BEHIND THE SCENES
Journal of 23rd Year
Losing in Afghanistan
Whistleblowers & Court
U.S. Buys Press
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Tea Party Tale
Drones Over America
Paper of Power?
Politics of Genocide
Anatomy of Epidemic
FDR & New Deal
Zaps - 09/10
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
A Tea Party Tale
Current attempts to revive the Boston Tea Party of 1773 are marketing gimmicks to mask conservative interests. A look at the recent history of this faux movement reveals the actors behind the curtain.
One of the earliest revivals of the Tea Party involved 100 people meeting in Seattle to protest the stimulus bill passed by Congress to keep the U.S. from descending into another Great Depression. After bloggers and libertarians issued a call on the Internet for a protest, the media blew it into a major event and right-wing groups poured funding into the nascent movement. These groups include Americans for Prosperity, a pro-tobacco, anti-health-care reform, and anti-tax lobbying organization, and FreedomWorks, a lobbying firm devoted to opposing taxes, immigration, health-care reform, and solutions to global warming. Koch Industries, an oil, mineral, ranching, and securities conglomerate, funds both groups, while the Sarah Mellon Scaife foundation, with interests in oil, industry, and banking, funds FreedomWorks.
After Fox News began promoting the Tea Party as a social movement, their crowds grew. Fox News commentator Glenn Beck invited viewers to "celebrate with Fox News" by attending tax protests in Washington on April 15. A mere 3,000 Tea Party supporters attended the rally, but it grabbed headlines. More people rallied across the country in support of single payer health-care reform, but they received litttle attention. After much smaller groups of Tea Partiers protested in several cities, right-wing commentators—such as Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly—giddily talked about "a growing movement." Soon Republicans Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, Ron Paul, Grover Norquist, and Newt Gingrich jumped on board, hoping to revive their failed political careers.
Supporters claimed the Tea Party was "a nonpartisan grassroots movement," but, in reality, it was supported by right-wing money and promoted by the right-wing propaganda mill. In spite of the media hoopla, when asked, 18 percent of Americans replied that they identified with the Tea Party. Only 20 percent of those sent money—about 4 percent of the public—while 78 percent gave nothing in support. Essentially, the Tea Party is a new face of the same old right-wing, reactionary forces that have been working to turn America into a more religious, racist, and militaristic country with an unregulated free enterprise system, weak government, and low taxation.
Analysts predicted midterm elections would reveal large grass-roots support for the Tea Party, but only a handful of their candidates won in the primaries, while two-thirds of registered voters stayed home. Unfortunately, a poor showing at the polls doesn't mean all is well in the U.S.
According to a comprehensive New York Times/CBS News poll, the majority of Tea Party supporters describe themselves as being "very conservative," more conservative than most Republicans on social issues. They almost always vote Republican and 60 percent favored George W. Bush Jr. A majority are white men who claim the government favors the poor. Twice as many of them as the general public feel black people get "too much attention." Almost 50 percent heard about the Tea Party on TV, 80 percent are white, 60 percent are older than 50, 90 percent are pessimistic about the direction of the country, disapprove of Obama, believe America is becoming socialist, and 75 percent want to have smaller government.
Many Tea Partiers live on Social Security, benefit from Medicare, and are frightened. Although they report their personal financial situation as "fairly good" or "very good," 55 percent of those who identify with the Tea Party fear someone in their household will lose their job in the coming year. Two-thirds say the recession caused them economic hardship and forced them to make life changes.
Progressive forces are organizing to promote social change in the interests of working people, minorities, gays and lesbians, young people, and immigrants, but they confront opposition groups with lots of money behind them. These moneyed interests, with help from conservatives from the Baby Boomer generation, are currently holding off real change. Coupled with GOP obstructionism in Congress, America is deadlocked. What catastrophe will come to break the deadlock is anyone's guess.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.