This dramatic reading of Paul Potter's rightly famous speech is part of a wonderful series of public performances called the Port Huron Project re-enacting the signal flares of the American New Left. It's striking how contemporary they sound, and why, really, 1968 neither failed nor won. It is in more ways than one would wish the terrain of the battle we are still fighting. It's easier than you think to engage in free speech. You just have to do it. Read an interview with project creator Mark Tribe.
By Martin Travers artist living in Holland, and creator of the original image
I am a firm believer in the right to self determination of all peoples all over this wonderful world we all inhabit. To stand by the right to that self determination by Palestinian people or any other people is by no means supporting terrorism or senseless violence or racism, to say that is in itself an injustice. My painting which was recreated on the mural in question is about that right, breaking through the wall that separates the Israelis from Palestinians and the Palestinians from each other is symbolic of the breaking of the walls that fence in the marginalised and the “unwanted” people everywhere because to see them is to be reminded of where and how Europe, north America and Israel got its wealth.
[The text below is from the Maoist Information Bulletin,
produced by the CPN(M), Central Committee. The
CPN(M) is listed as a "terrorist" organization by the U.S. State
Department, American citizens should be advised.redFlagsprovides this link for informational purposes. On the link, there is also the entire text of a recent interview between Prachanda and Kantipur Online]
"On several occasions we have brought out our assessment that the
domestic situation in Nepal is favorable and ripe to capture central
state power in the near future, but as all the genuine communist
parties engaged in revolutionary practice know, the international
situation is quite unfavorable to accomplish new democratic revolution
and sustain it. It is obvious that we should try to mobilize
justice-loving people all over the world in general and the peoples of
south Asia in particular to garner support in favor of revolution,
improving on the domestic situation in the same spirit. For this we
should dare to abandon the course once selected and have the courage to
climb the unexplored mountain."
resignation of Debbie Almontaser as principal of the proposed Arab
language school in Brooklyn has caused a great deal of controversy. The
DOE replaced her with Danielle Salzberg. There's so
much stuff flying it is hard to keep track of it all. An interesting
interview by Amy Goodman posted on Democracy Now can be found here. Also this piece written by Almontaser, not long after 9/11.
By Steve Quester
UFT chapter leader
P.S. 372/418K The Children’s School from Education Notes Online
veteran Latina educator, with a years-long record of service supporting
Latino/a youth and building bridges between Latino/a and non-Latino/a
communities, is slated to be principal of a new middle school with a
focus on Hispano-Caribbean studies and Spanish language. She endures
months of vitriolic attacks from right-wing hate websites and blogs,
and from the Murdoch news organizations. Finally, the Murdoch media
uncover that she’s on the board of an organization that shares an
office with a Latina girls’ empowerment organization. The organization
has produced a T-shirt with the image of Che Guevara and the words
“Hasta la victoria siempre.” The Murdoch media point out (rightly) that
the “victoria” to which Che referred was the violent overthrow of all
capitalist governments, including the U.S. The media demand that the
educator condemn the T-shirt, but instead she says that the girls’
intention was to point to the victory of tolerance and coexistence over
anti-Latino/a bias in New York. The media howl. The educator quickly
apologizes, admitting that she did not take into account the effect
that the image of Che has on Cuban-American refugees of Castro’s
After the apology, the United Federation of Teachers president [hypotheticallyRandi Weingarten —JB], who had been
supportive of the new middle school and its principal, is quoted
condemning the educator’s initial defense of the T-shirt...
Chavez, President of Venezuela, recently announced the arrival of XXIst
Century Socialism. This declaration, although greeted with great
enthusiasm, left a residue of confusion. Since Chavez didn't discuss
XXIst Century Socialism during his recent Presidential campaign, and
since there are virtually no public theoretical documents defining this
new Socialist era, its precise features are not always clear.
Chavez has appointed a committee, well stocked with international
supporters, to come up with appropriate explanatory documents. In the
meantime, we can best understand the contours of XXIst Century
Socialism by examining it as it actually functions in the real world.
Practice is the true test of theory; after several years of Chavez's
leadership, we can readily detect the broad outlines of this innovative
There appear to be several critical new features of
the new XXIst Century Socialist breakthrough. We will review some of
the most important:
First of all, XXIst Century Socialism does
not require a revolution. This comes as a great relief to Socialists
around the world, and will surely encourage many new Socialists to step
By by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith Originally published inThe Nation
Though Americans disapprove of President Bush's handling of the
situation in Iraq by more than two to one, they don't seem to be
expressing that disapproval to anyone but pollsters. A plan to
establish a monthly Iraq Moratorium Day may provide a way for them to do so.
Refitting an idea from the Vietnam era to the age of the Internet,
organizers of the Iraq Moratorium Day are inviting ordinary Americans
to demand an end to the war in targeted activities in their local
communities and viral activities online. The goal is a "monthly
expression of determination to end the war."
The initiators, a handful of individuals from different corners of
the antiwar movement, are asking people to make a simple pledge:
"I hereby make a commitment that on Friday, September 21, 2007, and
the third Friday of every subsequent month I will break my daily
routine and take some action, by myself or with others, to end the War
As the U.S.'s crimes against humanity in the Middle East mount, it is of tremendous importance for people in the U.S. to honestly confront and rise to the profound challenges and responsibilities before us in bringing this to a halt. In this spirit, I welcomed the argument made by Hadas Thier and Aaron Hess in the Socialist Worker on April 20, 2007 entitled Standing up to Islamophobia, even while I find their central arguments to not only be wrong, but harmful.
I do not doubt that Thier and Hess want to oppose U.S. wars of aggression and their accompanying assault on Muslims, Arabs and South Asians living in the U. S. But they end up arguing for an approach that will neither meet the actual challenges of opposing the U.S. “crusade,” nor bring forward new, truly liberating possibilities here and around the world. They end up in this unfortunate place through the use of bad logic, flawed methodology, and a duck-from-unpleasant-realities epistemology (method for arriving at what is true).
Riots and repression have rocked Copenhagen for three days and nights. In what's been billed as the "final conflict" of the Scandanavian autonomous scene, the Danish state has moved to sell off and shut down Youth House, the last remaining political squat outside of Cristiana, Copenhagen's famed semi-autonomous zone in the center of the city. Over 600 people have been brutally arrested attempting to block the transfer of Youth House to a Christian sect that has slated this vibrant social center for demolition. Supporters from around Scandanavia and Germany traveled to assist the Danes, with the government responding by raiding anti-authoritarian offices and movement centers in round-ups. UK Indymedia has an update page with timelines, pictures and tons of information.
The 1980’s was the heyday of the autonomous movement in Denmark,
Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Thousands of mostly young people
squatted hundreds of abandoned buildings in dozens of urban centers,
creating alternative societies that embraced community, art, music, and
a culture of resistance that rejected consumerism and empire. A
community was formed that rejected the domination of the world by
multinational corporations and the governments that supported them,
whether they be outright militarist states like the US or more
watered-down NATO members like Denmark. They defended their squats in
pitched battles with police, and at the same time debated sexism within
their movement and organized protests in support of refugees and
against nuclear power. The movement existed in a near-constant state of
siege. Many squats were ultimately taken by force by the police, and
others were legalized.
With that in mind: Either we fight for the world, or fight for our own turf. They are not the same thing. There is no as autonomy in this world and there never will be. The retreat into socio-political ghettos in Europe was a surrender to the permanence of the capitalist (welfare) state while playing at war against it. It is people in their millions who will take down European capitalism. In the difference between the suburban riots in France last year and the subcultural resistance of the long-waned autonomous scene – we can see the outlines of new European left that no longer sees itself flowering in the cracks and margins – but which pushes to the very centers of power through the rebellion of working people and their allies, both native born and immigrant.
These social centers are exciting places, particularly for Americans with little experience in strong, radical institutions (as Rovics ably reports). Understood in context, the squats and social centers were a retreat by movements past, not simply something to defend. When radicals gave up on a better world, they settled for a better apartment.
What sees itself as autonomy could be seen through another lens as containment.
That said, they take their autonomy seriously – and they fight for it. You have to respect people who refuse to be governed. In Texas, the fetish of private property means you legally get shot for walking on somebody's lawn. In Copenhagen for these days, what people were willing to wage a violent defense of is their right to a social existence outside of capitalism, with mutual aid and solidarity outside of the exploitative hierarchies of capitalism.
In the ferocity of their battle is the measure of their hope.