New York Says $15 and a Union on 4/15
On April 15th Low-wage workers in NYC and more than 200 cities across the country and more world wide held the biggest-yet day of action in their Fight for $15 campaign . What started with fast food workers in NYC on Nov. 2012
has spread to home care and child care workers, retail, adjunct professors, and more, with ever-growing numbers of participants. and scattered reports of stores closed by the strike, at least temporarily. This organizing comes against a backdrop of stagnating wages, chronic unemployment. and
underemployment. As many as half of workers in some low-wage industries are receiving some form of public assistance. Workers tell stories of struggling to pay rent and arrange child care, and even face sleep inequality. And the organizing is having an effect. Walmart and McDonald's and other major chains recently announced wage increases are due to pressure from workers and in an effort to shut down further organizing. But workers participation on the April 15th actions proves that they are continuing to organize in increasing numbers and arenas of struggle.
WHO WE ARE
WORKERS OF THE WORLD TUNE IN! Introducing "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report"
Our beat is the labor front, broadly defined, both geographically and conceptually. We examine the world of work and workers on the job as well as where they live. We examine the issues that affect their everyday lives, with a particular sensitivity towards human rights abuses, environmental concerns and the U.S. drive for global domination. We record their global struggles and provide analysis of their efforts to empower themselves and transform society to provide greater democratic, human, social, political and economic rights. Each program consists of feature stories, generally interviews, within a historical context, often accompanied by sound from demonstrations, rallies or conferences, and complemented and enhanced by poetry and instrumental or vocal -- people's culture.
Over the years Building Bridges has produced a weekly one hour program, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST, covering local, national and international labor and community issues over radio WBAI-Pacifica 99.5 FM in New York. We also produce half hour version, Building Bridges National, which is distribtued to over 40 broadcast and internet radio stations.
For more information you can contact us at email@example.com
In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash Follow @bbridgesradio
New York Says $15 and a Union on 4/15
Nobel Prize Economist Joseph Stiglitz on
the Dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
"The TPP proposes to freeze into a binding trade agreement many of the worst features of the worst laws in the TPP countries, making needed reforms extremely difficult if not impossible." Stiglitz highlights how this trade agreement threatens our jobs, health, communities and environment. Meanwhile, Congress is moving to "fast track" approval of the controversial TPP agreement without public hearings, no floor debate, no amendments - no civic engagement whatsoever.The stakes are too high to allow back room negotiations. If passed, the TPP would be the largest trade deal in history, covering 792 million people and about 40% of the world's economy.
Teach the Children
Well: The Battle for Public Education
Diane Ravitch, one of the foremost authorities on education in the U.S., former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, “whistle-blower extraordinaire,” author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools and other notable books on education history and policy — incisive, comprehensive looks at today’s American public school system that argue against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization
movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools.
Governor Cuomo manipulated the state budget, holding up its passage, until it included the hugely unpopular and anti-worker
practice of pegging teachers tenure and evaluations to standardized tests grade results. While dropped from inclusion in the budget the Governors desire to see the proliferation of charter schools remains a mainstay on his educational agenda. These issues have been been heating up ever since Pres. Bush’s No Child Left Behind plan, but especially since the roll out of Race to The Top and the Common Core State Standards so Building Bridges decided to
tackle these issues with with Diane Ravitch, who infuses research,
about the recent history of education policy reform, the strategies used for fighting back against these policies, and who proposes solutions that work to create sustainable, equitable, anti-racist, democratic and meaningful public education. Our conversation with Diane Ravitch is for anyone interested in an “insider’s look” and leading a resistance or forming an organization towards reclaiming our public schools and reclaiming the public narrative around education policy.
Posted in Charter schools Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch and Gov Cuomo, New York State Budget Education, public schools Diane Ravitch, standardized testing Diane Ravitch » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Liberato Restaurant Tries To Silence Workers
With Federal Racketeering, “RICO” Suit
. Omar Taveras, former Liberato worker
. Mahoma Lopez, Laundry Workers Center representative
. Ria Julien, workers’ attorney
Liberato Restaurant workers joined by community supporters and
workers’ rights advocates, such as the grassroots workers’ rights
organization the Laundry Workers Center continue to exercise their
right to protest against wage and hour theft, sexual harassment and
verbal abuses, despite Liberato Restaurants’ attempts to silence them. Liberato, in an unprecedented action has brought a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) lawsuit accusing the workers of extortion. Liberato server Maggy Andres, said “we are here today demanding what we are owed. The RICO case is an attempt to silence us, and it will not work. Liberato stole our money and we demand what we are owed by the law and better conditions in our workplace. Until that happens, we will be out here demanding justice for ourselves, our co-workers, and all exploited workers
Remembering the Triangle Fire
Sophia Henderson Holmes
Poet Sophia Henderson Holmes reads from her epic poem
commemorating the lives of those who died at the Triangle Fire.
The poem itself serves as well as a tribute to Sophia herself, who
has since passed on but has left us her stirring words and the
challenge to organize for workers' rights.
Posted in Hot and Crusty labor, Laundry Workers Center, Liberato Restaurant Bronx, Rico suit unions, Sophia Henderson Holmes, the hand that feeds documentary, Triangle Fire » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Strike Back ! Using the Militant Tactics of Labor's Past to Reignite Unionism Today
In his books Reviving the Strike and Strike Back labor Lawyer Joe Burns argues that if the American labor movement is to rise again, it will not be as a result of electing different politicians, the passage of legislation, or improved methods of union organizing. Rather, workers will need to rediscover the power of the strike. Not the ineffectual strike of today, where employees meekly sit on picket lines waiting for scabs to take their jobs, but the type of strike capable of grinding private and public sector employers to a halt often with the solidarity of community and labor alliances. This is what happened in the strike waves when private sector unionism grew exponentially in the 1930’s – 1940’s and during the 1960s and 1970s, when teachers, sanitation workers and more than a million public employees rose up to demand collective bargaining rights in one of the greatest upsurges in labor history.
When Words Don't Mean What They Say:
"Right to Work" Laws are Anything but That!
. Kevin Gundlach, Pres., South Central Labor Federation, Madison, WI
. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Asst. Prof. of History, Loyola University, Co-author with Nelson Lichtenstein, The Right and Labor in America
Wisconsin is the latest State to fall victim to the right wing anti-union juggernaut. "Right to work" laws destroy unions - that's their real purpose. "Right to work" legislation isn't driven by a groundswell of disgruntled union members chafing under union oppression, but by employers, industry associations and lobbyists.
"Right to work" laws drive down wages for everyone. We'll explore the history of right to work laws, who and what's driving this juggernaut in states across the nation and what is to be done to challenge this race to the bottom.
The Solitary Confinement of Youth in New York -
A Civil Rights Violation
Professor Alex Vitale, Member, NY Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Alexandra Korry, Chairperson, NY Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Posted in Alexandra Korry, NY Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, prison reform, Professor Alex Vitale, solitary confinement youth » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
A Free, Free Palestine Remains The Question
Jeff Halper, an anthropologist, author of several books on the Israeli-Palestine conflict, lecturer about Israeli politics, and political activist who has lived in Israel since 1973. He is best known as the co-founder and Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. He is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and the academic boycott of Israel, considering Israel to be engaged in a deliberate campaign of “Judaization” of the Palestinian territories. He has created a new mode of Israeli peace activity based on nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience in the Occupied Territories, along with international advocacy
Jeff Halper, assess recent developments in Israel/Palestine and prospects for the future of a free, free Palestine, in what is one of the most intractable conflicts on the planet and the fulcrum for all politics in the Middle East.
Red Seas: Ferdinand Smith and Radical Black Sailors in the United States and Jamaica
Prof. Gerald Horne
During the heyday of the U.S. and international labor movements in the 1930s & 1940s, Ferdinand Smith, the Jamaican-born co-founder and second-in-command of the National Maritime Union, stands out as one of the most "if not the most" powerful black labor leaders in the United States. Smith's active membership in the Communist Party, however, coupled with his bold labor radicalism & shaky immigration status, brought him under continual surveillance by U.S. authorities, especially during the red Scare in the '50s. Smith was eventually deported to his homeland of Jamaica, where he continued his radical labor & political organizing until his death in 1961. Horne draws on Smith's life to make insightful connections between labor radicalism & the Civil Rights Movement "demonstrating that the gains of the latter were propelled by the former & undermined by anticommunism". Moreover, Red Seas uncovers the little-known experiences of black sailors & the contribution to the struggle for labor and civil rights, the history of the Communist Party & its black members, & the significant dimension of Jamaican labor & political radicalism.
The Plot to Kill Pensions and a Plan to Save Them
TERESA GHILARDUCCI, Prof. of Economic Policy Analysis, New School for Social Research and author of When I’m Sixty Four
A crisis is brewing for American workers' retirement, due to attack on pensions and the inadequacy of 401k accounts which were designed to replace guaranteed pensions. In response Prof. Ghilarducci is proposing a comprehensive system of reform called the Guaranteed Retirement Account
and improvements to Social Security.
"Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign"
Michael K. Honey, Prof. of Ethnic, Gender, and Labor studies, University of Washington, Tacoma
Martin Luther King was in Memphis to add his voice to protests in support of striking sanitation workers - the civil rights movement paralleled with the struggles of organized labor. Professor Honey details the daily evolution of the
strike and what it meant to Memphis and the larger civil-rights movement. He chronicles the events that led up to that fateful day at the Lorraine Motel, and to larger social change. Honey's analysis of King's role is particularly telling. "King," he writes, "had qualities that allowed him to lead a mass movement that joined working-class people to the middle class through the black church" until his Crucifixion."
Plus Taylor Rogers, a past Pres. of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Union talks about the 1968 Strike which was Dr. King's last struggle and a selection from King's speech at a strike rally.
The Real Deal: A Green State of the NYS State Message
Howie Hawkins, the recent Green Party candidate for NY Governor, responds to Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget and State of the State address. Hawkins will also discuss the recent arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the culture of corruption that dominates the state Capitol. In addition to the need for ethics reform, Hawkins will discuss Cuomo’s education agenda and attacks on teachers; energy; taxes and fiscal relief for local governments, minimum wage and poverty.
350,000 Member Strong Union Leader at Forefront of Organizing United Front Against South Africa’s Class Inequalities and “Colonialism of a Special Type”
Irvin Jim, Secretary General, National Union of Metal Workers South Africa (“NUMSA”)
“NUMSA, in line with the Freedom Charter demands, has demanded that nationalization of the Reserve Bank, mines, land, strategic and monopoly industries without compensation must take place with speed, if we are to avoid sliding into anarchy and violence as a result of the cruel impact of the continuing Colonialism of a Special Type which breeds poverty, unemployment and extreme inequalities in South Africa today…,” NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim
Jim talks about NUMSA’s advocacy for its members interests against the corporateocracy and the exciting developments with the Preparatory Assembly of the United Front in South Africa, a possible forerunner of the formation of a workers party, socialist in its orientation, with an eye on 2016 local government elections. NUMSA leadership has criticized the ruling majority party, the African National Congress for failing to take responsibility for South Africa’s growing inequality and the fact that infrastructure, education, water resources and health systems remain unfairly distributed across the societies of South Africa.
Greece’s Syriza Party: The Antidote to Europe’s Austerity Disease
Kostis Karpozilos, Dept. of History, Columbia University
Eric Poulos, Greek-American activist
Greece's parliament has failed to elect a president, which means it must hold a new election a little over two years since the last, which will take place Jan. 25, with the prospect of a victory for the Syriza party, a political party formed of a coalition of hundreds of left groups, which has emerged as the country's second largest political party. An upsurge of support for Syriza flows from the economic turmoil in bankrupt Greece, which received emergency loans from the Troika: The European Union (EU), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – and under the terms of the bailout loans the Greek government has cut back on its public spending, which had propped up much of its economy. Greece now has an unemployment rate that has surpassed 27 percent, with youth unemployment hovering at around 60 percent, and hundreds of thousands of Greeks have been forced to migrate abroad to survive. The social state is in shambles, and the government is in the process of selling off key state industries, public lands and utilities. Kostis Karpozilos , the leading light of a nonsectarian left-wing Greek web site, was interestingly a featured commentator in a recent movie on the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow massacre and the writer and commentator in a movie about the history of Greek American radicals and Eric Poulos, Greek-American activist joins us to talk about the destruction of the Greek economy, the Eurozone and alternative examples of economic development, with an eye towards the Greek anti-austerity Syriza party winning the upcoming general election
An update with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza party in an interview with ch 4 reporter Paul Mason. Tspiras says he wants to renegotiate the Greek bailout and might even be prepared to pull the country out of the eurozone if push comes to shove - so usual terms of politics may not apply.
Rejuvenating Workers' Movements with Stanley Aronowitz & Demand N.Y.S. Labor Dept. Enforce Law - 28:46
Rejuvenating the Workers’ Movement – The Road Forward
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz, In the 1950s, Aronowitz was a factory metalworker. In the 50s and 60s, he directed organizing with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers. He is currently a professor of sociology, cultural studies, and urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center and has written dozens of books on the U.S. working class. His recent book is The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers’ Movement
Prof. Aronowitz reminds us that the use of strikes and other militant strategies was what built the labor movement, and how they are essential to revitalizing the faltering, organized labor organizations. The strategies and tactics to rekindle
the growth of the workers’ movements are based in workers banding together across workplaces, across occupations and building bridges from the workplace to linking with community-based struggles for housing, education, health-care and for human rights and against all forms of discrimination.
Workers Demand N.Y.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Enforce Law
National Mobilization Against Sweatshops (NMASS)
Yes, the minimum wage went up in N.Y.S. to $8.75/h, but that’s not enough to live on says NMASS and furthermore, too many of N.Y.S’s workers will see no change in Governor Cuomo’s DOL failure to enforce the labor laws. NMASS took their complaints to the DOL and is threatening to sue Cuomo and the DOL to enforce minimum wage laws and to process wage theft claims timely.
The State, Racism & Matters of Black Life
GLEN FORD, executive editor, Black Agenda Report. Ford has been a journalist and political activist – a provider of "information for liberation," as he puts it for over 40 years. Ford created the first syndicated Black radio news magazine, Black World Report, the first syndicated Black news interview program on commercial TV, America’s Black Forum. Ford has served as a White House, Capitol Hill and State Department correspondent and Washington
Bureau Chief, for Mutual Black Network, was national political columnist for Encore American and Worldwide News. Ford was a founding member of the Washington Association of Black Journalists and a member of the executive committee of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists.
TIM WISE, is one of the country’s leading anti-racist writers and activists who lecturers on issues of comparative racism, race and education and racism in the labor market. Wise is the author of six books, including Dear White America:
Letter to a New Minority. His new book is The Culture of Cruelty: How America’s Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future.
Timothy A. Canova Professor of Law and Public Finance, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University
The big banks attached a measure to must-pass Congressional spending legislation which halts a restriction on the kinds of risky derivatives trading that blew up the US economy in 2007. It allows the banksters to gamble not only with other people’s money but with taxpayer guarantees for their losses. This is only the beginning of their planned roll back of financial reforms passed to prevent another financial crisis. Liberal democrats responded by calling for the breaking up the “too big to fail” banks, but is this really enough? Do we need to nationalize banks?
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders' Senate speech railed against the big banks' Congressional maneuver easing restrictions on risky derivatives trading and called for breaking up the "too big to fail" big banks.
Posted in banks nationalization, Big Banks, Congress financial reform rollback, Dodd-Frank, Senator Bernie Sanders, Timothy Canova, too big to fail banks » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
New Yorkers Carry The Torch Lit By The Flames of Ferguson Protests: Rising Up Against Racist Policing!
The families of victims of police murder who tell their stories, expressing our feelings at New Yorkers historic march
commentary from Dr. William Barber, founder Moral Mondays & North Carolina Chair, NAACP
Hundreds of thousands, “we the people” across the country, led by families of victims of police murder, Black and Brown youth most vulnerable to racist policing, and a really diverse group of supporters marched against the governmental
policies, their implementation and the internalized racist attitudes at the heart of the license to kill people of color! Amidst the anguish felt by the participants over the most recent deaths of people of color, at the hands of the police the crowds gave promise to pulling together, nationally in a sustained effort to confront racist police policies that give police “the license to kill” Black and Brown!
Posted in Anthony Rosario, Eric Garner, Iris Baez, Lennon Lacy, Michael Brown, moral Mondays, Nicholas Heyward, NYC protests police murders, Rev. William Barber » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Nationwide, Low-Wage Workers STRIKE , also Calling for Justice for Victims of Police Murder! - 27:28
Industries, Low-Wage Workers STRIKE, also Calling for Justice
for Victims of Police Murder!
Fast-food workers are on the move and they've sparked other low-wage workers to strike for their just deserts. Fast-food employees in 190 cities, went on strike and they were joined by convenience, dollar store, airport service workers, and home care workers. Low-wage workers across the country are forging bonds and rising up in a mass movement for economic justice. The workers, on strike for higher wages, better working conditions and to unionize also raised their hands high, chanting "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," "I Can't Breath, I Can't Breath," to show their support for victims of racist police murders.
Sparked by Police Impunity for Racist Killings, New Yorkers Chanting "Hand Up Don't Shoot" and "I Can't Breathe" with Mock Coffins Held Aloft Take It To The Streets!
Thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets, expressing their anguish over racist police killings of people of color and their anger over police officers Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown and Daniel Pantaleo for the choke-hold strangulation of Eric Garner and their impunity from prosecution. Building Bridges brings you the sounds of protest - from the "die ins" to the blockades of travel arteries all over this city - listen to the stories of family members, thirsting for "justice" for loved ones killed, as a result of racist
police policies and practices and hear from the broad array of New Yorkers, we the people who are prepared to challenge them.
Posted in choke hold Daniel Pantaleo, Daniel Pantaleo NY Police, Darren Wilson grand jury, Eric Garner New York, Grand jury system police, Michael Brown Ferguson, NYC police racism protest, police killings » Email Post » Links to this post » 1 comments »
Walmart and Ferguson Protests Spread Across the Country
This Holiday season.
With special guest Dr. Jamal Bryant with the Empowerment Movement’s Hand’s Up, Don’t Spend Campaign a new dimension in the Ferguson protests, speaks to us from a Walmart protest in Chicago building bridges between the two mass movements
Mass protests also fanned out across the nation in the aftershock of the grand jury decision to not indict patrolman Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown who was 18 years old and unarmed in Ferguson, MO. Protesters are making the connection to the long standing epidemic of police killings of unarmed people of color throughout the U.S. , the most recent of which also include the 12 year old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Eric Garner in Staten Island and Akai Gurley in Brooklyn.
There were also demonstrations, marches and sit-in strikes at 1,600
Walmart stores across the country, calling on the company to pay workers a minimum of $15/hour, provide full-time work with health care and union rights. The country’s largest employer and the Waltons —Walmart’s majority owners—are abusing their power and hurting American families by allowing Walmart to violate workers’ rights. While the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year, Walmart brings in more the $16 billion in
annual profits; and the Walton family has built up nearly $150 billion in wealth.
Walmart Arrests Dozens Who Sit-Down
For $15/h Wage and Full-Time Hours
Martha Sellers and Maria Camarena, Walmart employees talk about the workers and their supporters arrested outside a Walmart store calling on the company and its owners—the Waltons—to end the illegal threats to and retaliation against workers calling for $15 an hour and consistent, full-time work at the country’s largest private employer. Hundreds of
supporters rallied outside the store in Pico Rivera, California the site of the first Walmart strikes in 2012 to buoy the strikers – meanwhile the Walmart behemoth brings in $16 billion in annual profits and its owners build on their $150 billion in wealth, the majority of Walmart workers are
paid less than $25,000 a year.
The Fire Next Time: Ferguson & Beyond Communities Organize
Even were there to be an indictment of police officer Wilson in Ferguson, or of officer Pantelo for the strangulation of Eric Garner justice would remain elusive. As long as police have license to kill Black and Brown men and women, and as long as people of color are economically marginalized,
and state policies that intimidate, harass, criminalize and result in the imprisonment of targeted Black and Brown people persist there is no justice, no peace! Thenjiwe McHarris discusses the significance of the protest movement in Ferguson and of UN Hearing she recently attended
in Geneva where Ferguson was being discussed by The United Nations Committee Against Torture which heard testimony by Michael Brown’s parents.
Four for Four...Even in "Red States"
the Electorate’s Push to Raise the Minimum Wage“
Peter Davis, campaign activist for Time for a Raise campaign,
a project of Ralph Nader's Center for the Study of Responsive Law
Paco Fabián , with the Good Jobs Nation an organization of low-wage workers employed by government contractors who are joining together to urge President Obama to use Executive Orders to give them a living wage and a voice on the job. The Good Jobs Nation campaign is supported by a coalition of national faith and advocacy organizations, including the NAACP, Demos, Interfaith Worker Justice, Change to Win.
After last week’s election disaster, there’s some good news, in the
minimum wage wins through ballot initiatives are sending a clear message: Americans across the political spectrum want to raise the minimum wage. Now the electorate along with congressional progressives and allies are demanding more Presidential action to help low-wage workers and boost the economy. Buoying this message in support of a rise in the minimum wage Peter Davis and Ralph Nader just co-wrote a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which states: "Buried underneath the coverage of the Democrats’ second midterm 'shalackin' in a row is a stark public sentiment
that provides a path forward for your caucuses during the upcoming lame duck session... a minimum wage raise passed in every state in which it was on the ballot.
Chris Hedges: Poverty, Racism & Policing, Mass Incarceration, Resistance & Social Transformation - 28:30
Poverty, Racism & Policing, Mass Incarceration, Resistance
and Social Transformation
Christopher Hedges, author of twelve books, including the best seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt,” New York Times
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, the recipient of Amnesty International's Global Award for Human Rights Journalism, Truthdig columnist, educator behind the walls of the US prison system, and activist. This important public intellectual, and activist Chris Hedges gives a rousing analysis of increasing poverty and how our racist system has used policing and mass incarceration, but as well the resistance of those targeted and the struggle for social
BP May Be Fined Up to $18 Billion
for “Willful Misconduct” for Spill in Gulf
Antonia Juhasz, an oil and energy analyst, author, journalist and activist. She has authored several books, including Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill, Juhasz is currently writing a feature article for Harper's Magazine on the impacts of the disaster on the deep ocean following her participation in a submarine dive to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico at the site of the spill
Federal Judge Barbier held that BP routinely put profit over prudence, people, safety, and the environment and the result was and remains catastrophic in the four years since the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig which killed 11 workers and sent millions of barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
Celebrating Sonia Sanchez on her Eightieth Birthday
Jessica Care Moore, internationally renowned poet, publisher,
playwright, performance artist,
Now, a tribute to the beloved world renowned poet, humanitarian, scholar, and activist Sonia Sanchez on her eightieth birthday with Jessica Care Moore, and a special message to all of us from Sonia Sanchez
Poet, playwright, mother, scholar, lecturer and peace activist, Sonia Sanchez is a renowned force of nature respected in literary and activist communities all over the world and by people of all races, identities, ages & backgrounds. In 2011, Sanchez was selected as the first poet laureate of Philadelphia. She is the author of more than 20 books, and has been awarded countless awards and honors, including the 1985 American Book Award for Homegirls and Handgrenades. She is also the Poetry Society of America’s 2001
Robert Frost Medalist. She was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University and she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English at the university. She came of age in NYC during the Black Arts and Black Power Movements of the 1960s and ’70s. Currently based in Philadelphia, the former Harlemite is regarded as the Godmother of the Black Arts Movement. The late Maya Angelou heralded her as “a lion in literature’s forest.” Today’s poets, writers, hip-hop artists, grassroots activists, and public servants alike point to her work as their guiding light. “She opened the door for everything we do,” says hip-hop artist Talib Kweli.
Beyond the Climate March - Flood Wall Street
Anne Petermann, Exec. Dir., The Global Justice Ecology Project, just released the report "Green Shock Doctrine" and runs the climate-connections.org blog
Petermann said : The Global Climate "march brought together a diverse mix of constituencies from anti-capitalists to Indigenous Peoples to representatives from communities impacted by climate change both in the U.S. and around the world. Each had their own set of demands, but the overarching theme was the need to build power from the grassroots and stop relying on governments and the UN to do this for us. Hundreds to possibly a few thousand of these folks will be taking part in the Flood Wall Street direct action to bring attention to the real culprits of climate change, and to expose the corporate capture of the UN." Petermann recently wrote the piece: "Confronting Climate Catastrophe: Direct Action is the Antidote for Despair: Or, Why the UN is Worse than Useless and we need to Flood Wall Street!"
On the Count, Using, Not Doing Time:
A Truly Amazing, Authentic African American History Lesson
Marshal "Eddie" Conway
Marshal "Eddie" Conway a veteran of The Black Panther Party
was held as a political prisoner for four decades in a government
frame-up. But whether behind the walls or now back in the
community after his recent release, Convey exemplifies the
power of love. He is a theoretician, who melds his knowledge
with activism, to prove that the educational key to self-growth
and realization lies within the collective process of striving for
human rights and fundamental change wherever you are.
Darden Restaurant Workers Facing Layoffs Fight Back; Eliminating NY's Tipped Sub-Minimum Wage - 28'
Facing Thousands of Layoffs , Olive Garden, and other Darden
Workers Prepare to Take Direct Action
Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director, ROC United
Starboard Value, a hedge fund continuing to increase its control over the Darden restaurant chain, just released a 300 page presentation on the future of Olive Garden, franchising out the company, increasing part-time scheduling, and thousands of lay-offs.Starboard Value and Darden Restaurants have continued to ignore the requests of a petition, singed by thousands of Darden employees to meet with leadership from both the hedge-fund and restaurant company. The petition also calls attention to problematic labor practices, including the company’s elimination of auto-gratuities on large parties, unpredictable scheduling, and wages that
are unable to sustain a family. Darden Restaurants’ Inc employs more than 130,000 people across the U.S. The company’s annual shareholders’ meeting is confirmed to take place on October 10th in Orlando, Florida. Employees are planning direct action in New York City before the shareholders’ meeting .
Eliminating NY’s Tipped Sub-Minimum Wage
Paul Sonn, General Counsel, Ntl. Employment Law Project (NELP)
Marking a new front in the fight for fair pay for low-wage workers in NY a new coalition of women’s leaders, food delivery workers, and low-wage tipped workers are calling for an end to the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers by the Cuomo administration’s Wage Board charged with recommending an increase in the state’s tipped sub-minimum wage. A new report by NELP finds that a Wage Order eliminating the tipped sub-minimum wage would benefit an estimated 229,000 low-wage tipped workers. The minimum wage for thousands of tipped food service workers remains stuck at just $5.00/hr. (tipped hotel workers earn slightly
higher at $5.65 per hour). In many states the tipped minimum is far lower
Posted in Cuomo minimum wage, Darden Workers, Layoffs Olive Garden, National Employment Law Project, Paul Sonn, ROC New York Darden, Saru Jayaraman darden, tipped minimum wage new York » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Exciting Labor Highlights From Sunday's Peoples Climate March
With our future on the line and the whole world watching, labor and community groups joined forces to take a stand to bend the course of history. And as the people took to the streets to demand that the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities, we were there. Building Bridges was there to now bring you labor voices from the Peoples Climate March .
SOS, Save Our Planet: The Peoples Climate March and Beyond
Christian Parenti, professor of sustainable development at the
School for International Training, Graduate Institute. He is a
contributing editor to the Nation and the author of four books,
the most recent being Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence
Mary Sweeters, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner and Coordinator in the Global Climate March. She has spent the last seven years at Greenpeace organizing numerous communities around climate change. She participated in an action hanging a giant banner on Mt. Rushmore to call out Pres. Obama to take action on climate change and especially to raise awareness of the meltdown of the Arctic ice caps and the dangers of Arctic oil drilling.
The massive Peoples Climate March is a turning point in the
demand for an economy that works for people and the planet; a
world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good
jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities, we’ll dialogue
with Christian Parenti and youth activist Mary Sweeters who has
helped build support for the march and beyond to incorporate an
environmental justice agenda in all of our endeavors. To change
everything, we need everybody!