Author and journalist Benjamin Dangl was recently at the Wooden Shoe to talk about his new book, Dancing With Dynamite: Social Movements and States in Latin America.
In this talk, Dangl discusses the recent rise of Left governments in the region and discuss their relationship to social movement, citing the particular examples of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay.
Check out the Nov. 4 recording above to hear defenestrator collective member Colin inroduce Democracy Now's Sharif Abdel Kouddous at "The War on Words," a recent event about independent journalism and war sponsored by the Penn Arab Student Association, Penn for Palestine and Philly Against War. The event is introduced by Farah Mokhtareizadeh of Penn for Peace.
Uses of a Whirlwind is not your father's book on social movements, harping back to another time and another world, as so many works on radicalism are inclined to do. This essay collection offers valuable accounts and analyses of how contemporary movements are responding to the dizzying era of neoliberalism so many of us are continually trying to understand better. The Team Colors Collective declare up front that “our personal radicalizations came about through participation in strands of the alter-globalization movement at the tail end of the twentieth century.” Accordingly, the struggles and ideas in these writings reference such world-changing touchstones as the Zapatista rebellions in Mexico in 1994, the protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999, the anti-war movement, and the recovery efforts in post-Katrina New Orleans. This is very much a book about the here and now.
On July 14th Geno’s Steaks in South Philly held a fundraiser to support the state of Arizona in its impending legal battle with the federal government over SB 1070, the controversial immigration law. SB 1070 came under fire from immigrants’ rights activists, the Obama administration, and many on the left. Section 1 of SB 1070 declares the intent of the law to be to “make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.” Acts of attrition would include requiring Arizona police to determine the immigration status of all people suspected of being in the country illegally and making it a crime for undocumented people to work in the state.
Well over a year after Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell lifted the moratorium he imposed on the PA Board of Probation and Parole in conjunction with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to bring to a complete halt all prisoner releases, parole eligible prisoners at SCI Greene, located in southwestern Pennsylvania, who fall under the classification of violent offenders are still feeling the ramifications of Governor Rendell’s actions. Sadly, they have become pawns in the quest for continued prison expansion here in PA.
From the Human Rights Coalition
On August 2, former prisoners LuQman Abdullah and Nathaniel Lee testified at a Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee Hearing about abusive conditions inside solitary confinement units (also known as the “hole”) in PA’s state prisons. The hearing also featured testimony by human rights investigator Bret Grote, Pennsylvania Prison Society Executive Director William DiMascio, and Department of Corrections Deputy Michael Klopotoski. The former prisoners, who are both now social workers, gave detailed accounts of Pennsylvania’s use of solitary confinement, which is the practice of holding prisoners 23 or more hours a day in small bathroom-sized cells with little or no contact with other people.
"The Water's Gone Bad"
Carter Road, in Dimock, Susquehanna County, has earned the nickname “ground zero,” as it gains fame in the natural gas controversy of Pennsylvania. Residents of Carter Road organized to file suit against Cabot Oil and Gas after 14 wells used for drinking water became undrinkable. (See "Passing the Buck on Water Contamination" for details of the lawsuit). While Cabot denies that deep rock fracking caused the water contamination, the company was heavily fined by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and later forced to plug three wells in Dimock.
Do you ever get tired of listening to the barrage of constant male voices on the radio? Sure men dominate everything but isn't is supposed to be “girly” to be in a band and sing? Two local women are doing their best to battle this injustice, every Sunday on Voltaradio.com at 1pm.
In July, a judge changed Lynne Stewart's prison sentence from 28 months to 10 years, effectively giving the 70 year old lawyer who suffers from health issues a death sentence.
In 2005, Stewart was convicted of providing support to a terrorist organization. While defending a known terrorist, she released a statement from her client to the press. In doing so, she violated an agreement with the US government to not pass information between her client and the outside world. Many lawyers view Stewart's conviction as a government attack on defense lawyers that severely restricts their ability to properly represent their clients.
On July 26th, Carlos Alberto Torres was released from federal prison in Illinois after serving 30 years for his participation in the Puerto Rican independence movement. Charged with “seditious conspiracy” for his participation in the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), a clandestine independence organization that began in 1974, Carlos has dedicated his life to the liberation of Puerto Rico from the colonial rule of the United States. That dedication, from his days as a community organizer in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community to his time underground and his three decades in prison, made him a symbol of Puerto Rican pride and heroism, both on the island and in the United States.