Remembering Cesar Chavez

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Caitlin Vega: My mother-in-law is soft-spoken and sweet, but put her on a picket line and she is transformed. To me, that’s what Cesar Chavez stood for, and it’s what our labor movement is all about.

Public Universities Join Attack on Progressive Activism

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Randy Shaw: Just as Governor Walker is making headlines by attacking a liberal institution in a traditionally liberal state (you would not likely see nationwide protests over attacks on workers in Alabama or Georgia), school administrators in progressive cities like Santa Cruz and Santa Monica are also attacking progressive student activism.

A Time for Action — Not Servility

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Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen: While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility — a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever.

Will Sanity Be Restored and Fear Be Kept Alive?

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David Swanson: If our government is, uniquely among wealthy countries, denying people healthcare, shouldn’t we talk about that? How “sane” can it be to always seek out the middle ground and believe whatever propositions lie halfway between advocacy for peace and justice and advocacy for glorified racist ignorance and corporatism?

Does Protecting Our Children Mean Political Action For Them And For Us?

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Paul Loeb: Particularly in these difficult times, we often use our children as reasons to avoid getting involved in critical issues. We’ve got all we can handle holding on to our jobs and spending a little time with them. We fear political commitments will make their lives more insecure. Especially when they’re young, it may be all we can do just to go to work, come home, pay attention to their needs, and catch a few scarce hours of sleep. Yet when we do find ways to get engaged, our children can give us powerful reasons to act.

Goodbye, Right-Wing Friend, Goodbye

Natalie Davis: Progressives and right-wingers don’t speak the same language (and the Right insists that everyone speak theirs and live under its rules and worldview). When I resist that, I AM THE BAD ONE. If I get angry at inequality, something obviously is wrong with ME. Of course, I reject that notion wholesale: Each of the two sides sees the other’s view as completely immoral, not merely as “misguided” or “wrong.”

Howard Zinn And J. D. Salinger: Two Heroes

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Wendy Block: Both Zinn and Salinger remained true to themselves. Zinn maintained his radical stance when many of his contemporaries softened. Salinger rejected what he considered the phoniness of fame, and even stopped publishing (but maybe now, secreted works will go public). Though some of his rumored actions, if true, were eccentric, there’s nothing reclusive about wanting to live a life free from an obsessively attentive outside world.

Can Obama Build A Grassroots Health-Care Movement?

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As insurance companies and health-care conglomerates ramp up opposition to real reform, activists must build a real grassroots movement that forces Congress to do the right thing. On June 6, the Obama Administration is launching an effort to accomplish this. It is making its greatest push yet to use its “Organizing for America” operation to […]

Community Organizer Obama Asks Activists: “Where’s Your Base”?

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Some activists excited about Barack Obama’s community organizing background forget what this fully means – namely, that he expects groups seeking progressive measures to mobilize their base. Community organizers do not expect politicians to challenge entrenched interests absent grassroots pressure, and President Obama is not about to spend political capital on issues like Afghanistan, the […]