“Homeless, Hungry And Broke” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2008
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

New York, NY – January 20, 2008. The high temperature in New York City on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was 25° Fahrenheit. But many of the homeless were to be found outdoors, having nowhere else to go. For far too many New Yorkers, Dr. King’s Dream was again deferred by an indifferent government, preoccupied with foreign military adventures. The bitter cold, exacerbated by strong winds, also failed to keep the protesters off the streets. Fed up with corporate wars, union busting and racism, a wide array of activists in NYC spoke out on MLK Day, demanding justice.

Continuing an annual tradition, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) or “Wobblies” marched for jobs and justice on MLK Day. This year they began the day with a picket at Starbucks’ Regional Headquarters on East 33rd Street and 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. According to the Union, Starbucks management had refused to pay baristas extra money for working the federal holiday. After a spirited picket, the Wobblies marched, behind colorful banners and flags, to “Wild Edibles” on 3rd Avenue. Along the way the Wobs were accompanied by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra (RMO) which helped keep spirits high in the January deep freeze. According to IWW organizers, Wild Edibles, a seafood retailer/wholesaler, fired employees – targeting immigrants – for union organizing. Accusing Wild Edibles of discrimination and union busting, Union members and their supporters raised voices and fists in a raucous protest. Late in the action the store lawyer ventured out to plead his case with the NYPD and the Wobblies let him hear it. Although police moved to the front of the store, protesters continued their rally until organizers ended the event, vowing “we’ll be back.”

Later in the day, anti-racist activists gathered at 32nd Street and 7th Avenue. An MLK Day rally and March Against Racism drew a large crowd. Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council, and civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart spoke and then the crowd marched up 8th Avenue, halting at the Time Warner building on 59th Street, home of CNN studios. Here they paused to protest the political views of outspoken CNN anchor Lou Dobbs who is characterized by critics as xenophobic. Dobbs, a lifelong Republican who donated to the Bush/Cheney campaign, is known for his attempts to repaint himself as a populist – and for his irresponsible and inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric. As demonstrators filed into protest pens, Dobbs emerged from the building, flanked by bodyguards, to observe the crowd. He was jeered by protesters and retired quickly with his escort in tow.

NLN reporter Richard Marini contributed to this article.

View Photos/Videos From The MLK Day Actions…

Posted by TAG - January 21, 2008 | News

SDSers protest outside the Port Authority Terminal in Manhattan
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

New York, NY – January 20, 2008. Members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) NYC and Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) observed Iraq Moratorium V by fliering against the port militarization of Staten Island’s Howland Hook – at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Later, MDS fliered at the Staten Island Ferry, ending the day with a vigil at Staten Island’s Borough Hall. Continuing the protest against port militarization, protesters from various groups visited Howland Hook itself to deliver their message.

View Photos From The Actions…

View a Video Interview of SDS/MDS Protestors…

Hear a WBAI (radio) Interview of MDS organizer Thomas Good…

Posted by Ed Hedemann - January 20, 2008 | News

(Photo: Ed Hedemann)

New York, NY – January 20, 2008. The plaque nailed to the tree says it all…photo by Ed Hedemann of the War Resisters League (WRL).

Austin, TX – January 20, 2008. Some 30 Austin activists, dressed all in black, stood in near-freezing drizzle in front of the Texas state capitol building for over an hour beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, to express their disgust with George Bush’s War in Iraq. The event was part of Iraq Moratorium’s ongoing “Third Friday” demonstrations against the war.

The effort was organized by MDS-Austin, CodePink and Texas Labor Against the War. These three groups have emerged as an effective working coalition that has energized a dormant but wide-spread anti-war sentiment in the capital city of Texas. In December the three groups brought over 50 spirited Christmas carolers together at the same location to greet rush hour drivers with anti-war songs.

At the Jan. 18 event CodePink had planned to line the sidewalk with footwear symbolizing the Iraqi dead. The weather didn’t permit the “In Their Shoes” display, but it didn’t keep away the crowd.

The revitalization of the Austin movement began when MDS printed and began to distribute red and white yard signs saying “Peace. Bring the Troops Home Now.” Close to 3,000 of the signs have been distributed in the Austin area and are also used as placards at demonstrations, providing some visual continuity to the movement here.

MDS leader Alice Embree said, “The Iraq Moratorium has been extremely valuable in providing an on-going vehicle for the anti-war community to grow, to coalesce. And the visibility of MDS’ signs as you drive around the city provides a connection between the activists and the larger community.”

The next Iraq Moratorium activity will be a street theater event labeled “Bring Out the Dogs” scheduled for Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. outside the offices of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, at 221 W. Sixth Street in Austin. Cornyn, one of George Bush’s closest cronies, is known as the president’s “lap dog,” and participants have been asked to bring their dogs to the demonstration or to come “dressed as dogs.”

Click Here To See The MDS Anti-Militarization Flier

STATEN ISLAND, NY – This Friday, January 18, 2008, members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) and the Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) project, Midatlantic Region, are holding coordinated protests in Manhattan and Staten Island.

The protests are timed to mark the fifth iteration of the Iraq Moratorium, a national protest against the Iraq War that happens every third Friday of the month. The issue is the use of Howland Hook, Staten Island as a “Seaport of Embarkation” (SPOE) by the U.S. Army. Howland Hook, aka the New York Container Terminal (NYCT), has recently been used to facilitate the transfer of military materiel and personnel to war-torn Iraq. Organizers are demanding an end of this “misuse” of the Port of New York.

Friday’s actions will begin with a protest outside the Port Authority in Manhattan by Queens College SDS; will continue with fliering on both Staten Island Ferry Terminals – Whitehall/South Ferry (NYC) and St. George (SI), and; will conclude with a vigil on the steps of Staten Island’s Borough Hall.

The SDS students will assemble at Theatre Row Diner, 424 West 42nd St between 9th and 10th Avenue at 8 am. They will conduct an informational picket, distributing fliers, outside the Manhattan Port Authority from 9 am to 10:30 am. The terminal is located one block west of Times Square, occupying the blocks between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, from 40th to 42nd Streets.

Rachel Haut of Queens College SDS (Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

“Our peers in the National Guard are being sent Iraq to every month, and the administration is using our ports to ship their wepons. Its time for us to stand up against deployments – we need the national guard here – and stand up against military shipments in our ports,” said Rachel Haut, an organizer with the Queens College chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

The MDS activists will flier at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, in St. George, from 3 – 7pm. They will gather in front of Water Edge Cafe inside the Ferry Terminal. Other MDSers will meet up at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in lower Manhattan (Whitehall/South Ferry). Assembling at the Information Desk inside the SI Ferry Terminal, the protesters will flier from 3 to 7 pm as well.

Richie Marini of Staten Island MDS (Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

“This is our port and our home and we will not allow the Bush administration to take control of it to supply their illegal war,” said Richard Marini, an organizer with the Staten Island chapter of Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS).

To conclude the observance of the Moratorium, protesters will hold a candlelight vigil on the steps of Staten Island’s Borough Hall, directly across Richmond Terrace from the Ferry Terminal, from 7 to 8 pm. All three events are open to the public.

Elaine Brower, a Military Mom from Staten Island (Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

“Learning that right here in our own small community backyard the Department of Defense had contracted with the New York City Terminals to militarize our port at Howland Hook, has me completely outraged and upset. Staten Island is my hometown, and I was always so pleased that I could have a bit of peace in this big City. But the war profiteers have come home to roost and we are not going to let them remain unnoticed any longer,” said Elaine Brower, of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO). Brower’s son James, a Marine, has already served one tour in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. He is up for re-deployment in 2008.

Posted by TAG - January 1, 2008 | News

Savitri Durkee, Director of the Church of Stop Shopping
(Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

New York, NY – January 1, 2008. 2007 was a busy year for NLN . A number of our photographs were picked up by other news services – including In These Times, ZMag, Yes! Magazine, Punk Planet and many others. One of our photos wound up on the cover of The Nation – a tribute to NLN but also to Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the subject of the photograph. In recognition of what was an amazing year for us, and for the Movement, we offer this retrospective of what we consider our best work…

View “Best of NLN Photography – 2007″