Zaps – April 2009

WALL STREET DEMO - People from around the country are coming to Wall Street on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 to "demand that the needs of the people come before the greed of the super rich," in memory of Martin Luther King Jr., killed April 4, 1968 while organizing a multiracial Poor People’s Campaign. Participants will assemble at the Stock Exchange (Wall & Broad Streets) at 1:00 PM on both days.
Contact: Bail Out the People Movement, Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St. #5C, New York, NY 10011; 212-633-6646;
ABORTION RIGHTS - The annual CLPP conference "From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom" is scheduled for April 3-5 at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Free and open to the public, the event features speakers and workshops.
FEMINISM - Visions in Feminism is holding its annual conference in Washington, DC on April 4. The group seeks to merge feminist theory and praxis and engage both academic and activist discussion. This year’s conference theme is Pushing Boundaries: Queering Feminism & Queer-ying our Communities.
IMMIGRATION - The 4th National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference is scheduled for April 10-12 at the UIC College of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. The conference will focus on building multi-ethnic, multi-constituent, broad-based grassroots immigrant rights movements run by de-centralized volunteer-based community-rooted immigrant rights activists.
LEFT FORUM – The 2009 Left Forum is scheduled for April 17-19 at Pace University across from City Hall. This year’s theme is Turning Points and features discussions, workshops, and tables.
IMF/WB PROTEST - Direct Action street protests against the very institutions which recently helped wreck the world economy, and which have funneled profits from the poor to the wealthy for decades, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, will be held during their annual joint Spring meetings in Washington, DC April 24-26.
ANTI-NATO - Planning and mobilization is underway for protests and peace alternatives during NATO’s 60th anniversary celebration on the French-German border in April 2009.
MAY DAY - A May Day rally is scheduled for Friday, May 1 at Union Square in NYC, demonstrating in favor of pro-worker (and pro-immigrant) reform and against the worker repression of raids and deportations, foreclosures and bank bailouts. Participants assemble at noon at 14th Street & Broadway; music and performances at 4:00 PM; march to Federal Plaza at 5:30 PM.
PROGRESSIVE - The Progressive Magazine (founded 100 years ago by Robert La Follette) celebrates its anniversary year with a conference dedicated to the progressive movement, then and now, May 1-2 in Madison, Wisconsin.


Contact: The Progressive, 409 E Main St Ste 1 Madison, WI 53703; 800-827-0555;

PARTY – The Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year with a Political Party on May 2, 2009 to celebrate our two decades of vibrant movement building and to help us launch our next 20 years and more.


Contact: Labor/Community Strategy Center, 3780 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010; 213-387-2800;

EDUCATION FORUM - The 2009 Rouge Forum, "Education, Empire, Economy & Ethics at a Crossroads" is scheduled for May 14-17 at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd (activist, historian, lawyer), Greg Queen (teacher and NCSS Defense of Academic Freedom Award recipient), and Rebecca Martusewicz (eco-justice educator and scholar).
PEACE - A World Peace Conference is being planned for May 26-31 in Taos, New Mexico. Featuring participatory planning and engagement, the conference is intended as the first of a continuing series of peace conferences to galvanize viable actions and fulfill the Hopi prophecy that we are the people we’ve been waiting for.


Contact: 2009 World Peace Week, PO Box 424, Arroyo Seco, NM 87514; 575-776-3880;

NYC MEDIA - The 6th Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference is scheduled for Saturday, May 30 from 9 AM to 6 PM at Hunter College. Workshops, skillshares, and panel presentations will be offered.

CLEAN AIR - The Los Angeles-based Bus Riders Union has launched a Clean Air and Economic Justice Plan with both specific short range demands (no fare hikes and more buses) and a longer term goal to cut LA’s auto use in half and build a world class, clean-fuel, bus-centered mass transit system.


Contact: BRU, c/o Labor/Community Strategy Center, 3780 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010; 213-387-2800;

SOCIAL ECOLOGY - The Institute for Social Ecology has a newly designed website, including more multimedia and educational offerings. ISE is especially interested in re-connecting with the several thousand alumni and has a new web form for that purpose
HEALTHCARE – The Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Health Care has been mounting a grassroots effort in support of the National Health Care Act (Expanded and Improved Medicare for All), HR 676. Though ignored by corporate and so-called "public" U.S. media, the bill has 64 Congressional co-sponsors and hundreds of community/labor groups behind it.

BAILOUT TOONS – In this second collection of cartoons, Need a Bailout, cartoonist Jungmin Charles Joo explores financial crisis, bailout, and recession.
CHE – In Che Guevara: His Revolutionary Legacy, Olivier Besancenot and Michael Löwy (translated by James Membrez) survey the continued relevance of a political thinker who breaks out from "deep inside that T-shirt where we have tried to trap him."
DEVELOPMENT - In Paving Paradise: Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss journalists Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite expose the political expedience, corruption, and negligence behind a tide of devastating (but profitable) "development."


Contact: University Press of Florida, 15 NW 15th St., Gainesville, FL 32611; 800-680-1955;

ENVIRO JUSTICE - Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina: Struggles to Reclaim, Rebuild, and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast by Robert Bullard and Beverly Wright explores the hard questions that remain after years of an inept and racially redlined response.


Contact: Westview Press, 1094 Flex Dr., Jackson, TN 38301; 800-343-4499;

FINANCE - The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences by John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff offers a leftist analysis of the unraveling capitalist disaster.
LEFT PROPOSALSMandate for Change: Policies and Leadership for 2009 and Beyond is a collection of policy proposals by dozens of left-oriented scholars and experts edited by Chester W. Hartman. Produced by the Institute for Policy Studies, the book is counterpoint to the Heritage Foundation’s 1980 "Reagan Revolution" primer Mandate for Leadership.
MELTDOWN – In Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed, BBC economics editor Paul Mason "follows the decade of neoliberal policies that paved the way for disaster" in an up-to-date analysis.
MOBS - In Men, Mobs, and Law: Anti-Lynching and Labor Defense in U.S. Radical History, Rebecca N. Hill compares two surprisingly interrelated types of leftist protest campaigns: those intended to defend labor organizers from prosecution and those seeking to memorialize lynching victims and stop the practice of lynching.
POETRY - Love, War, Fire, Wind: Looking Out from North America’s Skull is a collection of poems and prose by Eliot Katz with art by William T. Ayton. Howard Zinn describes Katz as "among a handful of contemporary American poets whose work speaks to me."
REAGAN - In The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America, William Kleinknecht goes behind the myth to expose the devastating impact of the Republican politician.


Contact: Nation Books, 116 East 16th St., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10003; 212-822-0250;

REDS - In A Red Family: Junius, Gladys, and Barbara Scales, Mickey Friedman offers an intimate collective memoir, built on three interconnected oral histories, about a communist organizer in the American south during the McCarthy era.
THE STANSSilk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East? is a humorous and cutting edge blend of comics, journalism, travelogue, and analysis of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakjstan, and Tajikistan by cartoonist/journalist Ted Rall.


* CORRECTION - In the March issue, we misidentified the author of the Revolutionary Road film review as Mark Schroeder, an associate professor of philosophy at USC. The actual author is Mark Schroeder from Clarkston, Michigan.



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