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The workers at the Vio.Me. Factory in Thessaloniki, Greece have quickly grown into a symbol of self-management internationally. After going on strike and occupying their factory, on February 12, 2013 they re-opened the factory and started production under worker's control.
On April 19th, 2013, I interviewed Sarah A.K. Ahmed who grew up in Iraq and lived through the Gulf War in the early 1990's as well as the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. While in Iraq, she worked on a number of small projects as well as with a volunteer group, Youth and Educational Development Council. She got a full scholarship to study at the University of Rochester but had to return to Iraq because of family issues. She returned recently to the United States to speak at the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women and to participate in the upcoming convergence “Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire” happening in Syracuse, NY from April 26th to 28th. Currently, when she is in the US, she calls New York her home. (See the FaceBook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/540569232649914/?ref=22.)
In this interview, Sarah and I spoke about her role in the upcoming Syracuse convergence where she will be speaking on a panel called “The Human Face of War,” her perspective on jobs and the economy in Iraq, the lack of civic awareness about what the US military is doing abroad, and paper air planes, among other topics.
People from China are coming to work in factories and for oil companies and this is sad because Iraqi people cannot work. Why are the companies bringing these people to work from outside the country? It is because they will work for lower wages than Iraqi people would accept. The percent of unemployment is sky high.
On April 19th, 2013, I interviewed Kathy Kelly—a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, which is a campaign to end United States military and economic warfare. The website is VCNC dot org. Kathy has lived in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen and one of the roles she will play at the convergence is to relay those experiences and give a human voice to the lived reality of people over seas who deal with drone surveillance and are murdered by drone attacks on a daily basis. Kathy, and many others, will be attending “Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire" convergence, April 26 - 28 in Syracuse, NY. (See the FaceBook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/540569232649914/?ref=22.)
I've always been a generous tipper. I worked as a waitress a few times, long, long ago, and my daughter worked as a waitress for a living more than once. I am aghast when I see a table of 10 walk out leaving a 10% tip (sometimes less, sometimes nothing)...
Out here on the road, I stop at a lot of places where I might not normally eat. One night, it was getting late and we didn't have a place to stay. I made a call to my friends from South Carolina, Greg and Brady Gavan of Money with a Mission, and they treated us to a night in a motel in West Memphis. It was after 8 p.m. by the time we checked in, and I was starving. There was a Waffle House right next to the motel, so in I went. Wilma and I found a table and made ourselves comfortable. I was just off the Footprints for Peace walk against mountaintop removal in Kentucky. I was tired and maybe a little cranky, so I noticed that it took longer than I felt it should for the waitress to make her way to my table. I was just getting ready to start waving my arms or clinking my glass (not really, but some people DO do that, and I FELT like doing it) when I noticed the waitress, the only one in the joint, shuffling in my direction. She was moving slow, VERY slow, and when I looked down, her ankles were swollen the size of basketballs, too heavy, tired and painful for her to lift even an inch off the floor. When she reached my table, I looked into her passive face and couldn't help staring at the black bags under her eyes. She looked like a prizefighter, only I knew those bags weren't from any one blow. This woman had been dealt a knockdown punch by life itself.
By Dr. Woody,WWH/CJE -
Workers’ right of all kinds, and vital concessions wrung from the Bosses with workers’ blood over the last 150 years are being rescinded by legislatures kowtowing to business interests all over the country. It seems to Citizen Journalist, Dr. Woody Konopak, that those rescinding the advances should pay the same kind of price as those paid who won them in the first place.
The Fiscal Cliff and Our Reality.
A presentation followed by general discussion.
First Unitarian Universalist Church. 5212 S. Claiborne Avenue. New Orleans.
Since Election 2012 the “fiscal cliff” has emerged as the dominant issue of public discourse in this country. The President and the Congress agree that something must be done to prevent the U.S. from going over the fiscal cliff. The talking heads of the corporate media maintain that the only way the U.S. Government can avoid going over the fiscal cliff is through “shared sacrifices” by rich and poor alike in the name of getting America’s fiscal house in order.
The fiscal cliff debate raises questions of profound importance to the 99 percent. What is the fiscal cliff? How does downsizing “entitlements” in the pursuit of lower public debt really affect the 99 percent? Is what’s presented as “shared sacrifice” really shared in any meaningful sense of the word?
Watch and contribute to public discussion of the fiscal cliff issue from a 99 percent perspective
This is a rush edit of some selects from the general strike in Portugal. A more detailed report of the strike and of the situation in Portugal will be online soon at globaluprisings.org
On September 3rd, 2012, a southern workers assembly was held at the Wedgewood Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC during the Democratic National Convention. Workers discussed various topics throughout the day including Right-To-Work (for less) & Taft-Hartley laws, low wages, denial of collective bargaining, and workers' human rights connected with the historical demands against the South's legacy of Jim Crow laws, anti-immigrant scapegoating and racism. Carly Campbell was at the assembly and Rochester Indymedia asked her what was going on...
Con Ed Engages in Surface Bargaining; Union Square Labor Rally Draws Thousands
By Liza Béar
NEW YORK, JULY 19. 2012--It’s been a busy week for the locked out Con Ed workers, with 24/7 rotating protests at the 4 Irving Place picket line and uptown in front of CEO Kevin Burke’s 455 East 86th Manhattan residence, culminating in a formidable and vociferous show of support from several thousand members of at least a dozen other unions in a solidarity labor rally at Union Square.
Creative handmade cardboard signs now proliferate in addition to the glossy official Union red printed mainstays.
According to Gary Magliari, a UWUA Local 1-2 shop steward interviewed at the picket line, the lock out was due not to failed negotiations, as Con Ed claims, but was a deliberate act, a strategic move that was planned years in advance of the union's contract running out on July 1. Stripping away union benefits, says Magliari, is part of Con Ed's move towards needed consolidation prior to selling the company, to make it more attractive to a buyer without a freighted 4-year union contract. http://youtu.be/1jptOdNQZ0c
“What is going in their meetings is an endless barrage of pie charts, statistics and power point presentations that describe Con Edison’s new world order…” said Magliari quoting a source close to the talks. ” It is absolutely surreal.”
On Saturday July 14 at 6:30pm Local 1-2 texted an announcement from its president Harry Farrell that medical benefits had been reinstated retroactively for all 8500 locked out Con Ed employees. This is their only concession so far.
But pressure to end the lock-out , believed by the union to be the largest in US history, and to provide a fair contract is mounting both from the labor movement and public officials.