Fourth Monday Webinar: Monday April 26, 2021, 9 pm Eastern


Speaker: Vince Emanuele

Vince Emanuele says progressives are spending too much time consuming media and not enough time organizing–he sees organizing of the working class and poor as the way forward. This perspective is articulated in a recent Counterpunch essay,
Vincent Emanuele is an activist, writer, and community organizer. Born and raised in the Rust Belt, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 2002. In 2005, he refused orders for a third deployment to Iraq and began working with the anti-war movement. He is the co-founder of PARC (Politics Art Roots Culture) in Northwest, Indiana. Vince’s story is shared in the documentary film On the Bridge by director Olivier Morel.
USMC veterans, Sergio Kochergin & Vince Emanuele have founded PARCMedia, a news and media project that gives a working-class take on issues surrounding politics, ecology, community organizing, war, culture, and philosophy. PARCMEDIA can be followed on: or Twitter:, or Facebook:
His presentation will be followed by questions and discussion.

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May Fourth Monday Webinar
May 24, 2021
9 pm Eastern Time
More than Neighbors: US/México Solidarity
We think of México as a neighbor with whom we share a border. But just four decades after México won independence from Spain, the US annexation of nearly half of México melded the two countries' peoples and destinies. The history of the US/México relationship, both on the part of the two governments and also on the part of the two peoples, is not past; it defines the present and determines the future. How is that manifested? How can those relationships be developed so working people of México and the US can effect transformational change?
Join Javier Bravo, historian and Morena activist in Guanajuato, and BIll Gallegos, veteran of the Chicano movement in the US. Both are founders of the bi-national México Solidarity Project. 

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A new leap forward
submitted by Tom Gogan

Hitting our stride once again in early 2021, Move the Money-NYC made good new progress in February and March. Five more City Council co-sponsors of Resolution 747-A have signed on. All from the African-American and Latinx communities, including NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a respected longtime progressive activist.

The Public Advocate’s voice adds a big bullhorn to our movement, just as we near a majority in the Council in support of 747-A. The resolution calls on Congress and the Federal government to significantly reduce military spending; to move that money into our communities for services and needed infrastructure; and would commit the Council to conduct in-depth hearings focusing on how our tax dollars are misdirected towards the Pentagon versus our many needs here at home.

The recently-passed Pentagon budget now stands at $740.5 billion. To put that in some perspective, President Biden’s plan to prevent US corporations from using foreign operations to avoid paying US taxes would take ten years to generate $700 billion dollars, less than one year of Pentagon spending. From another angle, his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is the equivalent of less than three years of Pentagon spending! Imagine instead the Pentagon budget seriously downsized and those billions used to put people to work and provide badly-needed services.

But for now, it seems Biden will double down on the military budget status quo, which couldt easily lead us into new wars and interventions, even as the US military is at war in at least seven countries now. Especially dangerous is the Cold War rhetoric and Pentagon war games aimed at China, North Korea and the Middle East.

Back in NYC, the City Council will be focused heavily on immediate budget matters and one-shot fixes this Spring, welcome relief that they may be. And from Pittsburgh, we learn that a group of activists there has created a Move the Money petition there that will spur their City Council to hold hearings on the subject. New Haven, recently passed a Move the Money resolution there.

The Move the Money pot is actively simmering, We need more communities around the country to join us. NOW more than ever, we need to Move the Money – From War to Our Communities!
CCDS member of the month is Carl Davidson

Carl Davidson, a founding member of CCDS, has been an activist for progressive social change his entire adult life. In the 1960s, he traveled the country organizing young people to struggle against racism at home and war overseas. For the next fifty years he has been on the front lines in virtually every progressive movement in the United States and in solidarity with such movements around the world
In 1994, Carl brought his lifetime of experience, knowledge, and passion for justice, to the formation of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). He created the Online University of the Left. Under the Changemaker label he published books and journals by and for CCDS educational work. He developed the weekly electronic magazine, The Links.

He has participated in virtually every committee of CCDS and has given many presentations at CCDS teleconferences on subjects ranging from rightwing populism, to cooperatives, to China, to the electoral arena. He also has also represented CCDS at major progressive academic conferences.

Carl has served as a member of the National Coordinating Committee since the founding of CCDS and has served for two terms as a National Co-Chair of the organization.
And with his return to his beloved Beaver County, Pennsylvania, he brought the progressive message to the working class there and at the same time brought their voice to CCDS.

As a man of passion and commitment, an organic intellectual, a lifetime activist, and as a man who believes that we need to “keep on, keeping on,” Carl Davidson has made invaluable contributions to the life of the left and CCDS as part of that left.
Carl Davidson 4/11/21

Watching the string of eyewitnesses to the killing of George Floyd, standing on the curb in the videos, I suddenly saw the curb as a border between two Americas. Above the curb was the America of popular democracy, of solidarity and mutual aid. They wanted Chavin to stop, and even offered to help render first aid. Below the curb was the America of Empire and slavery. with police violence unfettered by any respect for the law or the Constitution.

The jury has a heavy burden. However they view the facts and evidence (which are overwhelmingly against Chauvin), their verdict will not be simply about the defendant. It will also affirm one or the other of the two Americas. Interestingly, the defense is trying to put the people above the curb on trial, depicting them and an 'angry mob.'

So we have a choice. We can buy into that depiction and more (Floyd as the all-powerful, drug-addled brute that could burst out of his handcuffs), and the America of which that narrative is an emblem, of we can affirm the America of those standing on the curb, in solidarity with a man being lynched, and opposed to those carrying it out. There is no room for neutrals here.
CCDS has outstanding memebers doing wonderful work. For that reason we want recognize these amazing CCDS members so we are starting Member of the Month recognization. If you have a member you would like to bring forward let Janet Tucker know at

Seymour Joseph on FB March 16, 2021
There are two legislative monstrosities that have to go: the Electoral College and the filibuster. Both of them contradict the professed pride in our democracy: one man/woman one vote.
As for the Electoral College, two elections since the year 2000 have resulted in disasters, thanks to that product enacted to assuage the pro-slavery South. Both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton got more votes than George W. Bush and Donald Trump, yet we became saddled with the disasters of the invasion of Iraq and the outright criminal presidency of the master of Mar a Lago.
And if we're serious about Congress being the beacon of democracy, no one legislator should be able to hold up, if not kill, a piece of legislation. I say that whether the Senate is in Democratic or Republican control. Down with the filibuster!
Brief Notes on the US-China Alaska meeting

by Duncan McFarland
CCDS/Socialist Education Project

The meeting was overall more constructive than not as high-level leadership discussions resumed. Mainstream media highlighted the adversarial exchanges in the beginning, initiated by the US. However, after the talks concluded Secretary of State Blinken also suggested possible collaboration on climate change and some regional issues such as North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan. There was no such possibility under Pompeo. The Chinese referred to the talks as frank and constructive and said that the US reaffirmed its commitment to the one-China principle as well as a new joint working group on climate change.   The two sides issued no joint statement at the end so the practical follow up steps remain to be seen; the US Left and progressives should demand cooperation on issues such as global warming and the pandemic.

The US allegations and complaints about human rights, economic coercion and revising the international order had all been heard before but a couple of Trump/Pompeo themes were apparently missing -- attacking China over its handling of coronavirus and the "existential threat" of communism. China countered by defending its sovereignty and development program and called on the US to stop pushing its version of democracy on other countries. The Chinese also emphasized the need for sustained strategic dialogue and pursuing mutual benefit and not confrontation. Time and circumstances will reveal how the fragile "reset"goes.

New publication from CCDS, A China Reader

Harry Targ

We always look for historical analogies. In terms of capital/labor relations the mid-1930s may be appropriate. Workers mobilized on the West Coast, throughout the mid-west, in the South and the Northeast. Congress saw this new militancy and passed the Wagner Act.

John L. Lewis walked out of the AFL convention and announced the formation of a Committee (then a Congress) of Industrial Organizations. Workers sat in in South Bend, Flint, Chrysler and elsewhere and out of this came by 1940, 4 million workers in CIO unions.Now, since 2011, we have had Occupy, the Chicago Teachers Union, teachers mobilizations in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, and California, healthcare workers organizing, labor for Bernie and most recently a bold campaign of Amazon workers.

The tasks of progressives should be to actively support this potentially new upsurge in the labor movement. And we should see the inextricable connection between class and race and struggles of workers in the US and around the world.

Support  of the PRO Act and other pro-labor legislation is important. Abolishing Right to Work, shop floor worker intimidation, and supporting dues checkoff are important. Also we should consider what it means to be working class in the 21st century  (professors, graduate students, gig workers. health care providers, virtually anyone who works for a wage).
Bessemer Amazon Union Vote: We Learn as We Struggle!
In spite of the vote count, important developments have resulted from the Bessemer Amazon workers’ campaign. We applaud the Alabama Amazon workers who took on the world’s second largest corporation drawing thousands of activists into a long-over-due workers’ rights movement. Elected officials, clergy and leaders from major unions have expressed their support. Organizing labor in the South has once again become a national and international mantra.

Solidarity committees were formed in cities across the US, and workers in the South have registered for a Southern Workers Assembly School to learn how to begin organizing in Amazon and other major industries and sectors. Inspired by the courage of the Bessemer workers, these solidarity committees seek to unite workers, community and progressive forces into local worker assemblies. 

Multi-Workplace Strategies are Needed Against Major Corporations
The Bessemer Amazon campaign points out the difficulties in trying to organize in a single workplace location of a major corporation. Amazon directed billions of dollars at defeating the Bessemer campaign by intimidating and making the Amazon workers and communities around Bessemer feel small and overwhelmed. From the early tactic of paying workers $2,000 to quit while promising to not challenge their unemployment claims, to the many thousands paid to union busters and more, the company was determined to maintain some of the most inhumane working conditions existing today. In the face of that, the struggle by the Bessemer workers against this corporate giant was a real act of courage – for themselves, for all Amazon workers, and for the Southern working-class.

Many Worker Committees in Many Locations Acting in Coordination
The US Southern, national and international labor movement and working-class has an obligation to advance the working-class struggle begun by this campaign This will require a dedication to workplace-based organization and a commitment to take coordinated collective action to redress the worst of Amazon’s inhumane working condition. There needs to be a national discussion about the Bessemer Amazon union campaign providing the workers a platform to talk about their experiences. This discussion will be part of the work of the SWA Southern Workers School in the future.

No Retaliation
The right to form a union and act collectively is protected by law. Any contrary actions by Amazon against workers must be challenged by all that supported this campaign. The issues don’t disappear because a union vote is completed. There is still much work to do to follow the momentum.
The Battle has Begun, Let’s Continue!
Seymour Joseph on Face Book
March 10, 2021
Republican Senators
I would speak to those
who once were beaming children,
rapt in games and camaraderie,
whose hearts beat to the rhythm
of those whose cares were theirs,
but now a faded memory.
I would speak to those
whose paths took turns away
from moral suasion,
and self became predominant,
absent ethical persuasion.
I would speak to them
and ask if they remember me,
as children we were one in thought
and feeling as well as needs.
And they would smile and then go off
to where their wiles are wrought,
to where their self-indulgence leads.

James Street is alive with the sound of jazz!

In 1930‘s Pittsburgh, Dorothy wants to dance the Lindy Hop. She finds the perfect partner in a young boy named George. They are having the time of their life…until the police storm the dance hall and shut it down for interracial dancing...with their bully clubs.

Dorothy has faced racial prejudice all her life, and she’s not giving up on the dance, while George comes face to face with his own white privilege. He must choose between going home or joining Dorothy in the fight to keep the dance alive.

Available from Hard Ball Press and booksellers everywhere!
Celebrate with Author Nicole McCandless in our online party Saturday, April 10, 3 pm (EST), email for the Zoom link!
Review: The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland

January 28, 2020 / John Lepley
from Labor Notes

“Irresponsible radicals.” That’s what International Harvester (IH) President John McCaffrey called the leadership of the Farm Equipment and Metal Workers Union (FE) in the midst of a 1947 strike. Clearly, he didn’t care much for the FE. Frank Mingo, an FE member who worked at IH’s Tractor Works in Chicago, felt differently: “The rank and file loved that union,” he said.
Readers of Labor Notes will find kindred spirits in this union, brought to life by labor historian Toni Gilpin in The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland. The FE were troublemakers of the first degree.

Gilpin’s affection for the union that built a “culture of confrontation from top to bottom” is partly hereditary—her father, DeWitt Gilpin, was an FE leader—but there’s more to it than family ties. The FE’s unwavering commitment to rank-and-file unionism and interracial solidarity is a moving account of “workers who genuinely loved their union, and thus each other.”

Gilded Age class warfare formed the “grudge” that gives the book its title. The demand for an eight-hour day led to a nationwide general strike on May 1, 1886 in which at least 300,000 workers turned out. The labor scene in Chicago had already boiled over. Workers at McCormick Works had been on strike since March over their employer’s use of scab molders. A skirmish erupted during a rally near the plant on May 3 that resulted in one death. Anarchists, some of German origin but also a few born in the U.S., called a mass meeting for the next evening in Haymarket Square.

A bomb exploded towards the end of the meeting; four workers and seven policemen died from the explosion and the ensuing hail of gunfire from the police. A kangaroo court found eight anarchists guilty of criminal conspiracy—not murder. The state of Illinois murdered Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolph Fischer, and George Engel in November 1887, while Louis Lingg committed suicide before he could be hanged. The Haymarket Martyrs are celebrated throughout the world every year on May 1, International Workers’ Day. Haymarket Books, the publisher of this title and many other excellent works, is named in honor of them.

This turn of events had disastrous consequences for the labor movement, especially workers at McCormick Works, where, as Gilpin tells us, company management consolidated its control over the shop floor. But the “subterranean fire” that Spies warned about before his execution came roaring back. The “long, deep grudge” that workers held against the McCormicks and IH (formed in 1902 from a series of mergers) was born.

It took fifty years for Spies’s prophecy to come to pass. IH workers won an NLRB representation election in 1938 at the Tractor Works after years of clandestine organizing. “Haymarket” was a frequent watchword in FE literature, but workers’ grievances were more recent. The central issue that fueled FE’s struggle with IH was the piecework system that combined breakneck speed-up with arbitrary pay—“there were some thirty thousand piecework prices that might be in effect at any given moment,” Gilpin notes.
In spite of the no-strike pledge that the union had signed during World War II, IH employees walked out or sat down on the job 36 times in 1943, 75 times in 1944, and 164 times in 1945, followed by more than 1,000 work stoppages in the 10 years after the war. While the UAW also represented some IH plants, the vast majority of work stoppages occurred in plants where the FE was the union. FE stewards were instrumental in stirring shop floor discontent; the union maintained one for every 35-40 members.

By 1942 the FE had organized IH plants throughout the Midwest, aided in several instances by favorable rulings from federal agencies, especially the National War Labor Board.

The Long Road to Societal Decay

Harry Targ

We are mourning again. Violent deaths continue: African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Gays and Lesbians, Women, Youth, Jews, and the list goes on. And the media pontificate about root causes: guns, a divided society, hate speech, the internet, and politicians. Analysts usually lock onto one explanation and deduce one or two cures. But there are other analysts, for example “realists’ and religious fundamentalists, who say there will always be violence. There are no solutions.

The reality that undergirds the killing of masses of people on a regular basis is not easily discovered. That is, there are “deep structures” that have created a brutal and violent world. And movements to transform these deep structures, although complicated, can have some substantial success.

First, and I write this at the risk of being dismissed as an ideologue, the contemporary state of the capitalist economic system must be examined in rigorous detail. What might be called “late capitalism” is an economic system of growing inequality of wealth and poverty, joblessness, declining access to basic needs-food, health care, housing, education, transportation. The increasing accumulation of wealth determines the ever-expanding appropriation of political power. In the era of late capitalism, economic concentration resides in a handful of banks, hedge funds, medical conglomerates, real estate developers, technology and insurance companies, and media monopolies.

Second, late capitalism continues to marginalize workers of all kinds. Agricultural and manufacturing work, the staple of two hundred years of economic development, is disappearing. Highly skilled electronic workers and others with twenty-first century skills are employed as needed by corporations, with little or no job security. Once secure workers who have lost their jobs live in communities with declining access to food, growing environmental devastation, and limited connection to information and the ability to communicate with others. And, of course, conditions are worse for workers of color, women, the young, and the old.  A new working class has emerged, the “precariat,” with skilled but insecure jobs; the service sector, workers in health care, home care, fast food and other low paid and overworked occupations; and workers in the “informal sector,” desperate people who take short-term jobs or are forced to sell drugs, peddle products on the street, engage in prostitution, or engage in other activities so they and their families can survive. In addition, the most marginalized are homeless and hungry. Late capitalism has increased the marginalization of majorities of working people, in core capitalist states and the Global South.

Third, the history of capitalist development has paralleled the development of white supremacy and patriarchy. If capital accumulation requires the expropriation of the wealth produced by workers, what better way to increase profits can be found than marginalizing sectors of the working population and setting them into competition and conflict with each other by creating categories of difference. Racism, sexism, homophobia, the demonization of immigrants, Anti-Semitism and Anti-Muslim hysteria all serve, in the end, profit and the accumulation of wealth and power.

Fourth, systems of concentrated wealth and power require the development of political institutions, institutions that enhance the control of the behavior of workers. From monarchies, to constitutional democracies, to institutionalized systems of law and custom, such as segregation, voter suppression in our own day, the behavior of the citizenry is routinized and controlled. In most political systems electoral processes create some possibilities for modest, but necessary, policy changes. However, as Nancy MacLean points out in Democracy in Chains, economic and political elites use their resources to restrict and limit the influence of democratic majorities.

Fifth, this economic and political edifice requires an ideology, a consciousness, a way in which the citizenry can be taught to accept the system as it is. This ideology has many branches but one root, the maintenance and enhancement of the capitalist economic system. The elements of the dominant political ideology include: privileging individualism over community; conceptualizing society as a brutal state of nature controlled only by countervailing force; acceptance of the idea that humans are at base greedy; and, finally, the belief that the avariciousness of human nature requires police force and laws at home and armies overseas.
Sixth, a prevalent component of the political ideology is the idea that violence is ubiquitous, violence is justified, and violence is to be applauded. The trope of living in a violent world pervades our education system, our toys, our television and movies, our sporting activities, and our political discourse. Violence is tragic (we pray for the victims) but it is presented in popular culture as liberating and justifiable. And to survive in this world of evil and strife, everyone needs to be armed.

These are the backdrops, the “deep structures,” that frame the contemporary context. And this context includes a politics of economic super-exploitation-destroying unions, fighting demands for economic justice, shifting wealth even more to the super-rich, and taking away basic rights and guarantees, such as healthcare, education, water, and even the air we breathe. And to justify the growing immiseration of everyone, the Trump Administration, most of the Republicans and some of the Democrats justify their policies by a racism, sexism, homophobia, and virulent rightwing nationalism not seen since the days of racial segregation in the South. And Anti-Semitism, long a staple of political ideology in Europe, reached its most virulent form in the United States in the 1930s, when Father Coughlin’s nationwide Anti-Semitic broadcasts found their way into many households. As late as the 1950s, property deeds included “restrictive covenants” forbidding the sale of homes in specific neighborhoods to Jews or people of color. Local political initiatives led to whole communities excluding African Americans from living there (“sundown towns”) and racial segregation exists today in virtually every United States city.

Given these deep structures is it any surprise that brutal violence flairs up against sectors of the population? Is it any surprise that targeted groups feel intimidated, threatened, and angry? Is it any surprise that volatile and life-threatening cycles of economic insecurity facing most people create fears leading some of them to follow false prophets? Is it any surprise that the economic and political institutions in which we were born and raised, justified by powerful ideologies about the “realities” of life develop in us a propensity to be taken in by arrogant, racist, classist, sexist, and ignorant politicians? In addition to national politics, people at the state level and in their local communities accept unquestioning leadership in economic, political, and cultural institutions that in subtler ways promote the agenda of the rich and white.

The problem is historical, structural, political and cultural. Identifying the “deep structures”- economic, political, ideological, and cultural-masses of people can begin to mobilize around change. Social movements may begin by addressing political ideology, or addressing public policy concerns, or participating in the electoral arena. Each is of vital importance. However, progressives need to recognize that the violence and poverty today, the racial hatred, the environmental crises are connected to the deep structures. They must work today on what is possible to change right away. In addition, progressives must organize, over the long run to radically restructure society, challenging the capitalist system and the political institutions that maintain it.

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