Category Archives: Texas

Occupy Dallas Calls for General Strike: Nov. 30th

Before the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas,

Whereas the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas stands in support of Occupy Wall Street which started September 17, 2011 at Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. The movement has now spread across the country and is influencing the world. Occupy Dallas is a horizontally organized resistance movement to counteract the unprecedented consolidation of wealth and power in the world today. The Occupy movement does not have a hierarchy or a formalized structure. The Occupy movement represents those that feel disenfranchised from the current socioeconomic system because of policy passed by our political institutions and the actions of those in control of the unprecedented consolidation of wealth;

 

Whereas by consensus we view that for the first time in American history, current generations will not be as prosperous as preceding generations. This denial of the American Dream is at the heart of Occupy Movement.

Whereas by consensus we view that the social system has become tilted against us by:

1.       Unfair treatment and discrimination against individuals based on Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, National Origin, Physical Ability or any other factor that minimizes any person’s individual worth

2.       The commoditization of individual privacy

3.       Profit driven news sources with individual agendas

4.       Narrow definitions of what constitutes a family;

Whereas by consensus we view that the Political system has become tilted against us by:

1.       Widespread deregulation that has eliminated common sense regulations that have insured long term prosperity and protection from predatory business practices

2.       A Tax code that is cumbersome and rife with loopholes and language that favors an economic minority at the expense of the majority of wage earners

3.       A Supreme Court decision that has put into place the unprecedented concept of extending first amendment protections to political donations

4.       Jeopardizing the future of social security through investiture and privatization schemes

5.       By reducing funding to our education system our future generations are provided a lesser education that previous generations received because of increased class size and reduced resources

6.       Because of decreasing funding individuals are saddled with higher student loan debt

7.       A political system where even the most perfunctory tasks of government are partisan battles;

Whereas by consensus we view that the Economic system has become tilted against us by:

1.       A general degradation of the employer and employee relationship namely

a.       the practice referred to as “dead peasants”  insurance policies where by companies profit from the death of individuals.

b.      the elimination of traditional pension and retirement arrangements in favor of     401 (k) investment vehicles.

c.       outsourcing of jobs

d.      failing or eliminating paid sick leave

e.      failing or eliminating paid maternity leave

f.        relying on part-time workers rather than investing in full time employees

g.       scheduling work hours to insure that employees cannot obtain offered benefits

h.      failing to provide a livable wage

i.        reducing and eliminating employer based health care coverage

 

2.       Incredible income disparity between management and employees.

3.       Active discouragement and intimidation of unionization of the workforce

4.       Instituting illogical accounting practices

5.       Engaging in unethical business practices that jeopardize the long term financial stability of the country

6.       Viewing financial profit as more important than the individual worth of a people.

Then let it them be resolved by the General Assembly of Occupy Dallas through consensus on Date (___________________) that we call upon all people to engage in a General Strike on November 30th, 2011. We implore all people to:

1.       Refrain from Buying or Selling any goods or services including but not limited to, any petroleum products, consumer goods or bank transactions; starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011.

2.       Refrain from working for a wage starting at 12:01 am to 11:59pm on November 30th, 2011 excluding those individuals that provide emergency and necessary functions including but not limited to Police, Fire and Medical personnel.

3.       Join or form local groups to peacefully protest against the above stated elements.

Please join us in solidarity to make known our grievances and demand substantive change to insure our future.

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Filed under class struggle, Demonstration Announcements, General Strike, Occupy Movement, Solidarity, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, strike, Texas, The Left

The American Prison System

by KurtFF8 (Mike C)

There have been various stories relating the the conditions of the prison system in the United States in the news recently.  From the under reported (yet perhaps most significant) recent Georgia Prisoner’s strike to the high profile solitary confinement of Bradley Manning who gained notoriety for his involvement in leaking a video to Wikileaks.  This attention should be seen as an opportunity to open up space for debate on the very structure of our prisons.

There is also the case of Cornelius Dupree, Jr.who was just freed in Texas after 30 years of being in prison when DNA evidence showed that he was actually innocent.  According to his attorney, Texas has had the most DNA exonerations of any state, and Dallas the most within Texas.  This is of course a disturbing trend that may certainly be seen as yet another case of institutional racism that has a strong tradition (especially in the South, but of course not limited to the South) and seems to be rather obvious in these cases as according to the Innocence Project, almost 60% of those exonerated post-conviction via DNA are African American.

Bradley Manning’s conditions have been highlighted in the international press recently, with an emphasis on his mental health as a result of being in solitary confinement for a long period of time.  The interesting thing about the Manning case is that it is being portrayed in the media as a sort of political imprisonment by the United States, while the majority of cases that activists consider to be clear cases of political imprisonment tend to be portrayed as seen that way only by a small fringe.  Thus the case offers yet another example for the Left to call into question this system.

The most bizarre incident is the Georgia Prisoner’s strike.  I say bizarre because of the relative silence (or at least not much emphasis) by the “mainstream media” on what has been labeled the largest prisoner’s strike in the history of the United States.  For example, if you compare two New York Times articles that came out within a day of each other, you’ll find one long article about the new “problem” of smart phones in prisons (and it does detail the strike).  The NAACP recently claimed that there was violent retaliation against striking prisoners which was certainly anticipated by prisoner rights activists, yet this story got one paragraph in the NYT.

Taking these various stories together, and how they were covered by the media makes for an interesting trend that reveals a small bit of ideology that dominates our conversations here.  The cases of Cornelius Dupree, Jr. and Bradley Manning received more attention than the Georgia prisoner’s strike.  Why is this the case?  One part of the answer can certainly be traced to ideology: when an individual is treated poorly by the system, this is a miscarriage of justice that simply needs to be corrected.  When prisoners from across an entire state come together and challenge the system itself, this calls into question the system itself.  The strike also defied stereotypes of prisons divided along racial lines, when all prisoners of different races worked together to demand better conditions.  This ideological reasoning can at least help us understand why events like the Georgia strike are not emphasized by the media.

There are many problems about the American prison system.  The United States has the largest prison population on Earth (in terms of raw numbers and as a percentage of our population); the United States has increasingly allow private corporations to run prisons for profit, which includes free labor from their inmates (which some people rightfully equate to modern day slavery); Racism continues to play an important roll .  And the biggest problem of all: There is not a national debate about this, these issues are not constantly being discussed on CNN every night, we’re not having town hall meetings about it.

This is an important issues, especially in the US South where prison populations seem to be particularly large (For example, New Orleans having the biggest incarceration rate in the World).  It’s time we start reframing these issues and start organizing.

Further reading:

U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations

YouTube Clip – Angela Davis discusses Prison Industrial Complex

YouTube Clip – Prison Industrial Complex (clip from documentary)

 

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Filed under African Americans, class struggle, Georgia, Gulf States, Human Rights, inmates, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoners, prisons, Race, Southern Identity, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, strike, Texas, United States, Wikileaks

Uniting With Comrades: Our Decision to Become a Kasama Collective

 

[Originally posted to thefirecollective.org]

After careful study and consideration, our collective, the FIRE Collective, has decided to formally affiliate ourselves with the Kasama Project. Kasama is a communist network in the US dedicated to a revolutionary reconception of communism. Further, we have decided to announce ourselves as a Kasama Collective.

In September of 2009, a group of us in Houston, Texas formed an independent communist collective, The FIRE Collective (standing for Fight Imperialism, Rethink and Experiment).

In both the US and around the world, we saw there was a process of refounding the communist movement that was both deeply necessary and at a beginning. This included a process of reconceiving the communist project, and we wanted to make our own contributions to that process together with our comrades.

We have been engaged in study and struggle for over a year. We’ve grown in numbers, developed our understanding of revolutionary theory and history, and forged a higher degree of political unity.

Revolution is not only a local exercise. It requires the strategic thinking, study, and coordinated practice of comrades throughout the country (and ultimately the world). The work of reconceiving cannot be confined to a locality, but rather it needs forms that can give expression to its fearless journey to places still unexplored, and questions unsettled. We believe there needs to be a combination of our local contributions to theory and practice with that which is developing on the national plane.

For these reasons, we are excited to join with the work the Kasama network has been engaged in, and contributing to charting an uncharted course to a communist future. Other similar collectives have also started to form as part of Kasama’s network, and we look forward to sharing theory and practice, learning from one another as we move.

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Filed under Anti-Imperialism, class struggle, Communism, Gulf States, Houston, Revolution, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Texas, Uncategorized, United States

Communist Party USA Southern Organizing Tour to Launch from Dallas

Originally posted to Texas Communist Party

Although hundreds of Southerners have joined the Communist Party, USA, many of them have never had a sit-down discussion with a party leader. Vice-Chairperson Scotty Marshall and I plan to confront that problem with an organizing tour of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana November 11-24.

The New Members Committee of CPUSA sent out an invitation: “Interest in the Communist Party, USA is rising across the South. We have gotten inquiries about our party, our program, our philosophy and our strategy, from all the Southern states. Many are asking how to join and become active. Many also want to know how we are organized and how to form clubs or study groups. Many have also participated in our on-line webinars and discussions. Because of this interest, and because we are seeing clusters of inquiries from areas of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky, we are planning a two week trip through these areas….”

Responses from Southerners were immediate:

“I would strongly urge you to visit Mobile. I know a few of us would love to meet and talk over drinks and good topics.”

“Please do contact me when you make it into Mobile. There aren’t many people to my knowledge that are educated about CPUSA, I’m really looking forward to changing this and becoming more informed myself.”

“I live in Arkansas. You guys should come through Little Rock.”

“Hello from Arkansas! I would Love to meet with you if you come. I live In Hot Springs. Let me know if there is any thing I can do to help on your trip.”

“Where will you be in Kentucky? Thank you for all your hard work!”

“I want to become involved in the activities of the Party again and you can
instruct me on what you might want me to accomplish to prepare for the Southern tour to visit here in Louisville.”

“Yes! I would definitely be interested in meeting with CP-USA when you come through Kentucky.”

“I am trying to get as many as possible to meet with Scott Marshall and Jim Lane in one location, most likely my city of Louisville.”

“If you could, let me know when you’d be available in Louisville Kentucky. And heck you can even give me a call if you like.”

“Howdy, I’d love to meet up. I live in Louisville, KY. I don’t know of anybody else that would be interested in meeting up, but… I might be able to get one or two other people together for a powwow.”

“I have a friend who is very interested in meeting up, and has a place to hold a meeting. Anyway, you’ve got a place to meet and speak here in Louisville.”

“I would like to meet some locals interested in organizing. Will you all be in New Orleans?”

“I would like to be able to get in contact with more people from Baton Rouge and discuss coming together and starting something here. Any information you could give me would be great.”

“I am interested in meeting with you. I live in Memphis. I am not a current member, but am interested in opportunities to find out more about the Party’s work and possibly become a member.”

“I would love to meet with any or all of you to discuss what work you’re doing and how I might be able to help. If you are in Memphis please let me know.”

“We’re both living around the Memphis area, and we’re very interested in meeting with the two of you. We’re extremely enthusiastic to get acquainted with fellow comrades within the national party. Thank you so much for sending this to me.”

“I am interested in joining CPUSA. I live in Memphis. I would like to meet with Scott and Jim if they pass through here.”

Scotty and I have wanted to carry out this tour for some time. We’re hoping to help progressive Southerners come together into regular CPUSA clubs. CPUSA has a rich tradition in the South, and there are a number of longtime comrades scattered here and there. Additionally, young people are more and more realizing that capitalism has no solutions for them and are seeking information from CPUSA.

In addition, Scotty and I intend to report regularly to CPUSA publications so that all progressives in America can better understand Southerners and one another. Our hearts are really into this trip! We depart Dallas and head toward Little Rock November 11!

 

 

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Filed under Arkansas, class struggle, Communism, Communist Party USA, Gulf States, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, other announcements, Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Tennessee, Texas, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events, workers

FIRE Collective Event: Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

by KurtFF8

(Taken from Kasama:)

This was originally on thefirecollective.org.

Austin, TX Event: Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

The Mountains Tremble: A Reportback from the Revolution in Nepal

Nepal is a small land-locked country where communist revolution is changing everything. People are rising up against kings, castes and imperialism. Women are rising to lead. The revolution is related to the revolution unfolding in India. In May and June of 2010, Eric Ribellarsi traveled to Nepal to report on these events. Eric Ribellarsi’s presentation will tell the story of this revolution, the current situation in Nepal, and feature video and photography from his journey.

Saturday, November 6, 2010 @ 1PM

ACC Pinnacle Campus, Room 1013

7748 Highway 290 West

Austin, TX 78736

Presented by The FIRE Collective and Twelfth Revolution

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Filed under Event Announcement, Revolution, Texas, The Left, Upcoming Events, Women, workers

Seize BP National Days of Action

The Seize BP campaign has called for more national days of action this week.  Some have happened and many more are planned for tomorrow (Saturday the 5h).  Many cities in the South are holding demonstrations (along with cities all over the country) to demand the seizure of BP’s assets.  The campaign was even mentioned on CNN recently.

The oil spill has now reached Florida and is likely going to continue to spread.

Below is a partial list of newly announced actions. Details for additional events are still coming in and being compiled, so check our website regularly for updates.

CALIFORNIA

Claremont, California
Thursday, June 10, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Arco station
701 E. Foothill Blvd (Corner of Foothill and Claremont Blvd)
Contact: Claudia Strauss, straussri@aol.com

Long Beach, California
Wednesday, June 9 at 4:30pm
Long Beach Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Way (Aquarium Way & Shoreline Drive)
The Aquarium, which claims its mission is “to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems” just took $1 million from oil criminals BP and unveiled a “BP Sea Otter Habitat.” This sickinging double-standard shows the utter bankruptcy of the Aquarium’s board of directors and attempts to provide cover for BP’s crimes.
Contact: 213-251-1025 or la@seizebp.org.
Click here for map and parking.

Los Angeles, California
Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon
Palisades Park at Ocean Ave. & Colorado Ave., Santa Monica (near the Santa Monica Pier)
Contact: 213-251-1025 or la@seizebp.org
Click here for a map.

Oceanside, California
Saturday, June 5 at 2 p.m.
Bp station, 160 Davison Ave
Bring signs and loud voices.
Contact: nfkut2001@gmail.com

San Francisco, California
Tuesday, June 8 at 5 p.m.
BP Offices
90 New Montgomery St. (near Mission St.)
Contact: 415-821-6545, sf@seizebp.org

Santa Cruz, California
Friday, June 4 at 2:30 p.m.
The Clock Tower
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Seize-BP

CONNECTICUT

Milford, Connecticut
Saturday, June 5, 12 noon
BP Gas Station, 231 Cherry Street
Picket along the sidewalk in front of station. Bring signs or pictures. Only a few will be made by organizer.
Contact: megangrosso@yahoo.com or 203-556-9133 or Facebook page (click here)

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Washington, D.C.
Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m.
BP Amoco Gov’t Affairs Office
1101 New York Ave., NW (on the north side of I St. b/w 11th & 12th Sts.)
Contact: 202-265-1949 or info@seizebp.org

FLORIDA

Destin, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
202 Harbor Boulevard – Ground zero for Okaloosa county

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
South Fort Lauderdale Beach Park on A1A (Enter park just south of SE 5th Street) across from the Bahia Mar Hotel
Contact: 954-707-0155 or florida@seizebp.org
Click here for a map.

Orlando, Florida
Saturday, June 5, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Lake Eola Park (meet up at the corner of E Robinson St and N Eola Drive)
Street Meeting and Outreach Event
Contact: 321-437-4785 or florida@seizebp.org
Click here for a map.

Tallahassee, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 11 a.m.
Old Capitol (corner of Apalachee Pkwy and Monroe St)
Contact: Florida State University Center for Participant Education at fsucpe@gmail.org (www.fsucpe.org)

Tampa, Florida
Saturday, June 5 at 3 p.m.
Corner of Bearss and N. Florida Ave.
Contact: jpegan@mail.usf.edu

GEORGIA

Atlanta, Georgia
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
BP Station, 350 Moreland Avenue
Arrive at the BP station with signs, posterboards, megaphones and demand that BP end this oil spill now and demand the government seize BP’s assets! Enough is enough!
Contact: Allyson Bowers, (404) 731-3941

HAWAII

Anahola / Kuhio, Hawaii
Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon
Anahola / Kuhio Highway – Meet at the Lei stand
Contact: Marcia McPhail at 808-640-5761

ILLINOIS

Chicago, Illinois
Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m.
BP Offices in Chicago
Corner of Randolph & Michigan
Bring your signs, banners and voices of protest!
Contact: 773-463-0311

KENTUCKY

Louisville, Kentucky
Wednesday, June 2, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
First Unitarian Church, 4th & York
Meeting for Louisville-area residents to discuss how they can respond to this overwhelming ecological catastrophe.

MARYLAND

Baltimore, Maryland
Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m.
General Sam Smith Park (SE corner of Light St. and E. Pratt Street., by the flag pole nearby the Inner Harbor)
Visibility action
Contact: baltimore@seizebp.org

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston, Massachusetts
Friday, June 4 at 5 p.m.
Park St. T station
Visibility action
Contact: 857-334-5084 or boston@seizebp.org

MICHIGAN

St. Joseph, Michigan.
Wednesday, June 9 at 5 p.m.
BP gast station on the corner of Napier (2501 Niles Ave.)
Contact: jbounds1029@gmail.com

NEVADA

Las Vegas, Nevada
Sunday, June 6 at 10 a.m.
Flamingo and Maryland Parkway intersection.
Demonstration at one or more corners of the busy intersection. Bus stops there going all 4 directions. Will pass flyers to bus riders and pedestrians. Traffic flow should be busy.
Contact: David K. or Teri K. at 702-408-4819 or 408-5622 or pulbiz@aol.com – Please RSVP

NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Saturday, June 5 at 12 noon
Tulane at Central
Contact: 505-268-2488

NEW YORK

New York, New York
Thursday, June 3 at 5 p.m.
JP Morgan Chase World Headquarters*
270 Park Ave. (at 48th street)
*Chase owns close to 30 percent of BP’s public stock
Contact: 212-694-8720, nyc@seizebp.org

Syracuse, New York
Saturday, June 5 at 2 p.m.
ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave.
Volunteer Meeting: “BP’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster: Who will pay the price?” Hear presentations about the case for seizure and find out how to get involved in the Seize BP campaign in Syracuse.
Contact: syracuse@seizebp.org

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wednesday, June 9 at 5 p.m.
Location to be announced.
Visibility action
Contact: philly@seizebp.org

TEXAS

Austin, Texas
Saturday, June 5, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Southeast corner of 6th and Lamar
Signs will be available.
Contact: austin@seizebp.org

Irving, Texas
Friday, June 4 at 12 noon
ExxonMobil Corporate Headquarters, 5959 Las Colinas Blvd
Click here for a map.

VIRGINIA

Front Royal, Virginia
Sunday, June 6, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
BP station on the corner of Hwy 522 and Hwy 55
Contact: lowendunlimited@yahoo.com

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Friday, June 4 at 10 a.m.
21st Street and Atlantic Ave (on boardwalk)
Contact: Facebook page for more info and to rsvp to event.

WASHINGTON

Seattle, Washington
Friday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m.
Westlake Park (4th and Pine)
Contact: seattle@seizebp.org

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Filed under ANSWER Coalition, Demonstration Announcements, Environment, fishing, Florida, Gulf Oil Spill, Gulf States, Leftists in the U.S. South, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oil, Southern United States, Tennessee, Texas, Uncategorized, United States, Upcoming Events

The Texas Textbook War?

By KurtFF8

The Texas Board of Education recently passed changes to the social science textbook curriculum that, as the NY Times writes, puts a “conservative stamp” on US history.  Many of the changes are to be expected by a group motivated to “end the leftist/liberal bias” that exists within schoolbooks (although of course any actual Leftist will certainly point out that we feel the bias is for the system of Capitalism, not our ideas).  The changes put emphasis on conservative movements of history, deemphasize the more “radical elements” in the civil rights movement (for example, either stop talking about the Panthers or paint them in a negative light).  They also paint the founding fathers in a more religious way (e.g. them being opposed to separation of church and state) and make them seem to be more for “states rights,” which is of course absurd because the Founders were quite split on this issue (as is obvious by the Texas Board’s decision to deemphasize Jefferson).  One of my personal favorite changes is the changing of the term “capitalism” to “free market system” because of the “negative connotation” that the word capitalism has.  This strategy shows how the GOP in this country, and especially in the South, continues to move further to the right and is bringing with it the overall discourse.  Leftists, especially in the South, need to combat this trend and get better at definding the framework for discussion.

This move by the Texas Board, while obviously a conservative political move, is quite interesting to me as it reminds me of the “West Virginia Textbook War.”  Mike Ely over at Kasama Project had some interesting things to say about the WV situation (and Communist involvement).  The difference is of course that what is happening here is almost the opposite of the WV case: there a more “liberal/multicultural” set of text books were being introduced and the most reactionary elements of WV fought tooth and nail to prevent them from introduction (which they for the most part failed).  There was even a miner strike against the books which put Communists in an awkward position.  In Texas, the GOP is now the one enforcing revisionist history to paint themselves in a better light (a much more blatant attempt at historical revisionism than the WV case I would argue) and the way to organize against these moves is a grassroots campaign that should involve different social movement and especially unions.

I don’t think that the Texas situation will intensify as much as the WV situation, but what I do think is that it is an important event in the South that opens up discourse on important things like “the term capitalism” to a much broader audience, especially for comrades living in Texas right now.

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Filed under Southern Strategy, Southern United States, Texas, The Left, Uncategorized, United States