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Democratic Betrayal Breaking promises again
I t has become standard practice for parties of the left, or that claim to represent mass constituencies, to make populist and peace-stressing promises and gestures that are betrayed instantly on the assumption of power. Sometimes, as with Tony Blair in 1997, a close reading of the pre-election political statements would make one aware that neither service to ordinary citizens nor peace are likely to be high on the leader’s agenda. Also, a study of the funding and economic and political connections of the incoming U.S. leadership is often a giveaway as to likely political direction. But occasionally the leaders seem genuinely surprised that meeting their constituency’s demands will not be practicable and that the political costs will be more than they care to accept.
Bill Clinton affords a classic case of standard-form betrayal. He was going to “put people first,” but very quickly abandoned even his initial modest expansionist program, partly on competing triangulation principles, partly on his discovery that the bond market disapproved, which led to his rapid adjustment to that disapproval. He acknowledged that, “Roosevelt was trying to help people. Here we help the bond market and we hurt the people who voted us in.” Clinton compromised his health care reform into unworkability, failed to press for it very hard, and famously put deficit reduction ahead of people or programs (see Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent , “Clintonomics: The Hollow Boom”). He spent much of his political capital getting passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which his voting constituency was strongly against, but which was favored by the business community and major election funders. His Crime, Terrorism and Personal Responsibility bills were strongly anti-people; there was a gigantic leap in black imprisonment in the Clinton years. He kept the military budget very high despite the death of the Soviet Union, precluding any peace dividend, sponsored two wars in the Balkans, and was responsible for the “sanctions of mass destruction” against Iraq, which cost possibly a million civilian lives. His triangulation was an important reason for the Republican Congressional triumph in 1994 and his overall policy thrust paved the way to a more thoroughgoing Republican triumph in 2000.
The Clinton experience suggests some painful questions about the probable outcome of the recent Democratic election triumph. Some liberal-left commentators are claiming that the swing to the right is over and the left is now on the march (e.g., Paul Waldman, “A Big Step in Nation’s March to Left,” Baltimore Sun , November 12, 2006). But Clinton turned out to be only a brief slowup in the longer-term move to the right and in some ways he accelerated the move, as in his support of the Personal Responsibility Act of 1996 that ended federal responsibility for poor people. It has been argued that it would have been hard for conservatives to get this responsibility ended so quickly; it required “bipartisan” support provided by the leadership of a Democratic president. Most important, by pushing for NAFTA and fiscal austerity and failing to carry out any program that served the mass constituency of the Democratic Party, Clinton set the stage for a return of the right wing.
The lesson was that unless the Democratic Party can actually meet the demands and needs of its mass constituency, its triumph can be short-lived. There are ample grounds for thinking that this problem is more acute now than 14 years ago; and that the existing Democratic Party is likely to fall short of meeting constituency demands. The Democratic Party has benefited from a widespread disaffection and distrust of the Bush administration—its wars, corruption, mismanagement, and lies—with votes falling into Democratic hands not because of what the Democrats have done or even promised, but because they are not Bush and company. Bill Fletcher and others have called this the “I am fed up” vote. Beyond this, if we examine what the Democratic Party stands for, who leads it, who it represents, and what it is likely to do, it is hard to be optimistic.
Frank Rich, John Nichols, and others contest this, arguing that the newly-elected Democrats are almost across the board to the left of the displaced Republicans. Rich acknowledges that “disengaging America from that war is what the country voted for overwhelmingly on November 7 and that’s what the Democrats almost uniformly promised to speed up, whatever their vague, often inchoate notions about how to do it” (Rich, “It’s Not the Democrats Who Are Divided,” New York Times , November 19, 2006). Nichols points out that the “Progressive Caucus” of the Democrats in the House (about 64, but growing) is substantially larger than the collections of “Blue Dogs” (perhaps 40) or “New Democrats” (possibly 50) and that virtually all of the newly-elected Democrats were to the left of the displaced Republicans (Nichols, “The Crowded Progressive Caucus,” the Nation online, November 12, 2006).
One difficulty with Nichols’s argument is that the Progressive Caucus is still a minority bloc and on his own count it is smaller than the Blue Dog plus New Democrat total even within the Democratic Party. The problem of the Democrats for years has been that with substantial numbers of Blue Dogs (self-described as conservative to moderate) and New Democrats ready to abandon the progressive ship on the basis of non-progressive principle, or at the drop of a lobbyist’s check, progressive actions are easily stymied. Thus, in earlier years under Carter and Clinton, progressive legislation and actions were regularly blocked in Congress, despite Democratic majorities and Democratic presidents. There have been no comparable dissident “liberal” blocs of Republican legislators, so that George W. Bush has had an easy ride with Republican legislative majorities.
With a splintered and not very well disciplined Democratic majority in the House, a majority in the Senate with Bush ally Joseph Lieberman as the balancing voter, and with George W. Bush still president and in possession of a veto power, the possibilities for progressive Democratic action are sharply limited. It is hoped that the Democrats will at least launch some serious investigations of Bush administration corruption, law violations, and mismanagement, but while this may transpire, there are questions about how many and how aggressively and effectively they will function. The Democratic leaders will have to work with the executive to get many things done and they have already indicated that they are keen to avoid “partisanship.” But non-partisanship will discourage or compromise the needed investigations and legal actions within congressional power.
I mpeachment is ruled out in advance—“off the table” for both Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers, although Conyers sponsored an impeachment hearing for Bush in the basement of the Capitol building on June 19, 2005 and, although in terms of impeachable behavior, “Bush is the most impeachable president in American history” (Paul Craig Roberts). Furthermore, experts like Elizabeth Holtzman, Dave Lindorff, Barbara Olshansky, and Elizabeth de la Vega contend that impeachment for impeachable offenses is legally obligatory on Pelosi and company (see former federal prosecutor de la Vega’s plausible hypothetical indictment of Bush in “Tomgram: United States v. George W. Bush et al.,” Working for Change.com, December 1, 2006). The Democrats seem graciously willing and even eager to forget that the Bush administration’s effectiveness was based on partisanship without limit and that in the Clinton years the Republicans were prepared to sabotage government functions in order to weaken and discredit a Democratic president.
One reason beyond their disunity that causes the Democrats to fight so weakly is their treatment by the media. We now have a very powerful right-wing media that runs interference for the Republican Party in a hugely unfair and unbalanced way, which has cowed the “liberal media,” causing them to work hard to disprove their alleged liberal bias by assailing the Democrats and showing their patriotic ardor. Thus the liberal media cooperated fully in the campaigns of denigration that sought Clinton’s impeachment for a lie without political significance, but none of them have called for Bush’s impeachment for serial lies of huge political importance. This contrast in itself is strong evidence of severe institutionalized media bias.
The media have also regularly peddled and failed to confront the charge that the Democrats are weak on “national security” and Democratic deficits and spending have aroused them much more than Republican “borrow and spend” excesses. The Democrats are under constant pressure to counter their alleged spending excesses and “national security” caution, whereas the Republicans have been able to get away with larger and more corruption-ridden spending excesses and foreign policy actions that have been immensely costly while actually diminishing national security.
Nichols, FAIR, and others have pointed out how quickly the mainstream media have rushed to claim that the new Democratic legislators are conservatives and not likely to rock the political boat toward populism and cutting-and-running. The media have also been very sensitive to aggressive Democratic statements that display “partisanship.” As Molly Ivins says, “So after 12 years of tolerating lying, cheating and corruption, the press is prepared to lecture Democrats on how to behave with bipartisan manners.” However, one thing the media (and John Nichols as well) fail to point out is that if many of the newly-elected Democrats are pretty conservative—several dozen of them were carefully selected by New Democrat (and former Israeli warrior) Illinois congressperson Rahm Emanuel, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—they will not be truly representing the constituency that put them into office, a constituency once again denied a progressive option. The Democratic Party is capitalizing on a rejection of Bush and policies that Blue Dogs and New Democrats have tended to support, and their success in keeping out real progressives will help prevent any major attacks on Bush, his constitution-busting, his foreign policies, and neoliberalism.
These political constraints on the Democrats flow in large measure from the fact that the Republicans serve the business community more undeviatingly than the Democrats, are more trusted by business, and get more financial support from them and kinder treatment by the corporate media. The Democrats have to struggle harder to prove their business-supportive credentials, including their support for “defense” and “national security.” This, and the related media bias, weakens the Democrats’ capacity for service in the general public interest and even for rational behavior. As regards Iraq, the Democrats are now hamstrung by the threat of political costs in failure to “support our troops” or responsibility for “losing.” Extrication has political risks in both Iraq and the United States and the Democrats don’t like risk-taking, especially in a media environment in which a Democratic war hero can be trashed while Republican war evaders (“I had other priorities”) and deserters can be essentially free of criticism.
So the widespread public call for extrication will not see the Democrats calling for a speedy withdrawal or even a definite timetable for withdrawal. Pelosi’s attempt to get John Murtha appointed House speaker, if successful, would have placed in a strong power position one of the few Democrats committed to an early and rapid withdrawal. His rejection was a defeat for the possibility of a Bush-contesting Iraq stance on the part of the Democrats. (The winner of that struggle, Rep. Steny Hoyer, ranks number one in Public Citizen’s ratings of representatives “most dependent on special interest money to finance campaigns.” Admittedly, Murtha also ranks high in receipt of special interest money.)
The Democrats are also not likely to use their theoretical control over the military budget to force a rapid withdrawal. Some of them probably favor an escalation in one more “last push” to establish military control and “stability,” using this as an alleged response to the demand for change. One of Harry Reid’s earliest post-election statements was a promise to boost the military budget by $75 billion “to try to get the Army’s diminished units back into combat shape” (Jonathan Weisman, “Reid Pledges To Press Bush On Iraq Policy,” Washington Post , November 15, 2006). The Pentagon is reportedly preparing a larger emergency budget request of $127-150 billion that will supposedly put the military establishment into conflict with the Democrats and test the Democrats’ ability to rein in military spending (see Julian Barnes and Peter Spiegel, “Controversy Over Pentagon’s War-Spending Plans,” Los Angeles Times , November 29, 2006). On the other hand, it may be a deliberately inflated request designed to give the Democrats room to make cuts without impinging on Pentagon plans, a tactic used often in the past.
Another major constraint on the Democrats is their close ties to the pro-Israel Lobby and financial dependence on Lobby-related campaign contributions, the latter compensating in part for the business community’s pro-Republican bias. We are talking about 40 percent or more of the Democrats’ campaign budget, large enough, especially when combined with the aggressiveness of the Lobby, to make any systematic criticism of Israeli policy, no matter how egregious, out of the question. Hillary Clinton and Pelosi have been notorious for Israel-protective apologetics and the new chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Tom Lantos, is a virtual agent of the Israeli state. This is likely to constrain Democratic policy not only on doing anything about Israeli ethnic cleansing and semi-genocidal attacks on Gaza, but also in making difficult any constructive actions by the Democrats on Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, where Lantos, Pelosi, and company are likely to support or at minimum fail to oppose Israel’s hardline and militaristic policies (see “AIPAC Eats New Congress Critters for Lunch,” Signs of the Times , November 13, 2006; also Pelosi’s appalling remarks before AIPAC on May 24, 2005, Mark Gaffney, “Nancy Pelosi Gives a Pep Talk to AIPAC,” with a copy included on Common Dreams.org, May 27, 2006).
In short, with the Democratic Party’s electoral triumph we may expect a small increment in the minimum wage, some other modest economic policy actions that serve middle America and the poor, and a brake on the Bush program of service to a tiny elite and regressive environmental policy. The Bush takedown of the Constitution will probably be halted, but reversals of the serious encroachments via the PATRIOT and Military Commissions Acts will face the veto, plus traditional Blue Dog and New Democrat defections. Impeachment is already off the table and investigations that will take place may be useful, but may be compromised by the Democrats’ bipartisanship proclivities.
The Democrats may exercise a modest drag on the military budget, but the party has long been supportive of a militarized state and party funding, pressures to prove their “national security” credentials, and fear of charges of failing to support our troops are likely to sharply constrain Democratic initiatives here and as regards Iraq. They are likely to follow along with something like the weak, conditional, slow withdrawal proposals of the Bush appointed “bipartisan” Iraq Study Group. As regards Israel and Palestine, the Democrats have been virtually captured by the Lobby and we can expect nothing from them in this crucial area where U.S.-Israeli policy feeds hostility to this country as well as Israel. Given Israel’s eagerness to get the United States to attack Iran, here again the Democrats are likely to offer nothing constructive and will provide little brake if Bush-Cheney decide that another war might serve God’s and the Bush administration’s interests. This country and the world still desperately need a party in the United States that will support non-violent and non-imperialistic alternative policies, something that the victorious Democrats do not provide.
Edward S. Herman is an economist, media critic, and author of numerous articles and books, including B e yond Hypocrisy (South End Press).
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; email@example.com; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; email@example.com; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; firstname.lastname@example.org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: email@example.com; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; email@example.com.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; email@example.com; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: email@example.com; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.