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Tidbits - Nov. 26, 2020 - Reader Comments: Biden Administration; Georgia Runoffs; Election Analysis; COVID Vaccine; Immigrant Teen Nightshift Workers; Call to Jewish Organizations; Rethinking “Thanksgiving” Toolkit; Resources, Announcements; more...

Reader Comments: Biden Administration; Georgia Runoffs; Election Analysis; COVID; Vaccine; Immigrant Teen Nightshift Workers; A Call to Jewish Organizations; Rethinking “Thanksgiving” Toolkit; Lots of Resources and Announcements; more....

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Nov. 26, 2020, Portside

Re: Ten Foreign Policy Fiascos Biden Can Fix on Day One (Mary Jo Robertiello; John Aldis)
Counting the Day  --  cartoon by Jeff Stahler
The Georgia Senate Runoffs - Combined Campaigns of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff (Daniel Millstone)
"Georgia on My Mind"  -- painting and post by Joan Baez
Re: What the 2020 Electorate Looks Like (Joy Ann Grune)
Re: Will Trump’s Attempted Electoral Coup Succeed? (Joseph Kaye)
Re: Why the New mRNA Vaccines Are a Breakthrough and How They Work (Lizzi Azalia Swane; Michael Valcourt; Carmen M. Roman Feliciano; Jeannette Hernandez)
Re: The Coronavirus Is Airborne Indoors. Why Are We Still Scrubbing Surfaces? (Joe Grogan)
Re: New York Times’ Story on Trump’s Scheme to Attack Iran: Important and Misleading (Regina Morantz-Sanchez)
This Wall WILL Make Us Safe  -- cartoon by Paul Duginski
Re: On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway (David Schwartzman)
Re: Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories (Sherita Walker; Linda Edwards; Abraham Segui)
Re: Wrestlers Have Always Wanted A Union. Why Don't They Have One? (Jose A. Montalvo Vera)
Re: ‘From Each According to Ability; to Each According to Need’ – Tracing the Biblical Roots of Socialism’s Enduring Slogan (Ellen Dana Olian Bate)
Re: Labor Podcasts (The Labor Radio / Podcast Network
Re: The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums and Why We Need to Talk About It (Lydia Brady; Jo Powers)
A CALL TO JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS

Resources:

Rethinking “Thanksgiving” Toolkit (Indigenous Solidarity Network)
75+ Native American Books for Children & Teenagers (Colours of Us)
A People's Victory: Made in Michigan - Michiganders: Pledge to Defend Democracy and Keep Each Other Safe. (We Make Michigan)
Map of the Week: See how many green jobs can be created in your state (Economic Policy Institute)
Teaching Activism:  A Look at Non-Violent Resistance (United Association for Labor Education (UALE))

Announcements:

“Rethinking Thanksgiving": Taking Action for Indigenous Land Defense - November 26 (Indigenous Solidarity Network + SURJ)
We're Going to Georgia (Seed the Vote)
Webinar: The Legacy of Jack O'Dell in the Black Freedom Movement - November 30 (The Claudia Jones School for Political Education (CJSPE))
2020 Elections - Taking Stock with Leading Organizers - December 2 (The Forge and Organizing Upgrade)
New Deal for CUNY Town Hall - December 2 (CUNY Rising Alliance)
Gender Justice Workshop - December 2 (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO)
Rock the Runoff - Join Stacey Abrams, John Legend, Indigo Girls, Common, and more for a night of music - December 3 (Fair Fight)
Making Music and Making Progress: Strengthening our Union and the Music Industry’s Journey to Racial and Gender Justice - December 11 (Local 47 and Local 802, American Federation of Musicians)
Election debrief for organizers - Roots Camp - December 11 & 12 (The Democracy Collaborative, GAIN Power, New Media Mentors, Organizing 2.0, & Re:Power)

Re: Ten Foreign Policy Fiascos Biden Can Fix on Day One

Ms. Benjamin and Mr. Davies, I combed your article, Ten Foreign Policy Fiascos Biden Can Fix on Day One, hoping but not expecting a reference to the Palestinians. The Palestinians know their place: No Place.

Mary Jo Robertiello
http://www.nymysteries.com

     =====

Every one of those points is excellent. If he can't accomplish all of them, Biden should at least admit that they are worthy goals for American foreign policy.

John Aldis

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Counting the Day  --  cartoon by Jeff Stahler

Jeff Stahler

November 16, 2020

The Georgia Senate Runoffs - Combined Campaigns of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff

Why is Georgia on my mind? 

"There were dozens of Jon Ossoff signs at the rally outside the Cobb County Civic Center, but the touring campaign bus, the bulk of the applause and the final words belonged to the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who used them to boost two Democratic Senate campaigns.“Georgia is positioned to do a marvelous thing,” Warnock told the crowd. “Send a young Jewish man, the son of immigrants, who sat at the feet of Congressman John Lewis, and a kid who grew up in the public-housing projects of Savannah, Georgia, the pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, to the United States Senate at the same time.”

Two weeks into the extraordinary runoff races that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, Warnock and Ossoff have combined their efforts to try to win Georgia’s pair of Senate seats. Their names are stacked together on yard signs; they’ve called each other “brother” at joint campaign appearances. But it is Warnock who is animating the Democratic base — and the Republican opposition."

In Georgia Senate Runoffs, the Focus - and the Fire - is on Raphael Warnock 

Daniel Millstone

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

"Georgia on My Mind"  -- painting and post by Joan Baez

Joan Baez

Dear Stacey Abrams,

This portrait I painted of you is titled, “Georgia On My Mind.”

There is nowhere in this country right now more vital to the preservation of democracy than the state of Georgia. And there’s nothing more vital to the state of Georgia than you and your thousands of coworkers. You all are proving to have more vision, savvy, grit, fire, and brains than your opposition could have thought possible. You are making “good trouble.”

You are admired and loved, prayed for and depended upon, by people from every corner of this beleaguered nation. Keep your eyes on the prize. And we’ll keep our loving eyes on Georgia.

Yours,

Joan Baez

Posting on Facebook

Re: What the 2020 Electorate Looks Like

We are past the point where you can defend leaving out gender.

Joy Ann Grune

Re: Will Trump’s Attempted Electoral Coup Succeed?

The fact is that the elite are doing just fine right now.  Profits are high and the stock market is flying.  The last thing in the world they want is chaos.  All the major organizations of Big Business have signaled they want a peaceful transition.  The courts, with their corporate connections, have struck down virtually every attempt to reverse the results.  A peaceful transition it shall be, although Trump will never concede, any more than he conceded the innocence of the Central Park Five.

Joseph Kaye

Re: Why the New mRNA Vaccines Are a Breakthrough and How They Work

This is a disaster waiting to happen. Messing with peoples dna via vaccination is going to end badly.

it has not been around long enough to study long term and repeated use effects. It’s a huge risk to use something like this.

Lizzi Azalia Swane

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Based on the reports, it doesn't alter or affect a person's DNA. It mimics the virus and this provokes a response from the person's immune system to release antibodies to combat the foreign entity. All, hopefully, in a normal immune response. It may not do this in every person the same, but in no way does it alter a person's DNA. It does go to say that there will be hiccups and the vaccine may not be as effective as hoped, but it does not alter a person's make up.

Michael Valcourt

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

it's related to RNA, NOT to DNA. Remember , DNA in not RNA.

Carmen M. Roman Feliciano

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Ending badly is all those who have lost loved ones to Covid 19. Ending badly is that it is estimated that every 7 seconds a person dies from Covid. when you are directly affected by a loss then you would have wished there was a vaccine that would have prevented the death of your loved one. You choose, nobody forces you, but what is humanly possible is being done to stop the pandemic.

Jeannette Hernandez

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Coronavirus Is Airborne Indoors. Why Are We Still Scrubbing Surfaces?

Thanks.  There seems to be ample evidence of the virus spreading in places with poor/old or non existent ventilation.  This means then that places like shopping malls, schools, colleges and universities, correctional facilities, condos and apartment buildings all of which for years have operated as enclosed spaces to minimize energy costs are extremely dangerous. In some of these places you can open a window; but in many, this is not possible. We all can think of other places that are dangerous because they too are enclosed places (example-air planes!!) and are used by people who carry the virus, for example,  to hospitals, nursing homes and long-care facilities. The key question is, have these and other places spent the money necessary to ensure that the air conditioning and heating systems/filters are up to date and I would say that the majority probably have not!  Masks help but limits on traffic in these places is a key defence.  So, we likely face a situation where COVID-19 is going to be with us for a long, long time. And a "miracle" vaccine that is rushed into production may cause as many problems as those they are supposed to attack. This entire situation is an example of trial and error because nobody really knows in my opinion the 100 % solution.

Joe Grogan

Bolton/Canada

Re: New York Times’ Story on Trump’s Scheme to Attack Iran: Important and Misleading

SHAME ON THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!!!! I still subscribe but if I can't trust its reporting, what are we sane people who try to stay informed supposed to do?

Regina Morantz-Sanchez

This Wall WILL Make Us Safe  -- cartoon by Paul Duginski

Paul Duginski

January 24, 2018

Editorial & Political Cartoons

Re: On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway

The article is the most superficial, elitist piece, on the outcome of this election I have read, ostensibly from the left. It reminded me of Hillary's deplorables label for Trump supporters. Are unemployed coal miners who voted for Trump in WVA nazis, or rather have they bought into the fake promise of fossil fuel jobs, noting that neoliberal Democrats have failed to rally behind a Green New Deal (GND) which can provide these workers with high-paying union jobs in clean energy? 

No problem with her critique of centrist Democrats reaching out to Trump voters, but I find no trace of a class analysis of its working class sector which included an increased vote from Latinos and Black folk. 

Dr. Cornel West recently pointed to the failure of neoliberal Democratic policies as a foundation for Trump's vote, plus of course the influence of white supremacist ideology (see poll below*). The latter is why the white race was invented in the first place, to reproduce ruling class hegemony by dividing the working class giving relative privilege to white folk, while superexploiting and oppressing Black folk. 

Instead of demonizing Trump voters, how about mapping out a strategic campaign to win a lot of them over, especially those objectively in the working class, by dialogue, showing how they are being used by the most reactionary section of the ruling class. 

Here is one ongoing approach to consider: Rednecks for Black Lives' Rallies White Southerners for Racial Justice.

Here is a selection from a thoughtful article:

"If struggles for racial justice and democracy are going to be successful, our side will have to weaken the cross-class front of white voters that forms most of the base of the Republican party, who are being pulled into support of white authoritarian rule. This is impossible without a massive struggle to improve the lives of workers and people of color, a class struggle in the broadest sense. Right wing populism's weakness is that it cannot deliver on its promise of improving people's material conditions. One short video, by NowThis News, followed a set of Obama to Trump voters in Pennsylvania as they followed Trump's actions during the first two years of his presidency. While some voters were clearly committed to Trumpism at a deep ideological level, one voter reacted in dismay to Trump's attack on Obamacare.
This voter, a teacher in Luzerne County named Donna, had two parents with Huntington's disease and lived in fear her entire adult life that an insurance company would find out and kick her off healthcare. Donna also understood how Trump's cuts to the Shine program, which provides after school programs to under-resourced school districts, would affect her close friend's own children. After all this, a friend asks her whether she would have voted for Trump knowing everything he would do. She hesitates for a moment, then answers, "yes." Donna belongs in the class struggle. It's our job to organize her." So I conclude that only a material improvement in the lives of the working class as a result of a GND can defeat Trumpism in the coming years. *Online report of the Progressive Review. Since 1964, the news while there's still time to do something about it. November 5, 2020, Fact of the day Bob Minor - CNN 2020 exit poll asks if Racism in the U.S. is a "problem." 88% of people who voted Trump said racism was "not a problem at all" 

(contrast 87% of Biden supporters who said racism is the most important problem) [I suspect that if mail-in ballots were included in this poll the percentage of Biden supporters who said racism is the most important problem would be even higher]

David Schwartzman

Re: Inside the Lives of Immigrant Teens Working Dangerous Night Shifts in Suburban Factories

(posting on Portside Labor)

That’s be they are paid under the table not to do anything about. This is not new, this country was built one the backs of free labor, and it still thrives on it.

Sherita Walker

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Most people would have no idea what this is like. I don’t have a clue. After high school during the summer I worked at a DelMonte cannery sorting green beans traveling down a belt while working a swing shift. But to me I was well paid, lived comfortably at home, and was working toward my college education. I also had a part time job working for a newspaper company that my Dad helped me to obtain. Yes, as a kid I was taught to work hard but my job opportunities were jobs for entitled kids who knew the jobs were for a moment in time. But for these children there is no entitlement and little to no hope. These are people who every day of their lives are falling through the cracks from a society who doesn’t care. It will get better under a Joe Biden presidency but that is NOT enough. Because in four years we will have the same battle again and it is up to us to do something about it now and in the many years to come! Make a difference any way you can- even if NOT here and now. But the first of next month or your next payday do something to make the world a better place!

Linda Edwards

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Sweat shops !

Abraham Segui

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Wrestlers Have Always Wanted A Union. Why Don't They Have One?

(posting on Portside Labor)

Its too easy for management to just close shop for a couple of months and start under another name, or just fire the organizers and pay the fines.

Jose A. Montalvo Vera

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: ‘From Each According to Ability; to Each According to Need’ – Tracing the Biblical Roots of Socialism’s Enduring Slogan

It’s actually a rewording by Karl Marx of a tenet of the Old Testament that is in Leviticus. I have cited it often since I discovered it while studying Torah in preparation to becoming Bat Mitzvah when I was 50. I knew Marx but had never studied Torah, before. SURPRISE!

Ellen Dana Olian Bate

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: Labor Podcasts

(posting on Portside Labor)

"The right-wing has effectively taken over much of the media, from TV stations to radio and podcasts. Fortunately, labor organizers and analysts are creating high quality informative #podcasts and news shows."

Thanks for the kind words, Portside! https://portside.org/2020-11-16/labor-podcasts

The Labor Radio / Podcast Network

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums and Why We Need to Talk About It

(posting on Portside Culture)

Great article and certainly a must read.

Lydia Brady

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

"There is no document of civilisation which is not at the same time a document of barbarism."

~Walter Benjamin, 1892-1940, German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic

Jo Powers

Posted on Portside's Facebook page

A CALL TO JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS

November 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

This is a call to Jewish organizations and institutions, particularly those that call themselves progressive--and there are hundreds across the country-- to put out public statements right now saying loud and clear that BDS is not antisemitic and that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. Please don't be silent on this, especially if your organization addresses what IS antisemitism. Please don't equivocate. This has gotten way out of control and is too important to ignore: for the sake of pursuing justice--for Palestinians, for Jews, for all of us.

Please state something like the following:

We want to state unequivocally that the Palestinian-led global movement for justice, which speaks in the name of international law and human rights, and the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is not antisemitic. We want to state unequivocally that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism. We strongly oppose any and all efforts by the US and Israeli governments to conflate support for BDS or opposition to Zionism with antisemitism. 

Many thanks,

Eva Ackerman, Anita Altman, Arielle Angel, Peter Beinart, Judith Butler, Jonathan J. Cohen, Anne Germanacos, Jane Hirschmann, Adam Horowitz, Alan Levine, Richard Levy, Nina Mehta, Hannah Mermelstein, SarahAnne Minkin, Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark, Sheryl Nestel, Donna Nevel, Kathleen Peratis, Rosalind Petchesky, Jacob Plitman, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Rabbi Brant Rosen, Deborah Sagner, Jay Schaffner, Mark Tseng-Putterman, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Rabbi Brian Walt, Lesley Williams, Dorothy M. Zellner, Simone Zimmerman

Rethinking “Thanksgiving” Toolkit (Indigenous Solidarity Network)

For many Indigenous People, giving thanks is a way of life. Among the Haudenushonne (Iroquois) Nations an opening address, or Great Thanksgiving, are the words spoken at start of day and before any important gathering of people commences its activity… Other Indigenous People also begin their days and activities with a prayer of Thanksgiving for all creation. We put our tobacco down as a gift of thanks. Thanksgiving, respect and reciprocity are core to our life ways. 

- Barb Munson (Oneida Nation), Wisconsin Indian Education Association, Indian Mascot And Logo Taskforce

There are many different experiences we will have over Thanksgiving - some of us will have lots of food, some of us will struggle to have enough. Some will be surrounded by people and some will be alone or with just one other person. For many, it’s an important time of coming together with family. This day also gives us a chance to look at and change stories we have about our families and ourselves. Thanksgiving is based on myths that hide and erase the genocide that the United States is founded upon. What would it mean to tell a different story; an honest story?

This past year has been filled with an emboldening of white supremacy. At the same time, more and more people are working to create something different. We cannot expect that justice will ever come if we are not willing to face the injustices of our past and present. Holidays can be a time to connect and talk about these realities and touch people’s hearts in profound ways. This can be fertile ground for lasting change.

The Indigenous Solidarity Network has developed this toolkit geared for white folks to discuss settler privilege and Thanksgiving with family, friends, and broader community. Deep gratitude to Dina Gilio-Whitaker and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz for sharing the chapter “Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed the Pilgrims” from their book All the Real Indians Died Off: and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans. We need to talk about the history and ongoing reality of settler colonialism. (Meaning how European people violently took over lands and peoples for their own gains, and came to stay. In the US, this process of settling included enslaving people of African descent to build a country on Indigenous land.)

If you’re having these conversations with People of Color and/or Indigenous peoples, listen to what they’re bringing. It’s important to look at the complex ways that the colonization of Indigenous Nations went hand in hand with enslaving African people to work that land and how the violence is ongoing, as is Indigenous and People of Color led resistance. It can be hard for any of us to confront the ways we benefit from oppression and hard to talk about with people who do not agree with us. But this is how change starts and gives us the chance for real healing.

We invite you to take a moment to pause and breathe. What is happening in your body right now? How are you? Holidays are intense for many of us - whether they are filled with joy or sorrow and struggle, or a combination. Taking time to pause and notice how we are doing and what is happening can support us to continue to be in hard conversations.

As with any work in which we are acting in solidarity against oppression, we recognize that we do this work not ‘for’ Indigenous Peoples, but in partnership. We act out of mutual interest, recognizing that we are all facing the crisis of climate catastrophe and environmental destruction. It is Indigenous peoples who are fighting back most intensely and defending their lands. Supporting Indigenous protection of lands and waters ensures they will be protected for future generations.

Full toolkit here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Me3v2fdjIPBQVkzALHhge2K8q4bCBe7cCBvVAZ11UQc/edit#

The Indigenous Solidarity Network initially grew out of SURJ, Catalyst and other folks work at Standing Rock and following ongoing solidarity efforts with Standing Rock fighting the DAPL pipeline and to protect the water.  It has since become a network to share resources, and actions for non-native people to be in solidarity with indigenous struggles.  We host quarterly video calls, send e-mail updates, and action alerts.  Join the email list to keep updated by emailing anticolonialsolidarity@gmail.com.

75+ Native American Books for Children & Teenagers (Colours of Us)

Just in time for Native American Heritage Month we have updated one of our most popular lists!

Established in 1990, it is a month of events and celebrations to pay tribute to the rich ancestry, traditions and contributions of Native Americans.

Teach your children about Native American culture with these stunning books for children of all ages, from babies to teenagers! 

75+ Native American Children's Books

Colours of Us

P.O.Box 2678

Plettenberg Bay 6600

South Africa

A People's Victory: Made in Michigan - Michiganders: Pledge to Defend Democracy and Keep Each Other Safe. (We Make Michigan)

"Made in Michigan," by Ed Kwong, featuring the working people that make Michigan.
We Make Michigan

It was multi-racial, working-class Michiganders that fought to save democracy from the brink. 

All across MI, from Keweenaw to Detroit, multi-racial, working-class Michiganders joined together with people from all walks of life to vote in record numbers, demand that every single vote was counted, and deliver our democracy. This wasn’t done in the name of a party or politician, but working-class Michiganders who create this state’s extraordinary abundance and deserve to live full, dignified lives. This is a people’s victory, and it was made in Michigan. Join us for what’s next.

We ALL make Michigan. Now it’s time to rewrite the rules so to ensure we can all put food on the table and have a great life.

We’re celebrating and inviting folks to join us by sharing an illustration by artist Ed Kwong that features working Michiganders of every background. Download the illustration and use our toolkit to let people know that #WeMakeMichigan, together. 

We Make Michigan

A project of We The People MI, SEIU, Detroit Action, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, 482Forward, and Rising Voices of Asian American Families

Map of the Week: See how many green jobs can be created in your state (Economic Policy Institute)

When the United States invests in clean energy, energy efficiency and infrastructure, and expands exports, we will rebuild American manufacturing and the U.S. economy, generating nearly 7 million good-paying jobs.

Take a look at this new interactive map, which gives a state-by-state analysis of where good-paying jobs would be created if we launch a four-year, $2 trillion program of investments while simultaneously boosting U.S. exports and eliminating the U.S. trade deficit:

Jobs gained as share of employment

Click a state (here

Total jobs gained:  (click here)

The U.S. economy has been devastated by the pandemic. “By rebalancing our currency and investing in desperately needed infrastructure upgrades, as well as clean energy alternatives, we could create millions of good jobs during the economic recovery,” notes my colleague and co author of the report, EPI Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Robert Scott. “This program will bring jobs to those who need them the most.” 

We’re talking at least 6.9 million good-paying jobs and an opportunity to rebuild American manufacturing.

Economic Policy Institute

1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 600

Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-775-8810 • epi@epi.org

Teaching Activism:  A Look at Non-Violent Resistance (United Association for Labor Education (UALE))

Reverend James Lawson trained activists for months before the infamous Nashville sit-ins.  Mohondas Gandhi trained Indian workers before they challenged British imperialism in the Salt March.  The Movement for Black Lives offers guidance on safety for participants in mass actions.  All of these examples lend to the body of learning that the labor movement both draws from and contributes to as we continue to mobilize for workers’ rights and the future of democracy.

Exactly how can we learn best practices in teaching non-violent direct action for the moment we’re in?

Below is a collection of sources that offer tools for labor educators.  They range from books, articles, and essays to curricula, games, and videos that can prove useful as we play our part to build a stronger labor movement.

A Force More Powerful. This series of 30-minute videos examine resistance in various parts of the world:  India, Denmark, Chile, USA, South Africa and Poland.

Beautiful Trouble.  Based on the book with the same name, there are numerous modules on tactics, principles, theories, and case studies that offer amazing insights into the relationships between strategy and tactics, power and targets, and the focus is on creativity. This is a comprehensive source for practitioners of non-violent direct action.

Blackout Collective.  Among other useful resources, the Blackout Collective offers tactical suggestions during the time of COVID-19 (in both English and Spanish).

Movement for Black Lives.  M4BL offers resources that range from safety considerations while protesting to educational fact sheets on various issues as they relate to communities of color.

Joshua Kahn Russell.  A contributor to Beautiful Trouble as well as a lead designer of curricula for the Labor-Community initiative 99% Spring, Joshua Kahn Russel provides many links to training materials on non-violent resistance. These materials include facilitation tips, icebreakers, and modules on diversity/anti-oppression, media, strategies and tactics.

As the socially-distant holidays are among us, give yourself the gift of time to explore and reflect upon the above sources. While not an exhaustive list, they provide inspiration and creativity for our educational practices.  And, we can both adapt ideas to our current environment as well as imagine possibilities for online teaching, virtual movie nights or book clubs. Whatever the goal, we owe a debt of gratitude to the courage of workers who engage in non-violent resistance and to the curriculum writers, coordinators and documentarians who share their work so that we may all benefit and grow as labor educators.

Kate Shaughnessy, UALE Board Member

AFL-CIO

United Association for Labor Education  

“Rethinking Thanksgiving": Taking Action for Indigenous Land Defense - November 26 (Indigenous Solidarity Network + SURJ)

Watch trailer here

Join us this Thursday for “Rethinking Thanksgiving: Taking Action for Indigenous Land Defense” on November 26, 2020 at 12pm Pacific / 3pm ET via Zoom for 1.5 hours.* 

You can register for the event by clicking here. We will screen the film “Invasion,” hear from special guest Molly Wickham, spokesperson of Gitdumden Clan, and connect and take action together. ASL interpreters will be on the call and the movie will have subtitles.

Some Indigenous Peoples refer to ‘Thanksgiving’ as the ‘National Day of Mourning.’ It is a day founded in a myth about this country’s origin--one that reframes a long history of attempted genocide as a friendly feast. This year many people are mourning loved ones lost to Covid, as well as state and vigilante violence. For some of us, this will be a different ‘Thanksgiving’ - one with limited contact due to Covid precautions. This is a time to mourn, reckon, fortify.

This can also be a time to celebrate the visions and wins of movements towards Black Liberation and Indigenous sovereignty such as the Breathe Act, and #LANDBACK. A multiracial working class movement has defeated Trump, is winning electoral power, and building power for the sweeping, transformative changes we need in the near future and for the long haul. This is a time to pause and give thanks to powerful Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and poor and working class organizing that is giving us a pathway to a safer, more caring, and liberated future and a healthier planet.

This ‘Thanksgiving’ let’s look at the myths and lies the US is founded on and get aligned with Indigenous self-determination and land stewardship. This requires commitments from all of us that reach throughout the whole year, and not just this specific day. Below are some ways to take action and deepen your learning:

  • Support NDN Collective’s #LANDBACK campaign to return the Black Hills and public lands into Native hands.

  • Check out this “Rethinking Thanksgiving” Toolkit created by the Indigenous Solidarity Network to support you in further learning.

  • Indigeous people are rising up to protect land and water and end to violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit peoples. Here are a few examples to learn about and support: Kumeyaay Nation’s efforts to stop Trump’s border wall; Pueblo Action Alliance’s #WaterBack to reclaim all unsettled Indigenous water claims in the U.S. SouthWest; 1492 Landback Lane Haudenosaunee Land Defenders resisting private development on Six Nations Reserve; Warriors of the Sunrise's encampment in the Hamptons, Long Island, NY by a group of Indigenous women from the Shinnecock Nation.

In solidarity,

Indigenous Solidarity Network + SURJ

Sign up for Indigenous Solidarity Network listserv here. Contact anticolonialsolidarity@gmail.com if you have questions about the call.

* “Rethinking Thanksgiving and Taking Action for Indigenous Land Defense” webinar sponsored by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Indigenous Solidarity Network, Resource Generation, and Catalyst Project.

We're Going to Georgia (Seed the Vote)


Art in graphic by Kate Deciccio.

It’s happening.

We’re going to Georgia, to knock doors with organizations on the ground that have been building to this moment for years. These organizations helped Biden win Georgia, and are ready for us to join them to flip the Senate and make many more wins for our communities possible over the next four years.

Biden won in Georgia by 13,000 votes. That’s the kind of margin that reminds us: organizing matters. There is no substitution for face-to-face conversations where you can connect with a potential voter, hear what they care about, make sure they have everything they need to get to the polls safely, and follow up with them until they successfully cast their ballot.

If enough of us have those face-to-face conversations, one by one by one, we will win. So we need everyone who can to join us in Georgia.

We recognize that not everyone is in a position to travel and canvass in person. But if you are able, you have a huge opportunity to see this thing through, help flip the Senate, and create conditions where our movements can fight for and win so much more for our people.

And if you can’t join us, please donate what you can to help others get there safely and stay for as long as possible.

Click here to learn more about our plans in Georgia and sign up for an info session to learn about next steps. We will be supporting the amazing work of New Georgia Project Action Fund, Asian American Advocacy Fund PAC, Showing up for Racial Justice, Mijente PAC / GLAHR Action Network, and UNITE HERE. The first group of us will start knocking doors in 10 days, so there’s no time to waste.

In solidarity,

the Seed the Vote team

P.S. If you can’t join us in person, there are lots of ways to help from home. Join a phone bankhelp us fundraise, or join our remote support team!

In Georgia we are partnering with the New Georgia Project Action FundAsian American Advocacy Fund PACShowing up for Racial JusticeMijente PAC / GLAHR Action Network, and UNITE HERE. We’re making calls and organizing on-the-ground delegations to get out the vote ahead of the Senate run-off election. Want to get involved? Make calls or join us on the ground!

Everyday People PAC is a grassroots, social justice political fund mobilizing volunteers to defeat Trump by supporting the electoral work of grassroots organizations in swing states building long term power of working class communities and communities of color.

Seed the Vote is a project of Everyday People PAC, supported by Bay Resistance, Bay Rising Action, San Francisco Rising Action Fund, and other organizations and individuals throughout the Bay Area committed to building political power in our communities.

Our sister project, Generation Rising, is a national vehicle for young people impacted by racism and economic oppression to work with social justice movements and community-based efforts in swing states–to defeat Trump and build systemic change for the long-haul. We provide training and opportunities to impact elections in key swing states while building connections and knowledge for long term social justice organizing.

Specifically, Generation Rising supports campaigns led by working-class communities and communities of color doing presidential election work through phone-banking, texting, and relational organizing.

Their goal is not just to defeat Trump, but to shift the balance of power in favor of communities of color, social justice organizations, and labor to seed the wins yet to come.

Webinar: The Legacy of Jack O'Dell in the Black Freedom Movement - November 30 (The Claudia Jones School for Political Education (CJSPE))

This is an invitation to our next event, The Legacy of Jack O'Dell in the Black Freedom Movement. Born Hunter Pitts O'Dell in Detroit in 1923–he went on to be a militant labor organizer in the National Maritime Union, the Southern Negro Youth Congress and also campaigned for Henry Wallace's presidential bid in 1948 under the Progressive Party banner. Later, joined the Communist Party USA for a brief period and then left to get more involved with Martin Luther King's SCLC. O'Dell was eventually forced out and became a public intellectual and writer for Freedomways magazine. In the 1980s, he helped lead Jesse Jackson's run for the presidency. As a professor at Antioch College in Washington, D.C., O'Dell developed many relationships with community organizers and activists who will join us for this special evening in celebration of his life. 

When: Monday, November 30 at 6:45pm Eastern Time

To register, click here: https://bit.ly/CJ-JODell

This event will feature Dr. Nikhil Pal Singh, Luci Murphy, James Early, Jaime Cruz, Jr., and Linwood "Gato" Martinez-Bentley.

The Claudia Jones School for Political Education (CJSPE) is a grassroots organization committed to enriching the political perspectives of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan community. It strives to be a force in the fight against injustices of a racist ruling class engaged in relentless class war against the working poor whose labor is the source of capital that is used against the same workers in furthering their exploitation.

The Claudia Jones School for Political Education creates opportunities for the community to explore complex issues of intersectionality by engaging workers and intellectuals from trade unions, organizations fighting racism and police repression, progressive cultural organizations, and academia. The Claudia Jones School organizes forums for creating, strategizing, and acting on opportunities. The School is consistently on the side of those who must work for money rather than for those whose money works for them. It is committed to exposing the untenability of the contradictions of an advanced capitalist country where nearly 50 million of its inhabitants suffer from hunger.

CJSPE stands in solidarity with all struggles for justice and peace around the world. The School is a place for ideas to take shape and turn into movements against exploitation, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination.

2020 Elections - Taking Stock with Leading Organizers - December 2 (The Forge and Organizing Upgrade)

Next week! Harmony Goldberg of Grassroots Policy Project and Ana Maria Archila from the Center for Popular Democracy will go deep with five leading organizers on the tactics that defeated Trump and the strategy to build forward.
The all-star panel: Burt Lauderdale/KentuckiansForTheCommonwealth; Elianne Farhat/TakeAction Minnesota, Anthony Thigpenn/California Calls, Andrea Mercado/New Florida Majority, Maurice Mitchell/ Working Families Party. We’re excited to team with Forge Organizing to bring this to you. 

Wednesday, December. 2, 12:30pm ET/11:30am CT / 9:30am PT

New Deal for CUNY Town Hall - December 2 (CUNY Rising Alliance)

An online event to discuss the CUNY Rising Alliance and proposed legislation: New Deal for CUNY.

Elements of A NEW DEAL FOR CUNY

  • Make CUNY tuition-free: eliminate tuition for in-state undergraduate students and replace tuition income with public funds.
  • Increase the number of mental health counselors to meet the recommended national standards.
  • Increase the number of academic advisors to ensure student success.
  • Hire 5,000 additional full-time faculty to increase the ratio of full-time faculty to students. Professionalize adjunct compensation.
  • Invest in capital renewal plan to address urgent issues of health and safety, accessibility, energy and maintenance of CUNY buildings.

Register here https://actionnetwork.org/events/nd4c-town-hall

Gender Justice Workshop - December 2 (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO)

We are partnering with the Solidarity Center to host a workshop on how workers are organizing against gender-based violence in Asia and the US. The Solidarity Center is part of the AFL-CIO. 

This conversation takes place during the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence, a worldwide campaign against gender-based violence. We will introduce gender justice issues workers are facing in Asia and in the US. Speakers representing workers in a variety of sectors will discuss how their unions are organizing to promote gender equality and inclusion and to end Gender-Based Violence and Harassment (GBVH) in the world of work, including through activism around ILO Convention 190. It is another step toward building solidarity between APALA and unions in Asia around gender justice issues. Participants will be encouraged to think broadly about how worker organizations can mobilize to support worker struggles across borders; this workshop is to be followed up by more targeted strategy exchanges in 2021. RSVP here

he Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO was founded in 1992 as the first and only national organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights. Learn more at www.apalanet.org.

Rock the Runoff - Join Stacey Abrams, John Legend, Indigo Girls, Common, and more for a night of music - December 3 (Fair Fight)

We invite you to a virtual concert with

  • Stacey Abrams

featuring performances by

  • John Legend
  • Common
  • Earthgang
  • Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie
  • Indigo Girls
  • and more to be announced!

in support of Fair Fight PAC

We all know what is at stake on January 5, and Fair Fight is working hard - with your help - to make sure Georgians are able cast their votes by mail, early in-person, or on election day and have their votes counted. While we’re working hard, we can also have some fun!

Jay, I’d love for you to join me on Thursday, December 3 for a virtual concert we’re calling “Rock The Runoff” featuring performances by John LegendCommonEarthgangBen Gibbard of Death Cab For CutieIndigo Girls, and more to be announced.

Rock The Runoff

Thursday, December 3 at 9pm EST / 6pm PST

Tickets start at $5

RSVP https://secure.actblue.com/donate/rocktherunoff

Fair Fight

1270 Caroline Street

Suite D120-311

Atlanta, GA 30307

Making Music and Making Progress: Strengthening our Union and the Music Industry’s Journey to Racial and Gender Justice - December 11 (Local 47 and Local 802, American Federation of Musicians)

Friday, December 11, 2020 at 4 PM EST

Hosted by AFM Local 47 and Local 802 AFM

Online Event - http://bit.ly/afm-dei-2020

AFM Local 47 (Los Angeles) and Local 802 (New York) are proud to co-host the webinar panel discussion "Making Music and Making Progress: Strengthening our Union and the Music Industry's Journey to Racial and Gender Justice." Please join esteemed artists/Union leaders to discuss our community’s journey to advance equity and justice.

Our topics include:

  • Identifying the structural barriers facing under-represented groups in our field.
  • Elevating strategies and commitments to overcome exclusion and promote justice.
  • Brainstorming innovations in our Union and our industry to address systemic injustices.

Panelists:

  • John Acosta - President, AFM Local 47 Los Angeles
  • Guillermo E. Brown - drummer, member AFM 47
  • Mary-Mitchell Campbell - conductor, music director, orchestrator, composer, arranger, member AFM 802
  • Marika Hughes - cellist, member AFM 802
  • Adam Krauthamer - President, AFM Local 802 New York
  • Laura Karpman - composer / founder, Alliance for Women Film Composers, member AFM 47
  • Rickey Minor - music director, conductor, composer, producer, member AFM 47
  • Anthony McGill - clarinetist, member AFM 802

Read speaker bios @ https://www.afm47.org/press/afm-dei-2020/

This panel discussion is free and open to the public. Zoom registration @ http://bit.ly/afm-dei-2020 

Election debrief for organizers - Roots Camp - December 11 & 12 (The Democracy Collaborative, GAIN Power, New Media Mentors, Organizing 2.0, & Re:Power)

Rootscamp brings together a coalition of leaders in the Democratic and Progressive political, electoral, advocacy, and governing space to debrief and use hindsight to dissect what we all just experienced to move forward together and plot what comes next. There will be workshops, training, panel discussions, consulting and networking opportunities, visionary speakers, an organization expo, and a provocative debate around strategy and practices.

Our mission is to provide an open and transparent place for conversation around what happened on 2020 campaigns, create space for ideas about going forward in 2021, 2022, and beyond, and build a community to celebrate the amazing people who did the hard work this year.

We will dedicate sessions to inspiring and engaging staff, consultants, volunteers, and activists and discuss how to stay engaged and create careers in progressive politics. Our career panels will showcase leaders in a variety of sectors and movements. They will discuss their professional journeys, share personal knowledge, and demonstrate the breadth of opportunities and ways to use your experience to gain power campaigns, advocacy, and governing.

Please visit our site at rootscamp.org for information on submitting your ideas for sessions and speakers, learning about sponsorships, and joining the pre-event conversation.

December 11 & 12

Register here

ABOUT US

Each of the lead organizations has a deep history and extensive experience with large scale conferences, training, leadership programs, and professional development. We’re thrilled to be bringing this all together for this unique virtual experience. Below is a bit more information about these organizations. 

Since 2006 rootscamps has been an annual “unconference” where organizers set the agenda, share lessons learned and drive the conversation about best practices in organizing. Rather than panels and powerpoints, people hold real live conversations about valuable organizing lessons for online and offline as developed by the organizers themselves.

We’re continuing the New Organizing Institute’s “unconference” model of rootscamp because it allows organizers to meet and debrief in a way that promotes shared learning and engagement. Instead of the traditional panel discussion, participants are the presenters! Participants not only take away lessons to apply to their own work, they establish lasting new partnerships with organizers from all over the nation.

GAIN POWER – formerly Democratic GAIN hosted post election career fairs, trainings and more since 2003. We support talent rolling off one campaign cycle ready to engage and work on the next – be that on a candidate campaign, ballot measure campaign, independent expenditure or advocacy campaign, consulting firm, or other place in our movement. GAIN POWER maintains the largest job resources for the Democratic & Progressive community 

Organizing 2.0 brings together hundreds of leaders, organizers, fundraisers, techies and activists to share our collective wisdom, skills, and talents.

New Media Mentors is a hands-on online learning program that helps progressive organizations build their power and win campaigns. We offer a year-round Digital Academy of live webinars in digital organizing, online communications skills and using narrative and culture in organizing. 

Re:Power is a team of organizers, strategists, and technologists dedicated to building transformative political power. Their work is tied to the belief that by partnering with individuals, organizations, and coalitions across the country, we can uncover leaders within communities to create radical change.