Economic Justice

At a rally organized by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers last thursday, May 30, students stand alongside their teachers, defiant and strong, to protest the closing of 23 more of Philadelphia's public schools and the gutting of school services. Photo by: Iris Kirsch.

Last month, hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians, mostly high school students, took to the streets to protest the closing of twenty-three schools and the discontinuation of vital programs such as athletic and arts activities, nurses and mental health counselors, and school libraries.

The Negro Baseball League was established in 1920. (Image source: nj.com)

To learn about American society, one should study baseball. There's no wonder baseball is called the national pastime: it is undisputedly the greatest game ever invented. It is a simple game, yet cerebral. Watching a game is like watching a scene to a great play. The box score is insignificant over a game or two; however, over a period of months you see patterns and developments.

Despite an overcast sky, interspersed with occasional rain showers, social justice advocates joined together in solidarity on Saturday morning, May 11 around 10 AM in Baltimore, Maryland, to launch the “Poor Peoples Campaign.” The plan was for the activists, numbering in the hundreds, to rally at the East Baltimore site (Biddle St. and Montford Ave.) and then march out of the city along Route 1 (Washington Blvd.), untill they reached, later that day - College Park, Maryland.

This past week, Gar Alperovitz, author of America Beyond Capitalism, spoke at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. Alperovitz spoke about his new book, What Then Must We Do? Democratizing Wealth and Building a Community-Sustaining Economy from the Ground Up, and described the potential of worker-owned enterprises in the US to build a political movement and challenge the trend of neoliberal capitalism.

Global capitalism, based on corporate power and militarism, is destroying our economy, our society and our planet. Economic democracy that economically empowers people and communities allows us to share the resources of the planet for the welfare of everyone. Discover positive examples of economic democracy that are taking place in Latin America and in the United States.

Alicia Kirkland and Michele Decker (seated) at Trading Safety for Violence event. (Photo by Bonnie Lane)

I attended a serious event Wednesday called Trading Safety For Survival. The Facebook event depicts it as “A Conversation about Violence Against Women in the Sex Trade and the Police Who are Asked to Protect them.”

It was sponsored by Power Inside. According to their flyer, Power Inside is “a nonprofit program for women impacted by incarceration, street life and abuse. Our services help women build self-sufficiency, heal from violence and avoid future criminal justice contact.”

Poor People’s Campaign marching to DC. Photo by T.C. Hall Media.

Regular Indy Reader contributor, Bonnie Lane provides an account of her experience in the 2013 Poor People’s Campaign and March, which was kicked-off on Friday, May 10. As Lane explains, the campaign was inspired by the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign that was led by Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Like its predecessor, the 2013 Poor People's Campaign aimed to advance the cause of economic and human rights.

Image source: hbo.com

Although The Wire is utterly brilliant in depicting the parallel hierarchies of power across organizations and the connections from City Hall to the loading docks to streets, there is one critical group missing from the show: progressive activists and advocates. Our progressive activism and advocacy for sustainability and social justice bears witness to the fact that we do not adhere to notions of preordination; nor do we subscribe to the supremacy of modern city institutions. City institutions in Baltimore continue to create negative outcomes because we have not built and sustained the social movements and organizations necessary to hold them accountable and compel them to be responsive to the needs of the people.

May Day 2013 in NYC Photo By: Joshua Stephens

It was still mild enough such that light sleeves or a hoodie were sufficient, when Occupy Wall Street first stepped out with the major labor unions as Fall stretched its legs in 2011. The jog between Foley Square and Zuccotti Park can be put at spitting distance, without much exaggeration, but a march was staged between the two, nonetheless.

John Holloway. Photo from: kootation.com

As the 2013 Left Forum Conference draws near, we remember a speech given at last year's Left Forum (2012). Renowned professor, sociologist, and philosopher John Holloway inspired and transfixed us all. Attached is the audio from this incredible call-to-action speech, as well as a transcribed portion of his moving words.

Audio By: Corey Reidy

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