Speakout is Truthout's treasure chest for bloggy, quirky, personally reflective, or especially activism-focused pieces. Speakout articles represent the perspectives of their authors, and not those of Truthout.
In Naomi Klein's book, This Changes Everything, she refers to the sites earmarked for resource extraction as "sacrifice zones." These are the places that exist to provide materials for capitalist accumulation, as well as a population that has been determined to be of no importance other than providing those materials, or being removed as a barrier to those materials. Many rural communities across the United States now fit this description; they are high poverty, far from urban capitalist centers and with populations that have little to no political power.
A recent article in the New York Times highlighted a proposal by Hillary Clinton to bring back the public option as part of the Affordable Care Act, described as a move to the left toward Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All proposal. Her further suggestion was to consider voluntary buy-in to Medicare for people 50 or 55 years of age and up. Beyond the headline, there was no substance to her proposal.
Wispy clouds gave way to a warming sun on a recent Sunday morning at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Boyle Heights, California. The shroud of a historical mystery surrounding the grave of Rafael Adames, a slain Mexican anarchist and member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), also lifted from the grounds. A small group of anarchists and activists formed a circle for a humble ceremony around a new marker adorned with his name and the IWW symbol.
The complacency of the "Democratic Establishment" reveals a profound lack of appreciation for the pulsing discontent among millennial voters in the current run up to the presidential election. Surely, it's more than mere coincidence that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump -- who have almost nothing in common -- share an overlapping of voters who have adopted usage of the term "Establishment."
Racism is indeed everywhere. Before people start shaking their heads and claiming in the United States that Americans are past such issues, some truths need to be expressed. Americans today grow up in a system of white supremacy. This white supremacy is so ingrained, so deep and so penetrating that it becomes almost part of the subconscious in many cases. It infects our school systems, the education system, the government, science/medicine, media, corporate America, the health care system, thefinancial system, people's psychology and their very souls.
We commemorated the 58th anniversary of African Liberation Day on May 25. When most of us think of Pan-Africanism and its major icons, women will not instinctively come to mind. Pan-Africanist history and activism might appear as the exclusive domain of African men. However, I am encouraging the readers to embrace the position of the radical hip hop group Public Enemy and "Don't Believe the Hype" about women not being major contributors to Pan-Africanism.
Democratic socialism used to be a vibrant force in American life. During the first two decades of the twentieth century, the Socialist Party of America, headed by the charismatic union leader, Eugene V. Debs, grew rapidly, much like its sister parties in Europe and elsewhere: the British Labour Party, theFrench Socialist Party, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Australian Labor Party, and dozens of similar parties that voters chose to govern their countries.
Like the phony "war on drugs," the phony "war on terrorism" promotes economic interests, serves political agendas, entrenches militarism. Neither war reduces drug use or violence. Nor are they designed to. Terrorism -- past and present -- pervades the US psyche and economy. Terrorism, so-called, and the fear thereof, blunts our minds, shrinks our hearts. This contrived national obsession gives the Pentagon and NSA/Homeland Security their ever-expanding powers. It tightens their grip. It swells their coffers.
From May 1 to May 9, 2016, prisoners at multiple facilities across Alabama engaged in work stoppages, refusing to labor for the Alabama Department of Corrections. This strike was the second major work stoppage in prisons this spring. In April, prisoners in Texas refused to work for most of the month. The striking Alabama prisoners, along with revolutionary prisoners in other states, have also called for a nationally coordinated work stoppage and protest September 9 of this year, the 45th anniversary of the Attica rebellion.
Winnie Wong calls herself a practical anarchist. She speaks in short intense bursts, an activist warrior slashing her way through the thicket of establishment politics toward a future that somehow has to be won. Charles Lenchner identifies as a "full-spectrum socialist" who will adopt the best strategy in a given moment to build the power of the working class. A former director of communications for the Working Families Party, his preferred voice is one of bemused irony that masks an underlying seriousness of purpose.