Against the Current 130

— The Editors
AN ELECTION IS looming, and an incumbent regime is falling apart. Its war in Iraq is a catastrophic failure. Its biggest recent success — deporting and terrorizing a large sector of the immigrant labor force — is leaving the produce of U.S. agribusiness rotting in the fields of California, and elsewhere. The housing bubble, prolonged and inflated by the predatory and sleazoid “subprime” mortgage industry, is now a rupturing appendix whose poisons are spreading through the...
— Malik Miah
THE U.S. SUPREME Court fundamentally weakened its landmark 1954 Brown v Board of Education civil rights decision in a 5-4 vote on June 28. The decision is a blow to equal rights. The Court majority ruled that race-based public school enrollment plans in Seattle, Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky, are unconstitutional. Those plans — like others around the country — were designed to maintain racially integrated student populations. The majority justices, led by Chief Justice...
— Renee Saucedo
ATTEMPTS IN THE U.S. Senate, as well as by the Bush administration, failed to revive the most recent immigration legislation — a proposal which among other things would separate families, heighten worker exploitation, further militarize the U.S./Mexico border, and provide no realistic path to residency for the vast majority of undocumented people now living in the United States....
— Carol Jacobsen
MOST, IF NOT all, women in prison come from abusive backgrounds, including incest, domestic violence, emotional and/or physical abuse. Half of the women in U.S. prisons would not be there at all if they were men because of far fewer alternatives to prison for women, and because of gender-based crimes, including prostitution, crimes committed to support children when courts fail to go after deadbeat dads, and crimes committed against or under duress of an abuser....
— Dianne Feeley
TOWARD THE END of July the United Auto Workers (UAW) held the traditional handshaking ceremony that formally opened contract negotiations with executives at Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, what used to be called the Big Three. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger admonished the press that the union is not in a concessionary mode. Veteran observers and auto worker activists recognize this as a sure signal that massive concessions are imminent. Outside the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources a hundred...
— Rachel Wallis
WALKING THROUGH THE streets of Oaxaca on the morning of July 16th, the schizophrenic nature of the Oaxacan political reality was on full display. On one end of the city, in a historic plaza beside a church, thousands of supporters of the teachers’ union and the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) gathered peacefully to watch cultural performances as a part of the People’s Guelaguetza....
— an interview with John Ross
JOHN ROSS WAS interviewed in April 2007 by John O’Connor. Ross has been reporting on Mexico and Latin America for more than two decades. He has written three books on the Zapatistas (Rebellion from the Roots, The War Against Oblivion, and Zapatistas: Making Another World Possible). Ross lives in Mexico City. He has won the Upton Sinclair and American Book awards. Against the Current: On June 26, 2005, the Zapatistas issued the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle....
— Dan La Botz
IN A BLURB on the back of this book, anthropologist Lynn Stephen describes it as “encyclopedic” and “a valuable reference book.” Both of those are right....
— Uri Avnery
INTRODUCING MISS CALCULATSIA, that fashionable foreigner, the new star in Israeli discourse. To a Hebrew ear, she sounds like a young beauty, like “Miss Israel”. But Miss- Calculatsia, the Hebrew version of “miscalculation”, is neither young nor beautiful, nor even female: just another pretentious foreign word taking the place of a perfectly good Hebrew one....
— John McGough and Isaac Steiner
THE CULMINATION OF years of discussion and thousands of hours of planning, the 1st United States Social Forum brought together over 12,000 activists to sweltering Atlanta  June 27-31 for a week of conferencing, networking and marching. With lead organizing initiated by nonprofits, especially Project South, with ties to the Grassroots Global Justice network, the USSF resulted from two years’ work by a National Planning Committee (NPC) composed of several dozen nonprofits, left...
— Andrea Smith
IN FORA SUCH as the U.S. or World Social Forums, gender and sexuality are often reduced to discussions on the status of women or LGBT communities. What we pay less attention to is how the logic of heteropatriarchy fundamentally structures colonialism, white supremacy and capitalism....
— Milton Tambor
THE ORGANIZERS OF the U.S. Social Forum must be commended for making possible this political happening with its 900 workshops. The USSF has succeeded in bringing together activists from many diverse sectors working for global justice — thereby contributing to the strengthening of the entire movement....
— Ashley Smith
IN 1968 THE worldwide explosion of struggle, from the battlefields of Vietnam to the streets and factories of France and Czechoslovakia, opened a new opportunity to challenge the capitalist system. In the United States, the Civil Rights struggle against racism sparked a wave of radicalization and struggle to challenge a whole host of American capitalism’s inequities — from its war in Vietnam to its sexism, homophobia, and class exploitation....
— Dianne Feeley
SOCIALISTS IDENTIFY THE working class as a potentially powerful agent of change. Working people have that potential because we keep the economy running. We therefore have the power to stop production through a general strike, create bottlenecks through which a relatively small number of strikers can significantly disrupt the economy, or we can stay on the job and work to rule, slowing down production....
— Chloe Tribich
AT THE TIME I joined Solidarity about a year and a half ago, I had been involved with activist and organizing work for about five years, which comprised  most of my post-college life. Specifically, I was active in an organization called Jews Against The Occupation (a Palestine solidarity organization) and working as staff organizer for a housing group. I wanted a way to understand what I was doing in a bigger context, and to be around people who were thinking about how their current work...
— John McGough
IN THEIR PREFACE to the 43rd volume of the Socialist Register, Coming to Terms with Nature, editors Leo Panitch and Colin Leys admit that this edition “has been one of the most challenging to put together....
— David Finkel
THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY will be either the century of a “sustainability revolution” — extending the industrial and scientific revolutions of the 18th through 20th centuries, bringing their benefits to all humanity while eliminating massive global poverty and inequality, and in the process beginning to repair the massive damage wreaked on the environment by blind industrial expansion and capital accumulation — or else the century in which the progress of human...
— Ron Warren
“In 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population of more than one million; today there are 400, and by 2015 there will be at least 550. Cities, indeed, have absorbed nearly two-thirds of the global population explosion since 1950, and are currently growing by a million babies and migrants each week… Cities will account for virtually all further world population growth, which is expected to peak at about 10 billion in 2050. Ninety-five percent of this final buildout of...
— David Mandel
THIS BOOK IS a study of the Moscow Hammer and Sickle metallurgical factory between 1905 to 1932, based largely on four factory-specific archives that became available to Western historians after the fall of the Soviet Union. Its main focus, covering two-thirds of the book, is the post-revolutionary, post-civil war period....
— Nick Hillendime
YEARS AGO, WHEN I worked the sports unit of a commercial TV station, I spent many hours in a van traveling to various games with a lot of folks who were all smarter than I (pilots in their spare time, people who repaired and operated sophisticated video equipment), which didn’t keep me from getting into political arguments because I was younger, dumber, angrier and relatively new to the finer points of Marxism....
— George Fish
THE SUN RECORDS’ Million-Dollar Quartet, with Elvis Presley sitting at the piano and surrounding him, from right to left, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis: The frontspiece photo in the booklet of notes to Last Man Standing says it all....
— Ernest Haberkern
I WOULD LIKE to add some more information on the book by Hal Draper, Zionism, Israel and the Arabs, which is the source of the excerpt from his 1948 essay “How to Defend Israel” printed in the May/June 2007 issue of ATC....
— Michael Friedman
TWO REPORTS challenge Kim Moody’s assertion (“Immigrant Workers in the United States,”Part 1, ATC 127) that “[t]he claim is raised by some that the rapid growth of immigrant Latinos in the workforce has had a negative impact on wages. In any overall sense, the answer has to be no....
— David Finkel
TWO PIONEERS OF the freedom struggle died in August, leaving legacies for the ages. Irene Morgan Kirkaldy was 90. In July, 1944 in Saluda, Virginia — 11 years before Rosa Parks in Birmingham, Alabama — Irene Morgan refused to surrender her seat on a Greyhound bus to a white rider....
— Kate Stacy
KAREN WAS MY oldest and dearest friend. We were young women together in Detroit, working for the newspaper of the International Socialists beginning in the early ‘70s. She had moved to Detroit along with IS members from other cities, mostly on the West or East coasts, to help establish our political center and an infrastructure to support our factory and trade union activism....