When I mentioned the arbitrary nature of our capital punishment system, the discrepancy in these two cases and sentences is iconic.

Mr. Adkins' defense counsel, Preston Jones, referred to his client as a "pathetic crackhead thief." Rodney was raised by a mentally ill, single mother. He dropped out of school in the seventh grade and became a drug addict. He has been jailed for more than twenty years of his adult life.

If there had been mental health support for him and his mom, how would his life have been different? If there had been educational intervention, how would his life have been different? If he had been able to learn a trade and gotten an education in prison, how would his life have been different? If our society believed in, and worked for social justice, how much better would all of our lives be?

Why is the goal of our criminal justice system not about keeping people in society as functioning humans? Why do we focus on internment and punishment, the more severe, the better? In his closing argument, Prosecutor Alan Lynn felt comfortable saying "There's a special place for Rodney Adkins. It's called death row." Death row must be abolished. It is not beneficial. Its just part of a cycle where we respond to one violent act with another.

There are all kinds of statistics that make this an issue that we should care deeply about. When the victim is white, a death sentence is sought far more often than when the victim is a person of color. The racial make-up of death row in the United States: African-Americans 41.7%; Hispanics 10.7% Whites 45.3% Other 2.3%. Executions, since 1976 based on only inter-racial murders: White defendants executed for murdering Black victims ­ 15; Black defendants executed for murdering White victims ­ 220.

As I write this, I hear Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit: "Southern trees bear strange fruit; Blood on the leaves and blood at the root; Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze; Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees."

The legacy of lynching has simply become the province of our judicial system: States' rights. Sound familiar? The right to decide that a human being is not fit to live cannot be left to a judicial, or political system deformed over issues of race and class. Justice can't exist in this environment. We have to stop the State from killing.

In 1968, Robert Kennedy said: "Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily ­ whether it is done in the name of the law or in defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence . . . the whole nation is degraded."

It is horrific as much as degrading. Executions are carried out in our names because we allow them. Our military industrial complex wages war because it creates the material and ability to do so. It exists to wage war, and it wages war to justify and enrich itself. Our criminal justice system operates the same way. Look at our prison/prisoner growth.

According to a recent P.O.V. program "Prison Town USA" in the 1990s, a new prison opened in rural America every 15 days. The Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2005 indicate that there were nearly 2.2 million people incarcerated in our prisons and jails. This is part of a 33-year continuous rise in the number of people in prisons and jails in the U.S.A. Meanwhile, our crime rate has been falling for more than a decade.

With an incarceration rate of 737 per 100,000 residents we are at the head of the pack when it comes to putting people behind bars. Russia, which once gave close competition has dropped to 611 per 100,000. This puts them distinctly in second place. Further comparison between the United States and other industrial nations, figured at the per 100,00 rate: Australia, 126; Canada, 107; England/Wales, 148; France, 85 and Japan, 62.

Capital punishment may seem like an issue of little import to most of us. But it is. Historically, look at the Haymarket Martyrs, Sacco and Vanzetti, the Scottsboro Boys. Government officials spent a great deal of energy to snuff lives in these cases with no thought for justice.

These are celebrity cases. Most people face execution under mundane circumstances, without any stated political agenda. But dehumanizing and demonizing to exterminate is still the State's approach. Few people on death row are heroes, but every one of them is a victim. Guilty or not.

Just as history is written by "winners," criminality is defined and prosecuted by those with the power to do so. Rodney Adkins is sentenced to death for one violent murder. Juan Luna is sentenced to life without possibility of parole for murdering seven people. O. J. Simpson can afford to pay to play the system for a circus. Henry Kissinger must simply take care in planning trips abroad so as to avoid being indicted for war crimes and mass murder.

I want to thank four members of the West Suburban Committee Against Capital Punishment. They helped with this article, but more important, in pursuit of abolition, between them, they attended every one of Rodney Adkins' court dates: Sandra Shimon, Charlaine McAnany, Patrick McAnany and Patricia McMillen.

For further information on the abolition movement, consider the following organizations and their websites. Locally, there is the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.icadp.org . Nationally there is the Death Penalty Information Center, http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org . Internationally, there is Hands Off Cain, based in Rome, Italy, http://www.handsoffcain.info .

Editor's Note: Abolishing the death penalty is also a project of the Socialist International. See http://www.socialistinternational.org/7Campaigns/Deathp-e.html


Socialist Summer School 2007

by David Duhalde

The 2007 Socialist Summer School was held at Local 1199 SEIU Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor Center in New York City, August 10-12, 2007. This was the most promising and exciting gathering in my four years as a member of the Young Democratic Socialists. There was triple the attendance at this year's conference compared to our previous gatherings. The demographics reflected the growth and vibrancy of YDS. In addition to the genuinely multi-class, multi-racial milieu, chapter leaders came from as far away as Nevada and Colorado with delegations from red states such as Texas and Kansas.

Friday night featured a group discussion about YDS's participation in the United States Social Forum and the importance of building social movements. The weekend's emphasis was on internal socialist education and transforming our ideals into productive activism. YDS placed special attention on creating a program that gave all participants a solid foundation in democratic socialist perspectives. Workshops focused on our views of the Iraq War, Labor, electoral politics, gender issues, and race. All attendees were required to attend an interactive workshop on democratic socialism so they could become "tribunes for socialism." Each workshop also had a concluding discussion on how to take our values and put them into action. This excellent balance of praxis set the foundation for our members' sophisticated activism.

One of the most positive elements of the new YDS membership is our sense of unity. YDS chapters no longer want to be a loose collection of socialist clubs. We seek to coordinate national actions to give weight to our work. The continuation of our National Immigrant Rights Project and the adoption of a Student Debt campaign emphasizes our work to be the socialist voice in coalition politics. At this convention, YDS voted to create a Coalitions Coordinator position to emphasize the importance of us being a working partner in student and youth politics. Chapter members already have been planning actions with the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition and for the Student Labor Week of Action.

This unity also translated into the collective responsibility to make our organization better. The new YDS is placing special emphasis on building a group that people of color, working-class, women, and queer communities want to join. Anti-racism and Feminist Issues Committees have been reestablished, each with a specific project to create visibility for their work. The new Coordinating Committee, with a respective 50% representation of women, people of color, and working-class members, shall continuously support the efforts of productive anti-oppression work within YDS.

YDS cadre appreciate not only our new activist home, but also that the need for a socialist project such as YDS's. From the Pink Tide in Latin America to our own domestic backlash against the neoliberal agenda, there is an important role for democratic socialists in politics today. A revived YDS will continue the tradition of being the voice for the left of the possible; in the streets, on campuses, and in our communities.

Editor's Note: David Duhalde is the National Organizer for YDS. This article originally appeared in The Activist; see http://www.theactivist.org .


Other News

compiled by Bob Roman

Bill Davis

Bill Davis died on September 4. He was an officer the International Association of Machinists Local 701 and the National Coordinator of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. He was one of those larger than life personalities who inspire and motivate. His absence is a major loss to the Chicago left and to the anti-war movement in general.

For more information about Bill Davis, see the Vietnam Veterans Against the War web site: http://www.vvaw.org.

Matthew Shepard March

The 9th Annual Matthew Shepard March for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans Freedom will take place 8 PM on Saturday, October 6, from the corner of Halsted and Roscoe in Chicago. The keynote speaker will be Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's leading organizer for LGBT rights. Chicago DSA has endorsed this year's march.

While homosexuality was finally decriminalized in Russia in 1993, the country's economic and political crisis has fed an increased clamp down on democratic freedoms that are affecting all of the country's minority groups, including gays and lesbians. As with the early years of lesbian and gay rights organizing in the United States, Alexeyev and his colleagues have had to risk violent reprisals simply in order to establish the basic right of LGBT people to assemble in Russia.

At 7 PM on Wednesday, October 3, there will also be a solidarity reception at the Gerber-Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville in Chicago to raise funds for the Organizational Committee of Moscow Pride. For more information, go to http://www.gayliberation.net or call 773.209.1187.

Reform Resurrection

Housekeeping staff at Resurrection's West Suburban Medical Center have fighting what they feel to be discriminatory practices on the part of management there. The situation seems to have improved, temporarily at least, but no thanks to the Oak Park Community Relations Commission, a village entity created to address such issues. The complaining employees were warmly received by the Commission in January and assured of action. Eight months later, the Commission has done nothing except to decide that it really does not have the power to investigate these charges. In the meantime, organizing continues and Resurrection has been losing innings before the NLRB.

The Oak Park / Austin Health Alliance, formed to enforce a Community Benefits Agreement and to support Resurrection employees, is asking folks to save the evening of Monday, October 22, for the second annual Community / Labor Celebration Dinner where Pastor Dwight Bailey and the housekeeping employees at West Suburban Medical Center will be honored. Details should be posted by October at http://www.opctj.org and http://www.reformresurrection.org , or you can call the South Austin Coalition at 773.287.4570. Greater Oak Park DSA is a member of the Alliance.

October 27 Against the War

As noted in New Ground 113, United for Peace and Justice is planning regional demonstrations against the war on October 27. In the Midwest, the organizing center is Chicagoans Against War and Injustice . Carl Davidson's Networking for Democracy is lending its office as an organizing resource, and Alynne Romo is serving as staff.

At this point, the plan for October 27 is to have a large rally in Union Park then march through the Loop to a concluding rally in Grant Park. Further details will be available at the organizing coalition's web site: http://oct27chicago.org , or you can call the office at 773.384.5799; they can use volunteer help at the office as well.

Burger King

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) latest target to be persuaded to pay tomato pickers an extra one cent per pound. It's convenient, therefore, that both CIW and Burger King are headquartered in Florida, as that has made it easy for CIW and friends to show up frequently on corporate's doorstep.

The Student / Farmworker Alliance (SFA), an organization allied with CIW, just concluded a Labor Day weekend "Encuentro," where plans were made for "2 months of education, consciousness-raising, and action to bring Burger King to the table". Chicago DSA contributed $100 toward the Encuentro.

The two months will culminate with a November 30th march on the Burger King headquarters in Miami, Florida, to coincide with Burger King's shareholder meeting. CIW and SFA are hoping to bring activists from all across the country to participate. For more information, go to http://www.ciw-online.org .

In other campaign news, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, in its annual Labor Day statement, highlighted the CIW and the Campaign for Fair Food as a "Sign of Hope" in an otherwise difficult year for our nation's workers, calling the CIW "an example of how courage, sacrifice, and a passion for justice can make a difference."

Radical Feasts

We refuse all responsibility for weight gained after you read this item.

The Eugene V. Debs Foundation, custodians of the Debs' family home and now museum in Terre Haute, Indiana, will present its 2007 Debs Award to DSA honorary co-chair Barbara Ehrenreich. The awards banquet will be held on Saturday, October 6, in Terre Haute. Tickets are $30. For more information, call Charles King at 812.237.3443 or go to http://www.eugenevdebs.com .

The National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression's Human Rights Awards Dinner will be on Saturday, October 13, at the Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th St, Chicago. The keynote speaker will be Cynthia McKinney. Howard and Rosalind Morgan, Gloria Johnson-Ester, Virginia Clements, Dr. Connie Mennella, and Mary Muse will be recipients of the Alliance's Human Rights Award. Tickets are $50. For information, call the Alliance's office at 312.939.2750 or go to http://www.naarpr.org .

The 22nd annual Mother Jones Dinner, sponsored by the Mother Jones Foundation, will be held on Sunday, October 14, at the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Center in Springfield, Illinois. The program is "An Evening with Utah Phillips". Tickets are $25. For more information, call Jack Dyer at 217.691.4185.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois' Bill of Rights Celebration will be done on Saturday, October 20, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Crystal Ballroom, 151 E. Wacker Dr, Chicago. The keynote speaker will the Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. The Dinner will honor Richard A. Prins, Chris Britt, and Dave Weiman. It's a formal affair, though black tie is optional. For more information, call Marcia Liss at 312.201.9740x303 or go to http://www.aclu-il.org/brc/ .

The Illinois Labor History Society, among other things custodian of the Haymarket Martyrs monument, is holding its 2007 awards dinner on Friday, November 2, at the Double Tree Hotel, 1909 Spring Road, in Oak Brook. They will be honoring Reg Weaver, National Education Association President, and the late Ella Flagg Young, the Association's first woman President. Weaver and Young will be inducted into the Society's "Union Hall of Honor". Tickets are $75. For more information, call the Society office at 312.663.4107 or go to http://www.kentlaw.edu/ilhs .

Your Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights Defense Coalition (BORDC) will be releasing a 26 minute video, FBI Unbound: How National Security Letters Violate Our Privacy, on October 26. The BORDC is encouraging public showings, broadcasts on public access cable TV, and house parties. Watch the trailer and find supporting materials, including a discussion guide, flyers, a transcript, a copy of the National Security Letter issued to Library Connection, and information on how to order a DVD at http://www.fbiunbound.org .

BORDC is also in the process of developing a Human Rights Abuse Database to be unveiled later this year. Journalists, civil liberties activists, and others will be able to search the database for stories of innocent victims of the "war on terror". For more information, go to http://www.bordc.org

National Coop Month

Since 1930, October has been National Cooperative Month. This year seems a bit less robust than 2006, but you can find out more by going to the official web site: http://www.coopmonth.coop . The site includes information about cooperative history, values, and a database of coops that you can use to find coops in your area.


New Ground #114.1

10.02.2007

Contents

0. DSA News

Fall Out Against the War
Greater Oak Park DSA
National Convention

1. Politics

Send In the Clowns. . . Don't Bother; They're Here
And the Winner Is. . .
Wal-Mart's Giant Sucking Sound
Death Penalty

2. Upcoming Events of Interest

 

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

DSA News

Fall Out Against the War
DSA has endorsed the October 27 mobilization against the war. Demonstrations are being organized in 11 cities around the country. For more information about these, go to:
http://oct27.org/sites/oct27.org/files/oct27/October_27.html

In Chicago, Chicago DSA has endorsed the Chicago demonstration, as has over 120 other organizations. Chicago DSA accompanied its endorsement with a $100 contribution, and we're encouraging DSA members to help organize and support this event. Call 773.384.8827 to volunteer your help. We're also planning have a Chicago DSA delegation in the march; look for our banner at the march or email the office if you'd like to help.

At present, the Chicago demonstration promises to be an all afternoon affair. Feeder marches, beginning before Noon depending upon circumstances, will converge on Union Park at Ashland and Lake in Chicago for a rally that begins at 1:30 PM. At 3 PM, the rally will march to the Federal Plaza at Adams and Dearborn for a 4 PM rally that lasts until 6 PM. Note that this was pretty much the plan used by last May's Immigrant Rights demonstration. Those plans were revised when it became apparent that more than just a few tens of thousands would participate; the Federal Plaza has its limits. For the latest information, go to:
http://www.oct27chicago.org/

Greater Oak Park DSA
At the September GOPDSA membership meeting, Tom Broderick and Ron Baiman were re-elected co-chairs of the branch. Bill Barclay was elected to be GOPDSA's representative on the Chicago Executive Committee. The branch decided to make the CIW Burger King campaign and the continuation of an effort to have Oak Park adopt a Living Wage Ordinance its priorities. For more information, contact Tom Broderick at 708.386.6007.

National Convention
Michael Baker, Ned Burk, and Justin Clark were elected delegates to the DSA National Convention. If it seems odd that they're all from the beginning of the alphabet, rumors that they were chosen by thrown darts are completely untrue.

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

Politics

Send In the Clowns. . . Don't Bother; They're Here
Illinois may not be unique in its fiscal difficulties, but it may be the most absurd and disgusting in how the process of who gets what is playing out. The typical right-wing stance is that government waste is the number one problem, and if eliminating that doesn't do the trick then getting rid of government is next. It's rather odd to hear Governor Blagojevich adopting this rhetoric, more or less, and claiming to veto a half-billion dollars in "pork".

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability has examined the Governor's line-item vetos and amendments. It finds, in a report by Chrissy Mancini, that none of the items slashed by the Governor were pork. In fact, nearly three quarters of the reductions were in health care, human services, and education.

And, of course, even if this had been pork, the money saved would not have addressed continued under-funding of education, a growing crisis in transportation infrastructure, and years of under-funding of state employee pension funds.

Much the same kabuki is being played out in Cook County. This time the clowns are Republican Tony Peraica and DLC-style Democrats Forest Claypool and Mike Quigley. The situation here is more complicated, but another study by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability suggests that the successive Stroger Administrations have been guilty mostly have making a difficult situation worse.

The report prepared by Heather O'Donnell and Ralph Martire argues that Cook County's fiscal crisis is structural; that is, regardless of whatever waste and inefficiencies may exist, the cost of County services have been rising faster than the County's revenue sources: sales tax and property tax, mostly. The County is a major health care provider, and cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are yet another challenge.

Cook County does have "efficiency" problems as well, particularly in the Bureau of Health Services that lacks the ability to bill for services in a way that enables it to collect all Medicare and Medicaid revenues from Illinois and the Federal government. This could amount to at least $40 million.

The situation is so difficult that O'Donnell and Martire don't actually suggest a solution so much as outline the criteria by which a solution may be judged for fairness. They do explore some possibilities along the way. For example, as a "home rule" unit of government, Cook County, with the permission of the Illinois legislature, could impose an income tax. The sales tax also, for the most part, applies to the sale of goods but not services, but changing this would also depend on the state legislature.

Both reports are available at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability web site:
http://www.ctbaonline.org/

And the Winner Is. . .
Resurrection Health Care. No, it's not one of those paid-for awards you may have seen advertised on CTA billboards, but the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) completed its survey of violations of workers rights, and among the more egregious violators in the United States was Resurrection Health Care:
http://survey07.ituc-csi.org/getcountry.php?IDCountry=USA&IDLang=EN

As AFSCME Council 31 Deputy Director Roberta Lynch put it, "Resurrection's anti-union campaign has been so aggressive that it is now getting international notoriety."

The survey encompasses the world, and it's generally tough times for union organizers. As Guy Ryder, the ITUC General Secretary, said:

"The 2007 edition of the Survey, covering 138 countries, shows an alarming rise in the number of people killed as a result of their trade union activities, from 115 in 2005 to 144 in 2006.

"Colombia is still the deadliest country in the world for trade unionists. Yet instead of using its resources to tackle the real problem, the Uribe government is spending millions of dollars on a massive public relations campaign, sending top officials abroad to tell the world that the situation is Colombia is improving. They are lying. In 2006, 78 trade unionists were assassinated, eight more than in 2005, while many others faced threats, abduction or 'disappearance'".

http://survey07.ituc-csi.org/getcontinent.php?IDContinent=0&IDLang=EN

Wal-Mart's Giant Sucking Sound
It's been a year since Chicago's first Wal-Mart opened on the west side. Aside from a very expensively dressed and self-satisfied Alderman Mitts, what else is there to show? Well, WBEZ's Chip Mitchell did some digging into state sales tax data and found:

". . . data from the Illinois Department of Revenue suggest Wal-Mart's success could be at the expense of the surrounding area. We looked at sales taxes the state has collected from the nine zip codes within roughly three miles of the Wal-Mart. During the year before the store opened, Wal-Mart's zip code grew more slowly than the surrounding zip codes. After the Wal-Mart opened, sales taxes from that zip code spiked up. And, in the other eight zip codes, retail growth began a steady decline."

For the complete report, go to:
http://chicagopublicradio.org/Cityroom_Read.aspx?storyID=13603

Death Penalty
The Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will be presenting its Cunningham - Casey Award to Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, who is the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. The presentation will be on Thursday, November 1, at 5:30 PM at the Wine Cellar at Maggiano's, 516 N. Clark in Chicago. Tickets are $125 or more. For more information, go to:
http://www.icadp.org/

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty will have its national convention in Chicago on November 10 through 11. The keynote speaker is Helen Prejan. Registration is $50 or $25 for students. For more information, go to:
http://nodeathpenalty.org/content/page.php?cat_id=3

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

Upcoming Events of Interest

Compiled by Libby Frank
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 3, 7 PM
Reception for Nikolai Alexeyev
Gerber Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville, Chicago
Russia's leading queer activist. Suggested donation $25; all proceeds benefit the Organizational Committee of Moscow Pride. For more information go to http://www.GayLiberation.net/

Wednesday, October 3, 7 PM
The Politics of Immigration
In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee 2nd Floor, Chicago
Jane Guskin and David Wilson speak about their new book, The Politics of Immigration. An Open University of the Left event. For more information, http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org

Saturday, October 6, 8 PM
9th Annual Matthew Shepard March
7-11 parking lot, Halsted & Roscoe, Chicago
Keynote speaker Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's leading organizer for LGBT rights. For more information go to http://www.GayLiberation.net/

Sunday, October 7, 2 PM
Mural Dedication and Community Baraza
Southwest Youth Collaborative, 6400 S. Kedzie, Chicago
Dedication of mural, "Graffiti Revolution" and discussion. See http://www.swyc.org/node/14543.

Tuesday, October 9, 5 PM to 7 PM
Black Youth Project
Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Av, Chicago
Analyzing differences in youths' perspectives on race, sex, health, violence and identity. Research presented followed by panel response. Cosponsored by Chicago Urban League and Chicago Foundation for Women. For more information, go to:
https://www.cfw.org/NETCOMMUNITY/SSLPage.aspx?&pid=698&srcid=208

Tuesday, October 9, 7 PM
Chicago DSA Executive Committee Meeting
Chicago DSA, 1608 N. Milwaukee Room 403, Chicago
All DSA members are welcome to attend. Call 773.384.0327 for information.

Wednesday, October 10, 7:30 PM
Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Power
Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Av, Evanston
New considerations in an age of war and warming, featuring Dr. Helen Caldicott and Dr. Joseph Gerson. Sponsored by the North Suburban Peace Initiative, American Friends Service Committee, and Nuclear Energy Information Service. For information, see http://www.nspipeace.org/

Thursday, October 11, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Understanding Reproductive Justice
Jane Addams Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
Call 312.427.4460x233 for information and to make a reservation. Sponsored by the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, Jane Addams Hull House Museum.

Thursday, October 11, 8 PM
National Coming Out Day
T's Bar and Grill, 5025 N. Clark, Chicago
Celebrate "National Coming Out Day" with Chicago National Organization for Women Lesbian Task Force. For more information, email cnowlesbianrights@gmail.com

Thursday, October 11, 7:30 PM
"Recuperada" and "Recuperada dos"
Mess Hall, 6932 N. Glenwood, Chicago
Julie Lastmann's two documentaries on Argentine factories taken over by workers after the crisis of 2001. 49th Street Underground, see http://www.49underground.org/nextevents.php

Friday, October 12, Noon to 6 PM
Protest No-Match Letters
Federal Plaza, Adams and Dearborn, Chicago
Protest the Department of Homeland Security's use of Social Security no-match letters as a test of employability. Sponsored by Chicago Jobs with Justice and big list of others. For information, go to:
http://www.chicagojwj.org/node/28

Friday, October 12, 2 PM to 7PM
In Defense of Academic Freedom
University of Chicago Rockafeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn, Chicago
A conference in defense of academic freedom growing out of the Finkelstein conflict at DePaul University, hosted by Tariq Ali, other participants to include Dr. Akeel Bilgrami, Dr. Noam Chomsky, Dr. Tony Judt, Dr. John Mearsheimer, Dr Neve Gordon. For more information: http://www.academicfreedomchicago.org/

Saturday, October 13, 3 PM to 4 PM
Peace Vigil
Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights
Regularly scheduled for the 2nd Saturday of each month. Sponsored by Families for Peace, Sisters of the Living Word, The Viatorian Community, and Women's Resource Center. For more information email wrcpeaceproject@aol.com.

Saturday, October 13, 5:30 PM
Human Rights Award Dinner
Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E 55th St, Chicago
National Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression annual dinner. Tickets $??. For more information, see http://www.naarpr.org/site/Pages/Calendar.html

Sunday, October 14, 10 AM to 9 PM
Progressive Fest Illinois
Marvel Davis Farm on Jericho Road in Kane County
The event will take place at the Marvel Davis Farm - about one mile south of Denny Hastert's place on Jericho Road in Kane County, IL. Take either US Hwy. 30 or IL Rte. 47 to Jericho Road near Big Rock and Sugar Grove, turn north - it's about 6 or 7 miles down on the right hand side. Look for the sign. (Call 815-483-8878 for directions.) For more information: http://www.illinoisprogressives.org/pdi/

Monday, October 15, 7 PM
Racial Oppression and Global Chicago
In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee 2nd Floor, Chicago
Paul Street surveys metropolitan anti-black racism in 20th and 21st Century Chicago. An Open University of the Left event. For more information, http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org


New Ground #114.2

10.16.2007

Contents

0. DSA News

Pols in Protest
2008 Debs Thomas Harrington Dinner
DSA Marching
Booger King

1. Politics

October 27 Volunteers
Nikolai Alexeyev
Toxic Imports
Cook County Emergency

2. Democratic Socialism

Capitalism v Socialism

3. Upcoming Events of Interest

 

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

DSA News

Pols in Protest
The October 27th Coalition's decision to invite some politicians to speak, particularly Hizzonner, evoked some controversy. So just where do politicians fit in? Chicago DSA Co-Chair Tom Broderick drafted, and the Executive Committee signed on to, this open letter.

There are myriad reasons to end our war against the people of Iraq: that it was a pre-emptive and illegal aggression against a sovereign nation; that it causes suffering and loss of life; that it is ruining our economy by borrowing and spending huge sums for death and destruction; that it brews distaste against our nation; that it has destroyed Iraq; that it grows militant hostility, destabilizing an entire region, which will certainly lead to more war; that it is one tool of a Bush-fronted plutocracy, determined to subvert democracy. What did I miss?

On October 27th, there will be marches around the world to protest the war. Chicago is one site. Locally, the October 27 Mobilization Committee is made up of individuals, community organizations, union locals, religious communities and other social justice groups. They have pulled together to give voice to everyone who has a reason to end to the war.

This mobilization is about opposition to catastrophe. We hope that as people lead, politicians will follow. Those who don't, face popular opposition. The Bush mob launched a war and lied to get support. Most of our elected representatives failed us from the get-go. (kudo to Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA) Many continue to fall short, but some are coming around. This rally and march are part of an effort to encourage an all out effort to end this war. In addition to pushing and pulling those who need our help, we also want to show support to elected officials who do want to end this war.

Before we attacked, there was a lunchtime rally at Federal Plaza opposing a pre-emptive war against Iraq. This was an anti-war crowd, assembled before the war. One of the many speakers was Barack Obama, then, a state pol. He began his address explaining that there are good wars and there are bad wars. Obama was the only speaker booed at the rally.

So, if politicians want to speak peace, bravo! When they speak dope-talk, dis them as they dis us. The war is political. Their jobs are on the line. If they think they can deceive us, let me offer an updated Gaelic blessing:

May those who serve us, serve us. And those that don't serve us, may we turn their hearts. And if we can't turn their hearts, may we turn them out of office, so they'll know people power.

Opposition to our war grows. The larger the march, the louder the message. The October 27 Mobilization Committee calls for funding human needs, not war; defending civil liberties and immigrant rights; stopping violence at home and abroad; no wider wars. For information, or to help, call the Committee at 773 384 5799.

March for peace: Do this because lives depend on it!

We sent it as a letter to the editor to several news outlets (print, mostly) but the odds are you'll only read it here.

2008 Debs Thomas Harrington Dinner
The first meeting of the Dinner Committee to plan the 2008 Dinner will be Tuesday, October 23, 7 PM at the Chicago DSA office. The main item on the agenda will be the program, although venue and price will on the table as well. These last items are not things where we have many options, however. If you'd like to be involved in one way or another, please come on by, or give the office a call at 773.384.0327.

DSA Marching
While the larger Coalition is more urgently in need of assistance (see below), the Chicago DSA Executive Committee would really like to have a small DSA contingent in the October 27 rallies and march against the Iraq war. We're even hoping to have a new banner for the occasion. Please email us or call us at 773.384.0327 if you can help out.

Booger King
Members of Greater Oak Park DSA and other interested individuals met last week at Tom Broderick's place to plan some actions in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' Burger King campaign. See http://www.ciw-online.org for more information about the Burger King campaign.

Here's how you can help. The Oak Park crew will be doing two informational pickets of area Burger King restaurants. These will be a Bring Your Own Signs affair, though we will have leaflets and manager letters available.

The first date will be Tuesday, October 30, from Noon to 1 PM, at the Burger King at 2147 N. Oak Park in Berwyn. This is at the corner of Oak Park and Cermak.

The second date will be Sunday, November 3, from Noon to 1 PM, at the Burger King at 6701 Roosevelt Rd in Berwyn. This is at the corner of Roosevelt and Wesley.

If you can help, either at these events or in the future, please give Tom a call at 708.386.6007.

Meanwhile, an ad hoc committee of activists has begun meeting to exchange ideas, to support actions like the ones above, and to try to come up with a general strategy for the campaign. Chicago DSA is very much an active part of this work. If you can help, please call the Chicago DSA office at 773.384.0327 or email us.

Cook County Emergency
The Emergency Network to Save Cook County Health Services held a press conference on Monday, October 15, to unveil a proposal to place the County's Bureau of Health Services under an independent, temporary trusteeship with a new interim director. The County is in immediate (and long term) danger of fiscal collapse, and one of the first victims will be those residents unable to afford health insurance, many Medicaid recipients, and eventually everyone else.

The proposal has the merit of disarming those critics who somehow feel that cutting waste, including Stroger's patronage "army", will basically make the problem go away. And in fact, the Network has drawn support from all across the political spectrum (Chicago DSA has signed on as a member.), although it is based at Citizen Action Illinois and is financed largely by labor. For more information about the Network, and how you might help, contact Patrick Keenan-Devlin at 312-427-2114 x114.

Nonetheless, an analysis of the County's revenues, present and future, against the cost of the services it provides, done by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, shows that while management efficiencies could make a major dent in this year's deficit, that alone would not resolve this year's deficit. And the problem gets worse in future years. To learn more, go to:
http://www.ctbaonline.org/

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

Politics

October 27 Volunteers
We need your help for the upcoming anti-war rallies and march on Saturday afternoon, October 27.
Details on the rallies and march are available at the October 27 Coalition web-site.
http://www.oct27chicago.org/

The Chicago march is one of nine such events around the country organized by United for Peace and Justice:
http://oct27.org/sites/oct27.org/files/oct27/October_27.html and
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/

We are calling for:

  • Funding human needs not the war
  • Stopping the violence at home and abroad, no wider war
  • Defending civil liberties and immigrant rights
  • Brining our troops home NOW!

Please go to the October 27 Coalition web site and click on the "volunteer" link to the right. You can fill in which tasks and at what times you are willing to work. We especially need marshals to keep the rallies and march in order.

The coalition also needs funds; you can donate online at the October 27 Coalition web site.

Nikolai Alexeyev
If you missed the Matthew Shepard march this past October 6, WBEZ's "Worldview" interviewed Gay Liberation Network's Andy Thayer and the march keynote speaker Nikolai Alexeyev on the state of gay rights in Russia and the United States:
http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Program_WV.aspx?episode=13750

Toxic Imports
One of the myriad problems with corporate globalization (a "level playing field" for the rich and to heck with the rest of us) is consumer product safety. While money flows freely, safety standards, enforcement, and accountability do not. The United Steelworkers have begun a campaign against toxic imports. You can find out more about the problem and the campaign at:
http://www.stoptoxicimports.org/

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

Democratic Socialism

Capitalism v Socialism
Some time ago, Chicago DSA had the pleasure of hosting a presentation by Chris Bond, a Labour Party activist from Dublin. Brother Bond recently gave the following speech at the Literary and Historical Society as part of a debate on Capitalism v. Socialism:
http://chrisabond.blogspot.com/2007/10/literary-and-historical-society.html

 

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

Upcoming Events of Interest

Compiled by Libby Frank
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 17, 6:30 PM to 9 PM
2nd Annual Love Your Body Day Poetry Showcase
Heartland Café, 7000 N. Glenwood, Chicago
Sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of NOW. $10 for NOW members and students (with ID); $15 others. For information, email cnowhealthteam@gmail.com

Saturday, October 20, 1 PM to 9 PM
Festival of Democracy: Unleashing Radical Imagination
Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Av, Chicago
A gathering of activists, scholars, artists, and others interested to launch a conversation about the kind of world we want to build together. Organized by The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council and cosponsored by others. Dinner will be provided. For more information, go to
http://www.thepublicsquare.org/index.cfm/fa/dir_events.event_results/events.cfm
Free and open to the public but reservations are required: call 312.422.5580 or email events@thepublicsquare.org

 

Saturday, October 20, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Northwest Suburban NOW Fundraiser
Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St, Palatine
For more information: http://www.nwsubnow.org/nowevents.htm

Monday, October 22, Noon
Protest Against Police Brutality
Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn, Chicago
For more information: http://chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/79672/index.php

Monday, October 22, 6 PM to 9 PM
Celebration Dinner
Austin Boulevard Christian Church, 634 N. Austin Blvd, Oak Park
Oak Park Austin Health Alliance honors Pastor Dwight Bailey and the West Suburban Hospital EVS workers for the leadership in the campaign against discrimination. Suggested donation $5. Please call Tina at 773.792.2430x5811 to make a reservation.

Monday, October 22, 7 PM to 9 PM
Public Forum: Chicago's Climate Action Strategy Plan
Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, 615 W. Wellington, Chicago
Meeting with city officials about Chicago's plans to abate global warming. For more information: http://www.climatejusticechicago.org/

Tuesday, October 23, 6 PM to 8 PM
Death Row Blues Benefit
Treat Restaurant, 1616 N. Kedzie, Chicago
Featuring Darby Tillis. Sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. $25. For information: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chicago_cedp/message/1716

Wednesday, October 24, Noon
Bustan: Rooting and Uprooting
Environmental Law and Policy Center, 35 E. Wacker Dr, Chicago
The cultural and political landscapes of the Negev with Bustan founder Devorah Brous and Director Ra'ed Al-Mickawi. Sponsored by AFSC, Jewish Voice for Peace. For information: http://www.afsc.org/calendar/event.php?calendar=22&category=0&event=8880&full=true&date=2007-10-24

Thursday, October 25, 7:30 PM
What the Iraqis Really Want the U.S. to Do Now
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, 5800 S. Kimball, Chicago
Featuring Ra'ed Jarrar, a DC-based Iraqi political analyst who brings a trenchant and compelling analysis of the true complexities of the Iraqi situation. Sponsored by the AFSC. For information: http://www.afsc.org/calendar/event.php?calendar=22&category=0&event=8881&full=true&date=2007-10-25

Saturday, October 27, 11 AM to 6 PM
October 27 Mobilization Against the War
Union Park, Ashland & Lake, Chicago
Local feeder marches converge at Union Park for a rally. March to Federal Plaza (Dearborn & Adams) for rally at 4 PM. For more information: http://www.oct27chicago.org/

Saturday, October 27, 8 PM to 10:30 PM
Consent Coaster Launch Party
Schuba's, 3159 N. Southport, Chicago
Chicago NOW Violence Against Women team event to raise awareness about violence against women. Sponsored by Chicago NOW. For information email vawteam@gmail.com

Sunday, October 28, 3 PM to 4 PM
Tribute to the Rosen Family
UNITE Union Hall, 333 S. Ashland, Chicago
Featuring British journalist Greg Palast. Tickets $30. Sponsored by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights. For information: http://www.ccdbr.org/

Sunday, October 28, 4 PM
20th Anniversary Retrospective
In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee 2nd Floor, Chicago
Celebrate the Open University of the Left's 20th anniversary. Tuition $5. For more information http://www.openuniverstyoftheleft.org

Tuesday, October 30, 1 PM
8th Annual Distinguished Labor Leader Lecture
IIT Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams, Chicago
This year featuring Joseph Hansen, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International. Sponsored by the Chicago Federation of Labor and the Institute for Law and the Work Place. For Information: http://www.kentlaw.edu/depts/cle/laborleader/index.html


New Ground #114.3

11.01.2007

Contents

0. DSA News

Kingdoom Days of Action
Fall, 2007, "Democratic Left"

1. Politics

October 27 March for Peace
Movement for a Democratic Society
Doomsday
More "Free" Trade
Locals 6 and 2293 On Strike

2. Upcoming Events of Interest

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

 

DSA News

Kingdoom Days of Action
Tom Broderick
As part of the Coalition of Immokalee Worker's "Kingdoom Days of Action" to pressure Burger King, about fourteen of us met at the Burger King at Cermak and Oak Park at noon yesterday. The biggest contingent was Sisters of the BVM. Carol Cook and I took the Manger Letters that we had with us - a little over 70 - in to the manager. We explained why we were there, handed him the letters and an information sheet and asked that he forward the letters to the corporate office. We said we'd be there for about an hour. The BK is on a corner, so we displayed signs to traffic, handed fliers to passersby and gathered a few more signatures, which we also handed over to the manager when we left. In all, we probably delivered about 100 letters. A couple of people had cameras, so hopefully pictures will follow.

The manager said he was unaware of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the campaign to get BK to pay one more penny per pound. A little difficult to believe, but I suppose that it is possible that the corporate office is not communicating to the individual restaurants.

My thanks to all of you who gathered signatures and picketed. Don't forget there are more actions coming up:

Evanston: Thursday, Nov. 1st, 5:00 PM, Assemble at the "Rock" - a central location on the Northwestern Campus, near the "arch" where Sheridan meets Chicago. March to the Burger King at 1740 Orrington Avenue (Clark and Orrington), Evanston. 5:30 PM. rally at Burger King. Contact alexandracarlson2007@u.northwestern.edu for information.

Berwyn: Saturday, November 3rd, Noon to 1 PM Burger King at 6701 Roosevelt Road. This is the corner of Roosevelt and Wesley in Berwyn, IL. Contact chiildsa@chicagodsa.org for information.

Chicago: Sunday, November 4th, Noon at 2100 S. Kedzie (Kedzie Pink line stop) gather and march (12:30) to Burger King at 2700 S. Kedzie. 1 PM informational picket. Contact frankalready@gmail.com for information.

For more information about the campaign, go to:
http://www.ciw-online.org

Fall, 2007, "Democratic Left"
The Fall, 2007, issue of Democratic Left is now posted on the web. This is, incidentally, the publication's 35th year. Go to:
http://www.dsausa.org/dl/Fall_2007.pdf

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

Politics

October 27 March for Peace
We should have more about this in New Ground 115, but Chicago DSA members played a big role in organizing and working in the October 27 anti-war demonstration. Our delegation was small, however, but we did use the occasion to get a new, orange banner emblazoned "No War!"

The march was peaceful, even happy, but apparently one of the feeder marches sponsored by Chicago SDS and the World Can't Wait ran in to problems and three were arrested, two beaten. For the press release, see:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NoIraqWar/message/10168

Movement for a Democratic Society
Speaking of the SDS, their geezer affiliate, Movement for a Democratic Society, will be having its "national convergence" at Loyola University north lakefront campus (Sheridan & Devon) on November 8th through 11th. For more information, see:
http://www.movementforademocraticsociety.org/

Doomsday!
The clock is running out for public transit in Illinois. The Chicago Federation of Labor has begun a last ditch email lobby campaign to pressure the Governor and state legislators. You can participate. The prefab message, incidentally, supports a particular piece of legislation but can (and should) be customized. Go to:
https://action.popuvox.com/default.aspx?actionID=311

More "Free" Trade
The Bush Administration is using the last days before campaign fever sets in to push for the passage of "free trade" agreements with Peru, Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Peru is apparently up first in the queue, and the Alliance for Responsible Trade and others have declared a week of action. From October 29 through November 3rd they are asking you to write, call, or email your Representative and Senators in opposition. For more information, go to:
http://www.art-us.org/node/280

Locals 6 and 2293 On Strike
The United Auto Workers (UAW) have gotten beaten-up over the agreements negotiated with GM and Chrysler. For some of the more vocal and to the point criticism, see http://www.futureoftheunion.com. However, this is not the only fight the UAW has in progress. Somewhat closer to home, as of October 23, the UAW has begun an unfair labor practices strike against International Truck and Engine. Our friends at Locals 6 (Carl Shier's local) and 2293 in Melrose Park are now walking the picket line. We may have more information about this soon, but in the meantime, go to:
http://www.uaw.org/news/newsarticle.cfm?ArtId=508

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

Upcoming Events of Interest

Compiled by Libby Frank
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 3, Noon to 1 PM
Burger King Informational Picket
6701 Roosevelt, Berwyn (Roosevelt & Wesley)
Supporters of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers demonstrate to encourage Burger King to address poverty and human rights abuses in its supply chain. See http://www.ciw-online.org for more information.

Sunday, November 4, Noon to 2 PM
Burger King March and Informational Picket
2700 S. Kedzie, Chicago
Gather at 2100 S. Kedzie (Pink Line Kedzie stop) and march (about 12:30 PM) to 2700 S. Kedzie. Supporters of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers demonstrate to encourage Burger King to address poverty and human rights abuses in its supply chain. See http://www.ciw-online.org for more information.

Monday, November 5, 6 PM
Funding the Revolution?
Jane Addams Hull House Museum Dining Hall, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
An event with Michael Albert. Participatory economics and funding activist organizing in Chicago. Presented by AREA Chicago, Jane Addams Hull House Museum, and CAPES. For information, see http://www.chicagoparecon.org/

Wednesday, November 7, 7 PM
Women Behind Bars
In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
A panel discussion on how women are cycled through the U.S. prison system. Featuring Silja J.A. Talvi, Salome Chasnoff. See http://www.inthesetimes.com/events/3389/

Wednesday, November 7, 7PM to 9 PM
Migration: Sonora to Tucson
8th Day Center for Justice, 205 W. Monroe, Ste 500, Chicago
Join members of 8th Day Center staff to learn about and discuss migration through the lens of experience. RSVP requested: Julie at 312.641.5151. See http://www.8thdaycenter.org/calendar/calendar.html

Thursday, November 8, 7 PM
"The Guerilla and the Hope"
In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago
This 2005 documentary celebrates the life of Lucio Cabanas, who led one of the most important peasant revolts in Mexico's history. An Open University of the Left event. For more information, http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org

Thursday, November 8, 7PM to 9 PM
Migration: Sonora to Tucson
Brother David Darst Center, 2834 S. Normal, Chicago
Join members of 8th Day Center staff to learn about and discuss migration through the lens of experience. RSVP requested: Julie at 312.641.5151. See http://www.8thdaycenter.org/calendar/calendar.html

Thursday, November 8, 7:30 PM
"Five Factories"
Mess Hall, 6932 N. Glenwood, Chicago
Documentary comparing the worker take-over of shuttered factories in Venezuela with similar actions in Argentina. See http://www.49underground.org/nextevents.php

Saturday, November 10, 11 AM to 5 PM
7th Annual Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair
Orozco School, 1940 W. 18th St, Chicago
A fair / conference devoted to teaching social justice. Organized by Teachers for Social Justice, co-sponsored by Rethinking Schools. $5 donation requested. See http://www.teachersforjustice.org/.

Saturday, November 10, 3 PM
Peace Vigil
Arlington Heights Road and Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights
Regularly scheduled for the 2nd Saturday of each month. Sponsored by Families for Peace, Sisters of the Living Word, The Viatorian Community, and Women's Resource Center. For more information email wrcpeaceproject@aol.com.

Sunday, November 11, 6:30 PM
Forum on U.S.-Iranian Relations
First United Methodist Church, 1032 Maple Av, Downers Grove
Featuring Dr. Bamshad Mobasher. Sponsored by DuPage Peace Through Justice Coalition. See http://www.dupagepeacethroughjustice.org/November11Forum.htm


New Ground #114.4

11.12.2007

Contents

0. DSA News

    DSA National Convention

    Chicago DSA Executive Committee

1. Politics

    Exploitation King

    Wins of Change?

    Peggy Lipschutz

2. Democratic Socialism

    Watermelons, Anyone?

3. Upcoming Events of Interest

 

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

DSA News

DSA National Convention

For full coverage of the 2007 DSA National Convention, you'll have to wait for the Winter issue of Democratic Left. However, delegate Michael Baker reports that it was a positive experience. And if you'd like to know more about the public session and Atlanta's Douglass-Debs Dinner, read about it here:

http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0250.html

As stuff appears on the web, we may have more coverage.

Chicago DSA Executive Committee

The Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Chicago DSA office, 1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403, Chicago. That's tomorrow, November 13 at 7 PM! All DSA members are welcome, and you'll probably be able to learn more about the DSA National Convention if you come. But more importantly, we'll be talking about the 50th annual Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner and some next moves on the CIW Burger King campaign. We could really use your help on both these things items so this would be a particularly good meeting to attend.

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

Politics

Exploitation King

The "Kingdoom Days of Action" here in Chicago went well, with a dozen or more noisy activists at the Burger King pickets organized by GOPDSA in Berwyn and Students for Economic Justice in Evanston. About three dozen participated in the joint march and picket at 27th and Kedzie in Chicago. New Ground 115 will have additional coverage.

In the meantime, our ad hoc coalition is exploring ways of facilitating Chicagoans to participate in the big march and rally outside the Burger King headquarters in Miami on November 30. The most practical possibility seems to be cooperatively renting a passenger van. Between rental and gas, it could cost about $100, but at this point we don't know how much interest there is. Want to go? Email Lexi at lexi@u.northwestern.edu

For those who can't go, Northwestern Students for Economic Justice are tentatively planning another Burger King demonstration in Evanston that weekend. Details to be announced.

But if you can't make that, either, or even if you can, here's an opportunity for e-activism. You can "Tell Burger King to Stop Stalling and Start Working with the CIW!" Take a moment today to email decision-makers at Burger King and Goldman, Sachs & Co. (an investment firm that owns a sizable chunk of BK stocks) today to demand BK stop encouraging Florida growers' resistance and instead use their influence, as Yum and McDonald's have, to stand with Florida's tomato pickers in their fight for fundamental human rights in the fields. Go to:

http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/ciw_burgerking/

Wins of Change?

The labor coalition, Change to Win, held its annual meeting here in Chicago at the end of September. David Moberg offers this largely sympathetic look at the progress (and lack thereof) made by the new organization:

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3379/has_the_change_led_to_wins/

On the other hand, with his emphasis on union democracy, Harry Kelber was not amused:

http://www.laboreducator.org/fewgains.htm

Peggy Lipschutz

Evanston activist and artist Peggy Lipschutz, 88 years young, is getting some well-deserved recognition.

First off, she's having a movie made about her life. The working title is "Never Turning Back: the World of Peggy Lipschutz." It's being done by the Evanston art store, The Collected Image. At this point, they have half the $50,000 needed to finish the documentary. If you'd like to help or to get more information, contact the producer and director, Jerri Zbiral, at 847.328.6994 or email jerri@thecollectedimage.com.

Then, on Sunday, December 9, Peggy Lipschutz is being honored at the 20th Annual Peoples Weekly World banquet. The event is at 1 PM at the Parthenon Restaurant, 314 S. Halsted, Chicago. Tickets are $50 which they would like reserved by Monday December 3. Call 773.446.9932 for information.

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

Democratic Socialism

Watermelons, Anyone?

October saw the inauguration of Ecosocialist International Network in Paris. Bringing together some five dozen activists from thirteen countries, it seems to be a project of Joel Kovel and Michael Löwy. Kovel is an author and activist in the Green Party here in the States. Löwy is some variety of trotskyist from France. They had collaborated on an "Ecosocialist Manifesto" some years ago. You can learn more about it here:

http://www.ecosocialistnetwork.org/index.htm

Chicago DSA was the home, for many years, of the Eco-Socialist Review, edited by J. Hughes. That was then and this is now, but the point is you can't keep a good idea down. The watermelon reference? Green on the outside and red inside.

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

Upcoming Events of Interest

Compiled by Libby Frank

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 13, 7 PM

Panel Discussion on Civil Unions

Howard Brown Health Center, 4025 N. Sheridan Rd, Community Room, Chicago

Join CNOW, Lambda Legal, Equality Illinois and Howard Brown for an informational panel on the civil union bill in Illinois HB1826. See http://www.chicagonow.org/events.php

 

Tuesday, November 13, 7 PM

"The Ground Truth"

Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Av, Evanston

Film and discussion. See http://ucevanston.org/news-events.html

 

Wednesday, November 14, 7 PM

"Sick-o"

1310 W. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights

Palatine Township Democrats movie night. See http://www.palatinedemocrats.com/

 

Thursday, November 15, 5 PM

Service Workers Rising: Chicago March

Daley Plaza, Washington & Dearborn, Chicago

Let them know you'll attend: 312.663.4373x249

 

Friday, November 16 to Monday, November 19

Close the School of the Americas

Fort Benning, Georgia

Buses are leaving from Chicago on Friday. Cost is $100. Contact Mary Kay or Stephanie at the 8th Day Center for Justice at 312.641.5151

 

Friday, November 16, 4:30 PM to 6 PM

Vigil for Amnesty

Harlem and Cermak, on the border of Berwyn and North Riverside

Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice's observance of Iraq Moratorium #3 will focus on amnesty for the Morton High School Protesters. http://www.nwcpj.org

 

Saturday, November 17, 10 AM to 2 PM

Speaker Training

Northwestern University Medical School McGaw Pavilion, 240 E. Huron, Chicago

Learn to be a speaker for single-payer universal health care. Cost $5, lunch included. Sponsor: Health Care for All Illinois. Contact Jim Rhodes: 773.486.6276 or email jrrhodes60@hotmail.com

 

Saturday, November 17, 3 PM

"Who Killed the Electric Car?"

Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Rd, Riverside

Film and discussion. Sponsored by Near West Citizens for Peace and Justice. http://www.nwcpj.org

 

Sunday, November 18, 7 PM

Carl Davidson Is Leaving Chicago

Heartland Café, 7000 N. Glenwood, Chicago

A farewell party for Carl Davidson.

 

Sunday, November 18, 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM

Fundraiser for Iraq Veterans Against the War

Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago

Sponsored by Students for Social Justice Oakton Community College. For information: rstacewi@oakton.edu

 

Tuesday, November 20, 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Campaign for Better Health Care Annual Meeting

Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 N. Orleans, Chicago

Tickets $50 includes luncheon. See http://www.cbhc-online.org

 

Tuesday, November 20, 6 PM

Law and Resistance: the Republic in Crisis and the People's Response

Northwestern University School of Law Lincoln Auditorium, 357 E. Chicago Av, Chicago

Featuring Professor Francis Boyle and Bill Goodman. Sponsored by National Lawyers Guild Chicago Chapter and Northwestern University Law School Chapter

 

Wednesday, November 28, 7 PM

Chicago NOW Annual Meeting

The Theater Building, 1225 W. Belmont, Chicago

Feminist politics plus Kristin Lems. http://www.chicagonow.org

 

Thursday, November 29, 7 PM

Planned Parenthood and Church-State Separation

Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook

Illinois NOW President Bonnie Grabenhofer speaks at the monthly meeting of the North Shore Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State about the Planned Parenthood clinic in Aurora. http://www.nscau.org/

 

Thursday, November 29, 7 PM

Life in Occupied Palestine

In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago

Journalist and nonviolent activist Anna Baltzer's video presentation of everyday life in Palestine. An Open University of the Left event, co-sponsored by Jewish Voices for Peace-Chicago. http://www.openuniversityoftheleft.org.

 

Friday, November 30, 2 PM to 5 PM

The Politics of the New Chicago Labor Movement

Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Av, Room 320, Chicago

Two panel discussions, "Framing the Issues" and "Politics and Process", around Labor's new role in Chicago politics. To register (no charge) contact Bob Bruno at 312.996.2491 or Liesl Orenic at 708.524.6981. Sponsored by the Chicago Center for Working Class Studies.

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