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Laurence h. Shoup
Shut It Down
School Segregation Redux
E. Wayne Ross
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Marching in Washington
I n January, I attended a rally in Washington DC against the war on Iraq, one of many rallies held throughout the world. Some in the media billed the attendance in DC at “tens of the thousands” while organizers estimated half a million. In any case, as the Washington Post put it, this was the largest rally for peace in the nation’s capital since the Vietnam-era protests. But numbers are only a small part of the picture; the diversity and dynamism of this event were life- changing experiences.
There were Koreans in traditional colorful dresses drumming and singing “US out of the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East.” There were Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, and many of other faiths. Secular Jews Against the Occupation were seen next to anti-Zionist Orthodox Rabbis (who had to walk to get to the rally because of the Sabbath). There were anarchists and communists mixing and exchanging greetings with mosque and church groups. There were business people, trade unionists, actors, musicians, professors, and students from hundreds of campuses. There were American and Palestinian flags waving along with other creative flags: the earth, peace signs, and many more. There were signs with slogans like:
- WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
- MONEY FOR JOBS NOT WAR
- WAR HEADS: BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD
AXIS OF EVIL:
- THINK PEACE
- DUMP BUSH NOT BOMBS
STOP THE GENOCIDE/END
- ANOTHER VETERAN FOR PEACE
- END RACIAL PROFILING
- NO BLOOD FOR OIL
There were thousands of signs to End Israeli Apartheid, Free Palestine, End Aid to Israel. There were signs about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the legacy of non-violence for civil and human rights.
In the freezing weather people shared food, clothes, business cards, and networked. They shared their visions and their hopes for a better future based on confronting the facts about the past. There were Native Americans drawing a parallel of their genocide with that of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children killed by the U.S./UK-led sanctions on Iraq. There were African Americans and other supporters of reparations for slavery.
There were family and friends of the victims of 9/11 who had signs calling for peace and speaking out against the racism inherent in new laws and capabilities given to the federal government.
One chant I heard was: “This is what democracy looks like, Bush is what hypocrisy looks like.” There was a sign that read: “The whole thing is so absurd, I could not think of something to write on this sign.”
Indeed it is so absurd that while our economy is in the worst situation since 1974, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year on a military budget. It is absurd that we ignore 200,000 Veterans documented with Gulf War syndrome (8,000 have died in the last 10 years from these illnesses). It is absurd that the U.S. plans to waste $200 billion more this year in attacking Iraq, a defeated country, which lost over 1.5 million civilians due to our blockade (a true weapon of mass destruction).
Can our actions make a difference? Obviously hundreds of thousands of people braving the weather and freely spending their money and time on this clearly believe so. Skeptics need only remember cases in our history where people led the way and governments finally relented: abolition of slavery, pulling our troops from Vietnam, civil rights, the defeat of apartheid in South Africa, among others. This is what democracy looks like.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.