Zaps – January 2009

MLK DAY – The Martin Luther King Day holiday falls on Monday, January 19 this year. Peace groups are highlighting MLK’s oft-overlooked anti-imperialist, antiwar activism as a way to call attention to the need to end the current wars of U.S. aggression just before the inauguration (January 20). Since 1994, MLK Day has also been a Day of Community Service, with local volunteer opportunities around the country.

Contact: UFPJ, PO Box 607, Times Square Station, NY, NY 10108; 212-868-5545;; National and Community Service, 1201 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20525; 202-606-5000; Volunteer Memphis, 22 North Front Street, Suite 780, Memphis, TN 38103; 901-523-2425;
SOCIAL FORUM – The ninth World Social Forum is reconvening for a single event in 2009, after coordinated international actions in lieu of a single forum in 2008. WSF2009 will be held in Belem, Brazil from January 27 through February 1 to discuss and help create a more just economic and governing system under the banner "Another World Is Possible."

FEMINISM – Visions in Feminism is holding its annual conference in Washington, DC on April 4, and accepting proposals until February 1. 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.

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.

– Black Agenda Report, a journal of African American political thought and action providing radical, hard hitting analysis, is raising funds through spring 2009 to increase its web presence. BAR also offers a speaker’s bureau.

TOWARD FREEDOM – Toward Freedom, which has been offering a progressive perspective on world events since 1952, is conducting a fundraising campaign. Publishing online and hosting consciousness-raising events, TF remains an important resource for the U.S. left.

TRUTHOUT – The left/progressive website is conducting a fundraising campaign to continue and expand its coverage.

Contact: Truthout, PO Box 231278, Encinitas, CA 92023; 213-489-1971;

FOODGood Food is a new documentary that features farmers, farmers’ markets, distributors, stores, restaurants, and others who are working to develop a more sustainable food system.
POVERTY – Filmed in the slums of Africa to the barrios of Latin America, the documentary The End of Poverty? explores how the causes of poverty stem from actions taken during colonial times (and until today) to perpetuate exploitation.
SCREENINGS – Cinema Politica, a grassroots network that distributes and exhibits political films and DVDs internationally, offers local groups the chance to start their own clubs and participate in a "Friday Night Docs" screening series.

ABUNDANCE – In Depletion & Abundance: Life on the New Home Front, Sharon Astyk describes the approaching ecologic catastrophe and offers a practical guide to simpler living amid sustainable small-scale communities.

COALITIONS – In Blue-Green Coalitions: Fighting for Safe Workplaces and Healthy Communities, Brian Mayer focuses on the common ground forging alliances between unions and environmentalists.

HOPE – In Pragmatism and Social Hope: Deepening Democracy in Global Contexts, Judith M. Green (author Deep Democracy: Community, Diversity, and Transformation) draws on U.S. history and discussions with today’s political thinkers to advocate for effective citizen activism.
JUSTICE – In Gaveling Down the Rabble: How "Free Trade" is Stealing Our Democracy, author/activist Jane Anne Morris explores a century and a half of efforts by corporations and the courts to undermine local democracy.
MEMOIRUp Against the Wall Motherf**ker: A Memoir of the ’60s, With Notes For Next Time is Osha Neumann’s account of his part in the 1960s counterculture and an anarchist street gang.
PLUNDER – In Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal, longtime investigative journalist, author, and filmmaker Danny Schechter exposes the heart of the financial rip-off.
RIGHTSPrivacy: The Lost Right by Jon L. Mills considers the declining status of the right to privacy in today’s intrusive world, offering options for improving protections.

WOMEN – In Divided Lives: American Women in the Twentieth Century, Rosalind Rosenberg shows how American traditions of federalism, racial and ethnic diversity, geographic mobility, and relative abundance have both aided and hindered women’s strides toward equality.

Contact: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 18 West 18th St., New York, NY 10011; 212-741-6900; [email protected];

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