Posted by TAG - January 28, 2007 | News


SDSers gather outside the Smithsonian in Washington (Photo: Thomas Good)

Washington, DC – January 28, 2007. A wide array of SDS/MDS chapters journeyed to Washington D.C. to take part in the United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) anti-war protest held on January 27, 2007. An estimated 500,000 protestors crowded the Mall area between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building. SDS was among those on the Mall – and with the anti-authoritarian bloc that assembled separately at DuPont Circle. A group of SDS chapters joined the anti-authoritarian feeder at DuPont – a feeder that eventually marched on the Capitol itself – forming what Howard Community College (HCC) SDS termed a “Radical Student/Youth Contingent”.


SDSers at DuPont Circle were part of a Radical Youth Bloc (Photo: Thomas Good)

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Posted by Jay Jurie - January 26, 2007 | News


“3000 Too Many” protest in Orlando (Photo: Mychel Estevez)

Orlando, FL – January 18, 2007. On Thursday, January 18th, Campus Peace Action (CPA) and SDS partnered to hold a rally commemorating those who have died in the war against Iraq and calling for an end to the war. Held at the University of Central Florida, the rally was followed by a march to the Armed Forces Recruitment Center across the street from campus. Since the event took place so close to Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, CPA and SDS members took turns reading Dr. King’s stirring essay opposing the war in Vietnam. Several commentators remarked on the similarities between that period and today.

Names of some of the U.S military personnel who have fallen in the war were then read. Two mock coffins were carried by “pall bearers” to the front of the stage. One by one, members of the audience deposited into these coffins rolled up sheets of paper representing the diplomas soldiers might have earned had they been able to lead normal lives.

An estimated sixty-five of those at the rally participated in the march accompanying the two mock coffins across campus to the recruitment office. At the recruitment office, students sat in front of the doors for over and hour while recruiters locked themselves inside.

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Miami, FL –Jan. 7, 2007.  [written by Pablo, submitted by Phil Jasen]

Some of what’s been happening in Florida

The workshop was originally billed as “Southeast Anarchist Organizing”, but since virtually all of the 30+ people that attended were from Florida, talk mostly focused on organizing activities within this state. There were people attending from many different towns and cities in Florida (Orlando, Gainesville, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Miami, Lake Worth, Ft. Lauderdale) who participated in a lively discussion of anarchist organization in Florida and in the Southeast, either conceived by folks as an informal network of collectives, friendships and personal relationships that for the most part already exists but can be expanded, and one that largely helped to coordinate the conference, or through reviving attempts at more formal organization, in the style of anarchist networks like the Southeast Anarchist Network (SEANET) and Florida Radical Activist Network (FRAN) that existed years ago.
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Orlando, FL — Jan. 15, 2007. Orlando? Not typically known as one of the primary locations of southeastern activism, however, the city has seen a recent surge in radical action and politics. February of 2006 brought many anti-racist organizations to the city in a large counter-demonstration against a planned Neo-Nazi rally. The long-lasting Orlando Food Not Bombs has been the focus of much media coverage as they partake in a battle against City Hall demanding the right to public parks and the uncensored right to food distribution and sharing. The extremely effective and large Orlando FNB has even led to an East Orlando chapter. Currently Melbourne activists are in communication with the two groups to form their own chapter. The ACLU has even entered the conflict in support of the grassroots organization’s right to public sharings. The city most famous for Disney World, however, continues to promote gentrification which can be seen through new park policies which perpetuate economic segregation.

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Posted by Phil Jasen - January 19, 2007 | News

Orlando, FL — January 10th, 2007.  [written by eric eingold]
On January 10, 2007, the University of Central Florida Police Department issued a citation for trespassing, threatened arrest, and expulsion to, UCF student Eric Eingold and issued a Student Conduct Referral to two other UCF students, Patrick DeCarlo and Jeff Grim, for refusing to move to a “free assembly area” in front of the UCF Student Union, though the UCF Golden Rule clearly states that SDS members were in a free assembly area. The police officers were called to the Student Union by the Union management after members of the Central Florida Students for a Democratic Society refused to move when asked twice by Union Management after setting up “Free Store,” which SDS has done regularly over the last semester. Free Store is an event where students lay out old clothes, books, records, and even blenders today, in front of the Union to pass out to students for free. The Free Store has been widely successful, and donations from the UCF Student Body have become vital in keeping Free Store afloat. Every Wednesday in front of the Union, vendors from a variety of businesses reserve space, at a fee of $120 for the day to sell goods to students at UCF, and Free Store offers an alternative to the students at UCF to the marketplace the Student Union now is.

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Posted by Jim Crutchfield - January 16, 2007 | News


Two members of IU 460 at the MLK Day protest. (Photo: Thomas Good)

New York, NY – January 15, 2007. The Industrial Workers of the World celebrated Martin Luther King Day in New York with a series of boisterous demonstrations at four IWW shops in Brooklyn and Queens. With the help of Laborers’ Local 1010, which lent its notorious inflatable rats, and many other labor and community organizations, the Wobblies showed the bosses that their morale is high and their support strong. All union workers have been fired from two of the shops, and management in all four has demanded for the first time that workers show proof of legal immigrant status–a matter in which they had no interest until the workers organized and demanded living wages, reasonable hours, and respectful treatment.

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Posted by Michael Zweig - January 13, 2007 | News


Michael Zweig at the Left Forum (Photo: Thomas Good)

From Michael Zweig:
“Report from the Front – Bolivia: Workers & Indigenous Peoples United in Struggle”
by Nancy Romer, recently returned from Bolivia.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2007 – 6-8 P.M. STONY BROOK MANHATTAN
401 PARK AVE SOUTH (at 28th St.), 2nd floor
Enter at 110 E. 28 St., between Park and Lexington
Sponsored by the Center for Study of Working Class Life

In late 2006 Nancy Romer met in Bolivia with activists in the landless peasants movement, leaders of the water and gas “wars,” student activists, and faculty and professional staff unionists at the large public universitites. In this talk she will discuss the ways in which the workers and traditional left unite with the indigenous movements to share a political agenda, strategy, and tactics. She will also address the implications of Bolivian developments for a left coalition in Latin America.

Nancy Romer is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Brooklyn College Community Partnership, and University-Wide Officer of the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY (AFT local 2334).


William Blum (Photo: Thomas Good)

Washington, DC – January 12, 2007 In the past year Iran has issued several warnings to the United States about the consequences of an American or Israeli attack. One statement, issued in November by a high Iranian military official, declared: “If America attacks Iran, its 200,000 troops and 33 bases in the region will be extremely vulnerable, and both American politicians and military commanders are aware of it.”[1] Iran apparently believes that American leaders would be so deeply distressed by the prospect of their young men and women being endangered and possibly killed that they would forswear any reckless attacks on Iran. As if American leaders have been deeply stabbed by pain about throwing youthful American bodies into the bottomless snakepit called Iraq, or were restrained by fear of retaliation or by moral qualms while feeding 58,000 young lives to the Vietnam beast. As if American leaders, like all world leaders, have ever had such concerns.

Let’s have a short look at some modern American history, which may be instructive in this regard. A report of the US Congress in 1994 informed us that:

Approximately 60,000 military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to test two chemical agents, mustard gas and lewisite [blister gas]. Most of these subjects were not informed of the nature of the experiments and never received medical followup after their participation in the research. Additionally, some of these human subjects were threatened with imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth if they discussed these experiments with anyone, including their wives, parents, and family doctors. For decades, the Pentagon denied that the research had taken place, resulting in decades of suffering for many veterans who became ill after the secret testing.[2]

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Posted by Next Left Notes - January 12, 2007 | News


A young protester demonstrates on Staten Island (Photo: Thomas Good)

New York, NY – January 11, 2007 About 60 activists and organizers demonstrated outside Borough Hall, the seat of local government on Staten Island, today. The protest was called by the Staten Island chapters of the Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS), Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) and the World Can’t Wait (WCW). Shortly after the action was called it was endorsed by Peace Action Staten Island. The protest was initially planned to mark the 5th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, a “house of horrors”, according to MDS Organizer Thomas Good. The scope of the protest was broadened shortly before the event when US President George W. Bush announced that, in response to the utter failure of his Iraq War policy and the calls for withdrawal, he would send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq. Bush’s complete disregard for public opinion angered many and the Staten Island protest drew a large crowd despite the very cold weather. Organizers said that the protest was part of a network of nationwide solidarity actions – solidarity with both the “Witness Against Torture” initiative and the “America Says No” campaign. It was also promoted by MoveOn.org and WBAI – a Pacific a radio station.

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Posted by Jay Jurie - | News

Orlando, FL – January 11, 2007 Late Wednesday morning, January 10, 2007, campus police at the University of Central Florida appeared at the free store table operated by the UCF SDS chapter and issued a trespass notice to one SDS member, meaning he’s subject to arrest on the next occurrence, and took personal information from two others, who were told they may be “noticed.”

Operating for several hours around noon nearly every Wednesday since last August, the SDS chapter at UCF has set up a free store table on campus. Tabling activities of various sorts are located in the plaza in front of the student union. Similar to Food Not Bombs, and a descendant of the Digger tradition of 17th Century England and 1960s Haight-Ashbury, free stores provide students with donated free food and beverages, recycled clothing, CDs, books, kitchen utensils, and other items. Perhaps most important, the free store is an example of “pre-figuration,” showing how society can be organized and operate differently. Tabling provides a space where students can explore and develop a sense of community. A sense of presence is created for SDS, where outreach, participation, and discussion of the issues of the day can take place. Literature about SDS and activities such as divestment are set out for distribution.

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