Thursday, January 28, 2010

Howard Zinn: 1922-2010, Presente!

graphic By Sergio Iniarte
(from Thank You Howard Zinn on Facebook)

Howard Zinn revolutionized the way we understand history - from the bottom up - but he did much more than that. He changed the way we see ourselves in relation to history and social change. He made it clear that we all have a role to play in history. In other words, he was not only a radical historian, he was also an activist. He taught, not just with his writing and teaching, but also by example. Howard Zinn died on Wednesday at 87 of a heart attack. Fortunately for all of us he was able to work until the very end. His last contribution to history (as far a I know) was "The People Speak" on the History Channel, a TV version of his magnificent A People's History of the United States. (1980)

Always the activist, his 1967 work, The Logic of Withdrawal, was, as Amy Goodman said this morning (1/28),
the first book on the war to call for immediate withdrawal, no conditions. A year later, he and Father Daniel Berrigan traveled to North Vietnam to receive the first three American prisoners of war released by the North Vietnamese.
She also reminded us that,
When Daniel Ellsberg needed a place to hide the Pentagon Papers before they were leaked to the press, he went to Howard and his late wife Roz.
Also on the tribute to Zinn on Democracy Now ,author and journalist Naomi Klein summarized his contribution in these words:
But the thing about Howard is that the history that he taught was not just about losing the official illusions about nationalism, about the heroic figures. It was about telling people to believe in themselves and their power to change the world. So, like any wonderful teacher, he left all of these lessons behind. And I think we should all just resolve to be a little bit more like Howard today.
For more of Democracy Now's tribute - which also includes Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker and Zinn' collaborator Anthony Arnove - go to

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Restore democracy in the U.S.

The Supreme Court today (1/21) decided there should be no restraints on corporate spending on elections. In other words, they decided that corporations should have the same free speech rights as individuals. This completely distorts the Constitution. What is already an oligarchy (not a democracy) will become a virtual dictatorship of the corporations. Check all this out on

Share This Video Far And Wide |

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dennis Brutus and the struggle to isolate Apartheid South Africa's sports teams

In memory of Dennis Brutus - who was remembered Sunday at The Brecht Forum - here is a preview of a new film about the struggle to create an international sports boycott of Apartheid South Africa. This was one of Brutus' lasting accomplishments (If your seeing this on Facebook, please go to to see the video preview)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jan 21: Protest Wall Street greed

Jan 21, 12:00 - 2:00pm

85 Broad St, (Goldman Sachs Headquarters)

On January 21st, Goldman Sachs and other major banks and financial institutions will announce the huge bonuses that will be given out to its elite bankers--the very people who destroyed our economy and threw hard-working Americans out on the streets. Rally in front of the headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

Americans are living through the most difficult economic crisis in the last 50 years. One in five Americans does not have decent, full-time paying work.

Goldman Sachs' behavior is un-American and unpatriotic.

Come rally on behalf of America. Come rally to demand a new economic system which rewards all Americans, not just a few.

Bring your signs and banners.


Progressive Democrats of America
Democracy for America
Jonathan Tasini For U.S. Senate

Happy birthday Ellen!

We went to a couple of events today - more about that later {with photos). Fortunately because of the weather they were in the same place. One of these events was Ellen Davidson's report back from Gaza and her 50th birthday party. After the report back there were supposed to be toasts to Ellen and the party. Unfortunately, we had to leave before the toasts to Ellen so here's mine:

I have known Ellen for nearly 30 years, we worked together at the Guardian and she and Ann were in a singing group- "Womansong"- with four other wonderful women {Barbara, Jill, Mara, Carmen) who sang at our wedding (27 years ago). I say all this so you'll know how well I've known Ellen. So let me say that when I heard that Ellen went to Gaza to support the people there, I was not in the least surprised, even for a moment, because I know that wherever people are fighting for liberation Ellen will be there. She understands, as few of us do, that we are a human race and wherever one of us is oppressed we are all oppressed and it is always all our struggle.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 17: Dennis Brutus Memorial

Sunday, January 17, 2:00 PM

Dennis Brutus Memorial
A celebration of the life of South African poet, anti-Apartheid fighter, and human rights activist Dennis Brutus (1924-2009)

Speakers TBA

Brecht Forum
451 West Street
(bt Bank & Bethune Streets)

Phone: (212) 242-4201 - Email: brechtforum at

Co-sponsors: Black Left Unity, Haymarket Books, Activist-Poets Roundtable, War Resisters League, The Indypendent

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jan. 15, 3:30PM - Protest on Wall Street


FRI., JAN. 15, 3:30 – 6 p.m.
At Wall St. and Broad
(across from the Stock Exchange)

No more bail outs & bonuses for bankers –


Here's to you Mrs. Robinson

Does anyone else love the fact that the 60-year-old member of Parliament, who's also Northern Ireland's First Lady, who stepped down from her seat in Parliament (her husband, Northern Ireland's First Minister also stepped down) after her affair with then 19-year-old Kirk McCambly was revealed is named Mrs. Robinson.

It would seem that any woman named Mrs. Robinson has a cultural responsibility to have an affair with a younger man.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Simpsons, Mazel Tov

Congratulations to the people of Springfield - Particularly, of course, Marge, Homer, Bart, Santa's Little Helper (dog), Snowball (cat), Lisa and Maggie. And a special salute to Matt Groening, who created the show.

The Simpsons has broken the record (formerly held by Gunsmoke) of 20 years on prime time TV (or it will when the next season starts) So raise a burger or donut to The Simpsons

There will be a regular Simpsons show Sunday (1/10) @ 8PM and Morgan Spurlock's The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3D! On Ice!@ 8:30PM.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Favorite protest signs

Here are two (I know, actually three) of my favorite signs of the past year. One from a right-wing anti-public option demo and one from a pro-gay marriage action: