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Special Project | Welcome to the Revolution: Law and Order and the Last Great Strike in America ~ Ahmed White

 

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February 17, 2017 | Several weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, millions of Americans have skipped work, walked off their jobs, or otherwise demonstrated in protest of his policies. Many others are planning to do so in the weeks ahead. For those of us who study strikes and protests, these developments are at once thrilling and portentous, particularly in light of the peculiar place that strikes occupy in our country’s history. For most of American history since the late Nineteenth Century, it was quite a normal thing for people to go out on strike. In 1937, for instance, over 7 percent of American workers went out on strike; in 1946, that number reached 10 percent. Even as recently as 1970, almost six million men and women spent some time out on strike. But recently strikes have been exceedingly uncommon with only a handful each year. Even most union members have never been on strike.

http://content.ucpress.edu/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/9780520285613.jpgWhy are strikes so uncommon? The reasons are complicated, but one important thing stands out. The strikes of the 1930s and 1940s, especially, were extremely effective. They built the modern labor movement, upheld the New Deal against reactionary attacks, and ensured the foundations of the postwar political system. But precisely because they were so effective, the strikes were the targets of relentless counterattack by powerful business interests and their allies in government. At first, the dominant response to strikes in this period was a rather simple and venerable one. Strikes were considered presumptively illegitimate and often met with naked force, only crudely justified by law. Put into practice, this approach left probably 200 workers dead in the 1930s alone. However, later in that decade, even as some of the most violent strikes were still unfolding, the approach to strikes was rebuilt around the notion that, while the right was guaranteed by federal law and the U.S. Constitution, it was far from absolute and had to yield if strikers were violent or coercive. Although superficially reasonable, the real import of this new approach was to make the kinds of strikes that promised to be effective also the most costly for strikers and most likely to be found unlawful. And not because only disorderly strikes could be effective, but because even the anticipation of coercion or violence on the part of strikers was enough to justify arresting them, firing them, enjoining their picket lines, and using lawful force against them. Nor was the fact that strikers might have been provoked to act in these ways much of an excuse. The most notable example of this new approach can be found in one of the most tragic episodes in the history of protest: the 1937 “Little Steel” Strike, in which steel companies and their allies killed at least sixteen strikers in order to break a strike which they had caused, and yet paid almost no penalty for doing so. So it was that the repression of strikes was brought in line with modern notions of law and order.

Ahmed White is a Professor of Law at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His scholarship centers on the intersection of labor and criminal law and on the concept of rule of law.

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Here’s How To Find The Town Hall Protest Near You This Week

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Activists have planned rallies at Republican lawmakers’ events around the country.

Kate Abbey-Lambertz, Huffington Post

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Raised%20Fist%20Power%20to%20the%20People.jpg 02/20/2017 | While Congress is in recess this week, the voters back home will be demanding answers from their representatives.

Activists have organized dozens of rallies targeting members of Congress at town hall meetings and other appearances, building on a wave of protests over the last month.

People can find events near them by checking the Resistance Recess site, a project of the progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org. The site calls on Americans to hold their representatives accountable for plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and for supporting President Donald Trump.

Kate Abbey-Lambertz is a National Reporter for The Huffington Post. Based in Detroit, she covers sustainable cities, housing and inequality.

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Can a Mass Movement Seize This Anti-Trump Moment?

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  • A revolutionary movement will radicalize millions of people, on top of the millions who’ve already been radicalized by the announcement of Trump’s victory. These newly-radicalized people just need a coalition of organizations to help lead them into struggle, and once the masses have entered the revolutionary road, anything is possible. The moment can be seized or squandered. It’s up to us. Time is short.
  • Can a Mass Movement Seize This Anti-Trump Moment?
  • Related: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America.

Shamus Cooke, Workers Compass

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg <jpstolten@frontier.com>

November 22, 2016 | Change is in the air. Millions of people in the U.S. woke up to the living nightmare of a Trump presidency. The threat and shock posed by Trump jolted hundreds of thousands off their couch and into the street. People of all ages now want to “do something,” joining protests nationwide that the Washington Post called “a roiling movement across the country.”

Massive protests immediately followed the election results in just about every major city in the country, including an enormous demonstration in Los Angeles on November 12th that galvanized social media users nationwide to leave their computers and join the protests.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action.  

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Can a Mass Movement Seize This Anti-Trump Moment? Shamus Cooke, Workers Compass

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  • A revolutionary movement will radicalize millions of people, on top of the millions who’ve already been radicalized by the announcement of Trump’s victory. These newly-radicalized people just need a coalition of organizations to help lead them into struggle, and once the masses have entered the revolutionary road, anything is possible. The moment can be seized or squandered. It’s up to us. Time is short.
  • Related: In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America.

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In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America, Revolution Newspaper

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  • Rise Up... Get Into The Streets... Unite With People Everywhere to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can.
  • Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Accommodate...Don’t Collaborate
  • Related: 'People Have the Right to Take to the Streets'

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In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America.

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Rise Up ... Get Into The Streets ... Unite With People Everywhere to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can.

Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate ... Don’t Accommodate ... Don’t Collaborate

Related: 'People Have the Right to Take to the Streets'

Revolution Newspaper 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Stop%20Trump.jpgNovember 9, 2016 |  Donald Trump has now won the presidency. Under the slogan “Make America Great Again,” he has viciously attacked Mexicans and Muslims, threatened to deport millions and boasted that he will build walls and close borders. He incites people to fear and hate those who are “different,” or who come from other countries or nationalities, or practice different religions. He crudely demeans and degrades women, and openly boasts about molesting them. He’s a champion of white supremacy who has insulted and threatened Black people, and whipped up a racist lynch-mob mentality. Trump has mocked the disabled.  He is an aggressive and unapologetic militarist, who threatens to use nuclear weapons and will have his fingers on the nuclear codes. He openly advocates war crimes and crimes against humanity—including torture and killing the families of people accused of terrorism. He plans to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will gut and reverse the right to abortion, gay rights, and other important legal rights. He calls climate change a hoax and his policies will wreak further devastation on the environment. He has attacked and threatened the press and stirred up his supporters to do the same. Trump has utter contempt for facts and the truth, and consistently lies to advance his agenda. As for the rule of law, Trump went so far as to openly threaten his opponent, Hillary Clinton, not only with jail, but even assassination. Donald Trump is an outright fascist. And he is now the president-elect.

Revolution Newspaper: The Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the USA

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Related: 

'People Have the Right to Take to the Streets', Janine Jackson, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Janine Jackson interviewed Mara Verheyden-Hilliard about the inauguration protests for the January 27, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

MLK Day 2017: Mobilizing Against Racism, Capitalism and Militarism in a Neo-Fascist Era

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Dawn at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 18, 2016. (Photo: Zach Gibson / New York Times)

MLK Day has since become a day centered around a watered-down or "sanitized" telling of the life of King and the movement he was a part of. Today, many young people will be taught a warped version of history -- punctuated by King's inspiring speeches -- that overlooks the hard work of organizers. With a neo-fascist president-elect taking office in just four days, these ahistorical narratives are dangerous. 

Asha Rosa Ransby-Sporn, Truthout

Monday, January 16, 2017 | Coretta Scott King testified before Congress twice, in 1979 and 1982, to argue for the importance of instituting a national holiday in honor of her late husband, Martin Luther King Jr.

Pushback to the proposed holiday included conservative Democrat Congressman Larry McDonald's assertion that a recognized holiday centered around King -- a figure who both engaged in civil disobedience and openly criticized the government -- would encourage young people to foster "contempt for the law."

Asha Rosa Ransby-Sporn is a Black, queer writer and organizer currently serving as a national organizing co-chair for Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100). She was part of the We Charge Genocide youth delegation to the United Nations in 2014 where she testified on police violence in Chicago. Asha is committed to movements that embrace the transformative potential of a radical/Black/queer imagination towards the abolition of police and prisons.

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Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.: The Three Evils of Society: Racism, Militarism and Capitalismdandelionsalad

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“What they truly advocate is Socialism for the rich and Capitalism for the poor.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., Address Delivered at the National Conference on New Politics, August 31, 1967

 

 

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