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The Future of Left Turn: We have some major news about the future of Left Turn. We have published the final issue of our print publication. This decision did not come easily, but in the end we felt we had no choice. This is not, however, the end of Left Turn...Read more


B. Loewe
December 1, 2010

These days people are scared. Whether it’s fear of big government or job loss, immigration raids or foreclosure, socialism or fascism, police violence or terrorist attacks, cap and trade or ecological collapse, one thing we all hold in common is an undeniable sense of insecurity.  Which direction the country goes to resolve these fears is largely up to us. Times of crisis hand us all with the responsibility to answer the question, “How shall we be together as a people?” One of the key sites for resolving that question is the migrant rights movement and the resolution of who is and who is not considered part of the body-politic.

Jim Ride
December 1, 2010

However they felt about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign two years ago, activists on the Left agreed about one thing: any real gains to be made under an Obama presidency would depend on pressure from the grassroots after the voting was over. Unfortunately this consensus did not actually lead to such a mobilization. Major labor unions descended into embarrassing conflicts with each other instead of seriously fighting for labor law reform. Mass movements against war and for immigrant rights lost their ability to put people in the street, and the massive outpouring of democratic hopes that dealt the Republicans their soundest defeat in generations was channeled into little more than fundraising spam emails from DC. The first few months of the disappointing Obama administration could hardly surprise anyone familiar with the words of Frederick Douglass—lacking demand, power conceded very little indeed. 

December 1, 2010

THE 7 COMPONENTS OF TRANSFORMATIVE ORGANIZING THEORY
BY ERIC MANN

thestrategycenter.org, 2010

TRANSFORMATIVE ORGANIZING: TOWARD LIBERATION OF SELF AND SOCIETY
BY SOCIAL JUSTICE LEADERSHIP

sojustlead.org, 2010

If there is anything we have learned from the political struggles of the 20th-century United States, it has been the great importance of grassroots and mass-based organizing. From the IWW to the CIO, the early Communist Party to the rise of the civil rights movement, the question of how to organize and refine best practices has always remained central.

December 1, 2010

RETHINK AFGHANISTAN
BY ROBERT GREENWALD

Brave New Films, 2009

Rethink Afghanistan is an ambitious six-part documentary by Robert Greenwald, who has previously made films about the Iraq war and other topics. It offers testimonies from officials, NGO-type groups in the US and Afghanistan, and interviews with Afghanis. The film analyzes six topics to try to debunk current myths and rhetoric about the US-led occupation: troops, Pakistan, the cost of war, civilian casualties, Afghan women, and security.

December 1, 2010

This summer, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a landmark law reforming the state’s criminal background check system. Aimed at improving acc ess to jobs, housing and other vital services for residents with arrest records, overhauling the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) has been a target for Massachusetts community activists for over a decade. The successful passage of CORI reform marked a notable break from War on Drugs crime policies that have driven the rapid expansion of police and prisons since the early 1970s. Massachusetts’ precedent-setting laws frontline a growing national movement to reverse the systemic economic barriers faced by formerly convicted people.