Posted by Devra Morice - December 24, 2007 | News

Santa (Mike Morice) and Elaine Brower of MDS
(Photo: Devra Morice / NLN)

New York, NY – December 21, 2007. Back on Staten Island for an extended holiday break, Congressman Vito Fossella might have expected frenzied shoppers and tidings of good cheer, but one thing he could not have expected was to be met with a choir of spiritied anti-war carolers serenading him outside his home.

Iraq Moratorium IV began with a press conference at the Staten Island Ferry where former Assemblyman and NYS Supreme Court Justice Frank Barbaro endorsed Fossella’s rival, Steve Harrison. Shortly thereafter, the anti-war, anti-Fossella carolers, complete with Santa Claus bearing a lump of coal, began gathering at Vito’s office to warm up their pipes. Traditional holiday favorites like “Jingle Bells”, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” were altered for the occasion. Fossella, often described as Bush’s lap dog, has stubbornly refused to meet with the disgruntled locals he (mis)represents for several years so “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree” became “On the first day of Christmas Fossella agreed and said that he’d finally meet with me”. From there the group, composed of members of MDS, Truth 13, Granny Peace Brigade and Military Families Speak Out, dispersed and headed for their cars but only to drive a short distance to Fossella’s home where they resumed the festivities. Part vigil, part street theatre, the carolers continued to raise their voice in joyous song outside Fossella’s home for nearly two hours under the watchful eye of a noticeably flustered band of local cops. A hugely successful action, an inspiring holiday event, and a fitting “welcome home” to one of this countries most hawkish and insular representatives.

Vito’s Home for Christmas” (sung to I’ll Be Home for Christmas)

Vito’s Home for Christmas, It’s that time of year
The voters shout bring the troops home now, But Vito doesn’t hear
Christmas Eve will find him, Beneath his Christmas tree
Vito’s Home for Christmas, But he won’t meet with me…

View Photos/Videos From The Action…

Posted by TAG - December 23, 2007 | News

Frank Barbaro speaking at the Staten Island Ferry
(Photo: Thomas Good / Next Left Notes)

New York, NY – December 21, 2007. Former State Assemblyman and New York State Supreme Court Justice (1997-2003) Frank Barbaro announced his endorsement of Steve Harrison on Friday, December 21. In a press conference held inside the Staten Island Ferry Terminal – symbolizing Harrison’s commitment to Staten Island’s working families – Barbaro endorsed Democrat Harrison’s bid to unseat chickenhawk Congressman Vito Fossella (R, 13th CD). Barbaro, well known in New York for his progressive politics, cited Harrison’s strong showing in 2006 – he unexpectedly garnered 43% of the vote – as evidence that Fossella is beatable in 2008. “I am endorsing Steve Harrison for Congress – because I believe in him,” Barbaro said. “His campaign is a people’s campaign…Staten Island and Brooklyn need Steve Harrison,” he added.

“I’ve been talking to Steve, I see that he’s for immediate withdrawal of our daughters and sons from Iraq. I see that he’s for national health insurance. I know that he’s pro-labor…I know that he will be on the battle lines with organized labor when he becomes elected,” Barbaro said.

Switching gears, Barbaro spoke about Harrison’s opposite number: “Vito Fossella has shown himself for what he is – when the Daily News attacks you, you’re pretty bad. He has been attacked by the Daily News,” he said. Barbaro, who represented the Fossella Five [ a group of five activists, including NLN editor Thomas Good ] after they were arrested in Fossella’s office while reading the names of the US war dead, feels that Harrison has the ability to put together a winning coalition and remove the man the Daily Gotham called “Bush’s Lap Dog.”

Speaking after Barbaro, Harrison reaffirmed his commitment to the disenfranchised in US society, to ending the Iraq War, to supporting a single payer healthcare system and to helping victims of the sub prime mortgage scandal. Harrison received sustained applause when he acknowledged members of the Carpenters’ Union who were present in the terminal to protest a local developer’s use of non-union labor. “Guys, I’m with you always and you know that,” Harrison said.

Click Here To View Photos/Videos From The Announcement…

Barbaro endorses Harrison Steve Harrison speaks
Posted by TAG - December 18, 2007 | News

Jeff Jones speaking at the SDS Comic Roadshow
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

New York, NY – December 10, 2007. The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, on NYC’s Fifth Avenue, was home to an installation of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) “Comic Roadshow” on Monday, December 10, 2007. The roadshow, a means of promoting the new graphic history of SDS, featured Paul Buhle who edited the book, Harvey Pekar who wrote it and Nick Thorkelson, a cartoonist who illustrated a section of the book dealing with the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP) in Hazard, Kentucky in the mid 1960s. In addition to the team who authored the book, the roadshow panel included former SDS national officer Jeff Jones and New SDS member Senia Barragan.

View Photos/Videos From The Event…

View Panels From The Roadshow Exhibit…

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Posted by Devra Morice - December 15, 2007 | News

(Photo: Mike Morice / Next Left Notes)

New York, NY – December 8, 2007. A spirited demonstration calling for a boycott of one of Israel’s wealthiest businessmen took place outside his exclusive upper east side jewelry store today amidst a steady stream of bustling holiday shoppers.

The protest, organized by Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice In the Middle East, was the latest in a campaign to hold real estate developer and diamond mogul Lev Leviev and his Africa-Israel company responsible for building destructive projects in New York City and the Occupied West Bank in Palestine. Leviev’s West Bank settlements violate international law and have even been criticized by the U.S. government, Israel’s strongest ally. Building settlements on strategic land belonging to Palestinian farmers threatens their ability to survive and remain in their homes, promotes the destruction of local communities, and ensures Israeli control over key areas in the West Bank.

In NYC, Adalah maintain that Leviev shows a similar disregard for local communities and responsible real estate development by employing underpaid, non-union workers in hazardous conditions. Leviev and former partner Shaya Boymelgreen are additionally charged with violating housing codes to construct luxury apartments that displace low and moderate income residents in Brooklyn.

Gathered in front of Leviev’s ritzy Madison Avenue storefront, the Palestinian Liberation Dance Troup performed a dabke, a traditional Palestinian dance, accompanied by the music of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra. Boisterous chants of “You’re glitz, you’re glam, you’re stealing Palestinian land” and “All your diamonds can’t hide your support for apartheid”, filled the air, surprising more than a few Saturday shoppers and discouraging several from shopping at the store. One shopper who was not discouraged was noted attorney and Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, who smugly taunted the demonstrators before entering the jewelry store to shop. A bag of jewelry purchases in tow, Dershowitz exited the store some time later and picked up where he left off, holding up the bag, laughing, and further taunting the protestors.

View Photos/Videos From The Action…

MSU SDS reunion program guide and local press coverage (Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

East Lansing, MI – December 6, 2007. Former members of MSU SDS, present day members of MDS and organizers from Ignite, the new MSU SDS chapter all came together for a counter-recruitment protest and later, a moving MSU SDS reunion. Friday, November 30, 2007 was a bitter cold day in East Lansing. A spirited demo outside a Marine Corps recruiting center, on busy Grand River Avenue, opposite the MSU campus, was abbreviated due to the frigid temperatures. But later in the day, an SDS reunion held in MSU’s South Kedzie Hall, warmed hearts and fired up the activists – young and old. Bob Meola, an MSU SDS alumnus, emceed the affair which featured speeches by Cole Smith of Ignite, Alan Haber, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and the man of the hour – Bert Garskof who had been the faculty advisor to the original MSU SDS chapter. Garskof, fired by MSU for his devotion to his students and the Movement, was described by Ayers as “a mentor, an inspiration”.

Bert Garskof: teacher, mentor and activist (Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

The event was part hope, part history and part humor – master of ceremonies Bob Meola commented on some early controversy: “There were some who said that we, meaning in 1969, were a divided chapter and they wanted to know: ‘by whose authority is this being organized?’ We didn’t look to invite a particular faction. We invited everybody…like somebody said…the same people who wanted to put us all away then would want to put us all away now and they’d put us all in the same camp together…’s silly, we’re beyond those disputes. Welcome to all factions!”

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Posted by Danilo Quilaton - December 6, 2007 | News

(Photo: Danilo Quilaton / Jax MDS)

Jacksonville, FL – December 2, 2007. An anti-war and counter recruitment picket was held in four corners of a busy intersection near downtown Jacksonville. Local activists, JAX MDS, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Grandmothers for Peace protested with signs and flyers calling for the Impeachment of Bush/Cheney, the removal of recruiters, bringing our troops home, and keeping the US out of Iran. The day started out with a Critical Mass bike ride that gave the local activists a chance to meet one and another, and was followed by a centralized protest in a congested intersection just blocks away from the Gator Bowl. The day ended with a moving speech from the 97 year old Peg McIntire of Grandmothers for Peace. All in all in it was a very successful event for two reasons. It was the first activity in Jacksonville, FL and the event served as great networking tool that brought together several individuals involved in different coalitions, and showed the people of Jacksonville that their is an alternative voice within the community that’s committed to stand for the people.

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Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History

New York, NY – December 5, 2007. The SDS Comic Show will be on display Monday, December 10th, 6:30 p.m. at the CUNY Recital Hall. The recital hall is located at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street). The event is FREE but seating is limited. Admittance will be on a first come, first served basis, no reservations.

For more information: visit or call 212.817.8474.

The SDS Comic Show, a traveling exhibit drawing upon the book “Students for a Democratic Society: a Graphic History”, will be open at the CUNY Graduate Center in December. The exhibit kicks off December 10th and will include a panel discussion about the Graphic History, which was scripted by Harvey Pekar and others and edited by Paul Buhle, editor of the 1960s SDS magazine Radical America. Harvey Pekar, real-life star of the award-winning film and the book series American Splendor (and sometime Letterman Show guest), will deliver a talk on comics and politics, followed by a panel including Buhle, former SDS-NY regional officer, Weatherman Jeff Jones, and members of the New SDS.

Make plans to spend December 10th, International Human Rights Day, with SDSers, past and present!