On December 21st of last year, as many across the world were speculating about the end of the Mayan calendar, 40,000 actual Mayans marched silently into five cities in Chiapas, Mexico, putting the Zapatistas and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) back into the forefront of grassroots political discourse the world over, and mainstream political discourse in Mexico. A stream of provocative communiques from the EZLN's spokesperson, Subcomandante Marcos, have followed.
In “Not in my Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City,” former Sun reporter and editor Antero Pietila focuses in on one facet of Baltimore’s history: namely, how housing patterns have evolved in Baltimore City along racial and religious lines over the last hundred years. With a journalist’s eye for detail, Pietila describes many colorful characters involved in the real estate scene, including politicians, civic leaders, bureaucrats, homeowners, developers and agents. For local activists, the book provides food for thought about an issue that strikes close to home, if you will forgive the pun.
It’s hard to ever miss out on any opportunity to share footage of Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire. But I’m not sure if this, or the evidence of his many other blunders (him falling over into a river was particularly enjoyable) can really be used to show the kind of idiot he is. Truth is that the people of London (who refer to him simply as “Boris”) have twice chosen to elect a clownish mascot for their mayor, and for years he has cunningly used his own clumsiness to further his political career.
On January 14th, 2013, Indyreader posted an announcement from editor Corey Reidy, that our allies at The United Workers (UW) were facing eviction from their offices in Southwest Baltimore due to development by the University of Baltimore system. We stated:
In financial terms, the Veterans Administration (VA) and commercial insurance companies are totally different. One, a government funded institution, cares for all recently returned and disabled veterans. The other, a market-based approach, offers only the services patients can afford. Nevertheless, patients in both systems are angry. They aren’t getting the services they need. I spoke with veterans and civilians about their experiences in these bureaucracies and discovered strikingly similar barriers to health care.
On January 22, the Maryland Court of Appeals threw out the last remaining legal case brought against the planned development known as 25th Street Station. Like most previous attempts by critics of the project—a handful of community and business groups—the recent ruling never addressed the real issue behind the entire controversy: whether or not local businesses would suffer from the appearance of a retail giant like Walmart.
My mother was the oldest of 5 children, raised in a small apartment in the Bronx. Her immigrant parents had no opportunity to go to college, and were very proud of her when she graduated near the top of her class and got a full scholarship to study math at Mercy College.
On a brutally cold Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 23, 2013, members of Unite Here Local 7, along with a few of their Social Justice activists, staged a picket line on the sidewalk outside of Morgan State U. in Baltimore, MD. The unionized food workers, employed by Thompson Hospitality at the university, have “gone without a raise since 2007,” according to Local 7’s press release.
Dovetail is an interview series that focuses on the subject of social movements, with special attention given to movement-building here in the Baltimore area. As the title suggests, a major aim of the series will be to look at where the various activist-efforts taking place in Baltimore fit together, reinforce each other, intersect, etc. Here, in the second instalment of Dovetail, I interview Kate Khatib, a founder and current worker-owner at Red Emma's. Here, Khatib discusses the ideological foundations for Red Emma's, the project's relationship to the broader Baltimore public, its role in movement-building in Baltimore, and the significance of its upcoming move to 30 West North Avenue.