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Lessons from Ben Suc
The role of language in defending the indefensible
T he mendacity and criminality of the U.S. war on Vietnam are matters of historical record, yet easily forgotten is the role that so-called objective, balanced, and responsible language played to defend the indefensible. With today’s Washington planners attempting to disburse billions of dollars in “development and reconstruction aid” to Iraq in the midst of a heated war, the village of Ben Suc in Vietnam serves as a prescient reminder of what “aid,” “development,” and “humanitarianism” can mean in the context of an ongoing foreign invasion. Ben Suc also points toward an unsettling kinship between debased language, social sciences, and pathologies of technocratic control.
The use of technocratic doublespeak as a mask for violence is perhaps nowhere more incisively analyzed than in George Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language”: “Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification,” Orwell wrote in 1946. “Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called rectification of frontiers … . Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.” Orwell identified four ways that truth is shrouded in cocoons of debased speech by the perpetrators of deadly political action: pretentious diction, verbal false limbs, dying metaphors, and meaningless vocabulary.
The U.S. Army’s official account of its assault on the village of Ben Suc, Cedar Falls-Junction City: A Turning Point by Lieutenant General Bernard Rogers, offers a classic case study in all four. In May 1966 General Westmoreland ordered Operation Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls was to be a strike at what the military called the “Iron Triangle,” stretching from Ben Suc to Ben Cat to Phu Guong in South Vietnam. The area was “a haven” for Communists and so “a dagger pointed at Saigon.” The U.S. was determined to put an end to “communist” activity in the area by “rupturing and neutralizing the control structure” and destroying “hostile infrastructure.” Yet the “control structure” of Ben Suc—whose people willingly supported the Vietnamese insurgency—was the village itself. Hence, “the objective area was to be…cleared of all civilians, stripped of concealment, and declared a specified strike zone.”
“In conjunction with the other services, the Army has fought in support of a national policy of assisting an emerging nation to develop governmental processes of its own choosing, free of outside coercion,” Major General Verne Bowers explained. Ben Suc, however, had failed to resist the “outside coercion” of Vietnamese communists, so the villagers were now to be “evacuated” by U.S. forces to “relocation camps” constructed by USAID. After the villagers were gone, Ben Suc would be razed to the ground.
Early on the morning
of January 8, 1967, 60 helicopters unloaded approximately 500 U.S.
soldiers in and around Ben Suc. The soldiers began to herd the population,
taken by total surprise, toward the village center. Helicopters
with loud speakers flew overhead, instructing the people to gather
at an old schoolhouse. There was no armed resistance, though some
sniper fire was reported and several soldiers injured themselves
when they wandered into a minefield. “[T]hose who attempted
to evade and leave the village were engaged by the blocking forces….
By 10:30 Ben Suc was securely in the hands of the friendly forces.”
The Americans quickly set up tents to dispense food and medical
aid to the villagers. “Since the inhabitants of Ben Suc had
not received medical assistance for three years and were in only
fair health, South Vietnamese and U.S. medical teams examined them
and provided medical and dental care as they awaited interrogation.”
After spending the night under guard, nearly 6,000 villagers from Ben Suc and outlying areas were loaded onto trucks, boats, and helicopters and taken to relocation camps at Phu Cuong and Phu Loi. There, “Thanks to the immediate assistance of a task force from the Big Red One under Major Carl R. Grantham, latrines were dug, wood and water made available, a buffalo wallow was dug and filled with water, a cattle enclosure was built, dozens of Arctic tents were pitched, and hardships were eased for the displaced families.” The “hardships” had been compounded by “security measures taken during the planning phase,” but the “systematic evacuation” was performed “as humanely as possible.” The Army account praises Major Generals DePuy and Hay for their “intricate planning, rapid and decisive execution of actions, and employment of new concepts, coupled with the bravery and skill of our troops,” which “made these two operations the success they were.” Cedar Falls and Junction City were “the first multidivisional operations in Vietnam to be conducted according to a preconceived plan” and they proved that large-scale operations “do have a place in counterinsurgency warfare today.”
The author of Cedar Falls-Junction City: A Turning Point was an eyewitness to the event. Lieutenant General Bernard Rogers, a Rhodes scholar who studied economics at Oxford University, was asked to write the official Army history by General Westmoreland. The work was completed in 1973, six years after the operation—and presumably Rogers had full access to all the relevant military documents.
T here are several things we may note about Rogers’s writing. First, it is filled with pretentious abstractions and meaningless phrases that convey an air of scientific objectivity where none exists. Consider the boast that Cedar Falls and Junction City were “the first multidivisional operations in Vietnam to be conducted according to a preconceived plan.” Eliminating the redundant word preconceived reveals that this was the military’s first combined operation conducted according to a plan. More disturbing forms of verbal subterfuge follow. “Necessitating this increasing commitment of U.S. forces and resources to South Vietnam was the concomitant growth in the size and quality of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese cadres in the south,” Rogers writes. What he means but cannot say is: the communists were winning so we had to send more troops.
“Some small arms fire was received but was quickly suppressed” we read—and with effort can decipher: People shot at us, but we killed them or scared them away. Meanwhile, “Those who attempted to evade and leave the village were engaged by the blocking forces.” Engaged? Blocking? It seems that villagers who tried to flee were assaulted by the attacking forces.
When language is being used to hide the truth, Orwell pointed out, pretentious, hyphenated, and Latinized words choke the page, “like tea leaves blocking a sink.” Thus: “Operation Attleboro introduced the large-scale, multi-organization operation to the war [and] proved that, within a matter of hours, well-trained and professionally led organizations with proper logistic support could deploy large numbers of battalions to an active operational area.” The war “required superimposing the immensely sophisticated tasks of a modern army upon an underdeveloped environment and adapting them to demands covering a wide spectrum.” And so forth. What is not truism is gibberish.
Much of Cedar Falls-Junction City is written in either the passive voice or with slovenly verbal phrases rather than with simple verbs. Often we cannot determine who is acting or upon whom. “By the spring of 1963 President Ngo Dinh Diem was being accused of provoking an adverse reaction among the people. Especially were the Buddhists unhappy.” Who was accusing Diem? The Buddhists? The people? Or were the Buddhists the ones being provoked? It is impossible to say. “Finally, on 1 November 1963, Diem was overthrown and assassinated. There followed a period of political instability which featured many coups and countercoups.” But who killed Diem? The people? Unhappy Buddhists? The Viet Cong? Propriety does not permit Rogers to write that Diem was murdered by his own Vietnamese generals after their Washington controllers gave them the green light. But there is no need to lie when passive verbal constructions will do. Therefore, “It was then [in the late spring of 1965] that U.S. ground forces were requested and, starting in July, began to arrive in substantial numbers. By August 1965 U.S. forces were being committed to combat.” Who requested the ground forces? Who committed them to combat? We are never told and the text doesn’t leave many clues. The fact that additional U.S. soldiers were requested by the U.S. government is not a matter the historian wishes us to think about.
“Orthodoxy,” Orwell observed, “of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style.” This can take the form not only of dying metaphors and clichés, but of ideological stock phrases. Peoples of the free world, challenges ahead, struggle for democracy, imperialist aggression, class conflict, bourgeois interests, neoliberal order — one can hardly speak about politics without resorting to such vagaries. The words communicate no clear meaning, but people continue to exchange them knowingly, like secret handshakes at a fraternity initiation rite. Such euphonious sounds, Orwell suggested, are primarily noises to “anesthetize a portion of one’s brain.”
The moral void we detect at the heart of Rogers’s history therefore stems from an essentially linguistic betrayal. This betrayal of honest speech leads Rogers to an even more fatal cognitive failure: a failure of imagination. His detached and pseudo-scientific vocabulary does not permit him to enter into the lives of the people of Ben Suc. So he discerns no ethical or logical contradiction between the Army’s destruction of the village on the one hand and its “humanitarian” provision of food and medicine to the “evacuees” on the other. The actions are simply two sides of the same managerial goal: power and control. He writes that “hardships were eased for the displaced families,” and on the same page: “All that remained for the 1st Division troops was the razing of Ben Suc after its inhabitants had been removed. As the villagers and their belongings moved out, bulldozers, tankdozers, and demolition teams moved in.” On occasion, Rogers does feel tinges of unease. The sight of the “natives of Ben Suc…waiting to be transported to the temporary camp” was “pathetic and pitiful.” But a rush of stock phrases quickly fills the interpretive gap. Difficulties “faced during the evacuation” were “relatively few and small in comparison with those problems facing the members of the U.S. Office of Civil Operations who were charged with assisting the South Vietnamese in preparing and operating the relocation center.”
I n her “report on the banality of evil,” Eichmann in Jerusalem , Hannah Arendt observed that Adolph Eichmann appeared at his trial less a “monster” than a victim, in some sense, of his own speech. “Officialese is my only language,” he apologized to the court. It is hardly surprising that political power should corrupt honest speech. What is important to observe among the managers of state-sponsored violence is the necessity of a peculiarly dissembling and technocratic language, not only to deceive others, but also to deceive themselves.
It is vital to see the technocratic dialects of policymakers in terms of indoctrination and thought control in liberal societies. One cannot mouth—or passively accept—a phrase like “hostile infrastructure” to describe a civilian village without having first achieved a fairly high level of education. The tricks of language-masking contained in Rogers’s mendacious history of Ben Suc are the essential ingredients of respectable scholarship. They may be found in almost every academic article, in every leading journal, across all academic disciplines. Noam Chomsky observed in his 1967 essay, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals,” they tend to proliferate in the social and behavioral sciences where linguistic posturing allows “experts to imitate the surface features of sciences that really have significant intellectual content.”
A recent example from the journal World Development illustrates: “Technological change leads to access to crops that are high in nutrients and empowers the poor by increasing their access to decision-making processes, increasing their capacity for collective action, and reducing their vulnerability to shocks, through asset accumulation…. Literate farmers are more able to assimilate information and make effective use of the new technologies that become available.”
To some extent, the obtuseness of the quote might be the regrettable but unavoidable price of its precision; “vulnerability to shocks” and “asset accumulation” might convey well-defined ideas to policymakers that cannot be replaced with clearer English. Still, how much meaning would have been lost had the writer simply said: “New technology helps farmers to feed themselves and literate farmers learn how to use this technology most effectively?” The political correctness of the article and its author is not in question. But why is it that the linguistic conventions of otherwise responsible scholarship in the social and policy sciences in general seem to foster, even demand, a kind of grammar of disingenuousness not far removed from the language of the Washington architects of the Vietnam war?
For Chomsky, the answer has much to do with relations of power and particularly the privileged role of intellectual specialists in modern societies. There are legitimate things to be learned and explored within the social sciences, Chomsky allows, but he insists that the idea of an “expert” in social theory is almost entirely self-serving and fraudulent. The “Welfare State technician finds justification for his special and prominent social status in his ‘science,’ specifically, in the claim that social science can support a technology of social tinkering on a domestic or international scale.” The academic turned policy consultant “argues that the special conditions on which his claim to power and authority are based are, in fact, the only general conditions by which modern society can be saved.” Hence the need for an abstract, technical-sounding vocabulary—not to make the facts more clear, but to make them less decipherable to the uninitiated while at the same time inducing conformity among the neophytes. Hence also the need to suppress those humanistic categories of speaking and writing—forthrightness, indignation, by which the veneer of “objectivity” might be punctured even when the specialists themselves reject the idea of objectivity in principle. Yet for those genuinely concerned with “moral issues and human rights, or over the traditional problems of man and society,” Chomsky maintains, “‘social and behavioral science’ has nothing to offer beyond trivialities.”
The extent to which the U.S. Army’s rendition of what happened in Ben Suc reads as a sober history reveals the extent to which our own speech habits rest on insincerity—on decadent and finally treacherous modes of communication. These ways of thinking and talking, inculcated primarily through institutions of formal learning, are what allow sane and reasonable people to condone acts of unimaginable savagery with perfect equanimity.
S ince Wittgenstein, Foucault, and Derrida, the idea that words are merely vacuous effusions of power relations—that there is no “truth,” only “discourse”— has become something of an academic commonplace. I do not stand in this line of thought. It seems to me that any coherent critique (as opposed to sheer deconstruction) of language must finally rest on what George Steiner describes as a wager in “substantiation,” an assumption of the “necessary possibility” that language can convey real meaning. To say that there is debased speech is to imply that there is such a thing as truthful language as well.
The claim cannot, of course, be proven, but it can be illustrated. Jonathan Schell, a reporter for the New Yorker who accompanied “Charlie” Company to Ben Suc, describes the same events as Rogers. But his report, “The Village of Ben Suc,” stands in relationship to Rogers’s history as a photograph to its negative. Schell’s prose is personal, journalistic, concrete, and imaginative—all of the things policy stylists strive to avoid. Yet for precisely these reasons, it shines a truthful light on Ben Suc where Rogers’s “objective” style casts only disorienting shadows.
Schell’s ability to imaginatively empathize with the lives of the people of Ben Suc is clear from the first lines of his article, in which he describes the village prior to the U.S. attack. The details he selects, inadmissible within most frameworks of “responsible” policy analysis and debate, reveal what the detached words target, secret base, and fortified supply center actually mean—and what bomb navigators and strategic planners cannot afford to think about if they are to sanely keep their jobs.
Before 1967, Ben Suc was a village of some 3,500 people inside “a small loop of the slowly meandering Saigon River,” about 30 miles from Saigon. Most of the villagers were rice farmers “engaged in tilling the exceptionally fertile paddies bordering the river and in tending the extensive orchards of mangos, jackfruit, and an unusual strain of large grapefruit. Some were merchants of Chinese ancestry who ran restaurants and hair shops or sold medicines, herbs, bicycles and other items in the village center. Ben Suc had no electricity and few machine tools. Labor was done by hand and with teams of water buffalo. It was, however, a prosperous village that sold rice and vegetables to neighboring areas. Some of the marriages in the village were arranged and some were love matches. Although parents—particularly the girls’ parents—didn’t like it, couples often sneaked off in the evenings for secret rendezvous in the tall bamboo groves or in glades of banana trees.” Most of the people of Ben Suc were Buddhists. Some were Confucians. Politically, almost all were Communists. They voluntarily supported the National Liberation Front (NLF)— which had routed government troops in the area in 1964 and which the U.S. called the “Viet Cong”—by paying taxes of up to 10 percent of their harvests, carrying supplies for NLF troops, staffing a hidden hospital in the jungle, building blockades across roads, and teaching their children not only reading, writing, and multiplication tables, but also revolutionary slogans.
When the U.S. attacked, Rogers writes, “Those who attempted to evade and leave the village were engaged by the blocking forces.” Concretely, this is what Schell witnessed: “A Vietnamese man on a bicycle appeared, pedaling rapidly along the road from the direction of the village…. He had, it appeared, already run a long gauntlet of American soldiers without being stopped. But when he had ridden about twenty yards past the point where he first came in sight, there was a burst of machine-gun fire from a copse thirty yards in front of him…he was hurled off his bicycle into a ditch…. The man with the Minolta camera, who had done the firing from the vegetable patch, stood up after about a minute and walked over to the ditch, followed by one of the engineers. The Vietnamese in the ditch appeared to be about twenty, and he lay on his side without moving, blood flowing from his face…. The engineer leaned down, felt the man’s wrist and said, ‘He’s dead’…. Then the engineer said, with a tone of finality, ‘That’s a VC for you. He’s a VC, all right. That’s what they wear. He was leaving town. He had to have some reason.’”
We now have a clear picture of what Rogers means when he writes that “the enemy was unable to offer any cohesive resistance.” We also have good reason to fear what is actually contained in the sentence, “During the two and one-half hours since the initial landing, a total of forty enemy had been killed in action.” The logic is inescapable. They tried to escape so they must have been Viet Cong. They were Viet Cong so we killed them. They must have been Viet Cong because now they’re dead. “The term ‘hostile civilians’” Schell notes, “was a new one, invented during Operation Cedar Falls for the people in the villages that had been marked for destruction. The question of what to call these villagers was one of many semantic problems that the Army had to solve.”
Another was what to call the villagers after they had been “relocated” under the “New Life Hamlet program.” “At the scene of the evacuation, [the Army] usually used the phrase ‘hostile civilians,’ which hinted that all the villagers at least supported the enemy…. But later, at Phu Loi, the officials in charge reverted to the more familiar term ‘refugees,’ which suggested that the villagers were not themselves the enemy but were ‘the people,’ fleeing the enemy.” This sliding vocabulary to describe the villagers of Ben Suc, without any regard for essential meanings, fits well with Derrida’s structuralism. “Human,” we have been told, is a logocentric Occidental construct, not an essence but the “site” of linguistic play. But in Ben Suc, such play helped to sustain a deadly verbal game among soldiers and policy-makers alike. “This is wonderful,” Colonel White exclaimed to two USAID workers after the villagers had been herded into the camp, surrounded by barbed wire, their homes already bulldozed and (for extra measure) bombed behind them. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s the best civilian project I’ve ever seen…. We’ve got shelter up for almost a thousand people here in one day.” Yet a single unguarded encounter in Schell’s report reveals all: “‘You see, they do have some, well, methods and practices we are not accustomed to, that we wouldn’t use if we were doing it,” Captain Shipman explained to Schell after Schell stumbled upon a tent in the “relocation camp” where South Vietnamese intelligence officers were torturing a man believed to be Viet Cong.
“But the thing you’ve got to understand is that this is an Asian country, and their first impulse is force…. Only the fear of force gets results. It’s the Asian mind. It’s completely different from what we know as the Western mind, and it’s hard for us to understand. Look, they’re a thousand years behind us in this place, and we’re trying to educate them up to our level. We can’t just do everything for them ourselves…. Of course, we believe that that’s not the best way to operate, so we try to introduce some changes, but it’s very slow…. I’m only an advisor and I’ve made suggestions until I’m blue in the face. Actually, though, we’ve seen some improvement over the last year. This is a lot better than we used to have.”
A mong the classified U.S. government documents leaked to the press by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 now known as the Pentagon Papers, there is a study presented to President Kennedy on May 8, 1961 under the title: “A Program of Action for South Vietnam.” The authors of the paper—a task force of specialists from the White House, State Department, Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, International Cooperation Administration, and United States Information Agency—urge the Administration to pursue several long-term “economic” and “development” goals in Indochina. Strangely, these objectives appear not under the heading “economic” but under the title “psychological.” The government should “develop agricultural pilot-projects throughout the country with a view toward exploiting their beneficial psychological effects.” Such enterprises, the planners write, “would be accomplished by combined teams of Vietnamese Civic Action personnel, Americans in the Peace Corps, Filipinos in Operation Brotherhood, and other Free World nationals.” Only in a special annex to the report, under the title “Covert Actions,” do we learn of other actions to be undertaken alongside the above: “C. Unconventional Warfare: In Laos, infiltrate teams under light civilian cover to Southeast Laos to locate and attack Vietnamese communist bases…. In North Vietnam…conduct Ranger raids and similar military actions…increase gray broadcasts…. Support covertly the GVN…to counteract tendencies toward a ‘political solution’.”
The war in Vietnam, “A Program of Action for South Vietnam” reveals, was conceived by its architects from an early stage as being critically linked to “development,” with “economic projects” explicitly “designed to accompany the counter-insurgency effort” in a complementary and parallel fashion. There was no contradiction in the minds of the Washington planners between gray broadcasts, Ranger raids, and napalm bombing, on the one hand, and the construction of hospitals, schools, and agricultural pilot-projects, on the other. Both were essential means to the same end: victory over the Communists and integration of Vietnam into the U.S. sphere of influence and control. At the same time, architects of the war found it necessary to distinguish between humanitarianism and violence, both to themselves and before the public. Development is referred to in the Pentagon Papers as “the other half,” or “winning hearts and minds”—euphemistic phrases that suggest both a clear division of labor as well as a sense of moral clarity. Development was in some sense related to the war—it was its other half—yet it was also fundamentally different from it. In a small, rice-farming village located in a meandering loop of the Saigon River in 1967, these distinctions were bulldozed to shambles.
The lessons of Ben Suc have not been learned by today’s new Washington planners who speak again about “winning hearts and minds,” “humanitarianism,” and “development” as the “other half” of the insurgency war in Iraq. Or, it may be, the lessons have been learned all too well. History offers little hope that “aid” and “development” will not continue to be corrupted by their proximity to coercive power. It is left to honest women and men to find the linguistic practices necessary for resistance.
Ronald Osborn is a doctoral student in the Program in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southern California.
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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.