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How to Turn an Outpouring of Progressive Activism Into a Winning Social Movement

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Discarded protest signs at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017. (Rex Features via AP)

  • Why the left needs to build power, now.
  • Related: How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era

Astra Taylor, the Nation

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https://versobooks-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/000011/154/direct-action-front-1050-max_221-ee12ffa84f9e935a2486e656c0438c14.jpg March 23, 2017 | In the wake of the catastrophic election of Donald Trump, we all know the left needs to get its act together. But how?

I posed this question to Jillian Johnson, L.A. Kauffman, and Jonathan Matthew Smucker, three longtime activists well-positioned to provide some insight and advice to anyone ready to commit to the budding resistance. Jillian Johnson is a year into her tenure on Durham, North Carolina’s City Council, where she is uniquely poised to contribute to a progressive turn toward municipal and state-level politics across the country. Kauffman’s new book, Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism, traces the history of a powerful strain of American dissent, and how it is being harnessed by a new generation of change-makers. Smucker’s Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals, gets into the nitty-gritty of why movements fail, and how they can succeed. Our conversation lays out much-needed historical lessons and theoretical guidance for anyone engaged in grassroots organizing today.

Astra Taylor is the director of the documentary films Zizek! and Examined Life. She has written for The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Baffler, n+1 and other outlets. She is the author of The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age (Metropolitan Books).

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Related:

How to Revive the Peace Movement in the Trump Era, Daniel May, the Nation

  • Why we need a peace movement - and why we don't have one 
  • Antiwar Organizing and the new movements
  • Related: How activists have already scored victories against Trump's policies

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Al Franken’s grilling of Gorsuch exposes the heartless cruelty behind conservative legal philosophy

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(Credit: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Comic turned senator rips apart Gorsuch's infamous "frozen trucker" opinion. If only other Democrats would follow.

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Dave & the Crew

 


Paul Rosenberg, Salon

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 | In a few short minutes of questioning Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., exposed the utter absurdity of an elaborate legal fiction that conservatives have spent decades constructing. That fiction is meant to place them unreachably beyond any possible question, no matter how ludicrous, cruel or unjust their rulings might be. If the Democrats had any semblance of a coherent messaging apparatus, the Gorsuch nomination would be finished. But, of course, they don’t.

It happened so quickly, and Franken’s manner — as usual — was so understated, that it was easy to miss the significance of what happened. But the nation cannot afford to let that happen. The point Franken was making was far too critical to let it pass by unnoticed. In fact, it should be a rallying point to gather around, one that could reset the course of American jurisprudence along more sound and sober lines.

Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English.

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Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 5: Women No Longer Pay More For Health Care Just For Being Women

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  • Birth control and preventative care aren’t considered luxuries.
  • This piece is Part 5 of a series on Obama’s legacy that Evergreene Digest  will be publishing over the next weeks.

Laura Bassett, the Huffington Post

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Change%20You%20Can%20Believe%20In%20Redacted.jpg Jan 11, 2017 | Before President Barack Obama took office, being a woman came with a surcharge.

Most women had to pay out of pocket for birth control, even though preventing pregnancy saves money for everyone ― including insurance companies, men and the federal government. And women were charged more than men for the same health insurance plans because they tend to have babies, visit the doctor more often and live longer.

The Obama administration was the first to treat women’s preventative health care, including birth control, as a necessity instead of a luxury. The Affordable Care Act banned insurance companies from the practice of “gender rating” and required all insurance plans to cover the full range of contraception methods and well-woman visits, without a co-pay.

Laura Bassett is a Senior Politics Reporter at the Huffington Post covering women's rights domestically and around the globe, and she is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

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Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights

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(Photo: Deyvi Romero)  

  • Recent incidents have revived confusion and alarm over what powers border officials actually have and, perhaps more importantly, how to know when they are overstepping their authority.
  • Related: What you — yes, you! — can do to save America from tyranny.

Patrick G. Lee, ProPublica / Truth-out

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/One%20Nation%20Under%20Surveillance%20graphic.jpg Friday, March 17, 2017 | A NASA scientist heading home to the US said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.

Last month, CBP agents checked the identification of passengers leaving a domestic flight at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport during a search for an immigrant with a deportation order.

And in October, border agents seized phones and other work-related material from a Canadian photojournalist. They blocked him from entering the US after he refused to unlock the phones, citing his obligation to protect his sources.

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Patrick G. Lee is a reporting fellow at ProPublica.

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Related: 

What you — yes, you — can do to save America from tyranny, Timothy Snyder, Dallas (TX) News

Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

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Series | The Crisis of American Healthcare - Part One

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  • Why is the healthcare system in the US so chaotic and prohibitively expensive? The answer lies in the fact that the market, rather than state intervention, is the primary factor that shaped how healthcare is provided for the majority.
  • Related: On Defending Medicare, The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

Parson Young, Socialist Appeal

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg

http://socialistappeal.org/images/money_pill.jpgWednesday, February 15, 2017 | To say that the American healthcare system is criminally expensive and convoluted would be an understatement. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that 20% of people under the age of 65, although insured, have trouble paying medical bills. 75% of them reported that, as a result, they had had to cut back on household spending, and 63% of them used up all or most of their savings to pay a medical bill. In 2015, an average family of four had to shell out $24,671 for medical expenses. An ambulance ride costs $164 per mile, on average. An emergency room visit by itself could cost you around $1,233. The national average for a vaginal birth is now $8,775, and a c-section will set you back $11,525.

At the same time, medical and healthcare professionals are relentlessly overworked. Nurses in the US often work shifts that can run as long as 24 to 36 hours. Only 16% of nurses in a national survey think they are adequately compensated. There is a chronic shortage of doctors, who spend an average of just 12 minutes per patient during appointments. Moreover, the for-profit system creates incentives for doctors to provide add-on services, often medically unnecessary, which leads to an estimated 210,000 patients dying each year due to medical errors.

Parson Young is from Taiwan.

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In earnest,

Dave & the Crew


On Defending Medicare, The Best Defense Is A Good Offense, Demanding Medicare For All Now, The Pen

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Demonstration%20for%20Single-Payer%20Health%20Care.jpgIt is not enough to demand that Medicare not be cut. That is what 
  • Bernie is calling on us to demand right now, which is fine as far as 
  • it goes. But to really protect Medicare at all our strategy must be 
  • to demand more. We must demand that it be expanded instead. That means Medicare for all. Now.

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A man traveled cross-country to interview homeless people. This is what he learned.

  • "I’m a very sad man now that she’s gone," Leroy explained. He'd been at his wife's side the moment she died of a heart attack. "I wish I could have saved her."
  • Related: 10 things everyone should know about what it’s really like to live on the streets

Robbie Couch, Upworthy

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March 9, 2017 | Leroy, a U.S. veteran, said he'd been doing well staying sober up until that tragedy struck a few months ago. Now he's back on the streets of New Orleans, once again battling alcoholism and homelessness.

Leroy, a U.S. veteran, said he'd been doing well staying sober up until that tragedy struck a few months ago. Now he's back on the streets of New Orleans, once again battling alcoholism and homelessness.

"I don’t have anything from her, no pictures, nothing," he said. "[Her] landlord set everything out on the sidewalk and thieves took it all."

Robbie Couch <http://www.upworthy.com/robbie-couch>: I'm a wandering writer with Michigan roots, an irrational fear of birds, and the belief that the world is slowly becoming a better place. You’ll probably spot my name next to stories about LGBTQ news and pop culture happenings.

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Related:

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Homeless%20Person%20on%20Street%20in%20Cold%20Weather.jpg 10 things everyone should know about what it’s really like to live on the streets, Evelyn Nieves, AlterNet  / Salon 

  • Since the recession, San Francisco's wealth gap has become a yawning chasm. The city's homeless tell their stories. 
  • Related: America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

 

 
 

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