Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vote Socialist!

Dan La Botz, Socialist Party USA candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, has been endorsed by Cincinnati weekly newspaper, City Beat:

"The former history and Latin American studies professor, who currently teaches Spanish at Cincinnati Waldorf School, is running what he calls 'a campaign of justice' as the Socialist Party candidate. La Botz supports radical democracy, the democratic control of the economy by the majority of Americans instead of by a small minority." Read more in City Beat.

Dan calling for full employment and an end to the wars at a NAACP forum:

The SP-USA currently has fourteen candidates running for local, state, and national offices.

Check out some of our other candidates:

Diana Demers for University of Michigan Board of Regents:
"In contrast to the corporate management credentials touted by each of my Democratic and Republican opponents, my entry into this race comes with firsthand knowledge and experience of the immense struggles facing workers and students throughout our state from skyrocketing tuition costs, mountainous student loan debt, and the increasingly standard hiring model of cyclical ‘temporary track’ employment."

Jane Newton for U.S. House of Representatives, Vermont:
What do your grandkids think about having a socialist granny?
They think it's great. They're not embarrassed by it. They're proud of it. They come and tell everybody I got arrested. (From the Seven Days Staff Blog)

Todd Vachon for U.S. Senate, Connecticut:
Endorsed by A Few Queers on the Prowl blog: "Let’s really vote this time for what we believe in not because we are scared that one mad dog will win if we don’t vote for the other."

Peter Diamondstone for U.S. Senate, Vermont:
Does Sen. Bernie Sanders act like a socialist?
I see him as a war criminal. Everybody in the U.S. House and Senate who has voted to finance the military in Afghanistan and Iraq is in my view a war criminal. People always point to Bush but Bush is just a figurehead. He doesn't have a tank. He doesn't have a gun. He doesn't have nothing until Congress gives it to him. And Sanders has always said that his ideal of socialism is Sweden, and to me Sweden is as capitalist as the United States it's just got a little better welfare system. (From the Seven Days Staff Blog)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Ordinance Back on the Table

Once again, the City Council is contemplating the necessity for modifying its nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity under its protection. This time, Councilmember Shea Flinn is proposing the ordinance and requesting that a study be done on discrimination in the city government to find out if there is really a "problem."

Read more... Council to revisit gender discrimination

No doubt that even if those against the ordinance allow a study to be conducted, they will diminish the findings no matter what they reveal. It is unlikely that this well-intentioned study will be able to measure the effects of insidious institutional homophobia on hiring, firing and promotional practices, much less on the effects of socially acceptable and deeply-rooted bigotry in the work environment of LGBTQI city employees.

Although it is obviously not enough to "legalize gay," a failure to provide these very basic legal protections lends legitimacy to anti-LGBTQI civil rights activists and further isolates an already stigmatized minority. While the entire country is focused on the recent spate of highly publicized teen suicides--which is certainly not a new phenomenon--the City Council needs to show that yes, it does "get better," even in Memphis, Tennessee.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Protest to Mark Nine Years of War in Afghanistan

Thursday October 7 • 5:00-6:30pm • Corner of Poplar and Highland

MEMPHIS -- The Mid-South Peace & Justice Center, the Progressive Student Alliance of the University of Memphis, the Memphis Socialist Party, and other concerned residents from across the city will gather on Thursday, October 7th to protest the immoral and unnecessary war in Afghanistan on the 9th anniversary of our invasion.

While our government fails to provide adequate jobs, homes, education and healthcare for the people of this country, the cost of our futile imperialist adventure in Afghanistan has exceeded $1 trillion. "It's outrageous that millions go jobless at home while billions are handed over to war profiteers," says Jeffrey Lichtenstein, a member of the Progressive Student Alliance.

The staggering economic cost of the war is dwarfed by its devastating social cost. More than 100,000 Afghan civilians and 2,130 coalition soldiers have been killed during the 3,285 days of Operation Enduring Freedom. Violence has increased dramatically following Obama's surge and continues to escalate. Our drone attacks and preparations for an indefinite military occupation have not improved security in the region but have instead contributed to its deterioration. Neal Gammill, Air Force veteran, explains, "I've been to Afghanistan; the people of Afghanistan need jobs, they need schools, they need infrastructure. They do not need more bombs, more troops, more U.S. interventionism."

Groups of concerned Memphians will gather to denounce the occupation of Afghanistan and call for an immediate end to this racist war for profit. We remember that OUR fight is against racism, unemployment, and poverty here at home. We call all residents of Memphis to join us and demand that not one more life—civilian or soldier—be brutally squandered in our names.

What: This Thursday concerned citizens from across the mid-south will come together to protest the ninth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and call for an end to the occupation.

When: October 7, 2010 • 5:00 - 6:30pm

Where: Corner of Poplar and Highland

"Operation Recovery": On 9th Anniversary of Afghan War, Veteran-Led Campaign Seeks to End Deployment of Traumatized Soldiers

Saturday, October 2, 2010

SPUSA at One Nation Together March 10-2-2010

My partner Glenn and I joined the Socialist Party USA and the Socialist Contingency at the One Nation Together March Oct. 2. It was great to finally meed the national SPUSA officers and socialist comrades from across the country.
And I finally got to meet David McReynolds!

Some of my highlights:
Driving up to the march I got into a discussion with an older white man (in his 50s) who worked in a TN rest stop. When I told him I was going to the march, he said he thought everyone should have healthcare and that he worked two jobs and had no health insurance. He even agreed that we should expand Medicare to cover everyone. This from a working class man who I was afraid to discuss my politics with because I assumed he was a right-wing conservative.

I also ran into Lt. Dan Choi, who was kicked out of the military for being gay, and he was marching with a group of young LGBT people holding signs with the pictures of the 5 young gay males who have committed suicide in the past weeek.

I got into an argument with a couple of African-American women who objected to referring to gay rights as "civil rights." They support equal rights for gays but not gay marriage and they started throwing the Bible ad religion at us. They walked off, but we had a better interaction with an older black man and his younger daughter (I think). They admitted their was a lot of homophobia (they used that word) in the black community, but the man said he told his daughter he would rather she was with a woman that loved her than a man that abused her.

The crowd was incredibly diverse, unlike the Beck-Palin neo-Nazi rally last month. Lots of discussions about issues and the upcoming elections....

We marched with the Socialists and carried signs and chanted slogans critical of Obama and the Democrats, like "Obama is No Socialist, But We Are, But We Are!"

I admit I was wrong about the Socialist Contingency and now think it was a good idea, even though I didn't agree with everything some of the other groups believe or advocate. We agree on most things, and the big things that matter--the need to replace capitalism with democratic socialism! (We just don't all agree on how to get there.)

Here are some pics I took at the March/Rally

Here are more SPUSA Pics from One Nation Together