Against the Current 193

— The Editors
“TIME’S UP” AND #MeToo have transformed the discussion on sexual harassment, abuse and assault in the halls of politics, the entertainment industry, and workplaces all over the country. But the issues aren’t new — quite the contrary. Sexual exploitation and rape have been features of American culture from colonial times. The legal doctrine — slaves were property — codified rape as one more right of the slaveowners and his overseers. The evidence was...
— Malik Miah
IN 1967, MARTIN Luther King, Jr. told a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) staff retreat:
“I think it is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights… [W]hen we see that there must be a radical redistribution of economic and political power, then we see that for the last twelve years we have been in a reform movement…That after Selma and the Voting Rights Bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era...
AN EXCERPT FROM the “Fundamental Principles” of the Poor Peoples Campaign:
“We aim to shift the distorted moral narrative often promoted by religious extremists in the nation from personal issues like prayer in school, abortion, sexuality, gun rights, property rights to systemic injustices like how our society treats the poor, those on the margins, the least of these, women, children, workers, immigrants and the sick; equality and representation under the law; and the desire...
— Yihwa Kim
YIHWA KIM IS a Korean woman who fled her home country, South Korea, because of the extreme and prolonged domestic and sexual violence she suffered at the hands of her father and his friends. She was detained in April 2017 for seeking asylum in the United States.
In November, her right to a bond hearing was denied by a judge who was a former prosecutor for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). During her hearing, this judge openly said that he sympathized with the prosecuting attorney for...
— Lee Stanfield
SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH Care bill HR-676 covers 100% of everything with the least taxpayer money! What will it take to pass it? And why is neither S-1804 (see below), nor a “state-by-state” approach, the answer to the health care crisis?
President Truman proposed universal health care for the United States in 1945.Health care for everyone, covering every medical necessity and costing less than we now pay, has always been the goal of the single-payer movement. So why is it that 73 years...
— Mike McCallister
AS BACKGROUND, IT helps to start with an understanding of where the city of Milwaukee was in the summer of 1967.
Largely after World War II, Black workers came to Milwaukee in increasing numbers to get industrial jobs at AO Smith, American Motors, Harnischfeger and the like. Where were these folks going to live?
Through racial covenants, Black people were essentially restricted to a four-square-mile rectangle called the “Inner Core.” It was bounded by Juneau Ave on the South (just...
— Sheila Cohen
MORE THAN SIX months after the horrific fire in London’s Grenfell Tower, which in mid-June 2017 killed 81 and wounded countless more in mind as well as in body. the ruins of the 20-story block still stand as a potent symbol of social injustice in one of the richest areas in Britain. And this neighborhood’s domination by wealth has undoubtedly influenced many aspects of the investigation into that unspeakable disaster.
As for the Inquiry into the fire, when its Chair remarked that he...
— Vicki Cervantes
RIGHT-WING HONDURAN PRESIDENT Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) was inaugurated in a January 7, 2018 ceremony in a nearly empty National Stadium in the capital Tegucigalpa. Since the stolen election of November 26, 2017, the country had been totally militarized to protect his fraudulent victory — with a death toll of more than 34 killed by military and police.
The anti-dictatorship movement and organizations declared a civic insurrection, vowing that Honduras would be ungovernable....
— Jawad Moustakbal
“We must accept to live African, it is the only way to live dignified and free.” ­—Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso (1949-1987)
“The Third World today faces Europe like a colossal mass whose project should be to try to resolve the problems to which Europe has not been able to find the answers.” ­—Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (1961)
ON OCTOBER 28, 2016, IN Al Hoceima ­— a city in northeastern Morocco ­—...
— Charles Williams interviewing Michael Honey
Michael K. Honey is the author of the new study, To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice, to be published on the 50th anniversary of King’s April 4, 1968 assassination. He was interviewed by Charles Williams of the Against the Current editorial board. Their discussion of Michael Honey’s earlier book Going Down Jericho Road appeared in ATC 132 (
Against the Current: What is the significance of calling...
— Peter Drucker
THE BIG QUESTION surrounding the centenary of the October Revolution: Is this event a hundred years ago still relevant for the left today?
For decades now, there’s been a steady drumbeat of mainstream historians and ideologues telling us that the legacy of October has been, and deserves to be, dead and buried. Yet some people on the radical left persist in arguing for a critical recuperation of the heritage of 1917. I believe these arguments are well founded. In many ways, the strategic...
— Charles Williams interviews Brad Duncan
FINALLY GOT THE News explores “the printed legacy of the U.S. radical Left, 1970-79,” combining written reflections from movement participants with over 250 images from radical publications of the period (also displayed in the exhibition of the same name that opened at the Interference Archive in January 2017). Charles Williams interviewed Brad Duncan on behalf of the ATC editorial board in December 2017.
ATC: Can you discuss the origins of your book and the associated...
— Alice Ragland
Domestic Worker Organizers, 1960s-1970s
In the mid-to-late 20th century, while the Civil Rights movement was well under way, Black domestic workers spearheaded a movement of their own. Dorothy Bolden, Geraldine Roberts, Josephine Hulett and other African-American household laborers fought for respect, professionalism, and improved working conditions for their profession.
When 1930s New Deal legislation expanded protections for workers, domestic laborers and farmworkers were completely omitted....
— The Editors
IN RECOGNITION OF International Women’s Day, Against the Current takes the opportunity to honor some of the heroic women fighters of the present and recent past. Obviously this is only a small list that symbolizes much larger movements of resistance. We cite them here both for their own contributions and for the freedom struggles they represent.
Ahed Tamimi: The young Palestinian turned 17 in an Israeli prison, awaiting a March 11 trial date for slapping an IDF soldier — who had...
— Dianne Feeley
How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics
From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump
By Laura Briggs
University of California Press, 2017, 288 pages, $29.95 paperback.
Health Policy in a Time of Crisis
Abortion, Austerity, and Access
By Bayla Ostrach
Routledge, 2017, 190 pages, $44.95 paperback.
THESE TWO BOOKS about reproductive politics present contrasting situations. Health Policy in a Time of Crisis is focused, detailing how women are able to access publicly funded abortion in Catalunya...
— Mechthild Nagel
Revolutionary Learning:
Marxism, Feminism and Knowledge
By Sara Carpenter and Shahrzad Mojab
London, Pluto Press, viii + 152 pages, $28 paperback.
THE MAIN FOCUS of Revolutionary Learning, articulated in the Intro­duction as well as all six chapters, draws on Lenin’s theory of imperialism as a stage that haunts the contemporary lifeworld (monopoly capitalism, dispossession, finance capital).
The authors argue that educational theory needs the standpoint of revolutionary feminist praxis...
— Elizabeth Burton
Down Girl:
The Logic of Misogyny
By Kate Manne
Oxford University Press, 2017, 337 pages, $27.95 hardback.
“From each, says the slogan, according to her ability; to each according to his needs.” —Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
KATE MANNE’S FIRST book is an ambitious work of analytic feminist and moral philosophy. Drawing examples from contemporary politics, classic literature, and sociology and psychology research, her writing also has an engaging, journalistic...
— Sandra Lindberg
Ecofeminism as Politics:
Nature, Marx, and the Postmodern
By Ariel Salleh
Forewords by Vandana Shiva and John Clark
London: Zed Books, 2017, 2nd Edition, 400 pages, $25 paperback.
In 1997 ZED Books of London released Ecofeminism as Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern. Ariel Salleh’s book initially received high praise, but then was subsumed beneath Third Wave and post-cultural feminist theories.
In 2017 with climate change having become an existential threat, Zed Books published the...
— Fran Shor
Wobblies of the World:
A Global History of the IWW
Edited by Peter Cole, David Struthers and Kenyon Zimmer
London, Pluto Press: 2017, 312 pages, $28 paper.
THE BIRTH OF the Industrial Workers of the World came amidst working-class insurgencies, especially as a challenge to the impact of global capital on the circulation of labor. As the 1905 call to the IWW founding convention in Chicago made clear: “Universal economic evils afflicting the working class can be eradicated only by a...
— Sam Friedman
STEVE BLOOM’S EXCELLENT and highly-readable One Hundred Years tells the story of the Russian Revolution and its degeneration in the classical form of epic poetry. It is available via and also posted on the Solidarity website at
As a poet and as a revolutionary, I wish I could have thought to write such a poem — and that I had Steve’s talent to do it so well. Steve’s inspired technique was to tell the...
— Patrick M. Quinn & Eric Schuster
BILL PELZ, A well-known socialist activist and prolific scholar in the field of European and comparative Labor History, died at the age of 66 in Chicago on Sunday, December 10, 2017 following a heart attack. Bill was born into a working-class family on the South Side of Chicago. After graduation from high school he became a bus driver, aspiring to make as much money as his father had as a union machinist, “but later,” he said, “I lowered my expectations and became an academic...