Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New Plan to Bore Capitalism to Death

Parecon and Anarcho-Syndicalism: An Interview with Michael Albert
Michael Albert interviewed by
DC Tedrow

Participatory economics, or parecon for short, is a classless economic system that serves as an alternative to capitalism, market socialism, and centrally planned economies. Parecon is based upon equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self-management, as well as takes into account kinship/gender, community/race, and polity in addition to economic considerations. Under parecon, workers and consumers councils are responsible for self-managed decision making; workers have balanced job complexes; effort and sacrifice are rewarded, not hours worked or how much capital was invested; and planning is participatory.


News from Filthy Trots

Service Employees End California Nursing Home Partnership
Mark Brenner
Labor Notes

Following months of criticism and sharp internal debate, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) ended its controversial partnership agreement with a group of California nursing homes on May 31. The four-and-a-half-year-old deal was a quid pro quo arrangement that brought over 3,000 workers into SEIU after the union secured higher state government payments to nursing homes that care for Medicaid patients. In addition to giving SEIU organizing access to a number of nursing homes, the agreement provided “template” contract language for these newly organized workplaces.

SEIU announced it was ending the partnership just days after the executive board of United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW), one of the two SEIU locals that were party to the original deal, launched a campaign to steer the agreement in a different direction.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Pies Fly at Social Forum

Communique on USSF Pieing by Agents aNGie O'tool and Cherry Karim

Pies fly when you are having fun-- and so do fliers. The text that accompanied the media coverage of the pieing was taken from the flier distributed on the scene. The following is the statement from the agents themselves.

People are talkin, talking 'bout people
I hear them whisper, you won't believe it
They think we're lovers kept under covers
I just ignore it, but they keep saying
We laugh just a little too loud
We stand just a little too close
We stare just a little too long
Maybe they're seeing, something we don't, Darlin'
--Bonnie Raitt, "Something to Talk About"

People were talking at the historic, very first United States Social Forum. Talking. Talking talking talking. We know, because we were listening. And talking, ourselves, too, sure. Talking. Listening. Not surprisingly, a major topic was the role of non-profits in the global movement for social justice. Officially, it was the theme of workshops and presentations. Unofficially, it was the continuation of an ongoing conversation that was recently revived by the Zapatistas' Sexta DeclaraciĆ³n de la Selva Lacandona. At least. Recently. I mean, people have been talking about that since, like, the 60's, right? So people were talking, right? Talking about the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, right?

According to LIP MAGAZINE, the US non-profit sector is the seventh largest economy in the world. At a conference put on by INCITE! in 2004 called The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, "movement builders from within the [Non-Profit Sector] spoke of the paralysis, disempowerment and ineffectiveness of the nonprofit world." This year, 2007, a collection of essays was released by the same group under the same title. We invite this movement to pick up copies of that book and take a look in the mirror. Like Bonnie Raitt sings, "maybe they're seeing something we don't."

On Saturday, June 30th Medea Benjamin, self-appointed spokesperson for popular movements, received a tasty banana cream pie courtesy of the Bakers Without Borders, Co-optation Watch cell. The tactic of delivering our critique of just desserts was specifically chosen as a social critique from within our peoples’ movement which mobilizes a tradition of tricksters, clowns, jesters, pranksters and yippies to make serious commentary in a playful way. And while our actions were playful, the issues which motivated us were serious. So, in the spirit of Hopi clowns, court jesters, and buffoons of all ages, Bakers Without Borders offer this movement a mirror—at the bottom of a pie tin—for self-reflection. Are these funhouse mirrors the clowns hold up? Do we really take ourselves that seriously? Have our heads really swollen that big?


Union - Palestinian Solidarity

Boycott and divestment movement spreads to Northern Ireland and USA

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Northern Ireland's biggest trade union, the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA), has yesterday unanimously passed five motions that call for solidarity for Palestinians in the face of the Israeli occupation.

The motions contained severe condemnation of Israel's illegal withholding of Palestinian tax revenues and the ongoing military assaults. Furthermore, the motions express outrage at the human rights abuses on Israel's part, such as the continued occupation and destruction of Palestinian lands and civilian infrastructure and the building of illegal Israeli settlements, as well as mass arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Beware teh Anarchy

Local unrest followed cycle of social movements
The Register-Guard

It was the late 1990s, and the Eugene scene had a backdrop of activism, tension and violence.

Bottle-throwing throngs of drunken college students confronted police.

Tree sitters drew clouds of pepper spray as they tried to halt a downtown housing development.

Anarchists regularly flooded the streets - decrying consumerism, corporate greed, excessive police force and government in general. They drew more police gas, beanbag shotgun rounds and arrests by the scores.

Vandals roamed at night, breaking business windows, torching Dumpsters and spray painting the anarchist symbol - a circled A.

Amid the helter-skelter, a secretive cell of radicals took their activism to yet another level - large-scale arsons around the Northwest for the cause of animal rights and environmentalism.

The comparative quiet of the years since then may create an impression of that period as a chaotic era, a fluke disconnected from the norm.


Fightin' Scabs in the Streets

Battle for high-rises in New York
Fight for work at building site
Hardhats face off in West Side rumble


Saturday, June 30th 2007, 4:00 AM

A union member lies in the street, separated from his prosthetic leg yesterday, after a battle erupted between workers.

Construction workers squared off on a midtown street yesterday after a nonunion laborer backed a cement mixer into a crowd of protesting union workers, police and witnesses said.