Philadelphia oil refinery to close following disastrous fire

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER Days after a devastating oil-refinery fire and explosion, Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) announced on June 26 that it would close the facility in 15 days. PES is the largest refinery on the East Coast, turning heavy shale oil from North Dakota into gasoline. But it is ridden with debt and only emerged … Continue reading Philadelphia oil refinery to close following disastrous fire

Free at last! Three members of the MOVE 9 released from prison

By STEVE XAVIER Political prisoner Eddie Goodman Africa, a member of the MOVE 9, was released from prison on the morning of June 2, after 40 years of unjust incarceration. Janet Holloway Africa and Janine Phillips Africa were also released recently (on May 25), becoming the third and fourth MOVE members to be set free … Continue reading Free at last! Three members of the MOVE 9 released from prison

Pa. toxic waste plant defeated — for now

By JOHN LESLIE On the evening of April 30, a contentious meeting of the Falls Township Board of Supervisors denied the site plan application for the Israeli-based Elcon Recycling to build a 32-acre toxic waste “treatment” plant in lower Bucks County, Pa. Hundreds of area residents turned out to oppose construction of the toxic facility. … Continue reading Pa. toxic waste plant defeated — for now

Polluted water near air bases endangers Pa. communities

By JOHN LESLIE  In the suburban Philadelphia neighborhoods surrounding a two now-closed U.S. Navy air bases, residents are faced with a drinking water crisis. Groundwater contaminated with carcinogens linked to a fire fighting foam forced the closing of both public and private wells. The Department of Defense (DoD) knew as early as 2001 that fire … Continue reading Polluted water near air bases endangers Pa. communities

Pa. waste facility is a threat to waterways

By JOHN LESLIE Elcon Recycling, an Israeli-based company, has proposed the construction of a toxic waste processing plant in suburban Philadelphia. The plant would boil toxic chemical and pharmaceutical waste to remove the water from it, reducing the materials to a toxic sludge. The resulting muck, which could contain elements such as lead, cadmium, and … Continue reading Pa. waste facility is a threat to waterways

Combat the far right with united mass action!

By JOHN LESLIE The Proud Boys and “3 Percenter” militia are mobilizing to join in a “We the people” rally of far-right forces in Philadelphia on Nov. 17. These reactionary forces are organizing under the banner of free speech and support for Trump, but are threatening to engage in violence against opponents. These proto-fascist and … Continue reading Combat the far right with united mass action!

Philadelphia DA’s office stonewalls at hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

By JOHN LESLIE The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office continues to stonewall in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. At a court hearing on April 30, prosecutors failed, once again, to produce a memorandum allegedly signed by former Philadelphia District Attorney and retired Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille. Under the 2016 Williams v. Pennsylvania … Continue reading Philadelphia DA’s office stonewalls at hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Why my brother, Mumia, should be set free

By KEITH COOK Reprinted from the Philadelphia Inquirer (May 1, 2018). I was stationed in Europe 37 years ago when I received the call that all black families dread. My little brother, Mumia Abu-Jamal, had been shot by the police and was fighting for his life. Mumia was the kindest and gentlest of my five … Continue reading Why my brother, Mumia, should be set free

Bail reform resolution passed in Philadelphia

By JOHN LESLIE At the beginning of February, the Philadelphia city council passed a resolution appealing to the Pennsylvania legislature to reform the bail system in the commonwealth. In the current set-up, nonviolent and low-risk offenders are often jailed while awaiting trial because they lack the resources to make even the most modest bail. Larry … Continue reading Bail reform resolution passed in Philadelphia

All Out for Mumia on Jan. 17! Fill the courtroom & rally in the streets of Philadelphia

By MOBILIZATION FOR MUMIA Mumia Abu-Jamal will have another hearing in open court on Wed, Jan. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Criminal (in)Justice Center, 1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia before Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker, courtroom 1108. In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia’s freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney’s … Continue reading All Out for Mumia on Jan. 17! Fill the courtroom & rally in the streets of Philadelphia

Police corruption is rife from Baltimore to Philadelphia

By JOHN LESLIE In mid-November, federal agents arrested a Philadelphia police officer, Eric Snell, for allegedly acting as a middleman for a drug ring run by a Baltimore police firearms task force. In addition to the drug charges, Snell is accused of possession of illegal firearms and threatening the children of one of the accused … Continue reading Police corruption is rife from Baltimore to Philadelphia

Drexel professor suspended following right-wing attack

By WAYNE DELUCA — PHILADELPHIA — George Ciccariello-Maher, a controversial left-wing professor at Drexel University in this city, was placed on administrative leave in October after a string of death threats from far-right internet trolls. All of his classes were cancelled for the quarter without a replacement. The university has stated that this is a … Continue reading Drexel professor suspended following right-wing attack

Philadelphia City Council pushes ‘diversity’ in the building trades

By a WORKING CARPENTER The Philadelphia city council passed a law allowing the city to secure loans for a program to renovate city parks, recreation centers and libraries called Rebuild Philadelphia. Some council members expressed skepticism about the program, asking whether any of the jobs created would go to people living the neighborhoods where the … Continue reading Philadelphia City Council pushes ‘diversity’ in the building trades

What is the role of police under capitalism?

By JOHN LESLIE On June 9, 2017, a Philadelphia police officer, Ryan Pownall, shot David Jones multiple times in the back as he ran away. Pownall had stopped to search Jones, who had been riding a dirt bike. While police claim that Jones had a gun, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he “had already dropped … Continue reading What is the role of police under capitalism?

Mumia Abu-Jamal fights for a new trial and freedom

By JEFF MACKLER On Mumia Abu-Jamal’s birthday, April 24, about 125 demonstrators mobilized outside Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas in solidarity with Mumia’s effort to reverse his 1982 frame-up murder conviction and win a new trial that could lead to his freedom. Mumia Abu-Jamal is perhaps the world's best known political prisoner. He has been … Continue reading Mumia Abu-Jamal fights for a new trial and freedom

200 years ago: Black people in U.S. protested exile to Africa

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER On Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 16, over 5000 people marched to a street rally outside Philadelphia’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The march was sponsored by a broad coalition of groups under the aegis of the MLK Day of Action and Resistance (MLK-DARE), which presented to the public its comprehensive declaration … Continue reading 200 years ago: Black people in U.S. protested exile to Africa

Chronicle of an ‘ordinary’ man in revolutionary times

By CLIFFORD D. CONNER “Unsinkable Patriot: The Life and Times of Thomas Cave in Revolutionary America,” by Michael Schreiber, 2016. Available from Amazon, 737 pages, $25.95. Thomas who? If Thomas Cave’s name does not ring any bells, it does not indicate a deficit in your education. He was not an outstanding historical figure in any … Continue reading Chronicle of an ‘ordinary’ man in revolutionary times

10,000 protesters demand ‘Clean Energy Revolution’

By CHRISTINE MARIE “People gonna rise like the water,” the most poignant of the new songs of the climate justice movement, makes a strong prediction. And the potential breadth and power of that people was on display in a new way on July 24, as close to 10,000 marchers took to the streets on a … Continue reading 10,000 protesters demand ‘Clean Energy Revolution’

Supreme Court dashes immigrants’ hopes

By GRACE MONTESI On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court tied 4-4 regarding an immigration action taken by President Obama in 2014. The decision left in place a lower court’s ruling that had blocked implementation of the program. Officials in our so-called democratic system have once again disregarded the immigrant rights movement and let down … Continue reading Supreme Court dashes immigrants’ hopes

200 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers strike in Philadelphia

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER The autumn of 1805 was unusually mild. Farmers were able to plough their land almost until Christmas. And in Philadelphia, the balmy tem­peratures might have “gone to the head” of a group of jour­neymen cordwainers [shoemakers], who had the temerity on Nov. 1, 1805, to undertake what was one of the earliest … Continue reading 200 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers strike in Philadelphia

Labor Briefing: UE workers win back pay

By BILL ONASCH Two Wins For UE—The United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers registered two important victories from the National Labor Relations Board over the past month. The first was an award of two weeks’ back pay to 270 workers at bankrupt Republic Windows in Chicago. This caps a seven-year struggle that began with a … Continue reading Labor Briefing: UE workers win back pay

Mumia’s fight for medical treatment

By RACHEL WOLKENSTEIN Below are excerpts from a report by attorney Rachel Wolkenstein on the fight of Mumia Abu-Jamal to obtain necessary medical treatment. Mumia, a noted political commentator and innocent political prisoner, was convicted in 1982 of killing a Philadelphia police officer. He received the death penalty, a sentence that was later reduced to … Continue reading Mumia’s fight for medical treatment

Amtrak sacrificed safety at crash site

By MICHAEL SCHREIBER — PHILADELPHIA — As we go to press, the causes of the deadly May 12 Amtrak derailment are still unclear. Authorities are investigating the possibility that the train was hit by some sort of projectile moments before it entered the dangerous curve at Frankford Junction, in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood. Unfortunately, while … Continue reading Amtrak sacrificed safety at crash site