November 30, 2021

From Slaveowners to Abolitionists

Book jacket courtesy Beacon Press.

Prophet Against Slavery: Benjamin Lay, A Graphic Novel by David Lester, with Marcus Rediker and Paul Buhle, Beacon Press, 2021 Quakers are so firmly identified as abolitionists that it may surprise many to hear that Quakers once owned slaves. A new graphic history reveals the neglected figure of Benjamin Lay (1682-1759), whose outrageous theatrical protests…


November 18, 2021

Is a 21st Century Revolution Already Underway?

Protesters crowded Glasgow during COP26. IAEA Imagebank, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to the climate emergency we are now in, lies, half-truths and half-stepping just don’t cut it. It is, without question, time for system change, not climate change. What we need, therefore, is not just a movement, not just a coalition. We need a movement of movements.


November 17, 2021

The Law Is Local!

while the Court is certainly powerful, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage of these decisions misses an important fact: For the poor among us, many laws are overturned every day by local judges, police, employers, and landlords. For many people, the Rubicon was not crossed this summer—it was crossed long ago.

While the Court is certainly powerful, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage of its decisions misses an important fact: For the poor among us, many laws are overturned every day by local judges, police, employers, and landlords. For many people, the Rubicon was not crossed this summer—it was crossed long ago.


November 11, 2021

Happy Headlines, Grim Reality: The Jobs Report for October 2021

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After slow jobs growth in September, the government’s October survey of non-farm organizations showed that job totals increased by 531,000. That is close to the monthly average for the year. The household survey found that unemployment fell again, this time from 4.8% to 4.6%.  That’s close to what some mainstream economists consider virtually full employment.…


November 1, 2021

Toward the Abolitionist Horizon

Purnell reminds us that police are not a neutral institution that simply contains some individual bad actors. The function of the police has always been to protect the ruling class from the masses.


October 25, 2021

On Colin Powell

Sculpture by Goshka Macuga, of Powell making his UN Assembly speech about Iraq, in which he knowingly lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.

I know Colin Powell meant a lot to a lot of people I respect, which might make the week to come nearly unbearable. It also makes the option of saying nothing feel like cowardice.

Powell’s name appears three times in my book I Ain’t Marching Anymore. Never positively.


October 25, 2021

“Will Not Work for Peanuts”: September Employment Report Shows Worker Resistance

Source: DOL's Facebook page

In the Employment Situation–September 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics offered positives and negatives. Non-farm job numbers from business and government organizations were disappointing, adding only 194,000 positions. The August additions of 366,000 jobs had been weak, but September was worse. In the household survey, unemployment fell substantially from 5.2% to 4.8%. The number of…


October 18, 2021

Screaming for ‘Azadi’: A Review of “Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran”

Film poster for Forbidden to Scream in Tehran.

Farbod Ardebili’s new short film Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran asks a simple yet powerful question: what are you willing to do for freedom?  Shima (Mohadeseh Kharaman), a young Iranian woman who fronts an underground metal band in Tehran, gives us her answer. Shima’s position in the band, combined with its genre of…


October 15, 2021

Privatizers Attack Puerto Rican Union

UTIER members on the march.

Only the working classes of Puerto Rico, the great masses of the people, and the UTIER ranks have both the need and the political determination to see the struggle through. Should the divide between Puerto Rican and U.S. mainland workers be overcome, the unity of the tradespeople of both nations could emerge as a powerful force.


October 13, 2021

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month- Sept.15 – Oct 15, 2021

Heritage Month begins in the United States on September 15 of each year and celebrates several of the independence struggles in Latin America from 1810- through the 1820s.  Spain ruled most of Latin America from 1521 until 1820. The movements of independence from Spanish rule began most notably on September 15, 1810 in Dolores, Mexico…