Economic Justice

Veterans protest the deployment of traumatized soldiers. (Source:

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.

Computer-generated image of the future 25th Street Station. (source:

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.

Sam Pizzigati presents "The Rich Don't Always Win" at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse. Photo By: Kelvin Pittman

Sam Pizzigati details the history of the American plutocracy's rise and fall and rise over the course of the 20th century at Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse on the evening of January 27, 2013.

Students protest tuition hikes. Source: CNN.

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.

Image Design by Ananda La Vita

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.

The dialogue looked at lessons from the past, focusing on Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign of 1968 and the transformation from Civil to Human Rights. Photo by: Casey McKeel.

Indyreader Contributers Iris Kirsch and Casey McKeel celebrated Dr. King's birthdays at the United Worker's Strategic Dialogue. The United Workers have a ten year legacy in Baltimore as low wage workers leading the way to poverty's end. We invite you to share the event with us, in words and pictures.

President Barack Obama and his family at 2009 inaugeration. Photo by: EPA

Today, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama will be publicly sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States. For many, the election of President Obama signified a break with the past, a new era of "Hope" and "Change". Although Obama promised us a lot in the lead-up to his election, his appeal to liberals and progressives came from much more than his policies and campaign promises.

Let's start with a website. Visit and you'll find a glowing description of responsible urban development, of a large institution acting benevolently, even munificently, to lift up a troubled neighborhood, mired in generations of poverty, and bringing prosperity back to a decaying city. This is a good story, and one that postindustrial cities, clinging to their “anchor institutions,” are increasingly vocal in telling.


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