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NEW BLOG ON SOCIAL NETWORK UNIONISM

Social Network Unionism Blog: http://snuproject.wordpress.com/

About the SNU Project

Social Network Unionism Project is not only about the rise in the recent developments in P2P technology, the phenomenon called Web 2.0, and conceptualising the transformatory impact of these technical developments on unions at national and international levels, and labour movement in general. Besides defining the concept of SNU, by looking closely to the existing practices within and without established unions and labour organisations, the project also aims at promoting a new type of working class organisation that takes online and real world social, peer to peer networking principles into the core of its existence.

The idea is based on the premise that the development in the mentioned communication and media technology since 2004 onwards has created new organisational capacities for networks. There are already astonishing experiments taking place in the field, from whose successes and failures we can learn and upon them we can build new models; not only to grow in members and fight back stronger but also to form wider alliances and start building new social, economic and political norms and cultures bottom up.

Based on these insights our objective is to explore further on the potential of SNU concept, in terms of reaching out the unorganisible, activating organised rank and file, making direct democracy a reality, and bridging as much transformatory social forces as possible through this blog. We hope to such concept and effort would contribute to the global process of union revitalization and may be further to the general emancipation of labour from ‘work’, as feed for the greed for private profit and power.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Socialism and Hope

LEFT FORUM: HAYMARKET AND ISR PANELS

The Center for Economic Research and Social Change, www.cersc.org, and our projects Haymarket Books and the International Socialist Review are sponsoring and are featured in several panels at this year’s Left Forum: http://www.leftforum.org

The following panels are sponsored by the International Socialist Review or Haymarket Books or feature a Haymarket Book author.

For more information, check out www.haymarketbooks.org and www.isreview.org.

Also, check out Socialism 2011, July 1-4, Chicago, sponsored by CERSC.  More info at:  www.socialismconference.org.

An Eyewitness Report: The Revolution in Egypt
Sponsored by: International Socialist Review
Ahmed Shawki – International Socialist Review
Anand Gopal – independent journalist, reports for Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal
Mostafa Omar – International Socialist Organization
Sharif Abdel Kouddous – Democracy Now!
Ayman Mohyeldin – Al Jazeera English Correspondent
Jennifer Roesch – International Socialist Review, Chair
**Ahmed Shawki is the author of Black Liberation and Socialism http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Black-Liberation-and-Socialism
**Mostafa Omar is a contributor to The Struggle for Palestine
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Struggle-for-Palestine

Capital’s War on Labor, Labor’s Civil Wars
Sponsored by: Haymarket Books; Labor Notes; Monthly Review Press; National Union of Healthcare Workers
Ellen David Friedman – International Joint Center for Labor Research, Sun Yat-sen University, Labor Notes
Jon Flanders – IAM/RWU
Michael Yates – Monthly Review
Sal Rosselli – NUHW
Steve Early – Former Communications Workers of America organizer
**Steve Early is the author of Civil Wars in US Labor
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Civil-Wars-in-US-Labor

Capitalism and Education: A Marxist Discourse on What We’re Fighting Against and What We’re Fighting For
Sponsored by: International Socialist Review
Brian Jones – Grassroots Education Movement, SocialistWorker.org
Jean Anyon – CUNY Graduate Center
Jeff Bale – Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University
Megan Behrent – International Socialist Organization, Grassroots Education Movement
Sarah Knopp – member of United Teachers of Los Angeles
**Sarah Knopp and Jeff Bale are the authors the forthcoming Capitalism and Education from Haymarket Books

The Betrayal of Haiti
Sponsored by: Haiti Liberte and The International Socialist Review
Ashley Smith – International Socialist Review, UNAC
Edna Bonhomme – International Socialist Organization,
Kim Ives – Haiti Liberte
Ray Laforest – Union organizer
Roger Leduc – Haitian Coalition to Support the Struggle KAKOLA, University of London-Goldsmiths

The Left Challenge to the Democratic Party
Dan La Botz – Solidarity and the Socialist Party; Buckeye Socialist ] Network
David McReynolds – Socialist Party
Gloria Mattera – Gloria Mattera
Howie Hawkins – Green Party
**Howie Hawkins is the editor of Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Independent-Politics-The-Green-Party-Strategy-Debate

The Left Debates the Democratic Party

Sponsored by: New Politics and Socialist Worker
Carl Davidson – Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism,
Erin Chun – Solidarity
Lance Selfa – Author, The Democrats: A Critical History; columnist, Socialist Worker.org; International Socialist Organization
Michael Hirsch – Democratic Socialists of America
**Lance Selfa is the author of The Democrats: A Critical History
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Democrats-A-Critical-History

Understanding and Responding to the Tea Party Threat
Sponsored by: Black Agenda Report
Glen Ford – Black Agenda Report
Lance Selfa – ISO/Socialist Worker/International Socialist Review
Pam Chamberlain-Political Research Associates
Paul Street – Independent author and essayist
**Lance Selfa is the author of The Democrats: A Critical History
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Democrats-A-Critical-History

Lenin’s Marxism
Chris Cutrone – The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Ian Morrison – Platypus Affiliated Society
Lars T Lih – Independent Researcher
Paul Le Blanc – LaRoche College
**Lars Lih is the author of Lenin Rediscovered:  What is to be Done? In Context
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Lenin-Rediscovered-What-Is-to-Be-Done-In-Context

Obama’s Imperial Policy in the Middle East and South Asia
Sponsored by: United National Antiwar Committee
Anand Gopal – and Reporter for Wall Street Journal
Ashley Smith – International Socialist Review, UNAC
Issam Aburaya – Seton Hall University
Michael Schwartz – Stony Brook University
* Saadia Toor-Action for a Progressive Pakistan, Pakistan Solidarity Network, Staten Island College
**Michael Schwartz is the author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Context
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/War-Without-End-The-Iraq-War-in-Context

Creating Leverage: Non-Electoral Strategies for Change in the Obama Era
Kevin Young-SUNY Stony Brook
Michael Schwartz – SUNY Stony Brook
Michael Zweig – Center for Study of Working Class Life – SUNY Stony Brook
Steve Early – Former Communications Workers of America organizer, Author, Embedded With Organized Labor
Tod Ensign – Citizen Soldier
**Michael Schwartz is the author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Context
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/War-Without-End-The-Iraq-War-in-Context
**Steve Early is the author of Civil Wars in US Labor
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Civil-Wars-in-US-Labor

Taking Back The Teamsters & Telephone Worker Unions: Case Studies in Rank-and-file Insurgency – Then and Now
Sponsored by: Labor Notes; Verso
Dan La Botz – Solidarity and the Socialist Party, Buckeye Socialist Network
Pam Galpern – Labor Notes
Steve Early – Former Communications Workers of America organizer
**Steve Early is the author of Civil Wars in US Labor
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Civil-Wars-in-US-Labor

What’s The Matter With Organized Labor Leaders?
Christian Parenti – CUNY
Mark Brenner – Director of Labor Notes, East Coast Office
Robert Fitch – Professor, LaGuardia Community College
Sheila Cohen – University of Hertfordshire, UK
Steve Early – author, Embedded With Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home
**Steve Early is the author of Civil Wars in US Labor
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Civil-Wars-in-US-Labor

Capitalism’s Terminal Crisis : Economic Causes, Ecological Consequences, Radical Responses Sponsored by: Praxis
Bertell Ollman – Department of Politics, New York University
Michael Lowy – New Anti-Capitalist Party, Paris
Richard Greeman – Victor Serge Foundation, Montpellier, France
Robert Fitch – New Politics
**Michael Lowy is the author of The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx and The Politcs of Combined and Uneven Development: The Theory of Permanent Revolution
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Theory-of-Revolution-in-Young-Marx
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Politics-of-Combined-and-Uneven-Development

Developing Capitalist Countries and Sustainability
Michael Lowy – CNRS in Paris
Nancy Holmstrom – Left Forum and EIN Eco-socialist International Network
Pritam Singh – Oxford University
Richard Smith – Historian and Independent Scholar
**Michael Lowy is the author of The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx and The Politcs of Combined and Uneven Development: The Theory of Permanent Revolution
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Theory-of-Revolution-in-Young-Marx
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Politics-of-Combined-and-Uneven-Development

Roundtable: The Anticapitalist Left in the World Today
Baris Karaagac – Praksis – Turkey, Fudan University, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju
Johanna Brenner – Solidarity; Sociology, Portland State University
Marcello Musto – York University, Toronto, Canada
Michael Krätke – Sozialistische Politik und Wirtschaft – Germany
Michael Löwy – Contretemps – France
Richard D. Wolff – New School, Rethinking Marxism
Seongjin Jeong – Marxism 21, South Korea
Shuangli Zhang – Contemporary Marxism Review, China
Teivo Teivainen – Globalizations, Finland, USA
**Michael Lowy is the author of The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx and The Politcs of Combined and Uneven Development: The Theory of Permanent Revolution
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Theory-of-Revolution-in-Young-Marx
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Politics-of-Combined-and-Uneven-Development

Excluded Workers: Building a Labor Movement for the Twenty-First Century
Erica Smiley – Jobs with Justice
Frances Fox Piven – CUNY Graduate Center
Harmony Goldberg – CUNY Graduate Center
Linda Abad – Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Premilla Nadasen – Queens College
Saket Soni – New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice
**Frances Fox Piven wrote the introduction for The Lean Years and The Turbulent Years, A History of the American Worker
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Lean-Years
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Turbulent-Years

Howard Zinn: Toward a Politics of Solidarity Within the Academy and Among the Citizenry
Adam Silver – Boston University
Ambre Ivol – La Sorbonne Nouvelle
Christopher Robinson – Clarkson University
Frances Fox Piven – CUNY Graduate Center
Joshua C. Yesnowitz – Boston University
Stephen Bird – Clarkson University
**Frances Fox Piven wrote the introduction for The Lean Years and The Turbulent Years, A History of the American Worker
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Lean-Years
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Turbulent-Years

Leadership and The Limits of Demands: The 2010 Daniel Singer Millennium Prize
Frances Fox Piven – CUNY Graduate Center
Kim Moody – University of Hertfordshire, UK
Sheila Cohen – Work and Employment Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire
Suzi Weissman – Saint Mary’s College of California, Critique
**Frances Fox Piven wrote the introduction for The Lean Years and The Turbulent Years, A History of the American Worker
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Lean-Years
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Turbulent-Years

The Future of American Liberalism?

Sponsored by: Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture
Benjamin Barber – Demos
Frances Fox Piven – Political Science and Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
Gregory Smulewicz – Zucker
Stanley Aronowitz – Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
**Frances Fox Piven wrote the introduction for The Lean Years and The Turbulent Years, A History of the American Worker
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Lean-Years
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Turbulent-Years

The Tea Party and the Media
Frances Fox Piven – CUNY Graduate Center
Glen Ford – Black Agenda Report
Laura Flanders – GritTV
Peter Dreier – Occidental College
Richard Kim – The Nation
**Frances Fox Piven wrote the introduction for The Lean Years and The Turbulent Years, A History of the American Worker
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Lean-Years
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/The-Turbulent-Years

How to Achieve Solidarity in the Electoral Arena – A Debate
Howie Hawkins – Green Party
Margaret Kimberley – Black Agenda Report
Ralph Poynter – Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
Steve Cobble – Progressive Democrats of America
**Howie Hawkins is the editor of Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Independent-Politics-The-Green-Party-Strategy-Debate

Lessons From the Third-Party Campaign Taill: What’s It Like To Be A Green, WFP, or Vermont Progressive Party Candidate

Sponsored by: WorkingUSA
Howie Hawkins – Green Party
Martha Abbot – Vermont Progressive Party
Rand Wilson – Working Families Party–Massachusetts
**Howie Hawkins is the editor of Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Independent-Politics-The-Green-Party-Strategy-Debate

The Resistance Dilemma in Latin America: Relationships Between Social Movements and States
Sponsored by: Toward Freedom
Adrienne Pine – American University
April Howard – Upside Down World
Ben Dangl – Toward Freedom
Gabriela Uassouf – School of the Americas Watch
Marina Sitrin – Writer, Lawyer, Teacher
**Ben Dangl is the author of El Precio del Fuego: Las luchas porlos recursoo naturales y los moviemientos sociales en Bolivia
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/El-Precio-del-Fuego

Worker control and factory occupations, global South and North
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society
Dario Azzellini – Johann Kepler University
Immanuel Ness – Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society
James Gray Pope – Rutgers University Law School
Kari Lydersen – Journalist and Author
Marina Sitrin – SUNY Old Westbury
Peter Knowlton – United Electrical Workers
**Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini are the authors of the forthcoming Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/search?keys=Azzellini

Venezuela and the Chavez Government: Advances and Shortcomings
Dario Azzellini – Johannes Kepler Universität, Austria
Isabel Delgado – Ministry of Basic Industries and Mines, Venezuela
Mark Weisbrot – Center for Economic and Policy Research
Steve Ellner – Universidad del Oriente
**Dario Azzellini, along with Immanuel Ness, are the authors of the forthcoming Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/search?keys=Azzellini

Left Strategies to Exit the Crisis?
Sponsored by: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Christina Kaindl – Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Florian Moritz – Member of the German Bundestag
Gar Alperovitz – Democracy Collaborative
Immanuel Ness – Brooklyn College, CUNY
**Immanuel Ness, along with Dario Azzellini, are the authors of the forthcoming Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/search?keys=Azzellini

An “Ethnography” of The US Congress
Sponsored by: The Brooklyn Rail
Arthur Delaney – Huffington Post
Glenn Thrush – Politico
Max Blumenthal – The Nation Institute
Ryan Grim – Huffington Post
**Max Blumenthal is a contributor to Midnight on the Mavi Maramara
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Midnight-on-the-Mavi-Marmara

Capitalism, Climate Change and Social Conflicts
Brian Tokar – Director of the Vermont-based Institute for Social Ecology
Chris Williams – Pace University, Chemistry and Physical Science
Younes Abouyoub – Visiting researcher at Columbia University
**Chris Williams is the author of Ecology and Socialism
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Ecology-and-Socialism

Learning from the Tea Party
Sponsored by: The Indypendent
Abby Scher – Independent Journalist and Sociologist
Arun Gupta – Founding Editor, The Indypendent
Peter Bratsis – University of Salford
**Arun Gupta is a contributor to Midnight on the Mavi Maramara
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Midnight-on-the-Mavi-Marmara

The End of Whiteness: The History of an Idea
Anamaria Flores – Hostos Community College, CUNY
Arun Gupta – Founding Editor, The Indypendent
Nicholas Powers – SUNY Old Westbury, The Indypendent
**Arun Gutpa is a contributor to Midnight on the Mavi Maramara
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Midnight-on-the-Mavi-Marmara

Jewish solidarity with the Palestinian struggle
Adam Horowitz – Mondoweiss
Donna Nevel – Community psychologist and educator, Jews Say No
Elyse Crystall – Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA
Laurie Arbeiter – ART Activist Response Team, US to Gaza
Maya Wind – Shministim (Refusers)
Rebecca Vilkomerson – Jewish Voice for Peace
**Adam Horowitz is a contributor to Midnight on the Mavi Maramara
http://www.haymarketbooks.org/pb/Midnight-on-the-Mavi-Marmara

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Work No More

WORKERS OF THE WORLD

Workers of the World: Essays toward a Global Labor History

Marcel van der Linden

· November 2010
· ISBN 978 90 04 18479 4
· Paperback (viii, 469 pp.)
· List price EUR 45.- / US$ 60.-
· Studies in Global Social History; 1

http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=210&pid=44450

The studies offered in this volume contribute to a Global Labor History freed from Eurocentrism and methodological nationalism. Using literature from diverse regions, epochs and disciplines, the book provides arguments and conceptual tools for a different interpretation of history – a labor history which integrates the history of slavery and indentured labor, and which pays serious attention to diverging yet interconnected developments in different parts of the world. The following questions are central: What is the nature of the world working class, on which Global Labor History focuses? How can we define and demarcate that class, and which factors determine its composition? Which forms of collective action did this working class develop in the course of time, and what is the logic in that development? What can we learn from adjacent disciplines? Which insights from anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists are useful in the development of Global Labor History?

Readership: Social historians, labor historians, historians of slavery, historians of colonialism, historical sociologists

Marcel van der Linden (1952) is Research Director of the International Institute of Social History and Professor of social movement history at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on labor and working-class history and on the history of ideas.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Socialism and Hope

FIGHTING BACK: REBUILDING OUR MOVEMENT, RENEWING THE LEFT CONFERENCE

Fighting Back: Rebuilding Our Movements, Renewing the Left
2010 Solidarity Northeast Educational Conference
Friday, Nov. 19 – Saturday, Nov. 20, New York University

Sponsored by Solidarity: A Revolutionary Socialist, Feminist and  Anti-Racist Organization and the Radical Film and Lecture Series (NYU)

Conference website (Schedule, Logistics, Speakers and Registration): http://nysolidarity.org/2010conference

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged so we can anticipate childcare, housing and catering needs. If you have any questions, send an email to nyc@solidarity-us.org.

Download a promo leaflet for the conference here: http://nysolidarity.org/drupal/sites/default/files/fightingbackleaflet.pdf.

Confirmed speakers include:

David McNally (New Socialist Group, Canada)
Gilbert Achcar (Fourth International; Author of Arabs and the Holocaust)
Paul Street (Author of Empire’s New Clothes)
Cinzia Arruzza (Solidarity, New School)
Adriana Mulero (Comité de Estudiantes en Defensa de la Educación Pública, CEDEP; Unión de Juventudes Socialistas-Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores, Puerto Rico)
Blanca Misse (Student Worker Action Team, University of California-Berkeley)
Bill Zoda (Philadelphia Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals)
Steve Downs (Transport Workers Union Local 100)
Wes Strong (Defend Public Education)
Adaner Usmani (Labour Party Pakistan)

*Organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only

Solidarity and the Radical Film and Lecture Series bring you a weekend of discussion regarding the key issues that radical activists face today, as capitalism enters the third year of a profound crisis that has presented stark challenges to social movements and left organization.

Both the left and the ruling class struggle to find strategies that will see their side through the crisis, while workers and the oppressed continue to pay for the economic crisis and the endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But even as the crisis has exacted enormous cost from the working class and its organizations, popular struggles have emerged that we can not only celebrate but also learn from—that’s what this weekend is about. Drawing lessons and inspiration from the strikes and struggles that have marked this period and charting our course in a difficult political terrain.

Join us for a weekend of debate and discussion about where movements have gone in the wake of the biggest crisis in seventy years, the role of the anti-capitalist left in rebuilding mass movements that can win—and the political renewal that is necessary for left politics to become relevant in a world marked by the resurgence of the right.

Conference Program

Main Sessions:

Two Years In: Socialist Activists and the Crisis
Obama’s America: Resistance at Home and Abroad
Rebuilding the Movements, Renewing the Left

The conference will also feature workshops on The Labor Movement • Defending Higher Education • Public Sector Fightback • The Rise of the Right and more

Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided by the conference organizers and are included in registration costs.

Free housing, childcare and meals provided.

Travel subsidies available for Solidarity members and friends in the Northeast region

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

A World To Win

THE EDUCATION AGENDA IS A WAR AGENDA

The NEA Representative Assembly Proves the Education Agenda is a War Agenda
by Rich Gibson, July 20101

Rank and File Summary

The 2010 Representative Assembly (RA) of the 3.2 million member National Education Association offers clear proof that the U.S. education agenda is a war agenda. It is an empire’s war agenda and a class war agenda. NEA demonstrated that its massive leadership structure of 8,174 delegates approves of the U.S. education agenda and expects to be paid for it. Top NEA leaders will be paid especially well. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will be paid more than $450,000 (less than his predecessor, Reg Weaver, who was paid $686,949 for his last year of service).

Lesser NEA officers and delegate leaders are willing to exchange support for American wars in trade for jobs and income.

The NEA RA slogan, “Hope into Action,” really means, again, “Hope into Hype.”

Given that schools are centripetally positioned in North American life, especially considering decades of de-industrialization, teachers are well positioned to struggle for equality and social justice but their largest organization, NEA, and its leaders, determined to drive that potential into the electoral arena, into voting booths, where capital’s favorite question, “What about ME?” dominates every decision- a dead end useful to labor mis-leaders as it:

* keeps the rank and file busy,

* appeals to illusions about democracy in a nation where capitalism tramples pluralism,

* and creates the appearance of powerful action in place of organizing in schools and communities for direct action, strikes, that could lead to sustainable control: real power.

The massive NEA, the largest union in the country, by far, has a budget of $357,993,880, and is going to devote its efforts to continue to support what has rapidly become a corporate state. That budget is a big win for NEA tops who exchange their control over the rank and file, thus labor peace, for dues income offered in the form of check-off operated by employers.

This Devil’s deal provides a very good life for a few. It will lead to more layoffs, wage and benefit cuts, less academic freedom, and the continued organized decay of what passes for “public education,” but is in reality segregated Race to the Top-run mis-education preparing most youths for endless war and bad jobs, or no jobs.

In 2009, the San Diego RA glowed with photos and videos of Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Indeed, Van Roekel hugged Duncan, as I reported in Substance News. There was no reminder this year of Obama Chief of Staff Emanuel’s comment about why schools exist: “They’re conveyor belts for the economy.”

This year, NEA, which poured millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars into the demagogue’s campaign, erased Obama’s and Duncan faces and, dodging direct personal attacks proposed by delegates, criticized only their polices. Specifically, Van Roekel dragged out the old liberal saw:

“If we are not the activists in politics, we will be the victims of politics,” Van Roekel warned the delegates. “ We simply cannot sit it out. There is too much at stake!” Van Roekel remains proud that the White House still lets him in. Nevertheless, Van Roekel had to acknowledge a growing movement opposed to the blind canyon of electoral work, demanding organizing for substantive, to-the-root, change.

NEA competes on par with US corporations in campaign funding. The union, or “professional association,” as many prefer, raised $1,552, 585 so far in 2010. We’re but six months in.

Van Roekel’s  threat to those who created the NCLB-in-hyper-speed Race to the Top (Ratt), meaning the Obama/Duncan team? Send a post card, in fact, a lot of postcards! Power! Hope! Action?

The most glaring example of the NEA bosses’ dedication to an education program devoted to war was their determination to crush Legislative Amendment.13. The text which has been deleted from the NEA RA web site reads:

“NEA opposes any war funding bill designed to continue our military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq even if it has riders with educational components. The Rationale: The best way to fund our schools and employ our teachers is to end our wars and direct that funding to education. Submitted by Tom Wolfe, Iowa, and 50 delegates.”

That motion was defeated, overwhelmingly.

NEA offered its authoritative director of governmental relations to make the opposing case: “If this passes, we would oppose saving members’ jobs.”

NEA delegates shut down debate about every anti-war motion, and defeated several, but for one which suggests a withdrawal with no specific target date: essentially weaker than the lie Obama presents about July, 2011.

NEA rejected a call for a Day of Strikes and Action on October 7th , the call from the March 4th committees, ad hoc groups that shut down thousands of schools that day in 2010, involved hundreds of thousands of new activists with a critique of capital and war that offers a glimmer of hope.

While there were clear indications of rising dissent in the union, as with the need to hide the memory of Van Roekel hugging Arne Duncan, NEA delegates, chose to severely limit debate about war and inequality. However, they did spent a notable 24 minutes debating whether to adopt the term, “staph,” or “staphylococcus,” in one motion.

The power of the chair, the ability to control NEA employees, and dangle jobs or promotions before delegates, worked well to divert attention to trivia while what can only be called fascism evolved within and without the convention hall. An organization with a culture more than 150 years deep finds old habits hard to upend.

NEA mis-leaders repeatedly urged delegates to “focus,” meaning, take on a cycloptic view that isolates schools from society and, at base, look out for yourself, be one of those thousands of forms of selfishness that keeps capital afloat. Their “focus” seeks to freeze images of emerging change and disconnect the ties of war, exploitation, requisite assaults on reason to produce obedience and loyal subjects, and schooling.

The core issue of our time is the real promise of perpetual war coupled with rising, color-coded, inequality met by the potential of mass, class-conscious resistance which will, clearly now, have to fight its way through a union bureaucracy willing to use money, deception, illusions, and force, in order to defend the system of capital, its wars, and now, demolition of the earth itself.

Tomorrow and in coming days in Substance, a detailed, day-to-day, analysis of the RA, NEA culture, and thoughts for future NEA activists and delegates.

The RA adjourned July 6th, at 7:28 on my watch. See you in Chicago for the 2011 RA. And good luck to us, every one.

Rich Gibson

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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