April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

Members of The United Workers and their supporters march through the streets of Baltimore. Photo source: www.nesri.org

An obstacle for the left is the difficulty in organizing due to the splintered causes. After all, what do LGBTQ rights have to do with immigration, or low wages, or Healthcare? I think the answer is human dignity. Those ideas—humanism, dignity, a life free from slavery, formal or mental—illuminate a common ground for the Left that has been splintered and muted. There are signs of a pulse of a larger Human Rights movement here in Maryland.

Baltimore Central Booking, 300 E. Madison Street. Photo source: commons.wikimedia.org

James MacArthur, the “Baltimore Spectator”, gives a firsthand account of how the City's detention system moves inmates from Central Bookings to the courtroom. His handwritten letter describes the overnight ritual of sleep deprivation and degrading treatment that precedes a detainee's appearance in court. MacArthur himself, repeatedly denied bail for misdemeanor charges, has been held in Central Booking since his arrest on 1 December 2012.

Red Emma's is moving! Poster By: Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse

Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse often describes itself as your local, friendly, radical infoshop. Named in honor of the famous anarchist, feminist, activist hero Emma Goldman, Red Emma’s (often affectionately referred to simply as “Emma’s”), as part of the infoshop movement, has always worked to keep her firebrand legacy alive and well via knowledge sharing, envisioning, and creating. A collective-motto of sorts is Emma Goldman’s quote: “The most violent element in society is ignorance.”

FORCE memorializes survivors of sexual violence in Washington, DC. Photo By: Casey McKeel

This past year, rape has dominated the headlines. From front-page coverage of the Penn State trials to Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment to international outcry about gang rape in India to national focus on Steubenville, talking about rape—a long-silenced topic—is finally a mainstream conversation. We are in a unique cultural moment where the ever-present epidemic of sexual violence is being recognized.

At the Parkview Recreation Center in West Baltimore, on Thursday evening, April 18, 2013, the Rev. Dr. Minister Paris J. Evans served as the host and one of the speakers at the “CODE RED” community-based outreach meeting. The program was mainly focused on addressing the issues of “poverty, the crime rate . . . and reducing homicides in targeted areas, while assisting the crime victims.”

Last week, Indyreader published the first hour of the Baltimore City Council Labor Committee Hearing on the Hyatt labor peace resolution held last Thursday, March 14, 2013. Part II highlights testimonies during the second hour of the hearing. Among those who testified were Unite Here Local 7 organizer Tracy Lingo, Hyatt workers Mike Jones, Regina Davis and Baker Best, Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic priest Fr. Ty Hullinger, Baltimore NAACP President Tessa Aston-Hill, community activist Duane Davis, and LIUNA Local 33 member James Commander.

Students and parents from Lafayette School marched to their alderman's office on March 21. Lafayette is one of a staggering 54 Chicago schools slated for closure—the most ever in a single year in a U.S. city. Photo: Bill Healy, Chicago Public Media. (Source: labornotes.org)

The battle for Chicago’s schools is raging. The April 24th School Board Meeting in Chicago was a hotbed of competing interests, and nothing seems likely to cool down any time soon. As of Wednesday’s meeting, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) intends to close 54 schools, co-locate six, and send eleven more through a “turnaround” process in which they will massively reorganize students, teachers, and resources.

Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse in Mt. Vernon. Photo By: Red Emma's.

"Red Emma’s turned my theory into practice. It was an identity and more importantly a mandate on how to live. Activist is now the fabric and the structure of my being as much as my blood, my skin, my nerves, and my bones.My first love was not a person. It was a collection of people with who I struggled alongside. They were my mentors, fellow workers, collective members, activists , comrades, revolutionaries, and friends. They were my education. They were my first love. They were and are my Emma’s."