Volume , Number 0
There are no articles.Commentary
There are no articles.Culture
There are no articles.Features
George j. Bryjak
Eleanor J. Bader
There are no articles.
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.
Major Bush Themes in Intensifying Class Warfare
O ne of the world’s wonders is that the reelected Bush now has the power to carry out an agenda that will be hurtful to the material interests of a majority of the 59 million who gave him their vote. For these voters this will no doubt be offset by the psychic satisfaction of sticking it to those East and West coast elites, pointy-headed professors, uppity blacks, and gays, helped along by their unawareness of the glee at Bush’s victory by the East and West coast bankers and transnational corporate leaders, and other major ultra-elite beneficiaries of Bush’s various crusades. The Bush voters will also have the pleasure of giving pain to those degenerate and threatening foreigners who were responsible for 9/11 or who have failed to support us in our global efforts at self-defense, exporting freedom, and helping our friends fight against terrorism.
Looked at more coldly, a large fraction of these Bush voters will be victims of the most blatant class warfare since the 1920s as Bush’s plans entail the active destruction of a welfare state that had been built during and after the Great Depression, as well as advancing a program of class warfare extending across the globe. Much of the warfare is open for all to see, as the appointments to regulatory positions are systematically fox-in-chicken-house and revolving door selections, and the laws passed on an almost daily basis involve tax breaks and subsidies to business, loosened regulations and steady cuts in welfare state allocations and coverage that had helped what Thorstein Veblen called the “underlying population” (in contrast with the “substantial citizens”). This is all accomplished successfully because the Democrats don’t protest very vigorously and the mainstream media have normalized the conflict-of-interest and class warfare process and don’t make a big fuss over it. They don’t give it the kind of attention and indignation they reserve for Iran’s nuclear program threat or, as in the Clinton years, Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Democrats (and media), like the Republicans, serve the substantial citizens, not the underlying population.
In his second inaugural speech and follow-up Bush has featured three major programs, two domestic and one global, that he intends to press in his second term: a shift from entitlements to an “ownership society,” actions to solve the alleged Social Security crisis, and a drive to bring freedom and liberty everywhere in the interest of U.S. safety and security. Each of these is a program for an intensified class war, scantily clothed in Bush rhetoric.
I t was a longstanding democratic ideal to have property widely owned, with a world of small proprietors, hopefully making for social stability and a substantive democracy, one not overpowered by economic inequality. This is hardly what George Bush has in mind. He rules only because of the great inequality that has made U.S. democracy nominal; he has even acknowledged publicly that the rich constitute his constituency “base.”
certainly has no plans to reduce inequality at the expense of Bush
Pioneers—in fact, his main policies past and present have been
designed to increase inequality and service the Pioneers and other
To increase ownership on the part of the underlying population would require, first and foremost, increasing their after-tax incomes so as to permit them to save and acquire financial assets and real property. That would call for strengthening unions and protecting their organizational efforts. It would call for policies discouraging investment and outsourcing abroad and the use of intimidating capital flight threats in labor-management bargaining. It would call for tax policies in favor of people with low incomes. It would call for raising the minimum wage. It would demand a strengthening of the safety net to enable people to avoid immediate plunges into the low-wage labor market.
As Bush’s policies on each of these points has been hurtful to ordinary people, real wages have stagnated, the middle class has been shrinking, poverty levels have increased, and savings rates have fallen while credit dependence has grown. In short, under his programs the basis of widening ownership has diminished, while ownership by the rich has grown and become more concentrated (for an analysis and useful data, Holly Sklar, “Pox Americana,” Z Magazine , January 2005).
So Bush policies in the past have run counter to development of an “ownership society” in any democratic sense (widening and less concentrated ownership) and made ordinary citizens more dependent on “entitlements” and the shrinking safety net for protection against unemployment, illness, and an impoverished old age. His main current proposal for enlarging the ownership society is his plan for large Social Security benefit cuts, combined with the partial privatization of the program. That plan will change the nature of some of the paper claims Social Security beneficiaries will hold, but their gaining this sliver of ownership will be part of a plan to reduce their income and seriously damage an institutional arrangement that has brought them major benefits.
“Entitlements” is a code word for government-run and tax-funded mechanisms to protect and give some degree of security to the underlying population. They are created via a democratic political process and are thus subject to influence by the underlying population. An “ownership society” is a code term for a privatized society, where decisions are made by substantial citizens like corporate managers, large stockholders, and banks, alone, outside the orbit of influence of the underlying population. Bush is pushing us toward an exclusively undemocratic world of ownership control while trying to make it sound very populist and democratic. It is part of the propaganda façade covering over his assault on the major entitlements program, Social Security, as part of a larger program of class warfare attacks on all instruments helpful to the underlying population.
The Social Security “Crisis”
B ush has repeatedly claimed that Social Security is in “crisis,” which is a lie in the same class as his lie that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that threatened U.S. national security. The alleged crisis is based on the possibility that the Social Security system will have exhausted its reserves by 2042 or 2052 and will then have to depend only on regular Social Security tax inflows, unless at that point adjustments are made in tax revenues or benefits. But 2042 is 37 years in the future and even then the program will be able to pay beneficiaries more than they receive now (in real, inflation-adjusted dollars) based on its regular and continued tax take. Greater productivity growth could move the exhaustion date out to 75 years and beyond, and changes in the cap on Social Security payments and Social Security tax increases smaller than those required in the past would also solve the problem.
The crisis is a complete fraud and absolutely nothing has to be done to keep the system intact for many decades. All the arguments proving otherwise, such as the claims that the system will fail because of the rising ratio of seniors to workers or that it is imperiled because the system’s assets are only in the form of IOUs, collapse under the slightest scrutiny (see Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot, “Social Security ‘Reform’: A Solution in Search of a Problem,” www.cepr.net). Dean Baker has pointed out that an extrapolation of the observable upward trend in costs of prisons would show a really large budget crisis arising from this source within several decades, but the establishment politicians and media are not crying “crisis” and featuring “reform.” The plausible explanation of the difference is that the substantial citizens support the prison-industrial-complex and its work (as they do the military-industrial complex and its work), whereas they have been pained by the rising tax costs of “entitlements” whose benefits accrue so heavily to ordinary citizens, including protections against hyper-“flexible” labor markets.
The Social Security system also has two other defects from the standpoint of the right wing. First, it is a highly successful and highly efficient government program, with administrative costs of 0.6 percent of benefits, in contrast with insurance industry management costs of 15-30 percent. This is bad from the right-wing viewpoint as it flies in the face of the ideological assumption of inherent government inefficiency and suggests that government control and operation might sometimes be a very good idea. The usual right-wing method of undermining a well-run regulatory operation by defunding and the imposition of managers hostile to the service is not practicable in the case of Social Security. The only solution is convincing the public that there is a crisis and using this as a basis for slashing benefits and destroying the system by privatization as fast as can be arranged.
The second right-wing objection to the existing Social Security system is that the private securities industry, a set of very substantial citizens, is deprived of huge revenues that would flow from private accounts. The industry has tried to avoid publicity as to its special interest in the case, but it is clear, acknowledged, and helps push the politicians to act on its behalf.
That the privatized accounts will help the beneficiaries is a sick joke. For one thing it will be part of a program of curtailed benefits. For another, the administrative costs of managing small private accounts will be large and encroach on or wipe out any higher return benefits. Those prospective higher returns have been grossly exaggerated; although the stock market has provided a real annual return of about 7 percent over the last 75 years, no economist has been able to show anything similar to this going forward under the Social Security Trustees’ projections for future economic growth (see Paul Krugman, “Many Unhappy Returns,” NYT , February 1, 2005). As a system of social insurance Social Security also helps millions of disabled people, widows, and children and the likelihood that they will continue to be protected as the Social Security system is dismantled by the “godly” right wing is exceedingly small.
The “crisis” is a fraud and cover for an attack on a well-working system highly beneficial to ordinary citizens. It doesn’t need any “reform” whatsoever, only protection from the reformers whose motives are financial self-interest and the desire to implement a reactionary ideology that serves a narrow elite. The proposed reforms are a form of class warfare.
Global Imposition of Freedom—Cover for Global Class Warfare
B ush has found that perpetual war under the guise of a war on the 9/11 perpetrators, or a war on terror, and including even straightforward wars of aggression, is a political winner. As the lies used as rationales for the war on Iraq disintegrated, Bush still found political sustenance in the need to support our troops, rallying around the flag, the feeling that the U.S. doesn’t turn tail and run away from a painful conflict, and that we have “responsibilities” to the Iraqis who we have liberated, but not provided a stable environment. Thus, despite the scores of brazen lies and even a costly and failed invasion-occupation, Bush was able to win reelection as the leader best suited to deal with “security” problems that he had bungled and exacerbated to a remarkable degree.
Perpetual war has been essential to Bush to sustain his internal program as well as his policies abroad. As Veblen pointed out 100 years ago, war is “the most promising factor of cultural discipline…. It makes for a conservative animus on the part of the populace…[and] directs the popular interest to other, nobler, institutionally less hazardous matters than the unequal distribution of wealth” ( Theory of Business Enterprise , 1904). With Bush working strenuously to increase the inequality of distribution of wealth, that factor of cultural discipline has been much needed to implement his class war at home. At a later date Veblen also noted, “An illustrious politician has said that ‘you cannot fool all the people all the time,’ but in a case where the people in question are sedulously fooling themselves all the time the politicians can come near achieving that ideal result” ( Absentee Ownership , 1923). The politicians now have a great deal of help from the mass media in the sedulous fooling process.
In his second inaugural address, possibly inspired by the political payoff obtained even by a failed war of aggression, Bush has declared war on the world, although the specifics remain vague and the targets are not yet announced. It is expressed in warm terms—a primary Bush goal of bringing “freedom” everywhere, with the meaning of the word and the specifics of application left a bit vague, no doubt to be firmed up later. But it isn’t just our benevolence involved—we must do this to protect our own safety and security.
The safety and security angle carries the pitiful giant concept to a new and hilarious level. Just as the United States had to topple the governments of Guatemala (1954), Grenada (1983), and Nicaragua (1981-1990) to remove their dire threats to U.S. National Security, so now any non-democracy anywhere is a threat because we know that only democracies like our own are entirely peaceable and pose no threat to anyone—which Bush says as he poses that threat to anyone he chooses to declare evil, presumably based on the kind of solid information like Saddam’s huge WMD arsenal that he typically employs before unleashing the cruise missiles.
Freedom is an even fuzzier word than democracy and may include democracy, but also may be referring to the freedom of capital to move around and be free of encumbrances like taxes and restrictions on abuses of the environment and labor. Neoliberalism is a “freedom” movement, but confined to the freedom and rights of capital. The Chicago Boys (i.e., University of Chicago economists, many of whom advised the Pinochet government) were quite enthused with Pinochet’s Chile as he was freeing markets from government intervention—at least those forms hurtful to the interests of capital—and making labor markets “free” of trade unions and thus more “flexible.” The destruction of democracy in Chile was actually a prerequisite for full-scale neoliberal freedom, and was completely acceptable to the Boys (including Milton Friedman) and their government and corporate community. This pattern was institutionalized, with democracy and human rights often overturned with U.S. assistance in the interest of a more favorable climate of investment; the inverse correlation between U.S. aid and human rights (including democratic institutions) has been repeatedly demonstrated (see my Real Terror Network , chapter 3, for data and citations). There is surely no reason to believe that these priorities have been altered under the leadership of George Bush, a devoted spokesman of the corporate community and military-industrial complex.
Historically the United States has been strongly in favor of democratization, at least formal democratization, but only in cases where the regimes in question were looked on with disfavor for other reasons. Guatemala in the years 1947-54 was remarkably democratic, but it was a budding welfare state and not subservient to the United Fruit Company and the U.S. ambassador, so it was overthrown by U.S. actions, whereas the prior Ubico dictatorship and the profoundly undemocratic counterinsurgency state sequel were treated kindly. Venezuelan dictators were never destabilized by U.S. governments, nor are the undemocratic Saudi, Kuwaiti, Pakistani, or Uzbekistan governments today, but the Bush administration has worked assiduously to destabilize the Chavez government of Venezuela, which is elected and as democratic as any in Latin America.
It is true that the numerous dictatorships that the United States helped bring into existence and supported warmly years ago—remember Vice-President George Bush’s 1985 toast to Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos: “We love you, sir…we love your adherence to democratic rights and processes”—have given way to civilian and elected governments, and that the United States has partially replaced the use of imposed dictatorships with the support of “democracy movements,” as in the recent Ukraine case. But this transformation reflects the fact that the dictators successfully brought their countries into the spider’s web of the global capitalist economy so that they were no longer needed to do the job of democracy containment. The web and the associated institutional changes in the global economy have caused electoral democracies to lose democratic substance and to become de facto servants of external forces—friendly governments, banks, other foreign lenders, trade agreements and the World Trade Organization, and international financial institutions (IMF, World Bank). Foreign control no longer needs to be overt; it can work with trade and other rules, loans and loan agreements, heavy foreign penetration of the economy and political and cultural institutions, the normal workings of financial markets, and the desire to maintain the goodwill of governments that lend, control the IFIs, provide subsidies, impose quotas and tariffs, and may even have military bases in the country. Much of this is not new, but a throwback to earlier techniques of maintaining an “informal empire,” as described in John Gallagher’s and Ronald Robinson’s “The Imperialism of Free Trade,” Economic History Review (1953).
It has been a notorious fact that in the last several decades social democratic politicians who have won office have almost uniformly failed to carry out their electoral promises to their mass constituencies. They have either sold out in advance or found it expedient to adapt quickly to non-constituency forces to avoid seriously damaging consequences: money and capital flight and sharp rises in interest rates and cuts in investment, losses in subsidies from abroad, adverse changes in foreign tariffs and quotas, threatened cutbacks in IMF support, and even threats of political upheaval partly encouraged from abroad (as in Venezuela). So getting countries deeply involved in the global capitalist economy, and in military alliances with the Western great powers, makes for shriveled democracies with neoliberal constraints built into their political economies.
In short, getting into power governments that will enter the spider’s web and abide by the spider’s rules is a useful substitute for putting into power a Pinochet or Marcos. It permits class warfare to be imposed by the spider, with the reluctant or sometimes enthusiastic cooperation of indigenous leaders (e.g., Lula in Brazil, Menem in Argentina). Meanwhile the population can still vote and, while many are cynical about the limited options and likely betrayal of the underlying population to come, the ability to vote and the electoral promises, not to be fulfilled, makes for quiescence. This process under the straitjacket will sometimes allow the more aggressive agent of the substantial citizens to consolidate power and even threaten the democratic forms themselves—as in this here United States.
It should be noted, however, that the spider’s web may be weakening its grip in Latin America, with victim countries Argentina and Venezuela in rebellion against the spider, numerous electoral revolts (Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia) that may yield fruit in time with greater collective awareness of common interests, and even an Argentine and Venezuelan plan for a new Latin American TV network to counter-balance CNN en Espanol and other corporate propaganda on TV. May such resistance grow and spread.
Edward S. Herman is an economist and author of many articles and books.
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.