WWP hosts Philly socialism conference

first_imgUNITE HERE Local 7 member Sara Benjamin at socialist conference, Sept. 13.WW photo: Joseph PietteSome 100 community members, students and activists attended the Philadelphia Workers World Party Socialism Conference on Sept. 13 held at the historic Church of the Advocate, a center of struggle for Black liberation.Speakers included WWP First Secretary Larry Holmes; secretariat members Deirdre Griswold and Sara Flounders; Berta Joubert-Ceci, leader of the Philadelphia branch of Workers World; Scott Williams from Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; and Pam Africa, leader of the MOVE organization and the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.Temple student activist Katherine Mejía from People Underground for Revolutionary Progress; immigrant activist María Serna; Lamont Lilly, anti-police brutality activist from North Carolina; and Dr. Anthony Monteiro, long-time revolutionary activist from North Philadelphia, were also featured speakers.The conference’s three segments addressed the tasks at hand for the working class and oppressed in the U.S. — the center of world imperialism; the need for a globally united working class to combat capitalist oppression and environmental destruction; and why only socialism can overthrow capitalism and liberate the working class.Several speakers raised the resistance to racism and police brutality exemplified by the uprisings in Ferguson, Mo. As the U.S. ruling class again bangs its war drums, this time with Syria in the crosshairs, conference participants opposed yet another U.S. war. Joyce Chediac, Lebanese-American activist, editor of “Gaza: Symbol of Resistance” and another of the featured speakers, said the U.S. ruling class and military are the primary enemy, not ISIS. She called the heroic resistance in Gaza a setback to Israeli occupation.U.S. imperialism’s systematic destruction of and attacks on progressive organizations in the Middle East left a vacuum for ISIS to gain footholds in the region, Holmes pointed out. Speakers agreed unanimously that there can be no peace or stability in the Middle East while the U.S. bombs people, invades countries and overthrows governments with impunity.Holmes called for principled unity on the left in the face of unbridled capitalist destruction.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Lessons of the victorious Harvard dining hall strike, Part 4

first_imgThe 750 striking Harvard University Dining Service workers — cooks, dishwashers, servers and cashiers — brought multibillion-dollar Harvard University to its knees on Oct. 25, 2016. After a three-week strike, the university bosses caved, giving the members of UNITE HERE Local 26 even more than they had initially demanded. Most importantly, all the health care takeaways the Harvard Corporation had demanded were off the table. The strike victory holds valuable lessons for workers and oppressed in the age of global capitalism — particularly under the Trump administration and the rise of fascist, racist elements. Workers World’s Martha Grevatt interviewed Chief Steward Ed Childs, a cook and leader in Local 26 for more than 40 years. This is the fourth in a series of articles based on the interviews where Childs explains how the workers won.We had no illusions that we could beat this country’s oldest corporation — Harvard Corporation, which follows the dictates of Wall Street — by just going through the motions of picketing each worksite. Our tactics were all militant, class-struggle tactics: constant pickets, marches and rallies with raucous chanting and constant drumming on plastic buckets. You could hear us all over campus and in classrooms.Beating back the attack on health care — saving it from the 1% — is the beginning of something with national and international significance. People see Trump attacking even the limited Affordable Care Act and feel hopeless about the fight for health care. We showed we can win.By the third week, Harvard’s position was crumbling. We pushed them over the edge when students occupied the building where we were negotiating. Seizing the means of production isn’t just about factories. When you are up against a for-profit university, where finance capital trains its own, a classroom building is the means of production.Occupations are a left tactic communists perfected in the 1930s. As Sam Marcy explained in the book “High Tech, Low Pay,” “Seizure and occupation of the plants and other facilities have the effect of hastening a crisis in the relationship between the employers and the workers. … It can change the form of the struggle, take it out of its narrow confines and impart to it a broader perspective. In truth, it brings to the surface a new working-class perspective on the struggle between the workers and the bosses. It says in so many words that we are not tied to a one-dimensional type of struggle with the bosses at a time when they have the levers of political authority in their hands.”That is as true in a restaurant, hospital or university as inside a plant.In the middle of the occupation, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, which had not covered us since the first day, suddenly had an editorial saying to settle with the workers. TV news, which had been negative, said the same. Even Harvard’s own press people told the media to say it was time for Harvard to settle.Now the UNITE HERE International has claimed the Harvard strike as its own. Because it was so successful and had so much support, they wanted to call for a general strike on Inauguration Day. The international president of the union could not convince anyone in the AFL-CIO, but he said that the Harvard strike proves it can be done. The union also asked its employers to give workers the day off to protest immigrant-bashing. Would this be happening inside our union if we had not waged a successful strike against Harvard — and indirectly against Wall Street?Employing communist tacticsWith the strike victory behind us, we need to absorb its lessons. What is the role of communists in unions: What do they do? All of our tactics have to be viewed as Leninist tactics as distinct from ultra-leftism. We need to revive a revolutionary Leninist union perspective and not let Lenin’s union work be lost.What Lenin wrote in “Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder” describes revolutionary tactics to a “T.” Lenin was worried that his experience leading to the success of the Russian Revolution would be lost because Russia was a backward country and the bourgeoisie was organizing to crush it.Union leaders like Samuel Gompers in the U.S. and others in Europe laughed at Lenin, but Lenin said to fight it out with the labor bureaucracy!Look at the union leadership in the U.S. since the American Federation of Labor’s founding in 1886. There have only been six presidents: Gompers, Green, Meany, Kirkland, Sweeney, Trumka — the first three were for life. But Lenin said to stay in the unions.There has been a debate in the labor movement about what won our strike, but it was classic Leninism: We won with a political struggle. I’ve learned from Sam Marcy, Milt Neidenberg and others how we struggle — “mild in manner, bold in matter” — by bringing the officials along but controlling our message and getting the politics across. If we ignore the fact that this was led and nurtured by communists, we lose half the meaning of this strike.All of my work in the union has been about applying a classic Marxist-Leninist approach to a current situation. Workers World Party has been the guiding light of this union from the time when we first organized, through past strikes and last year’s battle. Workers World was the only news source anywhere to chronicle every event of the strike from the workers’ viewpoint.What Marx wrote in “Trade Unions: Their Past, Present and Future” in 1866 applies totally today: “Apart from their original purposes, [unions] must now learn to act deliberately as organizing centers of the working class, in the broad interest of its complete emancipation. They must aid every social and political movement tending in that direction. Considering themselves and acting as the champion representatives of the whole working class, that cannot fail to enlist the non-society [workers] into their ranks.“They must look carefully after the interests of the worst paid trades, such as the agricultural laborers [and today the service proletariat, including precarious workers], rendered powerless by exceptional circumstances. They must convince the world at large that their efforts, far from being narrow and selfish, aim at the emancipation of the downtrodden millions.”Workers World Party First Secretary Larry Holmes, speaking to party labor cadre in September, brought this up to date: “The organization of the working class must advance to encompass larger and larger numbers, whatever their circumstances — not based on an industry or a country, but on overthrowing capitalism.”Phebe Eckfeldt, Steve Gillis, Martha Grevatt, Steve Kirschbaum, Milt Neidenberg and Minnie Bruce Pratt contributed to this series of articles.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Protesters say, ‘No pardon for Fujimori’s crimes’

first_imgJanuary 3 — Braving frigid temperatures, members of New York City’s Peruvian community and supporters held a lunchtime picket outside the Peruvian Consulate today to express their outrage at President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s decision to pardon the former U.S.-backed dictator Alberto Fujimori. Activists held flags and signs declaring: “No pardon for Fujimori’s crimes in Peru” and “Indulto es un insulto” (The pardon is an insult). The local chapter of Fujimori Nunca Más (Fujimori Never Again) called the action.During his presidency from 1990 to 2000, Fujimori directed a reign of terror against leftists, students, labor union members, Indigenous communities, women and the poor — as he carried out vicious austerity measures ordered by Wall Street and the International Monetary Fund. Fujimori was finally sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009 for crimes against humanity for ordering two death squad massacres. He served less than half his sentence before being given a presidential pardon on Christmas Eve. This was done in exchange for his supporters in Congress blocking Kuczynski’s impeachment for corruption.In protest, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Peru’s cities and towns, led by the families of the murdered, disappeared and falsely imprisoned.  A national day of protest in Peru demanding Kuczynski’s resignation is planned for Jan.11.  That day, local organizers will also hold a protest march of the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Peruvian communities. It will start at 5 p.m. in New York City’s Washington Square Park. For more information and to join upcoming actions, visit tinyurl.com/y89dcdb5.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Serena Williams fights back against sexist attacks

first_imgSerena Williams demands a public apology, Sept. 8.The 2018 U.S. Open will be most remembered for how the 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams challenged the sexist behavior of chair referee Carlos Ramos — rather than for how her opponent, the young, talented Naomi Osaka, won the championship on Sept. 8 in Flushing Meadows, New York.Ramos accused Williams of cheating when her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admittedly made a coaching gesture to her from the stands. Williams stated repeatedly that she deserved an apology for being accused of cheating, since many coaches have made similar gestures for decades without retribution.Ramos called a second violation after Williams smashed her racket on the court out of frustration. The third violation, after Williams called him a “thief” for taking a point away from her, resulted in having a full game taken away from her.On Sept. 9, the tournament referee fined Williams $17,000 for three code violations: $4,000 for the coaching violation, $3,000 for racket abuse and $10,000 for verbal abuse.In her postgame interview, Williams stated, “I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things, and I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality. … For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game? … It was a sexist remark. He’s never took a game from a man because they said thief. For me, it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.” (thecut.com, Sept. 9)Williams’ actions and words on and off the court must be viewed within a historical context. Serena Williams and her sister, Venus, have endured at least 20 years of both sexist and racist abuse as tennis champions who happen to be African American. Despite these obstacles, they are currently the collective winners of an unprecedented 30 Grand Slam titles. Serena is considered by many to be tennis’s GOAT — greatest of all time.A year ago Serena was punished by tennis officials by having her No. 1 ranking stolen after giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, on Sept. 1, 2017. The GOAT was given an outrageously low 421 ranking.The form-fitting cat suit, black from neck to toe, that she wore in the French Open to help control her chronic blood clots exacerbated after child birth, was later banned by French Open officials. This is not the first time that authoritative male sports figures have policed Serena’s powerful, muscular body.Legendary tennis player Billie Jean King, who is a lesbian, wrote a Sept. 9 op-ed piece in the Washington Post in defense of Serena Williams. It reads in part, “Did Ramos treat Williams differently than male players have been treated? I think he did. Women are treated differently in most arenas of life. This is especially true for women of color. And what played out on the court yesterday happens far too often.”After the match, King tweeted, “When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ & there are no repercussions.”Kudos to Serena Williams for not being afraid to defend herself, inspiring other women, especially women of color, to do the same.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Portland rally: ‘Defend DACA!’

first_imgNov. 12 rally.Members of the Oregon DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Coalition shared their stories during the “Defend DACA, Home Is Here” rally on Nov. 12. An estimated 250 people gathered to call on the Supreme Court to reject Trump’s attempts to terminate the DACA program. Organizers said, “We are Oregonians and we want to shift the narrative of what undocumented experience is.”In Washington, D.C., several thousand DACA supporters demonstrated chanting, “Sí, se puede.” Rallies also took place in other cities, such as New York and locations in California. Protesters included DACA recipients, their supporters and teenage immigrants who were too young to qualify for DACA when it was first established in June 2012 by President Barack Obama.Trump appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals to terminate DACA in 2017. The program allowed 800,000 young people brought to the U.S. when they were children to work and study without fear of deportation.Instead of waiting for a decision from the Court of Appeals on DACA, Trump requested a review by the U.S. Supreme Court, a process normally reserved for unique circumstances. Last June, 660,880 DACA recipients and their advocates filed lawsuits against ending DACA. Some of these lawsuits include NAACP v. Trump; Regents of the University of California, et al. v. Dept. of Homeland Security; and Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen. These lawsuits resulted in injunctions that temporarily stopped DACA from ending.On the day of the Nov. 12 rally, the U.S. Supreme Court began reviewing the lawsuits regarding the “legality” of ending DACA. Their decision is due next spring. Before the hearing, Trump tweeted, “Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels.’ Some are very tough, hardened criminals.” He continued, “If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”A recent Harvard study, “The Long-Term Impact of DACA: Forging Futures Despite DACA’s Uncertainty,” found that 76 percent of DACA recipients had doubled their yearly salaries, due to completion of job training, licensing and certificate programs. (tinyurl.com/v3l4uzb/)The Oregon DACA Coalition is fighting to protect DACA recipients, their families and all immigrant communities on a national scale. They are calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the highly successful DACA program and not put immigrant youth at risk of deportation, which endangers the future of hundreds of thousands of members of communities all across the U.S.Thousands of DACA recipients must submit paperwork costing $1,000 to remain in their own homes. Without protection, they could lose their jobs, homes, families, along with general safety from being deported. One organizer said, “No one who was raised in Oregon should be forced to pay and prove to the government that they deserve to stay in their home.” For more information, go to oregondacacoalition.org.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Energy-Dense Biofuel From Cellulose Close To Being Economical

first_img Facebook Twitter By Gary Truitt – Jun 5, 2012 Facebook Twitter SHARE A new Purdue University-developed process for creating biofuels has shown potential to be cost-effective for production scale, opening the door for moving beyond the laboratory setting. A Purdue economic analysis shows that the cost of the thermo-chemical H2Bioil method is competitive when crude oil is about $100 per barrel when using certain energy methods to create hydrogen needed for the process. If a federal carbon tax were implemented, the biofuel would become even more economical. H2Bioil is created when biomass, such as switchgrass or corn stover, is heated rapidly to about 500 degrees Celcius in the presence of pressurized hydrogen. Resulting gases are passed over catalysts, causing reactions that separate oxygen from carbon molecules, making the carbon molecules high in energy content, similar to gasoline molecules. The economic analysis, published in the June issue of Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery, shows that the energy source used to create hydrogen for the process makes all the difference when determining whether the biofuel is cost-effective. Hydrogen processed using natural gas or coal makes the H2Bioil cost-effective when crude oil is just over $100 per barrel. But hydrogen derived from other, more expensive, energy sources – nuclear, wind or solar – drive up the break-even point.”We’re in the ballpark,” said Wally Tyner, Purdue’s James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics. “In the past, I have said that for biofuels to be competitive, crude prices would need to be at about $120 per barrel. This process looks like it could be competitive when crude is even a little cheaper than that.” Energy-Dense Biofuel From Cellulose Close To Being Economical Home Energy Energy-Dense Biofuel From Cellulose Close To Being Economical The conversion process was created in the lab of Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue’s Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. He said H2Bioil has significant advantages over traditional standalone methods used to create fuels from biomass.“The process is quite fast and converts entire biomass to liquid fuel,” Agrawal said. “As a result, the yields are substantially higher. Once the process is fully developed, due to the use of external hydrogen, the yield is expected to be two to three times that of the current competing technologies.” The model Tyner used assumed that corn stover, switchgrass and miscanthus would be the primary feedstocks. The analysis also found that if a federal carbon tax were introduced, driving up the cost of coal and natural gas, more expensive methods for producing hydrogen would become competitive. “If we had a carbon tax in the future, the break-even prices would be competitive even for nuclear,” Tyner said. “Wind and solar, not yet, but maybe down the road.” The U.S. Department of Energy and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research funded the research. Agrawal and his collaborators received a U.S. patent for the conversion process. Source: Purdue SHARE Agrawal said he and colleagues Fabio Ribeiro, a Purdue professor of chemical engineering, and Nick Delgass, Purdue’s Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor of Chemical Engineering, are working to develop catalysts needed for the H2Bioil conversion processes. The method’s initial implementation has worked on a laboratory scale and is being refined so it would become effective on a commercial scale. “This economic analysis shows us that the process is viable on a commercial scale,” Agrawal said. “We can now go back to the lab and focus on refining and improving the process with confidence.” Previous articleGary Wilhelmi 6/5/2012 PM CommentNext articleNational Pork Board Elects New Officers Gary Truittlast_img read more

Ohio Yield Results Similar to Indiana

first_img Facebook Twitter Ohio Yield Results Similar to Indiana SHARE Home News Feed Ohio Yield Results Similar to Indiana Cool noted that, while these yields are well below average and very disappointing considering the early start most growers got this season, many are presently surprised by the yields they are getting, “We have been talking about this for so long and we watched out crops die in the field all summer, that some guys, they are actually pleased with some of the numbers they are getting.” His comments echoed those made by other seed firm representatives at the FSR, attitudes were good and there was plenty of optimism about the 2013 crop. [audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/09/fcswrap2.mp3|titles=Ohio Yield Results Similar to Indiana]Audio Playerhttps://media.blubrry.com/hoosieragtoday/p/www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/09/fcswrap2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: RSS Facebook Twittercenter_img Harvest activity was taking place on the Ohio State University research and demonstration plots surrounding the Farm Science Review this week.  Results varied widely and ranged from 100 bpa to 130 bpa. Out on Ohio farms, the early results were also over the place. Kevin Cool, Certified Crop Adviser with Becks Hybrids in Ohio, told HAT, “Around Yorkshire they caught some rains on some decent soil and saw yields in the 150 range.” He said, like Indiana, however,  there are some areas of the Buckeye State that the drought hit harder than others, “The worst I saw was 4 bpa that was eventually chopped for silage. In the Fort Recovery area, I saw some averages of 40 bpa.” As a result, evaluating a hybrid’s performance will be difficult. So Cool recommends not making any big changes based on results from this year. At fall farm shows, seed companies like to show off their test plot results. This year those results don’t look to good, and Cool says farmers should not put a lot of stock in performance data they see from this year, “We have some plots that yielded 150, but we also have some that yielded 20 bpa. So the key is not to make any big changes based on this year’s results.”  He added some growers are considering cutting back on plant population or fertilization, something he thinks is a bad idea. SHARE By Gary Truitt – Sep 20, 2012 Previous articleValero Restarts Nebraska and Indiana Ethanol PlantsNext articleMore Conservation Drought Assistance for Indiana Gary Truittlast_img read more

2014 Food Trend Predictions from the Supermarket Guru

first_img Previous articleEthanol Debate Continues in 2014Next articleIndiana Tech Company Helps Farmers Farm Data Andy Eubank 2014 Food Trend Predictions from the Supermarket Guru Facebook Twitter By Andy Eubank – Jan 2, 2014 Home Indiana Agriculture News 2014 Food Trend Predictions from the Supermarket Guru SHARE SHARE Facebook Twitter According to self-proclaimed Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, protein is a focus among 2014 food trends. Lempert has released his Top 10 food trend predictions for the year and protein plays a role in several of the trends he says are coming for U.S. consumers. He sees more brands offering protein-rich breakfast options based on several consumer surveys that show more than three-quarters of Americans now recognize that eating breakfast at home is an important way to start the day. In addition, with an NPD Group survey indicating increased snacking leads to better overall health, Lempert suggests supermarkets will look for ways to replace high-sugar, high-fat snacks at the checkout counter with healthier on-the-go options, including protein sources. Food packaging is also expected to evolve to offer more information about ingredients and health claims for consumers on their mobile devices as they shop – possibly including the meat case.Lempert also predicts brands will find greater purpose in serving the larger community in 2014; grocery stores will create community cooking centers where shoppers can collaborate and learn from each other; consumers will see more private label brands creating new unique products; and consumers will eat more international inspired foods.Source: NAFB News Servicelast_img read more

A Warm Up Is On The Way, But So Is More…

first_img Facebook Twitter Previous articleHouse Ag Introduces Bill to Repeal COOLNext articleIndiana Dairy Honors Indy 500 Rookies Gary Truitt Facebook Twitter SHARE Home Indiana Agriculture News A Warm Up Is On The Way, But So Is More Rain A Warm Up Is On The Way, But So Is More RainRyan MartinIt is another chilly week across Indiana, but a warm up is on the way. The problem  is that more rain is also on the way. Growing degree days in May have been on the light side, and this has slowed crop emergence. But HAT meteorologist Ryan Martin says the rest of this week will be warmer, “We will see temperatures move back toward the more normal range on Friday and over the weekend, but I do not see a major warm spell coming. It will be a case of us slowly climbing back to normal temperatures over the next few weeks.” He added that he does not see a major heat wave coming to stress the young crops either.Indiana lags behind in planting progress, and Martin says catching up may be difficult with very short planting windows in the forecast, “We are going to have 2 or 3 days of dry weather at a time, and that is about all.”  He said the forecast calls for dry conditions Thursday through Saturday with rain returning on Sunday and into the first part of the week, “We may see a dry spell about mid-week next week, but then more rain back in the forecast.”  He predicts a start and stop pace of planting and expects a good deal of nervousness when it comes to getting crops planted over the next few weeks.Weather extremes have been impacting other part of the Midwest. The mercury dipped to below freezing in part of the Dakotas this week; heavy rains have caused flooding and crop damage in parts of the south and in areas of Nebraska.  Martin says these extremes should begin to minimize as we move into June but, if replanting  is needed, it  may be hard to get accomplished. “I think there will be a great deal of nervousness as we move into early June,” He stated.Martin’s exclusive corn and soybean forecast is available on HAT’s web site and free mobile app. By Gary Truitt – May 19, 2015 SHARE A Warm Up Is On The Way, But So Is More Rainlast_img read more

Americans to Eat 1.3 Billion Chicken Wings for Super Bowl 50

first_img Football fans next weekend will consume an estimated 1.3 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday. The National Chicken Council’s 2016 Wing Report released this week expects fans to eat three percent more wings than last year on game day, or 37.5 million more wings. 1.3 billion chicken wings is enough for every person in the United States to have four wings each. During the 2016 NFL playoffs, in cities where chicken wings sold higher than their opponent, the city with higher wing sales won seven of the ten playoff games and four of the five past Super Bowl games.  If the same holds true for Super Bowl 50,The National Chicken Council says the Panthers will roll over the Broncos, selling wings at nearly a three to one pace.Source: NAFB News Service By Hoosier Ag Today – Jan 28, 2016 SHARE Previous articleClosing CommentsNext articleBeef Producers Continue to Support the Checkoff Hoosier Ag Today Facebook Twitter Americans to Eat 1.3 Billion Chicken Wings for Super Bowl 50 SHARE Facebook Twitter Home Midwest News Americans to Eat 1.3 Billion Chicken Wings for Super Bowl 50last_img read more