Occupy, Wal Mart Strikes, and the Contagion of Solidarity

occupy la

Mark Naison: The only weapon working people have against the power of concentrated wealth is a contagion of Solidarity.

One Year Later: Which Way Occupy LA?

occupy la

Dan Bluemel: There is no manual for activists on how to save the world. The best anyone can do is learn from the past, try new things and see if they work, while the world will carp at them for it — supporters and critics alike.

Foreclosure Crisis Discussion Marries Activists Old and New

off

t’s an old saw that the Vietnam War was ended not by protests on college campuses, as dramatic as they were, nor when the political elites in the nation’s capital stopped playing with dominoes. Rather, it was only when the war’s relentless horror and pointlessness became the main topic of conversation at Rudy and June’s [...]

May Day Los Angeles

May Day Los Angeles

May Day was observed all over the nation with marches, rallies, sit-ins and demonstrations occurring simultaneously in all of the major metropolitan areas including Los Angeles. Dick and I spent a good deal of the day in the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

“4 Winds” People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan — May 1st

we are la

For May 1st, 2012 Occupy Los Angeles is organizing around a “4 Winds” People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles that will culminate in Direct Action in and around the Financial District

Occupy and Organized Labor: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win

minneapolis strike

Mark Naison: If I dare to dream, I can see where this collaboration between Occupy and Labor might lead—to the unionization of Wal-Mart, to the unionization of McDonalds, to the unionization of financial services workers in the nation’s largest banks.

How a Crackpot Education Reform Theory Became National Policy

college students

Mark Naison: Someday, Test Based Education Reform will go the way of Prohibition. But not before incalculable damage is done to the nations children

Obama and Leftists Survey — Question 2

Q2 Given the antics of the cavalcade of clowns vying for the Republican presidential nomination, what do you this election cycle? I’m not sure things would get worse than they are under Obama. The same thing that will happen if Barack Bush wins. Economic inequality will continue to increase; wars will be never ending The [...]

99 Percent Clubs: Online Public Square and Free Speech Zone

ola-dassault-kwazi-mario

Mark Naison: What we did not envision, when we created our 99% C lub, was how it would create an incredible online free speech zone and public square not only for club members, but for people with no direct connection to Fordham who found out what we were doing.

Will Occupy Fade Away?

Ky Primo writes a note on her view of "Occupy Los Angeles" while her friend Eddie Daniels holds a sign during the protest march in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 15, 2011. The note read "Let us educate ourselves, help educate others on how banks, taxation and trade work. Use the energy to amend the Constitution to separate money and state. Yes we can." (Photo: Ted Fisher)

Mark Naison: If the Occupy movement’s showed us, in words and deeds, “This Is What Democracy Looks Like” those attacking the Occupations showed the world, albeit unintentionally “This Is What a Police State Looks Like.”

How to Support the Occupations

occupy movement

Mark Naison: If you part of a large and growing number of Americans who support the Occupy movement, but may or may not be able to “Occupy” yourself, you might want to form a 99 Percent Club at your school, your workplace or in your neighborhood.

What Occupy Wall Street Has Accomplished in Two Short Months

occupy nyc

Mark Naison: While Occupy Wall Street and its spinoffs around the nation have certainly not developed “leaders” who articulate its goals to the media or negotiate with public officials, it has already registered a formidable list of accomplishments for a movement this young.

Survey Saturday: Occupy Your Mama

occupy oakland

Survey Saturday: With upwards of ten thousand Occupy protesters flooding through downtown Oakland yesterday to close shipping facilities there and organizers here in Los Angeles planning a full teach-in weekend with the likes of Robert Reich and Robert Scheer, the Occupy Movement has the world’s attention.

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When We All Are Doing Better

occupy wall street

Carl Bloice: Greed is rampant, poverty and economic inequality are growing relentlessly in our country and our political system is ever increasingly corrupted by money. The system is in trouble.

One Week in Polite and Egalitarian Japan

Bonsai Tree Nature Environment

Steve Hochstadt: If the US enters a long period of stagnation, our stark social inequalities may become less tolerable, as both the rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations already show. More egalitarian Japanese society may be better placed to deal with lack of growth.

Congratulations Republicans!

Chart prepared by Rick Seaman of Portland, Oregon source: Rachel Maddow Blog

Steve Hochstadt: In 2011, the Republican strategy has been crowned with total success. They have managed to make the US government into a laughing stock, a global symbol of incompetence. Public confidence in government is at an all-time low.

More Riches for the Rich

Rich-and-Poor

Steve Hochstadt: But neither party has tried very hard to protect the poorest Americans from the outsized greed of the wealthy. About half of all members of Congress are millionaires, and all of them are beholden to the very wealthy for donations to their constant campaigning.

America’s Blind Faith in Capitalism

capitalism

David Love: The inequality in this nation – and the flagrant manner in which concentrated power flaunts its excesses – is so perverse that it offends the moral sensibilities and belief systems of everyday folks.

California GOP Targets Workers

worker-wide

Caitlin Vega: In these times of unprecedented income inequality, all the Republicans want is to cut worker pay and protections and reward corporations, even if they break the law. It’s taking from those who have the least and giving to those with the most.

Reconsidering Japan…Reconsidering Paul Krugman

krugman

Steven Hill: No one has been more influential in defining this narrative than New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.

When the Poor Conspire to Keep Themselves Poor

David Love: Although the history still has yet to be written on the Obama presidency, it looks as if the second coming of F.D.R. ain’t gonna happen just yet. There are very good intentions in this administration, mixed with conflicting allegiances and amateurism.

The Real Lesson of Labor Day

american flag

Robert Reich: Face it: The national economy isn’t escaping the gravitational pull of the Great Recession. None of the standard booster rockets are working.

Janitors Protest: A Rally Against Economic Injustice or A Public Nuisance?

Sylvia Moore

Sylvia Moore: These protests were just the latest expression of outrage among the working classes across the country, who have suffered massive job losses and wage stagnation, while failing bank behemoths who wrecked the economy got bailed out to the tune of billions of dollars.

The Economic Fallacy of ‘Zombie’ Japan

happy worker

Steven Hill: Paul Krugman and others have got Japan wrong: Americans should be so lucky as to get a Japanese-style lost decade

The Duh Factor, or Biz School Brilliance

fat cat

Jim Fuller: I confess to major reservations about those who work in and for the business schools that now take up far too much otherwise valuable space on most major college and university campuses.

Skewed Wealth Distribution and the Roots of the Economic Crisis

david barber

David Barber: What I do know is that while “social psychology” may have had some small role as a causal factor in the Crash of ’08, it was the actual structure of the American and world economies which brought on the crisis. And if in fact we enter a second round of this Crash, it will not stem from what Dr. Shiller calls a “weakness and vulnerability of confidence,” but will result from the same structural elements of our economy as those that brought on the “first dip.”

Bleeding Heart Liberals Proven Right: Too Much Inequality Harms a Society

Depression

Robert Fuller: Within American society, it’s not the absolute income levels of states that determines their social well being, but rather the level of income disparity, as is the case with nations. Economic inequality and social dysfunction go hand in hand.

Are We Always Going to Be Preoccupied with Racism?

Five generations of a slave family.

Yet, the long view shows that since this racial system had a beginning, and important changes have taken place, one can venture that it will also have an end. The election of Barack Obama is an encouraging sign.

Obama and Pragmatism: Thinking Through Values

barack_obama2

I keep hearing the White House staff describe the President as a pragmatist. David Axelrod, one of his chief advisors whom I admire enormously, recently called him a “ruthless pragmatist.” Soon, I expect, he’ll be called a “take-no-prisoners pragmatist,” or perhaps a “remorseless, merciless, and unrelenting pragmatist.” I’m relieved the President is a pragmatist, but [...]

Is Fox’s Glenn Beck Today’s Version of Father Charles Coughlin?

coughlin_beck

Is Fox News host Glenn Beck our own Father Charles Coughlin, the “radio priest” who railed against Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s? That’s become a common refrain among liberals, who hear echoes of Coughlin in Beck’s attacks on President Obama. Conservatives recoil at the charge, of course, noting that Coughlin vilified Jews. No matter [...]

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