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OWS Undaunted By Dozens Of Arrests In Bid To Reclaim Space,
Continues Its Work
The 99 Percent
Celebrating its 3rd month of existence OWS came to take back The
Commons, a space owned by Trinity Church, to assert freedom of
expression and the right to assemble as fundamental freedoms.
While more than 50 arrests ensued still through creative, bold
actions OWS has renewed a sense of hope, revived a belief in
community and awakened a sprit of resistance. “To Occupy”,
the word has been repurposed by OWS to mean to come
together in a resistance movement with people of many colors,
genders and political persuasions who can no longer tolerate the
greed and corruption of the 1% and their governmental shills.
Demands For Jobs For All Grows
Connie Kaplan, 99er, activist
Eric Lernerl Cindy Klumb
The Labor Outreach Committee, of OWS, POP, OWS en Espanol,
The Jobless Working Group OWS and Occupy Harlem are among
an expanding chorus advocating for a democratically controlled
public works and public service program, with direct government
employment, to create tens of millions of new jobs at good union
wages. The new jobs will go to meeting the needs of the 99%.
The program would be funded by raising taxes on the rich and
corporations and by ending U.S. wars and would be open to all,
regardless of immigration status or criminal record.
WHO WE ARE
WORKERS OF THE WORLD TUNE IN! Introducing "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report"
Our beat is the labor front, broadly defined, both geographically and conceptually. We examine the world of work and workers on the job as well as where they live. We examine the issues that affect their everyday lives, with a particular sensitivity towards human rights abuses, environmental concerns and the U.S. drive for global domination. We record their global struggles and provide analysis of their efforts to empower themselves and transform society to provide greater democratic, human, social, political and economic rights. Each program consists of feature stories, generally interviews, within a historical context, often accompanied by sound from demonstrations, rallies or conferences, and complemented and enhanced by poetry and instrumental or vocal -- people's culture.
Over the years Building Bridges has produced a weekly one hour program, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST, covering local, national and international labor and community issues over radio WBAI-Pacifica 99.5 FM in New York. We also produce half hour version, Building Bridges National, which is distribtued to over 40 broadcast and internet radio stations.
For more information you can contact us at email@example.com
In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash Follow @bbridgesradio
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Occupy West Coast Shuts Down Ports,
While NYC Targeted Goldman Sachs
Maria Cardenas, Occupy Oakland
Michael Novick, Occupy LA
OWS demonstrators, NY at Goldman Sachs
The Occupy movement in West Coast port cities called for
shutdowns of their ports. In solidarity OWS, NY targeted
Wall Street giant, the owner of half of one of the world’s
largest transportation and shipping outfits, Goldman Sachs.
The ports were targeted because of the firing of port truckers
organizing at SSA terminals in LA, owned by Goldman Sachs
and the attempt to rupture ILWU union jurisdiction in
Longview, WA by EGT, an exporter led by Bunge Ltd, owned
by 1% bankers which reported a $2.5 billion profit last year
while impoverishing workers in Argentina and Brazil.
These economic blockades were in response to the nationally
coordinated attacks on the Occupy movement.
Posted in Bunge Ltd, EGT, Goldman Sachs, Long Beach port truckers, Los Angeles port truckers, Occupy LA, Occupy Oakland, Occupy port shutdowns, Occupy wall street, SSA terminals, the Goldman Squid » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Newark Unemployment Protest in 6th Month is a Model for the Nation
Larry Hamm, Chairman, People's Organization for Progress, Newark, N.J.
The U.S. economy is struggling, but in many black communities
Americans are in the throes of a depression. With unemployment
exacting an outsize toll on African-American men and women, a
coalition initiated by the People’s Organization for Progress has
been demonstrating daily for over 6 months in a busy intersection
in Newark flanking a statue of Abraham Lincoln outside the Essex
County Courthouse. This persistent and visible protest in one
location has received widespread attention throughout the City
and support from labor, student, religious and other community
groups including Occupy Newark who see unemployment as a
crucial civil rights issue emerging from the country’s economic
woe. "We are more than a half-century away from the Montgomery
bus boycott, but we are dealing with issues just as pressing,"
said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for
Progress. Hamm and like-minded activists started the 381-day
protest modeled after one of the most famous battles of the
Civil Rights era — the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56.
They are calling on President Obama and Congress to institute
a jobs program akin to the Works Progress Administration of
the Great Depression, that employed millions of unskilled
Americans in public works jobs. Unemployment is 16 percent
among black Americans, a rate rivaling those of the 1930s.
Newark’s jobless rate hovers around 15%, while the national
rate is 8.6 percent.
NYC Students Stand Firm After CUNY Police Bully Them During Occupy
City Univeristy of NY (CUNY) Protest Over Tuition Hikes
Occupy CUNY Student Members Hector Agredano & Emma Francis-Snyder Barbara Bowen, President of CUNY Professional Staff Congress
Students, faculty, Occupy CUNY and OWS demonstrated outside
Baruch College to protest the Board of Trustees' meeting, where the
Board passed measures to further squeeze the public out of CUNY.
Even though these meetings are legally obligated to be open to the
public, Baruch's president announced that the Vertical Campus would
be closed to almost everyone by 3pm. However, protestors reclaimed
CUNY on the outside, and exposed the Board's illegitimate actions inside.
Police violence has already occurred at Baruch, in response to protests
about tuition hikes, and unfair labor practices targeted toward adjunct
and other faculty, and the privatization of the public CUNY system. But,
like pro-democracy movements from UC-Davis to Occupy Wall Street
the protestors stood firm - our schools and communities are not for sale,
and we will not give up our rights to free speech and assembly.
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Posted in AFT, Barbara Bowen, Baruch College, City University of New York, CUNY Professional Staff Congress, Occupy CUNY, Occupy wall street, student debt, tuition protests » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
The Vanishing Safety Net:
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) at 15 Years
Tim Casey, attorney, Legal Momentum and longtime welfare advocate
In Aug.1996, Pres. Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and
Work Opportunity Act, replacing Aid to Families with Dependant
Children with TANF as the national welfare program for needy
Americans. 15 years later, the truth is that TANF has shredded
the safety net. It has been a disaster for poor families, most
of whom are headed by single mothers. Benefit receipt has fallen
from three-fifths of poor children pre-reform to just one-fifth of
poor children post-reform, and benefit amounts have plummeted.
The shriveled safety net condemns millions of women & children
to poverty so extreme that many are deprived sufficient food,
housing, and utility services. As TANF turns 15, we'll look at the
necessity to restore and extend adequate benefits and surmise
what is likely to happen to the reauthorization of TANF which
will be before the Congress.
Domino’s Pizza Delivers Slavery With A Smile
Pastor Robert Brashear, Sweatshop Free NY
Carlos Rodriquez, Justice Will Be Served
Vincent Cao, Justice Will Be Served
Domino’s moguls giddily reap profits off the backs of workers,
watching their corporate sales surge to $1.57 billion in 2010.
Patrick Doyle, President raked in $5.7 million in 2010 and
Dave Melton, NYC franchise had $4 million in yearly sales.
Meanwhile Domino’s workers work up to 78 hours a week,
but many are paid for only half of these hours at $4.40
an hour. Now that Domino workers are organizing Domino
who refuses to comply with labor laws is retaliating against
the workers. But, Justice Will Be Served!
Posted in Domino’s Pizza, Justice will be Served, Legal Momentum, Occupy wall street, Robert Brashear, safety net, Sweatshop Free NY, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), Tim Casey » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Occupy Wall Street Occupies The Brooklyn Bridge As Tens Of Thousands Say
We’re Here To Take Back The Wealth We Created And They Covet And Control!
Angry and reeling from the horrific military attack which Bloomberg
perpetrated on peaceful, sleeping protestors fighting for economic justice
in our increasingly unjust and undemocratic country, in a National Day of
Action both to celebrate the 2-month birthday of Occupy Wall Street, and
protest the outrage of the eviction, an incredible, diverse group, poured
into the streets – “all day, all night Occupy Wall Street”! The 99%
delivered a powerful message that the domination of society by a tiny
elite of super-wealthy individuals and corporations, harnessing government
to do their bidding was unacceptable. The days protests were capped off
by a rally and march over the Brooklyn Bridge by tens of thousands
determined to take back and redistribute the wealth of this country to those
who created it – the 99%.
Greek Tragedy, Europe’s Achilles Heel?
Leo Panitch, Professor of Political Science at York
University, Canada and Editor of the Socialist Register.
As the G-20 economic summit met austerity was sweeping Europe,
the future of the Eurozone was in doubt and then the Greek
government collapsed over its proposed new debt agreement with
the European Union. The deal was reached by European leaders to
stabilize the Euro and to avoid Greek default on its debt to the banks
or its leaving the euro currency zone. Anger among Greek citizens
stems from the proposed agreement’s focus on more austerity to
repay the bank loans leading to increased unemployment. A new
world recession may be drawing closer after the G-20 failed to
agree on fresh financial help for distressed countries.
Hey Union Busting Is Disgusting! -
Joining the Sotheby Workers Protest with OWS
Some 400 protesters in NYC greeted Sotheby's $500 million
auction with a high-spirited, very high-decibel demonstration in
solidarity with its locked-out workers. Despite making record
profits last year, the auction house is demanding wage and benefit
cuts, and the replacement of skilled, union workers with unskilled,
non-union temporary workers.Several unions, including other
Teamster locals, UAW, CWA, LiUNA, TWU, SEIU and UFT were
represented at the demonstration, together with Hunter, NYU
and Columbia University students and faculty, and of course
Occupied Wall Street activists six of whom were arrested in an
act of civil disobedience.
Unraveling the Unemployment Insurance Lifeline
George Wentworth, Staff Attorney, National Employment Law Project
At a time when U.S. corporations are stockpiling cash, it’s outrageous
that state lawmakers have the audacity to make jobless workers pay
for decades of irresponsible business tax breaks that ultimately
undermined state unemployment insurance finances. But, corporate
lobbyists have ushered through legislative measures, behind closed
doors and with no public debate, of cuts to state unemployment
insurance programs when more people are out of work for longer
than any other period in generations. We have better wakeup and
smell the coffee, realize the consequences of what will be drastic
measures before our unemployment benefits are no longer there
when we need them.
Occupy Wall Street Protesters including Pulitzer Prize winning
author Christopher Hedges arrested at Goldman Sachs headquarters
in NYC as they chant “Crooks & Thieves, Protected By Police!
The Criminals Are Inside"
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Posted in Chris Hedges, economic crisis, George Wentworth, Goldman Sachs, National Employment Law Project, Occupy wall street, recession, unemployment insurance » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Neither Rain Nor Snow Stop Black, Latino, Asian American
Unionists March for Occupy Wall Street
Despite the rain and snow of the season’s first big storm hundreds
in NYC braved the weather to hail Occupy Wall Street and vowed
to help protect the protesters from the increasingly inclement
weather as winter approaches and the increasing attacks by the
city governments nationwide. The rally at City Hall and march to
the Occupy site at Wall Street’s Freedom Square was organized by
the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Labor Council for Latin
American Advancement, the NAACP and the Asian, Pacific
American Labor Alliance all representing workers who have been
particularly hard hit by the recession. This Rally and March signaled
the increasing movement of people of color both in support and
joining the Occupy Wall Street movement.
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Posted in Asian, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Occupy wall street, Pacific American LaborAlliance, the NAACP, unemployment » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
All Day, All Week – N.Y.C. Occupy Wall Street Actions
atSotheby’s Auction Lockout,
Harlem Protest Against Stop and Fisk
andVerizon Workers Contract Protest
It’s been a busy week for NYC’s Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Building Bridges brings you coverage of three of the multitude of
actions the've joined with community and labor activists. First we
went to NYC’s posh Upper East Side where Teamster Local 814
art handlers have been locked out for months in a contract dispute
over cutbacks and outsourcing demands by Sotheby’s Auction house
which caters to the 1%. Then uptown to Harlem where hundreds
demonstrated in front of the Harlem 28th Precinct where 33 activists
led by noted author, activist and Princeton Prof. Cornel West and
veteran revolutionary fighter Carl Dix were arrested protesting the
N.Y. Police Department’s racist, illegal, illegitimate stop and frisk
policy which is on track to impact over 700,000 people, mostly Black
and Latino youth, in 2011. Then downtown to Wall Street to protest
for a fair contract for 45,000 Verizon workers whose negotiations are
not going well. Like Sotheby, Verizon is an extremely profitable
company whose demands include cutbacks and outsourcing.
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Posted in Communication Workers of America, Cornel West, N.Y.C. stop and frisk, Occupy Wall Street New York City, Sotheby’s labor, Teamster Local 814, the 99%, Verizon labor » Email Post » Links to this post » 2 comments »
Occupy Wall Street Wins, Then Celebrates with Citywide Protests
Following a huge and rapid public outcry that included hundreds of
thousands of online petition signatures and phone calls to New York
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office, a threatened clean-up/eviction
of Occupy Wall Street's home base at LIberty Square was postponed
just before the 7 AM deadline on Friday, October 14 as thousands of
99%ers massed at Liberty Square to defend Occupy Wall Street.
The next day saw a sea of protests starting at Liberty Square when
thousands marched around Wall Street targeting Chase Bank which
leads all others in predatory foreclosure evictions. It moved to college
protests at Washington Square Park featuring numerous issues including
health care. Tens of thousands of protesters then converged on
Times Square culminating a day in solidarity with protesters around
the country and the world in a new mass movement which is now
just one month old.
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“Occupy Wall Street” Creates a Movement
with Labor & Community Support Despite Police Repression.
Occupy Wall Street, the movement whose organizational forms & demands
are evolving continues to pick up support including organized labor.
Transport Union Local 100, hospitals Local 1199, city workers' DC 37
AFSCME, UAW Local 2110, Teamster Local 814 and building service
workers Local 32-BJ and the United Federation of Teachers were just
some of the unions which pledged solidarity at a massive support rally
in NYC which drew tens of thousands. An earlier rally saw thousands
march from the newly named “Liberty Square” on Wall Street to Police
Plaza over what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment by
the police. The foundation of “Occupy Wall Street” is recognition the
richest 1% own more than half of this country’s wealth while 1 in 5 in
New York City live in poverty. Instead of bailing out people and helping
them get jobs, government bailed out the same institutions that had
created the economic crisis, giving them trillions of dollars. "Occupy
Wall Street” continues to grow and represent the 99% of the have
nots against the have mores and more as they march and rally
and gain more adherents across the city, the nation and the world.
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Do you know what it says on the death certificate for anyone
Stephen Bright, President and Senior Counsel of the Southern
Center for Human Rights, law professor who twice argued and
won cases before the United States Supreme Court, involving
racial composition of the juries. He has testified on many
occasions before committees of both the U.S. Senate and House
of Representatives. His and the Center's work has been the
subject of a documentary film, "Finding for Life in the Death Belt",
and two books, "Proximity to Death" and "Finding Life on Death
When they say cause of death, do you know what the word is?
“It’s homicide”. Homicide! It certainly felt like murder watching the
TroyDavis hashtag tick away the last minutes of aman’s life. The
death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the
premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state.
While, this cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the
name of justice it violates the right to life as proclaimed in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Building Bridges opposes
the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the
nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method
used by the state to kill the prisoner. This show, in memoriam of
Troy Davis (9/21/2011), Stan “Tookie” Williams, (12/13/2005),
Dominque Green (10/26/2004), and Gary Graham a/k/a Shaka
Sankofa (6,22/2000) to name but a few victims of state executions,
Stephen Bright makes the case for abolishing the death penalty
Posted in Death penalty abolition, death row, Mumia Abu-Jamal, prison racism, Southern Center for Human Rights, state executions, Stephen Bright, Troy Davis » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Speaker Boehner’s Adds His Jobs Pitch To Obama’s, So Where’s The Beef?with
Timothy Canova, professor of international economic law and author of The Federal Reserve We Need and the Legacy of the Clinton Bubble
House Speaker John Boehner added his two cents to the pot of job creation
plans when he called for a total reform of the tax code, fewer federal
regulations and an expansion of infrastructure projects and domestic energy production. Boehner’s plan targets the employer side by lowering the
corporate tax rate and rolling back environmental and labor regulations.
Meanwhile, Obama’s plan focuses partially on the employee side of the
equation, with payroll tax breaks and extended unemployment insurance, infrastructure projects and aid to the States for Education Jobs. We’ll
dissect the respective proposals, see the prospects of either plan to put
America back to work and comment on Obama’s deficit reduction proposals. ************
The Socialist Bank of North Dakota
Dr. Rozanne Everson Junker, political scientist
North Dakota has long had a state bank which unlike private banks has
faithfully served the people and the state in good times and bad. We've
talked about a public option for health care, but why not for banks?
Thanks to Michael Moore for this case study.
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Posted in deficit debate, Dr. Rozanne Everson, economic crisis, Federal Reserve, government jobs programs, Obama jobs, Speaker Boehner Jobs, state bank of North Dakota, Timothy Canova, unemployment » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
40th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion and Massacre and the Struggle Today Against the New Jim Crow - 27:56
40th anniversary of the Attica Rebellion and Massacre & the Struggle TodayAgainst the New Jim Crow
. Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Consultant , Inst, for Development of Pan African
Policy (Ghana), a 43 year veteran of the Black Liberation and Pan-African Movements
. Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, Campaign to End the New Jim Crow
. Dr. Cornel West, Prof. Princeton Univ., public intellectual, author & activist
Forty years ago, September 9, 1971, inmates in New York's Attica Prison
began a protest against jail conditions that ended on September 13, as
one of the bloodiest days in the 20th century in the U.S. Troopers shot indiscriminately over 2000 rounds of ammunition, and 29 prisoners and
10 state personnel would die. After the shooting stopped, police beat
and tortured scores of prisoners, 90 of the surviving prisoners were
seriously wounded but were initially denied medical care. The state
would originally claim that all of the guards had died at the hands of the
inmates. The New York Times reported on its front page that the throats
of all of the guards were slashed. But it was lies, the guards as well as
the prisoners who were deemed expandable had been shot dead during
The Attica uprising is an under-commemorated historic event. Millions,
watched the drama, from interviews with the inmate leadership all the
way to the climactic helicopter gunship assault, which was as ruthless
and one-sided as anything that was coming out of Vietnam. While the
legacy of the Attica uprising, includes the establishment of Prisoners
Legal Services, and the Prisoners Rights Project, it also includes the
Rockefeller Drug Laws. The lasting lesson of Attica is that little will
change until current and former inmates, many times more numerous
than in 1971, again take their destinies into their own hands, as many
are doing, and continue to organize themselves and we in our
communities follow suit in a political fight to roll back the prison state
in our lifetimes, inspired by the sacrifice of the heroic Attica Brothers.
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Posted in Attica Prison Uprising, Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Cornel West, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Joseph Hayden, Nelson Rockerfeller, prisoner franchise, prisoner rights » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
"The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times and Legacy of Joe Hill -
American Labor Icon"
author William Adler
Labor Day, marked the day for the release of "The Man Who Never
Died". This book presents new evidence of Joe Hill's innocence of
the murder for which Utah executed him in 1915. It also names the
likely perpetrator of that murder: a career criminal who went on to
work for Al Capone. The Man Who Never Died, Joe Hill is a narrative
history of Joe Hill's life and the rise of the Industrial Workers of the
World, the IWW, the Wobblies. It seeks to put Joe Hill’s martyrdom,
his organizing, his music in the radical context of his times. What
better cultural icon to inspire and move us than Joe Hill, the man
who never died. We speak with author Bill Adler who keeps Joe Hill
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Posted in Bill Adler, capital punishment, folk music, I.W.W., Industrial Workers of the World, Joe Hill, labor history, labor songs, The Man Who Never Died, union history, Utah, William Adler » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Newark Activists In Fifty-Fourth Day Of Protest Calling on U.S. Government To Institute Jobs Program
with Larry Hamm, Chairman, People's Organization for Progress, Newark, N.J.
The U.S. economy is struggling, but in many black communities Americans
are in the throes of a depression. With unemployment exacting an outsize
toll on African-American men and women, a coalition of community groups
sees it as a crucial civil rights issue emerging from the country’s economic
woe. "We are more than a half-century away from the Montgomery bus
boycott, but we are dealing with issues just as pressing," said Larry Hamm,
chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress. Flanking a statue of
Abraham Lincoln outside the Essex County Courthouse, Hamm and like-
minded activists started a 381-day protest modeled after one of the most
famous battles of the Civil Rights era — the Montgomery bus boycott in
1955-56. They are calling on President Obama and Congress to institute
a jobs program akin to the Works Progress Administration of the Great
Depression, that employed millions of unskilled Americans in public works
jobs. Unemployment is 16 percent among black Americans, a rate rivaling
those of the 1930s. New Jersey’s jobless rate is 9.5 percent, while the
national rate is 9.1 percent.
AFL-CIO Pres. Trumka:
History Will Judge Pres. Obama If He 'Nibbles' at the Jobs Crisis
At a recent forum sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO's.
Richard Trumka urged President Obama to “propose bold solutions on the
jobs crisis,” and not nibble around the edge of the issue and that, “history
will judge him and I think working people will judge him. on what he
proposes on the jobs crisis. Trumka said that, in a conversation with
Pres. Obama “I urged him to propose what was necessary to solve the
problem” as opposed to what the president thought was politically possible
given Republican control of the House of Representatives. Mr. Trumka
added, “I said to him,'Do not look at what is possible, look at what is
necessary. The American public wants solutions and just because [of] the Republicans, you think this is the only thing that is politically possible, that
doesn’t mean you should propose that. That means they control the agenda.' ”
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Central Park Boathouse Strikers Swimming For Their Lives
Julia Rybak, lead organizer, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council
andBoathouse strikers Alejandra Betancur and Chrissy Makris
The landmark Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park has become almost as
famous for its long history of ugly labor disputes as for its fine dining and
views. Now, the Boathouse workers are on strike to protest management's
firing of workers who exercised their right to join the Union. Since the
organizing effort began in January, nearly 70% of the regular 100-member
workforce have signed authorization cards to join the union and 38 workers
have been illegally fired for union activities. Thefirings and more than 20
charges of unfair labor practice have been filed with the N.L.R.B. by the
union. Last June, six women - current and former employees - filed sexual harassment complaints with federal and state agencies. An audit of the
Boathouse found that management unlawfully confiscated over $3 million
in banquet gratuities from its employees. The Boathouse is operated by
restaurateur Dean Poll under a contract with the city, which owns the iconic
eatery but has not taken any responsibility for the illegal and reprehensible
actions of Boathouse management.
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Posted in Adrian Benepe, Dean Poll, N.Y.C. Boathouse, N.Y.C. Central Park, N.Y.C. Mayor Bloomberg, National Labor Relations Board, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, sexual harassment, union busting » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Corporations Say, Why Bargain With Free Labor When There’s A Captive Labor At Our Disposal?
Rania Khalek, independent journalist, AlterNet
Prison labor is every Corporation's dream - cheap labor, no sick leave, no
time off, no holidays and employees that can be easily replaced. Of course,
for human rights activists however, it's a nightmare, because the other side
of the coin is forced labor, no unions, low or no pay and no protections
whatsoever for the workers. Corporations have used or currently uses
prison labor for anything from holiday coffee for Starbucks to cutting
airplane components for Boeing, making Game Boys for Nintendo,
producing equipment for the war in Iraq, shrink wrapping mouse devices
for Microsoft, making dentures, down to sewing lingerie for Victoria
Secrets. The use of slave labor and now the use of prison labor is
a multi-billion dollar business.
Medicare Is the Answer, Not the Problem
MARGARET FLOWERS, M.D., Congressional Fellow for the
18,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program.
Sara Somers, Senior Attorney, National Health Law Program
Both Democrats and Republicans are missing the point by putting the
emphasis on controlling Medicare and Medicaid costs without effectively
addressing the reasons for our rising health care costs. Rather than
embracing the Republican rhetoric which blames our public insurances,
Democrats would do well to call out the real reason for our health care
spending crisis: our current fragmented and profit-driven model, and
advocate for a national improved Medicare for all. Watching the actions
in D.C. is like watching the same political theater we have seen for each
issue. The crisis, manufactured, or real, becomes an excuse to pretend
to fight over the solutions, all the while continuing to move towards greater
austerity measures for necessities such as health care, housing, education,
jobs and pensions. We must address the root causes of the direction
this country is headed, corporatism and militarism, through unity and mass
acts of resistance. We will not email or elect ourselves out of this situation.
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America's 4-D Economy:
From Deficit Deals to Double Dip Recession
Jack Rasmus, author of "Epic Recesssion: Prelude to Global Depression"
First, we were frightened by politicians proclaiming that the
economic ceiling will fall in if the deficit wasn’t cut by trillions.
Then the politicians insisted that in order to raise the debt ceiling
we needed to endure, guess what cuts, cuts, cuts. But, the U.S.
manufacturing sector has collapsed, the public sector is
hemorrhaging jobs, and consumer spending is plunging, and
the jobs that were jobs created, may have kept the recent
unemployment figures from shooting up, but they were hardly
enough to keep pace with those about to enter the workforce and
certainly don’t effect those living on extended unemployment
benefits, those who simply can’t find work, and those who are
underemployed and really can’t support their families. The real
economy is accelerating its slide toward a double dip recession
and the deficit reduction deal approved by Congress will make it
harder to fight the coming re-recession. We’ll discuss why and
what really needs to be done to stimulate the economy.
Recesssion and Militarism
Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut
At a recent lecture at NYC’s Riverside Church, Prashad explored
the boom and bust of the capitalist cycle. Even in boom years
people do not have enough to spend so the economy declines.
But if the people are not strong, even then capitalism resists
spending for social services, preferring to stimulate the economy
with spending on domestic repression and war. Prashad places
this in the context of globalization.
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From Here To Eternity:
U.S. Nuclear Policy From Hiroshima & Nagasaki Through Today
Professor Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Director of Cold War Studies, University of
Southern CA. at Berkley
Discussing his book “Racing the Enemy”, Professor Hasegawa argues that
there wasn’t any moral or political imperative to drop nuclear bombs on Japan
which was already determined to surrender and why we did. The issue with
Japan had to do with Japanese resistance to U.S. insistence that Japan
abolish their imperial system. The bombing schedule was also moved up to
prevent the entry of the Soviet Union in the War against Japan. Professor
Hasegawa demonstrates that it was the Soviet declaration of war, not the
atomic bombs, that forced the Japanese to surrender unconditionally.
Greg Mitchell, co-author of "Hiroshima in America" & Adviser to the Award-
Winning Film "Original Child Bomb"
The U.S. engaged in suppression of the film footage following the atomic
bomb attacks on Japan, and for decades afterward suppressed all film shot
in Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Now, a portion of that footage will finally reach
the American public so they will be able to judge for themselves why the
authorities felt they had to suppress it, and what impact their footage, if
widely aired, might have had on the nuclear arms race -- and the nuclear
proliferation that endangers us today.
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Conyers on Jobs:
"We've Had It." Lays Out Obama, Calls for Protest at White House
Representative John Conyers, Founding Member and
Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus
Michigan’s U.S. Representative John Conyers brings us back to
fundamentals, The real crisis in this country is that of unemployment,
the recession &cutbacks. It’s time to explode the myth that budget
deficits are the imminent danger that pervades the rhetoric of Washington
from Obama to the Tea Partyers. The cure is to educate and pressure
them by mobilizations and demonstrations to do the right thing.
The American Dream is Dying
Heather McGhee,Director of Demos' Washington office.
Amongst her many writings, McGhee is the co-author of a chapter on
retirement insecurity in the book "Inequality Matters: The Growing
Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences" .
Heather McGhee speaks to youth, at a national teach-in, with alarm
that they face potentially less opportunity and greater wealth deprivation
than their parents and the imperative for them to organize, organize,
organize for their interests.
Nurses Say Lady Liberty Is Sick,
But A Wall Street Financial Speculation Tax Could Heal Her
The Statue of Liberty apparently got “sick” over what’s happening to this country’s working class so, the nation’s nurses rushed to N.Y.C. to try and heal her. One by one, members of National Nurses United (NNU) attempted to diagnose what was making Lady Liberty ill. They concluded her malady was because of the foreclosures spawned by Wall Street’s greed, because of the broken health care system and joblessness.
But, Lady Liberty perked up when one person pointed to the Stock Exchange
across the street and said the nation needs a financial speculation tax to
make Wall Street pay its fair share to heal America. The NNU used street
theater as the centerpiece of its huge protest its members and supporters
converged on Wall Street to demand that the same financial market
speculators who plunged our economy into the recession pay to rebuild the
nation. They rallied as part of a global day of action for a financial speculation
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Posted in budget deficit, financial speculation tax, National Nurses United (NNU), nurses union, Rose Ann DeMoro, tax the rich, tax wall street, U.S. debt crisis » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Jobs:
How Racism, Global Economics, and the New Jim Crow Fuel Black
America's Crippling Jobs Crisis
Andy Kroll, Assoc. Editor, TomDispatch and reporter at Mother Jones magazine
The Labor Department released the latest figures on unemployment and payrolls - the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, and employers added only 18,000 jobs last month, below the 150,000 threshold that economists say is needed to prevent the unemployment rate from increasing. The figures were dismal for the working class, however what isn’t delineated & probed within that general dilemma is the unemployment rate for black workers, almost double the percent rate for the rest of the population - it's twice the 8% white jobless rate. Since the 1940s, the jobless rate for blacks in America has held grimly steady at twice the rate for whites. The question of why has divided economists, historians, and sociologists for nearly as long.
The acclaimed public intellectual and author of "Democracy Matters" and "Race Matters", Cornel West, as he spoke recently at a youth teach-in continues to stir us to organize – forward ever, backward never!
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Posted in african american unemployment, Andy Kroll, black unemployment, Cornel West, discrimination and jobs, jobs crisis, new jim crow and unemployment, racism and jobs, TomDispatch » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
America’s Not Broke. Not Even Close. Tax the Rich!
Overall average individual wealth in the United States has risen 23 percent
since the year 2000, to $236,213 per American adult. But, wealth has
become incredibly more concentrated. We are taxing the dollars that go to
our ever-richer rich at levels far below the tax rates that America levied just
a few decades ago. Now, both an analysis of our current predicament and
a series of proposals that can help open our eyes to a far more equitable —
and brighter — future,
Meizhu Lui, Director of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative,
Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Chuck Collins, a senior scholar, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
and Director of IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good.
Co-author of the recent report, Unnecessary Austerity, Unnecessary
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Posted in austerity, Chuck Collins, debt crisis, government shutdown, income inequality, Insight Center for Community Economic Development, Institute for Policy Studies, Meizhu Lui, poverty, tax the rich » Email Post » Links to this post » 1 comments »
Wisconsin Blues: Don’t Mourn, Organize
Eric Cobb, Exec. Dir. South Central Wisconsin Building Trades Council
Peter Rickman, Teaching Asst., LaFollette Law School , Univ. of Wisc. member of Teaching Assistants’ Assn., AFT Local 3220
LaTaunya Johnson, Pres. Wisconsin Childcare Providers Together,
Local 502, AFSCME
The Walkerville protest tents and encampment came down at Wisconsin’s
state capital after Gov Scott Walker’s budget victory slashing education,
health and other services in the state budget while increasing tax breaks for
the wealthy. He even attacked child labor laws. A week earlier the State
Supreme Court narrowly approved Walker’s union busting measures
stripping civil service unions of most of their effectiveness and eliminating
the dues check-off. While Walker and the Republicans may loose control of
the State Senate in the recall elections scheduledin July, that will come too
late to reverse much of the major damage that has been done. We’ll talk with
key organizers in the struggle as to what lessons have been learned and
what is to be done to organize for future victories.
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Posted in AFSCME, AFT, Eric Cobb, LaTaunya Johnson, Peter Rickman, Scott Walker union busting Wisconsin, Teaching Assistants' Assn., Wisc. Building Trades Council, Wisc. Childcare Providers Together » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
During the Great Depression The Homeless Created Hovervilles, Now
Mayor Bloomberg’s Budget Cuts Are Responsible For Bloombergville!
New Yorkers Against the Budget Cuts
Students, labor, and communities united against the Mayor’s proposed
budget cuts occupying downtown Manhattan near City Hall for the past
week, in symbolic encampments they’ve called Bloombergville in a campaign
to defeat the mayor's cutbacks and layoffs. The campaign against
Bloomberg's poverty budget has resulted in arrests of some of the protesters
and the NYPD has threatened arrests on several other occasions, but
Bloombergville is still alive -- and growing.
Key Democrats Join Gov. Christie Cutting Public Worker Bargaining Rights
and Balancing the Budget on the Backs of the Workers
Barbara Keshishian, President, New Jersey Education Association
Hetty Rosenstein, Area Dir., Communications Workers of America N.J.
Despite a massive outpouring of protesters at the State Capital at Trenton, Democratic leaders of the State Senate and Assembly, Stephen Sweeney
and Sheila Oliver, joined with bombastic bully Governor Chris Christie to
get approval for a measure to strip health care benefits from collective
bargaining rights for state public workers. This could triple health care
costs to workers while the millionaires tax went down in defeat. Combined
with so called New Jersey public worker pension reforms this will lead to
lowering workers pay by 5 -10% while reaping big profits forthe insurance
industry who charge high commissions for public worker health care
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Posted in Barbara Keshishian, Bloombergville, Chris Christie, Communications Workers of America New Jersey, Mayor Bloomberg, N. J. Education Association; Hetty Rosenstein, public workers » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
A Conversation With Best-Selling Author Isabel Allende
Building Bridges had a rare opportunity to sit down with one of the most
widely read writers in the world, Isabel Allende, on the occasion of the
paperback release of her bestseller “Island Beneath The Sea”. Allende
discusses her novel, which powerfully evokes historical events that
rocked the late 18th century. She discusses the enthralling, blood-chilling,
and heart-breaking story that connects the links between the American
Revolution, the French Revolution, the revolt of the Haitian slaves led by
Toussaint Louverture , the sale of Louisiana to the U.S, & the rising
influence of the Abolition movement. Allende provided insight into her
politics & its creative expression through her writing. She juxtaposes slave
rebellion & the quest for self-determination of past decades with the
continuing reality of various nation’s imperialist designs, and the still
catastrophic results for the world’s peoples.
Allende also spoke of her painful recollections the death of her cousin ,
Chile’s socialist Pres. Salvador Allende, who died in a coup engineered
by General Augusto Pinchot, leading to years of fascist rule which deeply
influenced the core of her writings. Similarly her desire for the exhumation
of Salvator Allende to determine the exact manner of his death, as are her
writings, are a quest for historic reclamation & social rectification.
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Workers Aim at Target Unionization
Tashawna Green – Member Union Organizing Committee
Sonia Williams – Member Union Organizing Committee
Aly Wady – Special Projects Dir., Organizing Dept., UFCW, Local 1500
Diana Robinson – Food Policy Coordinator, UFCW, Local 1500
Target workers at the superstore’s Valley Stream location are furious that
their hours have been cut sometimes to just one or two days a week while
new workers are being hired. So they don’t have enough income to survive
forcing many to rely on food stamps and Medicaid. A majority of workers have
already signed cards supporting unionization with Local 1500, UFCW. Target
is fighting back by threatening union workers with firings, disciplinary actions
and closing the store. Workers have been prevented from discussing their employment on social networking sites, interrogated about their union activity
and have been told their union activity was under surveillance. If the workers
vote to join Local 1500 in the June 17 election, the Valley Stream store would
be the first Target in the country to be unionized but probably not the last
especially in the NYC area.
Bloomberg’s Budget to Decimate Queens Public Library
John Hyslop, Pres., Queens Library Guild, Local 1321 , DC 37 AFSCME
Library workers are fighting Mayor Bloomberg's proposed $25.3 million in
budget cuts to the Queens Public Library. Since 2008, over 200 jobs have
already been lost through attrition and layoffs. The current proposed 30% cut
will result in library hours being at their lowest level ever, less than in NYC’s
budget crisis of the 1970s. These cuts would slash library services; close
branches 2-3 days a week; end free computer and Internet services; destroy
the materials budget; and force 234 Library employees to be laid off.
Local 1321 is sponsoring a demonstration outside the Central Library on
Posted in Aly Wady, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Layoffs, budget, DC 37 AFSCME, Diana Robinson, John Hyslop, Local 1321, Local 1500, New York City Budget, Queens Library Guild, Target Organizing, Target Union, UFCW » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »