Saturday, January 14, 2006

UFW Exposé Lacks Historical Perspective

UFW Exposé Lacks Historical Perspective
New America Media

One of the most difficult positions a newspaper can find itself in is that of defender, protector, or the lone public voice of a movement that has come under attack.

We find ourselves forced to voice our disagreement with some of the perceived failures of today's United Farm Workers Union, or UFW, as written about this week in this city's major metropolitan daily, the Los Angeles Times.

We are fully aware that we run the risk of being viewed as apologists for the UFW. But we cannot help but question the tone and innuendo contained in the exposé, which may be factually correct, but in our view lacks a real understanding of the true depth of the UFW, its founder Cesar Chavez and their impact on history.

Those who were there witnessed the beginning of a revolution, not only in the fields of California agriculture, but also in the growing sensitivity in our urban centers to the plight of poor farm workers. In exposing the UFW's shortcomings today, the exposé's author has set upon a path to diminish and smear this legacy.

The United Farm Workers Union, or UFW, was more than just a labor union. It was a social movement to give the working poor deserved a living wage and humane working conditions. It was the groundwork for a generation of social activists that has gone on to fight for justice across the country.

By omitting this part of the story, the LA Times has done a disservice to all the men and women who gave their time, money and labor to the cause of bringing justice to California's rural and urban poor.

UFW Website

Couldn't have seen this coming...

3 Eco-Terror Suspects Held in Northern California Plot
FBI agents say the arrests, which cap a yearlong investigation, foil planned attacks on phone towers, power stations and more.
By Greg Krikorian
LA Times

FBI agents in Sacramento arrested three suspected Earth Liberation Front members Friday in connection with an alleged plot to blow up U.S. Forest Service facilities, cellular phone towers and power-generating stations at various locations in Northern California.

The arrests in the Sierra foothill city of Auburn, about 30 miles northeast of Sacramento, capped a terrorism investigation that began nearly a year ago, authorities said.

Taken into custody were Eric Taylor McDavid, 28, of Foresthill, near Auburn; Zachary Jensen, 20, of Monroe, Wash.; and Lauren Weiner, 20, of Philadelphia. All three were in federal custody pending a court appearance Tuesday, authorities said. They could not be reached for comment, and it was not immediately clear who would legally represent them.

Although the FBI and U.S. attorney's office declined to provide details about the alleged evidence against the three, FBI officials said they believe their investigation foiled possible attacks on a number of sites they would not specify.

"We did prevent some violent acts; I am sure of that," said Dave Picard, assistant special agent in charge of the bureau's Sacramento office. "These people could have done a lot of harm to people and property."


P-CRAC is occasionally left speechless

Review: Hayfever
by Charles Demers
Seven Oaks Magazine

Apparently, in this life, there are those who relate to highbrow British playwright Noel Coward on the one hand, and those who relate to thick-browed Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin on the other. I made the mistake of offering my extra ticket to Nicola Cavendish’s current staging of Coward’s play Hayfever – running until January 28th at North Vancouver’s Performance House Theatre – to a dear friend, devoted anarchist and biographer of Bakunin who shall remain nameless; his anonymity an echo of the faceless terror that Bakunin’s anarchism shot through the European bourgeoisie and authoritarian Marxist movements alike. Since most British people (in my understanding) are either bourgeois or authoritarian Marxists, Coward really didn’t have a chance.

It didn’t help that the affluent, blue-rinse North Vancouver audience was eating up Hayfever’s cucumber sandwich of theatricality with a silver spoon. Watching the aristocratic tea-swillers in the crowd sympathetically imbibing the aristocratic bohemian rejoinders that make up Coward’s script was like watching the play in 3-D glasses. They laughed uproariously whenever the onstage family’s maid was impudent (they somehow managed to recognize her capturing of the essence of domestic help even though she wasn’t Filipina), and at one point, the man sitting next to me (to my left, as it turned out) nearly wet himself after hearing the lines “‘Do they have tea here?’ ‘They must!’”


The Terrorist Worker

The Terrorist Worker
The night the subway strike was called, I knew the media were going to make it ugly.
The Indypendent

The night the subway strike was called, the TWU headquarters was crammed with TV anchors sending news to a city holding its breath. The mood was sour. NBC anchor Melissa Russo whispered loudly into her cell phone, “Who do these workers think they are, throwing a whole city into chaos if their demands aren’t met.” I knew two things, the strike was on and the media were going to make it ugly.

And ugly it was. The subway strike of 2005 can be summed up by a phrase: “Black workers are Evil Doers.” When the Transit Workers Union 100, a majority Caribbean, Latino, Asian- and African-American local, walked off the job, the corporate elite began to attack. The first target was the minds of working-class New York, and the first battle to be fought was to keep them from identifying with TWU strikers and imitating them. The media immediately fused images of criminals, terrorists and spoiled children to the picketing workers.

It began when Mayor Bloomberg said the TWU had “thuggishly turned their backs on New York.” He was quickly criticized for it. Soon, as the New York Times and Village Voice reported, on the public message board of the TWU website the mostly Black union was called monkeys and Toussaint was called Osama Bin Laden’s sweetheart.

The relentless framing of strikers as criminals continued in the New York Post as “Jail ’Em” was stamped over a photo of Toussaint behind bars and inside a photo of a cell on Riker’s Island. Eventually the strikers went from criminals to terrorists. Mayor Bloomberg was relatively subtle, using the code word that the TWU had “hijacked” the city.


Transit strike aftermath: TWU Victory Stuns Both Left and Right

Transit strike aftermath: TWU Victory Stuns Both Left and Right
The transit workers strike was a monumental victory.
The Indypendent

The transit workers strike was a monumental victory. Abandoned by their international, with the staggering weight of the political establishment, the judiciary, the corporate press and much of the public against them, the TWU faced down threats of jail and massive fines, plus warnings the union would be busted, and won.

After the strike ended on Dec. 22, the scuttlebutt was that TWU President Roger Toussaint had sold out the workers. But when Toussaint announced a deal on Dec. 27, many gasped in surprise that not only had the union beaten back the MTA’s demand to raise the retirement age from 55 to 62, the TWU also got as much as $200 million in pension overpayments returned to workers.

While many New Yorkers backed the TWU’s fight for decent pay and dignity, others have been so beaten down that they resented the fact that working people could make a living wage with job security and a pension to boot.

The transit workers showed the power of solidarity. They called the cynical bluff of a billionaire mayor, a corrupt governor and their appointees at the MTA. In a dramatic turnaround, it’s the ruling elite that is now divided, arguing over the contract’s details and whether it should be approved.


Neo-liberalism and the Worker’s Movement

Neo-liberalism and the Worker’s Movement
by Stafford Joseph, General Secretary AT&LU
The Antigua Sun

Globally and in particular in our region, neo-liberalism represents the major challenges for the working class and its organizations. How we respond to it will in reality determine the future of the Caribbean and Latin American nations, especially the workers, who are the most affected victims.

It is of interest to note that, particularly in our region, there may be diverging feelings and ideas with regards to neo-liberalism. However, and unfortunately, the fatal syndrome of inferiority complex is quite evident.

Our people have begun to copy whatever comes from outside, not recognizing that “the new is the worst of the old”. Indeed, as far as neo-liberal policies are concerned, some of our people are more fundamentalists than President Reagan or Prime Minister Thatcher ever was.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Why Unions Rock

Why Unions Rock
They don't "hurt the people." They are the people.
by David Faris
Philadelphia City Paper

New York City recently resolved a crippling transit strike, and my sympathies are entirely with the workers. The transit workers might have been wrong—I don't care. Unions are human institutions, and it stands to reason that occasionally they take improper bargaining stances or become corrupt. People who fundamentally sympathize with management against workers like to wave every bad union in your face like it's O.J. Simpson's shrunken glove, but the reality is that unions work and people who aren't in them make less money than people who are.

The New York strike wasn't about pensions. If it was, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) would have demanded larger cuts, or introduced its demands earlier in the process than it did. As it was, the MTA's pension demands came so late in the process that the Transit Workers Union (TWU) could not possibly have compromised. The standoff was about busting unions, and more importantly, about turning the public against the TWU and organized labor in general.


Loser Lifestyle "Anarchists" Outraged...

Dumpster diving out
Sheri Baker-Rickman, Staff Writer
Johnson County Sun

By dumping one word from an ordinance, the Leawood City Council made taking discarded items from city curbs illegal Jan. 3.

Council members said the change is designed to help prevent identity theft.

"When we wrote the ordinance a few years ago, we blew it," Councilman Louis Rasmussen said. "But we only had to take out the word 'recyclable.'

"All (thieves) need to do is steal your Social Security number and off they go, getting all sorts of credit. It's ridiculous," he said.

Originally, the ordinance read, "It shall be unlawful for any person not licensed by the city and not under contract with the owner or occupant, to remove from private property or public right-of-way any recyclable item ..."


Voltairine De Cleyre: Her revolutionary ideas and legacy

Voltairine De Cleyre: Her revolutionary ideas and legacy
by Anarcho

The Voltairine De Cleyre Reader
A. J. Brigati (Editor)
AK Distribution
ISBN: 1902593871

Gates of Freedom: Voltairine De Cleyre and the Revolution of the Mind
Eugenia C. Delamotte
University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472098675

Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine De Cleyre - Anarchist, Feminist, Genius
Sharon Presley and Crispin Sartwell (Editors)
State University of New York Press
ISBN: 0791460940

Typical. The anarchist movement waits nine decades for a book of Voltairine De Cleyre's writings to appear and three turn up at once! Was it worth the wait? Yes, most definitely.

In her short life, Voltairine de Cleyre distinguished herself as a leading intellectual, activist, speaker and writer within the American and worldwide anarchist movement. Emma Goldman called her "the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced." Her activity and works covered many subjects, including anarchism, feminism, education and the labour movement, bit sadly, both are virtually unknown today. Except for Paul Avirch's classic biography of 1978 ("An American Anarchist: The Life of Voltairine de Cleyre"), she has resided in near obscurity since her early death in 1912 at the age of 46. Only one collection of her writings has previously been published -- The Selected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre in 1914, edited by Alexander Berkman and published by Goldman's "Mother Earth". Even this was hardly complete, leaving important works buried in little known papersand magazines. Since then, Voltairine has descended into undeserved obscurity.


United Farm Workers Leave AFL-CIO

United Farm Workers Leave AFL-CIO
Published: January 12, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United Farm Workers union has left the AFL-CIO and will join a group of breakaway unions known as the Change to Win Coalition, in a move the UFW hopes will boost recruiting efforts, officials said Thursday.

The UFW, with about 27,000 members, joins the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, UNITE HERE and the Carpenters in forming the dissident Change To Win Coalition. The Laborers International Union of North America also is part of the new federation, but has not left the AFL-CIO.

''We view this as a positive step in fulfilling our twin commitments of focusing more resources on organizing and finding new ways to pursue employers that fiercely resist the right of workers to organize,'' said Marc Grossman, a UFW spokesman. ''No employers more fiercely resist the right to organize than agriculture.''

UFW already was allied with the Change to Win unions, but sent a letter two days ago informing the AFL-CIO, a federation of more than 50 unions, of its plans to leave.

''We regret to see them leave the federation because there's a lot of history there,'' said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Denise Mitchell. ''It's a union with a proud legacy that got a lot of support from the entire movement, especially the AFL-CIO. I hope we will make history together again in the future.''

The farm workers union was founded by Cesar Chavez, an agricultural worker. He died in 1993.

When the AFL-CIO formed 50 years ago, union membership was at its zenith, with one of every three private-sector workers belonging to a labor group. Now, fewer than 8 percent of private-sector workers are unionized.

The breakaway movement started last summer with the departure of the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union. The departure of a half-dozen unions has left the labor federation with more than 50 unions representing almost 9 million workers.

UFW Website
CTW Website

Farm Worker Movement’s story frozen out of L.A. Times coverage

Farm Worker Movement’s story frozen out of L.A. Times coverage
United Farm Workers

The Los Angeles Times is running a series of inaccurate, dishonest and untrue articles by reporter Miriam Pawel because the movement’s side of the story was frozen out of her coverage despite supplying extensive, detailed information and unparalleled access over many months refuting specific inaccuracies and distortions she ended up writing. The UFW’s limited resources mean the union can’t be every place where there is need in California. So it focuses on the Central Valley and Central Coast, the greatest concentration of farm workers in America.

Thousands of farm workers benefit daily from the United Farm Workers’ efforts:

• 32 election union victories, most in California, since the current organizing drive began.

• Dozens of UFW contracts including the largest strawberry, rose, winery and mushroom firms in California and the nation plus victories in other states.

• Over the last decade, the UFW has dedicated up to 50% of its resources to organizing, among the highest of all unions. Donations provide key support for organizing.

• Ongoing UFW organizing faces stiff resistance, as evidenced by the state of California ruling in November that last summer’s election at the giant Giumarra table grape vineyards could be thrown out because of the grower’s illegal actions.

• The UFW has helped tens of thousands of farm workers through recent legislative gains: the 2005 regulation to prevent heat deaths; the 2002 binding mediation law; seat belts in farm labor vehicles; remedies for workers cheated by farm labor contractors; new pesticide protections; and AgJobs, the historic immigration reform bill to aid hundreds of thousands in farm labor.

The Farm Worker Movement is continuing the legacy of its founders, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, who believed the movement had to go beyond the work place through non-profit, independently-run groups with distinct missions and staff.

•The nine-station, three-state Radio Campesina network mixes Mexican music with extensive educational programs for 300,000 daily listeners. Radio Campesina blankets the highest concentrations of farm workers in the nation.

• More than 1,900 of 3,500 amenity-rich affordable housing units serving about 10,000 people are in farm worker areas in the Central Valley, Arizona and Texas.

• Community organizing efforts where farm workers live are improving the lives of thousands in the Salinas and Central valleys and in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

• The Cesar E. Chavez Foundation empowers and equips tens of thousands of young people.

Less than a dozen of 400 committed movement employees are family members; just four hold policy-making positions. Many spent decades as full-time volunteers and work hard for modest pay. They all serve without compensation as board members. Arturo Rodriguez is elected UFW president directly by farm workers.

UFW Website

"Killer Coke" Or Innocent Abroad?

"Killer Coke" Or Innocent Abroad?
Controversy over anti-union violence in Colombia has colleges banning Coca-Cola

It's early monday morning, but Ray Rogers has the full attention of some 70 students in a Rutgers University classroom. For nearly half an hour, the 61-year-old labor activist rails against Coca-Cola Co. (KO ), taking the beverage giant to task for allegedly turning a blind eye as eight employees of Coke bottlers in Colombia were killed and scores more were threatened or jailed on trumped-up terrorism charges over the past decade.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

American Workers Deserve Retirement Security

American Workers Deserve Retirement Security

Speech by Anna Burger at the Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Project, New York City, January 11, 2006

Thank you Reverend Jackson, we can always count on you to stand with workers. You bring us together so that we can stand together and win for all of our families and our communities. You force us to take on the hard issues so that we can win together. And I thank you for your determination and commitment to the security workers and their efforts to organize. They need you. We need you.

Like many of you, I grew up in an America that valued work and workers. One in three workers was in a union, and a union job raised up whole families, whole communities, whole generations.

And each generation in America had one common legacy. They passed on to their children a better life than their own. We call that legacy the American Dream. And, when you had a union job it meant you were on the road to the American Dream.

But that dream is flickering. Working in America is very different today from when I got my first job.



Help Wal-Mart Become a Company that Truly Helps Working Families

Let me clarify my support and respect for the UFCW and For years, the UFCW exposed the Wal-Mart threat to workers and American values. It was the UFCW that demonstrated just how significant and negative an impact Wal-Mart has on workers' lives and our communities. The UFCW and lead the campaign to change Wal-Mart.

UFCW President Joe Hansen sought to broaden the program to include all worker organizations, civil rights and women's groups, religious, community and environmental organizations.


Hoffa Calls on Iranian President to Release Bus Drivers

Hoffa Calls on Iranian President to Release Bus Drivers
Arrested Workers Leading Charge for Independent Union

In a letter to Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad, James P. Hoffa, General President of the Teamsters Union, denounced the actions of the Iranian authorities that arrested and assaulted representatives of thousands of bus drivers.

“We call upon your government to immediately release the union leaders and members,” Hoffa said in a letter dated December 30, 2005. “The Union of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company has a 40-year history of supporting its members and efficient urban transport in Tehran. They deserve respect from all governmental authorities in Iran.”

The bus drivers, who have gone without a wage increase for more than four years, were attacked by plainclothes members of Ansar Hezbollah during a union meeting on December 24, 2005. Following the incident, the government ordered the arrest of 14 union leaders who still remain in custody.

Hoffa Letter

Zapatista Workshop In Boston, January 24

Zapatista Workshop In Boston, January 24

Zapatista Workshop
7pm, Tuesday, January 24th
Lucy Parsons Center
549 Columbus Ave, South End

Workshop tour discussing autonomy and alternatives to the current US political system as inspired by the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona.

Lucy Parson's Center

ARA Does Something

Justice Sunday III Reportback & Pictures from Philly ARA

Women's Rights Are Under Attack! What are you gonna do? Act Up, Fight Back!

This chant could be heard echoing throughout North Philly Sunday night, as the people of Philadelphia held a demonstration against Justice Sunday III and the nomination of anti-choice Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Joined by members of Philadelphia ACT-UP, Philadelphia Anti-Racist Action, the Metropolitan Community Church, and the World Can't Wait, 200 to 300 people rallied outside the Greater Exodus Baptist Church to confront the Family Research Council's rally of religious extremists - including Rick Santorum and Jerry Falwell - who are fighting for a judiciary that is as reactionary and conservative as they are. The Greater Exodus Baptist Church and its programs have received approximately one million dollars from the Bush administration and spoke openly in support of him in the last election and more recently when Bush has faced criticism.


P-CRAC despises cops, but this is hilarious...

Black sergeant was 'loyal Klansman'
By Deborah Bulkeley
Deseret Morning News

About 25 years ago, Ron Stallworth was asked to lead the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Colorado Springs.

Ron Stallworth carries his KKK membership card as a memento.

Problem was, the outgoing Klan leader didn't know that Stallworth is black. "He asked me to take over the lead because I was a good, loyal Klansman," said Stallworth, who had been in constant phone contact with the Klan leader while leading a yearlong Colorado Springs police investigation into the Klan.

Stallworth later moved to Utah, where he recently retired after nearly 20 years as an investigator for the Utah Department of Public Safety. He says he's amazed that no one ever caught on to the investigation he led starting in 1979. After he was offered Klan leadership, he quietly disappeared.

As a memento Stallworth still carries his Klan membership card — signed by David Duke. "It was one of the most fun" investigations, he said. "Everybody said it couldn't be done."

Stallworth communicated with Klan leaders using the telephone. A white officer posing as Stallworth went to the meetings. "The challenge for me was to maintain the conversation flow," Stallworth said. At the same time, Stallworth also led an undercover investigation into the Progressive Labor Party, a communist group that protested at Klan rallies.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Look! Some Anarchists Aren't Morons...

What is communism?
What's in a word
by Paul Bowman - Red and Black Revolution

What is communism? Well according to the Concise Oxford dictionary, communism is

"1 a political theory derived from Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person is paid and works according to his or her needs and abilities. 2 (usu. Communism) a the communistic form of society established in the USSR and elsewhere."

If that was correct then this would be a very short article. However, as so often, the Concise Oxford is wrong again. In fact the terms socialism and communism appear in England around the 1820s as terms adopted by members of the cooperative movement who were sick of hearing their politics referred to as "Owenism". Originally the two terms were undifferentiated but by the 1840s communism was used by revolutionaries to differentiate themselves from reformists such as J.S.Mill who had adopted socialism to cover an indigestible mess of reformisms.

By the 1870s the terms had moved from differentiating means to distinguishing ends. The proper Oxford English Dictionary notes in its sources:

"Forster Diary 11 May in T. W. Reid Life (1888) .... I learn that the great distinction between communism and socialism is that the latter believes in payment according to work done and the former does not".

It is this meaning of communism as opposed to socialism that evolved in the late nineteenth century that this article discusses. Of course its not that important to get hung up on a name, for many people the Concise definition of communism being something to do with Marx and the USSR is the one they know. For us the name of the post-capitalist society we aim to help construct is a detail, what matters is the content of the ideas. Nonetheless for the purposes of this article we need to choose a name so we stick with the historical one.


Shocker! University Students Support Activist Conference

American University Supports Anarchist Conference
By Nathan Burchfiel

( - An American University-funded student group plans next month to host the ninth annual National Conference on Organized Resistance, a gathering of anarchists and socialists.

The Feb. 3-5 conference "seeks to promote organized action amongst participants against the injustices and inequalities that we confront in our daily lives and in the world," according to the National Conference on Organized Resistance (NCOR) website.

The NCOR student group organizing the event received $1,800 in 2005 and $2,000 in 2004, according to American University budget documents. The student group was previously known as the Animal Rights Effort and received funds under that name -- $1,688 in 2005 and $1,250 in 2004, according to the same records.


Former Chavez Ally Took His Own Path

Former Chavez Ally Took His Own Path

Where Eliseo Medina has gone, unions have grown. His successes in organizing immigrants show what farmworkers lost -- but can find again, he believes.

By Miriam Pawel, Times Staff Writer

At 21, the farmworker from Delano with an eighth-grade education hopped an airplane for the first time, with $20, a bag of UFW buttons to sell and the name of a Chicago postal worker loyal to the union cause.

The kid from the tiny town in the Central Valley who landed on John Armendariz's doorstep in 1967 was totally green — amazed at the city traffic, baffled by Chicago's El and faced with a daunting task: Get supermarkets to stop selling grapes.

Armendariz had watched his five children grapple with fear in different ways, and he wondered how Eliseo Medina would cope, without even winter clothes.

"His were real fears," Armendariz said. "How do you introduce yourself? How do you talk to people? He did an amazing job of controlling that."


Cheers as 11 WTO protesters go free

Cheers as 11 WTO protesters go free

Charges have been dropped against 11 of 14 people arrested as a result of clashes during the World Trade Organization meeting in Wan Chai last month.

Jonathan Cheng and Winnie Chong

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Charges have been dropped against 11 of 14 people arrested as a result of clashes during the World Trade Organization meeting in Wan Chai last month.

Three Koreans accused of attacking police officers still face trial.

Inside a packed courtroom at Kwun Tong Magistracy Wednesday, the three remaining defendants entered defiant pleas of not guilty and later vowed to prove their innocence.


Union Critics Share ObjectivesBut Snipe at Each Other; Seeking Pay and Benefits

Editor's Note: This is from a paysite so no link is given.

In Wal-Mart's Case,
Its Enemies Aren't
Terribly Good Friends

Union Critics Share Objectives
But Snipe at Each Other;
Seeking Pay and Benefits

January 11, 2006; Page A1

WASHINGTON -- and Wal-Mart Watch have two things in common: They criticize Wal-Mart, and they criticize each other.

A few weeks ago,, financed by the grocery workers union, launched its latest TV ad campaign questioning whether Christians should shop at Wal-Mart given its low wages and benefits. At the same time, the group sent a letter to Wal-Mart's chief executive Lee Scott signed by 65 ministers. "Jesus would not embrace Wal-Mart's values of greed and profits at any cost, particularly when children suffer as a result of those misguided values," the letter said.

Wal-Mart was upset. But so was Wal-Mart Watch, a group backed in part by the service workers union, formed to take on the world's largest retailer. Wal-Mart Watch declined to put its name on the ad, even though it earlier had helped cull names from its lists of religious leaders potentially willing to sign the letter. "What would Jesus do, indeed," Tracy Sefl, Wal-Mart Watch communications director, said in an email to this newspaper. "I think he would say the ad was a mistake. We heard from numerous supporters who were offended."

Meanwhile, has its own issues with Wal-Mart Watch. When Wal-Mart recently offered a health-care plan to its employees, with three free doctor visits before deductibles kick in, Wal-Mart Watch applauded the efforts. Paul Blank, WakeUpWalMart's campaign director, complained that Wal-Mart Watch hadn't properly analyzed the plan and that it was no better than what Wal-Mart had been offering. He put out a harshly worded press release saying that.

The two organizations, backed by different unions, are top-heavy with former Democratic operatives from the 2004 presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Howard Dean. Both groups arose as Wal-Mart's rapid expansion made it a lightning rod in some corners of labor and the political left for a long list of grievances against big business. Wal-Mart and its supporters argue that the big retailer offers an enormous boon to Americans -- particularly lower-income consumers -- by driving down the price of household goods, appliances and thousands of other products.

The company says it doesn't see much difference between the two groups. "To us, these are both campaigns directed by union leadership intended to criticize a company trying to help working families," says Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark. "There are well-meaning critics out there. These two organizations don't fall into that category."

WakeUpWalMart is run by Paul Blank, the former political adviser for Mr. Dean's presidential campaign. It is financed and housed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which failed in a decade-long effort to organize Wal-Mart workers.

In November, it ran a provocative Internet ad asking: "Who is the biggest criminal?" The ad showed pictures of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, both currently under indictment by grand juries, but the answer turned out to be Lee Scott, Wal-Mart's chief executive. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman called the ad mean-spirited and offensive.

Wal-Mart Watch is the brainchild of Andy Stern, the head of the Service Employees International Union, who shook up the labor movement last summer when he broke his union off from the AFL-CIO. The Service Employees provided the start-up funding for Wal-Mart Watch, though it also has grants -- and support from such groups as Common Cause.

Jim Jordan, Sen. Kerry's former presidential campaign manager, is a consultant, and several former Kerry campaign workers are on the payroll. It scored a coup in November when it made public an internal Wal-Mart memo about spiraling health-care costs that discussed hiring younger, healthier workers. Wal-Mart Watch frets that its campaign is being undermined by WakeUpWalMart's tactics. "I think the key difference between us is that they are about short-term impact rather than long-term change. Our organization is addressing concerns, not caricaturing them," says Ms. Sefl.

Paul Blank's response: "She is dead-wrong about our group. Neither Andy Stern nor Wal-Mart would be foolish enough to think we aren't in this for the long term to make Wal-Mart change."

Both groups were born out of the four-month grocery strike against Safeway, Albertsons and Kroger in Southern California two years ago. The big chains argued that they had to cut wages and benefits in order to compete with Wal-Mart, and the workers ultimately made significant givebacks.

Last summer, when Mr. Stern began exploring a new umbrella labor organization to compete with the AFL-CIO, he wanted to goad Wal-Mart into providing higher wages and more generous health-care benefits. At the Service Employees International Union annual convention, the group pledged $1 million to begin pressuring Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart Watch was officially launched in April, with a Washington staff of 36.

After the costly California strike, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union voted in new leadership last March. Under its new president, Joe Hansen, it decided, at least in the short term, to stop actively trying to unionize Wal-Mart. Instead, it made a priority of pressuring Wal-Mart to raise pay and benefits to more closely resemble those of unionized grocers. In April, the union launched, with a staff of six working out of union headquarters in Washington.

Taking a page from the Howard Dean campaign, which recruited supporters and funds over the Internet, WakeUpWalMart wants to drum up community opposition to Wal-Mart's practices and to sign up supporters over the Web. To date, more than 150,000 people have registered their support with the group online.

That doesn't impress Mr. Stern. "They've done a good job collecting a lot of names, but I'm not sure what their ability is to turn the grass roots into action," he said.

His counterpart, Mr. Hansen, didn't answer a question about tensions between the two groups taking on Wal-Mart. Via email he said: "We welcome SEIU's involvement in the campaign to change Wal-Mart."

Call for Review Essays: Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

Call for Review Essays: Perspectives on Anarchist Theory
The Institute for Anarchist Studies

The Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS) is interested in receiving high quality comparative book review essays for upcoming issues of its biannual journal, Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. Perspectives reviews must be focused on a common single issue, topic, or theme. Each review must treat at least two books and one must have been published in the previous two years. In some cases, reviews of works in other media (such as a film) will be accepted. Reviews of two books should be between 2,500 to 3,000 words and reviews of three should be 3,500 to 4,000 words. The books selected for review may be from any discipline, provided that they deal with subjects related to anarchism. Review essays should examine the failings and virtues of books for a contemporary anarchist theory and politics. Anarchism is understood here as a doctrine seeking the abolition of capitalism, the nation-state, and hierarchy generally, and the creation of a society based on mutual aid, direct democracy, autonomy and freedom. We are also interested in reviews of cross-disciplinary or theoretical works that may be of interest to anarchists activists and scholars.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

P-CRAC Refuses to be Intimidated!

Perspective: Create an e-annoyance, go to jail

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else."


LA Times targets Cesar Chavez legacy

LA Times targets Cesar Chavez legacy
Commentary on the LAist

There is something distasteful that in the week before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Los Angeles Times has decided to run a four-part series that maligns the legacy of one of California's greatest civil rights leaders, Cesar Chavez. Of course, if the foundation is bad, if there is graft and corruption, it should be exposed. There's just something about the timing.


African Anarchism: The History of a Movement

African Anarchism: The History of a Movement
by Sam Mbah & I. E. Igariwey


This first-of-its-kind book should be of use to everyone with an interest in either Africa or anarchism. Authors Sam Mbah and I. E. Igariwey begin by lucidly explaining the basic principles and practices of anarchism. After outlining what anarchism is and is not, they go on to compare anarchism's principles and practices to those of other social-change ideologies, specifically to marxist socialism. The authors then move on to Africa, exploring at length the "anarchistic elements" in many traditional (pre-colonial) African societies. Next they examine the devastating effects of colonialism on Africa's traditional societies and on Africa's economic and political structures, as well as the horrendous problems left in the wake of colonialism: underdeveloped, debt-ridden dependent economies with huge disparities between rich and poor; violent ethnic antagonisms caused by the deliberate setting of ethnic group against ethnic group, and by the creation of artificial national boundaries; and European-style governments, legal and educational systems, and military forces, all quite unsuited to African conditions.

Following this, the authors go on to examine the failed attempts at social change by "African socialist" governments in the post-colonial period, with special attention to Julius Nyerere's Tanzania, Sekou Toure's Guinea, and Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana. The unfortunate conclusion they arrive at is that a humane, fundamental reconstruction of society is impossible in Africa, as elsewhere, via government.

This is not a hopeless conclusion, however, as the authors state that there is a way out for Africa - an anarchist reconstruction of its economic and social structures. They also point out that because of the many similarities between anarchist beliefs and practices and those of traditional African societies (which still survive to some extent), Africa seems the most likely of all the continents to witness a true social revolution - a revolution in an industrial age based on the "anarchist elements" in traditional African societies.

On a more personal note, I should apologise to any readers who find a few minor loose ends in this book. There is a reason for this: the authors live in Enugu, Nigeria, and communication with them has been difficult to say the least. (Whether this has been due to inefficiencies in the Nigerian postal and telephone services, or due to deliberate interference by the Nigerian government, I can't say.) As a result of this problem, it has been impossible to check on a number of minor details, such as first names of a few persons mentioned in the text. Ultimately, I decided it was better to publish the book with a few minor loose ends rather than wait months if not years to contact the authors about these matters.

As a final note, I should also apologise to any readers who might find the title of this book inappropriate. When I accepted this book for publication, I accepted it on the basis of a good topic, good cover letter, and good proposal. The deadline to announce the coming season's titles was fast approaching, so I assigned the book an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), announced it, and commissioned Cliff Harper to do the cover. At that point, for all practical purposes, the book's title was set in stone. When the manuscript arrived, I discovered that it was not in fact a history, but something more valuable - a forward-looking book concerned with achieving positive social change. A more fitting title for this valuable book would be African Anarchism: Prospects for the Future.

-Chaz Bufe
See Sharp Press


Unions fail to multiply numbers

Unions fail to multiply numbers
By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter

UNIONS have failed to attract enough new members as employment soars to unprecedented levels, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary David Begg said yesterday.

With a new round of social partnership talks due to begin towards the end of this month, Mr Begg conceded that unions had not been proactive enough in recruiting new members.

Although union membership is up by 15,000, the rise is a drop in the ocean compared with the number of jobs being created. Consequently, from a peak of more than 60% 25 years ago, the percentage of union members has dropped to below 30% when the public sector is excluded.


Sutter presents 'final offer' in Roseville

Sutter presents 'final offer' in Roseville
Kathy Robertson
Staff writer

Sutter Roseville Medical Center presented its "final offer" last week to employees represented by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare West, hoping hospital support workers will accept it before the contract expires Friday. It includes a bonus of up to $3,000 if workers ratify the deal in time.

The offer includes an across-the-board wage increase of 13 percent during the three-year life of the proposed contract. There would be an immediate, across-the-board increase of 4 percent, followed by another 4 percent hike in 2007 and 5 percent in 2008.

Sutter's offer also includes a new training fund, binding arbitration when disputes arise between workers and management over staffing issues, $2,000 a year in tuition reimbursement, a life insurance benefit of $25,000, and a new vision plan, according to hospital spokeswoman Robin Montgomery.


Exec payouts anger American's unions

Exec payouts anger American's unions

Airline calls it deferred pay, but pilots' leader calls it a crisis
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

American Airlines Inc.'s employee unions on Monday blasted payouts set for some executives, in a dramatic departure from the cordial tone fostered over the past three years between labor and management.

"It is absolute insanity to pay out seven-figure bonuses at a time when the company is suffering nine-figure losses, mired in eleven-figure debt, and seeking further help from its employees," wrote Allied Pilots Association president Ralph Hunter in a heated message to the union's 11,000 pilots.

Last week, Fort Worth-based American told employees that it expects to pay long-term deferred compensation to about 1,000 of its top managers. The total outlay could exceed $20 million.

The biggest payment is planned for executive vice president Dan Garton, who would receive $1.7 million at current stock prices when the payouts occur April 18.



The Fifth Annual BASTARD Conference


The BASTARDs (Berkeley Anarchist Students of Theory And Research and Development) are proud to announce the Sixth Annual Anarchist Theory Conference. The conference will take place at the University of California, Berkeley campus on Sunday March 19th, 2006 from 10am to 6pm. This year we will have a panel discussion on "The New Anarchisms"* plus a Spelling Bee. We would like to solicit workshop proposals for any topic in anarchist theory.

*for example: Primitivism, Second Wave, Nietzschean, Green, Post(-structuralist), Social ecology and some old-new: Neo-platformism, Pro-unionism, Insurrectionary

The Theme

This year the conference will not have a theme.

While having a theme has allowed for us to discuss, in detail, a variety of subjects that we would not have otherwise been able to talk about with civility (Economics, Race, Organization), this year we are going to return to a more eclectic format where a variety of topics currently relevant in anarchist theory will be covered.

We do have a plan for at least one panel discussion on New Anarchism that should be lively and contentious.

Submit your Proposal!

We are now accepting proposals along any theoretical theme that anarchists might find interesting. The forms is available at the bottom of this page or you may email proposals to the conference email, or send us your proposals and a little background info about yourself (and a SASE) to ASG c/o Long Haul 3124 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley CA 94705.


As always the goal of the BASTARD conference is to hear from the multiplicity of people who are working with anarchist theory. We recognize that there are many different ways to understand anarchism. Each of these approaches has valid points that are worth examining.
Proposal submission form

Please keep your synopsis to under 200 words. Keep your bio to less than 100.
Our intention is adding this information is to provide people who come to the conference without a lot of experience on the subject matter informed as to exactly what they are getting into. Do not list your institutional accomplishments! Keep those to yourself and your therapist.

BASTARD Proposal Form

Monday, January 09, 2006

Interview: ‘Militancy is good for workers and the country’ – Tony Zarb

Interview: ‘Militancy is good for workers and the country’ – Tony Zarb
by Matthew Xuereb
The Malta Independent Online

One week into the New Year, General Workers Union secretary-general TONY ZARB looks back at the events of 2005 and talks about the union’s achievements and challenges for the future. He says the GWU does not have a guilty conscience about the Sea Malta saga and that the union will continue its campaign to lessen the burdens shouldered by workers. Interview by Matthew Xuereb

General Workers’ Union secretary-general Tony Zarb who, at the beginning of February, will celebrate his 21st year with the union and who has been at its helm since 1998, insisted that the union’s militancy is good for workers and for the country.


Lets get together and talk about how cool we are...

NCOR 2006

This year's NCOR will be held on February 3-5, 2006, on the main campus of American University in northwest Washington, DC. Please help us out by registering in advance and sending us your registration fee today. The fee for 2006 is $10 in advance and $12 at the door, so you save money by registering now instead of waiting until you get to NCOR.

NCOR is an annual event that brings together activists from a variety of issues, struggles, ideologies and backgrounds for a weekend of learning and reflecting on the state of progressive movements occurring locally, nationally and worldwide. Through diverse workshops, panel discussions, skillshares, tabling, and the creation of an open and safe space, NCOR seeks to promote organized action amongst participants against the injustices and inequalities that we confront in our daily lives and in the world. NCOR is held on the main campus of American University in northwest Washington, DC.

NCOR 2005 was a raging success with 86 workshops and numerous guerrilla events, again doing justice to a tradition that has happened every winter since 1998. Over 1500 people attended last year! As NCOR continues to grow exponentially, 2006 looks like another great conference.

Middle-Class Activist Website

Profiles of Legendary Anarchists #1

Profiles of Legendary Anarchists #1
Profiles of Legendary Anarchists is a recurring feature of P-CRAC's News and Information Blog

Chuck Munson
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Chuck Munson (born 1965) is an American anarchist in Kansas City, Missouri who currently runs the Alternative Media Project, (an anarchist website), and a weblog, "another blog is possible". .

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting/Sculpture) from University of Kansas in 1988 and his Master of Arts in Library Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. [1]

Munson was interviewed for the New York Times during the Republican Party political convention in New York City, published August 29, 2004. Comparing anarchism to other radicial movements, Munson said, "... we are a lot more anti-government, anti-state. We say that because we think people should have control of their lives at the individual and community level, a sort of radical participatory democracy." Asked about violence he replied, "I subscribe to a diversity of tactics, so I don't disavow violence. But I like to see nonviolence as much as possible."


Montreal Anarchism: A bastion of sanity in the cesspool of North America

Montreal's Anarchist Bookfair

February 18, 2006
Book Launch / Party: Gramsci is Dead! Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements with Richard Day
Location: TBA
In collaboration with Between the Lines Books

The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair and Festival of Anarchy is the largest anarchist event in North America, and an important exchange of anarchist and anti-authoritarian ideas. The Bookfair is for anarchists and non-anarchists alike, in French and English, with participants from all over North America and beyond. Founded in May 2000, the bookfair is now entering its seventh year.

Anarchist Bookfair events include book and information tables, workshops, readings, films, presentations, walking tours and much more. Once again, the Anarchist Bookfair will be followed -- on Sunday, May 21 -- by a full day dedicated to anarchist-themed workshops and presentations. As in the past, a "Festival of Anarchy" will take place during the weeks preceeding the Bookfair, with diverse events organized by anarchist and anti-authoritarian groups and individuals.

Proposal callouts for workshops, presentations, art exhibits, films, Festival of Anarchy events and tables are included in this website, in their respective section. We look forward to your suggestions and contributions!

Salon du livre Anarchiste de Montréal

Le 18 février, 2006
Lancement du livre: Gramsci is Dead! Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements
En présence de l'auteur Richard Day
Lieu à confirmer
En collaboration avec Between the Lines Books

Le Salon du livre Anarchiste de Montréal et le Festival de l'Anarchie sont les plus grands événements anarchistes en Amérique du Nord. Ils représentent un moment d'échanges et de débats important à propos des idées anarchistes et anti-autoritaires. Le Salon du livre est dédié autant aux anarchistes qu'aux non anarchistes, francophones et anglophones. Nous accueillerons des participants des quatre coins de l'Amérique du Nord et de l'étranger. Fondé en mai 2000, le Salon du livre entame sa septième année d'existence.

Le Salon du livre Anarchiste comprend des tables d'expositions de livres et de brochures, des ateliers, des lectures, des projections de films, des conférences, des visites guidées de Montréal et beaucoup plus! Encore cette année, le Salon du livre sera suivi, le dimanche 21 mai 2006, d'une journée complète d'ateliers et de conférences portant sur des thèmes liés à l'anarchisme. Comme par le passé, le Festival de l'Anarchie se déroulera durant les semaines précédant le Salon du livre, regroupant une multitude d'événements organisés par des anarchistes et des groupes anti-autoritaires.

Vous trouverez les appels de propositions pour des tables d'exposition, des ateliers, des expositions d'oeuvres d'art, des projections de films et des événements se déroulant lors du Festival de l'Anarchie dans la section du site web qui leur est spécifiquement réservée. Nous attendons vos suggestions!


Child-care coup only a baby step for labor

Child-care coup only a baby step for labor

By Stephen Franklin
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 7, 2006

While the two children napped, Sandra Koen, who has seen her share of tough times, happily added up some recent good news.

She will be getting a $2-a-day pay hike come spring with health-care coverage down the road. She now has a union to lean on. And with the union's guidance, she is sure she will get a state child-care license, which will mean more money.

"Everything is just so much better," she said with a broad smile in the living room of her small South Side apartment, where she runs her tiny child-care center, earning just $9.48 per day per child. "If you are without a union, you are just on your own."

In contrast with organized labor's many broken dreams in 2005, there are breakthrough victories such as the one that helped boost the earnings potential of workers like Sandra Koen.

Her union--the Service Employees International Union--won a precedent-setting contract with the state for 49,000 child-care workers, marking the first such agreement in the nation, and the largest single organizing drive in decades in Illinois.

Like Koen, many of the child-care workers are women, African-American, and folks who have scraped by for years on miserably low wages or on welfare.

It remains to be seen whether labor can make similar strides in 2006, though there are stirrings that did not exist before. More than ever, however, there is a foreboding that labor's time may soon run out if it doesn't get back on its feet.

Indeed, labor's laments only grew in 2005.


AJODA's Cogent and Scathing Review of NEFAC's Mouthpiece

Review of NEA # 10
By Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed

The Northeastern Anarchist; A Magazine of Class Struggle Theory and Practice #10

PO Box 230685 Boston MA 02123 $4 per issue; $15/four issues

NEA, the main mouthpiece of the neo- Platformist Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC) recently added glossy covers and a higher price in a clear acknowledgement that Anarchy has always been more attractive. Unfortunately, these changes to the cover haven’t affected the quality of the writing on the inside, which has always been less than stellar; in fact among other criticisms, I would call it self-referential (in terms of the obvious target audience being limited to other current and potential members of NEFAC and its various knock-offs) and even a little delusional (the continual incoherent calls to organize radical workers within existing business unions). An obvious example of this self-referential quality is the review of The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader (reviewed in this issue). MJ from NEFAC-Boston dismisses de Cleyre’s writing by saying that

Reading Voltairine de Cleyre in 2005 is an ambivalent task… Reading a set of “anarchist” essays that don’t really offer much strategic advice about fighting capitalism seems a bit indulgent.

Leaving aside the creepy ironic quotation marks (why does MJ think that de Cleyre’s essays aren’t really anarchist?), faulting a writer who either doesn’t share or doesn’t mention your ideas of specific strategies on how to struggle is a cheap rhetorical trick better suited to unapologetic authoritarians and manipulators. If de Cleyre wasn’t particularly interested in developing such strategies, why not just read her essays (we can agree to skip the poetry) on their own terms, instead of using a current agenda to travel back a hundred years and then judge their worthiness? I have to wonder if MJ ever reads anything that doesn’t include strategic formulas, the haughty moralism behind the term “indulgent” makes me think not.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Chompsky is generally annoying, but...

The triumph of anarchism


AN essay supporting the anarchist philosophy at the age of 10; hours spent at the bookshops on Manhattan's 4th Avenue engaged in anti-authoritarian polemics; and then a life time spent in analysing what ails international relations in the context of the widespread infringement of human rights and the numerous wrongs which fester our society. Indeed, Chomsky deserves the recent vote that ranks him above Umberto Eco or Howard Zinn as the most important intellectual today, an intellectual who is an effective counterweight and an independent critic of the State. As he writes in a famous essay "Objectivity and Liberal Scholarship": "... access to power, shared ideology, professionalisation may or may not be deplorable in themselves, but there can be no doubt that they interact so as to pose a serious threat to the integrity of scholarship in fields that are struggling for intellectual content and are thus particularly susceptible to the workings of a kind of Gresham's law. What is more, the subversion of scholarship poses a threat to society at large."


LA Times Hit piece on UFW

Farmworkers Reap Little as Union Strays From Its Roots

The movement built by Cesar Chavez has failed to expand on its early successes organizing poor rural laborers. As their plight is used to attract donations that benefit others, services for those in the fields are left to languish.

By Miriam Pawel, Times Staff Writer

Red letters flash inside the famous black eagle, symbol of the United Farm Workers: "Donate," the blinking message urges, to carry on the dreams of Cesar Chavez.

Bannered on websites and spread by e-mail, the insistent appeals resonate with a generation that grew up boycotting grapes, swept up in Chavez's populist crusade to bring dignity and higher wages to farmworkers.

Thirty-five years after Chavez riveted the nation, the strikes and fasts are just history, the organizers who packed jails and prayed over produce in supermarket aisles are gone, their righteous pleas reduced to plaintive laments.

What remains is the name, the eagle and the trademark chant of "Sí se puede" ("Yes, it can be done") — a slogan that rings hollow as UFW leaders make excuses for their failure to organize California farmworkers.


Murky Waters in Haitian Labor Movement



Being attacked by the enemy is an excellent thing. But only to the extent we are able to transform the attack, as a negative element, into a positive aspect in the general interest of the working class.

During the past weeks, enemies of the working class have been attacking Batay Ouvriye in various forms. Practically at the same time, we have undergone the assaults of sectors in the emigration looking for practices to carry out or continuing the practices of their “leaders”, those of reactionary bourgeois candidates within Haiti itself and those of various big landowners. These reactionaries’ practices seem to be well orchestrated... And even if this isn’t the case, we can speak of an organic coordination reflecting the class struggle, in particular, the polarization created by the struggles led by our movement. What we are undergoing is a moment in the struggle of the masses, the workers, the working class. We need to be able to correctly handle these attacks. We need to carry out practices that allow us to maximize the realization of the working class’ interests facing our enemies. One of the objectives we should seek is our own camp’s reinforcement. And, for this, we have to understand Batay Ouvriye’s position and practices under various aspects not directly concerned by the attacks in question, for militants and consistent progressives to be able to go beyond their present understanding of Batay Ouvriye.


Day labor center site of immigration battle

Day labor center site of immigration battle

Protesters, supporters square off in war of words
By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - On one side stood the crowd of protesters, mostly middle-aged white folks with neatly combed hair and squeaky clean shoes.

They waived American flags, blared the national anthem from a boom box, and yelled for the men across the street to go home.

"They're taking jobs away from Americans," one of the protesters shouted.

On the other side of Grove Avenue a more motley bunch had gathered.

In front of the Rancho Cucamonga Day Labor Center, the group of mostly Latino men in baseball caps, faded work pants and grimy boots showed no sign of retreat.

They held signs of their own, saying they wanted only to work, and they matched the protesters across the street shout for angry shout.

"This is God's country, it's not their country," one of the men hollered back. "America is the land of opportunity."

Such was the scene on Saturday as protesters gathered in Rancho Cucamonga as part of a broad, national rally against illegal immigration.


More Capuccino for your theory?

What A State To Be In
by Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici - FdCA

On Anarchists & the State

One of the basics of Anarchism throughout its history is without doubt its anti-Statism.

We do not wish to fall into the excesses of those anarchists who hate the state even when the word is used to mean condition and who reject the Welfare State simply because it includes that little word, allowing them to fall victim to the worst that neo-liberalism has to offer. However, the need for a stateless society too often produces distortions in Anarchist Communist thinking, the origin of which lies in a hurried acceptance of the historical baggage of Anarchism.

This baggage needs contextualizing and careful analysis, particularly at a time when capitalism in its exuberance is advocating the dissolution of the State as an administrative, bureaucratic apparatus for the collection of taxes and the provision of services.


Legendary Zapatista Leader Comandanta Ramona Has Died

Legendary Zapatista Leader Comandanta Ramona Has Died

She Struggled with Cancer for Ten Years; “Other Campaign” Temporarily Suspended for Her Funeral

By Andrew Kennis
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

January 7, 2006

TONALÁ AND SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, CHIAPAS, MÉXICO: After a decade-long bout with cancer of the kidney, Zapatista leader Comandanta Ramona died early yesterday morning. Choking back tears and with a wavering voice, Subcomandante Marcos made the public announcement of Ramona’s death in the midst of the Chiapas segment of the nationwide six month Zapatista led “Other Campaign.”