Ishmael Flory, fighter for equality, 96

Ishmael Flory, veteran trade union organizer, activist in the African American freedom movement, and a longtime leader of the Communist Party in Illinois, died Feb. 4 in Chicago following a long illness. He was 96.

Budgets of mass destruction

After factoring out the Social Security surplus and adding in a pricey supplemental appropriation for the war in Iraq, the federal budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2004 could reach $700 billion.

Marchers denounce mental health cuts

SAN ANTONIO – Marching from historic San Fernando Cathedral to Travis Park United Methodist Church on Jan. 15, nearly 180 mental health consumers, family members, clergy and other mental health advocates brought attention to the fact that an incident involving an out-of-control mental health consumer never should have occurred.

New bill aims to defend womens rights

National Organization for Women (NOW) President Kim Gandy and other women’s rights leaders held a Washington, D.C., press conference Jan. 22, the 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to announce the introduction of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that would codify the landmark Supreme Court decision protecting reproductive rights.

National Clips

WASHINGTON: Defense contractors owe $3 billion in taxes / MONTGOMERY, Ala.: No charter schools in Alabama / NEW YORK: Librarians, booksellers launch petition drive against Patriot Act / ARLINGTON, Va: Int’l panel says ‘give D.C. a seat’

Breakthrough in struggle for same-sex marriage rights

While the Massachusetts Legislature adjourned Feb. 13 without having added an amendment to the state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage, the nation’s attention swung to the other coast when San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.