Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NATIONAL CALL IN DAY FOR HEALTH CARE

National Health Care Call in Day is TODAY. 
The call in number is 1-877-264-4226. (You can also fax or email your representative) 
TAKE 2 Minutes and do it! 
For more info, visit the AFL-CIO NOW BLOG

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stitch in MKE!!!

Interviewee: Milwaukee activist and artist, as well as Young Communist League leader, Jeanette Martín talks about a local open mic series that she and two other local activists put together. 

Interviewer: Ursula Mlynarek is the National Membership Coordinator of the Young Communist League, U.S.A. and native Milwaukee-ian.   



UM: What is Stitch?

JM: STITCH is the name that we, Alida Cardos Whaley, Tony Garcia & myself came up with.  We we're thinking about what this open mic series entailed of, and what it meant to us.  I yelled out STITCH! Since this open mic series is our own way of trying to stitch both sides of Milwaukee, and build community. 

UM: What is the format of Stitch?

JM: This weekly open mic series travels from one venue to the other- bringing in youth from one side of town to the other.  Youth share thoughts, ideas, poems, songs and other art forms.  Each night has different featured artists. Features were chosen through word of mouth, connections and people that heard about this open mic series. 

UM: Are a lot of the features political?  

JM: I believe that many of the features have strong messages to send across to the audience, but I would not label all of them political. 
 

UM: Why is Stitch unique?

Stitch is unique since it is being organized from the actual folks that are part of these communities, for a good cause.   I've gotten tons of emails from other coffee shops and venues that were very excited about what we were doing-and wanted to help us in any way that they could.  That was one thing that really showed me that we were doing something positive for our comunidades.   

UM: You keep referring to Milwaukee's "two sides" of the city.  Please describe what you mean by these different sides, and what the importance of connecting them. 

JM: The north side of Milwaukee is disenfranchised and financially deprived, and most of its residents are African American. The eastside of Milwaukee, UW-Milwaukee campus area, known to be the "nice" side of town, and there is a diverse group of folks living there, but the majority being white. The east side of Milwaukee also hosts financially wealthy Milwaukee residents.  The Southside of Milwaukee, that was a majority Polish neighborhood since the early 1900s has now transitioned into being a predominantly Mexican, Puerto Rican as well as Hmong community. In the deep Southside of Milwaukee is the home to mostly white working class.  By having the open mics alternate weekly, people are exposed to a place they may have never been to before, or would even think about going to otherwise. 

UM: Tell me about Son MUDANZA, one of the key performers tonight.

JM: Son Mudanza established itself 2 years ago through influence of Son del Centro, a Chican@ Son Jarocho group in Santa Ana, California. Son Mudanza uses dance, poetry and song to built community as well as use as a form of cultural resistance here in the United States. A lot of the poems are the struggle on both sides of the border, as well as personal realities about being a Chican@ here in the United States.

Son Mudanza believes in solidarity and supports other social movements that believe in the power of difference.  We're all friends, organizers and activists in our communities. 







REFLECTIONS OF FIDEL
What must be demanded of the
 United States 

(Taken from CubaDebate)


THE meeting in Costa Rica did not lead and could not lead to peace. The people of Honduras are not at war; only the coup perpetrators are using weapons against them. They should be called on to end their war on the people. Such a meeting between Zelaya and the coup leaders would only serve to demoralize the constitutional president and wear down the energies of the Honduran people.
World public opinion knows what has taken place in that country via footage circulated by international television, fundamentally Telesur which, without losing a second, faithfully transmitted each and every one of the events that took place in Honduras, the speeches given and the unanimous agreements against the coup by international agencies.
The world was able to see the blows rained down on men and women, the thousands of teargas grenades fired on the crowds, the gross gestures with weapons of war and live rounds to intimidate, wound or kill citizens.
The idea that Hugo Llorens, the U.S. ambassador in Tegucigalpa, was unaware of or discouraged the coup is absolutely untrue. He knew about it, as did the U.S. military advisors, who didn’t stop their training of Honduran troops for one minute.
It is now known that idea of promoting a peace move initiated in Costa Rica emerged from the offices of the State Department in order to contribute to the consolidation of the military coup.
The coup was conceived of and organized by unscrupulous individuals on the extreme right, dependable officials of George W. Bush and promoted by him.
All of them, without exception, have a bulky file of anti-Cuba activities. Hugo Llorens, the ambassador in Honduras since mid-2008, is a Cuban-American. He is part of a group of aggressive U.S. ambassadors in Central America comprising Robert Blau, ambassador in El Salvador; Stephen McFarland in Guatemala; and Robert Callahan in Nicaragua, all appointed by Bush in the months of July and August of 2008.
The four are continuing the line of Otto Reich and John Negroponte who, together with Oliver North, were responsible for the dirty war in Nicaragua and the death squads in Central America, which cost the peoples of the region tens of thousands of lives.
Negroponte was Bush’s representative at the United Nations, czar of U.S. intelligence and finally assistant secretary of state. In distinct ways, both of them were behind the Honduras coup.
The Soto Cano base in that country, headquarters of the Joint Task Force Bravo belonging to the Armed Forces of the United States, is the central support point of the coup d’état in Honduras.
The United States has the sinister plan of creating five further military bases around Venezuela, on the pretext of replacing the Manta one in Ecuador.
The ridiculous adventure of the coup d’état in Honduras has created a really complicated situation in Central America, which will not be resolved by traps, deceptions and lies.
Every day, new details are emerging of the implication of the United States in that action, which will also have serious repercussions in all of Latin America.
The idea of a peace initiative based in Costa Rica was transmitted to the president of that country from the State Department, when Obama was in Moscow and when he stated, in a Russian university, that the only president of Honduras was Manuel Zelaya.
The coup perpetrators were in a difficult situation. The initiative transmitted to Costa Rica sought the objective of saving them. It is obvious that every day of delay has a cost for the constitutional president and tends to dilute the exceptional international support that he has received. The Yankee maneuver does not increment the possibilities of peace, but exactly the opposite, it reduces them and the danger of violence is growing, given that the peoples of our America will never resign themselves to the fate programmed for them. When Micheletti, the de facto president, proclaimed yesterday that he is prepared to resign from his post if Zelaya resigns, I knew that the State Department and the military coup leaders had agreed to replace him and send him back to Congress as part of the maneuver.
The only correct thing to do at this point is to demand that the government of the United States ends its intervention, stops lending military support to the coup perpetrators and withdraws its Task Force from Honduras.
What is being demanded of the Honduran people, in the name of peace, is the negation of all the principles that have been fought for by all the nations of this hemisphere. 
"Respect for the right of others is peace, said [Benito] Juárez.

Fidel Castro Ruz
July 16, 2009
1:12 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poor Man's Stroll
The 2nd single from ((Stero))type's album Ultrasound.  The song chronicles the "ills of capitalism and captures the sentiments of millions of americans, living poor and under appreciated." says half of ((Stero))type, Drematic.

Want more? Check out music collective Indi-Arts at indi-arts.org 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Unity In the Community


At the beginning of May students from Little Village Lawndale Highschool, North Lawndale College Prep, Farragut, and Castellanos rallied and marched against violence in the Little Village and North Lawndale communities in Chicago, IL. Gangs in Chicago are a part of everyday life of students, whether they join or not. Neighborhoods are divided up into often small turfs that are dangerous, even for non affiliated students to cross in and out of. In Little Village the struggle is to create designated safe passages that can get students safely to school, jobs or events across opposing gang turf.

Read more after the jump!

Gang conflict within the school is also a common problem and these gang conflicts can quickly become racial conflicts. Chicago is highly racially segregated and then further segregated by gangs. Schools are a meeting point crossing neighborhoods, racial and gang lines. LVLHS is majority Latino, but also has a growing African American student body. African American students come from neighboring communities that have different gang affiliatioins. When gang conflict between Latino and African American gangs or gang members happen on or around school, larger conflict ensues. These larger conflicts turn into racially targeted violence that create huge racial tensions in the school and community.

The Unity March was called to address these issues, and bring youth in the community together against violence.

The rally was led by students who talked about the need to end violence, read the names of the 36 Chicago Public School students murdered this year and sang the Black National Anthem. The March went through the center of the community and through the neighborhood dividing line between the Latino community of Little Village and the African American community of North Lawndale.

This is the first of many actions neighborhood members and youth will take to curb the violence Little Village and North Lawndale students live with everyday. One of the many demands: Jobs for Youth!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Argentine

By Kaity Chiocca

Steven Soderbergh's “The Argentine,” the first of two films comprising the “Che” epic is just as much a story of the Cuban Revolution as it is a story of the revolutionary.

Che (Benicio Del Toro) is the vehicle through which the audience experiences the 1959 revolution, and while his uncompromising search for social ideals, passionate rhetoric, and unapologetic politics hold the viewer's attention for the film's duration, his commanding character does not overshadow the importance of the Revolution as a people's movement, an organic outgrowth of popular discontent. Neither Che nor Fidel could claim sole responsibility for the outcome of the Cuban Revolution and the film is careful not to make this claim. “Che” does not idol worship, but it can not help but paint Che as a hero. In the process, however, it creates heroes of the guerrillas who fought along with him, of the Cuban people.

This portion of the film begins with Che's 1964 journey to New York and his address before the United Nations. Shot in grainy black and white reminiscent of an old news reel, Soderbergh delves deeper into Che's revolutionary politics through an interview with journalist Lisa Howard (Julia Ormond). While dominated by a primarily chronological account of the two year journey toward Havana, Soderbergh also weaves in a meeting between Che and Castro (Demian Bichir) and ends “The Argentine” on the Granma as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico.

Soderbergh's cinematography is stunning, immersing the viewer in the Sierra Maestra, sewing together images of lush jungle with the grittiness of guerrilla warfare. Rather than epic battle sequences, Soderbergh focuses on the training of fighters, both in combat and in literacy, on hunger, on the treatment of the wounded, on Che's worsening asthma. There is nothing romantic about the film, though the imagery and music itself is beautiful. The soundtrack is subtle, mesmerizing, but it is perhaps the absence of music which characterizes the most powerful scenes. The sound of chirping birds blend with intermittent gunfire and the whisper of the hidden guerrillas to create a soundtrack secondary to that composed by Alberto Iglesias, one which completely envelopes the listener, inviting him to experience a revolutionary movement unadulterated by the bells and whistles of contemporary Hollywood.

It is this minimalism which characterizes the entirety of the film and guides the psychological development of the characters. The relationships between Che and his comrades, namely Castro and Camilo Cienfuegos, become clear to the viewer not primarily through dialogue, but rather through words unspoken, a handshake or nod, silent gestures of respect.

Yet all the respect that Soderbergh and Del Toro generate for Che begins to fade as the second film, “Guerrilla” chronicles Che's downfall in the jungles of Bolivia. Less exciting than its predecessor, “Guerrilla” paints a deeply psychological portrait of the man committed to bringing revolution to all of Latin America. Unlike in Cuba, the Bolivian fighters whom Che recruited had little faith or interest in the cause and the revolution was a failure. Yet Che held strong in the face of American intervention in the region despite mounting casualties on his side. Here, Soderbergh explores the space between determination and foolish stubbornness.

Soderbergh has created a Che who is neither martyr nor murderer. Keeping a firm grip on historical accuracy, his film is brilliantly acted and beautifully shot. The jungles of Latin America serve as actors in their own right, breathing life into a film which sees the death of many, including Che. Ultimately, however, the film, or more specifically the struggles and triumphs, as well as the failures, is an inspiration and well worth the nearly 4 and a half hour runtime.



Monday, March 30, 2009

Block Movement- People's Transportation Program


 
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