Democratic Left

Kent State : After 45 Years

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We Need a Serious Look at What Happened and Why?

By  Murray Polner

It’s been 45 years since draft-deferred Ohio National Guardsmen aimed their M-1 rifles and .45 pistols at unarmed Kent State College students, killing four and wounding nine on May 4, 1970. You have to be well into middle age now to remember that day. My memory is stirred whenever I look at three photos: John Filo’s striking shot of teenager Mary Ann Vecchio on her knees weeping as she bends over student Jeffrey Miller’s body, a photo I took of Jeffrey’s grieving mother for a magazine my son Alex once edited, and a picture of two of the forever crippled in wheelchairs, KSU student Dean Kahler and wounded Marine Vietnam vet Ron Kovic of ‘Born on the Fourth of July” fame.

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Solidarity Across Borders

Maxine Phillips talks with Fatou Camara

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Fatou Camara     Photo credit: Maxine Phillips

When Fatou Camara was a teenage socialist in Kaolack, Senegal, the future looked good. Abdou Diouf, a socialist, was president, and the party had just given her financial aid to study economics in Quebec and get the education she wanted to be able to help her six brothers and sisters and her parents.

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False Protection, Real Oppression: Opposing Anti-abortion Legislation

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By Linda Gordon

Who could have imagined in 1973 that we would still be debating abortion rights in 2016? When the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, it was following, not breaking with, public opinion. Eighteen states had already repealed or liberalized their anti-abortion laws before Roe. The reasons were obvious: in our modern, post-industrial society, whenever more people are required to bring in wages to support their families, reproduction control is an economic necessity. The majority of aborting women, now and in the past, were already mothers who had as many children as they could support; the majority of abortions resulted from joint decisions by biological mothers and fathers. And bans on abortion have always hurt poor people the most.

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Is the Latin American Left in Crisis?

By Jared Abbott

In the pages of the mainstream press, things look dire for the Latin American left. Although left-leaning governments in a number of countries are experiencing very serious political and economic crises, they may well pull through, if they can enact some profound but nonetheless achievable political and economic reforms.

Since the late 1990s, a number of left-leaning governments have come to power in Latin America during what has been described as the continent’s “left turn(s),” starting in 1998 with the election of Hugo Chávez Frías as president of Venezuela and followed by the elections of left-leaning presidents in Chile (2000), Brazil (2002), Argentina (2004), Uruguay (2004), Bolivia (2005), Chile (2005), Paraguay (2006), Ecuador (2006), Nicaragua (2006), and El Salvador (2009). Although each country has its own trajectory, it is safe to say that as a bloc these governments made impressive gains. In the economic sphere, they have decreased unemployment, the size of the informal labor sector, poverty, and inequality. A number of these countries have also taken steps to strengthen the rights of the urban poor and to enact pro-poor land-tenure legislation. Finally, a number of countries have enacted legislation to protect the rights of workers and to promote the development of worker cooperatives.

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Syrian Refugees: Challenge to the Left

By Ella Wind

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 Metro Atlanta DSA at a welcoming refugees rally.   Photo: Reid Freeman Jenkins

As some four million refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war have entered parts of the Middle East and Europe, the Obama administration has pledged to accept a paltry 10,000. While politicians compete to see who can make the most disparaging remarks about refugees and Muslims or be the most xenophobic in denying entry to their state, the left has been slow to organize either aid or support against anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant legislation.

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Equal Pay Day 2016

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By Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA

On April 12, 2016, we'll again reach the day of the year in which the typical woman (receiving median pay) in the U.S. will, when she adds the amount she was paid in 2015 to the amount she has been paid year-to-date, get the same amount of income that her male counterpart (receiving median pay) got in 2015. The National Committee on Pay Equity has designated this day for the past 20 years to call attention to the gender disparity in wages.

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Bogdan Denitch : A Life Well Lived

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Bogdan Denitch was active in democratic left politics throughout his life, joining the Young People's Socialist League at age 18, and later co-founding the Democratic Socialists of America. He served in a variety of leadership positions in DSA including as a member of the National Political Committee and an Honorary Chair. He was DSA’s principal representative to the Socialist International. From 1983 through 2004 he organized the annual Socialist Scholars Conference in New York. 

By Harold Meyerson

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Bernie Comics

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DSA New Member Orientation Call

May 18, 2016 · 56 rsvps
DSA New Member Orientation

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 6 PM MT; 5 PM PT.

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