NEW YORK – Over 150 communist club leaders gathered here June 28-30 for the Communist Party USA’s (CPUSA) National Committee meeting and conference on building clubs and grassroots organizing. The CPUSA is setting a priority on building its clubs in cities and towns around the country.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and United Parcel Service announced a tentative contract settlement on July 15. The Union had said its more than 210,000 members who sort, load and deliver more than 13 million packages a day at UPS, would strike if there was no deal by the time its current contract expires on July 31.
Another round in what many see as the most important congressional debate on health policy since 1994 opened on July 15 when the Senate began a scheduled two-week debate on competing plans to provide prescription drugs for some 40 million Medicare beneficiaries.
Protesters shouted and blew whistles when Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson attempted to defend George W. Bush’s record on combatting the AIDS scourge, during the 14th International AIDS conference in Barcelona, Spain, July 9.
Amidst South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges’ threats to lie down in front of the trailer trucks to prevent them from entering his state, the Department of Energy (DOE) is currently shipping weapons-grade plutonium across the country from Rocky Flats, Colo., to Savannah River, S.C. At the same time, Congress approved a Bush plan to ship the nation’s nuclear waste, starting in 2010, from the 100-some reactors around the country to Yucca Mountain, Nev.
CHICAGO – After working for six months without a contract, 4,000 Cook County employees walked off the job on July 11 for a one-day strike. The workers, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 31, are seeking higher wages and better health-care benefits. The walkout was the first ever official strike by county workers.
Labor leaders came and went throughout the half-century of Mary Harris Jones’ (Mother Jones) career. She became an institution among the masses of miners and other working people for whom she fought. Her struggles documented the treatment of workers by their exploiters. She teaches us about the cold-blooded killing of strikers by hired guns and the U.S. Militia, the stark day-to-day realities of slave labor, the lengths to which capitalism will go to maintain unlimited profits and power, and what we must do to end that power.
When I started Richard Wright’s book Uncle Tom’s Children, I expected it to be much like Black Boy, which I had read as a child. But this work, a collection of five mid-length stories, was nothing like the story of my memory.
Recently we lost Ted Williams, probably the greatest pure hitter of all time. During his playing days he bore the brunt of abuse from the press for his disdain for them and his obvious self-confidence.
Racism is the most poisonous element in a witches’ brew of reactionary and ruling-class ideas that block a clear-sighted understanding of British political reality. But for the non-white ethnic minorities – who now make up 7.1 percent of the population – racism is an inescapable fact of life.