Films: John Coltrane Lite

By MARTY GOODMAN “Chasing Trane,” a documentary film by John Scheinfeld. “Trane is now a scope of feeling. A more fixed traveler, whose wildest onslaughts are gorgeous artifacts not even deaf people should miss.” — Amiri Baraka, poet, jazz critic, and activist In July 1967, I heard on a late night jazz radio show in…

Grenfell Tower fire in London: Some quick facts

A displaced resident of the now destroyed Grenfell Tower in London told the press after the June 14 pre-dawn fire: “A building like that wouldn’t fly in a rich area. But because everyone here is poor and working class—that’s why it happened.” For years, residents of the 24-story tower block had complained to local government…

Protesters tell right-wing ‘Anti-Sharia’ marches: ‘Muslims are welcome here’

By KAREN SCHRAUFNAGEL On Saturday, June 10, the Islamophobic group ACT (American Congress for Truth) for America held “Marches Against Sharia” in over two dozen cities across the United States. Emboldened by President Donald Trump and his strong anti-Muslim rhetoric, the group that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers one of the top hate groups…

No sanctuary for immigrant workers in Chicago and Los Angeles

By MARK UGOLINI Democratic Party Mayors Eric Garcetti and Rahm Emanuel proudly declare that they run “Sanctuary Cities.” They claim that Los Angeles and Chicago offer “sanctuary” for immigrants; that local police will neither ask about immigration status, nor will they detain immigrants for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). These reassurances are phony, designed to…

Haiti erupts in strikes and protests

By MARTY GOODMAN Beginning on May 19, thousands of textile sweatshop workers in Haiti walked off the job or laid down inside their textile assembly plants to protest their starvation wages. The workers are demanding a raise from $4.67 per day to $12.47 per day, a raise not tied to increased production quotas for workers.…

French election results: No choice for workers

CHRIS HUTCHINSON interviews JEAN ROCH-FORT Emmanuel Macron, a French banker and longtime establishment politician, emerged victorious on a “third party” ticket in this year’s French elections. His victory follows the breakdown of the traditional center left and right capitalist parties through major corruption scandals. The candidate of the Republicans, a center right-wing party, Nathan Fillon,…

Shifting the blame: The cover-up of U.S. war crimes in Mosul

By RALPH SCHOENMAN The scope of the murderous assault by U.S. imperialism on the Iraqi city of Mosul—with its genocide-scale war crimes—was beginning to filter into the mainstream media. And then—just as Trump, the Democratic Party, the Joint-Chiefs of staff, and the U.S. intelligence apparatus were about to be indicted for these war crimes before…

Trump spurns Paris Climate Accord

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER “We’re getting out!” President Trump declared before the press and a knot of governmental officials who had gathered in the White House Rose Garden on June 1. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.” Trump characterized…

Philadelphia DA’s office refuses to release Mumia files

By the MOBILIZATION FOR MUMIA COALITION In the latest attempt to further deny freedom to Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office has contemptuously refused to release the files they were ordered to make public by Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker. On April 24, Abu-Jamal’s 63rd birthday, his attorneys presented an appeal before Judge Tucker…

Mass mobilization and solidarity can defeat the far right

By JOHN LESLIE Since the presidential inauguration, far-right forces have been mobilizing under the slogan of free speech. Right-wing demonstrations began in February with a clash between rightists and anti-fascist activists who were intent on stopping a speech by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos. This confrontation gave the so-called alt-right the opportunity to play the victim…

Fight for 15 confronts McDonald’s stockholders meeting

By ANN MONTAGUE This is the fifth year that Fight For 15 made the trek to Chicago and then to suburban Oak Brook, Ill., where the annual McDonald’s shareholders meeting was taking place. The first day, May 22, started with showcasing the leading role of women of color. A panel of activists expressed their message…

A DAY OF ACTION FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!

Pressure DA’s office to release documents pertaining to former DA Ron Castille’s handling of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s appeals! PHILADELPHIA—On Tuesday, May 30, The Mobilization For Mumia, a coalition of human rights groups in support of political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, will host a 2 p.m. press conference and rally at the Philadelphia DA’s office to demand that the…

Books: Remembering James Connolly

  By BARRY WEISLEDER  “James Connolly and the Reconquest of Ireland,” by Priscilla Metscher. (Minneapolis: MEP Publications, 2002), 243 pages. The aftermath of the 101st anniversary of the Easter Rising is a good time to become (re)acquainted with the views of the great Irish republican socialist, James Connolly. Though many of today’s Irish nationalists and “socialists” pay homage…

Ontario NDP’s Horwath shifts slightly to the left

By BARRY WEISLEDER During the three days of the Ontario NDP Convention, April 21-23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the party’s left wing won several significant policy and procedural victories. Leader Andrea Horwath adapted to the situation, somewhat desperate to present a progressive face to the sparse crowd, and to a somewhat indifferent electorate. The provincial Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne is…

Jimmy Dennis: Free at last!

By JOHN LESLIE On May 13, Jimmy Dennis was released after more than 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The crime and the frame-up On Oct. 22, 1991, Chedell Williams and her friend, Zahra Howard, went to the Fern Rock Transportation Center in Philadelphia to buy a transpass. Outside of the…

Labor Briefing for May 2017

By BILL ONASCH Movers Become Shakers In D.C.—The motto of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 is We Move This City. Their 9000 members keep the second biggest (in mileage) subway system in the USA running—as best they can with the Metro’s austerity budget—in addition to dozens of usually standing-room-only bus lines and paratransit services. Their contract…

The extraordinary Lynne Stewart

By JEFF MACKLER Memorial meetings for Lynne Stewart took place in New York City on April 22, and in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 5-6. Peoples’ attorney Lynne Stewart died on March 12. Two incidents serve to highlight her extraordinary life in the service of humanity. Charged with “conspiracy to aid and abet…

NYC immigrants strike against union busting

By MARTY GOODMAN — NEW YORK — B&H Photo, the nation’s largest non-chain photo store, announced during contract negotiations plans to shut down two warehouses in Brooklyn and move facilities 75 miles away to Florence, N.J., by the end of the year. For 330 immigrant B&H warehouse workers who belong to the United Steel Workers…

Which way for the climate movement?

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER On April 29, more than 200,000 people marched in Washington, D.C., in a powerful show of determination to rescue the earth from the ravages of climate change. Over 370 sister marches took place simultaneously across the United States and in countries around the world from Britain to Brazil, and from Mexico to…

Chicago workers take to the streets on May Day

By MARK UGOLINI — CHICAGO — Nearly 10,000 workers, immigration rights activists, and supporters took to the streets on May Day to demand legalization of undocumented workers; an end to terrorizing immigrant communities with raids on homes and workplaces; and an end to criminalization, mass incarceration, and deportations. (See a full list of demands at…