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New Ground 144

September -- October, 2012

Contents

Talkin' Socialism
DSA in the News
Chipocrasy
Radical Feasts

New Ground 144.1 -- 10.01.2012

0. DSA News

DSA in the News
New Stuff
Talkin' Socialism

1. Politics

Chipotle: What About the Farm Workers? by Tom Broderick
Wal-Mart Warehouse Workers on Strike
The State of Working America
August Jobs Report
Chicago's Low-Wage Economy
Robin Hood Tax
Citizen Action/Illinois Endorsements

2. Ars Politica

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival

3. Democratic Socialism

How the Left Has Won?

4. Upcoming Events of Interest

New Ground 144.2 -- 10.16.2012

0. DSA News

DSA in the News
Socialist International
Commodify Your Dissent

1. Politics

Chicago Needs GOOD Jobs
Robin Hood Tax
Victory at Chipotle
Warehouse Workers Win
Seven Days That Shook the Windy City
Boycott American Crystal Sugar
The September Jobs Report
The Coke or Pepsi Election?

2. Democratic Socialism

The Future Must Be Socialist
The Cooperative Revolution
SBA Lending for Coops?
Port Huron @ 50

3. Upcoming Events of Interest

New Ground 144.3 -- 11.01.2012

0. DSA News

DSA in the News
Strategies to End Student Debt
You. Here.

1. Politics

Chicago Teachers
Stable Jobs, Stable Communities
Yet Another Election Round Table
You Know, Obama's Really Not from Around Here

2. Ars Politica

Detropia
Smiley & West

3. People

Ed Sadlowski

4. Democratic Socialism

The Welfare State of America
Marxism, the 21st Century and Social Transformation
Why Investment Must Be Socialized

5. Upcoming Events of Interest


Chicago Teachers Go On Strike

by Bill Barclay

On Monday, September 10, 2012 the Chicago teachers went on strike -- their first in almost 25 years. The road to the strike has been a long one that includes (i) efforts by the hedge fund elite behind Stand for (on) Children (SFC) to make such an occurrence impossible; (ii) the desire of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to impose on Chicago public schools a model of corporate privatization; and (iii) important changes in the functioning of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

 

Stand on Children: The efforts of SFC are by now well known. A brief review: after spending almost $4 million on Illinois legislative races, SFC got as payoff SB7. The bill made it impossible for the CTU to pass a strike vote -- or so SFC CEO Jonah Edelman bragged in June 2011to the Aspen Ideas Festival that "The unions cannot strike in Chicago." Edelman and his allies figured that the requirement for 75% approval for a strike with the further provision that abstentions counted as no votes could not be met.

Turns out they were wrong.

In early July, CTU membership voted by over 90% (and excluding abstentions, by 98%) to authorize their house of delegates to call a strike if contract negotiations fail.

 

"Reforming" Chicago Public Schools: When Emanuel ran for mayor of Chicago, one of his announced political goals was to "reform" Chicago public schools. The system is the third largest in the country and has a high percentage of children from low-income families (80% of Chicago's public school attendees qualify for free lunches). To understand what "reform" means to Emanuel, we should take the advice of Deep Throat regarding Nixon's Watergate, "Follow the money." It is a good guide to what Chicago is and is not doing for its school children.

TIF monies nicely illuminate the real priorities of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Board of Education. Earlier this year, Roosevelt University Professor Stephanie Farmer's analysis demonstrated that TIF spending for education over the past two decades has been biased against open enrollment schools (what we use to call "public schools"). These schools constitute 69% of total Chicago schools, but they have received less than 48% of TIF money for building maintenance, repair, and upgrading. In revealing contrast, nine selective-enrollment high schools (charter and magnet) that make up 1 percent of the total number of schools got 24 percent of the money spent on school construction projects. Overall, CTU estimates that TIFs remove $250 million/year from the CPS. This is almost half of the budget shortfall forecast by the Board.

The charter school mantra reigns supreme in the thinking of both Emanuel and his appointed Board of Education. In analyzing the Board's proposed budget, the CTU pointed out that it:

"increases charter school spending by 17 percent, but does not address the rampant inequality in education programs across the district. In 2002, charter school spending was about $30 million; now, CPS proposes a whopping half-a-billion dollars to a failed reform program that has been shown to provide its students with no better education outcomes."

The last decade has seen a huge growth in (non-unionized) charter schools despite lack of any evidence of their alleged effectiveness. Chicago's 600 plus schools include 110 charters and another 27 schools run by private firms. Meanwhile what is the situation for the bulk of Chicago school children? A quarter of the open enrollment elementary schools have no libraries, 40% have neither either art nor music instruction while many others must choose one or the other but can't get both.

Mayor Emanuel sends his children to the private Chicago Lab School -- where all of these "extras" are available.

 

The CTU: Finally, what about the CTU? The union has undergone significant changes in how it functions and defines its constituency. In 2010, Karen Lewis of CORE (Caucus of Rank and File Educators) was elected president of the CTU, a victory that was underlined by the success of other CORE candidates for trustees and Vice President. Lewis, a former chemistry teacher, immediately set about both democratizing the internal operations of the union and, importantly, building links between the union and parents. Thus the current strike is not primarily about wages but, as the excellent study produced by CTU says, The Schools Chicago's Students Deserve. The study outlines a vision of the future for Chicago's school children that is sharply at odds with that of SFC and the mayor but that resonates with parents and children in the schools. CTU's study calls for the expansion of art and music programs, more "wrap around" services to reach at risk children, to recognize that class size matters (Emanuel has talked about going as high as 55 students in a class), equalizing funding across schools. These are all pieces of a vision that should be embraced by true education reformers -- but the study has been largely ignored by those who currently run the CPS.

The CTU has laid the groundwork for a true labor/community fight for the future of Chicago's children and, at the same time is pointing the way for other public sector unions in this era of austerity for the 99%. Now is the time for all of us to support them in their time of trial. You can go HERE for ways to provide that support.

 

Editor's Note: This article was first posted at http://www.dissentmagazine.org .


Children's Books for Labor Day

by Peg Strobel

Doreen Cronon; pictures by Betsy Lewin, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Simon & Schuster, 2000), 2001 Caldecott Honor Book, ages 2-5.

Kathleen Krull; illustrated by Yuyi Morales, Harvest of Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (Harcourt, 2003), Spanish and English editions, JAPA Winner for Younger Children, 2004, ages 6-9.

Diana Cohn, illustrated by Francisco Delgado, &#161Sí Se Puede! Yes, We Can! Janitor Strike in L.A. (Cinco Puntos Press, 2002), English and Spanish in same edition, 32 pp., JAPA Honor Book, 2003, ages 5 and up.

George Ella Lyon, artwork by Christopher Cardinale, Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011), 35 pp., grades 2-6.

Scott Reynolds Nelson with Marc Aronson, Ain't Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry (National Geographic, 2008), with photographs and illustrations, 64 pp. JAPA Honor Book for Older Children, 2009.

Elizabeth Winthrop, Counting on Grace (Wendy Lamb Books, 2006), 227 pp. JAPA Honor Book for Older Children, 2007.

It's sometimes a challenge to find engaging books about work, solidarity or unions that are educational without being didactic. Many of the books listed above have been honored by the Jane Addams Peace Association (JAPA), which, together with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, has presented awards since 1953 to books "that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence."

Click, Clack, Moo is great for reading to young kids, and pbskids.org identifies it as effective for teaching deaf or hard of hearing students as well. It starts when Farmer Brown's cows find an old typewriter in the barn and send him a note politely requesting electric blankets because the barn is cold. When Farmer Brown replies, "No way," the cows go on strike. Soon the chickens join them. Broader solidarity is impeded because not all the animals understand Moo. Duck, "a neutral party" enlisted as go-between, delivers a note indicating the cows and chickens are willing to exchange the typewriter for electric blankets. Thinking he had stopped the insurgency, the farmer provides the blankets, only to be met with a note from the ducks, who want a diving board to quell their boredom. Although the author portrays the farmer as a stereotypical old white man, the story effectively uses humor and engaging illustrations to present a nuanced story of solidarity.

The message of solidarity continues in Harvest of Hope, which is a fairly standard, if vividly illustrated, biography of Cesar Chavez, founder of the National Farm Workers Association. It deals with his childhood years and the organizing efforts leading up to and including the historic strike and 1965 march, in the midst of the grape harvest, to the California capital by Latino migrant laborers. I don't speak Spanish, but I was puzzled by the English translation in the text that renders "sí se puede" into a passive voice, "yes, it can be done."

In addition to using a more dynamic rallying phrase, &#161Sí Se Puede! Yes, We Can! brings the story up to the recent past, in another historic Latino/a organizing campaign in California, SEIU Local 1877's successful Justice For Janitors mobilization in Los Angeles. The mother of the fictional Carlitos is a leader in the 2000 effort. Carlitos organizes some of his classmates to show up at their parent's demonstration. After three weeks, when her strike ends victoriously, Carlitos and his mother join another picket line in support of hotel janitors. A concluding interview with the actual organizer who serves as a model for Carlitos' mother anchors the story in the actual campaign.

Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song returns us to an earlier period and different struggle. Published on the eightieth anniversary of its composition, the story chronicles the night when Florence Reese penned the iconic song. Her husband, a union organizer, has left their mining town in Harlan County, Kentucky, when he hears that the sheriff is after him. Interspersed with lyrics, the story is told from the perspective of their young son, who explains in simple terms the difficult and dangerous work and times in 1930s coal country. Ma composes the song as she and the kids are huddled under the bed to avoid the bullets being shot into their home. When Pa returns and hears Ma sing the new song, he says, "We can use that. It'll bring folks together." The author's notes discuss the history of mine union struggles as well as the tradition of folk songs.

Writing for older kids, the author of Ain't Nothing But a Man tells how he searched for a real John Henry, the steel-driving man who dies challenging a steam-driven drill in another famous folk song. Historian Scott Reynolds Nelson is interested in documenting the work of African American track layers who helped build railroads in the post-Civil War South. His intriguing story of his search for evidence, with its frustrations and dead-ends, reveals the work methods of historians as well as railroad builders. (Full disclosure: I'm a historian, but I think others will find it interesting too!) His surprising conclusion challenges conventional thinking about who John Henry was and how he died.

Grace, in Counting on Grace, is a self-identified "Franco" (French-Canadian) girl who, in the course of the book, leaves school and starts working in the same Vermont textile mill as her family and her friends' families. We learn about the details of such work along with ethnic prejudices, child labor practices, school experiences, solidarity and its absence. Grace emerges as a distinctive individual, not a type. She is fidgety; she struggles to learn to write (though left-handed, she's forced to use her right hand); she competes with her older sister. The story turns around the arrival of the historical figure Lewis Hines, who is photographing for a study of child labor. In her conclusion, the author describes being intrigued by the image of a girl in one of Hines' photographs and tells of her search through census and other records to discover the outcome of that girl's life.

It's been many years since I had reason to read children's books. After sampling these, I plan to hit the children's section of our local library regularly.


Democracy Endangered:
DSA's Strategy for the 2012 Elections and Beyond

by the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

I. The Threat of Right-Wing Hegemony

The 2012 election poses an extreme challenge to the future prospects for democracy in the United States. This threat demands the focused attention of the broad Left -- the labor movement, communities of color, feminists, the LGBTQ community, environmentalists and peace activists. The task for the U.S. Left is two-fold. First, we must defeat the far-right threat to democracy. Second, we need to build a grassroots, organized Left capable of fighting the corporate interests that dominate the leadership of both major political parties.

The Left confronts a Republican Party thoroughly controlled by right-wing forces that are determined to cement long-term control of the federal government and of the majority of states. Its agenda is to extend the reign of the corporate oligarchy over the whole of American society from top to bottom. The wish list of the 1% includes dismantling not only Social Security and Medicare, but all government programs designed to benefit the large majority of people - the 99%. This reactionary plan intends to repeal not only the New Deal and the Great Society, but also the reforms of the Progressive Era and the post-Watergate legislation of the 1970s. A Romney victory would likely be accompanied by Republican control of both the Senate and House, as well as the Supreme Court. Such a governing majority would endeavor to pass the reactionary Ryan budget, deny federal funding for women's reproductive health, wage a sustained and fundamental attack on the rights of workers and unions, and overturn already weakened federal civil rights laws.

A major weapon of the Radical Right is an unprecedented flood of money from super-wealthy individuals and corporations into the political arena, buying influence and votes on a massive scale. This intervention has been enabled by a long series of decisions by the Supreme Court, culminating in the Citizens United decision (and the recent Montana case) that essentially encourage buying electoral results through massive negative advertising -- itself aimed at suppressing voter turnout -- under the guise of "free speech."

Another right-wing tactic is to suppress voting by African-Americans, Hispanics, students and poor people generally, under the guise of preventing non-existent "voter fraud." New forms of photo ID requirements and restrictions on early voting and independent voter registration efforts threaten to remove millions of potential Democratic voters from the rolls. This is part of a Republican racial strategy to convince swing white voters that their economic distress is caused not by a predatory corporate elite but by alleged government hand-outs to undeserving poor people of color.

A third assault is to further weaken unions, particularly in the public sector, by eliminating collective bargaining and discouraging membership and imposing onerous new restrictions on the use of union dues and agency fee payments in political campaigns. Since unions, especially public sector unions, are a major source of political opposition to right-wing causes and campaigns, the Right is consciously out to destroy their very existence.

II. The Tepid Democratic Response

How can such a radical restructuring of American politics and policy, one that benefits the plutocracy at the expense of the majority, have a real prospect of success in 2012?

One reason is that the national leadership of the Democratic Party is not a consistent, credible champion for the interests of the majority. The top of the party serves the interests of its corporate funders over the needs of the party's mass base of trade unionists, people of color, feminists and other progressives. Thus, when the country cried out for a vigorous defense against the ravages created by Wall Street greed, Obama's economic advisors (largely drawn from Wall Street) extended the Bush administration's bailout of the banks and financial elite without exacting a return in restored, strict financial regulation. The administration also failed to take effective measures against foreclosures and job losses associated with the crisis. Republicans and conservative Democrats blocked any more far-reaching proposals, like those of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Furthermore, in a misguided effort to appear as a "strong" foreign policy leader, the president unnecessarily extended the failed war in Afghanistan and engaged in the indiscriminate use of drone warfare in clear violation of international law.

Rightwing obstructionism and the waffling of the majority of the Democratic Party understandably led to large Republican gains in the Congressional elections of 2010. Thereafter, the Tea Party-influenced House Republican majority curtailed any possibility that the Obama administration would govern in a progressive manner. Newly established Republican political control over several Midwestern states turned into sweeping assaults on public sector unions and on the social safety net.

President Obama's on-and-off flirtation with the neoliberal view that fiscal "austerity" is the road out of the Great Recession may prove to be his downfall in 2012. As federal support for state and local programs faltered in the contrived "debt crisis," most Democratic governors and legislators also followed suit in slashing social programs and public employee benefits. In addition, Obama's openness to "entitlement reform" may deny the Democrats the mantle of being the staunch protectors of Social Security and Medicare. If the Obama administration had fought for and succeeded in continuing beyond 2010 federal aid to preserve state and municipal jobs, today's unemployment rate would be seven percent or lower. This is the first recession since the early 1900s in which public sector employment has fallen rather than grown.

III. Rebuild the Left by Defeating the Right

In light of the threat that would be posed to basic democratic rights by Republican control of all three branches of the federal government, most trade union, feminist, LGBTQ and African- American and Latino organizations will work vigorously to re-elect the president. And in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and elsewhere, many DSA members may choose to do the same. But DSA recognizes that an Obama victory, unaccompanied by the strengthening of an independent progressive coalition able to challenge the elites of both parties, will be a purely defensive engagement in lesser-evil politics.

The Left proved too weak to force the first Obama administration to respond to popular needs. The Occupy movement of fall 2011 gave voice to popular frustration with the American plutocracy; but it emerged well after the Republicans had gained control of the House. The Left must now build upon the accomplishments of Occupy. Democratic socialists must work to build a multi-racial coalition of working people, the unemployed, indebted students and the foreclosed that is capable of forcing politicians to govern democratically. The first task of a movement to defend democracy is to work for maximum voter turnout in the 2012 election.

Building such a mass social movement for democracy is DSA's major task; the 2012 elections are only a tactical step on that strategic path. Thus, while working to defeat the far Right, DSA and other progressive forces should work to increase the size of the Congressional Progressive, Black and Latino caucuses and to elect pro-labor candidates to state legislatures. The election this year of Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with the re-election of Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would increase the number of progressive voices in the United States Senate.

DSA locals should use their work in progressiveelectoral campaigns to build coalitions opposed to further slashing of federally-funded anti-poverty programs. Such disastrous shredding of the social safety net will occur if the cuts mandated by the August 2011 "budget compromise" are not reversed before January 1, 2013. These "automatic cuts" in domestic spending could readily be avoided if Congress reversed the Bush and Reagan income tax cuts for the top two percent, returned effective corporate tax rates to the levels of the 1960s and reduced wasteful defense spending. In our educational efforts in favor of progressive economic alternatives, DSA locals should draw on the resources of the DSA Fund's Grassroots Economics Training for Understanding and Power (GETUP) and The Other America is Our America projects. GETUP offers a comprehensive critique of neoliberal economic thought and policy. The Other America project draws lessons from the 50th anniversaries of the publication of The Other America (1962); the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Justice; and the 1964 advent of the War on Poverty.

DSA locals should also work against all forms of voter suppression, whether onerous photo ID requirements, harassment of independent voter registration efforts, or phony purges of voter rolls. DSA members should also take part in the voter registration and turnout efforts by groups like the NAACP, unions and progressive community groups.

DSA locals ought to also join efforts to restrict the role of big money in political campaigns, including local efforts in favor of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, to permit public campaign funding and to restrict the abuse of "free speech" to buy elections.

This is a year to take the "democratic" part of our democratic socialism very seriously. Whatever our analysis of the numerous imperfections of US democracy, we should be absolutely forthright about championing the rights of the people to make their own political decisions.


Socialist International Meets

by Bob Roman

The Socialist International (SI) met in Cape Town, South Africa, August 30 through September 1. This 24th Congress was the first to be held in Africa and the location seems to have attracted some attention and participation that it would not have had otherwise. The meeting was hosted by South Africa's African National Congress. Over 400 people, representing more than 100 political parties and organizations, participated.

DSA is somewhat incongruously a full member of the SI; the SI is an organization of political parties and DSA is not a political party. DSA was represented at this Congress by Maria Svart, Skip Roberts, Gerry Hudson, and Mark Levinson: a heavily SEIU delegation and, therefore, maybe taken somewhat more seriously than many past DSA delegations. ("There goes the ghost of Michael Harrington.") Possibly because it is an election year, the National Democratic Institute (an associated organization) was not represented, but then, not many other associated organizations were represented either.

While George Papandreou was re-elected President, there actually was a contested leadership election. Incumbent Secretary General Luis Ayala (Chile) was opposed by Mona Sahlin from Sweden. Ayala was re-elected.

The SI Congress adopted three resolutions.

"The Struggle for Rights and Freedoms" was an examination of the current upsurge in demands for democratic rights. In principle, there's nothing difficult for the SI about it except that in far too many cases (the former member parties from Egypt and Tunisia, for example) SI parties have been an embarrassing part of the problem.

One might suppose "The Need to Secure Multilateralism" resolution would be aimed at the United States. But there are far too many other countries also willing to take matters into their own hands, and the resolution wisely recognizes this. Given the SI's inability to enforce anything, it does end up having a well-meaning, hand-wringing affect to it. For example:

"With regard to Syria, the SI is following with deep concern the massacres that take place on a daily basis, as the Assad regime refuses to accept that change is inevitable. We stand firmly on the side of the Syrian people in their fight for democracy and human rights and condemn the brutal actions of the regime. We call for all sides to end hostilities and enter into negotiations without any preconditions. We are not in favour of foreign military intervention, which can lead to further human suffering and instability in the whole region. We strongly support a Syrian-led process of transition to democracy."

One should not be totally dismissive of this, however, as the SI seems to serve as a diplomatic back channel for "progressive" elements in governments.

The economics resolution calls for a progressive fiscal policy:

"a bank levy or increased income tax on high earners, redistributing wealth from the top to the bottom; the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax; a new global reserves system that could provide developing countries with access to financing, giving them purchasing power and helping to drive demand by using resources that would otherwise be idle; and by establishing new financial institutions such as development banks and green banks that could create new credit mechanisms, enabling credit to flow once more and provide more liquidity to ensure the resources meet public needs."

The resolution goes on to condemn austerity as a solution to the fiscal crisis and calls for

"a bold approach based on a new culture of solidarity, solidarity that works separately and simultaneously at different levels: economic, political and social. Otherwise, any government that acts alone risks being crushed by markets and ratings agencies. Common action and creative initiatives are needed to bring about a paradigm shift from the failed austerity policies; that is the only way to a sustained recovery."

Previous meetings suggest that the SI is evolving in ways that may or may not be encouraging, and the accounts of this meeting suggest the process is slowly ongoing. For more details about the 24th Congress, see www.socialistinternational.org .


Other News

compiled by Bob Roman

Talkin' Socialism

Episode 19 "Talkin' Socialism": "Why America Needs a Robin Hood Tax". Recorded on July 14, 2012, Chicago DSA's Bill Barclay and National Nurses United's Jan Rodolfo talk about Financial Transactions Tax: What it is, what it is not, how it would work, why America needs one, and what difference would it make. Does $350 billion sound good to you? Be sure to sign the online petition for an Illinois tax. MP3 (27.4 MB) or Ogg Vorbis (20.8 MB).

Episode 18 "Talkin' Socialism" features Leone Jose Bicchieri, Executive Director of the Chicago Workers Collaborative (CWC) talking with Bill Barclay. The discussion provides a fascinating account of how a part of the labor movement -- and CWC most definitely considers itself part of the labor movement -- fights for the rights of the large and growing number of temp workers, helping these workers, many of them recent immigrants, to gain a voice in the workplace and the community. CWC's model is not that of charity, simply providing services to temp workers, but instead asks that the workers themselves make a commitment as evidenced by the dues requirement the CWC asks of all its members. MP3 (30.6 MB) or Ogg Vorbis (27.7 MB).

Links to these episodes and all the other episodes can be found at www.chicagodsa.org/audarch6.html .

DSA in the News

Starting with items from the three previous email editions of New Ground: There is a small industry that promotes the idea that "Obama is a secret socialist" from which a handful of people make a living: an odd combination of grifters and delusional true believers. Unlike four years ago, this no longer attracts much attention, not even from right-wing bloggers; it's not fresh and of dubious quality even when it was. But there still is a steady trickle of posts, and a more notably clever hit piece at an Examiner web site examined DSA National Director Maria Svart's Facebook friends. (NG 143.1) Some of this right-wing narrative still pops-up in more mainstream publications, such as a debate at Rock Cellar (NG 143.1) or a commentary ridiculing right-wing delusions at Boston public radio WBUR (NG 143.2).

More constructively, Tom Broderick had an op-ed published in Oak Park's Wednesday Journal about the ongoing labor negotiations between the village and SEIU. (NG 143.1) The Windy City Times noted the late Dr. Ron Sable's membership and activism in DSA in an article about the Cross Roads Fund (NG 143.1). And the Macomb Daily noted Detroit DSA's support of Jon Switalski and John Conyors (both won their primary races, FYI). (NG 143.2).

For links to these stories and more, see "DSA in the News" at www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng143.html.

More recently, YDS organizer Jackie Sewell participated in San Francisco public radio's "Your Call" program. And during the Republican National Convention, a Republican campaign committee put out a press release calling Representative Jan Schakowsky a "friend of DSA". This was noted, as far as I can tell, only at Crain's Chicago Business by their commentator Greg Hinz, who shrugged.

Chipocrasy

On September 15th, Chipotle Mexican Grill will hold the second annual "Cultivate Festival" (http://www.chipotle.com /cultivate/) in Lincoln Park. The day-long festival -- "bringing together food, farmers, chefs, artisans, thought leaders, and musicians" -- is a celebration of Chipotle's self-proclaimed holistic commitment to "food with integrity."

Despite Chipotle's claim to be the fast-food leader in social accountability, the burgeoning restaurant chain has for many years now refused to sign a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a farmworker organization in Florida (http://ciw-online.org ). This is an agreement four other leading fast-food companies signed long ago, including McDonald's, Chipotle's former parent company. By signing a Fair Food Agreement, Chipotle would be joining the CIW's Fair Food Program, the only social accountability program of its kind that combines worker-to-worker education, a complaint mechanism with protection against retaliation, and a third-party monitoring organization that investigates and resolves complaints as well as carries out regular field and farm office audits to measure compliance with the Fair Food Code of Conduct.

So, on September 15th, the CIW and allies will head to the Cultivate Festival in Chicago to show Chipotle that promoting itself as sustainable is not enough -- it must include workers' rights, and workers themselves, in its vision of a food system that claims to be based on integrity. Chicago DSA is supporting this effort. For more information, see http://www.ciw -online.org/cultivate or call 773.384.0327.

Radical Feasts

The Eugene V. Debs Foundation will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as well as honoring Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute at its annual Dinner. Actress Regina Taylor will be the Dinner's keynote speaker. The event will be held on Saturday, September 29, 6 PM, at Indiana State University's Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. Tickets are $40 each and may be obtained from The Debs Foundation, PO Box 9454, Terre Haute, IN 47808. The Debs Foundation maintains the Debs family home as a museum. More information may be found at www.debsfoundation.org or by calling Charles King at 812.237.3443.

The 27th Annual Mother Jones Dinner will be An Evening with Baldemar Velasquez and the Aguila Negra Band: Labor History Through Song and Story. Baldemar Velasquez is, of course, the President and Founder of the Ohio-based Farm Labor Organizing Committee. Who knew that he is also a musician? Baldemar and the Aguila Negra Band perform original, labor, and civil rights songs in a "Tex-Mex" style that informs and entertains at the same time. The Dinner will be held on Saturday, October 6, at the University of Illinois at Springfield's Public Affairs Center Sangamon Auditorium Lobby. 5 PM is a social hour, 6 PM is dinner, 7 PM is the program. Tickets are $30 each and may be obtained from the Mother Jones Foundation, PO Box 20412, Springfield, IL 62708-0412. For more information, call Jack Dyer at 217.691.4185 or Terry Reed at 217.789.6495.


Upcoming Events

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, September 15, 11 AM to 7 PM
Chipocrasy Day
Lincoln Park, LaSalle and Clark, Chicago
Join Coalition of Immokalee Workers in exposing Chipolte's "Cultivate Festival" as chipocrasy. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, September 17, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
In Celebration of Constitution Week
Citizen Advocacy Center, 182 N. York St, Elmhurst
Featuring Jessica Ahlquist. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, September 18, 6 PM to 8 PM
"The Silenced Majority
Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash, 1st Floor, Chicago
Book launch for Amy Goodman's new book. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, September 18, 7 PM
Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti
DePaul University Lincoln Park Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Room 325, Chicago
Jeb Sprague discusses his book investigating right-wing paramilitarism in Haiti. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, September 18, 7 PM
"Why We Fight"
Lombard Mennonite Church, 528 E. Madison St, Lombard
Documentary on the American war machine. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, September 18, 7 PM
"Patriocracy"
Evanston Public Library Community Room, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston
Documentary on political polarization followed by discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 20, 7 PM
"The Healthcare Movie"
Multi-Kulti, 1000 N. Milwaukee Av, 4th Floor, Chicago
Documentary on universal healthcare in Canada and in U.S. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 20, 7:30 PM
"The Healthcare Movie"
Lombard Park District, 437 E. St. Charles Rd, 1st Floor, Lombard
Documentary on universal healthcare in Canada and in U.S. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 20, 7:30 PM to 9 PM
Voting and Speaking Out
Wheaton Park District Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard, Wheaton
Voter suppression and attacks on free speech. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, September 21, 3:30 PM
International Peace Day
Federal Plaza, Jackson & Dearborn, Chicago
Sending a delegation to Senator Durbin's office re: less spending on war. MORE INFORMATION.

Sunday, September 23, 1 PM
A Year of Awakening
Jackson & LaSalle, Chicago
Celebrate the anniversary of Occupy Chicago. Family friendly. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, September 24, 7 PM
"Alice's Ordinary People"
Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St, Oak Park
Documentary: Alice Tregay and the civil rights movement. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, September 25, 6 PM to 8 PM
"From the Ruins of Empire"
Harold Washington Public Library Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State St, Chicago
Pankaj Mishra discusses his new book. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 27, 6 PM to 8 PM
Visions of Freedom and Liberation
Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St, Chicago
Release reading for "Journal of Ordinary Thought". MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 27, 6 PM to 8 PM
Corporate-style education reform?
Northwestern University Thorne Auditorium, 375 E. Chicago Ave, Chicago
Jonathan Kozol discusses his new book "Fire in the Ashes". MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 27, 6:30 PM to 9 PM
"Atomic Mom"
Multi-Kulti Center, 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
Filmmaker's mother worked on atomic bomb testing meets Japanese bomb survivors. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, September 27, 7:30 PM
"Tweet Land of Liberty"
Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St, Chicago
Elinor Lipman reads from her new book. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, September 29, 1 PM to 3 PM
Torture's Impact on Families and Communities
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
Professor Adam Green and panel discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Sunday, September 30, 2 PM
"Fukushima: Never Again"
Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St, Oak Park
Documentary re: Fukushima nuclear disaster. Discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, October 1, 2 PM
Solidarity with Wal-Mart Workers
Wal-Mart Warehouse, 26453 Center Point Drive, Elwood
For safe jobs, living wages, and respect. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, October 1, 6:30 PM
Dada Maheshvarananda
The Heartland Cafe, 7000 N Glenwood, Chicago
If global capitalism doesn't work for everyone, what is the alternative? MORE INFORMATION.


New Ground #144.1

10.01.2012

Contents

0. DSA News

DSA in the News
New Stuff
Talkin' Socialism

1. Politics

Chipotle: What About the Farm Workers? by Tom Broderick
Wal-Mart Warehouse Workers on Strike
The State of Working America
August Jobs Report
Chicago's Low-Wage Economy
Robin Hood Tax
Citizen Action/Illinois Endorsements

2. Ars Politica

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival

3. Democratic Socialism

How the Left Has Won?

4. Upcoming Events of Interest



DSA News

DSA in the News
On September 13, Wright State Young Democratic Socialists participated in a demonstration against military drones, the Dayton Daily News noted. Both Atlanta Progressive News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted the death of radio host and DSA member Adam Shapiro. At the Examiner, Michael McGuire revisits the radical Obama riff (still selling poorly this year, even on the extreme right). The Salt Lake City Weekly interviewed author and historian John McCormick on his new book on Utah's radical history that, oddly enough, includes DSA. Barbara Ehrenreich spoke in Iowa City on September 24, and her DSA membership was noted in the Daily Iowan's coverage. YDS member Spencer Resnick had this Op-Ed on mortgage relief and capitalism in Vassar College's Miscellany News.

New Stuff
Well, not really; these photo galleries have been up on our web site for a long time, but until recently, links to them were buried in publications contemporary with their posting. Now, when we post new photo galleries, we'll add them to the list on our About page; until then, here's some history:

Talkin' Socialism
Episode 20  -- Closing TAMMS -- MP3 (32 MB); OGG VORBIS (24.4 MB).
Recorded 09.05.2012: featuring Ted Pearson of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and Stephen Eisenman of TAMMS Year Ten. They discuss the effort to close Illinois' supermax prison; why they want to close it; and some of the politics surrounding the issue when human rights collide with solidarity. For more information on this issue, see this TAMMS Year Ten press conference featuring Representatives Danny Davis and Bobby Rush; also see "The Prison Industrial Complex" in New Labor Forum. For concerns regarding prison safety, see this testimony from AFSCME.



Politics

Chipotle: What About the Farm Workers?
by Tom Broderick
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is an organization of tomato pickers based in Immokalee Florida. They came to Chicago to confront Chipotle Mexican Grill over their refusal to sign a formal code of conduct with the CIW. These farmworkers have been working under very harsh circumstances for years while being paid wages that leave them in poverty. In 2001 they launched a campaign calling for a boycott of Taco Bell. The CIW wanted better and safer working conditions and better pay. In 2005, the campaign came to a successful end.

In subsequent struggles, the following fast food chains have signed similar agreements with the CIW: McDonald's (in 2005, when Chicago DSA first got involved with the CIW); Burger King and Subway. Over time, improvements have been made to the code of conduct. In addition to fast food chains, the following food service providers have signed the code of conduct: Bon Appetit Management Co., Compass Group, Aramark and Sodexo. Two grocery chains, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have also come to agreement with the CIW. A major victory was with the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange. This is the marketing cooperative of the tomato growers who actually employ the tomato pickers. For years, they refused to acknowledge the CIW. The agreement between the Exchange and the CIW extends coverage to more than 90% of the Florida tomato pickers.

Chipotle Mexican Grill held a "Cultivate Festival" in Chicago during the summer of 2011. It was held near Lake Michigan and had music, food and events. It was a festival to celebrate Chipotle's holistic approach toward ever better food and a commitment to the care of the livestock used by Chipotle. This is all to the good, but just as laws were introduced in the U.S. to protect working animals before there were laws outlawing child labor, Chipotle is showing great concern for the food product and none for those who labor to provide it. Last year's festival must have been a success, because Chipotle came back to Chicago to hold their second ever Cultivate Festival on Saturday, September 15, 2012.

The CIW came to town to hold a "counter festival." After initially getting turned down, with the help of the People's Law Office, they obtained a permit for a picnic area just next to the main entrance to the Chipotle festival. They built a wall of the buckets used by the tomato pickers. Each bucket holds approximately 32 pounds of tomatoes and workers must pick 153 buckets daily to earn the equivalent of the minimum wage in Florida.

Several events were planned for the counter festival, with a prayer of public witness outside the main entrance as the start. Chipotle's security detail quickly surrounded and outnumbered those praying, which in turn changed the approach by the CIW for the rest of the day.

As requested by the CIW, I organized a group who would wear a "Chipocrasy" t-shirt under an outer shirt. We were going to enter the Chef's tent where the Chipotle Chefs were making their presentation. We would have questions prepared to ask about the lack of concern for those working in the fields. As the event was winding down, we were going to take off our outer shirts to display the Chipocrasy t-shirt. Some of us were going to approach the chefs for discussion, while others were going to hand out informational sheets to the attending public. Several Chicago DSA members were involved in the t-shirt action.

After the public prayer gathering, the CIW organizers wanted to ratchet down the confrontational approach. This was referred to as a tactical decision because on October 6th, Chipotle was holding another Cultivate Festival in Denver, CO, where Chipotle is headquartered. The CIW decided to hold off confrontation in Chicago to facilitate dialogue prior to the Denver festival. After listening to the CIW organizers, I questioned this decision, but said I was there only to support them and would do as requested.

Our group wore our Chipocrasy shirts into the Chipotle festival area and entered the Chefs tent. Of course during the Q&A session, Chipotle also made a tactical decision not to call on anyone wearing a Chipocrasy t-shirt. Fortunately, one of our group had put on a shirt over her Chipocrasy shirt and the man with the microphone made the mistake of calling on her. She acknowledged the interest that Chipotle took in the food, but asked the question -- what about the farmworkers?

The man with the microphone blanched and his smile was immediately transformed into a look of terror. You could almost hear him cry "I've just been fired." The principal chef in the tent answered that as chefs, this was not their focus. This was not part of their job. Making good food was their responsibility. Ours was the last question of the event. Three of us quickly made our way to the front to talk with the chefs and give them CIW literature. All the chefs took the literature, but only the principal chef gave us any time for conversation. He repeated that as chefs, their concern was food, but said he would pass along our concerns to management. Hopefully he will.

I'd like to thank the members of the t-shirt action: Bill Barclay, Sr. Gwen Farry, Marcella Hernandez, Celeste Larkin (who asked "what about the farmworkers"), Johanna Ryan, Fran Sampson, Sumie Song, Ted Sowinski and Peg Strobel.

For more coverage, see Jeremy Gantz at In These Times. Just Harvest USA posted this story on their web site, including a photo of the crew of DSA members and friends Tom Broderick organized to infiltrate the festival.

Wal-Mart Warehouse Workers on Strike
At Daily Kos, GOPDSA member Bob Simpson writes:

Inspired by the labor-community alliance that the CTU had built in its strike and by a strike of Walmart warehouse workers in California, the Illinois warehouse workers led by WWJ went on strike against Roadlink Workforce Solutions. Roadlink is a subcontractor at the vast Walmart distribution center located in Elwood IL near Joliet, south of Chicago. The Joliet region is now a major distribution point in the big box store supply chain. WWJ is a project of the United Electrical Workers (UE), the legendary progressive union which can trace it's history back to the factory occupations of the Great Depression. MORE.

For more information on the Elwood strike or to contribute to the strike fund, CLICK HERE.

In California, Warehouse Workers United have returned to work after a 15 day strike, winning safety improvements and a response from Wal-Mart. Also see David Moberg at In These Times.

The State of Working America
The Economic Policy Institute has posted the 12th edition of its annual survey, The State of Working America, online. The entire book, including the full text and all of the charts, is available online and fully downloadable, along with summary fact sheets that include the book's key findings. Additionally, the feature "Open Data" enables researchers to download additional data on selected income, jobs and wages charts. The hardcopy version will be available from Cornel University Press in November.

August Jobs Report
The Chicago Political Economy Group released this commentary on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' August jobs statistics:

The August jobs report was getting more attention than most official economic statistics reports even before it was released. The upcoming U.S. Presidential election has given a new power to the monthly BLS employment report, as both sides anticipate which candidate will benefit from the numbers. Early estimates from the payroll administrator ADP of an expectation-beating report had the media buzzing about the boost it would give to President Obama's re-election campaign. Obama's detractors were already swarming comment boards claiming the President's DOL was cooking the books.

Of course, a sounder mind would consider whether the Administration's policies were effectively creating good, decent paying, secure jobs for unemployed, 40% of whom are long-term unemployed. So we won't speculate here about what the dismal August jobs report means for the elections in November. We will instead revisit a perennial subject -- how the latest BLS report demonstrates some basic structural weaknesses in our economy in general and in this economic recovery in particular, and what this means for working people in the United States. MORE.

Chicago's Low-Wage Economy
Every time a raise in the minimum wage is proposed, even if it's only to keep pace with inflation, "free market" ideologues let loose a barrage of well-used arguments, including the idea that minimum wage jobs are mostly filled by teenagers and the occasional bored housewife. Guess what. As a result of more job seekers seeking fewer jobs nearly one in three employed Chicagoans now work in low-wage jobs ( $12 an hour or less) earning too little to support an individual let alone a family.  According to Action Now Institute and Women Employed's new report, "Chicago's Growing Low-Wage Workforce: A Profile of Falling Labor Market Fortunes," Chicago's low-wage workforce is growing rapidly, becoming older and more educated.  The report written by Marc Doussard, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana finds finds that contrary to popular misconceptions, the majority (57.4%) of Chicago's low-wage workers are over the age of 30, over a 1/3 (34.7%) have attended at least some college, and over 1/2(56.7%) live in households getting all of their income from low-wage jobs. For the full report, CLICK HERE. (PDF)

The University of Illinois' Labor Education Program released this study (PDF) of wage-theft in the car-wash industry here in Chicago. WBEZ's coverage of the report is HERE.

Robin Hood Tax
Oxfam Deutschland put together this very cute two minute video, "A Difficult Labor", on passing the Robin Hood Tax in Germany. It applies equally to Illinois. When you've finished watching, how about signing a petition for a Speculation Sales Tax in Illinois? CLICK HERE.

   

Citizen Action/Illinois Endorsements
Chicago DSA is a member, so it's meet that we pass along their endorsements for the November election. You can find them HERE.


Ars Politica

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival
October 5 through 7: This is a Chicago film festival with a specific focus on the issues facing society and how social change can make an incredible impact. Every day, society is in search of sustainable and innovative solutions that are designed to reshape the way the world views cultural differences and the many issues facing it today. Through this film forum, filmmakers are able to use their feature-length, short, documentary, or student films to fuel a movement. It is through this that true and inspiring social development can take place. MORE INFORMATION.



Democratic Socialism

How the Left Has Won?
In New Ground 143.3, we provided a link to a Jacobin post by historian James Livingston who argued that in many respects, socialism in the U.S. has won. Understandably, this argument is not very impressive to revolutionary marxists, never mind leninists. At Left Eye on Books, this provoke a polite sniff:

"The seemingly obvious answer to the question above is  no.  Presently the main policy debate in Washington is over how to cut the deficit, and what cuts to "entitlement" programs would make the most sense. Foreign policy discussions often focus on which interventions should be considered priorities, while ending the empire of bases and stopping the bombing of countries is off the table. The trend in schools, at both the secondary and higher level, is to insert more of the logic of business and profit-taking into these institutions. Inequality remains steep, and notwithstanding Occupy Wall Street's famous success at "changing the discourse," no significant policy proposal to reduce it is on the table. "Socialism" is an insult in the U.S., much more than an ideological orientation. When self-identified socialists manage to accomplish something, they tend to lie low....

"Yet in a recent piece published in Jacobin Magazine, Rutgers historian James Livingston argues for the strength of socialism in the U.S., and that the left has, in some sense, "won." Livingston makes his case in the context of comparing present history to the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Capitalism did not conquer feudalism through a series of revolutions made in its name, or parties explicitly advocating for capitalism." MORE.

Livingston's article also provoked this debate between James Livingston and Tim Barker, assistant editor at Dissent.



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 2, 7:30 PM
"Vagina: a New Biography"
Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark, Chicago
Naomi Wolf discusses her new book. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 3, 3 PM to 4:30 PM
"Tejidos Juntos"
UIC Latino Cultural Center Lecture Center B2, Chicago
Screening of documentary followed by discussion. Ever wondered where your college gear comes from? MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 3, 4 PM to 5:30 PM
"Invisible Woman: Growing Up Black in Germany"
Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Dr, Evanston
Readings from Audre Lorde's autobiography. MORE INFORMATION. Plus MORE INFORMATION on other Audre Lorde events.

Wednesday, October 3, 6 PM to 8 PM
"The Black Revolution on Campus"
Chicago Cultural Center Claudia Cassidy Theatre, 77 E. Randolph, Chicago
Conversation with author and scholar Martha Biondi, moderated by Barbara Ransby. MORE INFORMATION.

October 4 through 6
Slavery and Its Aftermath in the Atlantic World
UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted, Chicago
An international symposium. Preregistration not required but appreciated. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, October 4, 6:30 PM
The New Teachers' Contract: What Does It Mean for Kids?
Revere Park, 2509 W. Irving Park Rd, Chicago
A town hall forum on the final teachers' contract and what it means for the fight to win the Schools Chicago Students Deserve. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, October 5, 5 PM
Protest Representative Paul Ryan
Palmer House, 17 E. Monroe, Chicago
Rally against Rep. Ryan and his roadmap to ruin. MORE INFORMATION.
The Ryan campaign moved the fundraiser the Hyatt Regency O'Hare on Sunday, so this particular protest is cancelled.

Sunday, October 7, 3 PM
Afghanistan 11th Anniversary
Chicago Tribune Plaza, 435 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago
Rally followed by march to Obama's national campaign HQ to protest our longest war. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 9, 5:30 PM to 7 PM
A View from the Classroom: Chicago Teachers Discuss the Strike
DePaul University Arts & Letters Hall 412, 2315 N. Kenmore, Chicago
Panel discussion on the strike. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
"The New Religious Intolerance"
International House, 1414 E. 59th St, Chicago
Martha Nussbaum discusses her new book. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 10, 9 AM to 1 PM
Alternatives to Incarceration
First United Methodist Church @ the Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, Chicago
Robert B. Wilcox Symposium on Criminal Justice. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 10, 3 PM
Deinstitutionalization, Imprisonment and the Politics of Abolition
UIC Stevenson Hall Lower Level, 701 S. Morgan, Chicago
Presentation by Visiting Senior Research Specialist Liat Ben-Moshe. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 10, 6 PM to 7 PM
"The Poorhouse"
57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St, Chicago
Dev Bowly discusses the new editon of his book on public and subsidized housing in Chicago. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 10, 6:30 PM
George Lakoff and the Power of Framing
Tau Center, 26W171 Roosevelt Rd, Wheaton
Presentation by Paul Sjordal, Tom Wendorf, and Dan Bailey. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, October 11, 6 PM to 7 PM
"Benjamin Elijah Mays"
57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St, Chicago
Randal Maurice Jelks discusses his biography of Mays. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, October 12, 6 PM to 10 PM
Reflections on NATO in the New Chicago
URI-EICHEN Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted, Chicago
Kathy Steichen & Christopher Urias. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, October 12, 7 PM
"Everyday People and Union Maids"
The Nightengale, 1084 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
Documentary by JoAnn Elam. $7. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, October 12, 7:20 PM
"The Health Care Movie"
DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church, 1828 Old Naperville Rd, Naperville
Documentary on the political struggle which led to implementation of universal medical care in Canada and campaigns for the same in the U.S. followed by discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, October 13, 12:30 PM
Chicago DSA Executive Committee
Chicago DSA, 1608 N. Milwaukee, Room 403, Chicago
All DSA members are welcome.

Sunday, October 14, 7 PM to 9:30 PM
Unnatural Spaces
Hairpin Arts Center, 2800 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
The latest play by the Guild's Poetry Performance Incubator, followed by post-show conversation on environmental justice. MORE INFORMATION.

October 15 through 16
Gershom Gorenberg Lecture and Seminar
UIC Stevenson Hall Lower Level, 701 S. Morgan, Chicago
Presentation by The American Prospect Senior Correspondent followed by seminar. Registration and MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 16, 5 PM to 7 PM
Financial Freedom and Social Justice
Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1650 W. Foster Ave, Chicago
A seminar on how to achieve both. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 16, 7 PM
From Dictatorships to Democracy
Lombard Mennonite Church, 528 E. Madison St, Lombard
Dr. Paul Parker on the importance of indigenous, non-violent actions. MORE INFORMATION.


New Ground #144.2

10.16.2012

Contents

0. DSA News

DSA in the News
Socialist International
Commodify Your Dissent

1. Politics

Chicago Needs GOOD Jobs
Robin Hood Tax
Victory at Chipotle
Warehouse Workers Win
Seven Days That Shook the Windy City
Boycott American Crystal Sugar
The September Jobs Report
The Coke or Pepsi Election?

2. Democratic Socialism

The Future Must Be Socialist
The Cooperative Revolution
SBA Lending for Coops?
Port Huron @ 50

3. Upcoming Events of Interest



DSA News

DSA in the News
At Sam Houston State, the Young Democratic Socialists were mentioned in the Houstonian, in passing, in connection with a forum featuring controversial religious activist Frank Tureck. At Vassar College, the Miscellany News noted the local YDS chapter's support for the Communication Workers of America in their ongoing contract negotiations with the College. In Kentucky, Columbia Magazine noted the Lindsey Wilson College YDS chapter's participation in voter registration. And in Tampa, Florida, in Hernando Today, DSA was mentioned in passing in a sloppy polemic against Hugo Chavez, Francois Hollande, and (of course) Obama.

Socialist International
The Socialist International's Presidium met at the United Nations in New York on September 26. The meeting focused on three main issues: Responses to the financial crisis by international institutions, regional organisations, groups of nations and individual countries; Common policies for progressive governments to sustain social and economic priorities in the current financial climate; and Defining priorities and emphases on the global agenda in regard to security, democracy and sustainability. MORE.

Commodify Your Dissent
with a DSA membership while helping change the U.S.A. and feeding a handful of starving activists. Do it HERE.



Politics

Chicago Needs GOOD Jobs
Chicago's hospitality workers live in every corner of the city -- supporting our local businesses, religious institutions, and communities. Airport concessions workers are fighting for the kinds of jobs that will build our communities. Chicago's concessions workers generate $370 million a year in revenue for our airports, but lack basic job protection and are excluded from the city's living wage law. As a result, 1,500 people could be thrown out of work or be dragged into poverty. (See "A Living Not Slavery" in New Ground 139).

Join UNITE HERE Local 1 members, friends, and allies, as we celebrate the Aldermen who are working to make sure Chicago has good jobs and demand that the City's Department of Aviations protect the jobs that our neighborhoods, churches and families depend on at a forum for

Stable Jobs, Stable Communities
Tuesday, October 23rd, 9 AM
Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, Chicago

Robin Hood Tax
At the Federal level, the Robin Hood Tax now has a bill in Congress, HR 6411, introduced September 14 by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), is legislation that can put this country on a path to healing. That's what nurses, health care and AIDS activists and other community allies had to say to their members of Congress. H.R. 6411 calls for a small sales tax on Wall Street speculation in tax, bonds, derivatives and currencies, one that will raise up to $350 billion a year, revenue to be directed to ailing communities here and to international efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and more. Read more about it HERE (and, yes, that's GOPDSA's Bill Barclay looking over Representative Danny Davis' shoulder).

Send a letter to your Representative in Congress to support HR 6411 HERE.

And add your name to a petition for a Speculation Sales Tax in Illinois HERE.

At Britain's ITN, actor Bill Nighy explains the Robin Hood Tax as a banker might:

   

 

Victory at Chipotle
Three weeks after Chicago DSA helped the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) pressure Chipotle Mexican Grill to sign the Fair Food Agreement, Chipotle did, on October 4th. Two days prior to holding their Denver Cultivate Festival, Chipotle Mexican Grill signed the Fair Food Agreement with the CIW. Two days prior to the September 15th Cultivate Festival in Chicago, Chipotle indicated that they would sign in Denver. Chipotle asked that the CIW tone down their counter festival in Chicago, and make no public declaration of the impending agreement.

After the Chipotle settlement, Denver Fair Food (CIW's ally) immediately went to work on one of the supermarket chains that the CIW is battling: The Kroger Company. Denver Fair Food took the Fair Food Agreement message to King Soopers, which is owned by The Kroger Company.

Congratulations to the CIW and thanks for the support provided by Chicago DSA members and friends.

Warehouse Workers Win
In an historic victory, all striking Roadlink workers at Walmart's Elwood warehouse won their principal demand for an end to illegal retaliation against workers protesting poor conditions. They returned to work with their full pay while they were out on strike.
MORE.

In the meantime, Wal-Mart workers in a dozen states have staged one day strikes in protest about working conditions and labor practices. Also see Talking Union and Dissent and Progress Illinois for more information. Workers are planning more protests and strikes on "Black Friday" after Thanksgiving, when shopping is usually at its busiest. A prayer vigil and other actions are being planned here in Chicago.

Incidentally, your tax money helps feather Wal-Mart's nest. The information for Illinois is HERE.

Seven Days That Shook the Windy City
At Daily Kos, Bob Simpson writes:

It was of course, more than a Chicago teachers' strike; it was a city-wide working class protest. Parents and concerned community members walked the picket lines. Workers of all types who passed in their trucks, buses, taxis and passenger cars joined in with honking, friendly waves and fist raising. MORE.

Boycott American Crystal Sugar
Corporate greed isn't sweet no matter how many spoons of sugar you take with it. Just ask the sugar beet workers who have been locked out by American Crystal Sugar (ACS) for more than a year. Despite record profits for ACS last year-including giving $2.4 million in compensation to CEO David Berg-the company's board demanded cuts to workers' health care coverage and elimination of seniority rights. When workers offered another proposal, the ACS board decided to lock them out and hired less-skilled replacement workers, eerily similar to what happened with NFL refs. And we saw how well that worked out. Now, 14 months later, 1,300 families still are cut off from their income and health care. Sign a pledge now to boycott American Crystal Sugar products HERE.

For more information CLICK HERE.

The September Jobs Report
The top line number this morning was the 0.3 percent decline in the unemployment rate ­ a number that probably generated a huge sigh of relief from the current administration. And it is true that this report, coupled with the previously announced upward revision of the past few months, has exited the stock market. But, once again, the numbers behind the top line number are more significant.

With a labor force of approximately 155,000,000, a 0.3 decline in unemployment should mean job growth of more than 460,000 -- but the actual number of jobs created was only 114,000. And, before we get too excited about a number that roughly equals the new entrants into the labor force, it is worth reminding ourselves that it was only a few months ago, in Jan - March 2012, that the monthly new job creation numbers were over 200,000. At that time CPEG raised the question of the pattern of relatively strong job growth tapering off to lower growth into the summer and fall. Turns out we were right.

So, where is everybody? MORE.

The Coke or Pepsi Election?
Adbusters thinks so. However, Logos has put out an issue devoted to the upcoming November election with articles by, among others, Benjamin Barber, Judith Stein, Lauren Langman, Chip Berlet, and Steve Early, among others. And several months ago, New Politics also put together a symposium with a rather more diverse posse of authors, including Stewart Alexander and Jill Stein (candidates), and Ben Case, Jeff Cohen, Paul Street and others.

Before you get too comfortable with the softdrink metaphor, consider this additional layer of onion meaning about Coke and Pepsi. (Don't get too warm and fuzzy about Pepsi.)



Democratic Socialism

The Future Must Be Socialist!
At Dissent Magazine, Maria Svart writes:

I'm told that Michael Harrington once wistfully commented to colleagues that he had written sixteen books, and on the dust jacket of the sixteenth, the publisher had put, "By the author of The Other America." It is entirely fitting that Mike should be best remembered for his first work. It influenced President Kennedy, and President Johnson sent Mike a pen from the signing of the Economic Opportunity Act, the War on Poverty. The book has sold well over a million copies.

We should remember, however, that Mike's other fifteen books were about socialism. Unlike many on the left, Mike was not an impossibilist. He believed that through union organization and an expanded safety net, the lives of everyday people-both the poor and the middle class-could be vastly improved, even under capitalism. Indeed, Mike-the-Socialist was far more optimistic about this than many liberals are today.

Nonetheless, in a subsequent essay, "Poverty and the Eighties," Mike concluded: "There was progress; there could be more progress; the poor need not always be with us. But it will take a political movement much more imaginative and militant than those in existence in 1980 to bring that progress about."

What happened? MORE.

The Cooperative Revolution
The Co-operative Revolution: A Graphic Novel vividly showcases the past, present and future of a radical movement that has grown to become the most successful grassroots campaign the world has ever seen. The novel will be available in hardcopy through Amazon beginning November 13. Alternatively, read a FREE online version: CLICK HERE.

SBA Lending for Coops?
At Cooperative News, Anca Voinea writes:

The National Cooperative Business Association is advocating for changes to small business administration (SBA) regulations in order to enable co-operatives to gain access to SBA lending programmes. The NCBA has already raised the issue with the Obama Administration during the White House Community Leaders Briefing in May.

The co-ops association called upon the US Congress to change SBA regulations, initiating a "Call to Actions" campaign. Congressman Ron Kind supported the initiative by circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter in the House of Representatives, asking the SBA to expedite the reinterpretation of regulations that prohibit food co-operatives from accessing the SBA lending programmes. The NCBA launched an appeal to all US citizens to call their representative's office and ask their member to sign on to the "Dear Colleague" letter. MORE.

Port Huron @ 50
The University of Michigan spends October re-examining "The Port Huron Statement" HERE.



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 17, 1 PM to 2 PM
Bullet Tax: a Solution to Crime?
Chicago Cultural Center Randolph Cafe, 77 E. Randolph, Chicago
MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 17, 4 PM to 5:30 PM
"With Malice Aforethought"
Loyola School of Law, 25 E. Pearson Room 1103, Chicago
Author Ted Grippo discusses his new book about Sacco and Vanzetti. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 17, 6 PM to 7 PM
"After Mandela"
International House, 1414 E. 59th St, Chicago
Author Douglas Foster on post-Apartheid South Africa. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, October 18, 6 PM
Rebuild Chicago: Vacant Property
Hopewell MBC, 6600 S. Hermitage, Chicago
Community meeting to discuss vacant buildings. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, October 18, 7 PM
Illinois Pension Reform
Wilder Mansion in Wilder Park, 211 S. Prospect, Elmhurst
Featuring Ralph Matire. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, October 20, 2 PM to 5 PM
"The Invisible War"
Woman Made Gallery, 685 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
Screening of documentary plus discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, October 20, 2 PM
Police Crimes and Neighborhood Violence
Lutheran School of Theology, 1100 E. 55th St, Chicago
CAARPR panel discussion featuring Patricia Hill, Lawrence Kennon, Gregory Malandrucco. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, October 20, 5 PM to 8 PM
A Spoken Art Celebration of Women
Workers United, 333 S. Ashland Ave, Chicago
Mary Bonnett, Rae Charnel Wright, Debby Pope, Alma Washinton, Marjorie Woodruff, Lilly Jones, Sharon Smith, Daisy Sewell, Alison Altmeyer. $10. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, October 20, 7 PM
Building Power from the Bottom Up
Teamster City basement auditorium, 300 S. Ashland, Chicago
How Chicago Teachers Union members transformed their union. Panel discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Sunday, October 21, 2 PM
Home/Land
Countryside Church UU, 1025 N. Smith St, Palatine
Exceprts from Albany Park Theater Project's hit play with discussion on immigration. $3 suggested. RSVP MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, October 22, 6 PM to 8 PM
Black/Inside
African American Cultural Center Gallery, Addams Hall 207, 830 S. Halsted, Chicago
Opening reception of photos and artifacts of black prisoners, activists. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 23, 9 AM to 10:30 AM
Stable Jobs, Stable Communities
Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, Chicago
Join UNITE HERE Local 1 & friends in a forum on protecting good jobs and celebrating the Aldermen who've stood with them. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 23, 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Fighting for Representation
Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Blvd, Chicago
Ben Joravsky, Karen Lewis, Pauline Lipman on having an elected school board for Chicago. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 24, 3 PM to 4:30 PM
We Overcame Torture
UIC Latino Cultural Center - Lecture Center B2, Chicago
A conversation with Italia Mendez. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, October 24, 6 PM to 8 PM
Community Budget Hearing
Wells High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave, Chicago
Progressive Caucus hearing on city budget. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, October 25, 6 PM
Rebuild Chicago: Vacant Property
Penn Elementary, 1616 S. Avers, Chicago
Community meeting to discuss vacant buildings. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, October 25, 7 PM to 8:30 PM
Art, Culture and Struggle
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
Josh MacPhee and Ivan Arenas discuss the connections and disjunctures between art, culture and struggle. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, October 26, 1 PM to 5:30 PM
Developing Cooperative Businesses
Erie Neighborhood House, 1347 W. Erie, Chicago
The how and why of starting a coop in Chicago $10 suggested. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, October 27, 7 PM
"The Dark Side of Chocolate"
First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, 1427 Chicago Ave, Evanston
Screening of documentary on child labor and human trafficking in the cocoa fields. MORE INFORMATION.

Sunday, October 28, 2PM
"4 Days Inside Guantanamo"
Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St, Oak Park
Showing of documentary plus introduction. MORE INFORMATION.

Sunday, October 28, 3 PM
Open Up!
DoubleTree Hotel, 9599 Skokie Blvd, Skokie
The Interfaith Housing Center launches the Welcome Movement. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, October 29, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
"Invisible War"
Mujeres Latinas en Accion, 2124 W. 21st Pl, Chicago
Screening of documentary plus discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, October 29, 6:30 PM to 9 PM
"Tapped"
Green Learning Center, 325 N. Wells, 10th Floor, Chicago
Screening of documentary. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 30, 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Don't Mess with Our Medicaid!
Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, Chicago
Rally demanding the protection of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, including home health care. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, October 30, 6 PM to 8 PM
Community Budget Hearing
South Shore International High School, 1955 E. 75th St, Chicago
Progressive Caucus hearing on city budget. MORE INFORMATION.


New Ground #144.3

11.01.2012

Contents

0. DSA News

DSA in the News
Strategies to End Student Debt
You. Here.

1. Politics

Chicago Teachers
Stable Jobs, Stable Communities
Yet Another Election Round Table
You Know, Obama's Really Not from Around Here

2. Ars Politica

Detropia
Smiley & West

3. People

Ed Sadlowski

4. Democratic Socialism

The Welfare State of America
Marxism, the 21st Century and Social Transformation
Why Investment Must Be Socialized

5. Upcoming Events of Interest



DSA News

DSA in the News
Detroit DSA's support for Dr. Syed Taj in Michigan's 11th Congressional District was noted in a number of articles. The Lansing State Journal mentioned it in passing in a "meet the candidates" article. The Detroit News also mentioned DSA's support in an article about the race. The Examiner web sites also mentioned this (favorably) in an article critical of press coverage of the contest. And Michigan Public Radio also mentioned the DSA connection in an item about the contest going negative.

Insight News mentioned DSA's endorsement of Doug Mann, a Green Party candidate, in a race for the Minneapolis Public School Board. And Temple University's Temple News included YDS member Beth Burns-Lynch's comments in connection with an on-campus speech by Herman Cain.

Strategies to End Student Debt
Held on October 25 at the CUNY Graduate Center, the Young Democratic Socialists and Dissent Magazine held a forum on the ways and means of making higher education financially feasible: How to deal with the crushing debt so many incur, regardless of whether one graduates. The panel included Sarah Jaffe (Independent journalist, rabble rouser, frequent Twitterer, and the former Labor editor at AlterNet, her work has been published in The Nation, The American Prospect, and Dissent, among other publications.), Andrew Ross (professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, author of Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times, and co-editor of The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace), and Tamara Draut (Vice President, Policy & Research at Demos, and the author of Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead).

 
   

You. Here.
Your membership in DSA alone, in and of itself, won't do much to change the world, any more than voting in the general election will. But together, with others, it creates the context for change. Be sure to vote on November 6. And to join DSA, CLICK HERE.



Politics

Chicago Teachers
The Chicago Teachers Solidarity Campaign held a forum on October 20 about how the Chicago Teachers Union organized its recently successfully concluded strike and contract negotiations, and, in the process, transformed the union.

 
   

This might seem like a relatively rapid transformation, but there is a much longer history behind it. GOPDSA's Bob Simpson provides part of that story HERE.

Stable Jobs, Stable Communities
The October 23 townhall meeting organized by UNITE HERE Local 1 brought hundreds of people to the Chicago Temple, a good turnout for a meeting on a workday morning. It included at least a dozen DSA members and friends. The forum was organized to thank supporters of the airport workers on the City Council's Aviation Committee, and to illustrate to them and to the public the issues at stake. For more about the meeting, see In These Times, Chicago Talks, and UNITE HERE Local 1.

Yet Another Election Roundtable
Including Bernard Avishai, Robert Chametzky, Benj DeMott, Carmelita Estrellita, Ty Geltmaker, Eugene Goodheart, Allison Hantschel, Casey Hayden, Christopher Hayes, Bob Levin, Barack Obama, Jedediah Purdy, Theodore Putala, James Rosen, Nick Salvatore, Aram Saroyan, Fredric Smoler, Scott Spencer, and Patricia Williams, at First of the Month.

You Know, Obama's Really Not from Around Here
Argues Rick Perlstein in Chicago Magazine, and that's why Romney might win even though this election should be Obama's to lose. MORE.


Ars Politica

Detropia
will be at the Siskel Film Center November 9 through 15. "The story of Detroit's precarious decline as one of the nation's great cities may not function as a cautionary tale for Chicago yet, but the filmmakers make a compelling case for the universality of their evocative look at the ailing metropolis. There's grim beauty to be found in the desolation of the hulking skeletons of factories and commercial buildings, and in the weed-grown streets of fast-emptying residential neighborhoods where Detroit's citizens scramble for a fighting chance. Workers ranging from UAW employees to artists speak out about what went wrong and what could still go right in Motor City." MORE INFORMATION.

Smiley & West
You've probably heard that the public radio program Smiley & West, co-hosted by DSA's Cornel West, has been discontinued by WBEZ. Apparently Tavis Smiley is seriously irritated by the excuses WBEZ has provided the dismayed fans of the program. The program is being picked up by WCPT and WVON, but there was no information about when and at what time, so until then you'll just have to listen online.


People

Ed Sadlowski
along with Alice Peurala and Frank Lumpkin will be inducted into the Illinois Labor History Society's Hall of Honor at the society's annual awards dinner on December 2nd. Tickets are $75. For more information, CLICK HERE.



Democratic Socialism

The Welfare State of America
At In These Times, DSA members Peter Frase and Bhaskar Sunkara, "propose a new anti-austerity coalition united by the immediate demand that certain social spending burdens, currently borne by states and municipalities, be federalized" because, they go on, the "Left needs an affirmative strategy that can go beyond the piecemeal defense of the status quo against austerity." Read the In These Times cover story HERE.

The story provoked more comment at In These Times than most stories, including this editorial by Frances Fox Piven. Elsewhere, this critique from Ross Wolfe at The Charnel House, and a rather more negative response at The North Star.

Marxism, the 21st Century and Social Transformation
At Philosophers for Change, Bill Fletcher takes a somewhat different approach than Frase and Sunkara: "any discussion of a progressive post-capitalist future must come to grips with the realization of the crisis of socialism in which every trend in the global Left has been encased. This has been a crisis at the levels of vision, strategy, state power and organization. It is a crisis that cannot be avoided by either a retreat to pre-Bolshevik Marxism or slipping into the abyss of post-modernism. The reality of the crisis of socialism can only be avoided at our own peril." MORE.

Why Investment Must Be Socialized
At Social Europe Journal, George Irvin writes:

Today's social-democrats are frightened by the notion of state-led investment. Keynes famously argued in the General Theory ([1936] 1974 p. 376) that maintaining long-term growth meant that the investment function must be largely -- in his word' somewhat comprehensively' -- taken over by the state. Indeed, he thought the state should directly or indirectly control two-thirds to three-quarters of gross fixed capital formation.

If Keynes fell out of fashion in the 1970s, today, Keynes has been disinterred largely because of his views of escaping depression through fiscal pump-priming. But it is of crucial importance to recall his longer-term views on investment... MORE.



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.

Friday, November 2, 4 PM
Rally Against School Closings
City Hall, LaSalle between Washington & Randolph, Chicago
For an immediate moratorium on school closures and charter expansions. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 3, 9 AM to Noon
Awakening the Dreamer
Lombard Mennonite Church, 528 E. Madison St, Lombard
Interactive, multimedia symposium on ecology and spirituality. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 3, 2 PM to 5 PM
"Slavery by Another Name"
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
Documentary challenging assumption that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 3, 3 PM to 5 PM
Gold, Guns and Human Rights
St. Pius V Parish, 1919 S. Ashland, Chicago
Francia Marquez on plunder, violence, dispossession and human rights in Colombia. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 3, 9 AM to Noon
Hacking the Vote
DePaul University Daley Building 1451, 14 E. Jackson Blvd, Chicago
The election is here and so are opportunities for hackers to manipulate results. RSVP & MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, November 5, 5 PM
China Mieville
Roosevelt University Library, 430 S. Michigan Ave 10th Floor, Chicago
Lefty Brit SF author reads from his latest work. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, November 6
General Election
Get out and vote! It may not change the world, but what do you expect from 20 minutes of work?

Tuesday, November 6, 5 PM to 8 PM
Salsedo Press Posters
Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood, Chicago
Closing exhibition of posters and other materials. Also election night celebration. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, November 6, 7 PM to 11 PM
Keeping Families Together Rally & Vigil
outside McCormick Place, 2333 S. King Dr, Chicago
Begins 7 PM @ Chinese American Service League 2141 South Tan Ct, Chicago; March 8 PM; Rally & Vigil 8:30 PM. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, November 7, 3 PM to 5 PM
"Bananas!"
UIC Latino Cultural Center - Lecture Center B2, Chicago
Screening of documentary followed by discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, November 7, 7 PM
What Is Fair Trade?
The Tau Center, 26W171 Roosevelt Rd, Wheaton
Sr. Glenna M. Czachor, OSF,, will review the principles of fair trade, share stories of coffee and cocoa producers, and show you how easy it is to find fair trade products. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, November 7, 7 PM
Consuelo Morales
Instituto Cervantes Auditorium, 31 W. Ohio, Chicago
Mexican human rights activist with Nik Steinberg and Fernando Diaz. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, November 8, 5:30 PM to 7 PM
Stop the Violence, Heal Chicago!
Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 E. 26th St, Chicago
A townhall on the need for more mental health clinics and more school social workers and clinicians. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, November 8, 7 PM to 9 PM
Poverty, Power, and the Public Airwaves
Northwestern Law School, 375 E. Chicago Thorne Auditorium, Chicago
Post-election analysis and commentary from Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, and Amy Goodman. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, November 8, 7 PM
"The Other America"
Teamsters Local 705 Hall, Van Buren half block west of Ashland, Chicago
DePaul Labor Education Center celebrates the release of the new edition of Michael Harrington's The Other America with a presentation by Bill Barclay and reception afterward. $10. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, November 9, 2:45 PM*
We Won't Pay for Their Budget Crisis
Pritzger Park, State & Van Buren, Chicago
*March leaves promptly at 3 PM. Protest budget cuts; preserve Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, November 9, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Solitary Confinement and Human Rights
Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 33 S. State, 7th Floor, Chicago
An evening to consider the use of solitary confinement. Part of a day long conference at Northeastern Illinois University. MORE INFORMATION.

Friday, November 9, 7:20 PM
"Sheila Bair: Keeping Banks Honest"
DuPage Unitarian Church, 1828 Old Naperville Rd, Naperville
Documentary highlighting LIBOR scandal and other nasties. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 10, 12:30 PM
CDSA Executive Committee Meeting
CDSA Office, 1608 N. Milwaukee Room 403, Chicago
Business. All DSA members welcome.

Sunday, November 11, 1 PM to 5 PM
Welcome Home
National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
Opening of museum at new location featuring a joint exhibition by Dr. Charles Smith and Ash Kyrie. MORE INFORMATION.

Sunday, November 11, 7 PM
Studs' Place
The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago
A new episode of Studs Terkel's 1950s TV show. $10. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, November 12, 6 PM to 7 PM
Re-thinking Environmental Justice
Human Thread Center, 645 W. 18th St, Chicago
Coya Paz discusses the complexity of environmental choices and injustices. MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, November 12, 6 PM
"Revolutionary Doctors"
University of Illinois School of Public Health, 1603 W. Taylor Room 109, Chicago
Steve Brouwer on his new book "Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba Are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care". MORE INFORMATION.

Monday, November 12, 6 PM
"The Global Kitchen: International Perspective of Women's Unwaged Work"
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, 800 S. Halsted, Chicago
Selma James on her new collection. MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, November 13, 5 PM to 6:30 PM
Working in These Hard Times
Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan AUD 244 Spertus Lounge, Chicago
A program in honor of Studs Terkel, including Roberta Lynch, David Moberg, Jeffrey Edwards, Tom Alter. RSVP & MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, November 13, 5:30 PM
"Revolutionary Doctors"
Venezuelan Consulate, 20 N. Wacker Dr Ste 1925, Chicago
Steve Brouwer on his new book "Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba Are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care". MORE INFORMATION.

Tuesday, November 13, 6 PM to 7 PM
Black Revolution on Campus
Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago
Martha Biondi on her new book. MORE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, November 14, 3 PM to 5 PM
"Thirst"
UIC Latino Cultural Center - Lecture Center B2, Chicago
Screening of documentary followed by discussion. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, November 15, 1:30 PM to 5 PM
Zona Abierta
UIC Latino Cultural Center - Lecture Center B2, Chicago
"From the Hood to Sierra Club" discussion with Juan Martinez. MORE INFORMATION.

Thursday, November 15, 7 PM
The Drone War in Pakistan
Uri-Eichen Gallery, 2101 S. Halsted, Chicago
Leah Bolger and Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 17, 10 AM to 5 PM
12th Annual Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair
King College Prep. High School, 4445 S. Drexel, Chicago
Reawakening the grassroots education movement. MORE INFORMATION.

Saturday, November 17
Solidarity Walk for Hyatt Workers
Downtown Chicago to McCormick Place
Join advocates for Hyatt workers in a Solidarity Walk with Orthodox Jewish academics as they uphold the Hyatt Boycott and walk from Downtown Chicago to McCormick Place on the Sabbath. MORE INFORMATION.


 

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