GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
FROM THE WEB
JOURNAL OF THE 22ND YEAR
Bailout & Sellout
Heritage Fights Back
LAW & ORDER
Carlos Perez de alejo
War Without End
THEORY & PRACTICE
Campesina V Agrofuel
John e. Peck
Elections & Change
SPECIAL OFFER DVDS
Goodbye to Bush Offer
Outrageous Gift Offer
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.
Items of interest from our email box and the web
According to a press release from RadicalStudentUnion.blogspot.com, at 2:00 PM December 12, 2008 New School students—part of the Radical Student Union (RSU)—along with members of the War Resisters League, held a demonstration to demand university investment disclosure, the implementation of a committee on socially responsible investment (SRI), and removal of the treasurer of the Board of Trustees, Robert B. Millard. At about 5:00 PM, after the students' request was denied, the protest became an impromptu sit-in when about 60 students entered the building, demanding their requests be met.
Students were protesting Millard, in particular, because of his position as chair of the executive committee of the military contractor L-3 Communications, which provides a large percentage of the "intelligence personnel" employed in illegal detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. An L-3 subsidiary, Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI), also armed and trained both sides during the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s and armed and trained the Georgian army prior to and during their attack on Russia.
The students participating in the sit-in remained patient, relatively quiet and un-confrontational while they waited to see if the Board would grant their requests. After about an hour, students realized a car was waiting at the basement exit of the building. "The fact that the board of trustees had to sneak out of the freight door entrance instead of talking to the students is very telling of their need to keep students out of the decision making procedures of the university," said Kate Griffin, another RSU member and University Student Senate representative.
The proposed SRI Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and University Self-Management would allow students, faculty, staff, and alumni to oversee the university trustees' investment decisions and make sure that they were in alignment with the ethical and social values of the New School.
RSU is an education and social action student organization dedicated to restoring democracy in all phases of our common life. It seeks to promote the active participation of young people in the formation of a movement to build a humane and self-managed society free from poverty, ignorance, war, exploitation, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and all forms of oppression (contact NewSchoolRSU@blogspot.com).
The United Electrical Workers (www.ueunion.org) sent a message December 6 about 250 employees of Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago, Illinois who had begun an occupation of their plant on Friday, December 5, the last scheduled day of the plant's operation. The workers, members of the United Electrical Workers Union Local 1110 and overwhelmingly Latino, were not given the legally mandated 60-day prior notification of the plant's closing. Also the plant's management and owners did not show up to a meeting with the workers. The workers vowed to stay in the plant until they received, at the very least, 60 days pay. The owners claimed they had to close the plant because Bank of America refused to extend them any more credit—in spite of the banks receiving hundreds of billions of dollars over the past three months in bailout money from the government.
On Wednesday, December 12, after the conclusion of negotiations, the membership of Local 1110, more than 200 workers met in the plant cafeteria to consider the tentative settlement that had been worked out by UE negotiators over the past three days. The settlement totaled $1.75 million and would provide the workers with: eight weeks of pay they were owed under the federal WARN Act; two months of continued health coverage; and pay for all accrued and unused vacation. JPMorgan Chase would provide $400,000 of the settlement, with the balance coming from Bank of America.
UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley described the outcome of the occupation as "a victory for workers everywhere." Kingsley then announced the creation of a new foundation, dedicated to reopening the plant. Melvin Maclin, vice president of Local 1110, announced the name of the foundation, which was chosen by the workers: the Window of Opportunity Fund. Maclin said that the fund will be open to receive donations from all friends of the Republic workers and supporters of their struggle.
IHRO@yahoogroups.com had this news from a November labor dispute: An administrative judge with the National Labor Relations Board ruled against CNN in a dispute filed by the National Association of Broadcast Employees & Technicians (NABET). Judge Arthur J. Amchan ruled that CNN engaged in an "egregious error" and must reinstate 110 workers with full back pay; retraining, if necessary; and it must recognize the union. The workers were employed by a former CNN subcontractor Team Video Services (TVS). TVS provided technical work at CNN's DC and New York bureaus for more than 20 years. In 2004 CNN terminated its subcontract with TVS and announced they would hire their own employees to provide the video and audio services. The complaint was filed in April, 2007. Judge Amchan found that CNN was a joint employer with TVS and therefore the network was obligated to recognize and bargain with NABET. (CNN's employees in the bureaus were not part of NABET). Ed McEwan, president of NABET-CWA Local 11, said, "It was a victory for the workers."
Paul Abowd from labornotes.org reported on a Bail Out the People Movement caravan to DC. The caravan of mainly autoworkers left from several Midwest states on December 8 to speak with lawmakers and media about their ideas for a stronger auto industry. They see the crisis facing the Big Three as an opportunity to transform the industry and to lay the foundations for a more sustainable economy. "I'm going to tell Congress that we need to revitalize auto because industry is the backbone of this country," said Al Benchich, retired former president of UAW Local 909 at GM Powertrain. "I want to tell them that we need a new national industrial policy, created by a coalition of labor, government, and industry, to find a way to convert factories to the production of wind turbines, mass transit, and fuel-efficient vehicles. Workers must have a voice at the table."
Moderator@portside.org reports on a Code Pink action on October 17, 2008 at 11:00 AM: "Jocelyne Voltaire was scheduled to lose her home in Queens Village, the home she had lived in for the past 20 years, the home where she raised her 4 children. Unable to keep up her skyrocketing mortgage payments, Voltaire watched in horror as her home was put on the auction block. At 9:05 AM, Code Pink sent out an urgent call to their list. Our jaws dropped when we saw the response. Donations of $5, $25, $500, even $1,000. Within an hour, we had raised over $10,000. And the money kept pouring in, along with beautiful messages of support. The mortgage bankers, with our immediate promise of $15,000, were 'moved' to stop the auction. Jocelyne now has another chance. We found a wonderful pro-bono lawyer to help her battle the predatory lenders and restructure her loan. And after wiring the mortgage company $15,000, we will use the funds that keep coming in to help Jocelyne make her monthly payments and get back on her feet."
The Committee to End the War in Iraq reports that "four years after calling un the federal government to withdraw all troops from Iraq, San Francisco voters have called for termination of the war's funding. On November 4, 59 percent of the city's voters backed Proposition U, declaring it "the Policy of the people of the City & County of San Francisco that its elected representatives in the United States Senate and House of Representatives should vote against any further funding for the deployment of United States Armed Forces in Iraq, with the exception of funds specifically earmarked to provide for their safe and orderly withdrawal." Motivating Prop U's placement on the ballot was the $1.8 billion that San Franciscans have paid for the war while their city government has struggled to cover school funding, meet health care needs, and provide public safety.
Campaign spokesperson Tom Gallagher said, "...the passage of Prop U should remind the incoming Obama administration that its supporters want the occupation of Iraq to end now..... We hope other cities and towns will take up the call."
Shunkw@sbcglobal.net made note of an item in the Sunday, December 7, 2008 Los Angeles Times titled "Spying on Pacifists, Environmentalists and Nuns" by Bob Drogin about an undercover Maryland State Police trooper infiltrating nonviolent groups and labeling dozens of people as terrorists. To friends in the protest movement, Lucy was an eager 20-something who attended their events and sent encouraging e-mails to support their causes. "At one demonstration, I remember her [Lucy] showing up with a laptop computer and typing away,' said Mike Stark, who helped lead an anti-death penalty march in Baltimore. We all thought that was odd."
Not really. "Lucy" was an undercover Maryland State Police trooper who between 2005 and 2007 infiltrated more than two dozen rallies and meetings of nonviolent groups. Maryland officials now concede that, based on information gathered by "Lucy" and others, state police wrongly listed at least 53 Americans as terrorists in a criminal intelligence database and shared some information about them with half a dozen state and federal agencies, including the National Security Agency. Among those labeled as terrorists: two Catholic nuns, a former Democratic congressional candidate, a lifelong pacifist, and a registered lobbyist. One suspect's file warned that she was "involved in puppet making and allows anarchists to utilize her property for meetings."
The case is the latest to emerge since the September 11 attacks spurred a sharp increase in state and federal surveillance of Americans. In the largest known effort, the Pentagon monitored at least 186 lawful protests and meetings—including church services and silent vigils—in California and other states. The military also compiled more than 2,800 reports on Americans in a database of supposed terrorist threats. That program, known as TALON, was ordered closed in 2007 after it was exposed in news reports. The Maryland operation also has ended, but critics still question why police spent hundreds of hours spying on Quakers and other peace groups in a state that reported more than 36,000 violent crimes last year.
A press release from Pope Benedict XVI's spokesperson says the global financial crisis is a result of the quest for short-term gains at the expense of the common good. Benedict examined international economic problems in an annual peace message that linked poverty to world conflicts. The written message says the gap between rich and poor has become more marked, even in the most economically developed countries. Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope's spokesperson, said that without a spiritual life, people risked losing their souls. "In the age of the cell phone and the Internet it is probably more difficult than before to protect silence and to nourish the interior dimension of life," Father Lombardi told the Vatican television show "Octavia Dies."
Last month, Pope Benedict XVI said that the current global financial crisis was proof that the pursuit of money and success is pointless and that wealth meant nothing.
This is all very well, but Z's quick google of the Vatican's own wealth reveals estimates of $10 to $15 billion with investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France, and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, TWA, etc.
From PhillyIMC comes this news via Daniel Denvir at Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) that: "Facing recruitment shortfalls in urban areas, the U.S. Army has increasingly turned to video games and combat simulators to attract teenagers. A new $12 million video gaming entertainment complex in Philadelphia has taken military marketing into uncharted waters. "
Kathy Matheson in "Experience Center offers simulations at mall" (USA.com) writes: "'Heads up! Enemy helicopter inbound!' It's not something you'd expect to hear at a store in an American shopping mall but, then again, not many malls have Black Hawk helicopter simulators.... The glass-walled Army Experience Center is located across from an arcade and indoor skateboard park. It's more than three times the size of a basketball court. A central seating area with armchairs and couches is surrounded by video installations, nearly 80 military gaming stations, a replica command-and-control center, conference rooms, and simulators for Black Hawk and Apache helicopters and a Humvee. In the Black Hawk simulator, participants sit in a model chopper and fly through a mountain village, shooting at enemies.... Walters called the Army Experience Center "a marketing and sales experiment" that, if successful, could be replicated in other cities.
The facility is technically not a recruiting center, although it handles enlistments. Walters described it as a "non-pushy environment" that tells the Army's story in a variety of formats. All ages are welcome, but visitors must be at least 13 to play video games.
IHRO@yahoogroups.com alerted their email list to an Associated Press story from Thursday, October 2, 2008 titled "Yoga at New York high school causes stress among critics." It seems a group of parents and religious leaders in Massena in upstate New York want yoga classes out of public schools, saying the instruction violates boundaries between church and state. Two high school teachers began using yoga last year to help students relieve stress before exams. But those plans were halted after parents and others in the community complained students were being indoctrinated in Hindu rites. "We are not opposed to the benefits. We can understand the benefits. We are opposed to the philosophy behind it and that has its ties in Hinduism and the way they were presenting it," said the Rev. Colin Lucid of Calvary Baptist Church.
Julie Reagan, Massena Board of Education president, said, "If the school board felt there was any hidden religious activity behind the motives of our two instructors, we certainly wouldn't allow that.... There is absolutely none of that. The teachers are well intended and trying to offer an aspect of fitness in the classroom that relaxes and readies the children for better learning." A hundred schools in twenty-six states use yoga in the classroom to relieve stress, Reagan said. Federal funds and grants are available to educators seeking yoga certification.
Truthout.org sends news of a Senate Armed Services Committee report saying that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld contributed to prisoner abuse by authorizing aggressive interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay on December 2, 2002. He rescinded the authorization six weeks later, but the report said word of his approval continued to spread within U.S. military circles and encouraged the use of harsh techniques as far away as Iraq and Afghanistan. The report concluded that Rumsfeld's actions were "a direct cause of detainee abuse" at Guantanamo and "influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques...in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Net Briefs are prepared and edited by the Z Magazine staff. They are culled from emails to Z from individual and organizational websites that provide free information to progressives.
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.