February 23

CCDS Socialist Education Project SEP
4th Monday Webinar Series
February 27, 2023
9 pm. Eastern, 8 pm Central, 7 pm Mountain, 6 pm Pacific
Black History Month

Remembering Charlene Mitchell and
the Struggle Against Racism

Charlene Mitchell, was the first African American women to run for president of the United States in 1968 on the Communist Party ticket, a founder of the Free Angela Davis campaign and the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, a founder of CCDS, a trade unionist, and a lifetime activist in the struggle against racism and class exploitation.

This webinar will examine the life and works of Charlene Mitchell as a window into the historic and contemporary struggles for racial justice and against worker exploitation. It will consist of a video presentation about Charlene Mitchell’s life and a tribute by Angela Davis. The video and comments will be followed by a panel discussion led by her comrades followed by questions and comments.

Responces from longtime comrades: Mildred Williamson, Mark Solomn, and Leslie Cagan, followed by discussion.

Rep. Kathy Sykes, D-Jackson, left, asks Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, a question concerning infrastructure during a special session of the Legislature at the Capitol in Jackson Monday, August 27, 2018., Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Bobby Harrison and Adam Ganucheau
February 7, 2023
Mississippi Today via Portside

White representatives vote to create white-appointed court system for Blackest city in America

A white supermajority of the Mississippi House voted after an intense, four-plus hour debate to create a separate court system and an expanded police force within the city of Jackson — the Blackest city in America — that would be appointed completely by white state officials.

If House Bill 1020 becomes law later this session, the white chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court would appoint two judges to oversee a new district within the city — one that includes all of the city’s majority-white neighborhoods, among other areas. The white state attorney general would appoint four prosecutors, a court clerk, and four public defenders for the new district. The white state public safety commissioner would oversee an expanded Capitol Police force, run currently by a white chief.

The appointments by state officials would occur in lieu of judges and prosecutors being elected by the local residents of Jackson and Hinds County — as is the case in every other municipality and county in the state.

Mississippi’s capital city is 80% Black and home to a higher percentage of Black residents than any major American city. Mississippi’s Legislature is thoroughly controlled by white Republicans, who have redrawn districts over the past 30 years to ensure they can pass any bill without a single Democratic vote. Every legislative Republican is white, and most Democrats are Black.

After thorough and passionate dissent from Black members of the House, the bill passed 76-38 Tuesday primarily along party lines. Two Black member of the House — Rep. Cedric Burnett, a Democrat from Tunica, and Angela Cockerham, an independent from Magnolia — voted for the measure. All but one lawmaker representing the city of Jackson — Rep. Shanda Yates, a white independent — opposed the bill.

“Only in Mississippi would we have a bill like this … where we say solving the problem requires removing the vote from Black people,” Rep. Ed Blackmon, a Democrat from Canton, said while pleading with his colleagues to oppose the measure.

For most of the debate, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba — who has been publicly chided by the white Republicans who lead the Legislature — looked down on the House chamber from the gallery. Lumumba accused the Legislature earlier this year of practicing “plantation politics” in terms of its treatment of Jackson, and of the bill that passed Tuesday, he said: “It reminds me of apartheid.”

Hinds County Circuit Judge Adrienne Wooten, who served in the House before being elected judge and would be one of the existing judges to lose jurisdiction under this House proposal, also watched the debate.

Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell, who oversees the Capitol Police, watched a portion of the debate from the House gallery, chuckling at times when Democrats made impassioned points about the bill. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, the only statewide elected official who owns a house in Jackson, walked onto the House floor shortly before the final vote.
Rep. Blackmon, a civil rights leader who has a decades-long history of championing voting issues, equated the current legislation to the Jim Crow-era 1890 Constitution that was written to strip voting rights from Black Mississippians.

“This is just like the 1890 Constitution all over again,” Blackmon said from the floor. “We are doing exactly what they said they were doing back then: ‘Helping those people because they can’t govern themselves.'”

The bill was authored by Rep. Trey Lamar, a Republican whose hometown of Senatobia is 172 miles north of Jackson. It was sent to Lamar’s committee by Speaker Philip Gunn instead of a House Judiciary Committee, where similar legislation normally would be heard.
“This bill is designed to make our capital city of Jackson, Mississippi, a safer place,” Lamar said, citing numerous news sources who have covered Jackson’s high crime rates. Dwelling on a long backlog of Hinds County court cases, Lamar said the bill was designed to “help not hinder the (Hinds County) court system.”

“My constituents want to feel safe when they come here,” Lamar said, adding the capital city belonged to all the citizens of the state. “Where I am coming from with this bill is to help the citizens of Jackson and Hinds County.”

Many House members who represent Jackson on Tuesday said they were never consulted by House leadership about the bill. Several times during the debate, they pointed out that Republican leaders have never proposed increasing the number of elected judges to address a backlog of cases or increasing state funding to assist an overloaded Jackson Police Department.

In earlier sessions, the Legislature created the Capitol Complex Improvement District, which covers much of the downtown, including the state government office complex and other areas of Jackson. The bill would extend the existing district south to Highway 80, north to County Line Road, west to State Street and east to the Pearl River. Between 40,000 and 50,000 people live within the area.

Opponents of the legislation, dozens of whom have protested at the Capitol several days this year, accused the authors of carving out mostly white, affluent areas of the city to be put in the new district.

The bill would double the funding for the district to $20 million in order to increase the size of the existing Capitol Police force, which has received broad criticism from Jacksonians for shooting several people in recent months with little accountability.

The new court system laid out in House Bill 1020 is estimated to cost $1.6 million annually.
Democratic members of the House said if they wanted to help with the crime problem, the Legislature could increase the number of elected judges in Hinds County. Blackmon said Hinds County was provided four judges in 1992 when a major redistricting occurred, and that number has not increased since then even as the caseload for the four judges has exploded.
In addition, Blackmon said the number of assistant prosecuting attorneys could be increased within Hinds County. In Lamar’s bill, the prosecuting of cases within the district would be conducted by attorneys in the office of Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who is white.

Blackmon said the bill was “about a land grab,” not about fighting crime. He said other municipalities in the state had higher crime rates than Jackson. Blackmon asked why the bill would give the appointed judges the authority to hear civil cases that had nothing to do with crime.

“When Jackson becomes the No. 1 place for murder, we have a problem,” Lamar responded, highlighting the city’s long backlog of court cases. Several Democrats, during the debate, pointed out that the state of Mississippi’s crime lab has a lengthy backlog, as well, adding to the difficult in closing cases in Hinds County.

Lamar said the Mississippi Constitution gives the Legislature the authority to create “inferior courts,” as the Capitol Complex system would be. The decisions of the appointed judges can be appealed to Hinds County Circuit Court.

Democrats offered seven amendments, including one to make the judges elected. All were defeated primarily along partisan and racial lines.

“We are not incompetent,” said Rep. Chris Bell, D-Jackson. “Our judges are not incompetent.”
An amendment offered by Rep. Cheikh Taylor, D-Starkville, to require the Capitol Police to wear body cameras was approved. Lamar voiced support for the amendment.
Much of the debate centered around the issue of creating a court where the Black majority in Hinds County would not be allowed to vote on judges.

One amendment that was defeated would require the appointed judges to come from Hinds County. Lamar said by allowing the judges to come from areas other than Hinds County would ensure “the best and brightest” could serve. Black legislators said the comment implied that he judges and other court staff could not be found within the Black majority population of Hinds County.

When asked why he could not add more elected judges to Hinds County rather than appointing judges to the new district, Lamar said, “This is the bill that is before the body.”
Mississippi Today

We believe that an informed Mississippi is a better Mississippi. We center readers in everything we do, informing–and engaging–Mississippians through reporting, podcasts, events and online communities.
Founded in 2016 as the state’s first nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom, Mississippi Today’s roots in Capitol coverage have grown to encompass a myriad of beats beyond politics and policy, including education, public health, justice, environment, equity, and, yes, sports.
Mexican President Vows Global Push to End
'Inhumane' US Embargo of Cuba

One peace group praised AMLO for "once again providing such an important voice against U.S. imperialism and bullying."

Feb 13, 2023

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed over the weekend to lead a worldwide movement to end the 61-year U.S. embargo of Cuba.

"We are going to continue demanding the removal, the elimination of the blockade against Cuba, which is inhumane," López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, said Saturday in a speech attended by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. "Mexico will lead a more active movement so that all countries unite and defend the independence and sovereignty of Cuba."

"And not only when it comes to voting at the U.N., which is always won. Only one or two countries abstain or vote against" annual resolutions condemning the embargo, AMLO continued, referring to the U.S. and Israel. "The majority of the countries of the world are in favor of the elimination of the blockade, but the assembly passes and it's back to the same thing."

"Mexico will lead a more active movement so that all countries unite and defend the independence and sovereignty of Cuba," said AMLO, who denounced Washington's attempts to treat the Caribbean island "as a terrorist country or put them on a blacklist of alleged terrorists."

Anti-war activists from CodePink praised AMLO for "once again providing such an important voice against U.S. imperialism and bullying."

Last summer, the Mexican president boycotted the Summit of the Americas, held in Los Angeles, due to the White House's refusal to invite officials from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to the meeting.

"Together with friends in Mexico and around the world, we will unblock Cuba," CodePink tweeted Sunday.

Following Obama-era efforts at normalization, former U.S. President Donald Trump intensified Washington's crackdown on the small island nation, implementing more than 240 punitive policies even as Cubans endured acute shortages of food and medicine amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the Trump administration's most "despicable" actions, according to critics, was its last-minute decision to put Cuba back on the State Department's list of "State Sponsors of Terrorism" (SSOT), a move that has derailed the provision of economic aid and loans made by international financial institutions.

Despite Democratic lawmakers' pleas and President Joe Biden's own campaign pledge to reverse his predecessor's "failed" approach to Cuba, the White House imposed additional economic sanctions against the island following anti-government protests in July 2021 and has so far refused to remove the country from the SSOT blacklist.

Last month, a group of 160 mostly U.S. lawyers implored Biden to "immediately initiate a review and notification process to remove Cuba from the SSOT list," writing that "there is no legal or moral justification" for the country to remain on it.
That letter from the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect came a few months after more than 10,000 people and 100 progressive advocacy groups signed an open letter demanding, to no avail, that Biden reverse Trump's terrorism designation for Cuba and reinstate Obama-era policy toward the nation.

Meanwhile, Cuba has continued to send doctors to various parts of the world to help tackle Covid-19 and other diseases. In defiance of more than six decades of harmful U.S. sanctions, the biggest export of the island, which has a lower child mortality rate than its more powerful and hostile neighbor to the north, is medical care.
On Saturday, AMLO thanked Díaz-Canel for sending Cuban doctors to provide healthcare in remote areas of Mexico. Díaz-Canel, for his part, also expressed gratitude during his visit to Mexico's southeastern port city of Campeche.

"I once again thank our brother nation for its solidarity with the Cuban people, who have faced tremendously difficult challenges in the last few years and months due to a combination of the blows of nature and the effects of the toughened blockade," said Díaz-Canel.
"I once again thank our brother nation for its solidarity with the Cuban people, who have faced tremendously difficult challenges in the last few years and months."

Last summer, a few weeks after 55 House Democrats joined their Republican counterparts to defeat Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D-Mich.) legislative attempt to make it easier for an economically battered Cuba to import food grown by U.S. farmers, the island was further devastated by a catastrophic oil fire.

Despite the best efforts of a handful of progressive lawmakers who urged the Biden administration to do more, the U.S. limited its disaster response to phone consultations and refused to repeal sanctions even as they created barriers to delivering humanitarian aid. Mexico, by contrast, dispatched firefighting resources to help contain the blaze.

On Saturday, AMLO awarded Díaz-Canel the "Order of the Aztec Eagle," Mexico's highest honor for foreigners. Previous recipients include Gabriel García Márquez, a Colombian novelist and Nobel literature laureate, and Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid organizer and eventual president of his country.

In addition, AMLO and Díaz-Canel participated in bilateral talks to outline plans for further cooperation on matters of trade and healthcare.

“The U.S. government should lift, as soon as possible, the unjust and inhuman blockade of the Cuban people," AMLO said Saturday. "It's time for a new coexistence among all the countries of Latin America."

The Mexican president argued that U.S. policy toward Cuba "is completely worn out, anachronistic, it has no future or point, and it no longer benefits anyone."
"Its people and government are deeply humane," AMLO said of the island nation. "Long live the dignified people of Cuba!"

Kenny Stancil is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

The Medicare for All Update Group will hold its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, February 22 at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific Times. A Zoom link will be sent later. If you want to attend please email:  m4aupdategroup@gmail.com

The proposed agenda will include:

State and local reports on health care justice movements, Medicare for All/single payer movements, and anti-privatization movements. The new members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. 

An update on the fight against the privatization of Medicare in the form of the new Biden Administration program of ACOREACH, which places seniors who have Traditional Medicare into a profit-making scheme that restricts care. 

If time permits, discussion of Medicare Advantage plans and the growing movement against them.
Save the Date:

Move the Money Task Force 
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS)
Webinar -- March 21, 2023, 8 pm Eastern
Silencing Dissent: How the Military-Industrial Complex Dominates the Conversation and What We Can Do About It

Joan Roelofs presentation will be based upon the theme of her most recent book, The Trillion Dollar Silencer: Why There Is So Little Anti-war Protest in the United States (Clarity Press, 2022), and related topics. 
Joan Roelofs, Professor Emerita of Political Science at Keene State College, has been an anti-war activist ever since she protested the Korean War. She has been associated with the Pledge of Resistance, Monadnock Greens, Greens/Green Party USA, NH Peace Action, World Beyond War, The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Code Pink.

For more information and ways to get involved go to mrcampaign.net
Saturday, February 4, 2023


A thirteen-year-old boy in Bejing was celebrating his birthday Wednesday when a helium balloon filled with candy flew out the window of his house and took off over the skies of China. Because of high winds the balloon sailed across the Chinese mainland, traversed across the Pacific, and was spotted by the crack US radar system over the state of Montana.

Debate in the Biden Administration ensured about how to respond to this birthday balloon’s clear penetration of US air space. Hawks in the administration argued that the balloon had to be immediately destroyed before American children heard about the sweets in the balloon. More patient advisors from the State Department took the view that maybe the US should keep the lid on informing the media about the birthday balloon until it sailed across the Atlantic. Then the world’s greatest air force could shoot down the balloon and confiscate the evidence of the Chinese birthday party without Americans seeing what was in the balloon.

Finally, the balloon was shot down off the coast of North Carolina. Retrieved from the shootdown was much of the contents of the balloon: candy corn, milk duds, M and Ms, Baby Ruth candy bars, and popcorn and 42 packages of cherry Life Savers.

Biden spokespersons accused the Chinese of trying to embarrass the United States in the eyes of the world by showing off their typical birthday presents. The Chinese claimed, on the other hand, that if the window in the apartment where the party was held had been closed, the birthday balloon would never have flown into the sky and drifted toward the Western Hemisphere.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy charged that the Biden Administration knew of the birthday balloons, charging that Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a CEO in a balloon manufacturing company. Others pointed out that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken did not write down his scheduled Chinese visit and just plain forgot about it.

Meanwhile two Senators, one from Indiana and another from Arkansas have called for an additional $100 billion increase in the 2023 military budget, called the Balloon Production and Distribution Act. The CEO of the Happy Balloon Company of Battle Ground, Indiana said that the BPD Act is vital to US national security. If US “kids”, he said, learn about Chinese birthday parties they will mobilize against their own government.

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC was quoted as saying on a “breaking news” special that this balloon attack is the biggest story since Pearl Harbor.

When asked about whether this crisis could lead to nuclear war between the US and China: Biden said: “Maybe Not.”
She Said
a movie sketch by Jay D. Jurie

Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, directed by Maria Schrader, produced by Annapurna Pictures and Plan B Entertainment, released by Universal Pictures, November 18, 2022

She Said holds out hope that maybe, even if too little and too late, it is possible to hold the rich and powerful accountable and make them pay for their crimes. 

This movie comes out of the same "expose" genre as All the President's Men about Watergate, and The Post, about the Washington Post and the release of the Pentagon Papers, where doggedly persistent reporters pursue and eventually are able to break bombshell national news stories. Like those films, the storyline of She Said builds excitement, with appropriate drama, including tension and suspense. In this case, Jodi Kantor, played by Zoe Kazan, and Megan Twohey, played by Carey Mulligan, are two New York Times reporters who set out to publicize the multitudinous sexual depredations of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. 

Early on, their path was quite rocky. They contacted several women who were reluctant to talk with them at all, were willing to talk but were under gag orders, or otherwise were afraid to put themselves on record. Not to give away much more of how the inquiry unfolded, eventually the dam breaks. Among those who do finally agree to reveal their experience are a couple of well-known entertainment industry stars.  

Sufficient substantiation is generated to support the allegations raised and justify publication of Weinstein's actions over several decades, despite vehement opposition from Weinstein and his lawyers. The initial New York Times story broke in October 2017, and the reporters co-wrote a book that was published in 2019. Weinstein wound up convicted and sentenced to 23 years in New York and was more recently convicted of rape and other sexual misconduct in Los Angeles. 

As a film, all the actors gave excellent performances. One marvels that if in real life the interviews and other work was as flawlessly executed and professional. Out of this reportage the greatest and hopefully most lasting social contribution may be the empowerment of women to speak out against sexual assault and intimidation, which consequently found its most powerful expression in the creation of the Me Too! Movement.  

Sources: the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia.
Friday, February 10, 2023
Building a New Society

Harry Targ 
November 8, 2011, The Rag Blog, reposted.

(“Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America. Passed the House of Representatives February 2, 2023.” While not their intention, Congress did the American people a service by raising for conversation the meaning, purposes, and visions of “socialism” today. The essay below written a decade ago remembers visions of socialism that animated the thinking and actions of young people 50 years ago. And these visions of socialism go back years before that. They involve a passion for public purpose, real not corporate democracy, economic equality, an end to racism, sexism, and the exploitation of all workers, and perhaps most of all the creation of a society based on the best of US history that maximizes the potential of each and every human being. Let us have more conversations about socialism). 

A powerful concept animated the vision of young people in the 1960s, the idea of community. Many of us came to that decade with little interest in politics. We were not “red diaper” babies, but we became outraged by Jim Crow, McCarthyism, and war. Our education had communicated an early version of Margaret Thatcher’s admonition, “there is no alternative,” and our impulses told us then that “another world was possible.”

New and old ideas about a better world began to circulate from college campuses, the streets, some churches, and popular culture. A whole body of engaging literature caught the fancy of young people. 

For me Paul Goodman’s description of youth growing up in the sterile 1950s, Growing Up Absurd, resonated. He wrote about alternative possibilities in such books as Utopian Essays and Practical Proposals. Perhaps most startling to a young reader was the earlier analysis Goodman published with his brother Percival, Communitas. In that book the Goodman brothers argued that societies, big and small, were products of values. Architecture and the organization of space, social, and political forms, and the ease with which people could communicate and interact with each other varied. And the variations created in space and social forms affected whether communities valued life and sociability or consumption and profit maximization. 

The Goodmans opened up new intellectual doors for me. I looked at earlier anarchists, such as Peter Kropotkin, who argued that humans -- if not separated by time, space, and power structures -- often lived in solidarity with their neighbors. A “mutual aid” principle was natural to human existence. And, as a result “the state" sought to stamp it out and replace it with top-down authority. 

Martin Buber, in Paths in Utopia, identified a “centralistic political principle” that emerged when groups and states sought control of markets and natural resources and “the most valuable of all goods,” the lives of people who lived with each other changed as “...the autonomous relationships become meaningless, personal relationships wither; and the very spirit of...” being human “...hires itself out as a functionary.” The alternative for Buber was what he called a decentralized social principle, or community which is “...never a mere attitude of mind” but of “...tribulation and only because of that community of spirit; community of toil and only because of that community of salvation...” 

In 1974, I wrote in summation about these theorists and many others that the architectural forms and social structures of the Goodmans can profitably be blended with the spiritualism and socialism of Buber to construct a synthesis of all that the utopians and anarchists set out to achieve. The Goodmans show how community can be created in the industrial age and Buber illustrates how the best features of the entire community tradition fit together. 

The ideas of community, empowerment, and social justice spread from these and other sources. They were articulated for the Sixties in the Port Huron Statement, written by founders of the Students for a Democratic Society. While written by and for a relatively privileged sector of disenchanted youth in a period of booming economic growth and military expansion, the document spoke to the passion for justice, participation, and community, and an “…unrealized potential for self-cultivation, self-direction, self-understanding, and creativity.” It called for the creation of “human interdependence,” replacing “...power rooted in possession, privilege, or circumstance...” by “power and uniqueness rooted in love, reflectiveness, reason and creativity.” 

By the late Sixties many of us were identifying a new society that must be built on core principles. These included:

-local control and participatory democracy
-racial justice 
-gender equality 
-equitable distribution of resources and the collective product of human labor 
-commitments to the satisfaction of minimal basic needs for all of humankind 
-the development of an ethic that connects survival to human existence, not to specific jobs 
-human control over technology; and 
-a new “land ethic” that conceives of humankind as part of nature, not in conflict with it. 

Many of us began to explore the impediments to the construction of a society based on human scale that would celebrate both individual creativity and community. Growing familiarization with the critique of capitalism suggested that the capitalist mode of production, dominant over two-thirds of the world, was based upon the exploitation, oppression, dehumanization, and repression of the vast majority of humankind. Incorporating an understanding of the workings of capitalism did not contradict the vision that Buber called the decentralized social principle and the many eloquent calls by others for “community.” It did suggest that building a new society entailed class struggle which would manifest itself in factories and fields, in rich and poor countries, and in political venues from the ballot box to the streets. 

Bringing about positive change was a much more complicated affair than activists originally thought, but the sustained and sometimes brutal opposition to our visions validated the general correctness of them. Today, new generations of activists, along with older ones, are reflecting and participating in diverse social movements in our cities and towns. They observe with enthusiasm the mobilizations, the militancy, and the passion for justice still unfolding in the Middle East. The efforts of Venezuelans, Bolivians, Ecuadorians, and the Cubans who inspired us so much over the years are applauded. Important debates about social market economies, workers’ management of large enterprises, this or that candidate or political party, are occurring on the Internet and in the streets. 

Although the times are so different from the 1960s, perhaps the vision of community that animated our thinking then (which we in turn learned from those who preceded us) may still be relevant for today. Without creating new documents or dogmas perhaps it can be proclaimed that we remain committed to the sanctity of human life, to equality, to popular control of all our institutions, to a reverence for the environment, and to the idea that the best of society comes from our communal efforts to make living better for all.
CCDS National Coordinating Committee
Met Sunday, January 22, 2023
The meeting started In memory of Charlene Mitchell and Gary Hicks. Charlene has a long time communist and activist. She was the woman to run for President on Communist Party. She was founding member and chair of CCDS.

Mark Solomon wrote a remembrance of Charlene which Marilyn read. Here’s a link to the video about her: Charlene Video: https://vimeo.com/10354190 .  Randy noted that he had submitted a brief written remembrance that may be published with the others. There will a booklet put out in her honor.

Gary Hicks had a long history of activism and was a current Co-Chair of CCDS                                           
Marilyn Albert first met Gary in 1970s when they were both members of the Young Workers Liberation League. Then didn’t see him again for 35 years. Gary was a draft resister who got a 3 year sentence, unusually long sentence compared to others. 

Time of day
The time of day started out with out with a presentation on the elections, expansion of the Justice Democrats, split in the Republican Party made by Carl Davidson, followed by discussion.
 Carl spoke about the election of House Speaker, which revealed the deep divisions in the Republican party. The Christian Nationalists are different from the Trump people. The former are funded by the Kochs, and are economic libertarians. Hypocrisy of Repubs attacking “Hunter Biden’s laptop” compared with the Jared Kushner’s corruption. There’s going to be precious little legislation coming out of this Congress, it’s all going to be hearings “investigating” Democrats. 130 members of this Congress backed the Jan 6 insurrection.

Harry suggests we have some educational efforts around debt.Randy pointed out that the Democrats took advantage of the farce of the Speaker election to burnish the reputation of minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, a neo-liberal from NY state, where the Democratic Party is almost completely controlled by neo-liberals, and were responsible for losing three seats to Republicans.

Carl D says neo-liberalism is exhausted, has come to the end of their 40-year run, but the neo-liberals are still in place, like zombies.

Harry Targ presented on the ongoing provocation around China.
Harry says he “got addicted to accumulating articles on US-China relations”, compiled the information into a powerpoint. The presentation included a list of the appalling and dangerous assumptions that the US harbors about remaining the global hegemon, about the Global South supporting the US, and the possibility of accomplishing hegemony without needing a catastrophic war.

Carl D. asked how has China threatened the US? It hasn’t. 

Carl Redwood reportesd on Leftroots    
Leftroots is developing a strategy and organizing toolkit. They would like to reach out to individual members of CCDS to see if they would want to be part of the process. Concerned to make sure they do not become sectarian as in the past. They see cadre organization not as being “right” (that is, correct), but to test out theories and hypotheses on how to mobilize the Progressive Majority.  We agreed that LeftRoots has our approval to contact people who are CCDS members.  

Janet Tucker opened a discussion around the CCDS Congress 2023 or 2024                      
Bylaws say every 3 years. Harry had previously suggested we put it off for a year and do a 30-year commemoration. Jay said we have to take into account where we are with the pandemic, and with the airlines.

Steve Willett said people if people want to meet in person we should make it a hybrid meeting. And at the convention he favors amending the bylaws to make our conventions every four years. (He added that this doesn’t need approval by the NCC: anyone can submit a bylaw amendment.)
Richard sasid looking at Steve’s membership report, if we wait much longer we won’t have anyone to meet. 

Jay moves we put the convention off for one year. Seconded by Harry and one of the Carl/Karls. Janet proposes an amendment to the motion, to do it in late spring rather than summer (because of elections). Accepted as friendly. No objection to the motion. CONVENTION POSTPONED TO SPRING 2024. 

Set up a convention planning committee. Steve, Jay (neither will chair), Meta. Harry suggests maybe drafting some of our new members. 

Steve Willett gave the Membership Report.   We seem to be in a stable situation, where membership goes up and down but stays in the same range over several months. We gain a few members and others die.

Finance Report was given  Meta Van Sickle. Over $11,000 in our bank account, thanks to Jae Scharlin bequest, and some checks from blackbaud. Global Health Partners received $100 from us.

Harry Targ reported on the Organizing committee. Harry, Jay and Meta are a subcommittee of the organizing committee, put together a draft of a tri-fold leaflet. 

D&I 2022/ Harry’s book/ Charlene booklet                        
Harry’s book is out

Carl D says we can put out a D&I in 2023 if we have the articles. Steve warns that we used to put out D&I quarterly, now we’re thinking about not even every year, we should think about how we’re going to use it. Meta had a side comment that declining expected available 18-year-olds has colleges and universities scrambling for funding from corporations. 

Marilyn reported: Charlene booklet will contain people’s remembrances, not Charlene’s writings. They want to have the booklet ready for a memorial service in May, so if people have something they want to submit, do it this week.

Tomorrow night Vijay Prashad speaking on “The Darker Nations”. Continue to publicize.

Peace and Solidarity and Move the Money Campaign, report by Tom Gogan.        
The Move the Money Task Force has put on two webinars, panel discussions. Aiming for another one in late March.   And meanwhile in NY they are moving ahead with a new resolution in the City Council, have 9 sponsors.

The P&S committee has followed events, with Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America being high on the list. Karl posted, “The México Solidarity Project’s weekly bilingual Bulletin features Interviews with activists from different social movements in México, Mexicano communities in the US, and their supporters. The first issue of 2023 gives a sample of the kinds of issues and interviews covered; please check it out - and subscribe! 

Medicare for All Update Group report by Marilyn Albert                       
Marilyn reported that the private takeover of Medicare is an official policy of t inhe Biden Administration and the Democratic Party, with the installation of ACO-Reach programs.
Next meeting Feb 22, via Zoom, 5pm Pacific Time and 8pm Eastern Time (corrected time!!). To get the zoom link sent to you closer to the date, email m4aupdategroup@gmail.com, which comes to Marilyn.

The group has been mostly focusing on Medicare privatization. The updates have led to several speaker requests. Trying to increase involvement. Jay says this is a good example of the kind of field work and activism that CCDS can do. Tom reported that there was a tactical victory in NY City, where the city has been trying to get (public service retirees, like teachers?) to have a Medicare Advantage plan.

Marilyn reported on Third Act . Marilyn reported A group of retired union activists met to form a labor subgroup to Third Act, which was started by environmentalist Bill McKibben, to focus on saving the planet and saving democracy. Check it out at http://ThirdAct.org . Tom Gogan is one of the many articulate critics of McKibben because he will not speak against the Military-Industrial Complex and military’s role in climate change.

Next meeting Sunday, April 16,
This is a unique collection of 15 essays by two Purdue University professors who use their institution as a case-in-point study of the changing nature of the American 'multiversity.' They take a book from an earlier time, Upton Sinclair's 'The Goose-Step A Study of American Education' from 1936, which exposed the capitalist corruption of the ivory tower back then and brought it up to date with more far-reaching changes today. the authors go into some detail on how the military industries are not only penetrating the universities but pushing out the liberal arts at the same time. They also include, as an appendix, a 1967 essay by SDS leader Carl Davidson, who broke some of the original ground on the subject.

The Man Who Changed Colors, the new mystery novel by esteemed labor journalist Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a sequel to his acclaimed debut The Man Who Fell From The Sky. It's the story of one reporter's search for the truth when a shipyard worker mysteriously falls to his death. Release date: April 10.

Also in development, an exhilarating non-fiction thriller about the group of San Francisco dock workers who refused to load arms to send to a fascist regime in El Salvador (title & release date TBD).

So Far From Home is a collection of fiction and creative nonfiction stories by immigrants working in Singapore, a long way from their own Viet Nam, China, Philippines or Malaysia.

From Little Heroes Press we will have the inspiring true story of a group of New York City kids who got the bill banning pesticides in school yards and public arks into law (Working title: Please Don't Poison Me!). Release date TBA.

We will also have A Piece of The Pie, a sequel to the adorable The Cabbage That Came Back. In this installment, Bunny Rabbit organizes the workers in mean Mr. Weasel's pie factory. Who better than a field rabbit to teach your kids the value of a grass-roots campaign?

So stay tuned, there are many great things to come from your favorite labor and social justice publishing house. And don't forget to check out our current catalogue, it's not too late to buy a book from our Hard Ball Press web site for the holidays

Solidarity forever, Timothy Sheard, editor Hard Ball & Little Heroes Press

From the CCDS Socialist Education Project...
A China Reader

Edited by Duncan McFarland

A project of the CCDS Socialist Education Project and Online University of the Left

244 pages, $20 (discounts available for quantity), order at :

The book is a selection of essays offering keen insight into the nature of China and its social system, its internal debates, and its history. It includes several articles on the US and China and the growing efforts of friendship between the Chinese and American peoples.

Click here for the Table of Contents

Taking Down White Supremacy 

A Reader on Multiracial and Multinational Unity 

Edited by the CCDS
Socialist Education Project

166 pages, $12.50 (discounts available for quantity), order at :

This collection of 20 essays brings together a variety of articles-theoretical, historical, and experiential-that address multi-racial, multi-national unity. The book provides examples theoretically and historically, of efforts to build multi-racial unity in the twentieth century.

      Click here for the Table of contents

Vijay Prashad, “The Rise of ‘The Darker Nations’ in the 21st Century: Responses to Crises of War, Poverty, and Environmental Disaster

CHANGEMAKER PUBLICATIONS: Recent works on new paths to socialism and the solidarity economy

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