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Statement From The Families of the "Jena Six"

Caseptla Bailey
Date Published: 
July 13, 2007

This letter is an attempt to shed light on the recent ruling in the trial of Mychal Bell.

It is important for the public to understand that Mychal did not receive proper or fair representation from his attorney, the "public defender."

First, why didn't the attorney (Blane Williams) challenge the fact that these kids are being charged as adults for a schoolyard fight? Why wasn't a change of venue filed in this case, even though it has received so much attention locally? What did Justin Barker as well as his friends do to these young men to provoke harass, intimidate and hassle them?

Bilal El-Amine Reports on the Election in Lebanon, 2005

Bilal El-Amine
Date Published: 
May 21, 2005
    Bilal El-Amine is founder and former editor of Left Turn magazine. He recently returned to his native Lebanon.

    Bilal is writing a regular series of reports on the political situation in Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, and other countries in the Middle East.

    He can be contacted at zaloom33(at)

The Mehlis Countdown
September 23, 2005
It may sound from the venom directed at Syria that the Bush administration wants nothing short of toppling the Baath. But this seems unlikely if not impossible given the situation in Iraq.

Talking Points: The Gaza Crisis

Phyllis Bennis, Institute For Policy Studies
Date Published: 
January 01, 2009

The death toll in Gaza continues to rise. The carnage is everywhere -- city streets, a mosque, hospitals, police stations, a jail, a university bus stop, a plastics factory, a television station. It seems impossible, unacceptable, to step back to analyze the situation while bodies remain buried under the rubble, while parents continue to search for their missing children, while doctors continue to labor to stitch burned and broken bodies back together without sufficient medicine or equipment. The hospitals are running short even of electricity -- the Israeli blockade has denied them fuel to run the generators.

Strategy of Imperialism

Lydia Pelot-Hobbs
Date Published: 
October 01, 2008

Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad
By Marnia Lazerg
Princeton University Press, 2007

While the US's use of torture under the “war on terror” has become more visible to the general public, this visibility has shamefully not garnered the amount of public outcry as deserved. One key reason for the lack of mass outrage is the widespread belief that torture is rarely employed by the US military, and when it is utilized it is only in dire circumstances. In her new book, Lazreg draws the connections between the US use of torture in the “war on terror” and the use of torture by the French military in the Algerian War.

Prisoner Self-Determination

Toussaint Losier
Date Published: 

When The Prisoners Ran Walpole: A True Story In The Movement For Prison Abolition
By Jamie Bissionette with Ralph Hamm, Robert Dellelo, and Edward Rodman, South End Press, 2008

One thing the movement for prison abolition seems to lack is a good sense of its own history. This includes not only the past thirty-five years of unchecked prison expansion, but also the particular moments when ending the legal slavery (that incarcerations comprise) has been a true possibility.

Bissionette offers us a window into this past through a keen analysis of the rise and fall of the National Prisoners’ Reform Association (NPRA) – an organization that sought to address prisoners’ needs through a labor rights framework – in Massachusetts Correctional Institution Walpole during the early 1970s.

Chartering Democracy

Jessica Shiller
Date Published: 

Keeping The Promise: The Debate Over Charter Schools
By Leigh Dingerson, Barbara Minner, Bob Peterson, Stephanie Waters, Eds.
Rethinking Schools Ltd, 2008

In public education, few topics are as hotly debated as charter schools. Do they provide better school options for families or do they open the door to privatization? Keeping the Promise is a new concise volume which explores these questions in a series of essays written by activists and educators.

Trans Activism

Harris Kornstein
Date Published: 

Transgender History
By Susan Stryker
Seal Press, 2008

Pioneering scholar-activist Susan Stryker’s newest book offers a concise and accessible crash course on the history of activism for the rights of "gender deviant" people, mainly in the US and in the past fifty years. Framed through a transfeminist lens, the book provides a useful introduction for those unfamiliar with the language of transgender identities, politics, and history. Even for those of us who feel relatively experienced in genderqueer speak, there are myriad moments in history to be revealed or remembered, and Stryker’s recounting includes context and theory that is unlikely to be found elsewhere.

The book begins with an introduction to terms and Stryker’s theoretical agenda.

One Nation

Ann Raber
Date Published: 

Viva La Raza: A History of Chicano Identity and Resistance
By Yolanda Alaniz and Megan Cornish
Red Letter Press, 2008

In the spring of 2006, latina/o students walked out of their classrooms to protest federal legislation that would make living and working in the US without following proper immigration procedure a felony. Their organization and passionate resolve might have been surprising to someone not versed in the history of Latina/o student activism. But vocal resistance and organized demonstration is a hard-earned legacy of young Latina/os, Chicana/os, and Mexican-Americans.

Modern Slavery

Elly Kugler
Date Published: 

Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor And The Dark Side of The New Global Economy
By John Bowe
Random House, 2007

Nobodies provides a carefully researched window into the often-overlooked area of what author John Bowe calls, “labor slavery,” which he distinguishes from sex trafficking by the general societal acceptance of the practice. He defines labor slavery as “the enslavement of workers making ordinary goods intended for consumption by the general public.”

Using three different settings, Bowe reviews the ways that globalization permits and encourages the use of labor slavery. The first section focuses on networks of slave labor drawing on undocumented workers in the farmlands of Florida.

Corporate Exposé

Alana Y. Price
Date Published: 

Wrestling With Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino
By Kim Fellner
Rutgers University Press, 2008

Wrestling with starbucks opens with a crash of shattered glass. The unexpected rupture is an apt beginning for this book and its series of surprising claims about the Starbucks Coffee Company’s role in the global economy.
As the glass shards settle, Fellner invites readers to peer through the Starbucks window broken during the 1999 World Trade Organization protest in Seattle.