THE SAME OLD STORY – BAHAMA EXPLOITS AND DEPORTS HAITIANS

by Ellen Isaacs

October 18, 2019

What could be more ironic and cruel than witnessing the increasingly racist and nationalist mistreatment and expulsion of Haitians following the devastation wrought by hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas? How does a former victim of British colonialism become a fount of racist nationalism itself? How do the citizens of the only land to have overthrown slavery in modern history deserve this treatment? Because, unfortunately, racism and nationalism are the strategies with which governments around the globe retain power.

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On the Picket Line with UAW Strikers

by Ellen Isaacs

October 13, 2019

Today a group of about 35 UAW members  and other unionists took a bus from New York City to join the picket line at the GM parts distribution center in Langhorne, Pa. We spent several hours with the six or so strikers, who were occupying a space filled with chairs, tents, food and a firepit donated by many supporters who have come from local schools and other shops. They were in high spirits and very glad to see us, and we learned a lot about their situation. We also learned that 3000 Mack truck workers struck last night at midnight in nearby Allentown – strke fever may be spreading.

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United Auto Workers (UAW) Strike Update – October 9, 2019

by Al Simpson, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The UAW-GM strike is now over 3 weeks old. The UAW has not given out much information regarding the sticking points in the negotiations. Below is the publicly available information on these negotiations. 

Health Insurance Payments by Workers Increase
GM wanted the health insurance payments by the workers to increase from 3 percent to 15 percent. According to the Detroit Free Press, this demand has been rescinded.

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GM Strike – An Important Struggle Long in the Making

Fiat Chrysler workers join GM strikers at shuttered Warren Transmission plant in suburban Detroit. wsws.com

by Al Simpson

September 26, 2019

Since the bankruptcy of General Motors (GM) in 2009, the United Auto Workers (UAW) misleaders allowed GM to reduce wages, health benefits and job security. GM retirees have had to endure pension cuts and healthcare reductions. The reduction in wages was mostly accomplished through a tiered pay system.

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MICROSOFT CONTRACT WITH ICE EXPOSED: ONE STEP IN DEFENSE OF IMMIGRANTS

by Ellen Isaacs

September, 2019

On September 14, members of Close the Camps (closethecamps.us) in New York City occupied the showy Microsoft store on 5th Ave. to protest Microsoft’s $19.4 million contract with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Some protestors entered the store, dropped banners and fake bloodstained money and occupied the main floor. Another three rows of demonstrators blocked the front door with signs and banners, while chanting against collusion with ICE, border walls, racism and fascism. Although the police arrived quickly, Microsoft told them to back off, and the action continued unabated for two hours. Meanwhile, other demonstrators took up residence across the street after marching across midtown. Eventually, the occupiers moved to block traffic on Manhattan’s central 5th Ave. and were arrested, 76 in all. The ensuing publicity forced Microsoft, whose store was closed for the entire day, to issue a statement. They tried to appear innocent by denying involvement in locking up children and claiming to be multiracial and multinational, but they were forced to admit that “our current cloud engagement with ICE is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.”

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Book Review: Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl

Book Review:
Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl

by Karyn Pomerantz, August 2019

Dying of Whiteness examines how racism hurts white working class people. Metzl counters the common ideology of white privilege, which posits that white people benefit from racism in terms of social status, safety, education, and housing. While racism devastates non-white communities, it also hurts ordinary white people. Metzl’s analysis doesn’t explicitly frame these inequities as different levels of exploitation caused by capitalism, but he demonstrates how racism enriches the rich, prompts people to support policies against their best interests, and divides people to keep the working class weak (see other blog pieces on white privilege).

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THE RED SUMMER OF 1919, 100 YEARS LATER

Black workers and soldiers protect their neighborhood

by Ellen Isaacs

Red, as in blood.  The summer of 1919 earned this label not only because the murderous nature of American white racism was on full display, but mass armed resistance by its black targets became the frequent reaction. In many instances, law enforcement, federal troops and the judicial system aided or abetted racist violence. Often they raised the specter of the red, as in communist, menace to justify themselves. Occasionally whites and blacks reacted together against racist attacks. When, more often, they did not the struggle was weakened, a struggle for safety and jobs that could benefit all.

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