VICTORY AGAINST RACIST DC TRANSIT BACKGROUND CHECKS

Untitledby Karyn Pomerantz and Linda Green.

Workers for the Washington Metro Are Transit Authority (WMATA) won a class action suit in 12/17 that awarded them $6.5 million to compensate for loss of income when they were fired or not hired due to criminal background checks. While the settlement does not require rehiring affected Metro workers, it is a first step in changing policy and is an important victory against unemployment and racism. It reverses a 2011 WMATA policy that banned people with criminal records from employment if they had ever been arrested but not convicted, committed a crime that had nothing to do with their job, were framed for a crime, or had completed serving a sentence years before. Metro conducted new criminal background checks on job applicants and workers who had been off from work for over 90 days due to illness, work-related injuries, or caring for a sick family member. The company also ran checks on workers who had lost their jobs for unrelated reasons, and were re-hired later. After Metro conducted the criminal background check, they fired even the workers whom they knew had a criminal record when they had been hired and had worked for WMATA for years. Metro will now review job applicants on a case-by-case basis rather than apply a rigid anti-hiring policy to all. Continue reading “VICTORY AGAINST RACIST DC TRANSIT BACKGROUND CHECKS”

THE DECLINE OF U.S. IMPERIALISM or What Goes Up Must Come Down

by Ellen Isaacs

Imperialism is the stage of capitalism after colonialism when, the whole world having been divided up, the dominant nations fight each other for control of natural resources, markets and cheap labor. Just as capitalists within national borders must continually maximize their profits or be ousted by competitors, the capitalist class of each imperialist nation is compelled not only to optimize its exploitation of weaker nations, but to limit the access of rival powers to its acquisitions. By the late 1800s all the weaker nations had been brought under the sway of the more powerful ones, and the 1900s ushered in a century of world wars and many local armed conflicts. The primary aim of this article is to describe the declining place of the once dominant United States on the ladder of imperial power, and secondly, to assess how we as internationalist workers should relate to this shift. Continue reading “THE DECLINE OF U.S. IMPERIALISM or What Goes Up Must Come Down”

The Tax Cut Bill – A Windfall for the Wealthy Foretelling More Misery for the Working Class

by Al Simpson

December 24, 2017

The Tax Cuts – What’s Going to happen to ordinary people.

Congress recently passed a tax bill that showers billions of dollars on the wealthy.  Most, but not all, working class households will have lower taxes for a while, but tax benefits expire in 2025. After 2027, taxes for working class households will likely go up.  There were no public hearings on the bill, and no open discussion was permitted at all.  The tax cut bill was brought forward in a completely undemocratic fashion.  Details of the final bill are in appendix A, near the end of this article.  Let’s discuss some of the falsehoods that are being used to popularize the bill. Continue reading “The Tax Cut Bill – A Windfall for the Wealthy Foretelling More Misery for the Working Class”

Fight the Oppression of Women: From Sexual Assaults to Capitalist Exploitation

by Karyn Pomerantz

The rash of sexual harassment charges has generated much attention and rage at women’s treatment in the workplace. Many of these charges have political consequences as they target many Hollywood Democratic Party donors and Republican and Democratic politicians.  While mostly upper class women have come forward to accuse celebrities and politicians, sexual violence and abuse are common among all women. Continue reading “Fight the Oppression of Women: From Sexual Assaults to Capitalist Exploitation”

From the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) Meeting: Antiracist Members Fight to Make Police Violence a Public Health Issue

apha 2017 rally pix

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see … that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963. Continue reading “From the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) Meeting: Antiracist Members Fight to Make Police Violence a Public Health Issue”

AMERICAN RED CROSS—GREAT AT RAISING AND WASTING MONEY

By Al Harkins, October 19, 2017

Image: A woman receives warm meals from a Disaster Relief truck run by the American Red Cross in the Midland Beach neighborhood in Staten Island

As many writers have observed, the American Red Cross (ARC) is very good at one thing: raising money, with annual revenues of over $2.6 billion.  But they aren’t very good at delivering help to those who need it.  In 2010 when the earthquake struck Haiti, killing an estimated 100,000 to 316,000 people, ARC staff swung into action doing what it does best: raising money. Their appeal to “save lives,” aided by endorsements from President Obama and celebrities and fueled by a pioneering text message campaign, raised an incredible $488 million. Continue reading “AMERICAN RED CROSS—GREAT AT RAISING AND WASTING MONEY”

Black Communists Fight Racism with Multiracial Solidarity Part 2, Paul Robeson

by Karyn Pomerantz, October 19, 2017

Introduction

This series of blog posts reviews the immense contributions of black revolutionaries fighting racism and capitalism, primarily in the United States during the early to the mid-20th Century. Continue reading “Black Communists Fight Racism with Multiracial Solidarity Part 2, Paul Robeson”

THE SECOND AMENDMENT WAS DESIGNED TO PRESERVE SLAVERY

by Ellen Isaacs

From the earliest days of this nation, built on racism, the carrying of arms has meant the suppression of people of color. It was that way in the 1700s, and it is that way today. Like much of the policy laid out by the founders of the U.S., the real point of the second amendment was to protect profits, which at that time meant insuring the survival of slavery. To quote an article in the Guardian on 10/17 by Alan Yuhas, what the second amendment says is: Continue reading “THE SECOND AMENDMENT WAS DESIGNED TO PRESERVE SLAVERY”

HURRICANE RESPONSE IN PUERTO RICO -Supposedly, A Great Job

PR hurricaneby Al Simpson

On September 28th, Donald Trump said: “The governor of Puerto Rico is so thankful for the great job that we’re doing. . . . The governor said we are doing a great job. . . . We have had tremendous reviews from government officials . . . and this morning, the governor made incredible statements about how well we’re doing. . . . So everybody has said it’s amazing the job that we’ve done in Puerto Rico, we’re very proud of it. . . . I think we’ve done a really good job . . . and we are going to do far more than anybody else would ever be able to do and it’s being recognized as such.” Continue reading “HURRICANE RESPONSE IN PUERTO RICO -Supposedly, A Great Job”

CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION AT THE HEART OF MYANMAR’S ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE ROHINGYA

130321205032-myanmar-riots-horizontal-large-galleryby Linda D. Green

The inter-imperialist rivalry between China and the US is being played out in the destruction of Rohingya villages and the forced migration of at least 400,000 refugees into Bangladesh. This is largely being portrayed as an attack on Muslims who have been denied citizenship in Myanmar and portrayed in the media as a religious issue. But is the issue really religious persecution? Or is this an extreme example of displacement for future economic development? Continue reading “CAPITALIST EXPLOITATION AT THE HEART OF MYANMAR’S ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE ROHINGYA”