Oakland General Strike of 1946 (click here)



Latham Square

Obituary for Auto in California

Today, February 12, 2010, some comrades and I witnessed something historic. It was the end of the era of automobile production in California. As I walked through the front doors of the union hall of UAW local 2244, sitting right across Fremont Boulevard from the massive New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) factory, I saw a portrait of UAW luminary Walter Reuther prominently on the wall and couldn't help but remember how Marty Glaberman said (in the mid-1960s) that Reuther had created "a one-party dictatorship and the totally bureaucratized institution that it is today." On March 31st that institution of class-collaboration will facilitate the closure of the factory and the loss of 4,500 jobs -- completely without a fight and with nothing to offer the workers but empty platitudes by their allies in the Democratic Party.

File:NUMMIplantMissionPeakPanorama 3199.jpg

Revolutionary Outhouse?

The right to housing is also the right to shit in peace:

We build a latrine in a homeless camp

On Saturday April 5 four friends and I went to the homeless encampment in Sacramento, California and built a simple pit latrine. With all the media attention this camp has received, and all the sympathetic statements by the mayor and even the governor (who’ve both visited the camp twice in the past month) it seemed remarkable to us that something as basic as a latrine had not been built. At one end of the camp is the transmitting tower of KSMH, a Christian radio station considered to be the flagship of the Immaculate Heart Radio Network. And the camp is tucked in right next to Blue Diamond Almonds, a union-busting company that has the largest stake in one of the biggest cash crops in California. But these landmarks of charity and wealth only serve to highlight the deep contradictions that exist at the margins of our land of plenty.

Keeping San Francisco's Botanical Garden Free

Bubbling Beneath the Surface

"Public" Meeting at SF County Hall of Flowers

Last night, April 6, 2009, I experienced something inspiring, and even euphoric, in a city-sponsored meeting to present possible changes to San Francisco’s Botanical Garden & Arboretum in Golden Gate Park. The bottom line of the two suit-wearing bureaucrats from the Parks & Recreation administration was their proposal to follow nearly all of the other similar botanical gardens across the U.S. and impose a fee, of $5, for what has been free since it was created nearly 70 years ago. Their PowerPoint had a slide with a table that showed the botanical garden in Miami at the high end of the scale with a $20 admission fee and they made a huge point that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden had recently raised its fee to $8 after struggles had failed to keep it free back in 1996.

The New Joads in Sacramento's Tent City

The New Joads: Trying to Survive in

the Spectacle-Commodity Society

“…I’ll be around in the dark. I’ll be ever’where. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad…An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why I’ll be there.”

—Tom Joad in John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath

L.A. Rebellion 1992 Looking Back after 15 years

Poet Maya Angelou dubbed it the "Los Angeles Rebellion." It not only ignited a four-day uprising in L.A., but also inspired hundreds of smaller demonstrations across the globe. Most media merely lip-synced the white suburban cliches of it being a "black riot" caused by "racial tension." Or, when the Rodney King verdict was taken into consideration, they described it as legitimate demonstrations hijacked by hard-core criminals and transformed into a maddened assault on their own community. Such superficial analysis ignores the facts and could not be further from the truth.


Rat Monday 1988

1988 "Near Riot" in San Francisco: 10,000 Workers Protest Rat Contractors Meeting
by Frank McMurray West Coast correspondent
*This first appeared in New York Hard Hat News, a rank and file construction worker publication:*

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